Happy Friday everybody. Hope you're easing to the finish line of 2011. Going to be a little short today. Tackling your questions until about 1235, then hopping on ESPN Boston radio with Adam Jones, so hope you'll hop over there and listen as I tackle his questions for a bit. Let's do this...
0-3? Chris, don't you miss your days covering the other Pro team in the region? It should be good to have one game a week :)
To be fair, the Patriots and Celtics are very similar in regards to their defense. The difference: New England finds ways to win games. C's need to start finding ways to win ugly at times. Right now it's just plain ugly.
Chris - is this starting to look like the old big three - they got old over night and it set the Celtics back...KG just doesnt look like the same player anymore.
I'll give KG the benefit of the doubt. He was one of the most vocal about the shortened camp and three games in four nights looked like it took a lot out of him (especially when he logged big minutes early in the road trip). Ray's been fine and Paul's simply hurt. The C's need more from KG, but I think they'll get that. It's Jermaine O'Neal and a still-inconsistent bench that worries me most right now.
Chris what up homie? How important is Paul Pierce to Ray Allen? Those two seem like they make the offense better when they are together which could help the big guys down low getting better position.
Bottom line: Having Paul Pierce on the floor helps everyone. Then again, having a 100 percent healthy Paul Pierce on the floor makes a difference, and that's where the Celtics need to make sure he is. If he's still hurting, they need to continue to bring him along slowly -- even at the risk of losing more games. Just not worth it in the long run.
Chris -- Wake me up an hour an so before the season begins, OK? There's still a couple of weeks to go, right? Thanks a lot, man.
J.O., buddy, not sure that training camp "MVP" is buying you any patience with the fan base right now. You've been hurt by fouls, but you're not helping your own cause by whacking every guy that gets behind you. Gotta be honest, big man, I like the idea of you coming off the bench, especially because of the potential for more offensive touches with a second team that needs some O. Maybe ramp you up a bit and get some confidence going again, then let's see where things go.
Everyone calm down, Greg Stiemsma's got this.
So uhhh, this is the team? Really? Like we're sure? Positive? Yikes.
Whoops. Double posted questions. Let's do one at a time:<br><br>Iz: It's a block party! I've always thought Stiemsma (or any young, healthy center) can help this team in a Semih Erden-like manner. I hope his minutes stay consistent and see what he can develop into.<br><br>Nick: Hang in there, man. I know it hasn't looked great, but things will get better. There's something to be said for coming back against the Heat. Once this team gets a win (tonight?) things could start rolling.
Am I the only one who believes the Celtics will run it around and become a contender this year?
Contender? Depends on what you mean. Title contenders? Let's talk again in like May. Eastern Conference contenders? Let's talk in March. Division contenders? Absolutely. This is still a +.500 team.
Hey Chris, This is probably an overreaction but is there anyway the Celtics could trade away individual pieces of the big three for the future? What could they get and would anyone be interested?
Again, I'd preach patience. No need to blow it up after three games. Hard to imagine them trading KG, but his expiring $21 million could entice some cap-seekers with a superstar to move. Alas, that would require the Celtics absolutely bottoming out and I just don't see it. Same with Ray. It's just hard to imagine any moves here unless this team is just destined for a complete stinker of a year.
Chris whatever happened to former Celtic Leon Powe who was interested in returning to the team?
Not sure the interest was mutual. C's didn't need another big (more of a 4 than a 5) with an injury history. They needed their roster spots for other positions (namely the wing).
Hey...I'm not panicking because of their 0-3 start. But I am panicking because I just see no way that the C's can compete with the top-notch teams. They are a year older than last year, KG is a shell of himself, and they did nothing to improve on last year's team (lost Green, Bass is a nice player but not a difference maker). Any thoughts?
Can't argue with you much, Jason. I felt similar coming into the season. I think the Celtics will be competitive, but just not sure they have enough to compete with Miami over a seven-game series. I thought this team needed a big-splash move to do that. Just too much has to go right (health, Rondo dominates, bench contributes). It could happen, but as we've seen early on, everything is going to be a grind.
I know the Celts have started off slow, but they impressed me against Miami how they came back, even without Paul Pierce. Did you see the same thing, and when Pierce does come back, do you think they can beat Miami?
Absolutely. That was the most encouraging game thus far. Down 20 in the third quarter and -- gimmick or not with the zone -- they found a way to get back in it without Pierce and battling foul trouble. That said, great teams find a way to win those games. You have to hope Pierce is enough to get the team over that hurdle down the road.
do you think pierce will play tonight?
I think he's getting closer. I worry that an 0-3 record will have the team a little more impatient and rush him back. This could be a game you get through without him if he's not 100 percent.
Hey Chris, i was wondering do you see Stiemsma getting the starting job soon?
It's a tough decision. As we saw with Glen Davis last year, there's a great value in having a 4/5 guy who can be first off the pine and sub out both KG and the center spot. So my gut says if J.O. continues to really struggle, it'd be better to put Stiemsma in there with the first unit than Bass, who carries the second-team offense. The first unit, especially with Pierce, doesn't need as much offense from that center spot. All that said, I still think that decision is a ways off, Doc doesn't rush starting lineup moves based on a few games.
Hey Chris do you think Danny is looking for a way to get another center. Jermaine just isn't getting the job done and stiemsma can't be the answer can he?
Danny said all preseason he's happy with the size. C's would surely love another talented 7-footer, but they don't have any real roster flexibility (Stiemsma is the only non-guaranteed contract on the roster). Once Pierce/Pietrus are healthy, you could flirt with the idea of swallowing Sasha Pavlovic's contract if you really needed another big.
I usually don't pay attention to the "panic meter" so early in the season but with the NBA season being shortened dramatically I was wondering if you feel the Celtics can pull it together and turn things around and actually be a contender at the end of the season and if Paul Pierce is really that big of an impact on the Boston squad?
Pierce is definitely that valuable. I've long maintained he's the MVP, just because he does so many things rather quietly. He's so important to this team as we've seen hammered home this week. As for panicing, there's been a lot to be discouraged about. I still think you give this team time before we really freak out.
Chris! I agree with the panic meter being a 0-1 right now. After knowing about P2's injury I expected a 1-2 or 0-3 start. However, where's the meter at if we lose tonight? Does it stay at a 0-1 range until Pierce returns? Or do we creep up to say, a 3 or 4?
If this team loses its home opener to the Pistons, I'm jumping that meter to like a 5. I can somewhat write off an 0-3 start. Losing to Detroit, with or without Pierce, would really alarm me. This isn't exactly a backs-against-the-wall situation, but I think the players understand the importance of winning tonight. Crowd might carry them at times, but if they struggle ... the boo birds could fly into town.
I think we will be ok but i do worry about the frequency of the games hurting us in the long run. Looking to see what Mickael Pietrus can bring what do make of him playing here?
As New Orleans showed, second nights of back-to-backs remain an issue. With 19 on the schedule, that's daunting. Being the third game in four nights didn't help. Pietrus should help, but his knee issues do worry me. The last thing a soon-to-be 30-year-old shooter needs is knee woes.
Hey Chris, do you honestly think a Rondo for Westbrook trade would ever go down?
No. Salaries aren't even close and honestly don't think C's would be interested even if they did. Rondo is showing again how valuable he is early in the season. You only trade him for a truly elite player (like Chris Paul ).
I'm not panicking, but hypothetically, at what point in the season does Danny throw in the towel and trade players? And is there anything he could realistically expect back?
Maybe in March I'd feel different about blowing it completely up if this team was clearly headed for the lottery or something. That said, not sure what kind of value their players will have at that point if they're limping through the season. You gotta figure Ray Allen will still have value to a contender if things absolutely bottomed out. Again, just don't see it happening yet despite the early struggles.
Does JO add anything to this team?? ANYTHING??
When healthy and foul-free, absolutely. His defense remains excellent and he has offensive potential. That said, we haven't seen it AT ALL in the regular season (either this year or last). He's frustrated, you can understand it. He's already gotta restore that training camp confidence.
I understand that the time to practice is limited, but can't the players find time to squeeze practice before each game?
Sure, the Celtics have a closed walkthrough before tonight's game (or typically hold a shootaround the morning of each game). It's not a two-hour, up-and-down session like a normal offday, but it allows kinks to be ironed out).
I youtubed Avery Bradley's high school mix tape. He was aggressive (dunking, shooting). Why has he been so soft (offensively) in the pros?
Can't explain it. He was so highly touted. I think confidence is an issue. He's still handling the ball too much (but it's not like he's done enough to exclusively be a shooting guard). That said, I think -- like any young player -- he needs floor time to develop. They gotta stick with him, even if it means a few more minutes for E'Twaun Moore to state his own case.
What's the story with the young guys? I thought Doc and Danny had committed to playing them to ease the minutes on the vets.
Tough to balance when you're losing games. If the C's win three in a row, it's a lot easier to hang with Bradley, Moore, etc. It'll come in time.
What do you think the biggest factor in our defensive decline (thus far) is? Do you see JJ getting extended minutes at any point this season?
Teams are getting close to the basket and C's are fouling at an alarming rate. It starts with stopping dribble-drive penetration (that's on Rondo and the guards), and the bigs need to stop fouling. It's taking them out of the game early and allowing teams to generate easy points at the line.
When will the NBA fix it's officiating problems?
The Celtics certainly haven't been happy with the calls the first three games, but it's far from their biggest problem. That said, it certainly hasn't helped matters.
And Olandis Poole should probably not expect a Christmas card from Doc Rivers next winter.
Anyone else agree that the C's are just getting their losses out of the way at the beginning? #18
You might be the most optimistic person ever.
Alright let's talk hoops with ESPN Boston Radio. Hop <a href="http://espn.go.com/espnradio/boston/play" target="new">HERE</a> to listen. We'll do more C's questions when I'm off the line with them.
Alright, let's blast through 10 more minutes of questions. We'll try to lightning round them.
Chris if Pietrus went down would the C's look for Michael Redd?
Redd signed in Phoenix, ending that option.
What do you think on Perkins tweet about Chris Webber?
It's a thing a guy with a ring can say to a guy without a ring.
Chris, in your opinion, what's the #1 issue with this team this year? I know the 0-3 start has shown more than one problem, but if you could fix one thing to get the best results, what would it be? Seems like offensive consistency, to me.
Stop allowing easy points, either around the basket or fouling guys and letting them shoot free throws. That's not just on the bigs underneath, it starts with penetration at the wings.
Hey Fozzy my Achilles feels great! I think I can help out now.
I'm waiting for you to sign with the Clippers in March and watch everyone in L.A.'s head explode.
WHAT OFFICIATING PROBLEM?!?! SEND THAT ROB (BOSTON) INTO MY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!
Put me in coach! I can ball and am not doing anything at the moment.
Well played. A carry over from our Patriots chats. Hell, if Ricky Davis can go dabble in the D-League, how do you feel about Portland this time of year, Randy?
The TNT 'NBA Forever' commercial is about as amazing as a burritto from Anna's!
Eh. It's kinda cool. I talked about this last night with some friends at Moe's during our own weekly burrito night. We agreed the hype has exceeded the actual awesomeness of it. Unlike Anna's, which meets the hype.
hi chris! a lot of people are saying that this is the last chance for the big 3 to get a championship ring. That may be true, but i can see ray and kg playing next year .i think both players love boston and could take less money (as ray said a while ago, its all about the rings) having salarie flexibility would allow them to get howard
I'm not ruling it out. That said, some would make the case that the Big Three's last chance for a title might have actually been 2009-10.
Don't you dare ignore my posts, Forsberg! I have the reach and power to squash you and BELIEVE ME, I'll use it!! Doesn't need to make sense, just look at my trade veto!! GGGRRRRRRR
How old is Dick Bavetta, and can he even see anymore?
Commish is on fire.
Commish is on fire.
Bavetta's wikipedia page says he's 72. They forgot the 1 in front of it.
Alright, let's wrap it up there. Thanks to anyone that stuck around during the break in the action. Hello to everyone checking out the transcript. See y'all again next week.