Should We Worry?

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. Kevin GarnettThe 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 consistMiami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Fourent 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.

C’s Weekend Recap

The Celtics dropped two games this weekend, both against quality teams, and the games imagescat1wg6eweren’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 Boston Celtics at San Antonio Spurshigh 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.

Can the Celtics Win Again?

The Celtics have been my favorite sports team since I can remember. Yes, the B’s, Pat’s, and Sox are obviously right up there, too. But I have always seen the Green and White above all. I love their history, from Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, to the original big 3 (Bird, Parish, Mchale), to the new big 3 and everything in between. That being said, I do not remember the last time that I was this excited for the Celtics season to start. With the Pat’s barely sneaking by, the NHL in a lockout, and the Sox not playing last season (I’m pretending that’s what happened), I cannot wait.

In my opinion, this is the most talented team that we have had since the Bird era. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that we are as deep as the Russell team (Pictured Below) that had 9 future Hall of Famers on their roster in the 1962-63 season. Needless-to-say, they won a championship that season. That was their 5th in a row, eventually setting the record with 8 in a row. But we are solid. Continue reading

Are the Celts Better Than 2008?

Although it is impossible to predict the NBA season already, I think it is safe to say that the team that Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers assembled this summer could be the best one that we have seen in at least 4 years, maybe even longer. Sure, we lost the best shooter the game has ever seen and KG and Pierce are that much older, but we brought in the perfect kind of players to fit into our system. Pierce averaged roughly the same PPG last season (19.4) as the year we won it in 2008 (19.6). Garnett’s numbers are significantly different and he is not feared by every player breaking through the lane anymore, but he is still a leader on this veteran team.

In 2008, Leon Powe  and James Posey were arguably our best bench players, both averaging about 7.5 PPG. I am willing to bet that Jeff Green, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee will all average above 10, or close to it. And with their amount of energy, experience, and Lee’s outstanding defense, they will be one of the most feared guard groups in the league, especially once Bradley is back.

There is one other major difference between the then-and-now teams, and that is Rajon Rondo. He averaged 10.6 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 4.2 RPG in the 07-08 Season.  Last year, he averaged 11.9 PPG, 11.7 APG, and 4.8 RPG. He has also developed into one of the best point guards in the league and a leader on a team that is mostly older than he.

Chris Wilcox is a solid bench player who was having a great season before getting injured. Jared Sullinger will play right away, and Brandon Bass will pick up right where he left off last season (12.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG). Not to mention Christmas, Joseph, Fab, Collins, and Smith who have all had great summer sessions and are prepared to fight for the last few spots. Plus we signed Darko Milicic who is 7’1. For those of you who don’t know him, he was selected #2 in the 2003 draft behind LeBron but ahead of Melo, Bosh, and Wade. Talk about a great pick up by the Pistons…

Although we have clearly re-fueled our roster, other teams have also gotten better. The Heat are obviously the team to beat, the Lakers had a huge summer trading for Howard and picking up Nash, and the Thunder are one year more experienced. The Spurs are always good and our division just got tougher with the new Brooklyn Nets. For anyone who thinks the Knicks are finally going to be good are mistaken. It should be an interesting season, as long as we can stay healthy for a change.

Rondo to All Star Team

After a miserable two weeks for Celtics fans, were finally getting some good news. Joe Johnson is unable to play in the all star game due to tendinitis in his left knee. The initial reports are that Rajon Rondo is to replace him in the All-Star game. Rondo who is currently serving the second game of his two game suspension for throwing a ball at a referee. He would be the third point guard behind Derrick Rose and Deron Williams. Rondo is averaging 14.8 points, 9.6 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Before his suspension Rondo had exploded for 35 and 32 points and seemed as if he had felt snubbed by the decision.

Is Avery Bradley the Key to the Game? Celtics-Thunder Preview

In the Celtics (15-16) last game before the All-Star Break they face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder (25-7) and former teammate Kendrick Perkins. Rajon Rondo will not be able to play against his good friend as he will be serving the second game of his two game suspension for throwing the basketball at the referee. The two teams are heading in different directions as the Celtics have lost 6 of their last 7 and their last 4 in a row. The Thunder have won their last three games and are 9-3 in the month of February. The Celtics are also 4-8 on the road while the Thunder are 13-1 at home.

The Celtics will hopefully get Kevin Garnett back as he has missed the last two games due to a family matter. The Celtics are extremely weak at the power forward position if he doesn’t play as Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox are both day to day from injuries against the Mavs and Brandon Bass is out until after All Star break. The Celtics will have to rely heavily on Jajuan Johnson and Greg Stiemsma as they are the only two power forwards or centers on the roster.

The Thunder are just two games removed from what I can remember as one of the most ridiculous statlines a trio of NBA players has ever produced

Player Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals
Kevin Durant 51 8 3 0 4
Russell Westbrook 40 4 9 1 0
Serge Ibaka 14 15 0 11 1

These three bring back memories of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. While they have accomplished nothing yet, they are look very tough to beat this year and will pose a big problem for the Celtics

Keys to the Game

Get out and Run

The Celtics may or may not have any one of the three big man listed day to day. But if they do, and more importantly if they don’t, they need to get into the open floor and get some easy baskets. The team is struggling in its half court sets and getting easy baskets allows the defense to set up and do its job.

Get some Penetration

Other than Pierce and Ray last game the Celtics were settling for a lot of jumpers. The offense was stagnant and the ball was not moving crisply. It’s tough to get open shots when your not making the defense work.

Cut down on Turnovers

Paul has been trying to take over the game and its nice to see, but his 10 turnovers in the past two games is hard to swallow. The Celtics have to take care of the ball and it starts with The Truth. The Celtics are too good of a defensive team to be giving up so many easy buckets off of turnovers.

Avery Bradley

Finally, my man Avery came out strong in the first quarter last night, looking for his shot and actually hitting it. If he can show he has a consistent jumper, it will open up the floor for the rest of the Celtics shooters and allow him to penetrate and create. No one is really concerned by his defense, we all know Avery D’s up!