Hey everybody. Thanks for hanging out. Just got done with ESPN Boston Radio, let's dive into your chat questions for a bit.
Hi Chris. What did the Cs do differently in Philly than they did in Beantown? What were the differences?
Far more aggressive going at the basket. Rondo had 13 points before he even handed out his first assist. That helped Boston hang around when the 76ers were making shots early on, then the Celtics defense took over. The Celtics clearly thrive when both Rondo and Garnett play with a bit of an edge and attack the basket. Clearly that needs to continue moving forward as you can pretty much assume the defense will be consistent.
Should we start talking about a possible Conference Finals between Indy and the Celtics?
You can think it, but let's not get too far ahead. We all know the Celtics like to make things as difficult as possible on themselves and a Sixers win tonight makes this a best-of-3 series (and erases all the good from Boston's Game 3 win). Plus, I simply can't rule out the Heat. I know they are a hot mess right now, but too much talent to go quietly.
Assuming we get past Phiily...who do you think we match up better with? Is it crazy to think Mia???
If the Celtics get past the 76ers, I think there's positives to each matchup. Indy clearly has size and that can be daunting, particularly for a thin Boston frontcourt. At the end of the day, both series would be tough, there's no easy path when you get to the conference finals.
Did Paul Pierce mean what he said the other night about how this is the Big Three or Four's final run together?
We've been saying that's a possibility for three years now. It might be, it might not be. Enjoy the run. The Celtics will worry about that in 45 days. As Doc Rivers said, he doesn't use it as motivation; maybe the players do in the back of their minds. Whatever drives them.
Brandon Bass during the regular season was a much better shooter, do you think he will eventually gain form late in this series or the next ? (he is vital to a championship run)
It certainly wouldn't hurt Boston's cause if he could get his shot falling with more consistency. The tough part for Bass is that the Celtics are going small this series and it really only works with one true big like KG or Ryan Hollins up front. So Bass' minutes are down and that means less time to work through the struggles. Bass is taking the right attitude about it so far.
am i to delusional to think that the Celtics are the best team in the NBA and are bringing home title 18?
I'm going to assume you're not watching the Western Conference bracket, because San Antonio and Oklahoma City should worry you a lot if the Celtics were fortunate enough to make it that far.
What happened to Stiemsma? Is the glare of the playoff spotlight too bright for him or are playoff caliber teams just exposing his weaknesses? Seems like a sharp drop off from his play at the end of the regular season!
He struggled a bit in the first round and Hollins wiggled ahead on the depth chart because of his energy. Stiemsma has started to play better recently and Rivers is open to using them both, but again, the Celtics are going small, limiting the amount of time for all the bigs right now. Depending on the matchups, guys like Stiemsma and Hollins could play big roles in future rounds.
Chris, How serious are Paul and Rays injuries? I mean, will they be hurting throughout all the playoffs?
Well, bone spurs aren't going away without surgery (which Allen will likely need in the offseason; even if he contends recently he's not so sure of that). Pierce essentially has a tear in that MCL and, regardless of how minor, that's going to affect his explosion at times. These guys are not going to get any better, they just have to hope they don't get worse.
Celtics in 5?? And what do we expect from the sixers tonite?
If the Celtics carry over some key elements from Game 3 and win tonight, I don't think it's unreasonable to start wondering if they can close it out in 5. But I am very interested to see how Philadelphia responds tonight. They showed some mental resolve against the Bulls, but can they dig deep tonight and prevent Boston from putting a stranglehold on this series? Feels like a must-win for Philly.
Mr. Forsberg:I've been an avid reader of your material for years now and just want to thank you for providing such great coverage on the Boston Celtics. My question for you, who do you think has been the "MVP" (and why) for the Celtics this season?
It's tough. I know Rondo got MVP votes (finishing 8th overall), but it's hard not to keep going back to Garnett (not only for what he's shown in the postseason, but just how good he was at both ends of the floor after a sluggish start). I think we always undervalue how much Pierce means to this team. I don't know if even Doc Rivers could answer the question without hedging a bit. The Celtics got key contributions from all three of those guys at different parts of the season. Forced to pick, my C's MVP ballot: 1. Garnett; 2. Pierce; 3. Rondo.
I am a little worried that we may lose in 5. I know these celtics can drive you crazy being inconsistent but I have a very bad feeling about KG and the loss the other night.....
I don't think you gave your team much confidence by talking about how you felt the Celtics were already looking ahead to the next round with Miami losing Bosh. Might want to try rallying the troops before you start talking too much about how the other team is daydreaming about the conference finals. As Doc Rivers pointed out, it's a 2-1 series, it's as close as it can be after three games. Gotta put one bad loss behind you and move on.
What am I supposed to do with 2 days off between game 4 and 5?
We talking about practice? I think you take Saturday off to give the normal recovery day, then push the guys a little bit on Sunday -- just enough to not lose their edge. It feels like we've been playing every-other day all postseason, so it'll be weird to have a two-day break -- and then a large lull before Game 7 if it goes that far.
Hi Chris, I am expecting an average game from KG eventually, do you think he will have it tonight or stay the 25 year old Garnett another game?
Well, every time I say he can't possibly put up another 26+ point night, he goes out there and does just that, so until the 76ers stop it , let's just assume he's going to try. I do think Philly will do everything they can to make his life a little rougher tonight (hard fouls, deny him the ball early). But as long as he's still got his touch around the basket and the Celtics don't pull a Game 2 and forget to give him the ball, I don't see why he can't keep this up.
Does Rondo have to be a scorer in addition to a passer for the celtics to win or can he just be a faciliatator and still come out on top?
well, there's been plenty of instances when Rondo's had like 6 points and 20 assists and this team wins. That said, he showed the other night how imperative it is for him to be aggressive if able. Those early points were huge in keeping Boston from digging yet another early hole.
Do you think having off days between games and not practicing is helping the Cs?
Absolutely. Old legs need recovery time. No sense running a veteran team into the ground. The playoffs are enough of a grind. They still gotta watch film and do their individual workouts. It's not like they're spending all day lounging by the pool. These guys know how to keep themselves ready.
im so amped up
Easy, Ticket. The C's want you in that mode at tip-off. But don't get too amped up.
What are the chance we can get #flexin' trending in Boston on Twitter tonight?
I told Keyon, if the C's keep winning and this thing keeps taking off, you'll see the whole Garden flexin' at some point in these playoffs. HIlarious that such a simple little move has taken on such a life of its own. It's great for the bench guys to have a little identity in this whole thing.
What are your feelings on Keyon Dooling and his playing time? He seems to be playing well in his few minutes and he makes his open shots, although he seems pretty important on the bench with daniels
Most notable to me is that his defense has improved. He was downright woeful coming off the injuries earlier in the year. He's not going to take over a game and he still makes mistakes, but you gotta love his enthusiasm, his leadership, and his ability to play some valuable minutes.
How do you feel about WFNX being sold. I used to listen to your interviews with them
A bit off topic, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say how bummed I am about this. That station meant a tremendous amount to me, not only as a music fan growing up, but professionally as I started doing more radio stuff. As a music fan, I'm devastated. Such a disappointment to lose any independent alternative station like that. As a friend to those that work there, I'm even more disappointed for my friends. Hug your favorite radio station while you still can.
Who has a better game tonight, Pietrus or Bass?
Pietrus is rolling a bit right now and has that confidence back in his shot. EVen still, we're waiting for Bass to have that sort of breakout performance. This series hasn't afforded him as much court time as usual, but he's due for a big night. It would help shatter that notion of him wilting a bit in the playoffs.
Do the Celts have long-term concerns about Avery's shoulder?
GIven the amount of times it's dislocated, I would be surprised if he didn't require some sort of offseason procedure. He said he'd do whatever's necessary to get him healthy after the season, so my guess is that they'll have to stabilize it somehow. Just seems to be popping in and out too much and you don't want that in his head every game.
Hey Chris, I noticed both series in the West are featuring Back-to-Back games this weekend. Do the Celts have to be worried about any Back-to -Backs in the next round, if we advance?
The Celtics dodged a bullet there because none of the East series went 7 games. I want to say this was the only round that had potential for back-to-backs, but put it this way: The quicker the Celtics (and the other side of the bracket) finish up, the more likely they won't have to deal with that potential obstacle.
Gotta ask a game 2 question, why did Doc take out Pietrus when he finally found his shot for an ice cold Pierce? That could have been the difference in us being up 3-0 right now.
I think Rivers probably thought he got as much out of Pietrus at that point as he was going to get and had to go back to Pierce at some point. It didn't work out, but you tend to second-guess those things after a loss.
Any chance you'll stop using "mess around" as a synonym for a triple-double. I enjoyed the reference the first five times I heard it but you're confusing my dad. He thinks Rondo is committing infidelity or something more nefarious.
(question of the day, BTW)...<br><br>To be fair, I don't think I used it in the most recent triple-doubles (even I'm getting sick of the Cube reference given the sheer amount of triple-doubles Rondo has produced this season). And the last thing I want to do is confuse Dad's everywhere that way.
Hey fans, don't you think I made a good call by keeping the band together?
Can the Celtics beat the Spurs or the Thunder in a seven game series?
Half of the questions in the queue this week are whether the Celtics can beat the Spurs or Thunder. Forty-five percent more are whether the Celtics should want the Heat or Pacers next. When did y'all become so confident? I think the Celtics can compete with anyone... but they will be underdogs in the NBA Finals if that happens.
you haven't answered my question yet..
Help me dig it out of this mess. What did you ask, Jamal?
Chris, hear that? That's the sound of people hoping on the C's bandwagon!
This thing got full FAST. If C's win tonight, it'll be a weekend party train.
How great would it be to have David West starting at the 4 spot over Bass right now? Shoulda, woulda coulda...
Larry Bird didn't win Executive of the Year for nothing.
I believe that the Celtics had better hope for a Miami comeback as they will not defeat Indiana.
The idea that people are rooting to have to play LeBron/Wade is kinda crazy to me. But after seeing what Indy did last night, I understand why people are leery of the Pacers, too.
Fozzy, can't we just enjoy this while it lasts? We all know we're one slight injury away from collapse but right now that bug has bitten the Bulls and Heat instead. Let us enjoy this moment
No doubt. That's something to keep in mind. As these playoffs show, things can change in a hurry. Enjoy each win and just hope the Celtics keep finding a way to keep their bodies upright.
Hey Chris, I'm a longtime reader, love your work! If KG carries these guys to a finals run, what does that do for his legacy? My man has battled back from insult and injury to provide one of the more inspiring several weeks of his career
His legacy is pretty cemented. But if he had any thoughts of riding off into the sunset after this year, maybe this resurgence encourages the soon-to-be 36-year-old (Saturday b-day!) to hang around for a while longer.
You just did. Thank you. It was about Cs chances against Pacers, Heat if they get past 6ers. And if you thought SA and OKC are the best teams in the NBA. tHANKS AGAIN
We aim to please.
And let's wrap it up there. Thanks to everyone for hanging out. Let's do it again next week when -- maybe, just maybe -- we'll be previewing the conference finals -- of a Game 7 of the conference semis. ENjoy Game 4 and beyond.