Well, in spite of once again saying he would do so, Doc didn't make any cuts yesterday. We still have 18 players, but Scal (shoulder injury), West (infected toe), and Ratliff (back) didn't travel with the team and Pierce is in NY but won't play on a precautionary move. It is still not clear which players will be cut. Several players have been mentioned as being possible. One player I believe that will be cut is Pittsnogle. He is one dimensional and doesn't add anything other than that 3 point shot. We need more than that from our centers. Apparently Kandi is still impressing in camp and will probably make the team, especially since Ratliff is already proving to be fragile. Here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today.
Bulpett features Kandi and his surprising effort in training camp so far. A non guaranteed contract would be the best thing if he continues to improve in camp as it would give him incentive to keep working so that he doesn't get cut down the road. If he keeps playing hard like he has been, he can really help the team, especially with Ratliff injured already. I still think that Perk needs to be our starting center and he needs to get decent minutes. He will never take that next step if Doc insists on pulling him as soon as he makes a mistake and playing him only 15 minutes a game. Doc needs to let him play and work through those mistakes and he will play with a lot more confidence.
Also in the Herald in Bulpett's notebook, we learn that the early injuries have forced Doc to change plans. He is still saying that he is looking at players so apparently he isn't ready to make a cut yet. Doc is talking about possibly starting Allan Ray tonight with Pierce and West both out. Jackson could also see some playing time. Without his "binky" (Scal), Doc may even play Powe some. If he is evaluating the bigs, he hasn't given them much playing time to do so. This article also says that Ray should stick with the team and that possibly Akingbala may stay instead of Powe. I am pulling for Powe, however. I just like the kid.
Scott Souza's article in the MetroWest Daily reports that Luke Jackson is hoping to get some playing time in Boston. Doc is going to still be looking at players over the next two games to evaluate their play.
While Rivers has seen the rookies in camp for two weeks, how they respond over the next two nights may go a long way toward sorting out the roster logjam. "I still think the games, in some ways, are telltale signs," he determined. "You know what everyone is doing in here. When we go up against a different talent, a different defensive scheme, that's when you can really see things revealed."
I hope he gives Powe a chance to play tonight and hopefully he will do well. Doc says that he is struggling with the system but I know he can be a player if they give him a chance. He has the physical attributes and works too hard not to.
Peter May discusses Tony's legal status in his notebook. Danny has until October 31 to pick up Tony's option. If he doesn't pick it up, I expect Tony to be part of a trade sometime this season. Danny won't know about Tony's legal status by then so will have to make the decision strictly on instinct as to what he expects will happen there. Tommy Heinsohn was finally recognized for his 10,000th point. Tommy bleeds green more than anyone in the organization and I am glad that they are making the effort to recognize him.
CelticsBlog presents a good interview with Doc. Here, Doc sounds like he likes Powe and wants to keep him but the Herald article presents a different picture. I still think the weak link on this team is Doc. Hopefully he can get input from his assistant coaches because so far we know that Doc doesn't know how to use bigs effectively in the post. He wants them out on the 3 point line "stretching the defenses." He also doesn't make very good in game decisions and tends to pull young players when they make mistakes so that they never can develop confidence in their game on the floor. So far this preseason, Doc hasn't done anything to alleviate my worries. He has played Scal way too much and his rotations have been anything but understanable. He plays small ball way too much in a game and doesn't include a rebounder in the small ball lineup. You can't run if you don't have the ball. I hope I am wrong, but I just see us reamaining mediocre as long as Doc is in charge.
Celtics Pride has a look at the players who are on the "chopping block." Either Doc is really having a hard time deciding among the players because they are all impressing, or he is indecisive and can't make up his mind on the players to cut. It now sounds like Doc is going to wait until at least after tomorrow night's game to make the cuts.
Tonight the Celtics face the NY Knicks in New York. I have read that the Knicks look a lot better than last season and so I am hoping that we don't take them for granted and play well tonight. Game time is 7:30 and TV coverage will be on FSNE and League Pass on channel 751. Grande and Max will be covering the game on Radio on WRKO. Join us on Celtcs Green for the play by play of the game tonight as well.
Too bad about Tony. Ainge has a tough decision to make regarding Tony's future with the team. At a time when we need defensive players, we may have to let go of our best perimeter defender.
Well, it sounds like Doc likes Akingbala--maybe more than he likes Leon Powe. If Bala makes the cut ahead of Powe, either Doc and Danny are taking a risk (Powe can turn out to be a fantastic player) or they really see the potential in Bala. I just don't get it at this time. I haven't really seen him play, but the little that I did see, he didn't look like much.