Chat with ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPNBoston.com blogger Chris Forsberg stops by to chat about the NBA and the Boston Celtics.
Forsberg has been reporting on the Boston sports scene since 1999. With his video camera in tow, Forsberg covered everything from Massachusetts high school sports to Boston's pro sports teams. Follow him at his Celtics blog.
Send your questions now and join Forsberg Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Chris Forsberg (12:58 PM)
Greetings from near the TD Garden, where I'm leaching some unsecured internet from an unsuspecting resident (who's probably stealing my identity in return). We'll go for a bit here before I scramble off to check out the Red Auerbach North Station Concourse Dedication (a glimpse HERE). We'll tip it off momentarily.
Luol Deng (Chicago)
I just scored again.
ESPNBoston.com (1:08 PM)
Sure enough, Forsberg's Internet connection just dropped. He's reconnecting now and should be back online soon.
Chris Forsberg (1:11 PM)
Well, that took all of 10 minutes to drop out. Awesome. Let's try this again... We're going to relocate. Back soon. Sorry for the delay of game.
that's what you get for leaching!!!
Chris Forsberg (1:14 PM)
Isn't that the truth.
Andy (Reston, VA)
Forsberg, sure feels like the defense takes an enormous hit without Garnett and Rasheed. I know you think there will be no moves, but man they look old.
Chris Forsberg (1:15 PM)
Andy, Doc Rivers was adamant after Thursday's game that this team has enough depth, but clearly they're hurting for big bodies. Big Baby is playing at less than 100 percent and Shelden Williams has been invisible. If the Celtics can't stay healthy, maybe they do have to look around at securing another big man.
Chris Forsberg (1:16 PM)
I still think they'll just try to weather the storm. It's just a rash of bad luck that both KG and Rasheed are out. When healthy, this team has a fine nine- or 10-man rotation to lean on.
Alex (New Mexico)
Potential possibility if Ryan Gomes returns to Celtics? Thanks
Chris Forsberg (1:18 PM)
It wouldn't be a Celtics chat without a Ryan Gomes question! Not to pick on you, Alex, but just think it's a fantasy for a lot of people. Minnesota has done enough to help Boston's cause, can't see them sending Gomes this way for more spare parts.
Do my questions go through ?
Chris Forsberg (1:19 PM)
Yes, but thanks to this person's shady internet I'm stealing, it's a 50 percent chance of whether you'll see my answers. Thanks for hanging in there!
One of the big criticisms of Doc in the early years was that he was bad with rotations. Excluding 07-08, when the rotation was really, really obvious, it seems like he is still struggling with things like how to get guys rest and how to get young players experience (remember when he refused to play Leon Powe). Is this a genuine problem or not?
Chris Forsberg (1:20 PM)
Yes, I think it's a fair criticism. Although, if we're going to point fingers this week, associate head coach Tom Thibodeau still has some explaining to do about no subs for 19 minutes against Atlanta.
Chris Forsberg (1:21 PM)
As for Doc, he's made mention that, come playoff time, it's going to be the same 9-10 guys 99.9% of the time. I think he sees the end of the bench as minute-fillers and doesn't see a point in developing younger guys that won't be here in the future (like, potentially Giddens, whose team option was declined for next season).
Chris Forsberg (1:22 PM)
But then Bill Walker gets six minutes -- albeit against the Nets -- and shows some flashes. I still err on the side of the coaching staff here and figure they MUST see something in practices that suggest these players simply don't deserve minutes.
Is there anything the organization is hiding with the KG situation or do you think his injury is minor and he will be back in the next few games?
Chris Forsberg (1:23 PM)
Before the start of this week, I think there was genuine reason to be concerned that maybe the knee wasn't recovering as well as they would have liked. The fact that KG is back working out and they're targeted a return date is a positive sign. Now, if that return date starts sliding and we don't see KG until February, sound the alarm.
Michele P (Rochester, NY)
Now that we have a light at the end of the injury tunnel (a possible return date for KG) should we be breathing a sigh of relief or should we still be a little concerned about the offense (especially turnovers and free throws)?
Chris Forsberg (1:26 PM)
I though the locker room was down last night. Pierce was upset about playing poorly at home again, Ray Allen left almost immediately after the game. But I think there's also a sense that "hey, we survived." That brutal stretch -- kinda like the one the Celtics endured at the beginning of the season -- is over. If Boston can get even a single body back, it just takes such a strain off. Rasheed's potential return Monday could help build some momentum before a challenging stretch (Orlando, Atlanta, Lakers) to close out the month.
Szymon (Philly, PA )
As a Celtics season ticket holder there is a game on Super Bowl Sunday, what should I do? Go to the C's game and then enjoy the Super Bowl or spend the whole game watching 8 hours of Super Bowl coverage before the game?
Chris Forsberg (1:27 PM)
It's the Magic, you gotta go to the game. Besides, what if you end up with like a Minnesota-Indy Super Bowl. Imagine 8 hours of Brett Favre retrospectives. You won't even want to turn on the TV until 6:18.
Johnny (Rutland, VT)
During the offseason we heard a lot about Glen Davis' weight loss and his improved fitness. I thought I saw he had kept the weight off during his hand recovery, but I can't see any difference. Do you know if he's still lighter than last season and did his new fitness all get lost during hand/thump recovery?
Chris Forsberg (1:29 PM)
It's funny, I joked last night that Davis looked positively gassed after a series in which Chicago missed three putbacks before Big Baby got the rebound. But most of us would be lying on the floor after a series like that. I think Davis has been hindered by the injuries. And Marquis Daniels made a great point last night saying, you can run all your want -- run a marathon -- but there's still something to be said for finding game shape and Baby's clearly still getting there. Considering his wrist injury, which was aggravated against the Nets, and the ankle sprain, he's been a warrior out there when the team's needed him most. Imagine a lineup without Baby, KG, and Rasheed.
When do you think everyone will be back healthy? Do you think that it will take a little while for everyone to mesh once the team is at full strength? When healthy is their a better second unit in the league than Sheed, Baby, TA, House and Daniels?
Chris Forsberg (1:31 PM)
Can we all admit the bench has been awful -- AWFUL -- since Marquis Daniels had wrist surgery. Now, part of that is guys being called up to the starting lineup, which should actually help Tony Allen and even Rasheed Wallace in the long run. But now it's evident why Shelden Williams had fallen from the rotation before the injuries. He's lost a bit of the confidence he was playing with early in the season. But, put him as the 10th or 11th man, and maybe he doesn't feel as much pressure.
Chris Forsberg (1:32 PM)
It's most certainly going to take every player on the roster some time to get comfortable, even when the Celtics are back at full strength. But as you mentioned, this team has one of the best-looking second units when healthy. I think that's why the team isn't overreacting to this 4-6 stretch with some sort of reactionary move to simply fill a gap.
Why hasn't Bill Walker gotten more run? Do they feel he's still coming back from his surgery? If you had to guess who was going to fill that empty roster spot by the end of the season would it be Ty Lue?
Chris Forsberg (1:34 PM)
I thought maybe Walker's knee was still hurting and that he needed some more recovery time in Maine. Then he posterized Josh Boone in New Jersey and it sure seems like there's plenty of hop in those legs. As one question alluded to earlier, it could be Doc's rotations that are simply preventing him from getting time. But, if for no other reason than to limit minutes of your starters, I'd like to see him get some more court time.
James (Erie, PA)
Hi Chris, i've been wondering this for awhile. i notice in games that we are leading by 25 Doc keeps the starters in. I remember him repeatedly saying that it is all about getting the older players ready for the postseason, slicing their minutes. Why do i continue to see this? i realize with the injuries to KG and MD it makes their roster thinner, but even when all were healthy i was seeing them put up 30-35 minutes a game when it was a blowout. should Doc be careful here in the next couple months, specifically with a guy like Ray Allen whos been a workhouse?
Chris Forsberg (1:36 PM)
I'll agree that the Celtics seem to be a bit cautious this season, even with a big lead. Rajon Rondo stayed out there on the court when New Jersey made an initial charge in the third quarter Wednesday. Probably wasn't necessary, but I'm sure no coach wants to see a 30-point lead whittled away. But it's funny, even at the Garden they've been skittish to put Gino on the scoreboard too early. I remember a game where they were up big on Golden State, but knew the Warriors could race right back if the wheels had fallen off.
will k (Brighton)
Chris, do you think Tony Allen's play since returning from injury has secured him a spot in the rotation even when we get fully healthy?
Chris Forsberg (1:38 PM)
I do, particularly because of his defense. Part of the reason he's been so streaky is that he's been asked to be the backup point guard at times. That, in the bigger picture, is a problem all around. Eddie House has likewise struggled without a true point guard to feed him the ball (and handling it himself at times). Health is key here. Watch the puzzle come together when the Celtics have their horses.
Are you sold that Marquis, TA, House can provide backup PG minutes where the second team won't lose ground from when Rondo left? Also, do you think our backup SF spot is covered against bigger SF's (even when Marquis is back)?
Chris Forsberg (1:39 PM)
Marquis, when healthy, is a luxury because not only can he carry the ball up and distribute, but once he gets rid of the ball, he heads to the paint and posts up. How many guys can do that? Now, that being said, I still think this team would benefit from a backup point guard. And I remain convinced it's Tyronn Lue (eventually).
Anthony (Easton, MA)
Do you watch the Jersey Shore?
Chris "The Situation Comedy" Forsberg (1:41 PM)
I'm falling woefully behind. I can't wait until MTV shows one of those Saturday marathons so I can watch for like 10 uninterrupted hours.
Laker Leo (Los Angeles)
Things look bad for the Celts! Can they still make the playoffs?
Chris Forsberg (1:42 PM)
Despite all their troubles, they remain second in the Eastern Conference. Let's not bury them yet, Lakers fans.
Tim (Wellesley, MA)
What is up with Sheldon Williams? Early in the season, he was getting decent minutes and seemed to be playing pretty well, rebounding the ball, getting a few hoops. What's happened to him? He's barely getting off the bench now, even with the C's so short on big men with the injuries...
Chris Forsberg (1:44 PM)
If I had to guess, the honeymoon is over. You know how every player sort of gets a burst of energy when they first get traded or sign with another team. I think he's still valuable at the end of the bench, but as his minutes diminished, so did any confidence he had built early in the season.
Brian Jalbert (Dartmouth)
Chris, Marquis Daniels' injury is very unique and I can't recall any players recently in the past with that injury that I can remember. Do you have any history with that injury regarding if he's going to comeback at 100% once he's healed up? He is a huge help off the bench and they are really lacking a scorer off the bench in my eyes.
Chris Forsberg (1:46 PM)
I think his injury is actually very similar to Glen Davis (the difference being Baby also fractured the bone, while Marquis simply tore a ligament). I think it's going to take him some time to 1) get back in the flow and 2) feel confident enough in that hand to not play timid. The first bullet pass Rondo sends his way will show us where he's at mentally and physically.
So, do you think that our non-Ray expirings will be traded for a rotation level player (probably a backup SF or backup PG)?
Chris Forsberg (1:48 PM)
I go back and forth on this. Yes, if injuries continue to be a problem. No, otherwise, because I'm not sure you're going to corral a player that's worth dumping those expiring contracts for. But who knows, everyone wants to clear cap space this offseason, so maybe the right deal will come along. In that regards, the Celtics are in a fairly good spot (though they don't have a lot of cap flexibility).
Michael (Wellesley, MA)
Is there a possibility of a Celtics' trade in the near future?
Chris Forsberg (1:48 PM)
Near future? I'd say no. They won't overreact to the current situation. If they're walking wounded at the deadline, Danny Ainge's cell phone bill will be through the roof.
Out of Allen, Kevin, and Paul, who will be here next season.
Chris Forsberg (1:50 PM)
Sounding more and more like all three. Why break up the band if they put together another solid run. I've long argued though that, if the Celtics do win another title, maybe you do consider starting the youth movement and revel in corralling two crowns in a three-year window.
Chris Forsberg (1:50 PM)
Alright, lightening round for five minutes before this Red Auerbach dedication gets underway...
big blue fan 1 (kentucky)
Dont put out Celtics, when KG comes back look out all you Lakers fans.
grandjordanian (san diego, ca)
Sheed is almost unstoppable in the post. Any idea why Doc allows him to shoot so many threes when he's under 30%?
Chris Forsberg (1:52 PM)
He spreads the floor when he's beyond the arc. But I would like to see 'Sheed go to the post more often, particularly when Boston is struggling to generate offense.
What are the reasons for the Celtics home struggles this year?
Chris Forsberg (1:52 PM)
It's a bit baffling. Pierce was quite upset about it last night. You don't go far in a season without feeling unbeatable at home.
Why dont my questions go through ?
Chris Forsberg (1:53 PM)
Tyrus Thomas (Chicago)
Any chance I get sent to Beantown?
Chris Forsberg (1:53 PM)
Glen Davis would be all for it. But you've got a good thing going in Chicago. You're a playoff team again.
Chris Forsberg (1:54 PM)
Sorry again about the internet troubles. I'd complain, but, well, hard to complain about free internet.
Chris Forsberg (1:54 PM)
We'll get in the habit of doing weekly chats. You guys swamped me with questions and I hope you do that each week.
Chris Forsberg (1:55 PM)
Keep an eye on the blog. Should be a nice moment here today with the Auerbach dedication. Check out my Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNForsberg for updates.
Chris Forsberg (1:55 PM)
And, more than anything, many thanks for hanging out and coming to the site. Don't ever hesitate to tell us what you want to see more of. We aim to please.
Chris Forsberg (1:56 PM)
Enjoy your basketball-less Friday! It's like a bye week in football today.