Celtics play the Bobcats tonight and hope for their first win. Since the last game, they have simplified offense to two basic plays, hopefully gotten Ratliff back and West back on track. If the 4th game of the season can ever be called a must win, this one is a must win. Here is what is going on around the Celtics Nations today:
Mark Murphy reports that Delonte is working hard to get his rhythm back. He has been working extra with Kevin Eastman as well as practicing his post defense playing with Perk, Al and Powe, which prompted Doc to say that Delonte is nuts (but in a good way). Delonte is due for a break out game and let's hope it is soon because we really need the Delonte back that we all know and love.
The Celtics Notebook reports that Ratliff is probable to return tonight. This would give our defense a big boost in that Ratliff has been coaching the defense and can direct it when he is in. This is a good thing since Doc has proved that he doesn't have a clue how to coach defense. Powe will probably be moved to the IL to make room for Ratliff. I really wish Doc would give Powe a chance in a game. He proved he can play in the preseason and I really believe that his toughness and energy would help us off the bench. I also hope that the return of Ratliff won't mean that Perk will play less than 10 mpg again. We need to develop Perk and he can't do so without playing time. Perk can be a dominant defender and shot blocker and a very good rebounder, but he needs playing time to develop his game.
The Globe Notebook pretty much tells us the same as the Herald did. Delonte has had 2 good practices and then went up against the big guns afterward. I love this kid's competitiveness. The Bobcats have never won in Boston. Let's hope it stays that way.
The Globe Green Room questions whether Pierce is becoming frustrated with the team already. To me, Pierce seems like he is staying positive and believes that they will turn it around. It is too early to get frustrated, especially with all the talent we have on this team.
Hoopshype features an interview with Peter May. Among other things, May feels that Doc isn't on the hot seat but feels that he would be a better fit for a veteran team. He feels that Tony Allen has been the most disappointing and that Delonte is the best of the young guns so far. Also, he felt that the Celtics made a mistake in promoting Big Al.
Tommy Beer on Hoopsworld feels that there is trouble brewing in Boston. I think it is too early to give up on this team. They had a slow start but I think they will come around.
Speculation on Larry Brown's next stop has already begun and Boston seems to be in the forefront with most everyone but Danny Ainge realizing that Doc is the weak link in this team and should be replaced. I am not sure that Brown would be a good fit for Boston because he has traditionally liked veteran teams and he doesn't seem to do as well with young players.
Last night FSN aired Tommy Forever Green. It was a very good program and if you have a chance to catch it when they air it again, you should do so. FSN has it listed for 11/10 at 5:00 pm and 11/11 at 7:00 pm (before the Cleveland game) for the next airings. Also on FSN, Russillo, Dickerson and Tanguay had a round table discussion and they agreed with me that Perk can be a dominant rebounder and physical presence in the paint but he hasn't been given enough playing time and that he has to worry too much about completing the play that Doc has called rather than just playing. Also they feel that Delonte will turn it around and that he will stay at the 2 this season and not be moved back to the PG position. They were saying that Delonte is thinking too much about his shot and if he just gets in rhythm and shoots it instead of thinking about it, he will break out of his slump. They are also saying that Green should be given more time to develop. They feel that he can be an impact player if given the minutes to develop. The also mentioned the fact that Tony isn't playing very well and that Gerald's defense and play couldn't be any worse than Tony's and could be a lot better.
Hope Theo is back soon (maybe tonight). We need his help to stabilize our interior defense. Perk hasn't been able to keep out of foul trouble and though Jefferson leads the team with 1.3 bpg, there are still a number of layups that gets by him.
Getting Delonte's shot back will also be key.
The good thing is, we are 0-3 because nobody has really been playing well yet. If we are 0-3 and Pierce, Wally and a few others are playing the best basketball of their careers, something is definitely wrong. We have yet to play a good 4 quarters of basketball in any one game.