The Celtics start their western swing tonight with the Denver Nuggets. They will face 5 games in 7 nights and will be a much different team when they come back home afterwards than they are now. For one thing, we may have Perk, Kandi and Wally all return to action some time during the trip, possibly tomorrow against the Clippers. Speaking of the Clippers, Cassell is battling his own bout with plantar fasciitis and may have to miss time with it. Sending my prayers and best wishes to Tommy who is home recovering from back surgery. Hope everyone is recovering from Christmas and will be ready for some basketball. Here is what is going on in the Celtics Nation today:
Mark Murphy in The Herald discusses the start of the road trip against Allen Iverson and the Denver Nuggets. He also runs down the teams we will face on the rest of the trip.
In the Globe, Shira reports that the team took some time off to prepare for the upcoming trip where rest will in short supply. It sounds from this quote that West is planning on guarding Iverson:
"It doesn't matter what uniform he's in," West said. "That's still Allen Iverson. It means one thing: You're guarding one of the quickest guys, one of the most talented scorers in the league. I've got to get my rest the night before."
That would be a good move because Telfair just doesn't defend well enough to handle him. Although Rondo is our best defender at the point and would do a better job than either of them. Perk, Kandi and Wally could be back sometime during the trip and reintegrating them into the mix will take some adjustment. Also reported is that the Celtics will be the only team who plays back to back games using different balls. They'll play with the new composite microfiber ball Sunday against Seattle and the old leather ball Monday against Portland. It will be interesting to see how the shooting and rebounding compares in those two games.
The Daily Herald looks at the players who have jumped directly from high school to the pros and asks the question as to whether something is missing in these players. None of these players including Garnett, McGrady, O'Neal, and Kobe has proved that they can lead a team to a championship. The Celtics have 4 prep to pros players so maybe they can do it by committee.
The Berkshire Eagle has a piece on Mike Crotty and his dream job. He is the director of player development for the Celtics. And with all of the young players on the team, he definitely has his hands full.
I am hoping that Gerald and Al step up tonight and make a leap in their development. The key will be how well we defend and rebound. With Iverson on the Nuggets there should be plenty of rebounds to be had as he loves to shoot. Join us on Celtics Green for the Play by Play and Q's color commentary.