You might recall a certain former Celtic coach/GM/president/emperor. Then again acute traumatic stress might have mercifully stricken all memories of this individual from your mind. Anyway this person who shall be referred to here as He Who Shall Not Be Named, once spoke about a door.
On March 1, 2000, He Who Shall Not Be Named told us all about a problem we were having with our collective door, saying, "Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door..."
"Oh no!" we thought. "Our precious door is busted!"
It certainly seemed that way as the only players who used the damaged portal during He-Who's time were guys like Chris Mills, Travis Knight, and Vitaly Potapenko. We said, "What a lousy door! How did we get stuck with an entryway that spews out only crappy players?"
Actually the story ends well. Here it is seven years later and as it turns out the problem wasn't with the door at all. Look: James Posey walked through it. Ray Allen walked through it. So did Kevin Garnett.
2) Together We Can:
I'm going off topic. I can't help myself.
When Deval Patrick ran for Governor of Massachusetts, his campaign slogan Together We Can seemed like the first half of a promise yet to be written. It seemed so bright and hopeful. It left everyone wondering— What was the second half of the phrase?
"Together We Can build a great state?"
"Together We Can construct a society that is fair, honest and principled?"
Those certainly would have been really good answers, but unfortunately neither is correct.
Mr. Patrick revealed this week that the full sentence actually reads: "Together We Can shoot craps."
3) Another thing about the casino gambling proposal:
How can people be so culturally insensitive? I believe we need to stop and reflect on how this affects the Mashantucket Pequots. This could have negative consequences that will impact their simple time-honored tribal custom of emptying peoples pockets with traditional native American devices such as roulette wheels and slot machines.
Remember the bewildering March 13th game in Chicago where the Bulls wore kelly green uniforms and the entire contest seemed completely screwy because of it? Every time the Bulls ran on the break I got excited and then had to immediately reverse my emotions. It got so confusing I think I blacked out twice before halftime.
I expect the game in London against Minnesota will be greatly disorienting too, but for a different reason. One contest in Rome will not be enough to make me forget that Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes aren't Celtics anymore. Hold on, I getting misty here... Feeeelings, Wo Wo Wo... ...sniff sniff... ...you too Delonte out there in Seattle... ...You are the winnnnd beneath my wiiiinnngs... ...sniff.
I'm alright. I'm alright. I'll be ok by opening day.
5) Not Everybody Plays:
There are 15 roster guys. Only 12 at a time are active. Only 9 can get significant, regular minutes. The easiest way to figure who those 9 are is by guessing the bottom 6. Here's a stab at it (I don't expect to be right):
Barring the unexpected, the least experienced players are also least likely to play. That probably eliminates Manuel, Wallace, Pruitt, and Davis. Now we're at 11. (The Celtics first priority this season is something other than developing youth.)
Despite tentatively encouraging news from tonyallenland, I would think he'd be brought along very cautiously. This will change as the year progresses and Tony gains confidence. That makes 10, at least to start the season.
The last rotation spot seems to come down to Powe or Pollard (yes Scalabrine IS in the rotation, more on that next). So here's the projected 9 on opening day: Garnett, Pierce, Ray Allen, Perkins and Rondo start. Then Posey plays a lot, followed in no particular order by House, Scalabrine, and either Pollard or Powe.
Of course all this is based on no more trades or signings, Tony Allen coming along slowly, and no injuries. In other words it won't happen this way.
He's playing. He is. He did well with a veteran team in New Jersey. He'll do well with a veteran team in Boston.
7) Pick and Roll:
You want to know why the Celtics couldn't defend it before? Because they had the wrong personnel. That's all it was. Nothing more. You need an agile, long big man who can instantly cover a wide amount of space. It also helps to have veterans. Done, double done.
8) Speaking of defense:
I believe this Celtics team will be really good defensively. Every weakness they've had in the past just got fortified. Garnett, Rondo, Posey, Perkins, Tony Allen later- those guys can play guard dog D. Also many will be pleasantly surprised at Pierce's effectiveness on the other end now that he doesn't have to expend all his energy on offense.
9) Rebounding too:
Throw away any Perkins rebounding stats from last season. The foot did him in. With Perkins and Garnett up front, Pierce at the 3 and Rondo at point all garnering above average rebounds for their positions, this will be the best rebounding Celtics team since the guys who-aren't-walking-through-that-door were here.
10) The Udonis Haslem Effect:
Players who do just what they're good at when surrounded by superstars look great and often win titles. Haslem is ok, but when he's playing with healthy Shaq and Wade he gets left alone, does his thing, and just kills you. Starting in November the Celtics are going to benefit from this same situation.
The list of players looking fabulous next to megastars goes on forever, such as: Happy Hairston and Jim McMillian; Horace Grant and Craig Hodges; Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry; and now just maybe Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo.
All Perkins and Rondo have to do is concentrate on their strengths and people across the nation will say, "Wow how about that? Perkins and Rondo are really good. I was mistaken. I plainly didn't know. Celtic fans said this would happen, and as always those dashing handsome devils were right."
ka thump, Ka Thump, KA THUMP. Two weeks to Rome. The drumbeat of the approaching season is steadily building. Can you hear it?