I am one of the few remaining optimists remaining among the Celtics Faithful these days. Green Koolaid still flows freely around my house these days.
Yes, I realize that we are 1 and 5 to start the season. Yes, I watched the team disappear and blow a 25 point lead and lose to the Cavaliers. Yes, I know that the current Celtics coach isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier. But I also know that there are some things to be positive about also.
For one thing, in spite of seeing the team collapse and blow leads and collapse at the end of games, I have seen them play very well for 3 quarters. I have seen how they are capable of playing and know that it is just a matter of time until they figure out how to close out games and how to continue that play for 4 quarters.
We have had a plethora of injuries already this seaso. Theo Ratliff has only played in two games and wasn't 100% in those. Al Jefferson was felled by his appendix just as he was blossoming into that player we always knew he would be. If it wasn't for bad luck, this poor kid wouldn't have any luck at all. Wally has a pain in his butt. Hopefully that won't become a regular thing but it did disrupt the chemistry a bit while he rested it. West has missed the entire training camp with one thing or another and is just now finally getting back to playing like himself. Scal had the shoulder injury. I know, not a big loss, but he has been doing some good things this season and not hurting us like he did last season and since Doc loves to depend on him, his loss did cause some problems in the lineups. Telfair had breathing problems in the Jazz game and had to go check out a lineup in the Knicks game. Things like that affect your chemistry. In spite of all that going on, we have been in most games right up to the end.
On the individual performance front, there are some good things to look at also. Telfair has struggled at times but also at times has shown some good things. He has shown us that his shooting is no where near as bad as advertised. His defense needs a lot of work, but then he isn't alone in that. Rondo has shown that he is the real deal. This kid has the whole package. He can defend and is capable of locking down any player he is put on. He can drive and dish off or finish at the basket and is capable of picking the pocket of any player in the league and he can beat anyone down the court without a question. His shot needs some work but reports are that he is working for hours before and after practice to improve it. Rondo is for real and is going to blossom this season. Mark it down. Whether Rondo starts or comes off the bench, I believe that by season's end we will have 2 of the better PGs in the league.
After missing most of training camp, and getting off to a slow start, Delonte West has found his game and is back to being the scrappy, tough guard that we fell in love with last season. He also seems to have found his shot. That is very good news. Now if Pierce will only pass it to him, we will see far fewer double teams on the other players. Delonte gives us so much and hasn't really played well but he is almost 100% now and we should see a difference in the team because of it.
Perk has been plagued with foul trouble early but studied a lot of tape and the last couple of games has shown that he is working his way out of that mentality. He had a double double in the last game and I believe that he is just going to continue to get better. He has had 6 blocks in the last two games and is being more aggressive without picking up the quick fouls. I really love this kid and truly expect him to break out this season, especially with Ratliff on the shelf for a little while longer.
Ryan Gomes has picked up where he left off last season, opening eyes with his strong and smart play. He had his first triple double the other night and I expect that it is the first of many. He has a knack for getting rebounds, even from taller and stronger players. He is hitting his shots and also finding the open man. He is blossoming into a quality all around player before our eyes and he is just going to continue to get better.
Finally, it has only been 6 games. It is still very early in the season to pronounce it a failure already. This team is going to come together and things are going to gel and they are going to get better. The Celtics will be peaking mid year when the other teams are starting to wear down. Of course other things may happen in the meantime such as a coaching change or a trade for a star to go with Pierce, but even if those things don't happen, I still expect this team to finish strong. So, grab a glass and join me for some koolaid and enjoy the roller coaster that this season promises to be.
Cheers, FL. I'm chugging down a 2 gallon jug myself ;D
We need a lot of improvements, but I'm still optimistic about our future. We need development in the worst way and until we see more of the young kids start to play like quality veterans, we will struggle here and there. But I do see a green light at the end of the tunnel.
I'm very encouraged with our PG play from Telfair and Rajon. One of these guys will be our starting PG for the next decade and I'm pulling for the both of them to make it. Gerald is definitely showing that he's going explode soon (if not this season, next season) and if the appendix didn't detour Jefferson, we'd all be singing his praises right now. Perk and Allen are playing much better now, and Gomes is playing like a veteran role player. Delonte needs to learn how to have a quick trigger.
Kandi is impressing me. I expected nothing out of him, so even if he gives us 5 pts and 4 boards off the bench, I'm thrilled.
Wally has been really good in the uptempo game and I often think he's outplaying Pierce in this area.
Wasn't Clifford Ray brought in here to improve our rebounding upfront? I guess Pierce must have been eavesdropping because he's certainly a man possessed on the boards.
We need a healthy Theo because he's definitely a defensive presence in the paint. He opened my eyes on his very first play as a Celtic (blocking Okafor in the paint).
Leon Powe.....thank goodness something finally allowed Doc to put Powe on the floor!!!!!!!
What the ?*&!! is wrong with the team? Personally, I think the team has good players...so you've gotta know where I'm pointing the blame at.....can they please get a new coach already?!?!?!
Here's something for ya to think about. Don Nelson is working with a similar caliber of players in Golden State...he's got a mix of veterans as well as youngsters on the team. I believe the Celts can get back on track likewise with a better coach on the sidelines.
Good points also Derren. Kandi is impressing me also. Worth the veteran minimum. And the PGs have played well but I think Rondo should be the starter based on his defense. Last night Telfair just couldn't stop Nelson.
FL, Jameer also scored on Rajon as well. Remember that blocked shot Powe had on Carlos Arroyo? Well, he got by Rajon pretty easily first before meeting Powe in the paint.
Yes, Telfair is not the same defensive player that Rajon is, and he will never reach that level. But Telfair is doing a better job of staying with his man, and I think an effort is being made on his part to improve his defense.