Tonight we face the Hawks. Last game against them was a loss but of all the teams we face, this one should be a good chance at a win. Some good articles in the papers today and wothe the read.
Steve Bulpett begins with an article in The Herald that reports that the Celtics are losing games but not the fans. How can you not love a team that plays this hard and shows so much heart? They never give up. I would love to see what they could do with a competent coach.
The Celtics Notebook begins by telling us that Wally and Scal were back at practice and trying to acclimate themselves back into the team. It was good to read that Doc isn't going to put Wally back into the starting lineup. I think having him come off the bench is a good thing.
Shira's article in the Globe tells us that our small lineup with West, Rondo, Ray, Gomes and Al play with such energy and heart that they don't back down from anyone. This is the lineup that brought us back from big deficits in the last two games. Good things do indeed come in small packages.
The Globe Blog tells us that Rondo is learning. He spends a lot of time watching tape and analyzing his performances and what he needs to do to get better. He also spends hours after practice and before games on his shot. This kid is the real deal and is going to be an incredible talent in this league. Also in the Blog is a little piece telling us that Perk is still struggling with the plantar fasciitis. Some days he can barely walk. Why Doc doesn't play Powe more and give Perk a rest, I just don't understand.
Eric Weiss has a good article on Celtics Blog that explains why we build chemistry and how we avoid fostering an attitude of losing. He reports that Doc gives players minutes as they earn them. But that doesn't explain why Powe doesn't get more. The kid does good things everytime he gets on the floor. He is such a hard worker, I just don't see him not working hard in practice. It just baffles me that he doesn't play more.
USA Today has a piece that tells us that Green is improving but that he is still very inconsistent. He will have a good game and then follow that up with a bad one. As he gets more minutes he will continue to improve and gain the confidence that will make his bad games fewer and fewer.
Hoopsworld takes a look at Pierce's injury. He is playing it safe by resting his foot. He sees a silver lining in that this rest may help to extend his career since he has been playing a lot of minutes over his career and hasn't missed a lot of games. One thing we know for sure is that the team is benefitting from his absence. We are seeing our young players develop and get more time and that will be good for the future of this team when he returns.
The Enterprise tells us that as the Celtics season continues to slide downhill, Jefferson is blossoming. He has become a genuine low post threat and is now developing a defensive game as well. I think back to last year when everyone was calling him a bust because he wasn't able to play well and because it took too long to come back from the sprained ankle that was actually bone chips. Now I hear the same thing about Perk who is struggling with an injury as well. When Perk has a chance to finally heal and is 100% I think we will see a huge improvement there as well.
Finally, I love this article in the Lowell Sun. We have been hearing a lot of Celtics fans hoping we continue to lose in order for a chance to get Greg Oden.
But don't believe the hype. What sort of logic is it to throw in the towel because you might -- flashback to the 1997 Draft and Tim Duncan -- have the chance at a potentially solid big man? The idea being that everyone should just forget about the fact that Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak will be coming back at some point. Instead, just say the heck with it all. Let them sit the rest of the year. Don't really try to win. Tank the season. All this for a guy scoring 15 points per game in 12 games against college players. The same guy who got shut down in the Buckeyes biggest game so far (a 26-point loss to Florida), got hit with the injury bug in his freshman year, and who, at 7 feet tall and 280 pounds, might not even fit the up-tempo style of play the Celtics claim to want to play.
Yes! Finally the voice of reason. The article goes on to remind us that those pointing to the difference Duncan has made should remember that Duncan was dominant in college in a tough conference and he joined a veteran team, not one filled with young potential.
Nobody should be looking to the draft. The hope for the future is already in place. It starts and ends with the improvement of Al Jefferson, Delonte West, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green and Rajon Rondo.
These players are developing in front of our eyes. I would add Perk to that list too because he has the potential to be a very good center once he gets past the injuries, just as Jefferson finally started to dominate once he got past the injuries. I would also add Powe who is a player. This kid has the potential to dominate in the paint if Doc would just give him some playing time. With the Celtics slowly getting healthy and the Eastern conference being weak, I say we play to win. I don't think there is a player on the team that feels any differently. These kids play hard. It is going to all click one of these days and then look out!! And the winning may start tonight against the Hawks!