Celtics resume practice today after a day off and hopefully will have all of the active players healthy enough to practice. The buzz around the web this morning has to do with the rumors about Danny going after Gasol. He would certainly be a nice addition to the team, especially if we could get him for a couple of young guys, Ratliff's soon to expire contract and some draft picks. I was both pleased and totally amazed to see that we are in a 3 way tie for the lead in the Atlantic division with just a 5 and 8 record. New Jersey has lost 5 in a row, Philly lost their last game and Boston won their last game putting us in the 3 way tie. Very interesting.... We seem to do better when we don't play than when we do. Here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
In the Herald Notebook, Bulpett remarks on the fact that Telfair took over and led the team to the comeback win in Milwaukee. It sure would be nice to have a PG who can direct the team in crunch time. I think Rondo is capable of that as well and I think both PGs are just going to continue to get better. Also in the article is the fact that Gomes has become expert at quietly great performances. He is just steady and does many things well and very rarely makes mistakes. Doc and Danny contribute our poor performances last week to injuries and the lack of practice with the whole team. We will see this week since we have 2 days of practice before Wednesday's game with the Nets.
The Globe Notebook reports that the Celtics are just trying to put together longer stretches of good play than the stretches of bad play. We have been inconsistent so far but I think that this team is going to eventually put it all together and be more consistent.
"What I tell the guys is that we need to play solid defense every night regardless," said Pierce. "That's going to help us develop consistency on a night-in, night-out basis when our shots aren't falling. We've got to be more consistent on defense and keep our turnovers down. If we can do those two things, it gives us the best chance of winning every night.
"Teams that have been together for a while with veterans have more consistent stretches. When you have a lot of new guys and young guys, you're going to have a lot of good and bad stretches.
I see a couple of things in this quote from Pierce. First of all, he is right. Defense is what is going to win games. We have to make an effort to play tough in your face defense for 48 minutes each game. Second, Pierce needs to work on the turnovers himself since he is the biggest culprit when it comes to turning the ball over, with Wally a close second. It isn't the kids turning the ball over, it is the vets. Third, the key is chemistry. This team will win when they have been together for a period and have developed that kind of chemistry where they know each other and trust each other. I believe they will reach that point this season unless Danny disrupts everything with another trade mid season.
Speaking of a mid season trade, the buzz around the net is all about the Grizzlies having a fire sale and Danny trying to get in on the ground floor to snap up Gasol. We have a lot of bargaining chips and it seems that Danny should be able to put together a good package to get him. CelticsBlog has a proposal on how the Celtics can get Gasol. SouthCoast Today says that getting Gasol gives the Celtics something to dream about and feels that the draft picks we have been stockpiling may be our best bargaining chip. Memphis Commercial Appeal gives more details about the state of the Grizzlies and why they are trying to clear out some of their players. It is certain that the Celtics won't be the only bidders for Gasol. But, there can be no more than rumors until the ownership of the Grizzlies is settled and that won't be until sometime in December.
And on a nice note, Celtics.com is reporting that, Kandi has been keeping himself busy during his time on the inactive list. He celebrated the holidays by visiting the Children's Hospital and serving Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless. He seems to be a nice guy and was really trying on the court before his injury. I think signing him was a good choice.
Being tied for the Atlatic Div lead with a 5-8 record is both encouraging and pitiful at the same time. Oh well, its a matter of perspective.
The game against Milwaukee was a tale of 2 teams. The first team did not defend very well and could not get into a scoring rhythm. The team in the second half totally controlled the tempo, clamped down on the Bucks and hit close to 60% of its shots. Its another 4 day off no games, but hopefully this time, the team will not get cocky, but continue to work hard and play hard.