This past month of basketball has really made me think. It has tested my 30 years of basketball knowledge and my green blood. There has been many that think the Celtics gave this season away by trading Perk. Let me make this abundantly clear. THE CELTICS ARE IN A BETTER POSITION NOW THEN IF WE DIDNT MAKE THE PERKINS TRADE. If only for the fact that all the players DA traded where put on the DL for at least 2 weeks. We would have had to go with 6-8 guys for a run. THERE IS NO WAY THE CELTICS HAVE A BETTER OR THE SAME RECORD WITH THAT MANY HURT UNITS.
If this and but that all you like. Those are the facts. I LOVE PERK. I really like that OKC took care of him and I feel for the next 5 years or so when healthy he will be one of the best defensive center in the league. He can be a dominate force in the paint and on the block. Would the Celtics have benefited from him being here even injured? I am afraid no one can answer that.
I can say that in the beginning of this season, Rondo made an interior pass to Shaq he, get this, caught it and went straight up with it. Even sometimes made a deft pass to a cutter or an open Ray or Paul. Those parts of Perk's game always needed polishing. When Perk came back I was happy, then clank, that same pass off the hands & out of bounds or even worse "the slow gather". He did on the 1st game back catch a rebound up high and put it back up without bringing it down. That was the 1st time in his career that I saw him do that exact play. Tommy was all over it saying "boy if he could do that 3-4* a game, it could be huge". He never did it again while on the team.
The new guy. People on this blog are great diehard Celtics fans. They know mostly about their beloved Celtics and I am one of them. I however am from Springfield and take basketball very seriously. I do play fantasy basketball(just finished 6 teams 4 championships) and it does make me more of a student of each player on each team. I was over the moon on Green and I could/can see why DA brought him in. PLEASE do not throw him under any bus and please remember that I said it here 1st. He will be an All Star as a Celtics within 3 years. Currently you have 3 Hall of Famers and 1 uber star in Rondo. It is quite easy to differ to your teammates when you really don't know what is going on. He reminds me of Natron(in a good way) and could have the same or more effect in the playoffs. He will win a game in the post season.
The other pieces. Curly, Murphy, Arroyo, Pavlovic. When everyone is healthy and I believe this is what DA was thinking. Shaq is your Starter for 20 Min a game and the other 28 min divided equally through BBD, Curly and JO. The 1st big off the bench is always BBD, then when KG needs a breather either JO or Curly can take the C position and BBD slides to the 4. I thought Arroyo was/is the ideal 3rd stringer PG or if Dwest is really hot have them play together. Pavlovic is an NBA player, maybe not a starter but NBA ready for sure. I like Murphy's game and it can stretch out other defenses, it's just if he can be ready of for the playoffs. Just a reminder these guys are the end of the bench players and don't need to be super-duper stars. They just need to play heads up and not turn the ball over all the time.
The core. There old, there tired, there never going to make it through all those teams in the east. I am sorry, I think I heard this one before. 12 months ago the Celtics were not going to advance in the playoffs. Dwade was going to punch their collective tickets. I will say what I said then because it bears repeating. I don’t care what they say, all the talking heads on all the ESPN programs can make all the predictions they like. It doesn’t mean they know anything. Keep picking other teams, keep the attention on Chicago, The Miami Hype even, get this, the NY Knickerbockers. We'll just keep winning and see where that takes us.
Imposing your will on a team during the 82 game slog of a season isn’t something vets do. In fact they wait till the postseason where the games really matter to put in the 110% effort. I.E. Sheed, do I need to say more? Ok one thing, no, Sheed cannot help. I would rather have Murphy out there then Sheed. At least he has played a few min this season.
The Playoffs. IF everyone is healthy The Celtics go to the Finals, no question. Chicago will be the biggest opponent in the east and I am really pulling for the Fakers in the Finals. I really like to beat LA for the Championship, it just, u know, feels right. I do think that San Antonio is a better team when healthy, but just like the Celtics it’s a big IF.
Issues that concern. Interior defense/rebounding is at the top of my list. With Shaq and JO I am not worried. Just JO not quite as good but better then what the Celtics have had for the past 4 weeks. Without both we're in trouble. I say this with a bit of hesitance, JO looks like he has been playing for a couple of weeks and looks serviceable. I don’t want to count on him, but he looks better than he did last season’s playoff games, just saying. RAY ALLEN needs to shoot more. He will never complain or say that so I am going to. PASS RAY RAY THE BALL. When Ray scores 20 the Celtics are at like 18-4.
Being a Celtics Fan. You are the privileged and the knowledgeable. You should not be the proud an ignorant. Please respect the other teams, there players, also there fans. Try to root more for the Celtics and less against their opponents. There are exceptions to this rule and it useally goes to the players that are not what the Celtic way is. Kobe, LeBrick, Dwade, CBonk and Kardashian for some examples. Big Z is getting there.
Long as the core stays healthy we have a shot, if Shaq is back then the shot becomes something bigger. We start gelling at the start of the playoffs we’re in for quite a ride. This is the season, now is the time. #18 is waiting to send many off into the sunset. We’ll all look back at this and say "that had us concerned", 20/20 hindsight and all.
I wish you all a good week heading into the postseason. If these thoughts above intrigue good, if you agree great. If this helps you sleep at night good. If you said when Shaq was signed by LA after Orlando that he would help the Celtics win a Championship. I would have called you crazy and I would have been wrong.