From the very beginning of the season, Celtics fans have been concerned about the back up point guard spot. It especially became an apparent need when the Celtics played the Pistons in Boston and Rondo struggled against Billups, and House wilted under the Pistons' pressure. Well, Danny was patient and passed on several point guards who became available and now has come up with the big prize. Sam will be in town for his physical today. According to the Globe he has already signed the papers to join the Celtics. We know he has a sore wrist. It would be very bizarre if after all this he didn't pass the physical. Nah, I won't even think about that.
Marc Stein's power rankings last week said that the Celtics were ranked #4 because they failed to make a move at the trade deadline. Since those rankings, Danny has signed the two biggest free agents without having to give up anyone. I still don't get power rankings. They are so subjective.
The owners are sparing no expense to build a championship contender. As I was reading about Sam being signed, I thought back to the years of Don "Thanks Dad" Gaston. Those of us who have been Celtics fans through the Pitino years and the Gaston years know how very good these owners are and what a great job Danny is doing. Thinking back to those years really makes me appreciate this season so much more.
It was on March 3, 1985 that Kevin McHale set the single game scoring record for the Celtics against the Pistons with 56 points. Unfortunately for McHale, his record didn't last long as 9 days later on March 12, Larry Bird set a new record that still stands when he scored 60 points against the Hawks. Here is our very own Doc Rivers talking about Larry's record game.
In watching the games this season the thought came to me that Kevin Garnett has to have the record for the most times that a player has to be separated from opponents during games. It seems as though every game they show KG mixing it up with someone or other. Along those lines, Sam Cassell is a big trash talker. He is coming to the biggest trash talking team in the NBA. Seems like a match made in heaven.
Perk is a Beast. From Perk's first season I have been on the Kendrick Perkins bandwagon. For several years I have said that Perk is going to be a very, very good center in this league and other than the guys at Perkisabeast, most people haven't agreed. Perk came into the league right out of high school. He spent one whole season getting into shape. If you look at Jermaine O'Neal, another center who came into the league directly from high school, he didn't do anything until his 5th season in the league. Centers and point guards take longer to develop, especially if they come directly from high school to the NBA. In his last two games he has averaged 15 points on 80% shooting, 10.5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4.5 blocks. KG credited Perk with making him look good in the Hawks game. Perk knows his role and is now playing it to perfection. Doc finally realized that the Celtics play better with Perk on the floor down the stretch during the Bobcats game. When the Bobcats came back to within 5 points with the small ball lineup, Doc put Perk back into the lineup and the Celtics pulled out the win.
I love this picture. Tim Duncan looks pensive, Kobe is all smiles, and KG looks like he is about to eat the other two for breakfast. In Mike Gorman's mailbag, he was asked which Celtic he likes to watch the most and this is his answer.
But if I had to pick one player it would be KG. Cowens and Bird have only matched his intensity on a nightly basis in the time I have been following the Celtics.
KG is definitely a special player. I didn't follow him that much in Minnesota, but watching him game in and game out, I don't think that even Bird and Cowens were as intense as he is.
The Celtics have been so good because of the attitudes on the team. From training camp on, every player has done whatever it takes to make this team work. There have been no egos. There is no whining about playing time and they genuinely cheer for the successes of the other. PJ Brown is the perfect fit for this team in that next to Ray Allen, he may be the classiest player in the league. He has said he will do whatever he can to help the team, even if it is just being a cheerleader and coaching the young bigs. Sam Cassell has said that he will be fine backing up Rondo and will do whatever is asked of him. I sure hope he means it because the last thing this team needs right now is a disgruntled player. When told that Cassell coming may affect his playing time, Tony Allen had this to say:
“Like I told you from day one, whatever I can do to help team. If that’s what happens, it would be unfortunate, but I’ll be, ‘Go Celtics, let’s go get this ring.’ If it’s handing out Gatorade bottles, that’s what I’d do. What ever it takes, I’m willing to help.”
Every player on this team has that attitude, including the team's 3 stars. But then, last year's team had great chemistry and very good character, even during the 18 game losing streak. Just like Red Auerbach used to do, Danny has been drafting and signing for character as well as talent and it is paying off. Ubuntu.