Archive for the ‘Guest Column’ Category

A Theory On C’s Injuries
March 20, 2009

The following is a guest column. Guest columns are always welcome at Red’s Army. To submit one, email John: john@redsarmy.com or Chuck: chuck@redsarmy.com. Please note, submitted columns are subject to review, and are not guaranteed to be published

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A Unified Theory of the Celtics’ Injuries
By DRJ

Many of us have been scratching our heads over the injuries this year. Why is KG out over a month with just a “muscle strain”? How could an injury so minor (he was ready to play again in the very game in which he was injured) need so long to heal? And why has KG never appeared on the bench? Is there any connection to last year’s injury at about the same time? And what about Powe? We saw him hit his knee, not twist it. How could he play as he did after that injury if it was a “knee sprain” that now requires two weeks to heal? And now Ray Allen has what appears to be a minor injury, and he’s out too.

This Unified Theory pulls together all the known facts and precedent mysteries regarding the Cs’ injuries this year. What emerges is a coherent picture, albeit an unusual one, of how the Celtics are handling this season. We’ve heard bits and pieces of this from Doc and Danny, but never the whole story.

This theory postulates two kinds of injuries this year: “Completely Real”, and “Expanded”. Completely Real includes: Perk, Scal, Rondo, TA, Baby. “Expanded” are KG, probably Ray, and possibly Powe. And one more coming soon.

Last year, KG was out for 3 weeks. And the Cs ended up winning the championship. This year, KG had a variety of aches and pains, and his knee was troubling him, all of which culminated in the Feb 19 injury. That’s when a plan that had been percolating in Danny’s mind sprung into reality. They (Danny and Doc) decided to “expand” this injury and keep KG out much longer than he required to heal. Long enough to get completely well from all his aches and pains… things he would normally play through…. and then even longer than that. They figured there are many advantages to doing this:
(1) KG would be fresh for the playoffs. With the Cs’ playoffs spot already assured, the only reason to continue the maximum fight for every game was home court advantage. For several reasons, Danny and Doc (D&D) did not believe HC was necessary this year.
(2) The Cavs and Lakers are fighting hard to win every game. But EVERY game that Lebron and Kobe play is one more risk for their teams. If either were to be injured for the playoffs, it would be lights out for that team. D&D didn’t want that happening to the Celtics.
(3) The Cavs may get the best record in the East, but that did not mean that the Cs would not have home court advantage in the EC Finals. That would only be true IF THE CAVS MADE IT TO THE EC FINALS. They could easily lose prior to that, in which case the Cs could still have home court in the EC Finals. Likewise in the Finals against the West… there is no guarantee that the Lakers will make it all the way. If they don’t, once again the Cs could get HC anyway. So what are we really fighting for, thought D&D?
(4) And if the Cs are forced to play without HC, D&D believed they could handle it. They only had to invoke last year’s Finals to reach that conclusion.
(5) Better, they calculated, to let KG rest AND AVOID ANY INJURY TO HIM in this critical time period prior to the playoffs… when any injury might not have enough time to heal.
(6) This neatly explains why KG has not been on the bench since his injury, something that has disturbed some of us. The given reason was “Oh, he’s just too intense”, about which many of us rolled our eyes. Seemed like baloney, because if he can’t play anyway what difference does it make if he’s on the bench supporting his team? But now it makes sense. KG could not stand to sit on the bench KNOWING THAT HE WAS ACTUALLY READY TO PLAY. That I can understand.
(7) This theory also neatly fits what we know of KG’s personality. He would not like this idea, but might do it for the good of the team.
(8) This also explains the apparent coincidence of KG having a similar “unseen” injury last year at about the same time. It was last year’s injury that GAVE D&D THE IDEA for the Expanded Injury concept this year.

Once this plan was executed for KG, the thinking probably expanded to include certain other players. Mostly the older ones… mostly the Big Three. Therefore, it is now Ray’s turn to have some time off. Ray is much hardier than KG though… he’s a smooth, ageless machine out there… so he will need less time off. About Powe’s injury I am less certain. He may be included in the Expanded Injury Plan due to some residual aches and pains, and due to the fact that he seems to have already achieved nearly his full potential this year and so needs playing time less than some others on the team.

Which leads us to another advantage of this plan: the extra playing time forced on the Cs’ new and young players… especially Marbury, Mikki, and Walker. Since the Cs’ biggest weakness was its bench, D&D figured that forcing our guys to go out there and perform would only help strengthen and season the bench, so that if and when they’re needed in the playoffs they would be ready. In the end, the difference between winning and losing may well come down to one or all of these guys.

When you weigh the plusses and minuses of this plan, it seems to lean heavily to the plus side.

How should we feel about this? Is it right for the Cs to hold back players that are not injured enough to really warrant it? At first I thought it wasn’t… but the more I think about it, the more I like this plan. It’s audacious, I don’t think it has ever been done before, and it has some risks. But overall, I now think it’s a gutsy, great, even visionary move.

Are they lying to us? Well, yes, a little. They can’t just come out and tell the whole truth. They have a business to run. People need to come to games, not stay home till the playoffs. Plus who knows what the league would say? But Doc, and to a lesser extent Danny, have hinted at the truth. They’ve been winking and nodding at us with statements implying that KG has many aches and pains that need to heal, and the explanation that KG is too intense to sit on the bench. Especially that last one doesn’t make much sense unless you invoke this Unified Theory. All this is OK with me. Do what you gotta do, guys… to win it all.

This theory leads to a prediction. Sometime after KG comes back but before the end of the regular season, Paul Pierce will take 1-2 weeks off. The stated reason will probably be “muscle strain”.

10 Things
March 9, 2009

The following is a guest column. Guest columns are always welcome at Red’s Army. To submit one, email John: john@redsarmy.com or Chuck: chuck@redsarmy.com. Please note, submitted columns are subject to review, and are not guaranteed to be published

10 things while waiting for guys to heal
by Gant

1) Orlando Game

If I’m Orlando (though I rarely find myself morphing into metro areas)
I’m not feeling too good about that win. Up a gazillion to a team down
two starters and three more rotation players who is also blending in
two new guys, the Magic barely escaped. Do you believe in magic? I do
not. A healthy Celtics team will buzzsaw Orlando.

2) Health

Let’s take an inventory:

Tony Allen: Out for the entire regular season.

Scalabrine: Out until April.

Big Baby: He was on crutches yesterday and is listed day to day.

Garnett: Good news from Marc Spears in the Globe: Kevin Garnett could
return as soon as Sunday in Milwaukee.

Rondo: More good news from Marc Spears: Rondo could return as soon as
Wednesday at Miami.

3) Rondo
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An Appreciation Of The NBA
March 5, 2009

The following is a guest column. Guest columns are always welcome at Red’s Army. To submit one, email John: john@redsarmy.com or Chuck: chuck@redsarmy.com. Please note, submitted columns are subject to review, and are not guaranteed to be published

An Open Letter to the NBA
By Moose

To the storied National Basketball Association,

I have been an avid basketball and NBA fan since before I could remember, and I have supported the league and it’s players during the good days and the bad ones. You could call me a diehard fan, you could call me a hardcore fan, you could call me a serious fan or you could call me any other word that has a meaning similar to “great fan of the league”.

I have loved, respected, hated, worshipped and resented many players throughout the Association. I have loved, respected, hated, worshipped and resented many teams throughout the Association. I have loved, respected, hated, worshipped and resented coaches, executives and GMs throughout the Association. And I have loved doing so no matter what I feel at the time.

The NBA has been a place where I can take out my anger on the opposition, or show the loyalty that I have to my teams by dressing in their colors. Every day I wake up and look at the box scores in the paper, hoping that the teams that I support were victorious if I had not the chance to watch the game on TV.

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10 Things During A Transition
March 3, 2009

The following is a guest column.  Guest columns are always welcome at Red’s Army. To submit one, email John:  john@redsarmy.com or Chuck: chuck@redsarmy.com.  Please note, submitted columns are subject to review, and are not guaranteed to be published.

10 things during a transition
by Gant

1) Above All Else…

Don’t panic.

Lemme take you back to last March. The Celtics were playing great. They’d just become the first team since 2002 to sweep the Texas triangle. The sun was shining and all was pleasant on the green planet. Then the Celtics brought in PJ Brown and Sam Cassell. In New Orleans on the last game of that otherwise glorious road trip, Sam and PJ took the floor. The Celtics led by 13 points after the first quarter but when the green-neophytes came in, everything fell apart. The new guys both played poorly. The Celtics lost, and they lost the following game too.

One year later the very same thing is happening. Two new players (one who’d been sitting out) are tossed into the race only to falter. This time the Celtics have the further liabilty of Kevin Garnett being absent as well.

Let’s pause for a subtotal:
Add 2 new players
minus Garnett
minus his back up Scalabrine
minus Tony Allen
= a rough patch.

This is inevitable. It will get better.

2) Not For a While Though

Kevin Garnett is out. He will remain off the floor a while longer. The Celtics have done a miraculous job of winning without him but that balloon seems to have popped. They absolutely definitely unquestionably need the big guy back. Without him they lost to the Clippers and until he comes back they will lose more games.

What does this mean?: it is very possible that the Celtics will not have homecourt advantage in the final two rounds this spring.

Do not panic…

3) 1969

1969 was Bill Russell’s last season. (Sam Jones too.) The Celtics limped into the playoffs 4th in the East. They had to win on the road in every series. That is exactly what they did, culminating in what was arguably the greatest game in franchise history when the celebratory balloons remained in the rafters of the LA Forum while the Russell and his friends celebrated their 11th title below.

This team is like that team: veteran, poised, cool under pressure, capable of winning anywhere. The 2008-2009 Boston Celtics can win the championship no matter where the games are played.

4) More Than the Minimum
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All Aboard!
August 30, 2007

When you’re hot… people come out of the woodworks to bask in your glow.  For the first time in a long time… that’s a “problem” for the Celtics.  More specifically… it’s a problem for some of us die-hards that paid attention for 82 games of “let’s play hard and lose.”

Today… guest columnist Pat McGregor expresses his disdain for the bandwagoners that are sure to start showing up at the Garden just to be seen.  (Links to follow the column)

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All Aboard
By Pat McGregor

Before the Red Sox made the playoffs in 2003, the Red Sox and their fans were a lot closer to the Celtics than you might have thought. The stadium, prior to contrary belief, did not sell out consistently, there was a negative aura around the team, and only the true die-hard fans cared enough to watch. Sounds pretty much like the Celtics of the past two or three years doesn’t it? When the Sox made their original run in 03, and moved on to win it all in 04, they became an entirely different entity. All of a sudden everyone was a Red Sox fan, you couldn’t get tickets, and there are more groups of 20-something girls all dolled up for a night on the town at Fenway Park than groups of true long time fans. I’ve been suffering with the C’s for the past few years, watching just about every game, in that half filled arena, hoping for the day when Celtics games mattered once again. Now that they do, and we expect them to at least go deep into the playoffs, I’d like to discuss the downside of having a good team like the one the Celts have become, the bandwagon fans.

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