Good afternoon from rain-soaked New York where I've seen at least 27 inverted umbrellas this morning from the wind (always high comedy watching people try to put it back on the right side). Anyhow, let's tackle your Celtics questions for a bit. There's a Moe's in Manhattan and, well, that means I've got pregame plans...
You've mentioned that if the C's win the title you could see a lot players riding off into the sunset. I could see Doc, and the O'Neal's leaving, but I just can't see KG or Ray leaving just yet. Did you have anyone else in mind?
I'm on the fence about KG, but really, if Doc goes and the team starts breaking apart, I'm not sure I see why he hangs around. Get title No. 2 and go enjoy daily jogs on the Malibu sand. Remember, too, that Ray Allen has a player option for next year. If Boston wins and starts the turnover process, I can see him finishing up with a contender. Of course, let's see them win an 18th world title before we worry too much about all that.
Seems like Shaq has been out forever. Is his injury worse than what's being reported, or are they just resting him like with KG this time last year?
No, they were sort of targeting early March, then he did have a setback with the foot flaring up a bit as he ramped up his activity. That pushed him back a couple weeks here. I didn't see Shaq at shootaround this morning, but he's on this trip and working out with the idea of getting back on the court sooner than later. I think they're just trying to be safe at this point. No reason to risk a setback that could potentially derail him from the postseason.
Chris am I the only person in Mass not concerned about the losses and "struggles" the Celtics have been through the past couple of weeks? I still feel like come playoff time we'll be fired up and ready to go and people will then say...hmm..I guess we overreacted (like last year!).
No doubt. Listen, an effort like Friday in Houston is rather inexcusable. But I've made the case before that even good teams endure The Dud every now and then. In a way, maybe Celtics fans should hope the starters are simply purging their struggles during this rough patch. Better now than in May or June, right? I agree, the schedule benefits the Celtics greatly and that alone will acquiesce a lot of their troubles. Look for the silver linings: Despite the stumbles, the C's are right there with Chicago and the bench is really emerging the last three games.
The Celtics keep stating in interviews that the no.1 seed is very vital to them, yet they show otherwise on the court. Which is it then, and how important is the no.1 seed this year?
Coach Doc Rivers, at least, has begun hedging a bit from the No. 1 seed being super important. If you think back to the end of January, when they had just got Perk back and were as healthy as they had been all season, there was reason to think they could make a strong run at the No. 1 seed. Then the injury bug went nuts, the Celtics overhauled their roster, and suddenly just getting to the finish line became more important. I think the C's see a great value in No. 1, but listen, if the Bucks, Knicks, and 76ers end up with those final three spots, there's not a picnic in the bunch in the first round (the benefit, then, is homecourt advantage later).
What kind of a performance do you expect from the Celtics tonight?
You know,MSG has a way of bringing out Boston's A-game (particularly Paul Pierce), so I think there's a good chance the Celtics starters get back on track tonight. Plus, its the first time they're playing NY with Carmelo, so I think they want to sort of mark their territory in the Atlantic Division (even if they're all still brushing off the rivalry talk).
do you agree that the only team the celtics have to worry about is the bulls? They have size are very athletic and best pg in the league, not to mention thibs. I think they will be in trouble in a 7 game series.
No, the Celtics need to worry about pretty much every team. There's too much talent out there to think Boston will waltz past anybody. The Celtics simply need to worry about themselves and if they play their brand of basketball, they'll be competitive with anybody. I think the Bulls are a very dangerous team, but I don't think Boston will be any less worried against Miami or Orlando.
Assuming both O'Neals are healthy for the playoffs, how do the minutes at center get broken down?
I did this in a past mailbag, but certainly need to update it sans-Perk. So there's 96 minutes to go around at the center/power forward spot. Let's say KG 34; Baby 30; Shaq 18-20; Krstic/JO 12-14. Something around there. More minutes for Krstic if Shaq is still hobbled at all.
Kris, 1. The Starbucks in Penn Station is the worst.2. I'm originally from Grafton - now working at MSG... SWCL EAST REPRESENT3. I'm going to the game tonight... what can we expect from this "rivalry"?
Always a pleasure to have fellow SWCLers in this chat (Southern Worcester County League for all you non-Central Massers).<br><br>I think tonight will be hard-pressed to match the intensity of the mid-December meeting, but never say never. Another one like that and it'll be hard to run from the rivalry chatter. The fact that these two teams are potential 2-7 playoff foes will add a little spice, too.
Ya'll are expecting me to guard Melo? This is a joke, right?
Don't worry, Jeff. While Boston brought you in to help out with wing players, let's remember that it's a team defense philosophy and Doc Rivers this morning stressed that the key to the Celtics' system is remembering that no player technically "guards" another. It's all about simply preventing the other team from scoring. In fact, Rivers said the key for you and Nenad is to not get too down when "your man" scores. That fault falls on everybody in the help system.
Who has a harder schedule for the remainder of the season, Bulls or Celtics?
Both are pretty cupcake-ish. But the Bulls, I believe, have fewer back-to-backs, and given Boston's struggles there, they probably have the easier trek. In fact, that's why I still give them the edge in the quest for the No. 1 spot.
I work in Penn Plaza, so I assume you're talking about the Moe's in Penn Station - check out Rose's Pizza, $3.75 32oz beers. AWESOME.
Beer?! Dude, I'm working ... (so you said this place is called, Rose's?)
Now that the Perkins trade dust has settled, How do you feel about the Celtics chances for the NBA title? i know the Bench play has improved but Perkins was a force inside.
I'm encouraged by the bench play the last three games. Seeing that unit put up 39 points three times in a row tells me there's a chance that second unit can be a consistent contributor. And that takes stress off the Big 3. I agree that the loss of Perkins doesn't help your defense, but look at the defensive rating of the fill-in centers for Boston this year (especially Baby). It's right on par with what Perkins posted, which, maybe just maybe, confirms that he was truly just a complementary player (::ducks from bottles::)<br><br>Listen, I think Perk was vastly underrated, but the Celtics seem to feel they can get by with a more offensive-minded center.
Hello Chirs,A 31 year Celtic fan in Atlanta Ga. I'm still baffled as to why the Celtics didn't try to meet Perk and his (hated agent) half way, regarding his contract demands/request. For all he did and the injuries of late, his effect on the defensive end, making opposing players think twice about penetrating to the basket, the Celts shouldve paid. The main reason is not that he wouldve remained on the roster...CHEMISTRY!! It's been disruptive for the mood and enthusiasm of the team. Although they're winning, but it's not the same. What's your take? Will Shaq help?
Just to be clear, the Celtics could only offer Perkins the 4-year, $22 million deal they put out there based on the current collective bargaining agreement. Sure, depending on how the offseason plaeyd out, Boston could have upgraded its offer marginally, but they were still going to get outbid and clearly felt there was a strong chance they were not going to be able to bring him back.
So the Houston game got me in such a bad mood I got into a fight with my girlfriend over absolutely nothing. Tell me we wont see the collective stinkbomb the starters put out again.
For the sake of your relationship, I sure hope not. You should have done what the establishment I was at did with the Celtics game: Turned it off in the third quarter. I don't think the patrons even cared what they put on next, it had to be less gruesome. I think the team is safe from The Dud over the next 13... but you never know.
RE: Healthy 'O'Neals' - Assuming pigs can fly......
Its Monday at just after noon, so the question must be asked: Is there any confirmation in the past week that J.O. is still alive?
Well, Delonte West said he talked to him from Chicago. Does that count?
Who is Chris Forsberg? I ain't ever heard of no Chris Forsberg. You just go ahead and tell me why I should care what Chris Forsberg gots to say.
How is Von Wafer looking with his injury? Any time table on when he might start to play?
Von was out there this morning at shootaround (rubbing in FSU's win over Notre Dame to Troy Murphy). I think he's making progress, but I'd be surprised if he's back any time soon. A calf injury like that is going to take some time. For his own sake, he probably wants to get back for at least the end of the regular season to prove he deserves a spot on the playoff roster.
Do you think Troy Murphy would've signed w/the Celtics knowing he probably isn't in the playoff rotation?
Of course. He knew there was no guarantee and that his play will dictate that. On the one hand, he should be happy to just be in the playoffs considering the first nine years of his NBA career. On the other hand, if he can get show Indy-like abilities, particularly on the glass, he'll make a strong case to be a part of the postseason. And don't discount injuries opening doors on this team.
seems arroyo already fell off the rotation. that's it for him? (if no further injuries)
No, the Celtics shortened the bench the other night to a playoff-like three-man reserve unit of Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Glen Davis. They can't do that every night without burning out this roster. Look for them to run 10 deep again tonight and Arroyo will see plenty of time moving forward, particularly if Rondo's pinky is worse off than we know.
Ever since Perk was traded, Rondo has been playing like a baby who had his favorite toy taken away. Can someone please tell him to grow up?
He told Jackie MacMullan the other day that it definitely affected him personally, but stressed he's not letting him bother him on the floor. He's struggling and now he's got the pinky issue. It happens. I still fully expect him to be typical Rondo in the postseason.
Should Doc ride off into the sunset, who do you see as a likely suitor to replace him?
I said from the day he was brought on as the top assistant that Lawrence Frank deserves heavy consideration. He's proved it this year as Doc leans heavy on him, especially with the defense. I think he'd be in the mix, but certainly Danny Ainge would take a broad look with any search (and you'd hear Kevin McHale's name instantly as well).
Do you really think Shaq will help in the playoffs? He stunk up the joint in Phoenix & Cleveland when he went into the post season with very little game time.
Did he though? Sure, his teams fizzled. But I sure remember Rajon Rondo thinking twice about attacking the lane after one good clubbing from Shaq. Tell me he couldn't do the same to detour Derrick Rose? I think Shaq can have an impact, particularly when he's not being leaned on to be one of the top 3 players on a playoff roster.
If the C's don't win the title this year, do you think everyone comes back for another shot in 2011/2012 (assuming there is a season)?
Really too early to tell, especially given the labor uncertainty. Then again, maybe a shortened season would actually encourage some of the older guys to come back. But we'd have to see how this year's postseason plays out before we know much more.
I'm coming back guys, if not this week then next week, or the week after, or the week after, or see you next year wit my $6m salary- mwuahahaha
Somewhere, I envision Jermaine and Rasheed sitting in some sort of mid-level exception pool filled with nothing but $20 bills.<br><br>To be fair, I do think J.O. can make himself a factor, particularly in upping the second-unit defense. But we just need to see him on the court. Heck, I think some of the Celtics would like to just see him back around the team.
The bench is doing outstanding, o'neals will be back soon and BOTH of them will help, if the starters start taking care of business again we got a better chance of winning the title then anyone. Perk is a beast but he's gone and it happens.. I loved him and KG on defense, but we fans need to move on. Green has been phenomenal for us and so has Krstic. Were built for now and got draft picks and young players for the future.. (Rondo, Green, Baby, Bradley, West!?).. Don't doubt me!
If you had capped it with a "GO BYU!" you could have fooled me.
If the Celtics were to lose out on the number 1 seed and lock that 2 seed with lets say like 2 games left in the season. Could we see them starting Arroyo,West,Green,Baby,Kristic..in one of those final games giving the starting 5 a break??
Absolutely. You remember Oliver Lafayette started the final game of the regular season last year, no? They had signed him about 10 minutes earlier.
Is JO's contract the worst C's signing in years or can it be saved?
As Doc Rivers noted with Delonte, a good postseason will make everyone forget the first five months of the season. There's plenty of time for everyone to atone. Hell, Rasheed Wallace nearly justified seven months of loafing in Game 7 of the Finals.
Alright, let's start winding this thing down. There's burritos to be consumed.
i know home court is important but should celtics avoid 1 seed to avoid magics next round because of howard and his size ?
No, the idea of going on the road against a team like Miami or Chicago in Round 2 or 3 is far more daunting. I think the Celtics are quite confident against Orlando.
Fozzy, I wanted to ask you what made you predict the Nets and the Cavs to make the playoffs during the pre-season? See below:1. Chicago 2. Miami 3. Boston 4. Orlando 5. Atlanta 6. Milwaukee 7. Cleveland 8. New Jersey
My friend Szymon (yes, dude spells his name with a Z; Weird, right?) loves busting my chops about this prediction I made in August. He was originally all uppity about me suggesting the Bulls could be the No. 1 seed, and how's that working out now? If the Cavs didn't get decimated by injuries (especially Varejao) they were playoff potential in the East. And New Jersey underachieved in my mind, but they've at least got a nice platform to build off in Williams. I think we can all agree that Milwaukee would have been better without injuries. I'm actually quite proud of that list.
Chris, if we land the sixers or knicks in the first round, should we brace ourselves for an early exit?? Please disagree with me.
No, the 76ers won't be an easy opponent and the Celtics will expend plenty of energy against their young legs, but I think Boston prevails in five or six games.
Chipolte > Moe's. Nuff said, Forsberg.
You Chipotle people are out of your mind. Now, don't get me wrong, I actually quite enjoy Chipotle, but there's a huuuuuge gap between No. 1 burrito joint (Moe's) and No. 2 (Chipotle). And the first person to suggest Qdoba gets blocked from the rest of the chat.
Why do we always draw hard matchups in the first round? 2008 Hawks, 2009 Bulls?!?!? We always get those young, athletic teams that take us to 7 games
But remember that no one really thought the Hawks and Bulls would be quite that tough those years. And everyone thought Miami would be a dogfight last year and Boston got through fairly easily. So maybe we waste too much time worrying about the matchups before they occur.
Will Steve Nash eventually overatake Rajon Rondo for the assist title at the end of the season?
It sure looks that way, right? I was just looking at the stats on the train down this morning and Nash might take over the assist per game lead in the next couple games. Plenty of time for Rondo to get back on track, but amazing to think when everyone was wondering if he'd touch Stockton's records at season's start.
Anna's Taqueria owns both Chipotle and Moe's. C'mon Forsberg, rep your city!
I love Anna's. But, sorry, there's no competition. They're in the next tier with the Boca Grandes of the world.
why does my question never get picked?
i'm from the D.C. area in virginia and i am a wizards fan but i've always been a huge celtics fan from when i was little does that make me a trader to the wizards as a fan ?
Yes, trader. (Unless you liked the Bullets, then you're OK).
Chris! Thanks for taking one of my question. You do a great job, keep it up
I'll getcha next time Bobby. Make sure you mention it in your question. You'll be up first.
As a WWE fan and with Wrestlemania coming up in couple weeks do you think HHH will finally put an end to Undertakers undefeated streak?
Inside sources tell me that there's no way thatthe Undertaker can win 18 WrestleManias in a row, especially if HHH hits him with the pedigree.
Is Baby still a 6th man of the year candidate since his charges have fallen off a cliff?
He should be. I don't think the stats will get him votes from those that don't watch him every night, which is unfortunate. He's been phenomenal for much of the season.
And with that, I'm off to enjoy some Moe's. Thanks to everyone for the hang. Let's do it again next Monday.