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February 14, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg

ESPN Boston
  (12:01 PM)

Hi everyone! Just a heads up that Chris Forsberg will be delayed about 10 minutes joining us for today's chat. Sources close to the situation say he's at CVS picking up a Valentine's Day present for his wife.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:09 PM)

Vicious rumors from the ESPN moderators. Mini-Forsberg is actually under the weather like her father and needed a fresh supply of Pedialyte. But like the Celtics, we're battling through injuries. Let's do this.

C.J. (San Diego)

Will Celtics add any players before trade deadline?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:11 PM)

Will they add players? I'm leaning towards yes. Before the deadline? I'm not so certain. It might behoove the team to simply wait until after the deadline and pick something off the scrap heap. The tougher situation is freeing up a spot on the roster, which might mean trying to trade a player (maybe for a draft pick if they could swing that) in order to open roster space. Any which way, it's not an ideal situation. But without backup 3 or a backup 5, Boston almost certainly has to do something soon.

Logan (MA)

After a very injured Celtics beat the full strength Heat and came close vs LA, does this mean that Boston may be the Finals favorite?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:13 PM)

No, it means the Celtics went 1-1 against two good teams. Simple as that. It's encouraging to see what Boston did Sunday vs. the Heat, but if Miami bounces back and wins the final meeting of the season, everyone will say they've finally put it together and the fact that Boston won the first three meetings will be diminished. Really, it's just an appetizer for the postseason and let's see what sort of shape all sides are in by that point.

Greg (Buffalo)

Did Rondo go over the top when he went over to the Heat huddle last night?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:17 PM)

No, it was kinda humorous. There was no timeout on the floor, Rondo can be wherever he wants on the floor at that point. It's funny watching LeBron push him out of the way.

Chet (NY)

I know Perk had a great game yesterday and his defense is All-NBA caliber but someone's gotta say it. Isn't the lack of any progression in his offensive game alarming? There isn't a big in the league who takes longer to gather himself for easy layups.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:20 PM)

He scored 15 points!? And this from a guy that's averaged 6.4 points per game for his career. He's always going to be a gatherer and that's going to drive people nuts. But until he gets his lift back following the ACL surgery, he's going to be even more of a gatherer. I'll take the type of performance Perk had vs. Miami any day of the week.

ANGIS (Eastern PA)

I think Von Wafer has played great lately, can Nate's play be blamed on his injury or is it possible he is out of the rotation once D-West comes back?Von is a more conistent shooter and generally has better shot selection.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:24 PM)

I think the Celtics are hopeful that the return of Delonte West will allow Nate Robinson to flourish in an off-guard role that he surely prefers. Robinson likely possess more potential than Wafer, he's shown it during his time as a spot starter for Rondo. But he also hasn't shown any sort of consistency off the bench. If Wafer's game continues to flourish, I do wonder if the Celtics would consider Robinson as potential trade material to land a swingman if Daniels can't come back quickly.

Matt (Chicago)

FYI: Only a Celtics fan thinks that Rondo in their huddle is funny. I don't generally like to compare one era to another, but when would you ever see a player you genuinely respect do that i.e. Magic, Isiah, Jordan, CP3, Durant, etc? It's bush league.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:26 PM)

Really? If Derrick Rose did this, you wouldn't add it to the list of reasons why he's the best point guard in the world? I'm looking at this through non-biased lenses and I think it's pretty humorous. Rondo had every right to be there as there was no timeout on the court. If it agitated the Heat, then his plan worked to perfection.

Nick (NH)

If Pierce Has to miss any time with the ankle injury who would play 3 until he got back?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:27 PM)

I can't even imagine this situation. The Celtics wouldn't have a single pure swingman on their roster if Pierce has to miss time. I think you'd see Ray Allen shift to the 3 with two smaller guards (say Rondo & Delonte). That's far from ideal, but would be a decent stopgap. Even the, Boston would almost certainly have to get a backup swingman to prevent having to go small for 48 minutes.

Kresh (CT)

What'd you think of Big Baby's missed dunk?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:30 PM)

If the Celtics lost that game by a point or two, I think it might be remembered less fondly. But all things considered, it was hilarious. It's not often you see a player straight-up botch a play and even his coach can't keep a straight face. What's more, Davis contends it lit his own fuse and he went on to score 16 points off the pine. If you're making a list of Not Top 10 plays of the Celtics' season, Baby's rim rejection joins Nate's faceplant in New York at the top of the list.

Ken (Boston, MA)

I unfortunately didn't see the game yesterday, but was wondering what your take on Tom Haberstroh's analysis of Rondo vs. LeBron. To me, the tone of the article, makes it sound that he thought the Celtics were more lucky than good in that matchup of Rondo defending him.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:32 PM)

Tom's awesome at breaking down stuff like this and I do agree that it wasn't exactly the smartest matchup for Boston -- heck, even Doc Rivers admitted it bit them a couple times. But my contention is that it gave Boston a spark and whether the hindsight of a 20-4 run to open the second half allowed Boston players to say that, is open for debate. The Celtics needed energy. Seeing Rondo essentially wrapping himself around James like a blanket provided that. The bottom line: Don't expect Boston to try that again down the road, but for one night, it was a wrinkle that worked.

TheSocialest (Somerville, MA)

Do I have to ask a question or can I just hate on the J.O. signing in this space?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:34 PM)

Your complaint has been registered. Here's hoping the mid-level exception goes the way of button shoes with the next CBA. As Boston simply hasn't been able to leverage it well the last two seasons. It happens.

Nick (Annapolis, MD)

Isn't it funny that Rondo poking around in the Heat huddle was funny and brilliant (which it was), but if somebody like KG was doing the same thing it'd be added to the long list of KG's "antics". The double standard, if you will, amuses me.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:36 PM)

I'll buy that. I suppose it just fits. You wouldn't expect to see Ray Allen or KG wandering into another team's huddle, but because it's pesky Rondo, who's already harassing James, it just sorta seems OK. That said, the refs were hollering at Rondo like a kid being sent to detention as Ray Allen dragged him away.

Arnold (Chicago)

Chris, I just read your column on D Rose and Rondo and noticed some glaring omissions. To make a persuasive argument shouldnt you have mentioned something about D Rose? The whole column hinges on comments from Delonte West and yourself. Of course Delonte West wont bad mouth Rondo, but my question to you is this: what happens to Rondo when he is no longer surrounded by the big three? (The big three should be amended to the big four fyi). I think Rondo is one of the best player swith the ball i his hand; he makes passes that seems like he has eyes all over his head. Do you think when KG and Ray are done that Rondo will turn into more of an offense force? I would love to see him average 15 a game down the line.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:38 PM)

For those who want to check it out, Arnold is talking about our Hot Button conversation about Rose vs. Rondo. You can read it over at ESPN Chicago... <br><br>http://espn.go.com/chicago/<br><br>As for the argument...

Chris Forsberg
  (12:40 PM)

As I mention in the intro, it's impossible to compare the NBA's best guards because they are all so different -- in size, shape, and abilities. But I do believe that Rondo is capable of trading in some of those assists per game for points per game. Clearly having a Big 3 aids his assist total, but let's not act like Rose is playing with a bunch of Jayvee players. Chicago is going to be a top seed in the East because of Rose and the supporting cast.

Kareem (Brooklyn)

What are the chances of the Celtics waiving Marquis Daniels to open up a roster spot if he can't come back this season?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:44 PM)

I'm wondering this same thing. Seeing Marquis sitting on the bench yesterday, it's hard to think the team could waive him, regardless of status and buyout. Just wouldn't seem right. It's tough. The ideal situation is that his prognosis -- which we hope to find out later in the week -- allows him to get back on the floor before the end of the regular season. If it doesn't, the Celtics have some very tough choices moving forward.

Erik (Durham, NC)

I'm confused about the "need for a backup 5" - are Shaq and JO done for the season?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:46 PM)

No, but Shaq was in a walking boot Sunday, which suggests he's not going to be back from an inflamed Achilles any time soon. J.O. is targeting a late March/early April return and, to me, that's optimistic at best. Semih is nursing a lingering adductor strain that's also not responding well. While not as daunting as the situation at the 3, the Celtics could really use a healthy and serviceable 7-footer off the bench.

Mike (Worcester)

Chris, Love your work. Forget the Heat/bulls/ Magic for a second, which of the potential first round opponents (knicks, pacers, bucks, bobcats) could push the celtics the most like has happened in the past few seasons

Chris Forsberg
  (12:49 PM)

It's the easy answer, but the Bucks are probably the most daunting of that group because of the potential they showed last year, followed closely by a Knicks team that showed its legit by taking Boston to the wire earlier this season. I still think Boston wins any of those series easily (yes, even after losing to the Bobcats last week), but I think they'd be much happier to see the likes of the Pacers or 'Cats than Knicks and Bucks. One wild card: If the 76ers play to their potential and use those young legs, that could be a series in which Boston would expend more energy than it might like (but still wins easily).

chenfa dombin (washington dc)

how will doc manage perk and shaq's minutes when shaq comes back? I think shaq should start, clog the lane and discourage drive and have Perk come off the bench with high energy, defence and boards. what do you think?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:51 PM)

No, you don't mess with the starting 5 the Celtics have. I like the idea of the inside presence Shaq can add to the second unit. Plus, if you can limit him to 15-18 minutes per night, maybe these little injuries stop cropping up. I know there's something to masking his defensive deficiencies by keeping him with the starters, but the Big 3, Rondo, and Perk have had too much success to tinker with.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Lets be realiztic though. I like Rando, but Rose is now getting double and triple teamed. You can't do that to Rando with the other big 3. Knowing what we know today, and Rose and Rando were in this years draft, no GM in his right mind is taking Rando over Rose #1 overall. See you in the playoffs.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:52 PM)

Rando!? Half of Boston is yelling at their computers right now. But I agree, see you in the playoffs. Doc vs. Thibs. It'll be epic (and insanely low scoring).

Mike (Ann Arbor, MI)

Problem with bringing Shaq off the bench is you sometimes end up with him and Baby on the same front line, which only helps in a competitive eating contest.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:53 PM)

::rimshot::

Ryan (Manchester, NH)

I know the plan for Delonte is to ease him back into the lineup. I'm pretty sure that was the initial plan for Perk and look what happened there. Is Delonte going to have to play big minutes immediately due to the injury situation?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:54 PM)

Would anyone be surprised if West logged like 25 minutes on Wednesday? No, I do think they'll do their best to protect him vs. New Jersey, maybe giving him, say, 12 minutes overall. All they want to do is get his feet wet and send him into the All-Star break really gushing with confidence that he's back on the floor. And if they can prevent him from diving headfirst into a cameraman or some other reckless act, all the better.

Matt (LA)

How many minutes do you think Doc will play his 4 all-stars next weekend? 30 seconds?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:56 PM)

30 seconds combined, maybe. no, I think he'll trot all four out together for like the final six minutes of the first quarter and then you won't see them much after that. a couple Rondo-to-Howard alley-oops before the free agent period arrives and call it a night.

Emad (Kingston, ON)

Do you think P2 will appear in both of his scheduled All-Star events, or will he take a break

Chris Forsberg
  (12:58 PM)

Weren't we asking this last year? I think Pierce wants to be in the 3-point contest and a part of the All-Star game itself. For the sake of Doc Rivers' sanity, let's hope the MRI reveals nothing major.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Sorry, stupid spell checker.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:58 PM)

Fair enough. Or else I was going to have to call him Derrick Rase the rest of the chat.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:59 PM)

Alright, swimming in a sea of questions, let's try to wrap this up by going lighting round.

Dave (Sacramento)

Stick with me on this question, because it does relate to the Celtics. What is your perception of DeMarcus Cousins? What about the people you talk to around the league? Do you think it would change for the better if he were to end KG's career once and for all by driving a fist right through that obnoxious little yapping dome?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:00 PM)

I'll admit, I laughed when I got to the punch-line (see what I did there... hi-yo!)

Phil (Wilmington)

Rondo couldn't score 20 points consistently if he were playing all of his games alone in a locked gym. He puts up the numbers he does because he plays with three of the best players ever. Take off the foil hat wherein ESPN controls your thoughts and face reality, because in three years when Rondo is shooting about 29% while trying to carry a team of castoffs, you need to be here to man up and talk about it.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:01 PM)

I've set an iCal reminder for February 2012.

chenfa dombin (washington dc)

How many years do you realistically thing the big four have to win titles in the league?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:02 PM)

If the C's win it all this year, don't be surprised if a lot of these guys head for Shady Acres.

Emad (Kingston, ON)

Almost impossible hypothetical, but lets amuse ourselvesC's trade Von Wafer, Bradely, and Nate Robinson for Carmelo.How much does that change the team?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:02 PM)

::facepalm::

Chris Forsberg
  (1:04 PM)

Alright, I gotta hop off, but thanks to everyone for hanging out. Lots of great questions. Seems like there's a lot of interest in the Rose-Rondo debate, so check out that feature and sound off over there. Thanks again to everyone for hanging out (and sorry for the late arrival). Let's do it again soon.