I’m sick and tired of the Celtics playing Atlantic Division foes. I would prefer something interesting to write about, something that makes a better headline than “Celtics prep for Italian Stallion Andrea Bargnani and the Toronto Raptors.” The Paul Pierce vs. DeMar DeRozan matchup isn’t going to sell out any arenas, and it’s tough to hype any matchup featuring Reggie Evans.
Maybe I should stress Jermaine O’Neal’s triumphant return to Toronto. Then again, maybe not. O’Neal’s year in Toronto was the worst of his career, and I’m sure he would prefer I forget it. Hell, I’m pretty sure even the most passionate Raptors fans hardly remember the J.O. era. Forty-one games of oft-injured, mediocre basketball never encouraged any statues to be built.
Perhaps I should lead with the Luke Harangody show. After all, he did it all in Wednesday’s win against the Knicks. The former Notre Dame star scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds, and then hauled a birthday cake to the team’s bus after the game was done. Seriously, he hauled a birthday cake to the team’s bus after the game was done. But Glen Davis is likely to return and Kevin Garnett probably won’t be prematurely tossed, so Gody might not see many minutes at all. Maybe it’s not the best idea to focus my preview around a player who should barely play.
Ahh, I’ve got it! Delonte West’s return from back spasms! Oh, Delonte’s not playing tonight? He was sent back to Boston before Wednesday’s game against the Knicks and won’t play until at least tomorrow? I see.
Which reminds me: Doc Rivers said he expects the injury bug to linger all season long.
“”I don’t think we’re going to be a team that’s healthy all year, I can almost guarantee that,” Rivers told ESPN Boston. “But that’s why our bench is so important. We need our bench this year in order to get to the playoffs.”
The depth should help the Celtics avoid lulls like last season’s 27-27 tailspin to end the season. (Can I consider two-thirds of the season a lull?) When one man gets hurt, another one fills in. That’s how it will go in Celtics land, where West, Davis, Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels and Doc Rivers’s choice of O’Neals construct a second unit that is already priding itself on being one of the league’s best benches.
If you want somebody to root against tonight, Joey Dorsey’s your guy. He was recently suspended one game for taking a shot at Celtics fan favorite Brian Scalabrine. Dorsey, who was hailed by the Toronto Sun as a bully before his suspension, clearly felt he had to live up to his new reputation. And what way could be better to solidify a tough-guy rep than hitting Brian Scalabrine? Only the manliest of players would dare hit Scal.
So like I said, there’s little to anticipate about tonight’s game. The Celtics should have their way down low, the Raptors should have their way to a loss, and Andrea Bargnani should continue to be one of my least favorite players. Toughen up a little, Bargs, and maybe I’ll start to enjoy watching the Celtics play the Raptors. Until then, good day.