Chat with Chris Forsberg
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPNBoston.com blogger Chris Forsberg stops by to chat about 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.
Send your questions now and join Forsberg Friday at noon ET!
Chris Forsberg (12:00 PM)
Hey everybody! Thanks for hanging out. Let's tackle your questions for a bit.
Zach (Gilford NH)
Honestly Chris cant we just put all this trade talk to rest? Who exactly is going to be trading for Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnet at this stage?
Chris Forsberg (12:02 PM)
I'm with you on putting it to rest, at least at this point. The Celtics have no reason to consider a trade at the moment. Let's see if they can put it together and, in a month, if they are still struggling, then gauge the trade market. Even then I don't know what they'll find that will benefit them. But maybe a contending team gets desperate and makes a crazy offer trying to make a title run.
Kevin (rochester ny)
Moore looks more confident handling the ball than Bradley. Bradley at times looks lost and makes very questionable passes/shots. When are they going to give him more minutes, with Rondo out seems like a good time to experiment.
Chris Forsberg (12:04 PM)
I think Bradley starts tonight if Rondo can't go (a likely situation) because he can bring better defense early on (and you can mask his offensive struggles by playing him with the starters). But I agree, Moore is the more comfortable player handling the ball and that's why he's probably sticking with the second unit that desperately needs a facilitator.
Cinema Smash (Boston)
In your opinion, which member of the big three is most likely to be traded and which member(s) will be in a green uniform next season?
Chris Forsberg (12:08 PM)
So tough to say. I think there will be interest in all of them because teams have different needs. Both KG and Allen are super attractive because they help out on title runs and expire after the season, while Pierce has the most left in the tank (and on his contract). But again, if Boston is still in the mix, I just don't see them moving any of those guys hoping to find a spark (and maintain their cap space this summer).
As for who could be back next year, it's all going to depend on what's available on the free agent market. If there's nothing, maybe you have to bring back one (Pierce), two or even all three. Or if there's two max free agents you can pursue, maybe it's none and the team amnesties Pierce (as crazy as that would be).
Evan (Houston, TX)
It has been hard to watch Marshon Brooks light it up while JaJuan Johnson can not get off the bench. As an insider, what did they see in Johnson that made them pass on Brooks? Or did the Celtics make the mistake of drafting need over talent?
Chris Forsberg (12:11 PM)
Just the opposite, I think the Celtics ignored need for a player they thing has more long-term potential. While Brooks sorta projects as a one-dimensional scorer -- and has hit the ground running in doing that well -- I think the Celtics hope they can mold Johnson. Trouble is they have to get him bigger and stronger before he's truly ready. But you can see the freak athleticism, especially on this older, less athletic team. Give him time; You probably won't see much in returns this season.
Evan (Houston, TX)
The Celtics desperately need rebounding. Any way they can go get some?
Chris Forsberg (12:13 PM)
Honestly, they might just have to get better at it. KG's rebounding rate is way down, you have to think that'll jump up. When Chris Wilcox gets healthy, he'll help. Brandon Bass' rebounding has actually been a pleasant surprise in terms of what I was expecting. And then you hope Rondo and Pierce hit the glass harder. But it's not like there's a bunch of 7-footers or Dennis Rodmans waiting to be signed. C's just gotta do a better job of fundamentals.
shane (north providence)
will the Celtics pull off a big trade before the dead line and who do you think will be involved?
Chris Forsberg (12:15 PM)
The amount of "can the Celtics make a trade?" questions this week is off the charts. Sit tight guys. You gotta give this thing time to see if they can get it right. There's just no simple solution, but they are not going to overreact to a five-game losing streak. Does this team need to improve? Absolutely. But the idea of just overhauling the roster isn't the immediate solution.
Evan (Springfield )
In the event Pierce was traded, will his jersey still be retired in Boston?
Chris Forsberg (12:16 PM)
Absolutely. Not even a question in my mind.
Ethan (Rhode Island)
So I'm reading that Avery Bradley is likely getting the start tonight. Alright so my question. He's a great defender, but he's been very inconsistent on offense. Do you think playing with the first unit tonight will bring the best out of him and really show us what the top rated high school recruit can do? I remember when Steimsma played with that first unit he thrived and scored like 13 pts and 7 rebounds. Think Avery can have a breakout game?
Chris Forsberg (12:18 PM)
Absolutely, and that's exactly why you run him with the first unit. His confidence has been up and down this month, this is a real nice chance to get him going. If he can go out there and just help contain Nash a bit, that's all you're looking for. Don't expect much in terms of offense or even assists (I think Pierce will play facilitator again). But if he can just provide steady defense, then it'll be a quality night.
Any update on Rondo's injury?
Chris Forsberg (12:20 PM)
Was still sore yesterday and an MRI was planned last night. I suspect they'll give him at least a game (maybe two considering Washington on Sunday) off to make sure it heals up. Given that initial tests were negative, I think it's an encouraging sign that there's nothing major wrong here.
I don't understand why everyone says blow the team up. It makes no sense during the season this year. Let the team ride out this season wherever it takes them, then restructure in the off season when most of hefty contracts fall off. How does trading players at this stage make the team better? Simple answer. It doesn't.
Chris Forsberg (12:21 PM)
I'm with you, 100 percent. It's just the way it goes around here. Celtics are losing? Let's blow it up! Unless a team called up with an offer that was absolutely ridiculous to pass up, I think you stay the course and cross your fingers.
Danny Ainge (Boston, MA)
I said I would do what Red did not and trade my aging stars for value before they lose their value to ensure a smooth transition. Did I wait too long? And, if I had to make some trades before the deadline, what are some realistic trade ideas vs. these rumors that are one-sided and would never happen?
Chris Forsberg (12:24 PM)
No, I think you played your cards right, Danny. I can understand the Perkins trade (as much as that blew up on you) and I still 100 percent believe that with a healthy Rondo and Shaq you guys were truly title contenders last year. You couldn't have projected the drop-off, thus far anyway, of KG and Pierce (and, heck, Ray's struggling at the moment, too). You just really have to hope they get it together moving forward and rekindle that magic. Just not sure you're going to find much on the trade market. Only contending teams are going to want a slice of Big 3 experience at the deadline, and not sure I see a contender with some sort of cheap, young player that would fit the long-term plan coming back.
Zach (Down Under)
Any chance Rasheed Wallace coming to town since we already are paying him this season? we could release pavlovic to make room
Chris Forsberg (12:26 PM)
Unless he's in Ray Allen-like shape, I don't see it. That said, I do think the Celtics will continue to explore potential big man additions, which could come at the expense of Pavlovic or even Stiemsma if Boston really had to clear room.
Hey, Chris! What's your opinion on everybody hatin' JO? Fans are hatin' on his defense & offense, particuraly rebounding. The thing I noticed is whenever JO gives help defense and leaves the paint, and they get offensive rebounding everyone is blaming him. Isn't that problem of player that didn't rotate well? I just feel bad so much hatin' on guy that should have been future HoF, with his age and injuries he sould get some props.
Chris Forsberg (12:29 PM)
As maybe the world's leading charge geek, I very much appreciate what Jermaine O'Neal brings to this team. I still like him off the bench better. As Doc Rivers has pointed out, you can't totally ignore his offense. He needs to make those wide-open bunnies (and maybe lean in towards the basket instead of so many fadeaways). The NBA miles have taken their toll on his knees and he'll never be what we remember him to be, but he's a quality big man that would simply be aided by having another legit, established big man to work with.
Jon (Bedford NH)
If you can't advance in the playoffs, you need to find a way to compete. There is no benefit to make the playoffs and get bounced. I say that everyone should be available. I would love to see Pierce retire a Celtic but Joe Montana didn't retire a 49er and if he was traded, anyone should be.
Chris Forsberg (12:31 PM)
No doubt. But first you gotta give it time to find out if this thing will ever click. Forty-five days from now, if it's just not working, OK, let's see what's available. But the salaries make it very difficult. I'm all for moving a member of the Big Three if you get a cheap, young player that fits your long-term plan. That said, you can't sacrifice long-term financial flexibility by absorbing a bad contract in the process (any big contract would have to be an expiring one). It just makes it so difficult to maneuver. But I agree with you, if you're just poised for a second-round exit, you gotta either tank for the draft, or figure out a way to make the team better in the long run.
Michael Harrington (Colorado)
How is it possible that I read reports that say the Celtics didn't come into the season ready to play?? Isn't this there last shot?? What were they thinking?? I say trade a two of the big three and start over:)
Chris Forsberg (12:33 PM)
This is absolutely a disappointing aspect of the season. If this is truly the last rodeo, maybe Pierce and KG -- two players that were involved in the negotiations and should have been somewhat in the loop about how this would all play out -- came back maybe not as ready as they could have been (Rondo and Ray certainly were ready). That said, I do cut them some slack. As a procrastinator myself, if I didn't know the season was going to be accelerated and start on Christmas Day, I would have been lounging around at In-N-Out burger enjoying my summer, too. It's a tough situation.
Chris do you know Boston's cap situation after this season? Is it out of the question that they just sit tight, let's Ray and KG expire re-sign them for less money and bring a major FA next summer to contend 1 last time?
Chris Forsberg (12:37 PM)
Absolutely. If C's let this season run its course, they'll bring back Pierce ($16.8 million), Rondo ($11 million), Avery Bradley ($1.6 million), JaJuan Johnson ($1.1 million) next season -- as well as possibly guys like E'Twaun Moore and Greg Stiemsma at the end of the bench. Brandon Bass also has a very attractive player option ($4.25 million) but he'll almost certainly opt out to pursue free agency and a big payday. The C's can certainly re-sign the other parts of the Big Three on the cheap and still add one big-ticket player.
Steve (Quincy, MA)
Chris, is it just me or has Marquis Daniels lost his effectiveness? He has no jump shot. If he was in the starting lineup with Rondo, Garnett, and Ray Allen, he looks good, but otherwise he can't create offense for a 2nd unit. Shouldn't his minutes go to Mickael Pietrus and Avery Bradley, 2 guys who can shoot and defend? Thanks.
Chris Forsberg (12:39 PM)
'Quis turned it around a little bit this week, but it's just not consistent. For whatever reason, he just can't be the elite cutter he can be every night. And his offense is incredibly streaky. What's more, his defense is down a bit this year. Hence, why he's been leapfrogged by Pietrus already. That said, we have to give Daniels some time, too. That's a major surgery he underwent this offseason. Let's see where he's at later in the year. But history suggests he just hasn't been able to put it together consistently.
BON (in Beantown)
You need a new pic. I can't tell if you're a chick or a dude. Just sayin....
Chris Forsberg (12:39 PM)
I get this comment at an alarming rate. Might indeed be time for a new picture.
rondo (my wrist)
i played during the playoffs with a dislocated elbow, i can play tonight with a sore wrist
Chris Forsberg (12:40 PM)
No doubt. And Rondo even said yesterday that if this was a playoff game tonight -- an important one -- he'd be out there. Heck, he wanted to return the other night. But no need to risk really aggravating this injury.
Up against a U.S. Olympian in this time slot, Fozzy....you better up your game or incur the wrath of "U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!" chants up in heeyah....
Chris Forsberg (12:43 PM)
Wait, who else is chatting at noon today? I'll totally out USA them. Someone get me a 2x4 and I'll bust out a killer Hacksaw Jim Duggan impersonation.
Eric Salyers (Cincinnati)
Realistically, what are the big name free agents we have a chance at landing next year? I feel like dwight howard will be traded and signed to an extension, and we don't need deron williams
Chris Forsberg (12:45 PM)
This is the potential hitch in freeing up all this cap space in a summer where nothing attractive is available. When the Celtics crafted this plan, there was a real chance that Dwight Howard and Chris Paul would be available. That'd be a Miami-like free-agent haul. Alas, if those guys are both locked into different situations, the free-agent pool becomes far less attractive to dive into. And, yes, you might even have to consider yet another ride with the Big Three (at reduced, one-year rates) to bridge the gap yet again.
Does anyone still need to know why this team needed to get rid of Big Baby Davis after his latest nonsense? Doc had to breathe a sigh of relief knowing he doesn't have to put up with that Clown anymore.
Chris Forsberg (12:47 PM)
If you could divorce the personality from the player, you'd have a real quality role player (and fringe starter). Alas, the extracurriculars leave you shaking your head. The Celtics are certainly enjoying how Brandon Bass approaches his work thus far.
What's going on with Ray Allen? I've never seen him play this poorly for such a long stretch, he doesn't seem to be moving as much as usual on offense. Are teammates not setting good screens, or is he slowing down?
Chris Forsberg (12:48 PM)
The screen-setting has been poor, no doubt. Hey, shooters are streaky. He was insanely hot out of the gates, now it's evening out a bit. I think Ray's the last guy on the team to spend too much time worrying about during the regular season.
I watched the OKC game and Hollinger stated it best... KG can't jump anymore. He had to do an MJ fadeaway to get his shot off against Perkins. Father Time is still undefeated.
Chris Forsberg (12:50 PM)
No doubt, his lift right now is concerning. I do think it can improve a bit. You can't dial it back to when he was 25, but he can still be ab impact player.
Do you think Bradley and Moore are going to split 50/50 if Rondo is out? Do you think one will see more time than the other?
Chris Forsberg (12:52 PM)
It'll be a close split with whoever is playing better getting the better slice. This is a good little competition to have. You never want to see an injury, but one of these guys has to distinguish themselves. This is an excellent chance.
kobi (dallas, tx)
how do you see the season ending? record? standing in atlantic/east? playoffs
Chris Forsberg (12:53 PM)
Right now? I think Celtics are something like second or third in the Atlantic, sixth or seventh in the East? Out in the second round at best. But if they improve like I think they will, that could bump up to competing for the Atlantic, maybe a fifth seed, and competing in the second round. At the moment, not confident of much more. We gotta see how it all plays out.
Mike (East Longmeadow)
Chris - I have to take exception to Clay's comment and your response. This is the NBA. You only win 1 of 2 ways - either by bottoming out or by convincing marquee free agents to play here. Because it's cold and we're not the media market that LA, NY, and even Chicago are, the free agents are not lining up (see the trade requests of every major free agent of the past few years). We want it blown up because finishing 5th in the conference and gutting out a first round playoff win is not what Boston basketball should be about. We do not yearn for the days of Walker and McCarty.
Chris Forsberg (12:56 PM)
No doubt. I think there's a little bit more of a middle ground with this team because of the looming financial flexibility, something most teams with early playoff exits probably don't enjoy. That said, I see your point. If you're not confident you can make the Eastern Conference finals at the very least, you have to consider turning all eyes to the future, and however that might manifest itself (trade, just riding it out, tanking for the draft, etc.)
Marc (Malden, MA)
"a healthy Rondo and Shaq" that's where your logic is flawed. Shaq hasn't been healthy, in shape or usefull in YEARS. The Celtics were the best team in the NBA before they traded Perkins, it was stupid.
Chris Forsberg (12:57 PM)
What people tend to forget is how desperate they were for a backup swingman after Marquis Daniels went down. They needed a Jeff Green type. If Shaq & Rondo were healthy, this team absolutely was a contender. Maybe I'm sipping the Kool-Aid, but Shaq, even at his old age and limited abilities, was still an impact player with the first unit.
Etwan Moore looked pretty good in the preseason. What happened??
Chris Forsberg (12:58 PM)
Still looks good, just not making shots at the moment. That'll smooth itself out. Very impressed with his ability to run the offense and not turn the ball over in limited glimpses. For a No. 55 pick, he's got nice potential.
I have been wondering this for awhile. WHAT WAS AINGE THINKING last year with the Perk trade!!!!!!?????
Chris Forsberg (1:00 PM)
I don't have it in me to travel this road again (i should keep a chat archive from when we really broke it down). Listen, the team got a good deal. Kendrick Perkins wasn't in the future plans; Boston thought it was getting two years of Jeff Green & Nenad Krstic and a Clippers first-round pick. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong with the deal. It happens. Did they undervalue Perkins. Most definitely, especially as contracts for big men have ballooned.
Frodo Baggins (Worcester, MA)
Do you think Danny Ainge can rebuild the Celtics through the draft? His last few drafts have been disappointments to say modestly : Lester Hudson, JR Giddens, Billy Walker, Gabe Pruitt. The last solid draft pick the Celtics made who contributes at a high level was Big Baby and before that Rondo, five years ago
Chris Forsberg (1:02 PM)
No, draft is clearly a crapshoot. Regardless of sport, I'm a big believer in using your picks to try to attract known talent. Then you roll the dice with the second-round picks and hope you hit on a Glen Davis.
Paul Pierce (Boston)
Sorry Boston fans I will be taking my talents to the LAKERs
Chris Forsberg (1:02 PM)
I think the Internet would break if this actually happened.
Why isn't Doc giving the Steamer more of a chance? He showed promise earlier in the season and with KG and JO unable to jump these days, his shot blocking would really help down low.
Chris Forsberg (1:04 PM)
Beyond his shot-blocking, his defense is lacking a bit right now. He needs to grasp the help concepts better. There's potential, but he's struggling at times right now.
Nick Bach (BOston)
What was the point of making Jeff Green an unrestricted free agent this year, what good does that do them in the future?
Chris Forsberg (1:05 PM)
It's not entirely clear at the moment. Both sides are very coy on this whole process. My inkling is it has to do with cap holds and giving both sides freedom to pursue more avenues this summer. Doesnt mean the C's won't consider Green, it just gives each side freedom to navigate free agency a little easier.
Nick (Berkshire County)
Over under, how many times a day do you say "No doubt"
Chris Forsberg (1:06 PM)
In this chat, at least 47. In fact, I just put the band No Doubt on Spotify to celebrate it as crutch word of the day.
Chris Forsberg (ESPN)
Any truth to the Javale McGee, Lewis for KG rumors I've been hearing?
Chris Forsberg (1:06 PM)
Did I just ask myself a question?
Forsby, any prediction on the Pats front?
Chris Forsberg (1:07 PM)
Predictions column should be up soon in Pats blog. I went with Patriots 33-14, I think that's the reverse of the 2009 score. It's the Revenge Tour, baby! Get ready for Patriots-Giants and a never-ending loop of the Tyree catch on ESPN.
this draft could be the deepest in recent years. any chance the celts try to move up to get a wing player or center
Chris Forsberg (1:08 PM)
One thing to watch: C's will have two late-ish picks (their own and Clippers). There's a chance to shuffle up a bit in a loaded draft (or sit tight and hope to hit on one of two late-rounders).
BON (in Beantown)
PS3 or Xbox?
Chris Forsberg (1:09 PM)
xBox, but mine is like a decade old at this point and I get so many "dirty discs" errors and red lights of death that I stare longingly at PS3's when I walk through Best Buy.
Just wondering, would the Celts ever trade with the Lakers?
Chris Forsberg (1:09 PM)
::Danny Ainge voice:: If the trade made our team better...
Chris Forsberg (1:10 PM)
Alright, let's wrap it up there. You guys rock. Thanks for hanging out. Let's do it again next week. Enjoy the Pats game on Sunday (and make sure you watch the Celtics-Wizards appetizer).