Today's odds and ends are a little late because sometimes life gets in the way of basketball, sad as that is. Having been on the Leon Powe bandwagon since Day 1, I am understandably excited today. He proved he would play in the preseason when he got a chance and he proved he could play again last night. If Doc doesn't play this kid now, there is something wrong. The play of Perk and Powe did a lot to temper my disappointment in yet another close loss and failure to execute on either end at the close of the game. There is a lot going on in the Celtics' Nation today so here we go:
Steve Bulpett reminds us that the Celtics 1 and 6 record is the worst since that awful season in 1978-79. Most of us fans like to block that debacle from our memories. Hopefully this team will pull it together and not try to tank for Oden as we know how that worked out when we tried it for Duncan.
In his Celtics Notebook, Bulpett reports that Powe grabbed Doc's attention (along with a lot of Celtics fans too). This kid brings toughness inside, rebounding, shot blocking, and energy. All things that we desperately need on this team. The question is, why hasn't he been playing all along? Theo is going to be out indefinitely, but Al was seen at the shootaround. Pierce is making an attempt to up his rebounding this season.
Mark Murphy reports that Pierce says that the blame for last night starts with him and in a good part that is true. Pierce was way off on both ends of the floor. Perk had more to say on the subject.
“There’s nothing for anyone to point their finger at here,” said a bristling Kendrick Perkins. “It’s not coaching that’s the problem here, and it’s not our offense - it’s us and our commitment.
“I don’t want anyone blaming the coaches for this. We have good defensive schemes, and they put us in the right position to make plays. We just have to stick with it and see it all the way through.”
Perkins, one of the few Celtics who puts defense before his offense, believes that a shift in priorities is in order. “If everyone comes in with the same mindset, and isn’t just out there thinking of their offense, then we’ll be all right,” Perkins said. “We can’t win games where a team is shooting 53 percent on us.
“That’s a matter of pride - deciding not to let them take those open shots. I came in with the pride in my defense tonight. I just couldn’t let somebody from the other team get off. We’ll put up points, everyone knows that. But we have to do both - defense and offense. I’m not just talking about pick-and-roll defense, but straight-up defense. All of us, me included, have to get better. You can’t go out there with just two or three guys thinking that way. Everyone has to say, ‘I’m not letting this guy get off.’
Have I mentioned today how much I love this kid? What a great attitude! He is right on with his assessment. What this team needs is pride in their defense. Perk and Powe give us a start. Now if only everyeone else would make that committment.
Megliola points out that the Celtics are falling further behind. 1 and 6 is a terrible start but there are silver linings and this team does have potential. The play of Powe last night gives us a glimmer of hope. Defense is a matter of attitude and I believe that this team can learn to play defense and turn this season around. I just hope that the coaches can coach defense.
The Globe points out that Powe earned his playing time with his performance last night. He also tells us that Doc still likes this team and feels that they are close in spite of appearing very green in their play so far.
The Globe Notebook reports that Al is healing quickly and hopes to be back a lot sooner than the 6 weeks that were originally predicted. That is very good news. Also reported is that the opposing team's point guards are destroying us. I think this means that we need to start Rondo for his defense.
Bob Ryan reports that the wins may not be here, but the hope still is. It is good that the team isn't getting down on itself. I still believe that the team will turn it around and finish strong, even with Doc as their coach. Ryan also focuses on Al, Rondo, and Green who he predicts will be stars in the league.
The Worcester Telegram reports that West, Pierce, and Wally are on the All Star Ballot. Pierce doesn't expect to be voted on by the fans, however because of the Celtics record. Also noted is that the most likely player to go to the D League is Allan Ray. Powe, Green, Gomes and Rondo are eligible but are expected to stay with the team.
Projo tells us that the Celtics aren't practicing what Doc preaches. The question I ask is, why not? Is he not making his game plan clear in practice? Are the veterans like Pierce doing their own thing? Are the players he is playing not working hard enough? You have to wonder. We have some incredibly hard working young players. I have to believe that maybe Doc isn't getting it across to them for some reason. Powe, the one player that Doc says isn't getting it, came in and pretty much dominated in his 24 minutes. Curiouser and curiouser.
We have another chance at home on Wednesday to right this ship as we host the Pacers. I just keep thinking that any game now, they are going to turn it around. Now is as good a time as any.