First of all I want to wish everyone in the Celtics Nation a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I would love a few more Celtics victories for Christmas!! The Celtics are off until the day after Christmas and then we face the Denver Nuggets with Iverson. Hopefully the Celtics will get some defense for Christmas. Here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
Mark Murphy's Herald article tells us with no trade on the horizon and Pierce out, the Celtics young players have a chance to prove themselves. This is an interesting quote from Danny:
“I saw strides in our players when we were 5-13, before we had the streak,” Ainge said last week. “Obviously, Al and Tony have really stepped up, but I’m not surprised. The difference is that they’re getting minutes now. Our problem has always been that we have too many guys, not who we have."
So then why are we not playing those players to develop them? Why do Pierce and Wally need 40+ minutes a game? Why does Scal need 20 and why would Doc choose to play an obviously ill Scal instead of Powe? If the goal is to develop our kids, why does it take injuries to get them on the floor? Hopefully with all the injuries, we will get to see some of our kids take that next step in their development. Doc has no choice as we are running out of players.
“Now we have to be doing this much more as a unit. We have to get out there every night - especially on the defensive end - and let things come. We really have to be precise, really execute. “The thing that hurt us in the defensive end (against Philadelphia) was that with Paul out, we all tried to fill that void first,” Gomes said. “But if we’re going to win games, then we have to get stops, and then use that to our advantage. I think we actually have more of a fast break side to things with Gerald (Green) and Tony (Allen) out there. There’s no reason for it, but (against Philadelphia) we all got beat one-on-one. “It’s all about what’s effective, and if you can’t do the job on defense, then you won’t be out there.”
Gomes is saying the right things and seems to have gotten the message. Hopefully this will transfer into action on the court on Tuesday night.
The Globe echoes this same article saying that the Celtics are going to have to win with defense as they won't outscore teams without Pierce.
We are not outscoring anybody with what we have. We have to play great defense and we have to play with great energy. We can't get outhustled, we can't get out-rebounded.
We need energy and hustle and rebounds... sounds like a good time to play Powe and Rondo. I know I sound like a broken record, but these kids do good things when they are on the floor and I can't see a valid reason for not playing them.
Peter May looks at the Celtics' season of change. There may be similarities between this season and last, but there are also a lot of differences and Peter lists them here. My favorite part of this article is about Al's footwork and the plethora of travelling calls he got early.
Have you noticed that Al Jefferson's distinctive offensive game is finally getting noticed by the officials? That's because the Celtics made sure that the referees knew that Jefferson's nifty footwork was not traveling -- a violation he had been called for on numerous occasions -- by sending a tape into the league. "Al does that reverse-pivot move and it is not traveling," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We sent a tape to the league recently so that they could see what we saw. "And it was interesting in the Charlotte game [Dec. 16 ]. One of the referees was watching Al and saying, 'Is that traveling?' And I turned to him and said, "It isn't traveling. We've got it on tape.' "
Tommy blew a fuse everytime they called travelling on Al in the post and he continually said it wasn't travelling and the refs had to see that. Good move on the part of the team to take action and send it to the league office.
MetroWest Daily reports that Michael Olowokandi is settling in to life in Boston and liken him to a Gentle Giant. I like Kandi and hope he can give us some quality minutes this season. It is great that players give back to the community. I like what Gerald said in this article:
But as Gerald Green agreed later, while nursing a plate of hamburgers, ice cream and pecan pie across the room from Brian Scalabrine, who sang Christmas songs and introduced Santa Claus: ``People are always happy when they are getting something. But I am happy that I can give away because I have received so much.''
Bill Reynolds ponders on how far Gomes has come in a short time. Gomes has good instincts and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He rarely makes mistakes on the court. He is definitely a steal for the 50th pick.