I'm a big texter during basketball games. If you're anything like me, your messages are full of "oh, nah"'s and "(insert name here), you dog"'s and "they can't hold him!"'s. Narrating games in real time is an outlet of sorts. Without it, I'd be splayed out on my couch talking to a pillow while my imaginary friend looks for a therapist. The point being, if you're anything like me, last night's Celtics-Cavaliers game was an absolute goldmine. I mean, it was all that I could have hoped for: a measuring stick game for a potential contender; Kyrie Irving cooking every which way; a late missed free throw from LeBron. Everything.

Measuring Stick

For anyone who forgot Kevin Durant went to the Warriors, let me remind you.

He's on the Warriors. Anyway, most of us imagined that the season was simply a wash. We were just waiting for the Warriors-Cavs Finals and we weren't sure that even that would be a good series. The two Finals teams met on Christmas and we forgot all about our griping because guess what: the game was an instant classic.

The Celtics-Cavs game wasn't all that different. The defending champs went up big in the third quarter, starting the 4th with an 18 point lead. The Celtics half court offense was stagnant and lazy, taking threes early in the shot clock without any of their patented ball movement. Thing about the Celtics, though, is they're never out of it. They play a gritty brand of Marcus Smart inspired defense—getting key stops and giving hard fouls—that keeps them in games. They turned LeBron over 8 times en route to cutting the lead down to 1 on several occasions in the fourth quarter.

Boston simply had no answer for Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving. Brad Stevens looked like he'd just been cock-blocked by Irving and Love in cop uniforms (that's already been copyrighted so f*ck off Foot Locker). The Celtics were outrebounded 46 to 29, Love grabbing 15 for the Cavaliers to go along with 30 points. Horford was an absolute non-factor on the night, grabbing only one board to go along with 4 assists and 3 blocks. Kyrie, who's been knocked for his lack of playmaking ability for others, finished the night with 12 assists and 32 points on 71% shooting from the field. And every time the Celts got close, Kyrie just dropped in another mid-range fallaway.

Boston now has to be painfully aware of their limitations and if Trader Danny doesn't have something cooking, I'll eat a $200 Foot Locker shoe. Rebounding has been an issue all year, and part of the reason they haven't separated themselves from the rest of the Eastern Conference pack is because they've been abused on the glass. The other issue is scoring the half court. Towards the end of the game, Isaiah Thomas was bailing out the Celtics half court offense, attacking the paint relentlessly and getting rewarded. Perhaps the most Isaiah play of the game was all 5'-9" of him drawing a double team in the restricted area and instead of kicking to a wide open Jae Crowder in the corner where Love had left him, he went barreling into a double clutch move and drawing the foul.

I've already written about how DeMarcus can fill some of the Celtics' gaps, defensive rebounding and post scoring in particular, but the other name that's been linked to a mid-season move is Andrew Bogut. An intimidating rim-protecting presence, Bogut's found his niche on the offensive side of the ball as a savvy passer and teeth-rattling screen setter. The Mavs probably can't ask for much for him considering his age and injury history so he'd be a bargain get for the Celtics if they decide to pass on Cousins. He fits their scheme perfectly on both sides of the ball. He challenges shots at the rim as well as anyone in the league, cleans up on the defensive glass, and is a willing and skillful passer. And Ainge won't have to break the bank for him. The only question for me is if they need another scheme guy. More than someone who fits their identity, I think the Celtics need another Isaiah. They need another scheme breaker. They need someone else who's willing and able to be the hero and the scapegoat. They need someone who'll disregard the corner shooter and get to the basket. F*ck it, they don't need Bogut. They need DeMarcus.

Uncle Drew Knows

(That's Brad Stevens' "I was about to nut!" face in the thumbnail, by the way)

LeBron Doesn't

Absolutely pettier than Westbrook.

Special Shout-Out: DeAndre Liggins' Lawyer

Liggins has stumbled into an opportunity with the Cavaliers. Not many Kentucky guys play for Calipari for four years, and fewer make it to the NBA. J.R. Smith is injured; Iman Shumpert is successfully pretending that he knows how to come off the bench; Kay Felder is shorter than Isaiah; Mike Dunleavy has never been the same since Giannis plastered him into the first row. As such, Liggins has been starting at the 2, picking up the opposing team's best guard. For most players, starting an NBA game is the biggest opportunity of their life. For DeAndre Liggins it's a far second.

A brief look into my Facebook Messenger—

Rohan: Klay leads the league in catch and shoot fga per game. Kevin love is second.

Me: Yeah I bet

Rohan: I think he's just realized that he needs to play a different role now and finally is ok with just being a shooter basically.

Me: But he takes advantages of his opportunities to crash now too. Which is big.

Marv Albert and Chris Webber start discussing Liggins' troubled history with the law prompting…

Me: Damn DeAndre Liggins is a savage.

Rohan: 7 felonies? And somehow still has custody of his kid? Someone get that lawyer a new contract.



People got paid this off-season. I hope Liggins did right by his attorney (for more on Billy Bock and Liggins' xbox assault).

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