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April 18, 12:30 PM ET
Chat with Chris Forsberg

Chris Forsberg
  (12:33 PM)

Hey everybody, thanks for dropping by. Let's tackle your Celtics questions for a bit as we wait for media availability to open here at the practice facility in Waltham.

Akiva (Brookline, Ma)

What are your thoughts on the Celtics really trying to get out and run on New York. It seemed that there was really a concerted effort made by Rondo to really push and try to get easy hoops in transition. Do you think that will be our strategy throughout the series? Or do you think Rondo was pushing it solely because the half court offense was super stagnant in the first half?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:36 PM)

I do think Boston needs to push the pace as we saw quality results when that happened in the second half. Why didn't it work in the first half? Well, in the second quarter at least, the Knicks weren't missing any shots. Boston's ability to run is predicated on getting stops and allowing Rondo to get moving with numbers in the opposite direction. First half was abysmal, but the C's stuck with it and the defense allowed them to get running in the second half.

The Bench (Bench)

ummm.... where were we yesterday?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:39 PM)

Yeah, the stat line wasn't great: 4-of-15 for a combined eight points, eight rebounds, four turnovers, five fouls. Once again, I'll accentuate the positive: During that stretch spanning into the fourth quarter when Boston rallied a bit, the bench played quite well. Delonte West hit the step-back baseline jumper and Jeff Green produced the go-ahead bucket. That was a nice little glimpse of how the bench can not only hold the fort, but make progress while the C's starters get rest. But the C's definitely need a bit more from that unit if they're going anywhere in the postseason.

Mike D'antoni (New York)

Voila!! And everyone said we did not play defense. Have you seen the best of The knicks defense?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:42 PM)

I think the Celtics certainly aided New York's defensive cause by being so atrocious offensively in the first half. But give the Knicks credit. They were better than expected and part of the reason they were able to hang around in a low-possession, low-scoring game was because of their halfcourt defense.

My Heart (My Chest)

I don't know if I can handle another 6 games like that one!

Chris Forsberg
  (12:44 PM)

The question is whether you'll have to endure six more games like that. Did the Knicks miss a golden opportunity to steal one and make this a series? If Boston can grab a 2-0 advantage, we know they're not going to be overwhelmed at MSG. I wonder if there's a chance to make this one play out a lot like Miami last year. That said, New York simply has too much offensive talent to go quietly.

Artie Malone (Worcester, MA)

Hey Chris, what do you make of Krstic's limited PT last nite? Is this a sign of things to come in the playoffs, especially because of his defensive liabilities and Jermaine's big contribution last nite? Thanks

Chris Forsberg
  (12:46 PM)

Krstic revealed that he suffered a bone bruise to his left knee during practice Saturday. Couple that with the right knee bruise he suffered in San Antonio last month and he's certainly dinged up. I think you'll see his minutes dictated by the game and the play of Boston's other centers. Last night, Jermaine O'Neal gave every reason to lean on him. So if he continues to do that, Krstic will simply see less time. When healthy, he's still a factor, though.

C.Boeshaar (West Palm Beach)

As happy as I was with the win last night against New York in game 1, there were still a lot of red flags in that game. The offense was often anemic, the bench didn't show up, tons of turnovers and bad plays, and since both Kristic and Shaq seem to be injured we have a huge gap in the Center position besides JO. How are we supposed to get past anyone in round 2 if we even get there? I thought these problems would be solved with the proverbial "playoff switch, how concerned should we be?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:48 PM)

Since the Celtics won, let's put the panic meter at a 1, just barely registering. I think you should be encouraged by what you saw in the second half and hope that a 12-point halftime deficit stirred Boston from its pre-postseason slumber. If Boston puts 48 minutes together like it did for the final 18 on Sunday, it can compete with anyone.

Amare (Right Next to KG)

Hey! Carmelo! Over here man! Did you see that spinning layup I had? Pass the ball man! KG and Baby can't guard me man! I'm on fire! Yo! Over here! Awwwwwww did you REALLY just get called for an offensive foul?

Chris Forsberg
  (12:51 PM)

I can't even wrap my head around the fact that New York didn't even get Amare a touch on its final seven (SEVEN!) possessions. I understand they are still figuring out this late-game situations and who will be the go-to guy, but, c'mon! Stoudemire was 6-of-7 in the fourth quarter and seemingly unstoppable at times during Sunday's game. To not even get him a touch is inexcusable.

Jermaine O'Neal (Boston, MA)

What now, punks?! Bet you all took back every bad word you ever said about me...

Chris Forsberg
  (12:54 PM)

Listen, I don't know if Jermaine O'Neal can sustain the sort of play he's had over his last two games (Monday in Washington and last night in Game 1), but he's quietly reminding everyone just how good of a player he was before his knee failed him. He single-handedly turned that game around Sunday with his third-quarter defense. Four blocks (even more alters) and two charges. It was amazing to watch. If nothing else, maybe it should give us pause before writing off Shaq. But I'm guilty of being someone who thought J.O. would provide nothing more than five hard fouls IF he came back. Amazing story.

Sham (West Springfield MA)

My question is why does big baby takes soo many shots? I feel like hes the most selfish player on that team and is only playing for stats. Watching last nights game I saw him asking for the ball downlow while be guarded by amare. Does he really think hes going to get a shot off that beast? I believe this is the why jeff green is struggling to get involve in the offense when you have player like big baby tryin to take over the load when 1 or 2 of the big three are on the bench.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:57 PM)

The thing I always note with Davis is that he spends the majority of his floor time with the Big Four, so almost by default he gets the most open looks (with teams glued to the others). When he's hitting that 19-foot jumper, he's such a luxury. But when that shot doesn't fall, like last night, it can be tough to watch. He feeds off confidence and you can usually tell pretty early whether he's got it or not.

The Switch (Boston, MA)

Soooo hey guys...won't somebody flip me already? K? Thx.

Chris Forsberg
  (12:58 PM)

That switch is sorta stuck near the middle now, right? Like it could go either way. Another uninspired effort and it drops back to off; a strong start Tuesday and maybe it's on (but for how long). We'll continue to monitor SwitchWatch.

Zack (CT)

Offensive foul on Melo with 30 seconds left - example 4782723839 of officials taking over games.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:01 PM)

Crazy time to call a foul in that moment. That's a bold call for a ref to make (though Doc contends it was clearly a foul). It's too bad because, for most of the night, the refs let them play (low free throw totals for both sides). I'd like to see that continue.

Joel (Nebraska)

When (if) Shaq comes back, do you see him being inserted into the starting 5 or do you see them keeping JO for consistancy and adding Shaq as an offensive post presence for the second unit. I feel there is enough scorers in the starting line up, but the second unit clearly needs help getting points. Thoughts?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:04 PM)

I'm not even the coach, but I'm going to give you the old "Let's cross that bridge when we get there." Who knows what Shaq can give you when he's able to come back, and who knows if J.O. can maintain this level of play. Clearly the C's played well with him in that 5.5 minute glimpse vs. Detroit; so it would be an interesting choice for Rivers to make.

Troy Murphy (End of the Bench)

Just give me one minute of run in the playoffs Doc....ONE MINUTE!!

Chris Forsberg
  (1:05 PM)

It'll happen eventually. Just be glad you're not golfing already. You're active, one of these games is going to get out of hand, and Troy Murphy will taste playoff basketball.

Lurking_Michael (Orlando)

Chris, what's your take on Ray's winning shot RE: KG illegal screen or no?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:07 PM)

He's lucky he didn't get called, but ultimately, not sure it mattered on the play (I don't see Ray not getting the shot off if KG doesn't deliver the trip). Should it have been called? Well, given the Carmelo call, it probably should have been (Boston got whistled for enough illegal screens on the night).

Josh (Somerville)

Is Delonte worse than he looks (injury or confidence wise, I mean)? There was one possession last night where he passed on three open looks to finally take a shotclock winding down contested fadeaway.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:09 PM)

I'm sure the right ankle is still bothersome, but West is adamant that he doesn't want to talk about it any more. He's done using injuries as an excuse. Like the rest of the bench, he had a couple of positive moments Sunday, but the Celtics need more out of that group as a whole. Even still, West with one bad ankle is better than any backup PG the Celtics had last season.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Bulls fan chiming in. Does Amare's play concern you in that he seemed to be able to get what he wanted in the paint? Looking at tape today the NY coaching staff would be foolish not to go back to him again in Game 2. I think they said on Mike and Mike this morning that none of the last 7 plays of the game went in to Amare. Could of been a W for them had they maybe? That said, I really want Boston to knock out the Knicks, if for no other reason that I don't like any kind of success in any sport in NY.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:12 PM)

Absolutely. If the Knicks don't forget to give him the ball over the final two minutes, they probably win that game last night. There were times he went right at KG and scored with relative ease. If I'm New York, why not do that 30 times per game (OK, that's exaggerating, but considering the team shot 42 percent last night with Amare making 66.7 percent of his shots, why not?)

Pierce (Waltham)

Yeah, I wanted the shot. But Ray was HOT and I made a great pass (just as coach said!)...like the way we drew it up and executed, Chris?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:13 PM)

You know, I don't think the Garden faithful would have objected to yet another Pierce home run trot against the Knicks this season, but great execution all around and that was a great pass to set up Allen's heroics.

Pat (Lexington)

If the Celtics are going ot be successful in the playoffs they need more from Jeff Green right? He was practically invisible out there

Chris Forsberg
  (1:14 PM)

No doubt: No assists, no rebounds. If he's not making an impact in the offensive game, he needs to give more at other aspects. First playoff game in Boston, I'm sure he was a little anxious. Let's see how he does moving forward.

Big Baby (Boston)

So am I flexible enough to put my foot in my fat mouth?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:16 PM)

To be fair, I thought Baby's comments were largely innocuous. I really thought he was simply saying he can't allow himself to get psyched out by defending an elite player. It was more a comment on him than Amare... Regardless, this time of year you can't give anyone bulletin board material and it's clear Amare had a little extra motivation in that matchup.

Ragin' Rondo (Boston)

Even though Rondo nearly recorded a triple double last night, I'm not convinced he is back to his old self. Thoughts?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:17 PM)

No, but if Rondo can give you 10-9-9 and only turn the ball over once in 43 minutes on an "off" night, that's a pretty encouraging sign for Boston, no?

Shaquille O'Neal (Sudbury, MA)

My bro Jermaine looked really good last night! Will anyone notice if I wait til we get to South Beach to start playing?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:18 PM)

Absolutely not. Particularly if Boston wins Tuesday, there seems to be absolutely no reason to rush Shaq back. Dr. McKeon said the other day the best medicine is time. Well, there's a lot of time before the next round begins -- heck, there's a three-day break between Games 2 and 3 -- so the Celtics should take advantage of it all.

Spike Lee (NYC)

Did you see me at the game last night? Was I there?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:19 PM)

A quick search of Getty Images turns up no images of Spike in Boston last night, so I'm guessing no. Should be interesting to see how much star power shows up in New York for Game 3.

Dan (Medford)

That was a brutal bailout call against Carmelo, Celts got lucky

Chris Forsberg
  (1:20 PM)

That's fair. I'd counter with every team needs a little luck this time of year. And did anything Carmelo did in the second half (1 of 11) Sunday give you any sort of confidence he would have done anything had he not got whistled for that call?

Dave (Waltham)

Honestly, is anyone better than Doc at drawing up plays out of timeouts? How sweet was that alley oop to KG - only .5 came off the clock.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:22 PM)

It's not exactly breaking news, but obviously Doc is phenomenal at picking the right plays at the right time. It's not like he's drawing these things out on the fly, but the ability to identify which play in his arsenal fits best is an undervalued quality. That alley-oop play was brilliant and exactly what Boston needed at that moment.

Brian Scalabrine (Chicago)

Really exciting game guys, but there's something missing, and that's the energy that I'm pretty sure I brought. Who's gonna step up to bring some energy to this sloppy-looking team?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:23 PM)

I just love the idea of Scal trash-talking, which you know he's honestly doing with his former foes.

Joel (Nebraska)

Has JO already had a more productive postseason the Sheed did all of last year?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:24 PM)

No, 'Sheed cranked it up a notch or two last year. I do think Jermaine O'Neal has already head a better postseason than anybody expected this postseason. Again, that's a huge boost if he can maintain that level of play, particularly on the defensive end.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:25 PM)

C's practice is going to open to the media momentarily, so let's go lightning round until the doors open.

Kendrick Perkins (Oklahoma)

Sick game guys, really exciting... but it seemed like you needed another big man... can I come back now?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:25 PM)

Just wait for the world to explode if a Boston-OKC matchup materializes in the Finals. There's not enough ink and internet pages to account for all the hype that would produce.

Steve (San Diego)

Hey Chris, is there going to be another episode of the Association covering the Celtics in the Playoffs?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:27 PM)

All I can say is, definitely maybe. From those I've talked to, I think it's going to depend on how the postseason plays out. There's still plenty of cameras tracking Boston's postseason journey. I think there has to be just to kinda cap the seasonlong body of work.

rick (boston)

Chris,don't you think jeff green has to play longer stretches to really have an impact?

Chris Forsberg
  (1:28 PM)

No, just not enough minutes to go around this time of year. If he needs 35 minutes per night to be effective, it won't happen here.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:29 PM)

Alright, doors are opening. Check out the ESPN Boston Celtics Blog for more updates today, and throughout Boston's playoff run.

Chris Forsberg
  (1:29 PM)

Thanks again for hanging out!