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Answering The Mailbag: Lockout Edition

Great minds think alike and since you are obviously all great minds (shameless pandering), you had many similar lines of thought in your questions.  Here is a sampling.

The Rondo Questions:

Zed: What can you say bout Obama diss on Rondo?

What can you say about anything that Shaq says?  Consider the source.  Half the things Shaq says are to get a reaction from people and/or to tell a great story.  Did the Pres. dis Rondo?  Probably.  Did it maybe hurt his feelings.  Sure, why wouldn't it (to some degree)?  Do I think for a moment that it was the reason that he went into a shooting slump or stopped shooting?  Not really, no.

MaineBleedsGreen:  I feel more and more like Rondo needs to be traded, I get a sense that he's too ""fragile"" mentally at times, especially with the story about Obama's criticism knocking his shot off ... Can we trade Rondo? Do we HAVE to get a PG in return? All the trade ideas I've seen in the past for Rondo have us getting a PG back, what other trades could make sense? "

I thought about writing about this, but I couldn't even build a reasonable staw man argument to shoot down.  Fragile is not the word I'd use.  Stubborn, yes.  Overconfident and sometimes hard to coach, sure.  Loyal to a fault, maybe that too.  But I don't see how you can call a guy that played (very well) with one arm "fragile."  I don't know how you can call a guy that was a starting point guard for the Championship winning squad in his second year in the league could be considered less than fully capable of handling adversity.

YXCeltics: Do you think that the Celtics should build around Rondo when the big three is gone? I have no confidence in Rondo that he can lead a Championship-contending team.

I think Rondo is our best and most realistic option to build around in the post big three era.  I don't think he alone is enough and I even have my doubts that he can be the "superstar" centerpiece to a championship team (every title team needs one).  But he can be one of the main pieces.

If a deal comes along that gives us more value than we can pass up, I wouldn't hesitate to make a deal.  But I don't see anything like that happening and I think that Rondo's contract is very reasonable for a guy of his talent level.  There's also great continuity and chemistry with him and Doc that would be hard to replace. 

Lockout Angst

mcpu40: why should we continue to support the league?

Everyone has to make that decision themselves.  I'm not a big fan of the two sides squabbling over huge piles of cash and rob the fans of the sport we love, but I'm not sure there's anything we can do about it.  I know that I'm a diehard and thus my love for the game is not going to die easily or any time soon.

Sidalicious: what do you think about us as NBA fans, starting a movement to boycott all NBA merchandise, team merchandise, completely, till the owners get their act together and end this waste of time?

Well, first of all I don't think all the blame deserves to go to the owners.  The players could be (and perhaps should be) coming to the table with more compromises and discussion instead of sitting around trying to call bluffs.  And I'm not really a big "boycott" person.  How do you know that any such movement would "hurt" the ones you are targeting (rather than say, people working at companies selling merchandise) and how do you know it would motivate the same billionare owners that are willing to toss aside millions of dollars in ticket sales?  I guess I wouldn't have cut it in the 60's.

Ray3Allen: You think this lockout will end [before the] season opener? For goodness sake, i'm loosing my mind without basketball.

Aren't we all.  If I had to guess, I'd say that we won't get the season started on time.  However, as the days have passed, I've moved from being pessimistic about there being a season at all to being pretty optimistic that the players will eventually cave and let the owners overhaul the system (perhaps in exchange for a reasonable cut of the BRI).

The Small Forward Question (Again)

Chambers: Hi Jeff, Chambers from Australia here. Mate everyone is talking about our need for a center. Yet my number one fear that has carried over from last year is Paul Pierce having to guard Melo, Lebron, Iggy, Deng and then Durant or another athletic 3 on the wing over the playoffs. And I worry that Jeff Green as his only real backup to guard other 3's speed/size wise is something we may regret.

Man, didn't we go through this last year?  I think Pierce can still check some of the best forwards in the league for short stretches, but it is going to catch up to him soon and he absolutely needs some help.  That is probably why Danny said he regretted letting Tony Allen go.  I do think they'll try to bring in someone that is more of a defensive minded player to backup Pierce, especially if Green walks.  But at some point, we might have to just hope that Green can fit into the defensive schemes and become a better defender.

Bleedgreen34: Now that we have lost Nenad, is Jeff Green's success next season (if there is one) even more critical to justify trading Perk? Or is it water under the bridge, even considering Shaq won't be back either?

I think the temptation to "get something out of the trade" is going to be pretty high, but I don't like the idea of overpaying Green in order to justify past moves.  I think you have to weigh the options as they present themselves and make the best decision right now.  If we can bring back Green on a qualifying offer, great.  If we can sign and trade him for value, good.  If he gets a sweetheart deal elsewhere and Danny is serious about maintaining cap flexibility for 2012, then you have to be prepared to let him walk and (hopefully) use the money you might have given to him on someone else.  Of course a lot of this will depend on the new collective bargaining agreement.  Whichever GM can adjust and react to the new rules the best, will have a big head start on the rest of the league.

OTP: Other Team's Players

chittychittybangbang: If LB was on the Cs would we all still hate him?

No.

Dptdgclick: Should the Celtics Nation rejoice as Kobe Bryant is going to slowly deteriorate from this point on? I mean he already started from 2010 but I think the pace will be much faster now. What do you think?

I won't be shedding any tears.  I tend to agree with Henry Abbott's take in that he won't become a backup anytime soon.  He might still be an All Star level player for a few years if he can remain healthy.  But according to a Laker fan friend of mine, he's just not getting the kind of separation and space that he used to.

KRESH: If you had the benefit of foresight, and knew if there was no NBA season Dwight Howard would sign with the Celtics, would you want the lockout to cancel the season?

Interesting.  This is like the game "death is not an option" isn't it?  On one hand, I'd love to have Dwight locked up long term.  On the other hand, it would mean passing up on one last run for the big 3.  Call me sentimental, but I'd still rather have the season and take my chances on getting him or something almost as good next year.

nathangouge: Is there any viable way that we can get Blake Griffin?

Nope.

driz: Where is Stojko Vrankovic?

Where is he indeed?

Ruben Wolkowyski: When will the Celtics win their 18th Championship?

I know, but I'm not telling.  I don't want to ruin the surprise, ...or split the winnings.

Thanks for the questions everyone!