Rondo's week of challenges continues tonight. He hurt his hamstring during the Phoenix game. He sat out practice as a precaution but Rondo is insisting that he is good to go on Friday. Let's hope he is right because the one player we can't afford to lose is Rajon Rondo. We go 7-2 without KG and 6-2 without Ray Allen, but without Rondo, we wouldn't make it. Does that make him the MVP? In case you missed them, here are two of Rondo's plays from the last two games. To the opposing point guards: be afraid.... be very afraid!
During the Suns game, with about 8 minutes to go in the 4th, I checked the standings on NBA.com and they had already updated them with a Celtics win. Now, that is faith, especially after the 4th quarter collapses in the two previous games. I just thought it was pretty strange that they had already put it down as a Celtics win.
I loved the play where Leon Powe shot from his knees against the Suns and was fouled. The more I see of this kid the more I really like him. I hope that he doesn't get squeezed out of the rotation because he brings good things every time he gets on the floor.
The press conference after the Suns game was worth the price of admission. After Pierce finished talking about how KG turned the franchise around, KG covered Pierce's mouth so that he couldn't keep talking and said WE changed it… WE… he can sit up there and talk all that individual bulls***… he can talk all that bull*** he wants… WE… WE helped change it… have a good night everybody. And then, they both walked off. Tanguay was sputtering when they cut back to the studio and was apologizing for the language and I am sure KG will hear about it since I know that must have been one of the things they were told not to do in their interview classes. I love KG's emphasis on team. No individual agendas. Just team. Pierce and KG seem to have a mutual admiration society going on. Poor Ray is left out but he has done as much as anyone to help turn this around and it isn't just his game winners. He has also taken Rondo under his wing and under his tutelage, Rondo's shot is looking much better. He spreads the floor so that it makes things easier for the other players. And let's not forget that without the Ray Allen trade, there probably wouldn't have been a KG trade. Here is a video of the press conference that is making the rounds of the blogs. It begins with another look at Rondo's terrific move around Steve Nash and then shows the press conference.
Doc sure is good at double speak. A day after coming out and saying that he wasn't going to change the rotation and rest the starters, he did just that. Then, right after saying he was going to play his bench more, he played Ray Allen 45 minutes and did just the opposite of what he had just said he was going to do. I was pretty puzzled to see Ray out there with a 20 point lead and only 30 seconds left after he had played pretty much the whole game.
I am still reading Celtics Pride by Bob Ryan I am at the spot where the Celtics are playing Milwaukee in the playoffs and it is talking about the coach, Tommy Heinsohn, making adjustments and changing the offense from game to game so that even though the Bucks had thoroughly scouted the Celtics, they didn't know what to expect from them. Coaching becomes so much more important in the playoffs, even with 3 superstars. We don't yet know how Doc will do in a 7 game series. He has never won one and was completely out coached in the last playoff series that the Celtics were in against Indiana. I am really hoping that Doc is up to the challenge, but that concern is always in the back of my mind. We have one huge advantage in that defense wins in the playoffs and, thanks to Tom Thibodeau, the Celtics have the best defense in the league.
When O'Neal was done speaking to the media mass, I went over and asked him if I had heard what I thought I heard. Did he really say he'd take Stoudemire over Garnett, especially after Garnett had put a Ziploc bag on Stoudemire in the second half? We know that one of Shaq's missions in Phoenix is to bump up Stoudemire, but this seemed to be a bit far-fetched.
"They've got the same numbers," O'Neal said. "Yeah, I would."
For MVP? This year?
But Garnett is anchoring the best defensive team in the NBA and has totally transformed the Celtics.
"Garnett doesn't play defense," Shaq said.
Hmmmm. Kevin Garnett doesn't play defense. Can you imagine what this team would be like if KG did play defense?
Finally, I was gathering the links and got to ESPN and much of the coverage there was on the draft and I just went past it. At this time last season Celtics fans were pouring over draft coverage and hoping for the #1 pick and discussing who we were going to pick. The playoffs were just an afterthought for someone else. It sure feels good to be able to ignore the lottery talk and instead, talk about who we might face in the finals. For the first time in over 20 years I am actually excited about the playoffs with a legitimate chance at the championship. Yes, it sure feels good.