Today, the heart and soul of the Celtics dynasty will be laid to rest. Today the NBA season kicks off it's season. Tomorrow the Celtics start the season dedicated to Red Auerbach. The dance team premiere has rightfully been postponed. There will be a tribute to Red before the game. Will the Celtics be ready to play as befitting a team dedicated to a legend? Only time will tell. In the meantime, here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
The Herald reports on the many great people who have gathered to pay last respects to Red. There will never be another like him.
In another article, the league bans the fan who called Motumbo names and the League is testing the ball further to see if it responds the same as the leather balls did.
The Celtics Notebook reports that Ratliff is taking it slow in returning from a bulging disc in his back. Hopefully in his absence Perk will step up and become the presence in the paint that I know he can be. Also, Green is learning but giving Doc some headaches while doing so. Dancers will not premiere until a later date which is a very good decision.
The Globe reports on family and friends sharing final thoughts of Red. He will be buried in a Celtics Green casket which is the way he would have wanted to go out. Red's impact is boundless - not just on the Celtics, but on the entire league. His contributions to the game and to life are immeasurable.
The Globe Notebook gives us a look at West moving back to the 2. After 2 seasons of retraining his brain to function as a point guard, and doing a very good job of it, West is once again back playing the 2 guard. It may take a few games to re-train his brain to shoot instead of pass, but he will very much help the second team that struggled to find offense much of the time last season. You have to love West's attitude. Scal, Ray and Ratliff will begin the season on the IL. In Scal's case, this is a good thing.
NBA.com has the Preseason Rookie Rankings out and Rondo is ranked #2. He had a very impressive training camp and hopefully he can continue once the games really count. Leon Powe was given honorable mention. If Doc gives Powe the minutes, he can help this team. He brings toughness inside and rebounding, both of which this team very much needs.
MetroWest Daily brings up several questions that still need to be answered. The biggest question is whether the Celtics will play defense this season. Defense and rebounding are the keys to whether or not we have a winning season. It was good to hear that Doc was working on defense in camp, but I have to wonder whether he is over coaching. Red's theory was to keep it simple. Doc is implementing 3 NEW defensive schemes 4 days before the season starts. I have to wonder if maybe just a could of simple defensive sets that can be learned and easily implemented wouldn't be better.
The Courant asks if the young core of players is a recipe for disaster. I believe that they have enough experience to play well and even though they are all young, I do believe that they will gel and their youth can work for them with their energy and ability to run.
Jon Duke has written a great letter to Commissioner Stern requesting the championship trophy be named after Red Auerbach. After all, no one has done more for the game than Red. It is a good letter.
Well, the season is finally here. Tomorrow the games count. How will the Celtics react? I can't wait to find out! Red, this one is for you!!
And finally the season is upon us. No more waiting.
So far, Powe is not being sent to the D-League. I really hope he can earn some playing time and make use of this opportunity. We'll see if he can force Doc to keep Scala on the IL when he's healthy enough to return.
In our second unit, I hope Jefferson, Delonte and Rajon can make their impacts felt. We need them to provide us a boost off the bench to keep the game rolling.