Overall, the Boston Celtics are 12-11. They are right in the middle, sitting in 15th place overall out of 30 teams. This is not the Celtic’s team that we have come to know and love. The season is just over 1/3rd of the way over, and we are not getting any better. The C’s, who are usually one of the better defensive teams, are allowing 97.9 PPG. This stat isn’t as bad as some, except for one fact: We aren’t scoring. We are only averaging 97.4 PPG. I’m no math wiz, but I’d say those numbers are going to have to improve if we want any chance to beat the big teams of the East this season (New York, Miami, Atlanta).
We don’t have an easy schedule coming up either. We play the Bulls in Chicago on Tuesday, then come back home to play the Cav’s and Buck’s, both of which have shown that they can put up serious points. Then we take on the Net’s on Christmas, and the Clippers two days after that. Sitting just one game above .500, the C’s need to find a way to get some W’s.
The only consistent scorer this season has been Captain Paul Pierce, who is averaging 19.7 PPG. Rondo is scoring lower and lower each game, but if he can keep getting 12-15 assists per game, they should be okay. Garnett is shooting around 50% lately, but doesn’t play enough minutes to put up any serious numbers. Meanwhile, Jason Terry has been big off the bench, but still has not found his stroke on the 3-pointers, something we have been lacking since Ray Ray took his talents to South Beach.
The Celtics dropped two games this weekend, both against quality teams, and the games weren’t that close. On Friday night, The C’s lost to the Rocket’s 101-89 behind Harden’s 21 points and bench player Greg Smith’s 20 points. Paul Pierce played 41 minutes and was able to contribute 18 points, 7 rebounds, while everyone else seemed rather flat. Garnett put in 14, Rondo put in 15 and added 13 assists, but we were out played badly.
On Saturday night, they Green and White took on one of the best teams in the league, the San Antonio Spurs. For the first half, it looked like this would be a game. That ended about halfway through the third quarter. Garnett only put in 13, Rondo had 6 points, and failed to reach double digit assists with 9. Sullinger had a team high 7 rebounds off the bench, and Jason Terry had a huge first half and managed to score 18 points total, even though he slowed down significantly in the second half. Parker put in 22 for the Spurs while Gary Neal was able to score 20, as the Spurs improved to 19-6.
It seems as though Rajon Rondo has set an NBA record for most consecutive games with 11+ assists at 28 games. Everyone thought that he failed to do it after he tied the record last week, when he only got 10 assists in the stat book. However, today, the league statisticians went back and looked at the tape and saw that he assisted Brandon Bass in the 3rd quarter of that game, but the assist was given to Terry. So its official, Rondo solely owns that record.
It seemed to end again on Monday night against the Bulls. But wait, once again it seems as though he had an assist that the scorers are looking into now. If they award it to him, he will have an active 29 game streak going.
Most people could care less about that record. He is on pace for another record, if he can keep up the solid play and I don’t jinx him. He is 3rd all-time with a 31-game streak of double digit assists. He is behind John Stockton (37 games), and Magic Johnson (46 games), probably the two best point guards of all time. The Celtics play tonight against the Jazz. Go C’s!
On a side note: Fab Melo and Kris Joseph have been assigned to the D-League with the Maine Red Claws, just as Danny Ainge anticipated.
Obviously, we learned last year that no one should count the Celtics out early. They were awful at the beginning of last season and still made it to game 7 against the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. However, we barely beat the Wizards, and lost against the Bucks, two teams that we should beat night in and night out. Pierce is playing incredible, Rondo’s defense has gotten stronger, and KG is always reliable, even after a tough shooting game on Saturday.
The biggest thing to note is the way these new players are mending together. Doc said that he needs to find a way to mix and match the second unit better. He started doing this by putting Jared Sullinger into a starting role, in which he played great. You can tell that he is still young and needs to work, but he has to be ahead of where most rookies are at this point in their careers.
Personally, I am not worried about the C’s this season, and neither should you. We have so much depth and about 7 people that can put up double digits on any given night. Once they get going, they are going to be a tough team to stop. Next up is the Wizards again on Wednesday at home. Hopefully we have this game won before 28 seconds in the 4th quarter.
Jason Terry has been voted as the most likely sixth-man award winner for this NBA season. JET received 11 votes, while Jamal Crawford earned 8. Ray Allen even got 4 of his own. Even Jeff Green was voted for once, even after his rough first game back.
With reigning sixth-man award winner James Harden starting for the Houston Rockets now (scored 37 points and added 12 assists in his debut), the field is wide open. Jason Terry has already won it once before while with the Dallas Mavericks. Leandro Barbosa even won it when he was with the Suns, and if he plays like he did in the first game, he could be a big surprise. But I’ll give my vote to Jason Terry because if he can help get us over the Miami obstacle, he will be seen as one of the key factors since we lost to them the past two seasons.
As expected, both Lebron James and Dwayne Wade score in the high 20’s while Lebron recorded his first double-double of the season (26 points, 10 rebounds). One of the most painful things to watch was Ray Allen dropping 19 points on his former team. Ray played 2 more minutes than Lebron in this game, which no one expected would happen.
On the other side, KG struggled for 9 points, but was able to add 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce played amazing in the first half and ended with 23 points while Rondo added 20 points and 12 assists of his own. The biggest surprise was Leandro Barbosa dropping 16 in only 16 minutes while going 3-3 from 3 point range. The newest acquisition already showed that he deserves to be here.
The final preseason power rankings are out, and there have been more than a few big surprises in the past few days.
Reigning sixth-man award winner, James Harden, was traded to the Rockets to play alongside Jeremy Lin. The Thunder did not want to give him the max deal that he deserved. They instantly dropped from #3 to #5, before even playing a game.
The Lakers dropped one spot from #2 to #3 in light of their 0-8 preseason and an injury to Kobe Bryant. However, they still have Howard, Nash, Bryant, and Gasol together when they are all healthy again, and that looks to be a dangerous team.
Spurs jumped up to #2 this week, but this may be short lived since Manu’s back has been bothering him lately, and they are a year older. However, everyone should know better than to count out the Spurs.
The Celtics jumped from #6 to #4 after they realized that no one in the East can compete with the Heat but us. It goes without saying, injuries will play a key part in this season, with our team getting older. However, we got younger and quicker over the offseason, and are even more motivated this season after coming within 48 minutes of a championship birth.
Assuming the Heat are #1 on the power rankings, who do you think should be #2?
The season is finally here! If you’re like me, you probably completely ignored baseball, patiently waited for hockey and football to start (still waiting on one of those), and have been following the C’s offseason very closely. We are a completely different team than we were last year. There are only 3 players from our ’08 championship team left (Pierce, Rondo, KG). However, many believe that this is the most talented and deepest team that we have had in ages. We couldn’t keep up with the Heat in the 4th quarter of games last year in the playoffs, so we went out and got some fresh legs and defensive specialists. We have Jeff Green back who will help on Lebron and Bosh, and drafted Sullinger who looks to rebound on every play, something we have been lacking over the years.
I have always been a big Ray Allen fan. He is one of a million, a dying breed. There are few pure shooters like him remaining in the league. However, he is starting to gain enemies due to his apparent dislike of the Celtics Organization. While Doc and Rondo and company have remained quiet, Ray has continued to talk poorly of the organization which he won a championship with. After being talked to by Pat Riley and the Heat Front Office, Allen has begun to talk about the positive times that he remembers from Boston.
He talks about all of his deteriorating relationships since he has taken his talents to South Beach, but at least acknowledges his time in Boston. He tells ESPN: “I’m always going to be a Celtic no matter what,” Allen said. “It’s always going to be in my veins. Once you live there and play for that team and win a championship, it doesn’t matter where you go. You’re always going to be a Boston Celtic.”
Personally, I am going to miss Ray, but at the same time, I think that we are a better team this season so it doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother other people. I do wish that he would stop putting former teammates and this organization down, but everyone should always remember him for his time in Boston and all those clutch moments, especially in the ’08 Finals.