Once in a while, someone else’s article catches my eye. Sometimes, it’s because the article is so spot-on I wish I’d written it myself. Other times, it’s because the article enlightens me with something I never knew. Still other times, it’s because I disagree with whatever’s written. No matter what the reason, I dish it off to another writer to make his/her point. You know, throwing some dimes.
1. Tim Povtak of NBA Fanhouse has declared the C’s window of opportunity over, believing the Celtics are too old and too weary to mount another run at a title.
As the season progresses, it’s likely that the Cavs will pull away and both the Magic, who also are struggling now, and the Hawks, will pass the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, which means no home court advantage beyond the first round.
The Celtics are a proud bunch with a great coach in Doc Rivers and they might have another strong run left later this season, but time will stop for no one. The patches are falling off.
And father time is about to pass by the Celtics.
In my eyes, there are two scenarios that could play out for the C’s over the rest of the season: Either 1) Boston, possessing too much mileage on its old core, continues to suffer through injuries all season, losing bodies and games as the standing Celtics gamely compete but are no match for the league’s talented, young, healthy teams, or 2) Boston is better off going through injuries now than during the playoffs, like they did last season. KG returns from his injury and plays at about 75-80% of his peak, but it’s enough to keep the Celtics near the top of the NBA.
If you’re looking for KG to come back and play like he was an MVP candidate again, I don’t think that will ever happen. But he could certainly come back and be the piece they’re missing right now.
What will happen? I don’t know…
And I’m kind of worried to find out.
As for finishing fourth in the East, the Celtics have seen everything go wrong that possibly could… and still would have the second seed if the season ended today. Just saying.
2. Paul Pierce doesn’t think his minutes need to decrease, but Doc Rivers does. (Boston Globe)
But the Celtics’ ongoing battle with injuries, which hit a peak during the last month starting with Pierce’s knee trouble, has added significantly to the captain’s load.
He’s gone more than 40 minutes four times during the six games since his return. In three of those cases (Thursday against Chicago and twice against Atlanta), the C’s lost. Pierce logged his heaviest number (43 minutes) during a tight Jan. 6 win at Miami.
Pierce may not admit the 40-minute-plus games have to stop, but his coach has another idea.
Just put him on the bench, Doc. I don’t care what he thinks, keep him fresh for the playoffs.
3. Red’s Army gives a very thorough look at how the Celtics could address their backup PG issue.
And as horrifying as it is even to mention the possibility of Rondo missing significant time with an injury, Danny Ainge will be in dereliction of his basketball operations duties if he fails to secure an insurance policy to keep the team afloat if such a nightmare scenario occurs. Fortunately, while Danny has remained tight-lipped regarding the Celtics’ plans for the roster vacancy created by the release of Lester Hudson, it is very likely that one of his chief motives –along with saving money — for dropping Hudson was to facilitate the acquisition of a more accomplished backup point guard.
4. Rasheed Wallace is back, and Mark Murphy calls him a swingman.
The cause of his mild foot sprain may still be a mystery, but Rasheed Wallace says he should be ready for a return against the Mavericks tomorrow night at the Garden.
The big swingman, who missed the last three games, walked through sets with the first team during yesterday’s open practice for an American Express sponsorship group.
I hope Rasheed didn’t read this article. We don’t need any more thoughts of being a swingman entering his head.
5. Kevin Garnett participated in the C’s “skeleton” portion of practice, but definitely won’t play before Friday.
“Rasheed [Wallace] looked good, he went through the whole practice and he’ll play [Monday vs. the Dallas Mavericks],” said Rivers. “Kevin [Garnett] actually did our skeleton — our offense with no defense — and he looked great. All of those are good signs. We don’t have them on the court yet, but things are getting better.”
Rivers made it clear that Garnett would not return any sooner than Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers and even that remains merely a target date. Garnett could partake in more active drills on Tuesday, then work with a handful of teammates to brush up on offensive sets Thursday.
“I don’t care how he feels, he’s not playing before Friday, and he may not Friday,” said Rivers. “We’ve got to get him into some active stuff, see how that feels, but right now that’s the plan.”