BOSTON — Fan Appreciation Night at the Garden was more like Take Advantage of the Fan Night.
Boston's Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were in civvies resting for the playoffs. Starting center Kendrick Perkins (so he wouldn't get his 16th technical and a suspension!) and ill reserve guard Tony Allen also sat it out.
Milwaukee's stars Michael Redd (out most of the season with a torn ACL and MCL) and rapidly emerging star 7-footer Andrew Bogut (horrific fall late in season) are out for the year.
The Bucks JVs beat the Boston JVs, 106-95. An hour after the game, the Dwyane Wade-less Heat finally subdued the historically bad Nets in double-OT. That means the fourth-seeded C's will meet the fifth-seeded Heat in the opening round of the best of-7 Eastern Conference playoffs.
The first two games will be in Boston but the days and times won't be announced until today. The opener will be Saturday or Sunday.
The other team Boston could have faced would have been none other than the banged-up Bucks.
Needless to say, that would have been a more favorable draw with Bogut (15.9 rebounds, 10.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks) done.
Back to last night.
It was the D-League All-Stars (or at least the Nets) at hefty NBA prices. Actually, it wasn't even the D-League All-Stars. Boston call-up Oliver Lafayette (7 points in his debut) didn't even make the D-League All-Star game!
It's the risk you take attending a regular-season finale. Savvy fans know to dole out those ducats in advance to people they don't like: the paperboy who never misses a puddle, the sibling who went Ivy League to your safety school, the mail man who must think you live next door.