The Celtics are finally catching a break in the schedule and will have their second day off in a row today. Add that to the starters having the 4th quarter off on Wednesday night, and they are getting some very much needed rest and also some much needed practice time. With several players nursing bumps and bruises, it is also some much needed healing time.
Bill Walker got some good press this morning with articles on him in the Globe and the Herald. I really like this kid. In every quote, he shows that he gets how much work is needed to succeed and he seems very willing to put in the work, whether it is with the Celtics or the Flash. I love his aggressiveness on the court and the fact that he doesn't back down. He seems poised and doesn't get rattled. He knows that defense is the key to playing time and to winning and is willing to put in the hard work on defense to get playing time. I fully believe that if the Celtics keep him with the team and give him the opportunity, he will be the back up 3 that this team is lacking right now. I really hope Danny keeps him and Doc gives him a chance because this kid has what it takes to be a very special player in this league.
Poor Delonte West can't catch a break. I love Delonte and really hated to see him go when Danny traded him. I was hoping that this summer when he was a restricted free agent this summer that maybe the Celtics would bring him back. He has always plays hard and because of it, has been hit with injuries over his career. After battling depression early in the season and finally getting on top of that, he was playing very well and seemed happy in Cleveland where the team was also playing very well. Last night, while trying to block a shot he landed on his wrist and broke it along with getting a couple stitches over his eye. But, he hasn't lost his sense of humor which I have always loved about him:
“I’ve been punched in the face many times before, I shook that off,” West said. “We’re on a roll here, we can’t have no pity party for me. I’m going to try not to feel sorry for myself, it hurts but I can still wear my pinky ring." and "It’s my right wrist; I don’t use that hand anyway.”
I had to chuckle about his quote about not using his right hand because I remember all the calls in Boston for him to develop his right hand because he was so predictable in always going left.
Tonight could be a very good night for the Celtics. First, they are off and resting up for tomorrow's game vs the Nets. Second, the Lakers, Magic and Cavs are all playing. The Cavs are facing the Hornets at home. Cleveland is facing a tough team after losing last night in OT to the Bulls. They also lost Delonte and are already without Big Z. 2 of the Celtics other chief rivals are playing each other as the Magic faces the Lakers in LA. Whichever team that loses this game will help the Celtics. A Magic loss may help the Celtics more since they are Eastern Conference rivals, but there is no way, no how that I can cheer for a Lakers victory, ever! My two favorite teams being the Celtics and any team playing the Lakers, for tonight it's "Go Magic."
And tonight will be a good night because it will be Darius Miles' 10th game. If he plays even 1 minute tonight, he goes back on Portland's books for the $18 million still on his contract. The Blazers have been completely classless throughout this whole thing from leaking confidential information to threatening teams who may be interested in signing him. If I were Darius I would be looking out for the Blazers to put a hit out on him, Tanya Harding style to keep him out of the game tonight. They have proved that nothing is beneath them in this matter. I will be cheering for Darius tonight and since there isn't a Celtics game on may even watch as he sticks it to the Blazers.
Scal has been getting a lot of love lately. The jeers and taunting cheers have turned to genuine love for the resident redhead on the team. His team loyalty and the way he plays all out whether he gets 3 minutes or 30 minutes have won Celtics' fans over, just as the same qualities made him a fan favorite in New Jersey. He may never be an all star, but one thing is for sure, he is willing to do whatever is asked of him to help his team win, whether that is sitting on the bench in the playoffs and cheering his team on or starting at center. You have to love that from him. After booing him in his first couple years in Boston, fans are finally realizing what he brings to this team, whether on the court or in the locker room.
There is a good article on Perk in the Providence Journal today. I love Perk. I love his intensity. I love his attitude and work ethic. I love the way he has overcome a lot of adversity and come out on top. The same qualities have made Leon Powe and Bill Walker favorites of mine. You have to pull for kids who face obstacles like all three have faced and come out on the other side all the tougher for it. What they have come through has given all three an incredible work ethic and also has kept them humble. I would really love to see all 3 stay Celtics for life. They are definitely players cut from the old time Celtic cloth.
I am leaning toward the camp that wants Yi to start in the All Star game. KG could really use the rest. I had been voting for all 5 Celtics to start but now I think it would be better that they sit out. It would be great for Perk or Rondo to get their first All Star game in, but Perk definitely needs the break and so does Rondo. I don't see Perk making it anyway and it appears that fans don't see Rondo making it either since he hasn't made it into the top 10 in voting. Speaking of the All Star game, that commercial with the 3 players vying for a spot in the Slam Dunk contest cracks me up. I had to vote for Rudy Fernandez because of the way he sings "Vote Me." Too funny. I can see Bill Walker one day being invited to participate.
Tomorrow is an afternoon game vs the Nets. I imagine they are smarting from their 32 point embarrassment on Wednesday and will come out with a lot more fire this time. They have been a better home team than road team so far this season, but had a 4 game home win streak going before losing to the Blazers on Thursday. The Celtics better not come into this game taking them for granted or the Nets will beat them. This could be a trap game if the Celtics come in expecting it to be an easy one. Then, the Celtics face the Suns on Monday. They were saying last night that on back to back games, Shaq sits out. He sat out the game last night vs Denver and they play tonight at home vs Minnesota. They have one night off and then play Toronto on Sunday and the Celtics on Monday. Maybe he will sit out Monday's game vs the Celtics. We can hope, but he will probably sit out vs Toronto since every team in the NBA has made it their personal mission this year to take down the Celtics.