(Delonte West said he and Von Wafer “were able to move past” their fight.)
There’s something hysterical about the thought of Shaq and Kendrick Perkins swimming laps side by side because of injuries. There’s also something sad about that thought – those two injuries mean the Celtics have only two centers standing: Jermaine O’Neal and Semih Erden. Of the two centers left, J.O. is a bit banged up (sore knee) and Erden has never played a single NBA minute. Oh yeah, Erden also has a sore shoulder. And J.O just told reporters, “My comfort level is at an all-time low in terms of chemistry.” Great to hear, Jermaine. Glad everything’s working out perfectly!
Seriously, I haven’t been too concerned by injuries so far. But my brother Tommy made a great point in an email:
He wrote, “Am I the only one who is just a LITTLE worried about all the injuries and drama that has gone on so far? I mean, we are only three games into the season and already Semih, JO, Shaq, Bradley (worst ankle sprain ever, apparently), and Delonte have been hurt. Not to mention the ongoing feud between Delonte and Wafer. The two biggest question marks going into the season were health and chemistry. Oh fer two, so far, I’d say.”
Well, Tommy, things just got a little worse. Bradley, already the proud owner of the world’s most severe ankle sprain, attempted a return to practice today. Normally that would be good, but he actually sprained his ankle again. The same one. Which means we probably won’t see him in action until 2012. (Note: I think I’m kidding, but I might not be.)
If you’re keeping score at home, the Celtics’ first round draft pick hasn’t played a single second, their fourth-string center practiced with the starting unit today, and their two backup shooting guards have developed some sort of ongoing feud. It’s not exactly all gravy in the C’s locker room right now.
Is it time to worry? Not yet, I don’t think. Maybe West and Wafer’s feud is indicative of something serious, maybe not. Time will tell, I suppose. If one of them has been a problem, I’m sure he’ll soon be released. (I’m kind of hoping Wafer’s the problem, because West is a lot better player.) Other than those two players, the chemistry seems great. The team seems a lot like the 2004 Red Sox “Idiots,” a fun-loving group of nutjobs that banded together to have fun and win ballgames. And the injuries? Maybe they’ll spiral out of control, but for now they’re not too bad.
Perhaps I should be more worried than I am. I should be upset by the injuries, right? But the Big Four all look perfectly healthy, more so than at any time last year. As much as it should bother me to already see Shaq hurting, I watch KG sprint like a gazelle and stop worrying. As much as it should bother me to see Avery Bradley’s paper mache ankles, I see Pierce blow by a defender and stop fretting.
It’s hard to explain my serenity, but there’s just something about the way KG is moving, the way Paul Pierce is attacking the basket, the way Glen Davis has grown up, and the way Rajon Rondo has far better vision than the average human being. There have been a lot of injuries, sure, but none seem severe and the Big Four all look in great shape. I knew there would be injuries this season — I’m just trying not to sweat the small stuff.
So I’m not overly concerned, yet.
But the start definitely hasn’t been perfect. And it might actually be a lot worse than I think.