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March 26, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg

Chris Forsberg
  (2:00 PM)

Welcome to this week's C's chat. Let's dive right in.

deangelo (canton ms )

they need to win all five home game to get home court go celtics im a big fan

Chris Forsberg
  (2:02 PM)

Clearly they're in for a dogfight with Atlanta to get this No. 3 seed, so I agree these five games are key. Not sure if you need to win them all. Atlanta's schedule is no cupcake either. But certainly a game like tonight would be no excuse to lose, particularly with Evans out.

Mark (Raleigh NC)

Can Rasheed get back to the post come playoff time? At times - even at this age - his turnaound and face up J off the board is unstoppable

Chris Forsberg
  (2:04 PM)

There's no denying that we've seen flashes of a dominant Wallace (see his 29 point game vs. Toronto in January), but there's absolutely nothing that suggests that he's going to turn it around and do it on a consistent basis. Maybe he'll make us all look foolish and I do think it's possible he can flip some sort of switch, just not sure it's going to take him to the level fans expected from him.

Evan (Boston)

If you were a betting man what do you think the chances would be that Sheed plays his best ball of the season in the playoffs?How do you see the rotation being cut down once the playoffs arive?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:06 PM)

Let's put it this way, it'll be hard for him to play WORSE than he is lately in the postseason, so I'd say the odds are decent the Celtics at least get an uptick in production from him. I've often wondered if there's any way he can play himself out of the playoff rotation, but I don't see it. I still think you'll see a five-man rotation of Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Michael Finely, Glen Davis, and Wallace. If Tony Allen gets more minutes after his performance the other night, maybe he plays his way into defensive roles.

Rafael (SP-Brazil)

We had a lot of energy vs the Nuggets. If we have the same energy vs Kings, we can win with some dominance right?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:07 PM)

Absolutely, the loss of Evans really makes this a tough game for Sacramento. As tough as they played Boston on the road after the All-Star break, I'd be very surprised if Boston struggled tonight. Which is surprising, because as early as, say, two weeks ago very few of us would have been confident, even against a struggling opponent at the Garden.

bruce (ct)

I said last week that the celtics were back on the right track, and people fail to realize the record these guys have when all 5 starters play. I really think that the celtics are going to make a huge push come play, i feel the celtics can match up with the magic and cavs so as long as they dont get the hawks some how i feel they can come out of the east.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:09 PM)

I'm with you. I think people overlook the fact of just how well -- when healthy -- this team matches up with Orlando. A second-round matchup with the Magic is quite favorable for the C's. You look at last year and there's the very real possibility that with even just a healthy Leon Powe the C's sneak through to the Eastern Conference Finals. Cleveland still scares the bejesus out of me, but if you get to the ECF, anything can happen.

Ball Tracker (Indianapolis)

Chris, in your opinion - has more confidence or talent contributed more to Boston's recent success?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:11 PM)

Well, the talent hasn't change except for the addition of Nate Robinson and Michael Finley, so I'd say it's more confidence. But the real key is health. I'll buy the Kool-Aid Doc Rivers has been serving for a couple weeks now that -- finally -- we're seeing a healthy (or as healthy as they're going to be) Celtics squad. Last time they were this healthy (sans Glen Davis) was when they started the season 23-5. So maybe, just maybe, they truly are simply getting back to what made them so good at the start of the year.

Mark (Raleigh NC)

Seems Tony Allen has stepped up his play lately - is he putting it all together or is this a push for an extension?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:14 PM)

You're asking me to get inside the head of Tony Allen, and that's a scary place. I think TA's definitely been hindered by injuries over his career, and you could make the point that he showed all sorts of potential before the ACL injury. But maybe he's just maturing a bit now. Six years in the league, maybe he understands that it's not about him, it's about helping this team win a championship. I mean, they're going to make their push with or without him, so he minds well be on board -- particularly in a contract year.

tim (boston)

Hi Chris, who do you think would be the worst possible team for the celtics first round matchup and who would be the best?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:16 PM)

Seeing Miami at No. 6 kinda makes me cringe a bit right now. Doc might have said it best when he noted that you really don't want to play a team where you can make the case that the best player on the floor is on the other team (Dwyane Wade). Now, the Heat probably don't have the depth to hang with the C's, but you never want to have a player that can take over a game/series. And I do think the Bucks have the potential to give Boston headaches. So the Celtics preferred order among the current 5-8 spots is probably Bobcats, Raptors, Heat, and Bucks. Only because they've dominated the 'Cats and Raptors this season.

Matt (Boston )

Can this team beat Cleveland in a 7 game series if they get there? I think they have a solid team and peaking at the right time and wanted your opinion.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:18 PM)

Absolutely. While some will make the case that Boston's lone win over the Cavs this season came before the rosters took shape, I do think Boston can match up with this team and play them tough in a seven-game series. Let's be honest, Boston should have won the game at the Garden if not for a horrific second-half collapse, and, despite getting NOTHING from their bench earlier this month in Cleveland, they still hung until the final six minutes or so.

Dave (Andover)

Will Finley get the 14 minutes hes been averaging come playoff time?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:20 PM)

If he's shooting the ball like he has been. As good as the C's bench has been at times, scoring hasn't exactly been their specialty. So on nights where guys like Finley and Robinson are hitting from the perimeter, expect them to get more minutes. If they're not, Boston shortens the rotation and leans heavy on its starters.

Lorcan (Martin, TN)

Do you think Nate Robinson was a good move? Considering he looks to not return next season, he just doesn't seem like a good season rental so far.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:22 PM)

Have you seen Eddie House's stats (his recent injury notwithstanding)? No, I think Nate was a quality move. It came at a time a little jolt was needed and you got a player that's actually outperforming the player he replaced. I still like the move. I think it shored this team up at backup point guard and has potential to really pay dividends if Robinson can find some consistency with his scoring.

Jamie (DC)

Is there any way Brian Scalabrine finds another team after this year...Not that there's a huge market for guys who average 1.4 ppg and are shooting 34% from deep and make 3 million a year

Chris Forsberg
  (2:24 PM)

Yeah, even when teams are set to be scrambling to pluck guys off the scrapheap after the FreeAgentPalooza this summer, I'm not sure guys like Scal are going to see a huge market. That's part of the reason I don't rule out any of these end-of-the-bench guys being back in Boston -- at reasonable rates and lengths -- next year. Boston needs to squeeze a lot of guys in with big money committed to 6-7 players.

Brian (Williamsville)

Do you see Doc going with a smaller lineup, with Rondo and Nate, more often? They seem to have great tempo, as long as the other guys can keep up.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:25 PM)

We saw them use a small lineup to close out practice earlier this month and it's clear they're prepared to use that set when the opponent's lineup allows it. But I don't think Doc particularly loves the idea. Even the other night he admitted he wanted to stay big so the C's could dominate in the paint and on the glass. But maybe the success of that small lineup vs. Denver gives him more confidence to use it moving forward.

ty (boston)

i was wondering what the chance of the celtics possibly gettin a big name free agent this year.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:26 PM)

Do you consider Ray Allen a big name? If not, then don't hold your breath (unless, of course, Paul Pierce triggers his early-termination option and, unfathomably, doesn't return).

Mark (Astoria, NY)

If the C's lose in the first round of the playoffs, do you see major changes coming in the offseason? A trade of Pierce, Garnett, or even Perk? Coaching changes? It seems with the amount of money tied up in a few players, this year is the last chance the C's have to challenge for a championship as it'll be too expensive to get quality supporting players in FA/draft.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:29 PM)

See, if they stumbled to the finish line this year and then got bounced in the first round, I could potentially see that. But if what we're seeing right now is the potential for this club, then I don't see any wholesale changes coming. This is still a group that's championship caliber. Now, they'll definitely have to do something soon because they're still an aging team with most of their money committed to three contracts, but if they re-sign Perk and build around him and Rondo, the future will be OK (particularly if Pierce finds a deal to end his career in Boston).

Chris Forsberg
  (2:29 PM)

As we've said before, the hardest part this offseason will be finding guys like Posey/Marquis to fill out the bench at reasonable dollars.

Ben (Cambridge, MA)

While we match up well against Orlando (especially compared to how we fare against Cleveland and Atlanta), I believe Orlando is the team in the East best suited to beating Cleveland. If we were to get the 3 seed and meet Cleveland in the ECF, how tired do you think Cleveland would be after an Atlanta series? Would ATL-CLE be competitive at all?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:32 PM)

Interesting take, I hadn't really thought about how the Cavs-Hawks match up. We all know the C's didn't far well at all, but the Cavs did win the first two meetings between the teams (a home and home, no less, in late December). The two teams do meet twice more before the end of the season. I think the Hawks are going to give any team headaches in the postseason, so them running the Cavs to 6 or 7 games could be quite fortuitous forever emerges from the other end of the East bracket.

John (Boston)

Do you see Marquis Daniels re-signing with the C's? Doc loves him, and he has shown energy and ok defense so far on the court.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:33 PM)

No. As poor as Daniels has played recently (and he's been pretty bad at times, maybe because of the shift in roles), but I think he's going to be out of Boston's price range. He's not going to be looking for a one-year deal, he's proven himself again here, despite injury, and he'll find a decent contract (both length and term) with a good team.

bruce (ct)

Last game against Denver it was a fluke about how good tony allen played. Please tell me that will be the last time we see him play. I look forward to seeing a rotation of 8 in the playoffs with robinson, davis, and marquis

Chris Forsberg
  (2:35 PM)

Fluke or not, the C's certainly stand to benefit from the competition at positions that is making those down on the depth chart play a little bit harder hoping for more minutes. I still see a role for Allen based more on his defense than his offense. It's easy to overlook after he scored 13 points, but his defense was just as good (even if he logged five fouls in 20 minutes).

Dave (Andover)

Is not having home court advantage against Cleveland or Orlando going to be a big deal since they play better on the road anyways?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:36 PM)

I don't think it particularly helps Boston's chances, but as you said, this team has been so good on the road, it just means they have to steal a game. That's not an impossible task. I don't think this team fears going to Orlando or Cleveland (just as neither of those teams are probably too worried about coming here after Boston's struggles).

Mark (Raleigh NC)

sign Matt Barnes (3 yrs) - Draft a young BIG - and consider Duke's John Scheyer in 2nd round - and bring Landy up - AFTER extending Perk & re-signing Ray-Ray to a reasonable 2 yr deal - OFF season complete

Chris Forsberg
  (2:39 PM)

Barnes does have a player option, but you have to think he might have priced himself out of Boston's range ($1.6 million this year and sure to escalate exponentially on open market). Scal's making twice as much right now... And I'm not sure Marcus Landry is the answer, but I like your plan as a whole, particularly the idea of getting a big in the draft (particularly if it's an energetic rebounder).

Jose Jonathan (Orlando)

Chris: The Big 3 are they all Hall of Fame bound?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:40 PM)

Yep. Clear a wing in Springfield.

Mahhhston (Baton Rouge/New Bedford)

So even though we did smother the Nugs, Melo still put up 30. Do you think the celtics are even trying to guard against him or just shutting down his supporting cast and forcing their bench to make moves? How could this play out in the finals for a Celtics v Nugs matchup?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:42 PM)

I think we've long seen the Celtics utilize the "shutdown the supporting cast" mentality. 'Melo, Wade, LeBron... these guys always get their points. The Celtics seem to understand that and do what they can to limit the damage elsewhere. I think it's part of the reason they're successful against teams with one star because they have the ability to really put the pressure on the rest of the team.

Steve (NYC)

Any chance the C's get Lebron? What if we traded Rondo and Pierce to the Cavs in a sign and trade. He'd still have Perk, Ray Ray and KG to play with...

Chris Forsberg
  (2:43 PM)

Throw in Marcus Landry and I don't see how the Cavs say no.

DJ (NH)

Just a follow up on the offseason question. Do you think the celtics shouldtap into the overseas players. I think theres a huge opportunity to get these players young and let them develop similar to the Spurs. You can often find gems in either round .

Chris Forsberg
  (2:44 PM)

Can I interest you in Semih Erden? No, I see your point, but I also think it's just a crapshoot with overseas guys. Look at the poor Timberwolves and Rubio.

tim (boston)

We need rondo to be dominant(triple-double) in the playoffs to have a chance

Chris Forsberg
  (2:46 PM)

I'm not so certain about that. Against Houston he had 2 points and Doc called him the most dominant player on the court. I think you need Rondo to be triple-double dominant when the rest of the starters are struggling. He can be 5-5-15 dominant and the Celtics win games.

Steve (NYC)

What about a young swing man for the full midlevel? I'm thinking Ronnie Brewer, Travis Outlaw or Azubuike. They definitely ned to get younger and more athletic...

Chris Forsberg
  (2:47 PM)

I'm with you there. But I'm wondering if teams are going to end up overpaying for mid-level guys when they strike out on the big-name bonanza. Could make it even tougher for the C's to get good value at the MLE.

Ed (Baltimore)

Chris do you see the C's taking the ECF making it to the finals and winning it all? I certainly do. From what I've seen lately they have a good chance.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:48 PM)

Three factors 1) What playoff path do they encounter, 3rd or 4th seed; 2) Are they healthy? 3) Are they peaking? If you say "yes" to 2 and 3, I think 1 doesn't matter quite as much, but if they get a quality path and peak at the right time, I don't see why they can't make it to the ECF or deeper.

Mahhhston (Baton Rouge/New Bedford)

Isn't the whole overpaying for mid level guys the biggest problem facing the player association vs. owners quarrel going on right now?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:49 PM)

Are you saying the Celtics overpaid for Rasheed Wallace? ::snickers::

Rich (Springfield)

Don't you think everything still rests on the shoulders of #21?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:49 PM)

I'd say it rests on his right knee.

Rich (Springfield)

Who is a bigger contributor down the stretch and headed into the playoffs in your eyes? Marquis Daniels or Michael Finley?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:50 PM)

For the C's to be successful, it has to be Marquis because he has the ability to be dominant at both ends of the floor. Finley is just instant offense off the bench.

Mahhhston (Baton Rouge/New Bedford)

One of the things I saw against the nugs was our offensive rebounding, like 17 or so I think, which is usually a stat that Doc doesnt care for much, but it seemed to produce a clear result, should we focus on it more in the playoffs? Also music picks for the week?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:53 PM)

Offensive rebounding never hurt anyone, but Kenyon Martin's absence probably had more to do with that than anything Boston did. Let's see if they can build off of it moving forward though. Glen Davis should be giving lessons at practice. Music pick? Let's go with Two Door Cinema Club's "I Can Talk" as single of the week. They're opening for Phoenix, whose music you can't escape, particularly if you watch Cadillac commercials.

Chris Forsberg
  (2:53 PM)

Lightning round to wrap it up...

Omar Gonzalez (Boston)

If we get in a game 7 with the cavs can we win in their home court i think we can with all the veterans????

Chris Forsberg
  (2:53 PM)

Question or statement. I like Boston's chances with healthy veterans.

Mark (Raleigh NC)

Boston should also look to add a couple 3 point shooters this offseason - Nate won't be back. That leave Pierce & Ray (assuming he is back) - NO ONE else

Chris Forsberg
  (2:54 PM)

Eddie House?

Ball Tracker (Indianapolis)

Chris, If you were the coach of the Boston Celtics, would be your top focus for the team to go after a successful post-season run to the finals?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:54 PM)

Consistency. I'd like to see the starters and bench play well together. It seems like it's one or the other most nights.

Dave (Andover)

Which win was more impressive, Dallas or Denver?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:55 PM)

Dallas. Second night of a back-to-back on the road. You can make the case that Denver wasn't as big of a deal considering how bad the Nuggets are on the road and how they're dealing with an absent coach.

gerald (memphis)

Everyone is saying Garnett doesn't have it anymore but if you look at knee injuries it takes a player about two years to recover.That said if we can keep the same nucleus of players and add a couple of B players and ray allen I like next year for us to win the title what are your thoughts

Chris Forsberg
  (2:56 PM)

Why not? Keep that window open until they slam it on your fingers.

Frank (Dallas)

Who is the X factor for the Celtics if they are gonna make a run through the playoffs?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:57 PM)

I'd like to say 'Sheed, but I'm not counting on anything from him. I'd say Marquis. He needs to use the next 11 games to get comfortable in a role off the bench and re-establish himself as a defensive stopper with the second unit.

Rich (Springfield)

Frank from Dallas it all rests on K'G's right knee! right Chris!

Chris Forsberg
  (2:57 PM)

Or KG's right knee.

Rich (Springfield)

Do you think the Celtics have once again found the UNBUNTU attitude that escaped them around the time that grumbles were made about poor team chemistry and problems in the lockerroom

Chris Forsberg
  (2:58 PM)

Ubuntu always seems to come back when you win games.

Ed (Baltimore)

A win on Easter Sunday against the Cavs will show we can take them in a seven game series if we meet them in the finals, do you agree?

Chris Forsberg
  (2:59 PM)

No, I think the teams will be going a bit vanilla by that point, not wanting to show too much before the postseason. Might mean more to C's than Cavs, and it's in Boston. Let's put it this way, though: It wouldn't HURT the Celtics to win that game.

Mahhhston (Baton Rouge/New Bedford)

Christian Holdays = Win for C's? COINCIDENCE?!?!

Chris Forsberg
  (3:00 PM)

I'm fairly certain no team has ever gone through Lent undefeated.

Chris Forsberg
  (3:01 PM)

And there's the one-hour buzzer. Thanks to everyone for hanging out. Enjoy this stretch of home games. Someone keep me posted on WrestleMania results with the San Antonio game going on Sunday night. Let's do it again next week Same time, same place.