NBA Playoffs: Celtics-Pistons, Game 6

Basketbawful has broken out the highest quality Wiccan spell components - coffin nails, dead sea salt, glory water, graveyard dirt, and a very phallic ritual candle - to uncover the darkest mysteries of tonight's NBA playoff game.

'Sheed's potty mouth. Rasheed got T'd up and T'd off in Game 5, leading to the following "expletive-laced tirade" during his postgame meltdown: "All that (expletive) calls they had out there, with Mike (Callahan) and Kenny (Mauer) you've all seen that (expletive). You saw them calls. The cats are flopping all over the floor and they're calling that (expletive). That (expletive) ain't basketball out there. It's all (expletive) entertainment. You all should know that (expletive). It's all (expletive) entertainment." Yup. 'Sheed is (expletive) awesome! Only one problem. He's (expletive) one technical foul away from being (expletive) suspended for one game. Think he'll be on his best behavior tonight? Heh...then you don't know 'Sheed.

Flip Saunders, millionaire babysitter. Don't worry, Pistons fans. Flip's gonna get 'Sheed in line. "Usually when he gets this close in those types of situations, he knows to try to tone it down a little. I'll talk to him." Oh. You'll talk to him. Well, okay then. Problem totally solved. (Note Flip's use of the words "usually" and "try"...)

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Ray Allen's love story. His prodigal jump shot returned for Game 5, and Ray made sweet, sweet love to it: 29 points, 9-for-15 from the field, and 5-for-6 from that errogenous zone beyond the arc. The Celtics will need him to keep strokin' it if they're going to come through in Detroit.

Flip Saunders, drama queen. Flip is still flippin' the you-know-what out about that bear-hug foul Paul Pierce committed against Chauncey Billups. "I told the referee when I was standing there, 'We've got New England Patriots that are here. (Tedy) Bruschi had a tackle like that in the Super Bowl. So I don't think that's allowed in basketball." In other news, Flip would also like the league to look into that foul Kevin McHale committed against Kurt Rambis in the 1984 NBA Finals. "Randy Macho Man Savage had a clothesline like that against Ricky Steamboat in Wrestlemania III. So I don't think that's allowed in basketball."

Kevin Garnett. In game 5, KG scored 33 points (11-for-17) and hit the game-clinching freethrows, but, well, here's what he did down the stretch: 6:48 - Turnover. 5:51 - Turnover. 5:08 - Missed jump shot. 4:04 - Two made freethrows. 3:32 - Two made freethrows. 2:38 - Missed jump shot. 0:18 - Missed jump shot. 0:03 - Two made freethrows. So basically, in clutch time, KG was 0-for-3 from outside and bobbled the ball away twice. He did add four important freethrows, as well as the two game-clinchers off the forced foul...but still. That wasn't exactly a clutchtastic performance. Teams don't usually win elimination games on the road when their best player can count his clutch playoff performances on one finger.

Doc Rivers farts in his critics' general direction. Some people say Doc can't coach. Others say that he is, in fact, the Forest Gump of NBA coaching. But that don't bother him none. "I've always laughed at some of the criticism. I was joking with someone the other day, and I told them, just answer me this: 'Why would someone listen to a guy that hasn't played, hasn't coached? Some of the guys have never even been reporters - they're bloggers.' Who's the fool, me or the people listening." Wow. I guess you can include Doc Rivers in the anti-blogger camp. I mean, what do we really know, anyway? I'm too busy drooling on myself and shitting my pants to really blalsdjlruouwoerfjs...

Chris Webber, still trying to remain relevant. Who cares what this guy thinks, right? The Associated Press, apparently. Somebody dredged the comments he made about Flip Saunders on TNT at halftime of Game 4 of the Sixers-Pistons series ("No disrespect to Flip, but it doesn't matter what Flip says."), and of course Webber chose to clarify his statements. "All I was saying was that the Pistons are the most veteran team besides San Antonio and both of those teams have leaders in the locker room. I like Flip and think he's a good coach. I predicted the Pistons to win it all and you can't do that with a bad coach." Isn't it funny how often pro athletes, even the washed-up ones, get misquoted?

Doc Rivers seeks his Captain's bar in Obvious. So sayeth the Doctor: "We don't want to go to a Game 7. We want to win this now if we can. They're not going to let us win it. We're going to have to come in and take it." Wait, Doc. Are you sure about that? I mean, maybe they will let you win if you ask really nicely and promise to throw in some My Little Pony stickers. The worst they can do is say "no," right?

Paul Pierce: Not tired, as far as he can tell. Here's the Truth on maybe being tired: "The only thing on my mind is getting a win, getting a step closer to being in the NBA Finals. I don't think fatigue is going to be a factor for the rest of this series. The guys physically for the most part are feeling good, and it's all about mental toughness right now." So...the Celtics must win using the power of their minds? Why does that worry me?

Rip Hamilton. The Phantom of Auburn Hills injured his right elbow in Game 5. The funny part of this particular ouchie is how it happened: By wrapping his arm around Ray Allen's neck during a rebounding scrum. I guess sometimes injuries are Karmic. Anyway, he'll play in Game 6, but it'll be interesting to see whether his arm-flailing form is affected.

Kendrick Perkins. According to Flip Saunders, "Perkins is eating us up." Need I say more?

The prediction. Detroit pulls out a close one before taking a nap in Game 7.