It was a really cold day today, even before the snow started falling. Getting to the Garden was a chore because I’d done the Freedom Trail in one sitting with the wife (note: NEVER do the Freedom Trail before watching a game. I did it in 2011, and in 2013 now – both times, it sucked because I was dead tired by game time.)
Instead of buying a loge seat this time, I nabbed a club seat, which cost about $300 or so on Ticketmaster, likely cheaper on Stubhub. It’s my first time sitting in the club area, and honestly? The experience was great. Granted the view wasn’t as good as a loge seat, but the premium features more than made up for it. Much thanks to Jeff Dearman (sometimes known as the Dancing Usher) for showing us around.
What features, you ask? Let’s see:
- Entry allowed two hours prior. (Normal tickets one hour before game.)
- Entry to the Boston sports museum, with all sorts of fascinating Boston sports moments and memorabilia. Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, college, you name it, it’s likely on level 5 and 6. If you’re a Beantown sports fan, this is what you need.
- Dedicated food/drinks section with seating, no need to fight with the hungry hordes on normal tickets. Gelato, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, sausages, you’ve got a pretty good selection there along with fountain soda (read: unlimited soft drinks). I had a slice of cheese pizza that sent me into a near-coma from carb overload, it was just huge. How huge? It needed two paper plates. One slice. Go figure.
- Food/drinks orders from your seat. A waitress assigned to your section takes orders and brings them to you. No need to miss the game, just keep watching and wait for your food!
- A booth to charge your phone if you need it. Granted there’s only one booth on the level, but if you’re desperate anything goes eh?
So yes, moral of the story: get a club seat at least once if you can afford it.
A lot of story lines to this game. A 22-game win streak. Heat on national television. Heat not winning the C’s on the road in the season since it got LeBron-ed. The C’s playing without KG – no shit? I honestly had this pegged as a close L when KG was declared as an out. An usher I was talking to said KG was in the building, so I’d hoped for him to suit up. The flu-like symptoms killed any possibility of Ticket Time today, so that was that.
Game summary: Green sent everyone into ecstatic convulsions, the guys in stripes called everything and anything they saw, and we lost.
Tip off, and Jeff Green won.
Jeff Green exploded. He was driving and finishing a billion times, no one on the Heat could stop him. It looked like he swished every single three he took, his hand was just so hot. The Garden crowd was going wild every time he scored, everyone was in a manic frenzy. Chants of “JEFF GREEN CLAP-CLAP-CLAP” were rampant, rocking the entire place. Let us not forget about the defense he was doing on King James, the way he forced #6 into forced jumpers. 43 points, with 5 of 7 from the arc. He probably would have had 50 if they hadn’t switched the D.
I loved the rebounding effort and focus on getting into the paint. Lee was driving and finishing like his life depended on it (even floating one over LeBron), Bass had a nasty drive and dunk in the first quarter that got my hopes up. JET was making jumper after jumper, silky smooth. And how about that beautiful chase-down block Avery had? What a monster the guy’s becoming.
Call me biased, but I don’t blame the ugly 20 TOs we had, nor the puke-arific 62.5% on free throws. Or how about giving the Heat 10 offensive boards, and being outrebounded 33-39 in the process?
First of all, stupid referee calls. The C’s had 26 PFs. JET had 5, Bass/Lee/Wilcox had 4. I winced every time the whistle sounded, and although Terry probably deserved that PF for trying to stop a James dunk, I felt the zebras were trying to do a bit too much. Last time I checked, we’re not the Indiana Pacers. For a team that’s clearly very, very small right now, we sure got hit with a ton of dubious defensive fouls.
What I didn’t like were some of the Pierce passes that got picked off; Cap had 7 TOs alone, and some were downright blatant to the point of giving it away. And honestly, was that last-minute turnaround three really the plan? Granted most of his shots tonight got me saying “WHAT?” followed by a make, but that last-ditch attempt at a winner wasn’t the best option I was expecting.
Credit goes to Shane Battier for defending Green too. Green got a lot of early points thanks to Haslem being unable to keep up on his drives, and that triggered the 5 PFs. The moment the Heat went small, Green’s offense got stifled somewhat. Let’s not forget about LeBron scoring when it counted. 37 points is nothing to sneeze at. Even if he went 1 of 4 from 3P, he still had 15 of 25 from everywhere else.
The final minutes had two dubious decisions that swung the game. One, a out of bounds video review that showed James touching the ball last, and instead awarded possession to the Heat. What? Exactly. Second, the non-call that Jeff Green got on his drive. The moment that happened, I knew it was mostly over. Even if we got the ball back, it would be an effort to pull OT rather than stealing the W back in regulation. Then the Pierce 3 happened. And Battier’s smarts happened.
It left a really sour taste in my mouth to have the W so close and then have the rug pulled out, just like that. Granted we didn’t have KG (and Rondo and Sully), but it spoiled Jeff’s huge night to have the game lost like this. And with this L, goes my last live game for 2013. More to come hopefully next year, but it was a great night nonetheless – no night like game night at the Garden with everyone else in green!
P.S Did anyone notice Ray? 6 points on 0 of 3, he helped a ton tonight.