To start out with, ESPN is reporting that the jury found Isaiah guilty of sexual harassment and will now decide on MSG's liability. I know it isn't Celtics news, but any green blooded Celtics fan has to feel a little bit os joy at Isaiah and the Knicks having problems.
The Herald reports that James Posey is leading the second unit and that things are shaping up for the bench, as well as the starting unit.
Looking at the club overall, the coach added, “The biggest change besides obviously the three guys is that our bench is all veterans, too - well, not all, but you think about Scal and James Posey and Eddie House. They’re not going to look at the starting unit and kiss their butt. They’re going to play them, and they’re not going to back down. “The scrimmages between that second unit and the first unit have been very close and very competitive - a lot of barking with each other. Before, when Paul said something, the young guys would back up. Well, they’re going nowhere now. Tony Allen’s on that group, and he’s a bulldog. Leon’s on that group. You’ve got five guys who look the starters in the eye and tell them to bring it on. And that’s nice.” Said Tony Allen: “It’s pretty competitive. There’s a lot of pride out there. Guys want to get stops. Basically we’re all just trying to make each other better.” Posey has done a good job of both establishing his own presence and giving Garnett and Pierce a hard go. “He’s very competitive, very tough,” Garnett said. “He doesn’t just play defense. He knows how to defend. You know what I mean? Some people just defend because they hustle. He actually understands how to defend. It’s refreshing. It’s a good addition to this team.”
The Globe reports that Ray Allen has been taking Rondo under his wing and Rondo is responding. Allen's leadership is going to be a key to this season because of what it will mean to Rondo's development in particular. A quote from Peter Stringer's blog on Celtics.com shows what a team player this guy is.
According to Allen, adaptation is the key to success in camp for veterans who may find that their role changes from year to year. "You just have to be willing to do what the team needs from you that particular year. I think most people go into training camp with a preconceived idea of what they're to do based on what they did last year. I know what I can do, but with this team, I have to figure out what they need me to do now."
I have always respected Allen but I have a whole new respect for this guy now that he is a Celtic. What a classy guy! Also from Springer's blog, Pierce has some very interesting things to say:
Pierce said that picking up offense is easy, but defense is the toughest thing to learn in the NBA. "Only the great teams are the top teams in defense, and those are the teams that win championships. That's what were focusing on," Pierce said. "We know we've got great offensive weapons, but if we can get our defense to be just as talented as our offense, and everybody has the will to want to do that, the sky's the limit for us."
Yes! Defense wins championships. It is about time this team concentrated on defense! Also from this article, Doc expresses some concern at being thin at PG.
"With Gabe being out, it just shows how thin we are at that position. Rajon is going to be fine, but what happens when he gets in foul trouble, or one of the other guys can't go?" Rivers asked rhetorically. He clarified that he's comfortable with the situation but he still realizes that any long-term injury could complicate things. "Tony and Eddie are getting better at it, but on purpose today we told Rajon to pick up whoever the point guard is, that way that guy would see pressure, and it affected them, no doubt about it. And that's what some teams are going to do [against us]."
Maybe Danny should have listened to the blogs and signed a veteran PG.
NBA.com and ComcastSportsNet both have videos from practice along with interviews. Leon Powe has a nice put back dunk in one of the videos. Both Doc and Mike Gorman have mentioned that Powe is looking good in practice and that the veterans love his intensity. As a big Powe fan, that is good news.
ESPN has their training camp power rankings out. Spurs open up at #1 and the Celtics are at #2. That is some kind of incredible turnaround. From 29th in the last rankings last season to 2nd to open this season. Here is their little blurb to go with the ranking.
Sobering fact: No team with three 20-point scorers has ever won it all. But all Boston has to do is get to the Finals to meet expectations, which (again) is very plausible now after the NBA's most spectacular offseason.
Scot Pollard doesn't like blogs but does have a journal on TrueHoop on his experience at Vlade Divac's charity event. The Palm Beach Post reports that Antoine is moving past the robbery and is ready to start the season. I just love how Antoine was telling Pierce he was going to have to leave Boston to get a ring and now, the Celtics are rated higher than the Heat.
In not Celtics news but you love it when they struggle department, The Chicago Tribune reports that Phil Jackson has real doubts about his team.
USA Today questions whether Rondo can lead this team to a championship.
Boston Celtics — The new Big Three of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce shouldn't have any trouble playing together because they are unselfish veterans who understand that this could be their chance at a ring. The question, however, centers on point guard Rajon Rondo. Can he lead this team or will they have to go out and get a veteran point guard?
Seems like everyone is questioning Rond without even knowing what this kid can do. His only real weakness was his shooting and it seems that he has taken care of that. If you watch the training camp videos, you can see Rondo hitting a couple of jump shots that look pretty good.