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April 11, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Forsberg

ESPN Boston
  (1:00 PM)

Chris Forsberg will be delayed about 5 minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:07 PM)

Hey! I'm here. Thanks for hanging out everybody. Let's tackle your Celtics questions for a bit.

Matt (The ledge)

Please talk me off of here...and hurry!

Chris Forsberg
  (1:09 PM)

I wish I could be more optimistic, but Boston's play vs. Miami & Chicago surely didn't offer much to be excited about. I'll say this though: You simply can't rule out this team catching fire in the postseason and making another run. But, like the team, I'm probably not as confident in that potential as I was a year ago. Don't jump, just hang out there for a bit. Enjoy the view.

ray (kentucky)

Ima big celtic fan and ive been noticing in the last ten or so games that rondo has been shooting with confidence and has been consistently knocking down his jumpshot, if he has games like he did against the spurs and wizards can the celtics get back on track?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:12 PM)

Talk about accentuating the positive. Yes, Rondo's jump shot has been a consistent weapon. Alas, his ability to create going towards the rim has evaporated, even against the Mike Bibbys of the world. Rondo always seemed to thrive on the big stage and he was mighty quiet vs. the beasts of the East this week.

Greg Lonestar (Longmeadow)

What do you see as the biggest issue for the Celts right now? With that in mind, what playoff matchup poses the biggest threat to the C's? Thanks

Chris Forsberg
  (1:14 PM)

The biggest issue, to me, is that there's not one issue. It'd be one thing if the Celtics could say, "Our pick-setting is awful, we'll work that out with all the practice time at the end of the week before the postseason." No, there's too many issues to tackle right now, and many of them are likely of the mental variety. That means guys just gotta pull themselves out of these funks on their own. It goes back to what Rivers was talking about being "selfish." These guys need to quit worrying about their personal woes and figure out how to get this team on track.

Ari (New York)

I read ur column yesterday and I know you keep saying you can't blame the Perkins trade on how they're playing but can't you somewhat. I know he didn't play much this season but when he got traded it seem like they lost the mentality & chemistry and I think that played a major role on this team

Chris Forsberg
  (1:16 PM)

Did the trade rattle the team? Absolutely. It's now 45 days later, it's time to move on. My larger point is that Boston's troubles extended way, way, way beyond the loss of Perkins. Would he help right now? Sure, especially since the Celtics don't have Shaq on the floor. But Perk's departure isn't causing every issue on this team. If Perk was here and the other 14 guys were playing like this, they'd still be struggling. We need to stop using the trade as a scapegoat for everything.

Jay (Richmond, VA) [via mobile]

How could Shaq change our fortunes? Looks like we need a lot of change right now, with our miserable performance yesterday.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:20 PM)

The Jermaine O'Neal return honeymoon looks like it's over. No points, no rebounds over 14 minutes yesterday. He did provide a little toughness with those fouls, including the flagrant-1 on LeBron, but it wasn't enough to spark the team. I think Shaq gives you instant offense, especially when they're struggling so mightily to generate simple buckets at times. And, then, of course the physicality. You can then move J.O. back to the bench, where he's going to be more valuable to this team.

Kevin (DC)

Were the Celtics doing some sort of tribute on Thursday at the Garden? On TV, I saw someone wearing a warmup with #18 on it, which is retired for Dave Cowens. Needless to say, from down here in DC, I was confused.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:22 PM)

I think you saw the back of in-house announcer Willie Maye's jersey. I believe that has an 18 because, you know, it's all about 18 this year. Even if the Celtics didn't quite get the memo this week.

kevin (rochester)

Green still looks like he is lost in space, his defense has been non existent, i wish we could get Perkins back.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:25 PM)

Yes, Green's inconsistent and seemingly lethargic play surely is aiding the "Why'd we trade Perk!?" movement. One point the Globe's Julian Benbow and I were talking about last night was that Green has had maybe four practices since he's been here. Imagine that. 'Hey, welcome to the team! Go guard LeBron in our system.' He still needs to be a more consistent contributor, but I do think his head is still spinning a bit. That said, I go back to my point that it's been 45 days. Eventually you just gotta pick it up.

david (boston)

do you think rondo might be not going as hard in order to prepare himself for the playoff grind

Chris Forsberg
  (1:26 PM)

Certainly can't rule it out. That's part of the reason I'd like to see a starting lineup of like Arroyo/West/Sasha/Murphy/Nenad out there tonight. Go ahead and wave the white flag on the No. 2 seed; Miami doesn't look like it's going to trip up anyhow. Start resting your horses. Or maybe toss Ray in that starting lineup and let him shoot 25 times tonight.

Kareem (Brooklyn)

Fozzy, how far are you from walking the plank? Be honest,we just got mauled on the road from teams we will have to face without homecourt

Chris Forsberg
  (1:28 PM)

It's daunting, no doubt. And while even the Celtics are saying they're not in position to flip the switch like last year, I simply can't rule it out. Basketball is such a game of momentum. The playoffs take two months to play out (well, if you're lucky enough to get to the Finals) and the C's could always catch fire. Just can't see things being as easy as last year, where they steamrolled the Heat and got LeBron to mentally check out in Round 2.

Pamela (Nantucket)

Caught the last bit of conversation on Dennis&Cal this am about infighting among the team...any truth or update to that after last night?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:30 PM)

I didn't hear the broadcast, but I'm assuming it might stem from Pierce's comments last night about needing everyone to look themselves in the mirror and re-commit themselves to the team. Listen, losing causes everyone to be grumpy (just like it's all sunshine and puppy dogs when a team is winning). These guys are frustrated and I'm sure that's boiling over a bit. Some of it's just guys being honest with each other and saying, "Hey, you need to step up."

Matt (The ledge)

Did I mention it's windy up here? Your answer provided as much support as Shaq's balky knees and the C's bench. Oh-- and Rondo's jumper too.

Matt (The ledge)

Screw this. I'm jumping.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:31 PM)

Hang in there! Less than a week until the postseason. Doc's got a week to make this right. And, even if the players are scuffling, maybe he can get this right.

Shaq ((unknown))

can someone tell me where I am?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:33 PM)

Hopefully Waltham continuing to rehab that calf. I like that the C's didn't just rush him back on this trip. It's better to get him right by Sunday (or, heck, maybe even later if you think you can get through the first round without him). The Celtics knew this would be a possibility, so they'll get him in position to get back on the court when they need him most and see what he can give.

Kyle (Providence)

Hey Chris, we have a better chance of seeing Gino return to the Garden than Shaq making it back to the parquet, yes?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:34 PM)

Both haven't been seen in quite some time. Would be encouraging for C's fan to see one or the other. Both might reduced the Garden to rubble.

Matt B. ((Philly))

In your opinion, does Big Baby take too many shot attempts per game for a guy averaging 44% from the field?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:36 PM)

I've long defended Baby's shots because there's a lot of time he's the most open guy because of the way the opposition is denying the other four players (especially Ray and Pierce). I think he's lost a lot of his confidence in that jumper. A month ago he was shooting a high percentage from that 17-19 feet, now you can tell he's almost skittish a bit. He needs to remember to move the ball, but he also needs to get that confidence back and the only way to do that is keep shooting.

Danny Ainge (Boston)

That's it-- I'm activating myself.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:37 PM)

Let's dust off a No. 25 shirt for Doc as well if we're going that route.

Josh (Somerville)

Remember when the C's beat the Spurs and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and went "well okay, maybe its just that they needed some real opponents"? That was a nice day.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:40 PM)

Again, that's why this is all so frustrating for the team. They can put it all together vs. the Spurs, but couldn't find it vs. Chicago and Miami.<br><br>One other thing I'll suggest to prevent people from jumping: Don't discount the advantage the Celtics gain from being able to game plan for a certain team in the postseason. Rivers and his staff can mask some of their deficiencies when they can game plan for a seven-game series. That might help a bit.

david (boston)

do you have a slight idea on when the celtics first game of the playoffs will be

Chris Forsberg
  (1:41 PM)

My assumption is Sunday. The Bruins have the Garden on Saturday night (when the NBA playoffs open), so next available day would be Sunday. Just a matter of the time (depending on the opponent).

Aaron (Providence)

Whats with all the revisionist history from last year? A lot of people were picking Miami in rd. 1 and EVERYBODY picked them to lose to Cleveland. Can we please stop acting like everybody knew they were playing possum all along?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:43 PM)

No, that's absolutely correct. I think people are simply saying that, in hindsight, we learned that the Celtics had a master plan, resting guys in order to make that postseason charge. This year, they're just losing games.

Pamela (Nantucket)

In the trade deadline purge, why did we have to give up Semih Erdan ? Seems to me, six extra fouls and the ability to bang, would be very useful right now.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:44 PM)

I think I saw on Twitter that Erden is starting for Cleveland tonight. I agree, the Celtics took a risk with bringing in the likes of Troy Murphy and, on paper, they should have been better. All they got was healthier, not better.

Dan (Erie, Pa)

I am not worried Chris. I really think if we can rest our guys until Sunday, that will be a blessing is disguise. A week off would suit us better than the 2nd seed plus I think going into Miami for the first two games of the 2nd round will inspire our guys. what do you think?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:45 PM)

I'll subscribe to the tail end of your theory. I think the Celtics might actually benefit from opening on the road. Less pressure. If you steal one of those games, all of a sudden you're in the driver's seat. Probably better than the opposite and potentially having Miami come here and steal one to start the series. But, in the end, the Celtics would have liked Game 7 in Boston. Just means you've got to get the job done in 6 (if they're lucky enough to have that opportunity).

Imran (Los Angeles)

Hey Chris, What's your take on the lack of screens? Is it really because of Perkins being gone or is more attributed to the mental lapses that resulted from the trade?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:47 PM)

Not having Perkins made them a poorer screening team, but guys just aren't setting good picks right now. That's laziness. The lack of practice time and being able to reaffirm those things probably hasn't helped. It'd be near the top of my to-do list if I was Doc Rivers this week. Spend a good hour or two getting them to remember how to set a firm screen. Guys are just whiffing at times out there.

Austin (PA)

You make a great point for the ledge jumpers. Call it being biased toward the C's but I really don't see Spoelstra being able to out-coach Doc in a 7-game series.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:48 PM)

In the postseason, you eliminate the back-to-backs and you allow a proven coaching staff the chance to game plan. That's two huge positives for this team.

FLCeltsFan (Florida)

Is it getting lost in the shuffle that the Lakers have lost 5 in a row? They didn't even make a trade so what is their excuse. I don't think it was just the Perk trade. Danny replaced 1/3 of the team. That's a lot of players to work in with literally no practice.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:50 PM)

The Lakers have shown this year that it's a season of spurts. I fully expect they'll figure it out before the postseason and the Celtics should, too. Just can't imagine them playing as uninspired as they have.<br><br>And, yes, the practice time this week will be huge (HUGE!) for eliminating the tremendous amount of slippage. It's no coincidence that Boston's struggles started when the schedule cranked into overdrive.

Kevin (Edmonton)

Hey Chris, thanks for chatting. Who dobyou think the C's match up with better, Phily or NY? Which series would your prefer to watch?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:51 PM)

I think the Celtics are better off drawing Philly. It's a younger team without playoff experience and, maybe beyond Iggy, no superstars that can take over a game. New York boasts individual talent that can take over a game and the media circus around a Boston-NY first-round series would be overwhelming.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:52 PM)

And with that, I'm off. Thanks to everyone for hanging out. Let's do it again next week when we'll be able to recap Game 1 of Boston's postseason. Hopefully there's a few more chats after that.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:52 PM)

Thanks again for hanging out!