We face the Pistons in the Garden tonight and the Wizards on the road tomorrow. How the team will react is anyone's guess. Will we run? Will we defend? Will we break down in the 4th quarter and jump on Pierce's back again? Only a few more hours till we find out. Both teams lost their openers and so both teams are looking to get the win and get back on track. We have the home court advantage, so I am hoping that will help us to a win. Here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
The Herald begins with an article that tells us that Doc isn't being too hard on his bigs yet, even though both struggled in the opener. Perk has such a great attitude and work ethic, that I truly believe that he is going to do whatever it takes to improve his game. The one thing he needs is consistent playing time, something he has never had up to now. John Hollinger, in his column on which players will break out, includes Perk and I agree with him.
That four-year, $16 million extension he signed might go down as Danny Ainge's best move as Celtics GM. Look at it this way -- Perkins is already one of the best rebounders in the league and projects as a top-five guy in Rebound Rate for the coming season. Now compare his contract to Reggie Evans, who does nothing but rebound and signed a free-agent deal this summer that will pay him substantially more than Perkins.
And Perkins isn't nearly as one-dimensional. In addition to the boards, Perkins can score a little around the basket -- he probably won't crack double figures, but he'll shoot around 50 percent -- and he's a physical center who provides a true defensive presence. Also, he won't turn 22 for three more weeks, so he's improving. A double-double might be out of reach unless he gets the rock more, but 10 boards and two blocks a game is completely reasonable.
Scott Souza has an article on how Ratliff is contributing even though he is injured. He is giving the young players advice and a pep talk about not getting down when they lose. I can see now why they named him co-captain. His presence is going to be very good, especially for our young bigs who can learn a lot from him.
The Globe takes a look at our close games last year and in the season opener. Wally offers these thoughts:
"We have a very clutch basketball player in Paul [Pierce] and I think we get into the habit of watching him play in the fourth quarter. We've got to be ready to make the shot when we're open and he's double-teamed. He's got to be ready and willing to give us a ball to where other guys can score and make things happen. That's a process and I think we're getting better at it."
Doc mentions that it isn't entirely a negative thing that we had so many close games as it shows that we stayed in those games with a chance to win. It remains to be seen if we can take the next step and actually win those games this season.
The Patriot Ledger states the obvious that our opening game didn't answer any of the questions that surrounds the team. The point guards didn't play well, the bigs didn't play well, we weren't consistent, no one stepped up to help Pierce, and we didn't run. Hopefully we can begin answering those questions with tonight's game.
RealGM has a piece on Doc and how his time may be running out. I have to agree that many of the problems that plague this team appear to be directly related to poor coaching. I am willing to give Doc a chance, but so far, he isn't winning me over.
JB has a good article on CelticsStuff Live along the same lines with a Christmas list that includes Rick Adelman for a coach.
In that light, there is a perennial bridesmaid, currently unemployed; Rick Adelman who would come with his his trusty sidekick and early Auerbach disciple, while at Princeton in the 1950’s, Pete Carill. Not only has Adelman taken his teams very close (a few widely disputed calls away) to the promised land, his style and manner would not be as much of a disruption, as say a Paul Silas, or a Hubie Brown. Like with Don Nelson, if Ainge is going to make a move, he should move quickly, even to save his own job, as the really good coaches don’t stay unemployed for long and we won’t be the only team with Adelman on our gift list come Christmas.