Shimmy Silenced I have been struck by how far Antoine Walker has fallen since his last stint with the Celtics. He spent last season in Pat Riley's for having too much body fat and now that he is with the Wolves, he is just averaging 19 mpg coming off the bench. He encouraged Pierce to leave Boston if he wanted a ring and now he is playing with 5 other former Celtics and isn't even in the starting lineup. My how the mighty have fallen.
This Has to be a Coincidence The Sonics have 2 former Celtics and technically have 3 players they got from the Celtics if you include Jeff Green who they got with the #5 pick we gave them. The Sonics have the second worst record in the West and third worst overall. The Wolves have 6 former Celtics on their team and have the worst record in the West and second worst record over all. And the Heat have 3 former Celtics including Mark Blount who should count extra because he just just such an unlikeable person. The Heat have the worst record in the league. I mean, this really has to be a coincidence that the three worst teams in the league have the most former Celtics on them, doesn't it?
Leon Davis Celtics Blog discusses these two guys and the Herald and Globe discuss them as well. Mike Gorman dubbed Leon Powe and Big Baby Leon Davis on CelticsStuff Live this week. They have become a two headed monster off the bench. Everyone knows that I have been on the Leon Powe bandwagon since we got him. I like Big Baby too and it is really nice that these two cheer for each other because they bring different things to the game and one night we will need what one brings and the next night we may need the other. But the fact that both are emerging is going to bode very well down the stretch and in the playoffs.
Kevin Garnett With KG having been out 7 games and the team doing well without him, it is easy to forget what this guy brings to the team. Having to sit out like this may be the best thing for the team. For one thing, the bigs on the bench have been getting playing time that they wouldn't have if KG was playing and all except Scal have responded in a big way. Second, you know that when KG comes back after the break he is going to be well rested and loaded for bear. He is going to want to tear into every team we face and that is a scary thing. In case you have forgotten how very good this guy is, here is a reminder.
Experience Giddyupidness I love that from the Kia Rondo commercials. It just seems to fit Rajon Rondo very well. Sometimes it is easy to forget that Rondo is just 21 years old and just in his second season. He has really come out of his shell since KG went down and with every game, he seems to be getting better and better. One thing you have to be amazed at is how a 6'1" point guard can out rebound all of the centers and power forwards from both teams in a game. He has been amazing on the boards lately.
All Star redux Ray Allen still may have a chance at making the All Star team. Caron Butler has been injured and may or may not be able to play. If he can't go, Ray Allen, Jose Calderon, and Hedo Turkoglu would be the top candidates for the spot. I think Ray should get it by virtue of the Celtics' record. Ray Allen may not have the best stats, but he was crucial to the Celtics success and he has sacrificed a lot of his game for the good of the team. That has to account for something.
ABC Announcing The ABC announcers were funny to listen to. They must have referred to Scal as a fan favorite at least 6 times. The Celtics chanting for him seems like more of making the best of a bad situation than his being a fan favorite. The best quote of the day was after Scal got his 4th rebound, they called him a "rebounding demon". Unless I missed something, Scal is averaging 1.5 rebounds and has gone 20+ minutes several times without a rebound. Another time they made a point of mentioning Scal's championship caliber defense. If Danny paid them to raise Scal's stock for a trade, he got his money's worth.
Celtics vs Spurs Having been a Celtics fan the year we had 15 wins in an effort to secure Tim Duncan, the win on Sunday was super sweet. I have suffered through 10 years of having my nose rubbed in the fact that the Spurs had Tim Duncan and we didn't as they easily dominated the Celtics all those years. With the win last year and the win on Sunday, the Celtics have a modest 2 game win streak against the Spurs. The win was sweet because even though the Spurs were missing Parker and Barry, the Celtics were missing two bigger parts of their team with the starting center and power forward both out. The Celtics won that game on sheer grit and determination and with defense. It was one of the most satisfying wins of the season.
Manu Flop Speaking of the Spurs, is there a more irritating player than Manu Ginobili to play against. His attempts to draw fouls on the last two plays of the game were ridiculous. I was so proud of Tony for not falling for it. And speaking of falling, Manu is one of the biggest floppers in the league since Reggie Miller retired.
This one is priceless.
This has to be my favorite, though. How obvious can a flop be?
Big Test The Spurs was a big test for the Celtics but in a lot of ways, the upcoming Pacers and Knicks games are even bigger tests. It would be very easy to let down since neither team can be considered a power house but to prove themselves, the Celtics need to beat the teams they are supposed to beat. They need to fight a let down and come out against both of these teams in the same way they would approach San Antonio or Dallas.
Tom Thibodeau There have been several articles about Doc and how he is responsible for this team's success including one in the MetroWest Daily today. Doc is probably the perfect coach for this team because he has the team's respect because he is a players coach similar to what KC Jones was with the '80's Celtics. But, I personally feel that Tom Thibodeau is more responsible for this team's record than Doc is. It is the defense that has made them as dominant as they are. If this team wasn't playing team defense like they are, their record wouldn't be near as impressive. In Doc's previous 3 years, he talked a lot of defense, but we didn't see any of it. He made that infamous statement that he worked on offense in practices because after all while they were practicing the offensive sets half the team was playing defense. Yes, Doc is doing a decent job of coaching, but it is Tom Thibodeau who is really responsible for the success of this team. You can see both Thibodeau and Doc on the sidelines yelling instructions to the players. Thibodeau was adamant about signing just a one year contract. He interviewed for several head coaching jobs before coming here as an assistant. You have to believe that he will be in demand this season to fill any vacancies. Can the Celtics keep him if they don't offer him the head coaching spot? Can the Celtics be as good defensively without him on the sidelines now that his system is in place? I think we need to try to keep this guy at all costs.
Pierce Kudos One thing that needs to be said is that Paul Pierce has had a terrific season. Before the season, I had my doubts that Pierce would be able to defer to the other two stars and wondered if it would work. One of the reasons that it has worked is Pierce's willingness to take a back seat to KG in the limelight and his willingness on the court to do whatever was needed to win. Some games, like against the Spurs, he will pick up his scoring and take over the game. They needed his scoring in that game. In other games he will concentrate on feeding the others and rack up the assists. He seems to do a little of everything in every game to make the team successful.
16-0 The Celtics are 16-0 against the Western Conference. At first when the Celtics undefeated record against the West was mentioned, there was always, well you haven't faced any of the West's powerhouses. Well, now we have beaten the Lakers twice (granted it was before the Gasol trade), the Mavericks, Denver, Utah, the Blazers, and now the Spurs. The Celtics beat the Mavs without KG and the Spurs without KG and Perk. Granted we still have 2 West coast trips coming up and we have to face both the Hornets and Suns twice, but shouldn't the Celtics get some credit for what they have accomplished so far?
Doc vs Obie Tonight's game matches Doc against former Celtics coach Jim O'Brien. Obie always stressed defense, but nothing like Thibodeau has brought to the Celtics. One thing is for sure, we will see a barrage of threes if we leave them open. Hopefully Doc and Thibodeau will have them ready for it. We know that the Pacers will be up for this game and hopefully the Celtics will be too.