Welcome Home Boys!

Coming out of the All Star break, the Boston Celtics were facing their most difficult stretch of the season after playing less than .500 ball going into the break.  They were to journey out west and take on the Kings, Lakers, Blazers, and Nuggets.  The Celtics have never really played all that well out west so it made the start of the 2nd half of the season look just as putrid as they ended the first half.

The trade deadline came and went with no big noise truly being made from Danny Ainge.  He made his move just to make a move, sending fan favorite Eddie House, JR Giddens, and Bill Walker  for Nate Robinson and Carl Landry’s little brother.

When the dust settled, the Celtics were coming home after going 3-1 and picking up a couple games on the struggling LeBron’s.  After beating the Knicks last night in a game that featured zero offense, the Celtics find them 6 games out of the top spot in the East and 1 game behind Orlando for the 2nd seed.

What has truly been great was the deal Danny made that no one knew he could pull off.  Somehow he was able to acquire the 2007 versions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.  There has been nothing better than seeing thr true Ray Allen with the sweetest shot in the game and to finally see Garnett sky for rebounds and be that defensive force that we all know and came to love.

What excites me most is that Boston has yet to hit its stride this season and that’s what the NBA is all about.  I look for them to finally come together at the right time, playoff time.  Pierce, Rondo, and Perk have been solid all season long. Ray and KG haven’t been themselves until just recently. Marquis Daniels is just starting to get back into shape after missing over 2 months of the season. Glen Davis has shown flashes of the brilliance he displayed during the playoffs last year and I expect him to be a solid contributor down the stretch.  Rasheed Wallace has pissed a lot of people off, none more than me.  His Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde act has worn thin with me. But I have faith that he knows that when he plays below the foul line he helps his team the most.

I do not know how the Nate Robinson experiment is going to work out.  I may have PTSD with late season point guard acquisitions. (See Cassel, Sam and Marbury, Stephon.) But as of right now, I am ever the optimist.  The team finally looks hungry again which has been refreshing to see.  Even more exciting is they have their swag back.  Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo are looking to dunk on people’s heads and Garnett and Perk are looking swat opposing shots into the third row.

Tomorrow night is a huge game for the Celtics.  They will be facing a struggling Cleveland Cavs team that no doubt hasn’t forgotten that these very Celtics came into their house for the first game of the year and beat them somewhat handily by 7.  Expect the Garden to be hopping with noise levels that will be beyond deafening.

Let’s go Celtics!

Step Away From the Edge

“I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend.”  The lyrics that open a famous Third Eye Blind song illustrate my current mindset when it comes to the Boston Celtics situation.  With the Celtics losing five of their last seven games Celtic fans are ready to jump off the Prudential Building.  To them I say, step away from the edge and come back down to earth.

They have lost to an undermanned Pistons squad, the red hot Dirk Nowitizki and his Mavericks, trounced by the Chicago Bulls,  and dominated by the Hawks twice all within the last two weeks.  Sure, these games have been very painful and immensely tough to watch down the stretch.  They have played without heart and even more frustrating they look absolutely disorganized.  Teams look tougher than the Celtics night in and night out.  That is what happens when you have a target on your back for 82 games.

Time for a reality check.  The Celtics still hold the number two seed in Eastern Conference and are two games back of the LeBron’s in the loss column.  Read that again, and this time remember that the Celtics are yet to play without their full roster this season.  Glen Davis was out for the first 20 or so games of the season, Marquis Daniels has been hurt for the last 2 months, and Kevin Garnett returns to the Celtics lineup tonight after a bit of a hiatus.  Also missing time recently have been Rasheed Wallace and Rajon Rondo.  There is no doubt that when this team is healthy, they are far and away the best team on the planet and pose some serious matchup problems for their opponents.

The Nate Robinson rumor has been swirling over the past month.  At first the Knicks would have asked for any two player combination of Tony Allen, JR Giddens, Bill Walker, or Brian Scalabrine’s expiring contract.  But recently, KryptoNate has exploded since the calendar year has changed.  On New Year’s Day Nate dropped 41 on the Celtics’ nemesis Hawks.  He has since had games of 10,20,19,11 and 27.  This has elevated the asking price considerably.  Mike D’antoni is infatuated with Eddie House.  The price might Eddie and Scal for Nate. What else makes this trade interesting is the Cavs’ loss of Mo Williams for 4-6 weeks.  The Cavs would be able to send Zydrunas Illgauskas’ expiring contract to the Big Apple. 

All this being said I think the main thing the Celtics need is not a big trade but to get healthy.  There is no need to make a PJ Brown move this year. And we sure as hell don’t need another Mikki Moore, Sam Cassell, or Stephon Marbury.  The Celtics will make their move this season.  It will be in the form of getting Marquis Daniels and Kevin Garnett back healthy.  We all know Kevin Garnett is the heart of this team. But Daniels will ultimately decide how far the Celtics will go this season.  He is the perfect backup to Rondo, Pierce, and Allen bringing length off of the bench and the ability to handle the ball.

So step down Celtics fan and relax.  I can say with total confidence that everything will be okay.