Last night's game was encouraging from the standpoint of the play from our young players including Al, Tony, Telfair, and Tony. They all played very well. In spite of playing 5 on 8 all night, they never gave up and never stopped coming in spite of many bad calls from the refs. Al reminds me more and more every game of a young Kevin McHale. Gerald Green is giving us glimpses of the future and it is very bright, and Tony continues his solid play on both ends of the court. You can find game reports in the Herald, Globe, Projo and Worcester Telegram. Of course, you can read my slightly biased report below as well.
Matt Kalman has a piece in the Herald on Gerald's big game last night. He drew complements from LeBron James and was just spectacular in 19 minutes. I have said it before and will say it again, this kid needs more minutes. Doc should be playing Green 29 minutes and Wally 19 minutes while Pierce is out and Wally is hobbling around on 2 sprained ankles. If Green had taken a few more shots and Wally a few less, we may have seen a different result last night.
The Herald's Celtics Notebook tells us that Pierce is improving but will be out at least until January 19, which is longer than first thought. I am not all that upset that he is still out because players like Tony and Gerald are benefitting from the longer playing time in his absence and we have to be about developing these kids at this point. Also mentioned is that Delonte says his back is feeling better, but you couldn't tell last night when he went down after a driving layup and took awhile to pick himself back up. The kid is a warrior but he needs to let his back heal.
The Herald also reports that our old friend Antoine Walker has been deactivated by the heat for conditioning issues. Seems he is still packing on the pounds. Several seasons in Boston, Walker came into the season way out of shape and it wasn't until his last season here that we saw the slimmed down version of Antoine. Riley is even saying that if he and James Posey don't slim down and meet the team's conditioning criteria by January 15 they could face a suspension. The Celtics Notebook in the Globe also discusses Pierce's status and quotes Doc saying that he will be more involved in the coaching during his recovery. Doc wants to get him in coaches meetings and have him involved in film sessions, etc. Also in this piece, Perk figures that his ghastly free throw percentage had to be the new/old ball since he swished his only 2 free throws last night. Happy Birthday to Big Al who turns 22 today. Tony Allen (Jan. 11), Gerald Green (Jan. 26), and Leon Powe (Jan. 22) also have birthdays this month.
According to Frank Dell'Apa's Globe article, LeBron's 80 foot heave at the buzzer in the third quarter was no fluke. He practices that shot in the event that he will have to take one in a game. I still feel that it was a shame that in Doc's post game press conference instead of focusing on all the good things that this team and Gerald did in particular, he seemed to harp on Gerald's not defending that 80 foot heave.
The Globe Blog has some quotes from the Celtics Locker Room. Doc called the last play for Wally to take a 3 saying: "Right now you can clearly see Wally can’t get his balance. But he’s our best three point shooter and we got a shot.” Uh Doc, look at the box scores, will you? Gerald is shooting 47% from behind the arc vs 36% for Wally. Last night Gerald was on fire and Wally was struggling. Just another instance of bad decisions by Doc in games. If I was playing to win, Gerald would have taken that last shot.
The Worcester Telegram Notebook also addresses Pierce's status. It also reports that Wally is still sore from the two ankle sprains but Doc will continue to start him over Green at least until Pierce returns. Doc also mentions height as one of the reasons that he is starting West over Telfair. Also mentioned is that 3 of the Celtics Dancers have been nominated to represent the team at the All Star Game. You can vote for them on NBA.com.
SI.com is continuing their features of Gerald Green's diaries. They published his Rookie diaries last season and this season they are giving us his Sophomore Diaries. One of Gerald's goals is to make the Rookie/Sophomore game. Let's hope that his play of late will get him an invitation to play in it. He also wants to participate in the Slam Dunk contest and has been working on some special dunks for that purpose. If he isn't in it, it would be a crime against the fans because he will definitely bring some excitement to the contest.