Just a few odds and ends from around the web today. First, Jeff Goodman has a good article on Big Baby. Finally we get to hear his side of the story. Big Baby still wants to go where he can get the most money and you can't blame him for that. He also wants playing time and you can't blame him for that either. How else will he continue to develop? It wasn't until he stepped in for KG in the starting lineup that we saw the big improvement in his game last season. He also realizes that playing behind two guys like KG and Sheed can teach him a whole lot that will carry over into the rest of his career. He also says that his ankle isn't 100%, which is interesting. Goodman has this to say about his contract situation:
According to sources close to the situation, the Celtics brass believes that Davis will be back in Boston next season – either with a multi-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $2 million per year or for a qualifying offer in which Davis would still remain a restricted free agent after next season.
The Globe gave us some good news about the Celtics second round draft pick, Lester Hudson.
The Celtics received some good news on second-round draft choice Lester Hudson, who sustained a broken finger during the Orlando Summer Pro League last month. He is expected to return to training in three weeks, according to agent Lance Young. Hudson backed up Gabe Pruitt in Orlando, scoring 15 points in 44 minutes in three games before being injured.
The Celtics still need a back up for Rondo and the question is whether they decide to give Hudson a shot or sign a veteran. They have to decide whether Hudson showed enough in summer league to warrant a chance to show more in the regular season. If they wait until training camp, the best veteran PG's may be gone. Anthony Carter would be a good fit but I can't believe that he will make it to training camp without a team signing him.
Finally, the SCHEDULE is out! After the Cavs and a couple other teams were fined for leaking some info from it in advance, it is now officially released. Here are a few highlights. As was leaked by the Cavs, the Celtics will be opening in Cleveland on October 27. Their home opener will be the next night vs the Bobcats.
The Celtics will have 32 appearances on National TV including 10 on ESPN, 9 on TNT, 6 on ABC, and 7 on NBA-TV. The Cavs will be featured on national TV 29 times. Surprisingly, the Lakers are only scheduled for 24 national TV appearances. The Magic match the Celtics with 32 games on national TV. One very strange quirk is that the Lakers open their season vs the Clippers, not at home but at American Airlines Arena in Miami. I guess they won't be raising their banner on that night. Just strikes me as very strange.
Games to Circle on your calendar. After the way the Cavs behaved during their last game with the Celtics last season, and the fact that the Cavs are still figured to be the big competition for the Celtics, we should circle all the games vs the Cavs. The Celtics will face them 4 times. After the opening night game on Oct 27, the Celtics won't see them again until February 25 (Home) and then twice more on March 14 (Away) and April 4 (Home, an afternoon game)
Of course, the 2 Lakers games will be biggies. They first meet on January 31 at home in another of those afternoon games. They won't have to wait long for the rematch as their second meeting is on February 18 in LA.
After being knocked out of the playoffs by the Magic last season, we need to keep an eye on the games with the Magic. For the second year in a row, the Celtics will be on the road on Christmas Day and playing on national TV. This year it won't be the marquee matchup with the Lakers, but they will be taking on the Orlando Magic. The other Magic games will be on November 20 (home), January 28 (away) and February 7 (home).
Finally, after the classic series in last year's playoffs, the Bulls games should be fun to watch. The Celtics will face the Bulls on October 30 at home, January 14 at home, and April 13 in Chicago, which is the next to last game of the season. The Celtics final regular season game will be at home vs Milwaukee.
Some general observations, the Celtics have 16 back to back sets this season. Their longest road trips are 4 games in December and 5 in February. Here is a link to the schedule on Celtics.com and another link to the one on NBA.com with the national TV games shown. I really can't wait for this season to start!!!