Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 11, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg

Chris Forsberg
  (1:01 PM)

Good afternoon! I'm sure everyone feels great about this team after last night's performance in New Orleans. Hey, you only have to wait six days for the next game after back-to-back stinkers vs. the Magic and Hornets. Let's do this.

Evan (Boston)

When Ainge mentioned that they would make a tweak that would change the team, I immediately thought of a trading Eddie House. Why Eddie is ever allowed to bring the ball up is beyond me. It kills me that everyone knows he can't run the point but after a rebound he goes right to the ball to bring it up. What are the chances Eddie is moved?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:03 PM)

See, I think Tony Allen is the more likely candidate. Sure, he's the team's spot starter for Pierce (and last night Ray Allen), but I'm not sure his value could be higher after some serviceable play at both ends of the court. He still commits at least a couple baffling turnovers per game and I think the addition of a backup point guard (thereby letting House and Daniels settle in at the 2 and 3) makes him moveable (especially in the final year of his deal). The one thing you lose trading TA is that quality defense off the bench.

Denton (Charleston SC)

Are the C's woes possibly related to the team tuning out Doc? Assuming Thibodeau could learn how to make the odd substitution, is it crazy talk to consider giving Thibodeau the interim title for the rest of the season?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:05 PM)

We're in full-blown panic mode, people! No, let's be honest, Doc's not the problem here. Health is killing this team and, if it continues to do so, Doc might have some tough moves to make in terms of who's starting and who's getting some rest. Pierce and Garnett looked awful last night and they killed the Celtics. The team would have been better served with Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels on the court to start the first and third frames. But here's hoping that, even with All-Star festivities, those two get some much-needed rest the next six days.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:06 PM)

Let's also remember that Thibodeau was seemingly in control of the team during that Atlanta game when Rivers got tossed and the team didn't sub for the final 19 minutes.

Evan (Boston)

Why haven't the Celtics fans been calling for Doc's head? His rotations are poor, his play calling (besides the plays called after timeouts) is poor. A good coach would make sure Sheed doesn't launch 3's, a good coach would give Rondo the keys, instead of letting him run the team for 3 quarters then going to strictly isos in the 4th. I think it is time to give Tom Thibbedeau a chance.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:08 PM)

It's like the Tom Thibodeau Fan Club invaded today. Again, I don't think Doc's the issue here. I think any coach would have a hard time motivating these veteran players who clearly are not approaching the regular season as nothing more than a ramp to the playoffs (even if they sometimes seem to only be sliding backwards lately). The bench looked great last night, I think you could lobby that they should have had a bigger crunch-time presence, but I think he managed the game well last night. He couldn't help that KG and Pierce looked like they were playing on one leg.

Dave (Boston)

If Ainge can trade Ray Allen and get a young player even close to the caliber of Kevin Martin (which is one rumor floating), doesn't he have to do it? 2008 was great, but if Ainge is going to play the nostalgia card, the Celts will have Rondo and no one else come 2012 and we'll be back to where we were. I view this as Ainge's defining moment - build for the future while keeping a really good team together or just holding onto the past. Thoughts?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:10 PM)

I think if a Kevin Martin floats his way, Ainge will have to give it great consideration. But I'm just not sold a Kevin Martin is going to be available. As much as teams covet expiring contracts (and Ray's $19.7 million is attractive), I think teams are very leery of trading young guys with talent. If you're the Celtics you definitely have to give it thought as you build towards the future.

Ed (Boston)

The bigger problem I see - last night it wasn't the bench's fault. It was the starters. We've seen the rest of Garnett's career before only his name was Kevin McHale.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:12 PM)

Last night was brutal. Someone Tweeted that Pierce looked like he was running with cement shoes and it was spot-on. Meanwhile, the Hornets went right at KG, knowing he simply doesn't have the ability to move like he wants to. Both guys need to do the bare minimum at All-Star weekend. If they're injuries remain slow to heal, you might even have to sit them down for a few games over the final 32.

Jerry (Texas)

Is the big three's time finally coming to an end, when the big three were united with the Celtics, everyone thought given their age, it would be a good three maybe four year run. Looks like its coming to an end.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:13 PM)

Jerry, colleague Peter May today has a <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nba/columns/story?columnist=may_peter&#x26;id=4905120" target="new">nice story</a> on the current Big Three, and looking back at the original Big Three. He sums it up well.

Hank (Brooklyn NY)

Chris, this team isn't losing to teams because the opponents are so much better than them.They are losing because they are being sloppy with turnovers and playing uninspired defense. Shouldn't Doc Rivers be more to blame for this?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:15 PM)

Not sure how you blame Rivers when Rasheed Wallace throws a pass to the left side when all four of his teammates are on the right (by the way, that might have been the ugliest turnover of the year last night). Yes, this team is sloppy and the coach needs to remind them that turnovers are not acceptable. I will say that I find it condemning that the team told Doc it would respond after Sunday's game, then came out completely uninspired last night. Baffling.

scott (boston)

chris your honest opinion do you think ray will be traded whether its to chicago, sacramento or golden state

Chris Forsberg
  (1:17 PM)

I've been steadfast that the Celtics won't find a deal that's worth moving him. Now, that said, the team's recent struggles might force the team to consider taking less value to generate the shakeup this team needs. Hopefully, Ainge and Co. find a way to deliver that shakeup without blowing it up, since this team -- despite its flaws -- still remains a championship contender when it plays to its abilities.

Victor (Quincy, MA)

is there anyone who will take Rasheed W off the C's hands? Does Larry Brown still have an interest? is it possible that we could give up Rasheed and BB Davis for Augustine and Mohammed or Chandler?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:19 PM)

Teams would be drooling for the Rasheed Wallace that showed up last night. The one who set up shop in the paint and connected on 6 of 9 shots (with only 2 3-point attempts). But not sure there's any market for a guy with what amounts to a 35-year-old with a three-year deal and playing awful for most of the season.

Nate (Boston)

Why does Ray Allen lead the team in minutes played???? hes the oldest guy on the team? DOC needs to step it up!!!!

Chris Forsberg
  (1:21 PM)

Rondo leads the team in minutes, but Allen is second, so I see your point. With Pierce and Daniels sidelined earlier this year, it was more of a necessity to have Allen on the court. I think Doc would like to scale those minutes back, but when you're losing, it's tough to take your horses out.

T (Boston)

Assuming Ray doesn't get traded, could you see Doc moving him to the bench? I think that would give him more rest, add scoring punch to the second unit and improve D on the opposing starting SGs.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:22 PM)

This is something I've started to wonder, even if it's a short-term solution. If guys are hurting or just need rest, can they swallow their pride and come off the bench instead of starting? I'm guessing no, but, again, Marquis Daniels could have helped that team a lot more than Pierce last night.

Rick (Boston, MA)

I'm not surprised with the C's struggles. Sheed has been settling for 3s and outside jumpers, Eddie has been off. Paul and KG are hurting and Ray is playing like a 35yr old. While a trade seems logical, why would the C's trade a 19mil expiring contract. Isn't an expiring contact an asset for teams? Wouldn't holding onto that free up cap space next year and allow us to pick up a solid Free Agent?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:25 PM)

I like your questions for two reasons, Rick. 1) Despite all their struggles, the Celtics have managed to put together a 32-18 mark in the first half of the season. Imagine if they get healthy or some of the guys turn their struggles around. 2) Yes, the Celtics stand to gain some nice flexibility in the offseason if they simply hold on to Ray's expiring deal (and don't re-sign). The one caution there is that it won't be like they can turn around and lure another $19.7 million contract.

bob (MA)

Why cant the C's hold a lead

Chris Forsberg
  (1:26 PM)

If they knew, they'd probably stop doing it. I think it's as simple, lately anyhow, that KG and Pierce are hurting and this team simply doesn't have the ability to compete with teams coming out of the locker room right now. Watching them wilt again last night probably left a lot of us speechless.

Christian (Manchester, NH)

Honestly, I don't see the benefit of moving Ray. Regardless of Martin and Ellis both being young, they're both injury prone. Ray is healthier than the two of them. I'm pretty sure there is nothing out there that even equals the talent we would get back for Ray. Other than last night, he's leads the team in /-. I know he's our most attractive trading chip, but doesn't anyone believe that this is gonna be the cure all???

Chris Forsberg
  (1:28 PM)

No and I think we got a glimpse of a non-Ray Allen roster last night and it surely had it's holes. But I agree with your larger point that, if Allen gets hot late in the season, there's no one on the trade market close to his value. Just another reason I think the team holds onto him. There's smaller moves they can make that will shake this thing up, then you just hope you get healthy and peak at the right time.

Fat Tony (my Mom's basement)

Do you think that Doc should lengthen the bench? We are paying several players to not play at all. The Big 3 Part Deux are getting older so why not have Shelden Williams, Scal, Glen Davis, etc eat up some minutes?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:31 PM)

Not sure Shelden Williams is the answer to any of this team's problems. I like the players in this team's top 10 rotation and I think you lean on Shelden and Walker and Giddens for injury moments.

Drake (Coppell, TX)

You keep mentioning all of the "smaller trades" what is an example of one that would shake things up and be to the Celtics benefit?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:32 PM)

Great question. I think Ainge is searching high and low for that answer. I think it's something even less than the rumored Davis for Augustin deal. I think you look to move some of your expiring contracts (Tony Allen, JR Giddens, Brian Scalabrine) and lure an end-of-the-rotation guy, likely a backup point guard.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:34 PM)

That way you leave your starting 5 intact and simply hope they stay healthy and peak at the right time. Then you have a second unit lineup of Backup PG to be determined, Eddie House, Marquis Daniels, Glen Davis, and Rasheed Wallace. I like that against anyone's top 10 when this team plays to its abilities.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:34 PM)

A backup PG also allows Eddie House to stay in his natural role as a shooter and his production will soar. I love what I've seen of Daniels taking mismatches to the post. There's a lot of reasons to think this second unit will take this team a long way. Just gotta get a healthy starting 5.

John (Boston)

How far will KG's bum leg take us?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:36 PM)

I wish I knew that answer. But safe to say the season largely hinges on that leg. We all saw that Boston simply didn't have enough without KG (and, to a lesser degree, one of his backups in Leon Powe). If this team can't get healthy, there's some scary matchups in the playoffs.

charlie Sandler (boston)

why doesnt doc switch up the starters the teams has looked better with daniels and davis out there then pierce and garnett

Chris Forsberg
  (1:37 PM)

So dangerous with a veteran team. How do you tell Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett they're not starting, even if it's just a game or two. Just don't see it happening, even if I do believe it could help. The other problem, as Ainge has noted recently, is that these injured guys fight so hard to play, it's hard to get them rest. But Doc and Danny might have to step up and say, "Take another week off," just to give them a chance at getting right.

Adam (Suffolk)

Why is everyone surprised at the quick demise of the Big Three? Everyone knew they were old when they came to Boston...

Chris Forsberg
  (1:40 PM)

I don't think we saw the decline coming this quick. Garnett is only 33, but these knee injuries have made him look 38. Pierce is 32, but he's playing on one foot. Allen is in the best shape of anyone in the league, but scary when back spasms randomly pop up. I think everyone thought that, even if they did decline, Rondo and Perkins would continue to improve -- which they have -- but even they can't support a team playing with so many injuries.

Kyle (Baton Rouge)

What is Scal's future at the Celtics? I always feel like he takes too passive of a role considering his abilities and he has proven he has them, especially behind the 3 point line.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:41 PM)

He is what he is. A serviceable bench guy who can make the spot start (like when both Rasheed and KG went down). But when healthy, he's an end-of-the-bench guy, filling minutes and hitting the occasional 3-pointer. Does he come back next year? I suppose it depends on what sort of market develops for him.

Jack (Boston)

Doesn't some consideration have to be given to the fact that the team may simply not be good enough to win it this year. Wouldn't it make sense to trade Ray and start to structure a young core for the future?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:44 PM)

Certainly, the Celtics have to at least acknowledge the fact that they might never get healthy -- not only this season but beyond. But not sure how much flexibility they have to maneuver. Sure, they can move Ray Allen and potentially get a younger player, but it's still the same core for at least two more seasons. If they can't find a quality deal for Allen before the deadline, then it really makes for an interesting offseason.

Kerry (chatham, ny)

chris, do you think it is logical to keep ray til the end of the year and be in the hunt for dwayne wade this offseason?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:45 PM)

Regardless if you keep or trade Ray Allen, I don't think this team is in the hunt for any big-name free agents, especially not Dwyane Wade. There's no simple solution here. The more I examine it, the more I find the Celtics really have to hope that their aging guys stay healthy and shake off any struggles they encounter.

Dave (Waltham)

What's your best guess on KG's health? Is this as good as it's gonna get, or do you think he'll regain some of his old form?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:48 PM)

Slightly concerning that he's been back for 10 games now and still struggling mightily on the defensive end. His timing's getting better and we've seen those rebound numbers crawl back up a bit. Let's see how he looks out of the All-Star break. I think the Celtics will do whatever they can to have that leg as close to 100% for the postseason as possible, which I would have to assume would include a break in the second half.

Dave (Waltham)

With the continued search for a back-up PG, think Danny wishes he had taken Mario Chalmers over JR Giddens in the draft 2 years ago?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:50 PM)

You can go through any draft and second-guess all your picks. But I see your larger point of needing a backup point guard. Honestly, I'm stunned the team has gone 50 games without a true second-unit ball-handler.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:50 PM)

Final 10 minutes, let's go lightning round and see how many questions we can blast through...

Frank (Taunton)

Honest to Fog, Kevin Martin, or Monta Ellis are not considered fair trades for an aging, player who is no longer able to play quality defense, and whose shot is seemingly going downhill. Come on. I do not want to wait another 23 years.....

Chris Forsberg
  (1:51 PM)

As valuable as Ray's contract is, I just don't see a team giving up a talented young player for him. What would they do with that money, try to lure a similar young player (or one that's marginally better?)

John (Boston)

Why is Big Baby given so much credit? He is still undersized and poorly shoots the jumper.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:52 PM)

You have to admit, he's looked very, very good the past three games. He's developing a role on this year's team and will be very valuable moving forward.

scott (boston)

just saw on sportscenter that t-mac might be going to the knicks if this is true can the knicks trade tmac and nate for ray scal and maybe jr giddens?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:53 PM)

I'm fascinated by the T-Mac fascination some fans have. Not the type of player this team needs.

Jason (Boston)

Any idea as to why Rondo didn't even respond Jerry Colangelo's invitation to team USA?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:55 PM)

Just a guess, but some players just don't have an interest in that stuff. I think Rondo might simply want to focus all his efforts on being the best he can be for the Boston Celtics.

Zack (Sunderland)

Hey Chris, Your picture is hard as nails. What are the chances we get rid of Sheed? Could we potentially do a deal or two, one focused around the expiring contracts of Scal, Giddens and the two year Sheed deal, and one around Ray Ray? If we do deal Ray, any chances he gets bought out and comes back to the C's rested? Thanks

Chris Forsberg
  (1:55 PM)

I think we've tackled your question, but I wanted to make sure we got in at least one jab at my picture before the end of the chat.

Dave (Waltham, MA)

Chris, I know you've covered this a bit before, but can Shelden Williams be that bad in practice? Even with Baby's recent string of good play, neither he not Sheed provide much in the way of rebounding, seemingly the only thing we know Shelden does well. What gives?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:56 PM)

I think Shelden competes well in practice, just no confidence in him during game situations. He's good for rebounding, certainly, but think he has limited value other than that.

Kyle (Baton Rouge)

Why don't we go for offensive rebounds? Could simply tweeking that part of our game get us some better results?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:57 PM)

Doc mentioned a while back that he actually doens't put much stock in that stat. Prefers his guys get back on defense. Plus, since the C's typically shoot a high percentage, it's not as bad as it might seem. Now, allowing offensive rebounds is a concern.

Kyle (Baton Rouge)

Perkins is the man. Just wanted to say it. He's made Team USA and I love him.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:58 PM)

While he's slipped a bit lately and I think he needs a break as much as anyone, Perkins' development this year has been tremendous.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:59 PM)

And with that, we're off to pack our suitcase for Dallas (and crossing our fingers that our flight gets out tomorrow). Stick with ESPN Boston and follow along with me on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/ESPNForsberg">Twitter</a> for all the latest updates from this weekend's festivities.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:59 PM)

Thanks, as always, for hanging out.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:00 PM)

Let's do it again next week, likely from sun-splashed Los Angeles with another Lakers-Celtics battle coming up.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:00 PM)

Enjoy the All-Star break.