Surgery On Hold
April 22, 2009

The KG saga continues… but at least it’s continuing in a direction that gives me hope that he’ll return at some point.  KG has put off knee surgery.

“He’s not going to do it right now,” Rivers said of the procedure. “He was looking and searching for it and then he just decided to wait.”

Hey Doc… what happened to “Kevin Garnett ain’t playing in these playoffs”?

“All I’m saying is that we’re still looking at this the same way we did last week,” he said. “But if he can come back, then we’d obviously take that. I still don’t think he can, but why would you ever want to take away that possibility?”

So the door is still open.  I’m not going to analyze this anymore.  What the hell is there to say?

By the way, one note on Leon Powe and his torn ACL… he’s got to be the toughest bastard alive:

“He played three minutes with a torn ACL on the floor. He didn’t come out. He kept playing. It just says so much about Leon Powe the person”

Go ahead and look up video of what happens to people who tear an ACL.  They all hit the deck writhing in pain.  Leon just winced.  Probably something he picked up in his prior career as The Black Night.

Herald:  Injury ends Powe’s season Bad news for good guy in Powe Rondo a bit banged up Calhoun admires Allen and Gordon |  Globe:  Day old blues for LeonRondo leading the way Scal cleared |   Del Negro locally grown product | Souza:  Now for something potentially more positive – Stephon Marbury |  WEEI:  Petraglia – Buckle in for a wild ride |  Celtics Hub:  America has no faith in Powe-less C’s |  CelticsBlog:  Giddens carries Flash to D-League FinalsRoy drops 42, Blazers even seriesLakers up 2-0Cavs up 2-0

Calling All Lip Readers
April 21, 2009

Anyone know what the hell KG said after Ray’s game winner? And how about that snarl?

(Courtesy’s Extra Mustard)

Is KG Scared?
April 20, 2009

Anyone who listened to WEEI this morning got an annoying dose of Michael Felger and Jon Metaparel questioning KG’s threshold for pain.

They insinuated that Garnett might be  scared to play on the injured knee because of the fear of further injury. He’s been relatively healthy his entire career and never had to play through major knee pain. Make sense?

Felger kept coming back to this quote by Ainge early last week:

“When Kevin plays is his decision,” Ainge said. “But I think Kevin plays once the playoffs start. Ultimately, it’s just his decision.”

Is it possible? Maybe (how’s that for straddling the fence?).

This theory could explain the latest revelation that the Celtics want Garnett to hold off on surgery.

FYI – We plan on having an in-game live chat for tonight’s battle.

Is KG Teasing Us, Or What?
April 19, 2009

The Herald has this little tidbit from today:

Just a short time ago, Garnett walked onto the Celtic practice floor with strength coach Bryan Doo. While trainer Ed Lacerte sat at the far end of the court, Garnett, in practice gear, dribbled as he walked around the perimeter of the court.

The entire visible process took less than four minutes, after which Garnett, Doo and Lacerte walked through a door that leads to the weight room here at the team’s facility.

Though none of the involved was offering any comment, the simple exercise came after Doc Rivers commented to the Herald today that he and the Celtics would like Garnett to hold off on surgery to his right knee.

I don’t know what to make of this.  I just don’t know anymore.

(Thanks to Mike for the tip)

These Are Shank’s Glory Days
April 19, 2009

He’s like the mother that finds that one line that pisses you off at every family dinner.  You know the one… “if you had just gone to law school like I said, you wouldn’t be wasting all that time on the internet”.  Or something like that.

It cuts through you.  You walk in knowing its coming, and you swear you’re going to laugh it off, but then when it happens you just want to throw an ottoman through the bay windows.

Yes, Shank is basking in the glory of Boston failure… or at least the hint of it. Check out how he starts today’s pile of dung.

The Celtics’ playoff quest is just getting started, and it feels like it’s already over.

The Celtics don’t have Kevin Garnett and they are not going to repeat. They are in for a bloody death and it’s just a matter of who plays the executioner.

One game into a 7 game series, a 2 point OT loss in which one team played its absolute best and the other played pretty close to its absolute worst, and there’s Shank smirking as he needles people like us into talking about him.  But he’s not alone.  A lot of people are jumping off the bandwagon.  To them I say good riddance.  We don’t want you around.  And don’t come back when the C’s handle the Bulls the rest of this series.

First of all, there’s no way Derrick Rose is going to hit shots like thisor this… for an entire series.  He’s good.  Damn good.  He showed he’s got balls and he’s not afraid of the Celtics.  But even for a great player, those shots are total BS.

But Rajon Rondo’s got to ease back on the gambling when he’s defending Rose straight up.  Rose is too damn quick for that.  His crossover is too good.  His first step is too fast.  If you go for the steal, you’d better get it.  And yesterday, Rondo didn’t get it.  And because Rose is so fast, going for the steal at the top of the key means by the time your help realized you’ve been burned, Rose is already in the middle of the lane.  They can’t take the charge because there’s no way to get out of the circle… and there’s no one else who’s remotely quick enough to steer him away from the hoop.

So the best way for Rondo to defend Rose is to just defend him straight up.  Don’t reach, just move your feet.  If a pick comes, go under it and turn him into a jump shooter.  If he’s in the lane, he’s scoring and passing.  I don’t care if he scores 30 again.  If he gets them all on jump shots and he’s not distributing, the Celtics will be in a great position.

The second problem for the C’s is Ray Allen.  It’s not really a huge problem.  He had one horrible game.  But he’s gotten away from his most successful formula this season:  Open the game driving and taking mid-range jumpers… and then start bombing away when the defender backs-off.  Ray is one of the best pure shooters the game has ever seen, but sometimes he falls in love with the 3.

I think early on, he needs to pass up the 3, take a dribble or two, and take that middle jumper to get going.  The defender will be flying past him expecting the shot, so chances are good he’ll get some really good looks.  That will force some help to step up, and it might lead to some easy baskets under the basket for someone like Perk or Leon.  It will force the defense to move, which is something the Bulls defense didn’t have to do yesterday.

And that’s the third problem the Celtics have.  If Rondo didn’t take over in spurts, the Celtics would have had no offense at all.  There was one play where Rondo was beyond the 3 point line on the right side, and he skipped the ball to Paul Pierce, who was posting his guy up above the left block.  It’s the first time I’ve EVER seen that.  NORMALLY, the ball would get swung around and Pierce would get a little entry pass.  For some reason yesterday, ball movement disappeared.  I’m all for Paul Pierce putting the cape on and taking over, but it’s always been most successful when the offense is run for most of the game.

The Bulls are young and athletic.  They rely on their physical skills to win.  If you make them move around, they’ll make mistakes, and it will lead to easy baskets.  If you take away what they want to do, they’ll try to force it, and they’ll turn the ball over.  They’re a .500 team for a reason.  Make them play like it.

I’ll start the links with this:  KG eyes surgery date.  It might eliminate any shot of KG coming back.  I didn’t want to make the whole post about it, because I’m sick of talking about KG.  If he’s not here, he’s not here… let’s move on.

Herald:  Celtics trampled by running BullsUsually clutch Pierce misses FTNo excuse for this effortRose a thorn in C’s sideRondo shines all by himself 1st series puts chill in Ray’s shot |  Globe:  Rose’s Garden in game 1 For Pierce, performance was half bad This rook has all the movesYoung Bulls gain confidenceAllen aim:  improve accuracy Rivers find inquiries unsuitable |  Megliola:  for starters, this wasn’t the plan |  Souza:  C’s fall short |  Camerato:  Bulls run C’s out of game 1 |  Mike Petraglia:   Doc-we did it as much as they didBulls teach champs a lessonRockets beat BlazersCavs beat PistonsMavs beat Spurs

Postseason Kicks Off In Boston
April 18, 2009

0 @ 0
Saturday, April 18, 2009
12:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

Do you smell that? Can you taste it? Can you feel it? Playoff basketball is finally back after a year’s hiatus, and the energy is back in Boston as the men in green are set to begin a consecutive postseason run.

Everybody has heard the news about Kevin Garnett, but we’re not going to dwell on that. As Ray Allen said to the media at yesterday’s practice, “nobody feels sorry for us.” If anything, it allows the opposition to truly feel that they have a chance to take out the defending champs.

The loss of KG is unfortunate. Sure, it sucks, but the sky is not falling and we certainly still have a lot of basketball to play. In addition, we’ve got obstacles to overcome and naysayers to silence. It all starts this afternoon in Boston, for a Game 1 matinee against the seventh-seeded Chicago Bulls to kick off the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

To the fans attending the game (including myself): in honor of KG, let’s make sure we give our team as much of a boost as possible and “keep this mutha rockin.”

Let’s go Celtics!

Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Primary Focus: Protect the Paint
The Chicago Bulls are not an overwhelmingly fearsome perimeter shooting team. In fact, Doc Rivers mentioned that very notion at yesterday’s practice. The Ben Gordons, Kirk Hinrichs, and Tim Thomas’ of the world can stroke it from deep, but Del Negro’s group as a whole is mightily inconsistent outside of that 15-foot mark. If the Celtic defense can deny penetration, keep Chicago’s creators out of the paint, and limit Chicago’s second-chance opportunities, the defending champs will be in good shape on the defensive end of the floor.

Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Ben Gordon (20.7)
RPG: Joakim Noah (7.6)
APG: Derrick Rose (6.3)
SPG: Kirk Hinrich (1.3)
BPG: Tyrus Thomas (1.9)

Primary Focus: Own the Glass
Even without Kevin Garnett, it remains clear that the Celtics are Chicago’s superior. However, Chicago can make things interesting by putting extra pressure on Boston by crashing the boards and racking up second-chance opportunities. The more rebounds you secure, the more possessions you take away from the opposition, and ultimately, the better chance you have of dictating the pace of the game.

Injury Report
Luol Deng (anterior right tibial stress fracture – out)
John Salmons (strained groin – will play)
Jerome James (ruptured achilles tendon – out)
Kevin Garnett (right knee – out)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Close Off Penetration
  • Control the Defensive Glass
  • Selflessness
  • Attack, Attack, Attack

Where Did “Out For The Playoffs” Come From?
April 17, 2009

(thanks to BostonSportz for the vid)

No one seems to know what the hell is really wrong with KG’s knee.  But I DO know one thing… no one has said KG is out for the playoffs.  Doc said himself that’s its not official… but it was official to him.  But Doc is the same guy who expected KG to play 30 minutes in game 1.

Allow us to set the record straight for everyone.

Kevin Garnett has NOT officially been shut down for the duration of the playoffs.  He will definitely miss the first round.  That’s all we know.

But writers around town have latched onto this “out for the season” thing for some reason.  Doc said he “might” be.  Not “he is”.  Quite honestly, I think it’s a bit irresponsible.  It’s factually incorrect.  And it’s leading to pieces like this one in SI where trainers are just guessing at what might be wrong with KG, and then making a diagnosis on it.

“There’s probably a tear there,” said one trainer. “I have a hard time seeing how a player with the pain tolerance of Garnett isn’t able to play with a strain. Especially when you consider he has missed so much time with the injury already.”

Oh… ho-hum… I’m a trainer that never even saw KG or talked to the doctors that looked at his knee… but I’m going to say there’s probably a tear in there for the hell of it.  It’s not like that’s going to incite a panic and rampant, uneducated speculation.

You know what?  Everyone needs to chill the hell out… and wait to see what the future brings.  The Eastern Conference Finals are a full month away. Who knows what’s going to happen then?

Christ.  Is Red’s Army the ONLY voice of reason in this town?

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.

Celtics-Bulls Series Preview
April 17, 2009

2 vs. 7

Series Schedule
Game 1: Sat, April 18 – CHI @ BOS – 12:30 pm ET
Game 2: Mon, April 20 – CHI @ BOS – 7:00 pm ET
Game 3: Thu, April 23 – BOS @ CHI – 7:00 pm ET
Game 4: Sun, April 26 – BOS @ CHI – 12:00 pm ET
Game 5: Tue, April 28 – CHI @ BOS – TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: Thu, April 30 – BOS @ CHI – TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Sat, May 2 – CHI @ BOS – TBD (if necessary)

Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2

Projected Starters

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.5)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.2)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Regular Season Record: 41-41
Eastern Conference Seed: 7

Projected Starters

Regular Season Leaders
PPG: Ben Gordon (20.7)
RPG: Joakim Noah (7.6)
APG: Derrick Rose (6.3)
SPG: Kirk Hinrich (1.3)
BPG: Tyrus Thomas (1.9)

Celtics Keys

Close Off Penetration: The staple of the Boston Celtics a year ago was their dedication to team defense. They talked, they sacrificed, they made remarkably crisp defensive rotations, and they let the basketball world know that you are not going to win an NBA championship if you don’t commit to both ends of the floor.

Oh yeah, and last year’s club had Kevin Garnett at full strength. This year’s Boston Celtics do not, at least for the time being, as the team recently announced that Garnett’s knee has failed to respond to the healing process as smoothly as they would’ve liked. In fact, he may even miss the remainder of the season, no matter how far the Celtics go. The loss hurts in more ways than one, but the part Boston will miss the most is his defensive presence. Now, there is no defensive quarterback directing traffic and providing the most active roamer and second-line defender in the league. Kendrick Perkins is no slouch, but he can’t do it alone. That is why the perimeter defense becomes that much more important in this series.


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