Big Baby Ready For The Leap
April 17, 2009

Mike Petraglia has some primo quotes from Big Baby after today’s practice.

“I thrive at situations like that, being the underdog,” Davis began. “No, I’m not KG, I’m not at all. I’m Big Baby from LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I’m not the Big Ticket, I’m the Ticket Stub.”

“Don’t count the Ticket Stub out,” he added. “You might need the ticket to get into the game but you leave with the ticket stub because you’ll never forget this game. You’ll need it as a souvenir.”

It’s hard not to love this guy.

Look… We’re gonna miss KG.  There’s no doubt about that.  But Glen Davis can actually provide a little bit of what KG did… at least on offense.  You have to guard him with a big guy, and you have to respect the jumper.  If that opens even a tiny bit of space, it’s enough for Rajon Rondo to slice his way into the heart of the defense.

He’s not the shot-blocker KG is… no where near close.  That’s gonna hurt on D.  Part of the KG effect on D is having him and Perk just flat denying any easy buckets.  So Baby, and Leon, will have to do it another way… by getting in the lane and taking charges.

Don’t count this kid out.  People nationally will… but we know better.

I’m telling you… this is going to be a great story come mid-June.

Time To Stop Bitchin’, And Start Playin’
April 17, 2009

The reaction has been almost unanimous… at least from everything I’ve seen and read out there:  Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics have no chance of repeating as NBA chance.  Goodbye Banner 18 is a headline that pretty much sums up everyone’s reaction.

I understand it.  I know why people might say that.  I just don’t believe it.

You say goodbye Banner 18… I say hello to it.

Quite honestly, I’ve had enough of the doomsday, “woe-is-us” sentiment that exists all too much on the Celtics internets today.  Accuse me of being the eternal optimist if you will.  I see this as a hurdle, not a death sentence.

I know goddam well what KG means to this team.  I also know goddam well that the Celtics, more than any other recent champion, are built on a TEAM concept.  They are more than just one player.  They run on more than KG’s intensity.  They have a defensive system that is built to run whether KG is in or out of the game.  It runs on rotations and help.  KG makes those rotations better and the help easier… but he doesn’t make it happen by himself.   They have an offensive system that doesn’t rely on any one player to score.  KG make scoring easier and the passing better… but he doesn’t run the offense by himself.

Glen Davis and Leon Powe will be asked to step up and maybe do things they haven’t done before.  Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will have to shoulder a little more of the load.  Rajon Rondo will have to be at his best every night.  The second unit is going to have to out play every other team’s second unit.

Is it a tall order?  Maybe.  Can you see those things happening?  Absolutely.

Don’t get sucked into all the hype over Cleveland and Los Angeles.  They are great teams, but they are not immortal.  They have their flaws.  And they’re not the Champ.  That 2008 banner hangs in Boston.  And the Celtics… and we fans… aren’t just going to hand it over, are we?

Hell no we’re not.  We’re going to play our role too.  We’re going to make up for KG’s intensity by making that building impossible for the other team.  We’ll be loud without the Garden jumbotron.  When our team is down, we won’t sit on our hands…. we’ll get up and cheer louder.

Everyone is writing the Celtics off… which means we’re going to be proving a lot of people wrong.  I’m not sitting here and pulling the same crap Lakers fans pulled last year with the “if we only had Bynum.”  We’re better than that.  We’re Celtics fans!

So follow Red’s Army… follow Red’s Army to freedom Banner 18.

Herald:  Ubuntu must rule again Celtics lose TicketAinge suffers heart attackDoc steady in rough C’sScal keeps his head upDavis, Powe eager to fill big shoesLooking back at the BullsKG’s new role: cheerleader |  Globe:  C’s lose Garnett Bob Ryan:  Forget repeat, C’s are already winnersReaction to KG variesTime for subs to rise up Silence was not the ticket Harsh reminder of fleeting excellence First round playoff schedule |  Souza:  Word of KG’s condition not greatly exaggeratedGarnett will miss postseasonPierce:  We’re still capable of winning a championship

Baby Dunks On J.O.
April 11, 2009

Baby has really been getting up lately.

Turning Point?
March 30, 2009

Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

I’m trying not to get TOO excited about Mikki Moore’s double-double.  I mean… it did come against the Thunder, and they’re not setting any defensive records.

But considering how Mikki has been playing lately, a double-double against my rec league team is kinda big news.  And Doc says part of Moore’s problem, has been in his own head.

“Mikki’s starting to understand that when he’s open he should shoot the ball, because he can really shoot the ball,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Honestly, I thought he didn’t think he was worthy. When you’re on the floor, it’s an adjustment when you’re next to Paul and Ray [Allen], Kevin [Garnett]. You’re open and you think, ‘There’s no way I should shoot the ball.’ And what we’re trying to get him to do . . . that’s what you do, shoot the ball.”

Defensively, Mikki’s starting to catch on too, now that he’s breaking bad habits.

“Letting go,” Moore said. “Knowing that if I leave my man somebody will help me. That’s the biggest thing. When I got here my reaction time was slow. I was worried about leaving my man. Everybody was telling me, your man is not your man anymore.”

And let’s not forget Stephon Marbury, who seems to be catching on lately too. And believe it or not, the biggest problem with Steph is that he’s passing too much.

“Slowly, but it’s coming,” Rivers said. “The only thing I told Steph at halftime is I thought he had open shots and he was thinking pass. Even the one, you remember when he bobbled it out of bounds, that was a layup but you could see him. He was catching the ball to pass. He has great instincts and I thought he did that in the second half.

Finally… the quote of the night… courtesy of Doc on Big Baby’s awesome night:

“Once they hit him, he was a different player.  I’m going to start carrying a hammmer around”

Check out “Baby Frankenstein’s” postgame interview.  Pretty funny.

Herald:  KG remains on sideline Smokin’ House stirs Celtics in time Celtics bloody good win |  Globe:  Pierce, C’s too muchDoing OK playing KGCuban fined for blasting refs on Twitter |  Camerato:  Scal pushes too hard, suffers setback |  Souza:  C’s quiet Thunder |  NewsOK:  Rondo offers advice on WestbrookCavs winLakers lose

Baby Earns Extra Orange Wedges At Halftime
March 27, 2009

Glen Davis’ numbers for the first half:  10 points, 10 rebounds, and a block, steal and assist in about 22 minutes of play.  He’s more than picking up KG’s slack… which is good.  KG might be out longer than just tonight

Rajon Rondo is clearly still bothered by his ankle injury.  Marbury is stepping up a little… banging a three big 3′s late in the second quarter… including a big one to end the half.

Quote of the night comes from my wife, when Zaza Pachulia showed up on the screen.  After an extended “wow that guy is ugly” rant… she drops this gem:

“What is that guy’s name?  Mongoloid Stevens?”  So from now on, Zaza is Mongoloid Stevens as far as I’m concerned.

Want to talk about the game? Follow us on Twitter.

Starting To Pay Off
March 23, 2009

AP Photo

AP Photo

Glen Davis has taken a lot of crap for all the jumpers he’s been taking.  At least he used to take a lot of crap.  The criticism has quieted down lately… because he’s been making them.  Here’s his “hot spot” chart from the last 5 games.

baby-hotspots

Over the last 5, Baby is 10 of 20 outside of the lane.  I wouldn’t read too much into where he’s hitting those shots… the sample size is too small to figure out a trend.  But instead, focus on the fact that he’s hitting.  And no only that, he’s 9 of 14 from that 20-foot area.  I’m going to guess the reason he’s taken so many shots out there is because of pick-and-pops… where he’s picking for Rondo or another guard at the top or near the wing, then popping and taking a 20 footer.  Rajon will explain why he’s so open on those play.

“Because he sets such a good pick, his man has to go out, and that leaves (Davis) open. I know he works on his shot a lot, and it’s paying off.   It’s all about repetition. He believes in himself.”

And that HUGE shot against San Antonio could be something that keeps this hot shooting going.  Ray Allen explains.

“That’s something you take with you for the rest of your career,” said Allen, a pure shooter who understands better than most the place memorable shots hold in a player’s memory.

“Anyone who uses visualization is going to think of a shot like that forever,” Allen said. “You think to yourself, ‘I want to always be able to do that so that I can be counted on every night to make that shot.’ ”

I’ve been beating the drum all year for Baby to keep shooting.  Now that the shot is falling, it’s going to force teams to step out and play him.  And even if that gives Rondo, Pierce or Ray an extra half second before help arrives, it’s going to be just enough time for those guys to get to the hoop or find an open spot for a jumper of  their own.

Herald:  Cavs win 9th straight |  Globe:  Growth SpurtTwitter changes the playing field |  SouthCoastToday:  Where will the road to the NBA Finals wind? |  ProJo:  For Celtics, Doc is the tie that binds |  Patriot Ledger:  KG’s return has been smooth so far |  MetroWestDailyNews:  KG’s return changes momentum

Big Baby!!!
March 21, 2009

I didn’t see a second of this game – so I’ll leave the analysis up to the Associated Press:

Glen Davis scored 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and the Boston Celtics pulled away in the second half for a 105-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

Ray Allen added 20 points and six assists, while Eddie House contributed 15 points as the Celtics won their third straight overall and fifth in a row over the Grizzlies.

Kevin Garnett, still playing limited minutes in his second game back from a right knee injury, scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 17 minutes. Paul Pierce, Boston’s leading scorer with 20.5 points per game, was limited to six on 2-of-6 shooting.

Box Score | Recap

Powe Out… Ray Might Be Too
March 18, 2009

Danny Ainge was just on WEEI giving the player updates we’ve been waiting all day for… and it’s not good.

  • Leon Powe is out for tonight.
  • Ray Allen is probably out, but he left the door open.  He did say Ray’s arm stiffened overnight.
  • Rondo should be able to go.
  • And Big Baby might be ready to go.

This Close
March 16, 2009

82994538I’m blowing right past yesterday’s suck-fest and moving on to good news:  It’s looking like Kevin Garnett will come back on Friday.

“Obviously, he hasn’t been on the court, but if there was a treadmill Olympics he would be leading the pack right now. He would absolutely be ahead of the game. And he’s been in the pool a lot. I mean, he looks good. He looks healthy.

“He’s getting louder and louder in our practices, so that tells you his return is coming soon. I’m really happy with him, and Baby (forward Glen Davis, sprained right ankle), I would assume, would be back for the San Antonio game.

Baby can take his time, especially with Powe playing so great.  And we shouldn’t expect much out KG in his first game back… but it will be nice to just have him out there.

Eddie House is now a little banged up.  He turned his ankle yesterday… but he says he’ll be ok.

Alright… maybe I’m not blowing right past yesterday’s suck-fest.  I’ll just say this about that:  it happens.  It happens less often to the Celtics than it does to any other team… so it’s shocking when we see it.  The game sucked pretty good… but I don’t really care about it.  And I don’t care about the #1 seed.  It would be nice… and I hope they can make a run at it… but I’m not going to lose sleep over #2 or #3.  We haven’t been at full strength for a month.  When the Celtics are right, they’re the best team in the league.

So stop worrying about what seed the C’s get.  Just worry about them getting healthy and building some chemistry with the new guys.  The good thing is, we’ve got time to do both.

Herald:  Celtics drop ball in defeat Cavs extend lead |  Globe:  Bucks stop CeltsCeltics not so high, mighty |  SouthCoastToday:  Powe plays up the opportunity for Celtics Larry Brown blasts refs Phoenix wins 154-130  in regulation

Accentuating The Positive
March 13, 2009

Ok, so things aren’t exactly going the way we want them to.  Some people, like John Hollinger, seem all to happy to focus on the negative… like the Celtics 22-14 record since Christmas.

But I’m a positive person.  The Celtics are only 2.5 games behind Cleveland, and they’ve hung around despite injuries to key players and the addition of two new guys.  And since we’re being positive today, here’s the positive spin on a few more things involving the Celtics right now:

  • Stephon Marbury

When Sam Cassell came in, he was just gunning like mad.  Stephon could have done the same thing, but he’s actually trying to fit in.  And isn’t that what we were worried about?  Don’t look at the short term results.  I’m ok with negative results in the early stages of a positive thing.  It’s like a little kid learning to shoot correctly with one hand after spending their whole childhood shooting that 2-handed push thing.  If they miss shots but used proper form, I’m happy.

The point is, if Stephon is missing shots because he’s trying to run our offense and do the right things, I’m happy.  It’s not about him making shots today.  It’s about him making shots a month from now.  He’ll get comfortable soon enough.  And once he does, things will start falling.

  • Injuries

KG’s injury wasn’t a case of any structural damage to his knee.  So this is basically an extended vacation that will benefit KG in the playoffs.

Brian Scalabrine is going to come back from what really could have been a career ending situation.  Really, what’s more positive than that?

Rondo and Davis are only missing a week with minor ankle sprains.  We’re going to go into April with a full squad, and hopefully some rest.

  • Home Court

This isn’t last year.  I hear blowhards yapping all over the place about how we should look at last year.

When has last year ever had a bearing on this year?  And even if we look at last year, wasn’t part of the story line by the end of the playoffs how the Celtics finally figured things out on the road?  The Celtics won games in Detroit and in LA… closing out both series in 6 games.  I thought that answered the questions.

But apparently not.  People want to focus on whatever makes their argument.  Forget that the experience gained from that will only make the team better.  Forget that they sorted out their roles late in the playoffs and actually won on the road.  Forget all that.  You want to be all doom-and-gloom.  You shouldn’t be.

  • Kendrick Perkins

The fouls are still a problem, but people aren’t talking about how he’s broken his habit of bringing the ball down.  And did you know he’s scored double digits in every game this month?

Yes, progress has been a bit slow with Perkins, but he’s making progress.  He’s become more of a threat offensively and a pretty good post defender.  He’s still got things to work on, but his hard work to correct some big things should be recognized.

So smile, Celtics fans.  Sure, it would be great to catch Cleveland, but it’s not the end of the world.  The Celtics are fine, and they’re only going to get better.  The rest of the league, and some people around Boston, might be in a hurry to start counting us out… but that’s a big mistake.

Herald:  Bill Walker gives support to Celtics Grizzlies-Celtics scouting report |  Globe:  Free and easyGrizzlies thumbnails |  Milford Daily News:  Busy stretch ahead for C’sLakers beat SpursCavs win |  Daily Dimes:  Flaws with the top contenders

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