Good afternoon everybody. Thanks for hanging out. Welcome back to all the NBA fans. Let's go nuts today, Patriots and Celtics questions -- as well as anything else you've got on your mind.
Chris, can we get your two cents on the Rondo trade speculation and what you would consider appropriate compensation?
We'll start with the hot topic. I think the Celtics are entering an interesting period where they've got potentially one more year of the Big Three (and Rondo) and then they'll have to construct the next iteration. Like any general manager, I think Ainge is listening to anyone that calls (and he suggests plenty have).We also know that Ainge has lusted over Chris Paul in the past. Did the Celtics try to make a deal with New Orleans? I'd have to think there was at least some discussion. Regardless, now they have to ensure Rondo's psyche is damaged from the rumors and that started yesterday by suggesting it was an "honor" for him to be in conversations that included Paul.
Out of all the free agent centers who are the Celtics most likely to land?I wonder if this is even a Celtics chat....
Oh, it's a Celtics chat, baby. We'll get to the football as well. Let's go with Kwame Brown. As crazy as it sounds, it might have been better to have him over Shaq last year (he was more durable).
Don't you think its time to give the Defense some credit? After all, they have given up fewer points than the vaunted Jets D aka 'the '86 Bears'. Don't you think the addition of McCourty and Chung plus the cold weather elements will make the D hard to handle in the playoffs this year?
Pats slipped back a spot, but they are still 11th in the league in points allowed. For most of us, that's the bottom-line metric. Sure, they've given up a ton of yards, but they're limiting the damage. You figure if they hold teams to an average of 20.3 points, this offense is good enough to win most of those games. And I agree, add Chung, McCourty, and Spikes to the mix, and this defense should be even better if (IF!) it can get healthy. One caution flag is that the strength of schedule hasn't been great, especially recently, so this group still needs to tighten up by January.
Chris, why in the Earth does Woodhead return kickoffs? Is there any other option around here?
I'm as flabbergasted as you. He must show something in practice that isn't translating to the game field. I'll say this, no one they've put back there has done much of anything this year, so I'm inclined to peg most of the blame on the guys up front blocking. That said, the Pats really need to find a guy and let him develop into the role instead of rolling through a cast of Slaters and Woodheads.
As much as everyone hates on trading for ochocinco, haynesworth and ellis for their lack of production, i like what the patriots were thinking. Brady's years are limited. We need to win in the next few years and take advantage of having the best qb of all time. Instead of stockpiling picks, either get some top quality draft choices (instead of trading back and back and back) or, preferably, go after some big free agents who can make an impact now.
I'll say this: I'm absolutely with you on the idea of trading draft picks for proven commodities. Does it always work out? Ocho and Haynesworth remind us that's a definite, "No." But, hell, it clearly doesn't always work out with draft picks either. As much as you can lament Ellis, the team did a great job with the likes of Carter (and, to a lesser degree, Mark Anderson). I think they did a good job, especially in a frantic offseason, putting together a deep roster.
Hey Chris, i was wondering who you see the Celts going after either thorough free agency, trade or even through amnesty cuts. There is a lot of needs for this team how do you see them filling the voids and what you think the odds are Delonte comes back if he is healthy he makes the guard position much deeper than it looks right now. he is to versatile for point depth and someone to back up Ray.
Given how crazy the start of free agency will be and the fact that Boston has insanely limited resources (the mini mid-level of $3 million about their only real bait beyond the minimum), i think the C's need to target familiar commodities, guys like Delonte West, Marquis Daniels. low money, high reward (when healthy) guys. I think they lock up Jeff Green unless someone overpays for him, then sign Glen Davis with potential to sign-and-trade with eyes for another big. Won't be easy. Danny has to be creative, but there's ways to fill out this roster.
Do you think Edelman should convert to slot corner full time? He's looked good in limited reps, no?
I'm amazed by his pure technique on defense. He's just a very solid tackler for someone who has never played that position. Given his lack of production in recent seasons on the offensive side, I don't think there's anything wrong with exploring him as a slot DB & specials teams guy (and someone who can pinch-hit at WR). That said, watching him in coverage so far, he's got a long way to go. But there's an intriguing base to build off of.
Chris, do you think all 5 RB's will be on playoff roster, and if not what position would get an extra backup?
No way all five are active on gameday roster. It'll all come down to health, and right now positions like safety and offensive line need more bodies than the skill spots.
Hey Chris! What classic WWF matchup would you liken this week to? Yokozuna vs. the 1-2-3 kid? Barry Horowitz vs. anyone? In all seriousness, Freeney and Mathis still scare me and Wayne could have another great week - it'll be a good test of the Pats' mentality to play hard for 60 minutes this week.
Just patted myself on the back Horowitz style. I was like 12 when 1-2-3 kid "stunned" Razor Ramon and boy did I geek out for that.<br><br>Freeney and Mathis still scare coach Belichick and Brady and they can certainly change the face of a game. I think Belichick did a good job this week ensuring that his team won't be looking past the Colts. That said, I don't think you have too much to worry about. Just not enough consistency overall from that team.
Chris,Should the PATS try to trade one of our two 1st round pick for WR Desean Jackson next offseason? This is the kind of #1 WR we need and unfortunately we're not able to draft one so, what's the best option if it's not to trade for Jackson?
Oversleeping team meetings? Benched on gamedays? Dropping TD passes? I'd pass. Most Patriots fans are still lusting for a Moss-like No. 1 threat, but you have to admit things worked out just fine last week when Branch and Welker were the only WRs to catch passes.
Hi Chris. With injuries, new arrivals who are not up to speed and the release of Philip Adams, is Julian Edelman effectively third choice corner back at the minute with a chance to start in the slot? Also with the defence getting help from an offensive player, which player from the defence do you think would be able to give the offence the most help if they were to cross the divide? Vince Wilfork as a wide receiver maybe??????
If Chung or McCourty is healthy enough to get back on the field, Edelman's just emergency depth on defense at that point. Nate Jones, who signed this week, is a slot corner with potential to play safety as well. I can see him getting a chance to jump into the fray (watch him on the corner blitz and special teams as well).<br><br>Defensive player I'd like to see on offense? We've seen the likes of Fletcher and Ninkovich at FB/TE. How about Kyle Love at FB. That'd pave a path.
What's the best case scenario for Celtics in Free Agency (realistic of course). What do you think would be the worse?
Best case might be hoping someone that gets amnestied by another team -- preferably a big or a shooter -- slides through and the C's land him at the minimum (or mini mid-level at most). If you can add a top 8 guy that way, you're in good shape. Remember, the starting 5 is intact (though you'd probably prefer a more durable center to start over J.O.). Then you have Jeff Green first off the bench; JaJuan Johnson will get a chance to carve a role. If you get a Delonte West and a solid backup shooting guard, you've got a quality 10 to roll with.
How likely are we in getting Tyson Chandler? Dalembert? Landry?
Honestly, I see virtually no chance at any of them. Chandler's too expensive; Dalembert seems set on Miami; and not sure the C's have the resources to compete for Landry (plus the Purdue factor on the team would be off the chart with the rookies). It's going to be very difficult for C's to add (young) above-average talent when other teams have more assets available to lure free agents. The C's might be forced to target more vets in seek of titles.
Chris, Is there a reason why you weren't able to include snapshots in your "Breakdowns"? Those images were very helpful in following the narrative.
Without saying too much, yes, the images had to go away. I'm still trying to figure out ways to aid the visual part of those breakdowns. Quite daunting.
Slash, welcome back to reporting on the NBA! Here's a question appropriate to you doing double duty at ESPN. Do you know how much Danny Ainge and Bill Belichick rely on advanced metrics/ new statistics when scouting players? You hear a lot about it in baseball and now it is creeping its way into other sports.
As a stats nerd, I can tell you for certain the Celtics most certainly lean heavy on them. Read up on assistant GM Mike Zarren, especially his role in helping to show the benefits of trading for KG. I love how heavy the NBA is on advanced metrics.<br><br>As for football, I don't get the sense it's as prevalent and with good reason: There's just too many variables. Without knowing play calls, it's hard to grade a lot of assignments. That said, there's sites that do a great job. I know a lot of people don't like Pro Football Focus, but I think they do a great job of giving you a general sense of how a player is performing with metrics beyond what you'll find on most sites.
Has JaJuan been developing his game or his body this summer?
From the YouTube videos from his Indy Pro League action, I thought he showed a lot of potential. You'll hear a ton of KG-like comparisons with his game. I'm interested to see him when he arrives in Boston. Everyone knows he needs to bulk up a bit. I wonder how much he was able to do that the past five months.
OK Chris. to me it seems like Ainge may be targeting the wrong position by (allegedly) having interest in CP3 and instead shoud be focusing on locking down some servicable big men. What are the likely scenarious by which the Cs could lock down decent back-ups or alternatives to KG and JO?
As Doc Rivers is fond of noting, not many free-agent 7-footers roaming around and, if they are, they probably can't play basketball. Gotta pay for quality size and the C's just don't quite have the resources. Might have to settle for bargain bin again and just hope it's someone more durable than Shaq.
Chris, assuming the Patriots don't get even more banged up heading into the playoffs, do you think rust could be a big-game issue in January with some players missing multiple weeks (Spikes, McCourty, etc.)?
I've said the more concerning thing for me is the fact that the schedule these last seven weeks is so breezy, the talent level is going to jump up a lot. I can see Belichick seething at this notion, but the overall talent of New England's first-round opponent should be far greater than a KC, Philly, Indy, etc. The Patriots have to be ready for that jump. And the earlier they can get guys back on the field will aid that process.
Forsberg! Do you want to see Brian Hoyer starting against the Colts? Instead of comparing the Cassel-led Pats of 2008 with the 2011 Manning-less Colts, we can show the 2011 Colts how a TEAM plays. Or would that just piss off the Colts so much that they would be inspired to play their hearts out and win one?
I think the Patriots are content to know that they won 11 games with Cassel, while the Colts have already lost 11 games without Manning. That's a victory enough. They'll let Brady do the heavy-lifting Sunday, but maybe Hoyer gets a chance to have some fun as well.
Honest answer please - Celts or Pats to win it all first?
This season? Patriots. Strength of AFC in the NFL < Strength of the Eastern Conference in NBA. Long term? Probably still Patriots, only because we don't know how the Celtics will shape themselves moving forward and -- especially if Chris Paul demands his way to New York, despite their overwhelming lack of any trade assets -- the East is going to be a beast (even more so than already with young Miami & Chicago juggernauts).
HI Chris, I'm a big Pats Fan. Ecellent work from you and Mike!. Now that the NBA is back, Are You going to keep working with Mike in this Blog? My wife surprised me with tickets for this Sunday's game (I never been in a NLF game before. What time we should be in the Stadium? (we are staying in a hotel a mile away from Gillete and we are planing to take a cab).
Hoping to maintain some versatility as we go here. I really enjoy covering the Patriots, especially working with Mike. It makes my job a breeze. It's been fun to immerse myself in the Celtics a bit this week, too. I'll probably be bouncing between the Garden and Gillette a bunch through January.<br><br>Hope you have a blast at the game. Honestly, if you're within a mile of the stadium, you might be better off walking to Gillette. Traffic starts bottling up a bit pretty early, even for a 1 p.m. game. IF the weather's nice, enjoy a leisurely stroll.
I think we need to bring West back for sure and green of course, but I am not sure what we should do with Big Baby Babe. What do you think?
Did you just add a Babe in there? No, I'm likewise torn. Baby is a much better defender than most give him credit for, but his rebounding is atrocious. His shot selection is questionable at times, but his mid-range game is a real value. I think he could be an important piece of this team this year and beyond. But he also wants to be a starter and right now, he's still a 6th man here. I think the C's have to get a sense of the market for him, but they can ill afford to watch him walk away as their cap restraints really encourage them to sign-and-trade at worst.
Do you thin the Pats would want to play the Jets in the playoffs this year?
Absolutely not. I don't care how much they've struggled. Beating a team three times is not easy and playing a rival like that, especially in the early rounds, is so dangerous (as we all know). Just not an ideal matchup, but, then again, nothing's easy in the playoffs.
I can return kicks....just saying.
The weekly Randy questions make me chuckle every time because I picture Moss at home actually saying that.
Chris, do you think this Celtics team still has enough left in the tank to make another run at a ring? It seems with the lack of cap flexibility and old legs we are a few players short of a championship-caliber squad.
Unfortunately, it will take the perfect storm of a solid regular season for a high seed, peaking in the playoffs, and -- most importantly -- good health. It's that simple. Stay healthy, play good basketball when it matters and make your road as easy as possible and there's a chance. But the talent level of Miami and Chicago is daunting.
With Heath Bell off to Marlins, who will the Sox sign as closer now?
Woah, woah, woah. I draw the line at Celtics and Pats. Ahh, who am I kidding. I want to be key in all three phases of the game. Make Bard the closer. I think Valentine can get the best out of him in that role.
How in the world are the Patriots defense surviving with the no-names in the secondary? It defies the laws of the NFL
Earthwind Moreland disagrees with you, so you can keep going on your soliloquy, but he just doesn't agree with that.
Man O Man...the media is lazy. Bashing the Pats D is easy business. But I never read how ALL D's played very poor pass defense early in the season, primarily due to the lack of an offseason. Os had a clear advantage. Now that de3fenses are back in sync, all the numbers have come down. Another fact the lazy media neglects is that the Pats faced the meat of their schedule in the first half. I suspect the best Ds in the league had a few more cupcakes in their early schedules. See where BBs D ranks after getting his chance to feast on the remaining cupcakes that other teams have already faced.
They did give up 400 yards to Vince Young last week and his receivers dropped some balls. I'm with you in some regards, but let's not act like they've completely erased the early season struggles.
Hey Chris, I'm interested to see how you'll split time now that the Celtics are back full bore. With that said, I'm still 100% on the Patriots and was really pleased to see TB zinging the ball all over the place last Sunday (put injury questions to bed). Do you agree with Reiss that the coaches are trying to toughen up Taylor Price and see how he responds? I'm stupefied how he still hasn't shown up.
I'm interested to see how I split my time, too. It'll be fun regardless.... I thought Brady definitely had a little extra zip on that ball. Better yet, his deep throws were on target -- that's very encouraging.... As for Price, I do agree. O.C. Bill O'Brien said something this week about how receivers need to be consistent each day in practice and I wonder if he's just not doing it on a daily basis yet and that's hindering him on gameday.
I am a Celtics Fan. Not a Pats fan. Will these chats be combined for the rest of the football season? Not a fan of both chats combined...
No, I'll probably split 'em up. Or at least spend like 30 minutes doing Pats, then 30 on the C's. Thanks for the feedback and hanging in there. We aim to please.
Chris, Not sure I buy Edelman as a solid tackler. Sure he made a good stick on Young twice (once for a QB hit the other to stop him from a TD) but he also goes too low too much. On one outside toss play he tried to go low and McCoy just easily jumped over him. I'm gonna wait and see on his tackling skills.
I'll buy that. Again, compared to guys that have played defense their entire careers, I was pleasantly surprised by his ability to make 1-on-1 tackles.
Hey Chris - What Pats opponent presents the biggest challenge the rest of the way in your view?
Whoever they see in the playoffs. I think Denver, Miami, and Buffalo will be competitive, but I also think this team should be 13-3 if they continue to play to their abilities.
Having both Patriots and Celtics in the same chat is AWESOME!! Can we expect this regulary?
Hmmm... maybe we'll take a vote down the road and figure out which way y'all like it best. It's fun on my end. Until I start calling Ryan Wendell a power forward.
Chris! Thanks for the chat AND all your Pats coverage! Ok - couple things... 1. I think the Dolphins game is going to be tough with the way Dolphins are playing.2. As for deep threat, I'm excited to see more of TU (T. Underwood). As long as he can catch the ball...
Dolphins are playing well and are always a bit of a headache. I think the Bills will play more inspired against the Pats as well. But again, I think they should win those games if they're building towards playing their best football in January. And while I kinda like the T.U. nickname, he's forever House Party. Get on board.
Chris,What's your signature move with Thanksgiving leftovers?
Besides eating them? Honestly, my leftover plate was pretty gruesome. Just a puddle of all the fixings. I had vegetable combinations that just shouldn't work and everything slathered with gravy. It was delicious.<br><br>That said, the cold turkey sandwich with mayo and salt and pepper. It might be better than actual Thanksgiving dinner.
Hey Chris, I heard my boy Belichick give a huge shout out to the LAX community on Mike and Mike this morning. Impress us with your knowledge of the fastest growing sport on the planet - lacrosse.
When I covered high school sports for the Globe, lacrosse was by far my favorite season. Just a fantastic sport to watch and report on. It didn't hurt that we've got some world-class programs up here like Duxbury. Nothing like seeing a long-stick middie zip one in from like 40 yards out.
Any chance that the Celtics amnesty Pierce next season and completely start over?
Absolutely. To shed the entire Big Three from the books would give them a ridiculous amount of cap space. That said, if the free agent market is weak because the likes of Dwight Howard force in-season trades, it might not help. But Pierce also has a fairly friendly cap number and if he continues to produce at a high level, you probably want him around.
Gronk. that is all.
::nods, then spikes computer::
This needs to be a Pats/Celtics/Wrestling chat from now on. I'm the greatest at all 3 sports. The champ has spoken.
You know I'm down.
p.s. Moe's is NOT better than Anna's Taqueria--the burriots at Anna's are perfectly crafted all these other chains are just blobs of rice with bits of meat inside/
This was like the first question in the queue today. Someone came in with an agenda. Sorry, Tron, you're wrong here. I love me some Anna's, but it's not like a chain restaurant can't make a good burrito. Moe's, especially for the price, wins every time.
Anna's is less expensive than Chipotle and Moe's!!! And yes I had an agenda...
Once you add in chips, salsa, guac and a large soda, Moe's has 'em all beat. Let's do lunch sometime. It's easier to argue when actually consuming a burrito.
Which Patriot do you think could be a starter at the Garden? I like Gronk or Hernandez. What about a Celtic at Gilette? Hard not to like Rondo...at any position.
Let's end it here with the perfect football/hoops combo. Rondo is one hell of a football player, just ask Myron Pryor. Rondo could be a QB. And go dig up tape of Glen Davis playing fullback in high school. Fun to watch. Going the other way? I figure Gronk would break Rasheed's technical record for spiking the ball after every basket. I bet Vollmer and Solder could dominate in the frontcourt.
You guys rock. So many questions I couldn't get to. Had a blast. Let's try it again next week (the same day camp starts for the Celtics). Should be crazy. Enjoy Pats-Colts and the Celtics hot stove.