The season is finally here and Celtics play tonight at home. There will be tributes to Red before the game and during half time. With the team dedicating the season to Red, I hope they play their hearts out every game to honor him. Here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
In the Herald, Ainge reflects on the highs and lows of his tenure as GM. He has had very good success in the draft, but his free agents haven't panned out. He still has hope for Scal, but I have my doubts.
In Murphy's Notebook, Doc says that he is keeping his starting lineup under wraps for now. Starters are expected to be Perk, Pierce, Wally, Gomes and Telfair but it makes you wonder if Doc is going to throw a surprise in there. Also mentioned is that West sat out practice with a flare up of his back injury. That isn't good news but hopefully he will be available for tonight's game.
Bulpett focuses on the 33 games decided by 5 or fewer points last season. Of those 33, we lost 21. Some of those games came down to a bad coaching decision but most were because of failure to execute defense in the final few minutes. Many times the ball went to Pierce for an iso and that lost as many games as it won. Hopefully this season we will have more players willing to take that final shot and more willing to play in your face defense for 48 minutes.
Scott Souza reports that Gerald Green has made great strides from the wide eyed rookie of last year but still has a long way to go. I don't expect Gerald to get big minutes this season, but do expect him to play and to be able to help the team. He needs to get some playing time to continue to grow as a player.
The Daily News Tribune reports that these young Celtics are ready to prove themselves. I truly believe that they can.
The Globe makes the point that our third year players are the ones who will have to step up and make the leap this season. Expect, Jefferson, West, Telfair and Allen all to have good seasons.
CelticsBlog announces their partnership with Hickman and Gilroy on the Celtics Pride Radio Show. This is a show that airs on ESPN radio after all home games and is a very entertaining way to undwind from a game. Celtics Blog will stream the show on their site. Be sure to catch it.
Celtics 17 presents the second part of Doc on Trial. I still have my doubts about Doc's coaching ability. He has proven that he doesn't take defense seriously enough. It is no wonder that we were such a poor defensive team last season. Also, it seems he is making the system too difficult for our young players. Red's theory was keep it simple. Doc is introducing 3 NEW defensive schemes 4 days before the first game. How many different defensive schemes do you need? I just don't have a lot of confidence in Doc after what I have seen of his coaching so far. I hope he proves me wrong since we are stuck with him for the near future anyway.
Projo clears up one thing that has been the topic of discussion lately. Ratliff, in spite of being injured for most of the preseason, has been named co-captain. The article also brings out that the team will try to make its youth a positive this season rather than a negative.
In spite of everything that has been said, I still like Ricky Davis. He gave everything he had every night when he was in Boston and that effort is what won me over as a fan. I wish him luck in Minnesota and hope he finds a home there and does well. I can't help but think that the negative reports about him that have come out recently are just another example of the Celtics propaganda machine (see Al's ankles and Telfair's incident).
The Sun Journal gives a great quote from Rondo that has to make you excited about this kid.
"I'm very confident," Rondo said. "I think my style of play fits the NBA game a lot better. I just play with a lot of energy and do the little things. I don't try to go out and score every night. The things I do you can control - play defense, rebound, take charges, the intangibles."
Now this is a kid who does the things that help his team win.
The Enterprise has a short piece on Perk and how his hard work should help the team this season. In spite of very limited playing time (3,5 and 19 mpg over his first 3 seasons), Perk has developed into a force in the middle. If Doc gives him regular minutes this season I truly believe he will break out.
Tonight is Opening night for the Celtics and I am very excited about this team. Join us on Celtics Green for the play by play and for game chat and insights.
Game day is finally here!!! Now that wasn't so bad (the offseason, that is). I won't be able to watch tonight's game until late this evening, so I've got to be careful not to watch SportsCenter or jump on our blog site so that I don't catch the score prematurely.