Wow! No shortage of stories today! There are articles all over the place. Many of the stories say the same things : The players are ready and excited for the start of the season. But, there are quite a few things of interest so take a look.
The Nashua Telegraph hopes that our patience will pay off this season. There are 2 quotes in this article that I just love and that bodes well for this season.
“It’s time to make something happen. We should take the challenge and grow up,” said guard Delonte West, entering his third year. “We have to show that we’re not (young). Last year, there were too many smiles. We need to have some more frowns. Too many guys were just too happy to be with the Boston Celtics.”
Delonte is very serious about wanting to make this team better and with his work ethic and competitive nature, I can see him doing it.
“You can only be young for so long,” center Kendrick Perkins said. “This is my fourth year, and a couple of young guys’ third, its about time we start making things happen. There’s no more room for excuses.”
I love Perk. I make no secret about it. This kid is so earnest and such a hard worker, you can't help it. This year he is going to break out and will be recognized as one of the top centers in the NBA. I have seen 3 lists of the top 20 Centers in the NBA this off season and they have included the likes of Bogut, Kristic, Chandler, Frye, Darko, and Blount and none of them has included Perk. Well, after this season, there is no way Perk will be left off of those lists.
The Herald has several articles today. Mark Murphy focuses on Pierce and his bright outlook on the season.
“I just want to be on the same page with the coach and push these guys,” he said. “I like these guys’ spirit and attitude.”
Steve Bulpett focuses on Delonte's questionable status due to his back. True to form, Delonte is ready to go full out right now and Doc wants to hold him back a little to be safe. He also mentions that the Celtics uniforms will have a slight alteration this season: a small shamrock on the back above the players' names. After seeing the Bucks new uniforms, I am very thankful for the good taste of the Celtics' uniforms. Another Bulpett article talks about Bassy's guarantee of the playoffs and the support his teammates are giving him by backing up his prediction.
“But you hear what Sebastian said and that’s great. Confidence is what you ask for from any player at any position, but especially the leader of your team and your point guard. The point guard has the ball in his hands a lot, and he’s got to run the team. He’s got to have that confidence and swagger about him, and Sebastian sure does.”
Mark Murphy talks about Kandi's bid to return to the Celtics.
“It’s up to him,” said Rivers. “We know he’s talented. It’s always been a question of his consistency. Teams have always tried to get it out of him. but if we do that, I’d be surprised if he didn’t play.”
Scott Souza, who has done a great job of keeping us informed all summer, tells us about Bassy's role as a vocal leader on this team.
A few feet away, Rivers was all smiles during the declaration, though many coaches in pro sports frown on the guarantee game. "That's because a lot of coaches are worried about their jobs," said Rivers, coming off a 33-49 season in his second year in Boston. "They are always worried that, if you raise expectations, then it will come back and haunt you. The bottom line is (winning) is what we are in this business to do. So I think you should stick your neck out for it. "If he believes that," Rivers concluded, "and he can get other guys to believe it, then it will happen."
Lenny Megliola tells us that Pierce's goal is to be on the same page as Doc. He is also looking to take his own game up a notch this season.
In the Globe, Bob Ryan looks for Green to take the next step and be able to contribute this season. Green spent the summer working hard on his game, especially on defense.
That's why Green's surprisingly strong work ethic is such an important part of his story. His coach can trust him to keep improving without being prodded. He doesn't have to be some sort of major project. He'll be taking care of his own business under the watchful eye of such Big Brothers as Pierce and fellow Texan Kendrick Perkins
I expect to see Green as one of the players who sets himself apart and takes his game to the next level.
Everyone's favorite negative writer, Peter May, talks about Kandi's return in his Celtics Notebook. Pierce looks to the Celtics to fight for the 7th or 8th playoff spot. Al is a candidate for "The Biggest Loser" and the every quotable Delonte West give us this to think about:
``Once you've checked into the NBA, it's man-up time," said West, who has two years under his belt. ``That's the conversation we have to have. Who needs to have their hand held? Who needs to be in the `young' category? If that's the case, go get in the kiddie pool. It's adult swim, you know what I mean?"
The Worcester Telegram lets us know that Little Big Al is ready to let his inner beast out. He plans to tape his ankles and wear a brace to avoid another costly ankle sprain. He has changed his eating habits and has gotten himself into the best shape of his life and how can one not expect Al to break out this season. Plus, working with Clifford Ray all summer has got to pay dividends. His ankles are 100% and he is ready to take the NBA by storm.
Talk of including Jefferson in a deal for Allen Iverson has died down and Jefferson is looking forward to learning from new teammate Theo Ratliff and new big man coach Clifford Ray. Ray has told Jefferson to become a beast down low, to stop playing soft, and he has responded. He hopes his teammates will as well.
Projo has another piece on the difference in Big Al and his hard work to prepare for this season. It also mentions Gomes and his off season work and his great showing in Summer League. Gomes has spent nearly every day this off season working on his outside shooting and his game. Expect to see Gomes playing both forward spots this season. Doc said yesterday that Gomes has the potential to be a starter.
Southcoast today states the obvious that Kandi is in control of his own career right now. He has a chance but needs to grab the bull by the horns and take advantage of the opportunity as this may be his last chance.
Celtics17 makes the case for our players all playing like it is a contract year. For many, it is one. I don't think we will have a problem with any of the player we have now as most are gym rats and every one of them seems to be self motivated and very hard workers. Do you think Perk would approach a season any different if it was a contract year? How about Delonte? Even our veterans are hard workers and still work ceaselessly to improve.
CelticsStuff Live takes a look at Ank-Al's Come Back. The Duke makes a comparison between Al and Elton Brand and says that Al's new physique is in line with the league's newer, more mobile breed of power forward. Al has put in the work in the off season and now it is time for him to put it all to the test and produce like we have all expected him to since he was selected with the 15th overall pick.