|The new Boston Garden: Baby it's cold inside|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 08 June 2008 15:19|
In Game 5 of the 1985 finals, for example, when the temperature hit 98 degrees indoors, Boston's Larry Bird was the hottest player in the building, getting 34 points and 17 rebounds in a 121-103 victory for a 3-2 advantage. The Celtics lost Game 6 in Los Angeles before winning Game 7 at the Garden 111-102.
Nowadays, in the TD Banknorth Garden, which opened in 1995, it's anything but warm. In fact, some of the Lakers were bemoaning the cold of the past few days.
``During my short time here, this building was always on the cold side,'' said Chris Mihm, who played for the Celtics during the second half of the 2003-04 season. ``It was cold today. But I've never felt it the way it was yesterday at practice. I was waiting to see if I could see my breath during warmups. It was unbelievable.''
Mihm said he was jumping up and down just to stay warm before Friday's practice despite wearing a long sleeve cotton shirt over his jersey.
Ronny Turiaf described the building as ``supercold'' during the Lakers' shootaround several hours before Sunday night's game.
``Today was even colder than the first day,'' he said, referring to the shootaround before Game 1.
GINO FOUND: All season long, the Boston Celtics have been celebrating victories at home with an American Bandstand dance video that has become the modern answer to Red Auerbach's victory cigar.
The disco-era video of a man with a thick black beard swiveling to the beat and wearing a shirt saying ``Gino'' draws cheers whenever it appears on the screen, because it usually signals that the game is well in hand.
Boston fans have been snapping up replicas of the shirt and a modern incarnation that says, ``Gino Time.'' Although the shirt is from a 1977 tour by Italian-Canadian singer Gino Vannelli, the dancer was unknown.
Until last week.
The Wall Street Journal, working with the American Bandstand producers, identified him as Joe Massoni, a greater Los Angeles-area resident who died in 1990.
I'LL BE HERE ALL WEEK: Maybe Phil Jackson should hold his news conferences in front of a brick wall.
Once again, the Los Angeles Lakers coach made like a standup comic during his pregame media gathering, and for the second time he got his biggest laughs while commenting on Paul Pierce's dramatic departure and return in Game 1.
Pierce was carried from the floor by his teammates and then had to be transported to the Celtics' locker room in a wheelchair.
Jackson was asked if the Lakers' coaching staff had had any discussions about the Celtics' injuries to Pierce and Kendrick Perkins, who sprained his left ankle in the series opener.
``None,'' Jackson said. ``We haven't discussed it at all. We discussed the wheelchair a little bit, but that's the only thing. First time I think we've ever seen it.''
On Friday, Jackson voiced skepticism about Pierce's injury and wondered if noted faith healer Oral Roberts had performed some kind of miracle on the Celtics' star in the locker room.
PHIL'S DIFFERENT COACHING STYLE: Jackson, tied with Red Auerbach with an NBA-record nine championships as a head coach, admitted he goes with a different approach at this time of year.
``I think there's a sense of urgency,'' he said. ``Less time to allow a player to adjust sometimes. You see things going in the other direction, you call time-out quicker.''
The 62-year-old Jackson, who coached the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls to six championships in the 1990s and the Lakers to three more from 2000-02, has been known for not calling quick timeouts and letting his players work their way through bad stretches.
Jackson has a 9-1 record in the finals, with the only loss coming four years ago when the Lakers were beaten by the Detroit Pistons in five games.
Auerbach, who died in October 2006, coached the Celtics to nine championships in the 1950s and '60s.
IDOL SIGNING THE ANTHEM IN LA: David Cook will perform the national anthem Tuesday night, just across the street from where he won the American Idol competition last month at Nokia Theatre.
Cook has the honors for Game 3 at Staples Center, becoming the latest American Idol winner to sing it at the NBA finals. Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, and Jordin Sparks all previously did so.
Jeffrey Osborne will sing the national anthem on Thursday night before Game 4, and that could be a good omen for the Lakers. He also performed in the 1985, '88 and 2002 finals, and Los Angeles won all those series. The first victory came over Boston.