After James Jones finally allowed the Heat to win something against the Boston Celtics, Blake Griffin jumped over a Kia, Kobe Bryant played a lot harder in the All-Star game than he did against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Carmelo Anthony got traded for half the New York Knicks’ roster, the NBA regular season is back.
The Celtics play at Golden St.’s Oracle Arena tonight, where the C’s — improbably — haven’t won since the Jim O’Brien era. Seriously. Delonte West and Semih Erden should play, though Shaq may skip the entire four-game Western Conference road trip. The Celtics remain focused on adding another piece to their bench, where Doc Rivers remains entirely unconvinced by Von Wafer’s ability (or lack of ability) to function as the primary backup small forward.
Tonight, Steph Curry and Monta Ellis seek to defend their home court. So does David Lee, but don’t mention that to Golden St. fans. He signed an $80 million contract this offseason, and doesn’t make the Warriors any better. At all. A most undeserved All-Star last season, Lee’s a man whose statistics lied (and still lie) about his true impact on a game.
Before I go coach my high school JV team’s final game (our 6-13 season is mercifully coming to an end), one last trade rumor to chew on: keep an eye on Richard Hamilton’s situation, says Marc Spears (via CelticsHub). The Celtics want him, the Pistons don’t, and it doesn’t make any sense for Hamilton to stay in Detroit for the next two seasons, when the arrangement so clearly harms both parties. Because of his contract, age, and recent attitude problems, few teams want Hamilton in a trade. But the masked man, according to Spears, could be willing to forfeit money to facilitate a buy out that would allow him to leave Detroit.
Hamilton won’t wear Green tonight, and he won’t help the Celtics defeat the Warriors. On paper, at least, they shouldn’t need much help. The Celtics should have a major advantage inside the paint, and just about everywhere else. Even if they still need work. (Boston Globe)
“We have a lot stuff to work on,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “The second unit being the main thing. Up to this point, we’ve logged zero seconds [with the projected] second unit and we won’t do it on this trip. But we need a lot of work tightening up our execution defensively and offensively. And we’re going to do that this second half.’’
The season’s stretch run is now upon us, and the Celtics would be wise to stop laying eggs against the NBA’s basement-dwellers. They would also be wise to provide Doc Rivers with his first-ever win at Golden St. The last time Boston won in Oracle Arena, I was still in high school, and Mike James, Jiri Welsch, Vin Baker and Walter McCarty all started. No joke.