10 Things

1) Miami Game

First off, Who kidnapped Bob Cousy and replaced him with Barney?  "I love you.  You love me.  We're a Happ-ee fam-a-lee."  What happened to the acid spitting Cous whose disposition resembled the monster from Alien?  Winning changes everything.

2) Miami Game Again

It was nice to see Mark Blount giving his all for another team in a 30 point loss.  Let's face it: You can't stop Mark Blount.  You can only hope to trade him.

Speaking of Mr. Blount, my brilliant and beautiful wife made the following observation:  She pointed out that after scoring Blount goes completely rigid when he runs to the other end, whereas Tony Allen does just the opposite; after he scores he goes totally loose and floppy as he goes the other way.  I don't think it means anything, but it's funny.

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3) Rondo

Give me a break you Rondo critics.  Repeat after me: "Rajon Rondo is the man."  Did you say it?   Good. 

He's young and extremely talented.  The team suffers more when he's sidelined than anyone besides Garnett and Pierce.  He's the single most important key to maintaining the tempo.  He's a vital contributor to the team's early season awesomeness.  Recently he missed a few games and is currently playing HURT.  Keep developing him.  Tough games now will be paid back later with playoff wins.

The kid's a future all star.  The man I tell you!  The man!

4) Damon

I'm not a big Damon Stoudamire guy.  He's less selfish on the floor than he used to be, but is still a Damon-first point guard .  He's also got Telfair disease on defense-  too small and does not have Rondo arms to make up for it.  I warned you about Telfair after the Portland trade.  Well I'm warning you again.  Overall, Damon probably won't give you more than Eddie House as a point.

5) Tony Allen

Also, floppy Tony Allen is just starting to come into his own, right on schedule.  Recovery from knee surgery actually does take some time.  Really.  I don't know why anyone expected Tony to come out of training camp in top form.  I also don't know why anyone thought he wouldn't improve (and will continue to improve) as the season goes on.

In other words Danny Ainge is doing the right thing by holding out for Sam Cassell or some other agreeable point guard.  Sam's big, so he doesn't give away the farm against Billups.  Sam's poised, so he'll keep his head in big games.  Sam's a good guy too; he won't screw up the boulliabase. 

5)  Midseason blues

Are you feeling down because the Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10?  Chin up there fella.  Everything's fine.  The Celtics are in a dip for temporary health reasons.  Ray Allen is worn down.  Keving Garnett is out.  Posey missed some games.  And Rondo who supercharges the whole team— we've already covered him.  They'll all get better.  

When they do, the Celtics will go back to obliterating people again and everyone will be as jovial as Bob Cousy.

6) Dallas

I've been looking forward to this next game since about Halloween.  Nowitzki has been the bane of my brain since the Celtics barely missed out on him in the 1998 draft.  Don't get me wrong— Paul Pierce is not exactly what you'd call a consolation prize, but big bad Dirk is someone the Celtics have never come close to matching up with...

...until now.  Garnett easily cancels Dirk out, and maybe is a bit better.  KG is a rare player that can challenge Dirk defensively.  So here's hoping for some serious abdominal healing, because without Mr. Garnett the Celtics are in for a rough night, and with him it's probably the other way around.

7)  Leon Powe and Glen Davis

If my calculations are correct, that makes three contributing undersized second-round widebody frontcourters for Danny Ainge in the past three years.  It's great to see Davis and Powe tenderize the opposition at the same time.  One grown man.  One big baby.  That's a lot of results no matter what age they might appear to be.

Throw in the fact that Perkins is starting to break himself of the bad habit of bringing the ball down before he shoots, and the Celtics are getting a lot of unexpected production from the three toros.

8)  The Gerald Henderson Effect

The Gerald Henderson Effect is a simple thing.  It goes like this:  When you have a great team the trade value of marginal players skyrockets.

Back in the 80s Henderson was a pretty decent guard.  But since he played with Bird, McHale, Parish, etc., he was perceived to be far better than he actually was.  Red Auerbach took advantage of this and traded Gerald to Seattle for the second pick in the entire draft.

The same thing happened to Rick Robey.  Robey wasn't very good, not to mention he kept Bird out in the bars all night; but because he played on such a great team his trade value was very high.  He landed Dennis Johnson for the Celtics.

Keep this in mind over the next year or two, because guys who are currently 7 to 13 on the depth chart might eventually land amazing returns in a lopsided trade a la Mr. Henderson and Mr. Robey.

(Winning the title would greatly magnify the effect.)

9)  Havlicek

Seeing John Havlicek in the stands of the Miami game gave me goosebumps.  I wonder, did the people sitting around him even know who he was?  That man was utterly unique in the history of this sport, and Hollinger-type robotic number crunching does not tell the tale of this terrific player.  Havlicek was a great scorer and he was a great defender, but the best thing he did— the thing he did as well as anyone who has ever played, is control tempo and wear the opposition down.  He sprinted non-stop.  His whole game was aimed at making the other guy too tired to be effective in the 4th quarter, and MAN was he good at it.  Ask former Senator Bradley.

10)  Playoffs

Are you starting to peek at the standings with an eye toward playoff seeds yet?  It's my firm belief that the Celtics will maintain their top position in the East.  I also think Detroit will be second and Cleveland third, putting those two dangerous teams in the opposite bracket.  The big question then is, who will be the 4-5 seeds?  Right now it looks like some combination of Orlando, Washington and Toronto.  However it goes, that will make for a high energy second round series between the Celtics and the survivor of that group.

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