A few quick thoughts
Peyton Manning choked. That’s all that can be said. Some people argue that it was just one game, and one bad throw and it shouldn’t tarnish his legacy. Well it wasn’t just one game, it wasn’t just one throw. It was the biggest game of the year, and the throw occurred during the most critical point of the game. Manning can no longer be put in the same sentence as Montana, Elway, Unitas, and even Brady (it pains me to say that because I do not like the Patriots or Brady). Yes Manning has one ring but it came against a Bears team that started Rex Grossman at quarterback. Rex freaking Grossman!! His name says it all. His playing is gross man (never said I was a comedian). The good thing for Manning is he still has a few good years left and he plays on a team that has been really good for a long time. We’ll see what the future holds for Manning and his legacy, but I know this throw is always going to come to mind when I think of Peyton Manning.
To put it into basketball terms, let’s take a trip back to the 2009 NBA Finals and let’s imagine the Magic were able to pull out games 5 and 6 and forced a deciding game 7. Game 7 goes back and forth, and with 30 seconds left the Magic are leading by 2 points, but the ball is in the hands of Kobe Bryant and everyone is expecting the spectacular. Instead of the spectacular, Kobe throws a lazy pass intended for Derek Fisher and it gets stolen by Jameer Nelson who coast in for an easy lay up, essentially ending the game and the series. Now, no matter what Kobe does the rest of his career – even if he wins another 2 or 3 titles – you would always remember that pass. You would always remember that he lost that series; that during the most important game of the season, during the most important possession for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant turned the ball over which lead to the series clinching bucket for the Magic. Well I am always going to remember Peyton’s pick 6, no matter what he does from here on out.
Now that football season is over we can concentrate 100% on basketball. What is wrong with the Celtics? Look where Mark Stein has them ranked in his power ranking. 11th. Nobody could have foreseen that at the beginning of the year. I stated in an earlier post that if the team was healthy, and with Rondo playing at an elite level, they would be the best team in the East and would make the finals. I still believe that but I don’t believe the team will get healthy. They are just too old and Garnett, Pierce, and Allen have too many miles on them. To quote Charles Barkley “old people, they don’t get healthy, they die.” While none of these players are on the verge of death, Chuck is right when he says they won’t get healthy. Garnett has lost his lateral quickness and this not only affects his play but the whole teams’ play. When Garnett came to the Celtics two years ago, it wasn’t his offensive prowess that helped the team win the championship. It was his defense and intensity. He challenged his teammates to perform as hard on the defensive end as they did on the offensive end and they of course responded. Would you want to disappoint this man? Now with Garnett’s knees more used up than Jenny Gump during her hippie period, he can’t be the same defensive force or influence on his teammates that he used to be. Look at the 3rd quarter score of Sunday’s game against the Magic. If this was two years ago or even last year, Garnett would never have allowed 36 points to be scored on his team in one quarter. This year, he is part of the problem. He can’t move side to side and quicker players are able to blow by him off the bounce, while stronger players can just back him down and wait until his knees buckle. Without Garnett at his best and most importantly healthiest, I don’t see the Celtics being a factor in the Eastern Conference. It’s going to come down to the Magic and the Cavs.