The news today centers around the return of Perk, Kandi and Wally and the loss of West along with the ugly loss to the Clippers.
First up are the reports on last night's game from the Herald and the Globe. I know that this team depends on Pierce, but that isn't the reason they shot 32% last night. I know we had 11 shots blocked and that may have made some of the players tentative but I know we have better shooters than that. Wally was evidently rusty and still doesn't have his legs under him but we should be shooting better than that. Defense also continues to be our achilles heel. We can't seem to get stops and that isn't something that is due to Pierce being out, either. We should be better than this.
The Herald Notebook reports that West feels he can play tomorrow night in Golden State. In spite of West being injured due to his hard play, Doc wouldn't have him change and says that if we had 12 players with Delonte's passion and heart, we would be tough to beat. Is that Doc calling out the rest of the team for lack of passion and heart? Also mentioned is Powe's plan to have the team over to his family home for dinner. At least they will get some good home cooking on the trip, even if they don't get a win.
The Globe Notebook also discusses Deltonte's play and heart. It is his heart that sets him apart along with getting him injured. Jefferson has been seeing more and more double teams as the team plays without Pierce but he doesn't give up on the plays and stays with them. He is getting better at passing out of the double team to the open man. He is also increasing his efforts on the boards. Allen Ray has been seeing more time and has been playing well for the most part.
Shira has a little piece on Pierce and the fact that he wishes he could help. He isn't sure how his injury is progressing because he never had anything like it before. He plans to stay at home and rest it as much as possible and hopes to join the team at home when they return from this road trip.
The Green Room covers the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from this road trip so far. The Good is Al Jefferson and Gerald Green who have both been improving with each game and responding to the increased minutes. The Bad is our point guard play and Ryan Gomes. I don't know if it is an injury problem or a sophomore wall, but Gomes hasn't been giving us much lately. He had just 1 rebound last night and his play has been very lackluster. Why Doc doesn't put Powe in I will never understand, especially when Gomes isn't producing. The Ugly is the team defense and you will get no arguments on that. We seem to have completely forgotten how to play defense and we are losing because of it.
On CelticsBlog, Eric Weiss has a good article on our point guard play past and present. A good read.
The SF Chronicle has a good piece on Leon Powe. I really like this kid. He is tough, works hard and plays hard. I just don't understand why he doesn't get more minutes. He produces when he is on the floor but yet only gets a few minutes each game. Pierce has this to say about Powe:
"He's a hard worker and I think that goes back to his college career," swingman Paul Pierce said. "He's not playing much, but every time he does, he gives us what we need, a hard-nosed banger and an inside presence."
He gives us what we need. I have to agree. So why isn't Doc playing him. The team plays very well when he is in, most times going on a run. So why doesn't he play more? I just don't understand.
JB over on CelticsStuff Live posts the observations of a fan who attended the game. They are pretty much the same conclusions I came to watching on TV. And speaking of CelticsStuff Live, don't miss their show tonight featuring Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog and Eric Pincus who covers the Clippers and contributes to JB's Yahoo group.
We’ll get their thoughts on the status of the team and the play of Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, and Tony Allen taking more prominent roles due to injury and opportunity. We’ll also discuss the recent benching of Sebastian Telfair in favor of Delonte West for what Doc Rivers has said will be for the remainder of the season. If you have a question for either guest you can call our toll free number up to an hour before the show and leave us a voicemail. As always we’ll be taking your calls between guests and monitoring the chat wars in The Pit.