The schedule at the beginning of the season was stacked up as a good early test for the Celtics. There were two games against the much-hyped Miami Heat and a road trip that included games against Dallas and Oklahoma City, not to mention home games against the Bucks and Bulls. But after 10 games the Celtics stand at a very satisfying 8 - 2.
What is even more encouraging is the fact that the team hasn't even been at full strength the whole year.
Between Shaquille O’Neal’s right knee and Jermaine O’Neal’s left knee, those two barely have played in the same game since the opener. But between Glen Davis and Semih Erden (who has been playing with a bum shoulder), the Celtics haven’t let up in the paint or on the boards and have navigated the schedule with little trouble.
It is anyone's guess when the bigs will all get on the court together, but we do know of one more contributor that's ready to fill in now. Delonte West has served his suspension and can play in the Celtics' next game (against the Wizards). [Following quote is from Ray Allen]
"It's a great position to be in. We were able to weather the storm for the first 10 games and I know he's champing at the bit -- he's ready to go. You get another player who solidifies that backup unit and can give you more of a scoring pop. He played well [in the preseason], so we're looking forward to it."
Looking ahead, we've got a chance for Delonte to develop a rhythm against alternating good (OKC Thunder, Atlanta) and bad (Washington, Toronto) teams. Then we finish off the month with a trio of games against the Nets, Raps, and Cavs (dare I say "payback time?"). As long as the team doesn't take the foot off the pedal, they should have a chance to build a nice early season record that could help us secure home court through several rounds of the playoffs.