I read in an article on ESPN.com that Larry Krystkowiak will be preaching defense in Milwaukee and was almost envious. The biggest problem I have had with Doc stems back to a statement he made last season. At the time he said that he was working on offense in practice because that was the hardest to get. He said the defense would take care of itself because after all, while they worked on the offense, half the team was playing defense. That statement has really bothered me and still does. In spite of his statements that he is always telling the guys to play defense, he didn't feel it was important enough to actually work on it. That may explain why we still can't defend the pick and roll and why our defense is still a weak point for this team. Defense is what wins championships and I don't think Doc takes defense seriously enough. I want a coach who will come in and work on our defense and not just micromanage the offense. We would be a much better team if we had a coach who would emphasize defense instead of insisting on running set plays every time down the court and letting the defense take care of itself.
Perk is starting to show signs of playing like I have always believed he could. He is still hampered with the plantar fasciitis and is just willing himself to play through it so he may still be up and down this season, but I believe the Perk we saw over the past 2 games is the real Perk. If he can come back healthy next season, and I don't see any reason why he can't, he will be averaging a double double, just as Al is this season. People wrote off Al as a bust last season because he wasn't playing well due to injuries and this season he is proving all those critics wrong. Perk is going to do the same thing next season. He works too hard not to. This kid is what Celtics Pride is all about!
Leon Powe is another kid who works too hard not to make it. This is from the Patriot Ledger:
Rivers on Leon Powe: ‘‘I just like him on the floor. He’s been up and down. I lost my cool with him (Tuesday) night because I don’t think Leon should ever play a game and have zero fouls. Leon is a physical player, and it’s tough to be physical with zero fouls.’’ Rivers said, though, that Powe ‘‘does exactly what you say. We were talking on the plane and someone said, ‘Man, Leon’s going to kill someone tomorrow.’’’ Powe scored eight points with four rebounds - and four personal fouls...
A couple of things caught my attention in this quote. First, Doc says he just likes Powe on the floor. So, why does he keep him on the bench so much? And, second, He was getting on Leon for not fouling? The kid only played 5 minutes on Tuesday. How many fouls should he get in 5 minutes? Earlier he was saying that he wasn't playing Perk and Al because they fouled too much. Now he isn't playing Powe because he doesn't foul enough? What is a player to do? Third, Powe does exactly as they say. What a coachable kid. To know that you have a player who will go out and do exactly what you tell him to has to be a joy for a coach to work with. Dickerson has said a couple of times that he doesn't know how long Leon will be in a Celtics uniform and his contract isn't guaranteed for next season, but he is one player I really think they need to keep. He plays with such intensity and energy and brings toughness inside that this team very much needs.
Finally, I love this team. I am hoping that Danny will stay the course and keep this group together next season. We will have a high lottery pick to bring in, which can only help. But I like the chemistry that this team is building. I feel that many of these players are making a leap in their play and several more will make an even bigger leap next season. Danny has stuck with them this long and I would like to see him be patient a little longer and give this group a chance to mature together. We have already suffered through their growing pains and it doesn't make sense to me to trade them now that they are poised to get to that next level.
We have the pieces. A very exciting point guard in Rondo. A tough shooting guard in Delonte. A tough low post player in Al. A tough defensive center in Perk. A very good veteran presence in Pierce. And a deep bench with A very athletic and exciting wing in Green, a tough enforcer in Powe, a microwave type scorer in Wally and Ray, a very solid player in Gomes, a promising point guard in Telfair, an exciting lock down defender in Allen, and an energy guy and all around good locker room presence in Scal. Perk and Al are playing very well off of each other and so are West and Rondo. Every one of these players is a hard worker and are dedicated to becoming better and playing team ball. I would hate to see any of them traded disrupting the chemistry and great attitude of this team. We have something really special starting here and we will see the benefits of it next season and for many years to come if Danny just keeps them together.