Monday, November 28, 2005
83-87 - Too Much Magic Realism
Tonight they laid down like dogs in the fourth quarter, turning the ball over seven times in the last 12 minutes and losing to this only-sorta-good Magic team. Fittingly, the game all but ended when the quasi-resurrected Mark Blount got his shit blocked by a teenager (Dwight Howard) on a play that was an upfake away from tying the game.
The ugliest thing to witness was the de-evolution of the team offense in the fourth quarter to old-school 1 on 5 "I'm going to take over" bullshit from EVERYONE. Delonte, Pierce, Ricky, and even fucking Dan Dickau were trying to do it all on their own. Terrifying.
On the player drama side of things, tonight saw a forgiven Mike Hunt, I mean Mork Blunt, coming off the bench and getting 31 minutes, showing some actual hustle in the first half, and demonstrating his unique court un-awareness getting blocked by Howard. Al played one of his best games of the year, which must be why he got yanked with like six minutes to go and never came back. Justin "Can't" Reed seems to have retaken his lead on Gomes (DNP-CD) on the depth chart. Orien Greene has now gone from DNP land to starting to back to DNP land. Delonte West came back from his hip injury and was solid, but he ain't turning this ship around.
I leave you with these thoughts - the Magic are an organization that over the past three years has traded its franchise player, drafted a teenager, lost a hall of fame talent to chronic injury, traded a star guard for a pussy whipped loser they eventually waived, and relied on big minutes from the likes of Tony Battie, Pat Garrity and Kelvin Kato. Not to mention they are a basketball team that was mostly assembled by a hockey executive. But even with all that, you tell me - who has the brighter future, us or them?
Player of the Game - Tony Battie. Gotta give some love to El Busto and his 8 and 8, even if the night belonged to a well balanced Magic team led mostly by Stevie "Mediocre" Franchise.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Raef LaFrentz. An ugly 1-10 and 3 rebounds, but our man Raef at least looks like he's trying.
Quote of the night - "Not the kind of power move we're used to Mark Blount making." Donny Marshall. We haven't talked much about our former UConn fave Donny "no, Donyell is the good" Marshall and his work in the broadcast booth, but this was one of his few missteps. IMO, the only power move Mark Blount has made all year likely involved the third stall of the men's room at the Waltham practice facility after a night of eating unripened bananas and hot chili.
Friday, November 25, 2005
I Can’t Swallow What’s Coming Out Of Coc
Right now, he’s not even getting the quotes right. Doc recently lamented the lack of playing time for Perk. What? There’s an easy fix to that - FUCKING PLAY HIM. Here are a few more quotes from Doc the last few days, along with my suggestions on how he should have said them.
What he said:
''I don't know if it's effort or toughness. You can fix effort, but I don't know if you can fix toughness."
What he should of said:
"Right now we are not playing with any intensity or toughness. Maybe I’ve been too soft on these guys, maybe the team is a reflection of me. Fine. The days of being their friend are over. No more days off, no more walking through practice. I don’t care if we’re dead tired on game day, we are going to learn about mental and physical toughness the next few weeks. If I see progress, you play. If I don’t, you won’t."
(On a side, I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but I can’t imagine any good coach, Riley, Brown, Calhoun, saying you can’t teach toughness.)
What he said:
''There's going to be tough stretches in the year for everybody; no one's running away with our division."
What he should of said:
"We shouldn’t take solace in the shared mediocrity of the Atlantic. I would rather lose and improve than win the way we have been playing. When first place in the division is close because other teams are struggling, you coach for the present and not the future. Last year showed us that a poor team could win a Division Title, but do us no good for the future."
What he said:
''The guys who are griping and crying to [reporters], those are the guys with no character."
What he should have said:
''The guys who are griping and crying to [reporters], those are the guys with no character. I WILL NOT PLAY THOSE GUYS. By the way, Celtsblog really fucking sucks, long-live the guys over at Doom."
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
117-120 Thanks for giving no effort on defense
Tonight's game featured, among other things, Orien Green going from virtual DNP-CD land to the starting lineup, Pierce creeping back into "fuck it I'll just start jacking up shots" mode, Al "Sometimes I show up/often I don't" Harrington going for 34 points, and the entire Celtics team showing a complete inability to sustain any kind of defense effort. Like literally, until Justin Reed came in, they just stood there and watched the Hawks score. Couple this with some terrible decisions and unbelievably sloppy turnovers down the stretch, and we got what we deserved.
On the player side of things, Doc tried a new rotation where Ricky went to the bench later than he has been, and Pierce played well into the 2nd quarter. It didn't seem to help. Also, Kendrick got some minutes and did his usual good stuff, so of course he barely played in the 4th quarter. At least Doc let him and Jefferson play together, which if he did more often might actually start to yield results. We wouldn't want that, would we Doc?
Player of the Game - Zaza Pachulia. In a game marked by a lack of effort and hustle on the part of the Celtics big men, this crappy Euro took advantage and played like Mark Blount in a contract year. He got 8 offensive rebounds, mostly ripping them out of Raef and Blount's hands, and generally demonstrated how better off we'd be with almost anyone else but them in the middle.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Mark Blount. In 25 minutes our main man Mork managed 6 points, 1 rebound, 5 fouls and 5 turnovers and generally was Pachulia's bitch. I cunt believe it!
Quote of the Night - "That Pachulia sure gets his hands on a lot of balls." Mike Gorman. Is this basketball play-by-play or is Mike reciting something he saw in a bathroom stall in Tibilisi Russia? In my weaker moments I have this fantasy that they all read this blog and say things like that hoping to get in it.
It has now become abundantly clear - that 82 games is a long fucking season to watch this shitty team.
PS - I want to give a quick shout out to our friends over at the Impending Firestorm Hawks blog (hawks.mostvaluablenetwork.com) who know the pain of writing all year about a team that pisses you off far more often than not. Rock on fellow shitty team bloggers.
The Ship Be Sinking
There is no heart on this team right now. There is absolutely no urgency or intensity in their game. No flow, no rhythm to the half-ass combinations Doc has thrown out there.
I’ve never been too hard on Doc, I thought he was adequate enough, particularly with the young guys. Dr. Chestnutt, as usual, has been balls-on with his assessment of Doc from the beginning – he sucks. The way we envisioned it, Doc would help develop the young core for a few years only to find a real coach when we were ready to truly compete. Doc never had the respect from the vets, and he’s already losing the young guys. Fuck, how many times can you hear the coach whine about intensity when his most hungry players sit on the bench while fuckheads just going through the motions get all the playing time?
There was a moment last night when I swear someone needed to take that goofy-looking center of ours aside and remind him that there was a basketball game going on.
The rotations are just silly, and Doc is getting out coached by first year coaches. Notice last night how Brown sat his starters at staggered intervals during the third quarter, while Doc left his in practically the entire quarter. The rested Cav crew obliterated the C’s when it counted.
It’s only a matter of time before everyone just plays for themselves, if we haven’t already reach that point. The schedule from now until the new year is just brutal.
Meanwhile, Danny is in Maui scouting our lottery pick for next year.
Can you find us a coach while you’re at it?
Friday, November 18, 2005
100-93 - we taint going to lose to the Craptors
But back to Perk, he finally got some time and played a man's game, bringing life to a moribund Celtics squad that seemed content to sulk and lose for the first 24 minutes of the game. Pierce also had a great night and seemed like the only one of the starters in the first half who was wasn't depressed or hungover.
In general, the whole night was the stuff of bizarro world - Blount had an offensive rebound in a clutch situation, Perk got minutes, Charlie Villanueva hustled, and the Celtics won. What's next? Greg Dickerson projecting a likeable on air persona?
Player of the Game - Paul Pierce. I'd be a fool to deny it, he's playing the best basketball of his career. He kept the team afloat during a miserable first half and wound up with a fully representative 26/11/5 line.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Al Jefferson. He just looks like shit. I don't know if they tinkered with his game or what, but he's looked fucked up all year.
Quote of the Night - "When the ball goes up, you have to find the man closest to you and put your body on him." Tommy's annual homoerotic dissertation on how to rebound effectively. It never fails to elicit big laughter here at Celticsdoom HQ.
It has now become abundantly clear - that Perk needs to play. I do not understand why Doc can't put him and Jefferson on the floor together. The dude had 7 rebounds in like nineteen minutes tonight. The team plays much more aggressively when he's on the floor.
This shit isn’t working.
Merely eight games into the season, it’s already time to declare these rotations totally fucked. Beyond the mindless benching of our only inside presence, Doc’s combinations are just not effective. The starters are playing entirely too much, which shows on the defensive end and on the glass. There is absolutely no flow to the second unit.
Thing is, the rotations don’t look too egregious on paper. The first unit has played together for over a year now (on the same team that is), and the Ricky/AJ duo should be able to anchor the second team. So either Doc is a horrible coach, unable to get these guys to fill the role he has envisioned for him, or they are entirely incapable of fulfilling those roles.
Rotation talk inevitably hinges on the Ricky start/sit argument. While he remains one of my favorite players, I’m firmly in the bench Ricky camp. As it stands, Ricky never seems fully integrated with the starters. He sits for one timeout, maybe a minute or two, and then presses on an extremely clumsy second team.
The other immediate change I would make would be to move Blount, out of town preferably, but at least to the second unit, and perhaps to the power forward position. When you consider that many think our current starting center is having a renaissance start, chew on the following:
- Among Celtic starters, Blount is last in rebounding. In fact, our starting center has 10 fewer rebounds than our starting point guard, who is fourth amongst starters in rebounding.
- In approximately 200 fewer minutes, Perkins has only 6 fewer rebounds than Blount.
- To date, there are 44 centers in the league who average more rebounds a game.
- Overall, Mark Blount is 139th in rebounding, tied with Marbury, Arenas, Etan Thomas (in 12 minutes a game) and fucking SMUSH PARKER!
Fine, you want to showcase him for a trade, move him to the 4, where he can continue to take those fifteen footers (his layup according to an increasingly drunk Tommy), and team him on the frontcourt with someone who can board, Perk.
Accordingly, I would move AJ and Gomes to the starting unit. The first unit would still be Pierce-oriented, with AJ being the second offensive option. He’ll do better on the boards than Blount, and Gomes will battle underneath to give the first unit a needed jolt. The second unit would feature Ricky and Blount, with Perk hitting the glass, Reed playing D, and Dickau throwing the ball away.
Starters: C-Raef, PF-Jefferson, SF-Gomes, SG-Pierce, PG-West
Second unit: C-Perk, PF-Blount, SF-Reed, SG-Davis, PG-Dickau
Sure, there are holes in these rotations, please feel free to rip them apart. But they can’t be much worse than what we’re doing right now.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
100-113 - Celtics Super-Suck!
So they came out as flat as Paris Hilton and blew about as hard as she does in her home videos. Nothing short of a night vision scope and Rick Solomon's cock could have made this game more uncomfortable to watch. Seriously, has anyone seen that movie? The best part is when she stops screwing to answer her cell phone. The best part of this game was when it was over and I no longer felt like I was being screwed.
On the player side of things, little good to report. Delonte looked godawful. Justin "I most likely can not" Reed continued to prove he has never met a shot he wouldn't take. We saw yet again that Blount does a good job of watching opponents grab rebounds right in front of him. Also, Dan Dickau played his way right out of the rotation, while Orien Greene came in for eleven minutes and barely looked any better.
Two positives - 1) Al Jefferson had his best game of the season. 2) I noticed tonight that Brian Scalabrine is good at grabbing the ball after an opponent makes a free throw and running out of bounds to set up for the inbounds pass. Is this unimportant? Perhaps, yes. But he does it as if his career depends on it, and it makes me laugh.
So yeah, bad game, but at least no one was indicted. Oh wait...
Player of the Game - Ray Allen. PO will be pissed off if I don't name his boy Ray-Ray the player of the game, and with his 32 on 12-17, I must oblige. That fucker is cold hearted and iced down a couple Celtic runs with bad-ass threes. Jesus Shuttlesworth. Recognize.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Delonte West. 4-10, 3 turnovers, and some truly lousy D on Ray-Ray and Ridnour. This is the only position where the Celtics can make a realistic trade to upgrade, and it is becoming clearer every game that it needs to happen. Sorry D-herp.
Quote of the Night - "Potapenko had an effective game" - Bob Cousy. Just because these are words I've never heard before. I hated that dumb motherfucker worse than any other player besides Waltah when he was on the Celtics. Another classic Pitino debacle. I'd rather be the team that loses and doesn't have Vitaly than the team that wins and does.
It Has Now Become Abundantly Clear - that Ricky Davis is the most important player on this team. If his contract was up, I really think he might command a max salary from this team. Scary.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
100-115: a moral victory without the moral or the victory
The only real bright spots were Ricky D's 31 point 10 assist effort and Al Jefferson looking a little more like his old aggressive self in the first half, scoring 10 points against a passive Pistons defense. Doc had his usual fucked up rotations, including the continued perplexing use of Brian Scalabrine, who pitched in with a cringe-laden effort that featured shitty defense and a highly ill-advised, out of control drive to the basket during a key part of the game. The Nets, I'm told, have truly missed his high-fives during the warmups. They were THE BEST!
Player of the Game - Carlos Arroyo. Although Chauncey really deserves the praise, it was Carlos who torched us when the game got blown open at the beginning of the 4th. Plus, he looks like an extra from Prison Break.This guy has had a funky career and should be on Danny boy's radar for a possible trade come January.
Worst Celtic of the Game - our main man Ryan Gomes. Our homeboy from the 'bury and consistent CelticsDoom favorite narrowly edged out Mark "33 minutes at center and 1 rebound" Blount for the prize all the NBA dreads winning. Ryan wasn't bad, he just wasn't very good tonight, and it pisses me off when he fucks up because I fear Doc burying him on the bench again. That said, I read some poor dope on a message board recently claiming that he'd take Ryan over Luol Deng. These are the kinds of things that fuel this blog, I swear.
Quote of the Night - "Who didn't?" Mike Gorman prodding Tommy to rip on Rick Pitino for trading Chauncey Billups about 9 seconds into his Celtics career. Tommy, the old pro, wouldn't bite, instead yelling, "Who?!!! The Celtics!!!" But I bring this all up to note the increasing number of "fuck-Pitino" references that seem to be creeping into the broadcast. This is the least they can do for us, as far as I'm concerned, and I think during the next blowout we're forced to sit through, Tommy should cut the surreal "everything's going to be okay by March" spin and cut loose with a couple anecdotes about Pitino calculating a tip at a restaurant or demanding that no one look him in the eye during the flight home. These are the things that would keep me watching.
It has now become abundantly clear - that Kendrick Perkins, our top rebounder and defensive presence in the middle, will not be playing this season. Just sayin', that's all.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Duncan and the Kool-Aid Killers
The drama that is Doc's rotations continued, with Perk inexplicably sitting, Gomes getting early minutes, and Dickau playing more quality minutes than than an ineffective Delonte West. Of course, Scalaburine got minutes over Perk because he wears Daddy Danny's uniform number, and unsuprisingly he put in his usual pitch for CelticsDoom Worst Celtic of the Game. Will he win it again? Read on to find out!
In other player related news, if Delonte came crashing to Earth with comatose D and a 4-12, then Blount crashed straight though to the planet's core and spent time with the evil Magma men as he checked in with the most ineffective 16 minutes anyone not named Scalabrine has had in the NBA this year. And perhaps the most important player development tonight was the season's first official sighting of Evil Pierce, who in the 3rd quarter showed up pouting, complaining to the refs and hogging the ball. Welcome back Evil Pierce! It's been awhile.
Player of the Game - Tim Duncan. He came to work, punched in, and recorded the easiest 29/12 night of his career against a succession of Celtic pussies named Blount, Raef and Urine-brine.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Tough call, there were so many nominees: Delonte West who was torched all night by Tony Longoria-Parker, Mark Blount for registering a classic 3/1 game, Brian Scalabrine for general suckitude. But no, tonight the booby prize goes to Ricky Davis for what I would say was his worst game as a Celtic. 5-17, 3 turnovers, just in general shitty game where nothing he did seemed right. No shame Ricky, you were hardly alone.
Quote of the Night - "Yeah, but he gave a real good upfake" - Tommy. Classic garbage time boosterism by our man Heinsohn, putting the positive spin on Delonte West blowing a shot from about 7 inches away from the basket. Way to go Tommy! Give yourself an eponymous point!
It Has Now Become Abundantly Clear - that the "quotes" FSN promo featuring Gerald Green breathily intoning that "a leader is a dealer in hope" and several other hugely uncomfortable "hope" quotes read by young Celtics players, is perhaps, the single worst thing I've ever seen on television.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Celtics 99 Memphis 98
To wit - a well played first quarter segued into a complete meltdown by the Dickau-led second unit, featuring an 18 point deficit and cruel taunting from the home crowd. There was a repeat of last game's strange scenario where Jefferson barely plays in the first half but is on the floor during crunch time. Gomes got some time, finally, and contributed with a sick behind the head tip off a Dickau shot that got deflected. Delonte was very active and now really looks like he thinks he belongs out there. Blount hit every shot he even thought of taking for the first 3 quarters, but he played 39 minutes and had ONE rebound.
The big lesson of the game seemed to be, "the bench just completely sucks." It's getting more and more obvious that if the 2nd unit is comprised of a bunch of dumb fucks who can't score or defend, then maybe we should have one of those dumb fucks play with the starters where he can't do as much harm, and have Ricky come off the bench. I don't know, it makes sense to me.
Player of the Game - Paul Pierce. On a night when he passed the scoring record held by his most fervent apologist, Tommy Heinsohn, Pierce had his best shooting night in a long, long time. Yes, Ricky hit the game winner, but we never would have been there if Pierce hadn't hit two huge shots (in a row) down the stretch, including a nice fallaway with Battier right in his face. He also had 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 1 turnover. Beautiful.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Brian Scalaburine. The award is about to be named for this useless asshole. Truly, do you really need the reasons? The key turnover in the 4th, the routine turnover in the 2nd, the literal matador defense in the 2nd, the inability to rebound or defend? How can someone play 10 minutes and piss me off this much? Five years, everyone, five years.
Quote of the Night - "Also I'm going to do some community work also" - Robert Parish. In a typical incoherent Dickerson interview, the Chief half-heartedly tried to explain why he's been gifted with a pity-job from old pal Danny. Who among us wasn't thinking after the interview that maybe a better job for the Chief would be "sideline reporter for FSN"?
It has now become abundantly clear - that Pau Gasol has the best look in the NBA. It's a little "Pontius Pilate in a community college production of Godspell" mixed with "Die Hard IV villain" mixed with "convicted French serial-rapist." Not since Cherokee Parks has a white guy so entertainingly embodied all that David Stern fears.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Paul “The Choke” Pierce
Conclusions based on only three games are often faulty unless part of a trend going back a season or two. While players have come and gone, roles have changed and actual plays have been called, the 2005-06 Celtics have reaffirmed a major problem they had last year. Finishing.
Last year, Doc’s only go-to play was to isolate Pierce at the top of the key resulting in one of three things, (1) a turnover, (2) a missed shot, or (3) a winning hoop. All too often, Pierce would try to dribble through multiple defenders while the remainder of the team watched him. Sometimes he would get fouled, only to miss big free throws.
At least this year we seem to actually be running plays, but the result to date is the same. Get the ball to Pierce and watch him fuck up. Do you realize that Pierce has hit only 1 shot the past three games under 4 minutes to go in the fourth (including the two overtimes). He has more turnovers (3) in that span than shots made. This is the fucking guy some jackoffs call "Mr. Fourth Quarter?" He has missed a mind-numbing FIVE free throws during that span.
Look at these numbers from our "All-Star." Again, this is the last four minutes of the fourth, including overtime.
2-2 Free Throws
3-6 Free Throws
4-6 Free Throws
Overall, The Choke is 1-9 shooting, 11%, the only bucket being a layup created by a nice pass from West. He is shooting 64% from the line during crunch time.
Get the ball out of his hands at the end of the game, Doc, you’re hurting his trade value.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Game Three - Bobcats make bitches of us all
The defensive intensity that marked the Pistons game was entirely lost - I suppose this could be fatigue, but the team doesn't seem to have much of a killer instinct (sound familiar?) Several potential winning shots were blown by Pierce, Ricky and Delonte, and as much as I want to bitch about it, they were all good shots, they just choked. It was just a fucked up night and a bad loss. I could sum it all up by relating the fact that the most important offensive possession of the overtime boiled down to Scalaburine driving wildly to the basket while Delonte, Pierce and Ricky looked on.
On the personnel soap-opera side of things, the game was marked by the dramatic rebirth of Dan "Trade Me Please" Dickau who finally got some minutes and looked every bit the mediocre career back-up he is. Al "The Big Out-of Shape" Jefferson was benched the entire first half and came in for a Blount-ian 12 point/4 rebound effort in the second half. Gomes was yet again bagged in favor of Reed. Scalabrine seems to be slipping behind Perk on the depth chart, but who the fuck knows. Blount came down to Earth but at least played like he cared.
Player of the Game - Melvin Ely. For two reasons - 1) he got to the line 12 times which pissed Tommy off to no end. 2) He has the name and look of a classic "wrongly accused gang member" extra on Law and Order.
Worst Celtic of the Game - hmmmmmmmm. Really, have to think about this. Oh what the fuck - Paul Pierce! You can't blow that many open shots during key moments of the game and not get a bitch slap from CelticsDoom. In all fairness though, it really should be shared with Scalabrine who is definitely the white-Waltah and the single worst player in the eastern conference.
Quote of the night - "and here comes a great defensive play by Mark Blount..." Tommy's introduction to a replay clip of Brevin Knight banking a three pointer in Blount's face. Truly, a classic Tommy moment, a definite nominee for Quote of the Year.
It Has Now Become Abundantly Clear - that the gal in those Lincoln Mercury advertisements is on the short-list to become the future Mrs. Chestnutt. Wow.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Ricky D was devasting in the OT and finished with an efficient 27. More Cunt (that's "Mark Blount" to those who think I don't know players names) made up for having zero rebounds in the first half by sinking some key free throws and hitting a big shot late in the fourth quarter. Delonte West was the reincarnation of Lafayette Lever with a gaudy 14/9/9 line.
Of course, there were some Bad Things. Big Al still has no touch around the rim and got in quick foul trouble. The second unit in general was a trainwreck, and it is readily apparent to all but Doc Rivers that they need Ricky to enter the game around minute 5 and play through until Pierce returns in the 2nd quarter. Come on Doc, start Gomes, what the fuck...
Overall though, they played much better than I expected and did some surprising things like running fast breaks in the fourth quarter, rebounding, and moving the ball. Granted, the Knicks are an embarassment, but it was a great start for the Green.
Player of the Game - Delonte West. We could make the argument for Ricky D, but the Herp played the game of his life at a point when our confidence in him was at its lowest. Great defense and constantly active. Still, he's not a point guard.
Worst Celtic of the Game - Brian Scalabrine, who should eventually challenge Marcus Banks and Waltah for all-time ownership of this award. Need I remind everyone that he's signed for five years?
Quote of the Night - "The movie is called Saw 2!" Greg Dickerson excitedly plugging the newest slasher-flick by Celtics quasi-celebrity super-fan Donnie Wahlberg. The absolute lack of dignity for all involved made me choke with laughter.
And lastly, our exciting new feature called "It has now become abundantly clear" - that the whole "Tommy Points" thing has jumped the shark. That intrusive new graphic is grotesque and unnecessary, and the whole idea of a man naming an award for exceptional hustle after himself grows less and less cute every year. When Heinsohn dies I imagine some wit will suggest his epitath read "Now that's a Tommy Point!" and that will be the next and only time it will be cool to mention it.
Orien Greene – no climbed higher or faster this training camp than this most unlikely of second round success stories. While the dude looks exactly like a genetic mix of Adrien Griffen and Rob Horry, his game resembles Eric Snow mixed with a semi-talented college player who grew up idolizing Jason Kidd. Unusually poised for a rookie, he seems at home eschewing his own offense and distributing the ball to more talented players, something Marcus Banks never could get a handle on. Unfortunately, his rocketing success seems to speak more to the lack of talent (and failure of others) we have at the point, than to any kind of epochal 2nd round steal.
Paul Pierce – the true story of the pre-season was the return of Happy Paul, a player who hasn’t worn #34 in a long, long time. The Up and Down Meter does not predict, it only reveals things as they are at the moment, so it would be distasteful of me to admit that I think Evil Pierce will return once the games count for real, and that I hope he’s gone by January if we’re struggling. Nonetheless, it was nice to watch this guy play these pointless games and remember what it was like back in 2000 when he was the anti-Toine and could do no wrong. Just please, Danny, get more than Nene for him.
Ryan Gomes – alright, I relent, I have grown to like my homeboy from the ‘bury and might even grudgingly agree he was kind of a steal in the 2nd round. Kind of. He’s still undersized, but goddammit he can rebound and he’s smart and tough – think of him as the anti-Blount. There is no reason this guy shouldn’t get close to 20 minutes a game.
Ricky Davis – the greatest single turnaround of a player’s reputation since Mase found God. Seriously, could you have ever predicted that Ricky D would come into a Celtics camp, have a mediocre pre-season, and still be regarded as the only veteran player on the team you’d be upset to see traded? Unbelievable. Needs to go back to the bench though, and let Gomes start.
Kendrick Perkins – here is where we start to see darkness. Kendrick had a terrific pre-season up until the point where his minutes were unfairly taken away in favor of Scalaburine, who to that point had under-whelmed. This is serious shit or get off the pot time for Doc Rivers – if a guy like Perk comes into camp in great shape, does nothing wrong on the court, and earns his minutes, then how can you be taken seriously as a coach when you take him off the floor in favor of a soft cracker who can’t rebound? If we want to develop our players, we need to show them that PLAYING WELL EARNS YOU MINUTES.
Sorry, anyway, now the DOWNS.
Raef – minor Down, really should be neither up nor down, but that makes it automatically a Down when you look at his salary. Also, with him and Blount we have the softest starting front line in the history of the NBA.
Delonte West – hurt his stock with a mediocre pre-season that exposed his complete inability to handle pressure, penetrate or get the team into its offense with more than 8 seconds left on the clock. I’m not expert, but these things are generally important for NBA point guards. He hustles and does all the little things, blah blah blah, but he’s a career back up shooting guard and the more he struggles at the point, the more we struggle as a team.
Al Jefferson – What the fuck? Did Antoine’s “tutelage” complete destroy this guy’s instincts on offense? He’s getting his shots, sure, but he’s not hitting them. Sound familiar? Also, he can’t stay on the floor, which used to be Perk’s great shortcoming. Big Al has the look of a guy who thinks he’s already there, as opposed to needing to work to get there. Or maybe he’s just working back from an injury and we’re being typically unfair. Either way, get yr ass back in gear!
Brian Scalabrine – Five year guaranteed deal for this stiff. Also, his blog sucks, and I’m tired of seeing all of the other Celtics blogs out there link to it like he has anything worth reading. This guy is a typically annoying white dude who plays handball at the gym like the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, yet only wins about half the time. A walking advertisement to the power of positive thinking, and to the idea that talking a lot on the court can be mistaken for “activity.” Danny might have the worst free-agent instincts of all time. Sorry, sorry sorry, what I meant to say is I’m sure Brian will “help” in lots of ways we don’t see.
Dan Dickau – This guy has the dazed look of someone who went home to feed the cats and found his wife in bed fucking Orien Greene. Another classic Danny acquisition we’ll never see play – think Jermaine Jones and Yogi Stewart. Think Gerald Green (hahahaha, just kidding).
Mark Blount – alright, everyone, take a deep breath and think about the ocean for two seconds. Now you are ready for the truth – Mark Blount sucks. Please remember, he had a similarly decent pre-season last year (no rebounds, high shooting percentage). But he’s soft, can’t rebound, and can’t play defense if it doesn’t involve Jim O’Brien’s Rube Goldberg-ian constructs. In general, he’s completely ineffective unless his stupid 15 footer is falling. Fuck this asshole. Fuck everyone who keeps saying he’s “reborn.”
Gerald Green – good lord, this dude has a long way to go. He’s got a nice jumpshot, but he seems to have a complete absence of basketball instincts to go with it. I can see him being an okay player someday (and probably a good pick at #18), but all this talk about the next McGrady seems to be a testament to his handler’s ability to generate buzz for their client. Even the Kool Aid drinkers seem to have noticed these things.
Justin Reed – an uncomfortable mess of a player. Superior defensive instincts, yet cannot touch the ball without trying to shoot it. This guy in some ways is the most overrated player on the team, but he seems to have slipped permanently behind Gomes on Doc’s depth chart. We need one of them, not two.
Tony Allen – poor bastard, even if he stays out of jail and rehabs from his knee, it’s still hard to see where he’s going to fit in on this team. He’s a victim of the Ricky/Pierce (haha, I wish we had Ricky Pierce) logjam, and now with Gomes providing no reason to be taken off the court for spare minutes at the 3, I just don’t think TA is in anyone’s plans at the moment. Life lesson for us all – don’t tell your friends to shoot people when the cameras are rolling.
Marcus Banks – the single most precipitous fall of an NBA player not involving off-the-court bad behavior. This guy was supposed to be our future starting point guard, and has systematically alienated every supporter he has in the organization because of his shitty attitude and low basketball IQ. It’s strange, because he’s obviously a pretty bright dude, but now he’s fucked – broken shin, last on the depth chart, not given even the token 4th year guarantee. Someone’ll take a chance on him, and as I’ve always believed, he can excel on a bad team, but we’ve probably seen the last of Marcus Banks as a member of the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics will pay lip-service to the idea of developing the rooks, but Doc wants to win and will rely primarily on his veterans. We will lose more than we win, and eventually Danny’s hand will be forced – either trade some of these young players for an established veteran point-guard who can “win now” with our core group, or trade Pierce and finally scrap the old guard completely. I think either scenario is entirely likely, although my gut says Wyc and the boys would rather flog tickets for a team barely above .500 than a lottery bound group of “promising players” (only one of whom really seems to be all that promising).
In the end, however, our talent level is simply not high enough to overcome the lack of competent game-coaching and the improvement of almost every other team in the east. Stranded yet again in bubble-land Limbo, we go on a losing streak to end the season and fail to make the playoffs.
Final Record – 35-47.