Boston Celtics Playoff Push

The Boston Celtics started their post All-Star break in Golden State, a place that had not yielded a win to the C’s for the last six seasons, and through veteran play down the stretch against a younger, quicker team, including some big shots from the Real Big 3, they managed a 22 point victory.  Two days later, with the trade deadline hours away and a game to be played later that night in Denver, Danny Ainge decided to deal Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City.  As news reached the Celtics team that their teammates (as well as Luke Harangody and Semih Erden being dealt to Cleveland) Kevin Garnett summed up the feeling of the team, especially about Kendrick Perkins, “…it feels like we lost a family member today.”  When Garnett came to the team he took Perk under his wing, and although we all thought Perk already had an attitude, Garnett taught him how to hone that attitude into something that was positive for the team and essentially made them the “Bad Boys” of the new century.  I believe what I am trying to say is that I hope the stay Perkins has in OK City is a pleasant one because I would not be opposed to the Celtics giving him the deal he deserves when the summer comes and bring him back to Boston, and they will regret not giving him that deal if Jeff Green does not pan out and we come within one game of winning the title again.

The Celtics, obviously flustered by what had transpired earlier in the day and only dressing 9, were beaten at the end of the game by the Nuggets and out rebounded by 15, continuing the trend of being in the bottom of the league in rebounds per game.  If you read my earlier post about the return of Kendrick Perkins you will see that all the words I used along with the idea of claiming a championship with him healthy and in the lineup is now obsolete, but a very encouraging thing happened on Saturday night when the West Coast trip was continued in Los Angeles against the Clippers.  Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic are the players Boston received from OKC (including a Top 10 protected 2012 First Round pick through the Clippers) and although Green was the big name, Krstic showed us something that we may not have expected and need him to continue to do…he had 6 of the Celtics 14 total offensive rebounds.  Realizing the mistake it could be to over analyze his performance on the offensive boards (he did not record a defensive rebound), Krstic had already been billed as mostly a big man perimeter shooter and not much of a threat down low banging with the big bodies.  Let us hope that he can show games like this against the Magic or Knicks (the Heat are not a problem when it comes to rebounding for Boston).

So here is the short break down for the remaining 25 games of the season.  Great news is that more than half (14) of the remaining games are against teams with losing records.  Sadly, in the “not so great” category, 15 of the games will be on the road, including trips to New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami…who said it was going to be easy to secure the number one spot in the East?  Now, the most important fact of these remaining games is that Boston has 6 more back-to-backs left in the next two months, with potentially (we hope) easy ones on March 13th and 14th (vs. Milwaukee, @New Jersey), March 27th and 28th (@Minnesota, @ Indiana), a bad and good on April 7th and 8th (@ Chicago, vs. Washington) and April 10th and April 11th (@Miami, @Washington), and some real trouble spots on March 18th and March 19th (@ Houston, @ New Orleans) and March 31st and April 1st (@San Antonio, @ Atlanta).  The degree of difficulty appears to be evened out, but here in all likelihood is where the Celtics are going to lose the top spot in the Eastern Conference.  The Celtics record on the 2nd night of back-to-back’s is 6-7 this season…not so promising when you have 6 more left and you are trying the keep your position atop the Eastern Conference…I hope they make me eat my words, but I do not see them holding onto number 1 for the remainder of the season.

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What Are You Doing, Danny?

“If you chase two rabbits, both will get away”-Ancient Proverb

In the spirit of Bill Walton doing color commentary for the Celtics lately, I figured it was appropriate to start off this post with a ridiculous Walton-esque saying.  Today, just before the trading deadline, Danny Ainge made a slew of moves that have left Celtic fans scratching their heads.  He first moved Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic.  He followed that by moving Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to Cleveland for a two draft picks.  He also shipped Marquis Daniels to Sacramento for cash.

Obviously Danny is thinking…I don’t know what the hell Danny is thinking. With these moves, Danny is clearly chasing two rabbits.  He has his eyes on the future, clearly afraid of the Celtics going into the same recession that plagued them when Bird, Parish, and McHale retired.  He is also (believe it or not) trying to improve his roster for this season to win a championship.  But it is hard not to  have the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” frame of mind.  The Celtics didn’t have to make moves to get better.

Kendrick Perkins will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and Danny must have figured they weren’t going to re-sign him.  His injury on Tuesday night was nothing of consequence with this trade.  The Celtics lose their enforcer in the paint, the one man who could guard Dwight Howard, and a piece of the starting five that has never lost a playoff series together.  The Celtics also lose Nate Robinson who was replaceable with Delonte West coming back from injury.

Jeff Green is a 24 year old kid that was once the 5th pick by the Celtics and promptly shipped to (then) Seattle for Ray.  He will be expected to back up Paul Pierce.  Green is averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds in what many people are calling a down year. One would think Danny would make this move in hopes of resigning Green to start a nucleus with Rondo for the future.  The Celtics also acquired Nenad Kristic, a 7 seven footer averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds with the Thunder.

This is a highly risky move by Danny Ainge with the health of the O’Neal’s in doubt.  Danny must be confident that the front court of Shaq, KG, Kristic, and Glen Davis will be enough to win banner 18.

Ainge also freed up three roster spots by moving Erden, Harangody, and Daniels.  This will lead to all kinds of speculation where the Celtics can land players that were bought out.  Among those that have been mentioned are Troy Murphy, Rip Hamilton, and the return of my nemesis Rasheed Wallace.

There is a belief that these moves are the start of a process that will bring Dwight Howard to the Celtics after next season.  I hate the idea of playing for the future when this team had the second best winning percentage in the NBA and beat the likes of the Heat (3 times), Spurs, and Lakers.  I also don’t like making moves for the sake of clearing space in hopes of landing a big time free agent.  Remember when the Knicks did that and lost out on LeBron?

My knee jerk to this maelstrom of activity is very negative.  Perk did have a knack for getting my blood boiling at times with his play, but overall I appreciated the effort he put forth every night.  These Celtics have always won with defense and abandoning that strategy now is curious to me.  Danny Ainge has also broken up an outstanding chemistry and a team that when healthy was the definition of successful.

Usually after trades, the fan base should be excited about the players coming in because the they will improve the team.  These trades didn’t improve anything and I venture to say the Celtics have taken a few steps backward.  If the Celtics don’t win the 2011 NBA Championship, fans will be able to point to February 24 as the day the season was lost.

First Look at the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics

The baseball playoffs aren’t the same to me without having my dog in the fight.  The Patriots rank fourth on my New England sports team list and I don’t really care that they traded Randy Moss.  Personally I think they are a better team without him, but that is another argument for another time.  With all this being said, I have not been more excited about a season than I am with the Boston Celtics upcoming campaign.  To be honest I am questioning whether I am more excited about opening night against Miami than I was about Game 7 against the Lakers in the NBA Finals last June.  The Celtics have the best all around roster in basketball and you must be dead if you aren’t excited about that.  If the talent alone doesn’t get you going, check out Nate Robinson’s twitter page.  The antics of the Celtics preseason from Nate taking pictures of everyone sleeping on the bus, to Nate putting salt in Shaq’s water, to Nate dunking on Shaq, and finally Nate running suicides in Shaq’s size 23 shoes have been hilarious.

The future is now in Boston.  Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers made no bones about recognizing the team’s age and deciding to go for it in 2010-2011.  They could have decided to let Ray Allen and Paul Pierce go and explored some options in free agency to get younger and rebuild.  They went out and signed Jermaine O’Neal and Shaq.  They resigned Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels and brought back Delonte West. There is no tomorrow in Celtic Nation.  This season is all about bringing home Banner 18 and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Here is a look at the Celtics:

The Front Line

After getting pounded on the glass in last year’s NBA Finals by the Lakers, Danny Ainge vowed that wouldn’t happen again.  After the summer, the Celtics boast the biggest and best front court in the NBA.  Jermaine O’ Neal is expected to start alongside a healthy Kevin Garnett.  Off the bench, Rivers can call upon Shaq, Big Baby Davis, Turkish project Semih Erden, and Luke Harangody.  It will really take an effort for the Celtics to get out rebounded this year.

Everyone is marveling at how great KG looks.  It is widely known that it take a year or a year and a half to fully recover from a knee injury (unless you are named Wes Welker).  Needless to say this is exciting news in Boston.  Jermaine O’Neal has always been a solid NBA player and theres no reason to expect him to do anything less.  Even more beneficial to the Celtics, he is a big man that can hit free throws as he is a 70% free throw shooter.  Big Baby may have no idea what his role is on this team but he has proven over the last 2 years that whatever he is asked to do, he does.  He has improved each year and will provide depth to the Celts front court and is basically the 6th man on this team.

There are many that have criticized the Shaq signing, but I am a huge advocate of bringing Diesel to town.  No one is expecting him to play like he did earlier in his career, that is unrealistic.  However he is still a presence and will provide Rondo with another option when he drives to the basket.  Shaq will open up the floor for Ray and KG when they are on the floor at the same time.  Semih Erden is a 7 foot project but gives the Celtics some height that they have lacked the past few seasons.

THE BENCH

Shaq has already coined the bench as the BBM, Boston Bench Mob.  This bench is better than some of the starting lineups around the league.  With the energetic Nate Robinson at point, Delonte at the 2, Quis at the 3, Baby at power forward and Shaq in the middle there should be little to no let down that the bench has been known for since the Big Three came to be.  In past seasons, the starting five would leave the floor with an eight to ten point lead only to be tied at the half.  If anything this bench can expand upon any lead the starting five runs out to.

I haven’t even brought up first round pick Avery Bradley.  He was a high school stud that had an ok freshman year at Texas.  Word around the league is that he is the best defensive rookie in this year’s class.  As a diehard Longhorn fan, I can tell you first hand that Bradley wasn’t used where he could maximize his talents at UT.  He has the ability to penetrate and dish with a solid mid range jumper.  At first glance, there aren’t many minutes for Bradley on this roster, but he his learning experiences will be invaluable for the rest of his career.  Do you think Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis would be as good as they today without the tutelage of KG? I think Bradley will learn a lot from Pierce and Ray.  When it comes time for him to contribute he will be ready.

Dogging the Regular Season

After last year’s run in the playoffs it would appear there is no reason to put forth any effort in the regular season.  The Celtics had the 4 seed after a lackluster finish during the season.  In fact the Celtics were mediocre at best from Christmas on.  Yet they made quick work of the Heat in round one, embarrassed LeBron and the Cavs in the second round, handled the Magic with ease in the Eastern Conference Finals and took the Lakers down to the wire in Game 7 of the Finals.  There really is no reason for the Celtics to compete during the regular season other than playing for home court advantage or for favorable matchups.  It is important to be healthy for the playoffs as well.  That is my biggest concern.  Yes, in the playoffs they proved they could “turn it on” when need be. But very much would like to see the Celts have home court advantage throughout the playoffs.  I want to hear how loud the Garden can get when they play the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

PREDICTION:

I think the Celtics will finish 2nd in the East behind the Miami Heat with a record of 60-22.  The toughest part about being a die hard fan is being objective rather than emotionally speaking about your team.  With that preface, I will say that the Celtics will win the NBA Championship capturing Banner 18 taking down the Lakers in six.

Must be Tough to be a Celtics Fan

I wasn’t going to write a post today about the Celtics because some of my co-bloggers are much more into the NBA than I am.  But, after logging on to Facebook this morning and seeing countless statuses all saying the same general, “It’s ok that Boston lost because they weren’t expected to go that far anyway,” I felt a rant coming on.

The now “Mediocrely sized three” (MST) were brought to Boston for one purpose and one purpose only, to win championships.  They certainly lived up to those lofty expectations in 2008, but have failed to regain that same form since then.  Granted they are two years older, but their all-star point guard is two years smarter, their bench is two years more experienced, and they have added Rasheed Wallace and Nate Robinson.  So, maybe the MST aren’t what they were in 2008, but I would argue that the talent level of the two teams (2008 vs. 2010) is similar.  That being said, to accept anything less than a championship as being a good season is an irrational act.  Since 2004, the Boston Red Sox are expected to compete for a World Series on a yearly basis.  Anything less that getting those rings would be considered a disappointment.  Since 2001, the New England Patriots are expected to compete for a Super Bowl on a yearly basis.  They went 18-1 in 2007 and people were pissed that they didn’t win the title.  Anything less than a Super Bowl is a disappointment.  Since 2008, the Celtics are expected to compete for an NBA Championship, and until Garnett, Pierce, and/or Allen are no longer a member(s) of the team, anything less than a championship IS a disappointment.  I don’t want to hear any more of this shit about how we are still happy for the Celtics that they just made it to the Championship game.  I don’t want to hear how we are happy that the “old guys” mustered up the courage to push the series to seven games.  And I certainly don’t want to hear how it’s ok that the Celtics lost because they still beat Dwight Howard and Lebron James.  You know last night you were pissed that the Celtics lost.  You know that their lack of offensive production in the 4th quarter was the sole reason they lost.  You know that they looked old last night.  But, you know they could have easily won that game.  So, cut the shit…anything less than a championship is unacceptable…and as we all know, the second place finisher is the first place loser.

Another thing that is pissing me off this morning is people complaining that the NBA fixes games.  The referees blatantly made calls all series to force a seventh game.  Cut the shit!  David Stern knows that if word ever got out that he was fixing games, the NBA would cease to exist.  On the court last night was probably 13 of the 100 best players in the world (may be a bit bold, but not too far from the truth).  To expect the series, with that level of talent, to not go to at least six, if not seven games, is pretty outrageous.  The so-called experts were even saying all along that it would be tough for teams to win back to back games, many predicting a seven game series.  On top of the level of talent, NBA referees have by far the toughest officiating job in all of sports.  NBA officials are forced to be very subjective.  In the MLB, a strike is a strike, an out is an out, a homerun is a homerun.  Granted there is a little wiggle room with strike zone size, or the occasional missed call, but the duties/job of an umpire is pretty clear cut.  In the NFL a hold is a hold, a fumble is a fumble, and a personal foul is a personal foul.  Again, there is a little wiggle room with what is and is not allowed, but it again is pretty cut and dry.  Not to mention that the MLB started implementing replay, and the NFL has been doing it for several seasons now.  In the NBA, 75% of whistles (if not more) are dedicated to fouls.  Your idea of a foul is much different from my idea of a foul, which is even more different than Joey Crawford’s idea of a foul.  These referees are put in a position where they need to make an instantaneous judgment call in front of 25,000 screaming fans, where undoubtedly they are going to get one fan base pissed off at a call.  So, to even entertain the idea that the referees blew the game for the Celtics is outrageous.  To even entertain the idea that the NBA rigged game to force the series into seven games is ridiculous.  To even entertain the idea that David Stern told Joey Crawford that the Lakers should win the series in game seven is downright stupid.  The referees made as many bad calls against the Celtics as they did against the Lakers.  The series was lost by the Boston Celtics and their inability to capitalize on the Lakers’ mistakes, and their unwillingness to show up in the fourth quarter.  Any explanation other than that is a true display for your inability to accept defeat and innate desire to create an excuse to lessen the pain that failure brings.

Ode to the Bench!-The Story of Game 4

BOSTON -96—- LOS ANGELES-89

GAME 4- Boston, Massachusetts

*The first three quarters of last night’s Game 4 might have been the most miserable 3 quarters of basketball I have ever seen.  The first three quarters of last night’s game rivaled any CYO game ever played.  The game was downright ugly.  The Celtics missed several lightly contested layups and many open look jumpers.  The offense of the Celtics has left a lot to be desired through four games, but their defense has been relentless.  Thank Thibodeau for that!

*The Celtics also got a huge pick me up from the bench.  Words will never do justice to describe exactly what they accomplished last night.  Glen Davis plays with heart and sometimes that is even better than having any talent.  He battles for every ball, crashes the glass, and hustles on every play.  I can’t even make fun of him for drooling and slobbering on himself after a huge and one put back.  He got me fired up to the point where I was screaming and yelling, jumping up and down, and fist pumping in my own living room.  I love seeing players play with emotion and The Ticket Stub has it.  Of course the line of the night came from Mark Jackson: “What do babies do? They drool, babies do that.”

*Eddie Who?  Doc Rivers has said all along that Nate Robinson would win a playoff game for the Celtics.  He did that in Orlando for Game 6, and along with his partner Shrek (Big Baby) they won Game 4 for the Celts.  In case you missed it, Nate the Great referred to he and Baby as Shrek and Donkey.  Ya gotta love it!  Nate provides that same spark that Davis does off the bench.  They play with all the emotion and heart in the world.  Nate banged 2 quick 3’s and then was able to penetrate into the paint and get some buckets there as well.  I didn’t even mind the technical he got for getting in Odom’s face.  That got the crowd into a frenzy and picked up the team as well.  It helped the Celts get that swag back.  It didn’t hurt that D-Fish missed the free throw as well.

*While Tony Allen can be somewhat frustrating on offense, he has played lockdown defense all playoff long.  When called upon he has played Kobe Bryant as good as anyone can play the greatest player on the planet.  He has forced Kobe into taking difficult shots and Kobe hasn’t had anything easy.  Tony has come a long way from the days of biting on every single upfake causing him to foul someone in the act of shooting.  I am really going to hate to see Tony leave for a higher pay day at the end of this season.  I love his ADHD mentality on the court and also on the bench when he simply can’t sit down for more than 3 minutes.  He is constantly up screaming and yelling encouragement to those on the floor.  He is the consummate team player.

*There was no bigger shot in last night’s game then Sheed nailing the three from the top of the key to ice the game.  I have been hard on Rasheed all year long and I stick by that.  However, the truth is the man knows how to win and his experience in the post season has been invaluable to this team.  He has played in your face defense on the big pansy known as Pau Gasol.  More importantly he hasn’t done anything to hurt the team which was characteristic of him throughout the regular season.

*Huge props to Doc for staying with the bench in the 4th quarter.  The man can coach and he showed that last night.  The bench wasn’t looking to “get anyone going” which has been the problem with the starters.  The bench just ran the offense and took what the Lakers gave them.  This needs to translate to the starters for the rest of the series.  If that happens the Celtics will take the title.

From the Outside Looking In

As tough as it is for me to admit, I confess to watching the majority of the Celtics vs. Lakers game last night.  For those of you that regularly follow this blog, you know how I feel about the NBA.  Last night did little to dissuade my hatred for the brand of basketball that the NBA presents on a nightly basis, but I felt obligated to at least pay a moderate amount of attention to the game.  That being said, I certainly didn’t limit myself to one sporting event, that just wouldn’t be right (looking forward to seeing Strasburg vs. Heyward for the next 6-10 years)…

-Consider these statistics:

fg: 11-33, 3pt fg: 8-19, ft: 4-4, reb: 7 total, ast: 4, pts: 34

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, those are Ray Allen’s stats over the last two games.  Not great, but not overly terrible either.  Granted, all 11 fg’s, 8 3pt fg’s, and 32 of 34 points were scored on Sunday…but did you really expect a repeat performance?  We have all come to know and love Ray Allen, and know and love the fact that when he’s hot the man is unstoppable (see Sunday night).  But, we have also consequently come to know and…accept that when Ray is off his game it’s pretty damn ugly.  If you showed me that stat line above for Ray and told me over those two games the Celts would be 1-1, that would be just about what I have expected.  All Celtics’ fans should be thankful that Ray Allen won game two (with a moderate amount of assistance from Rondo), but it would be (or have been) very unrealistic for fans to expect him to continue that performance throughout the course of the series.

-I do have some real concern regarding Allen though.  Despite his dreadful performance for the first 40-44 minutes of game 3, I always expect Ray to hit at least one big three down the stretch…which never happened.  May this possibly be a sign that 34 year old legs on a jump shooter need more than one day off in between games to fully recover?

It was nice to see Kevin Garnett show up to the game.  I actually began to miss his consistent barrage of F bombs a bit.  But, despite Garnett’s improved performance offensively, I still wasn’t happy with his play.  Garnett ended the game with only 6 rebounds and 1 block (while only managing to get to the line 4 times).  In order for the Celtics to be successful, they need Garnett to impose his will underneath.  Perkins is trying to battle underneath, but he’s overmatched against two seven footers.  Garnett needs to stop doing his best Misty May-Treanor impression and start grabbing some boards.

-Rasheed Wallace has been the Celtics’ best post defender so far in this series…no wonder why they are down two games to one.

-As I said when I commented on Scotty’s 2010 NBA Finals Preview, If Pierce doesn’t get the best of Ron Artest, the Celtics would have a tough time winning this series.  So far it’s Artest 2 – Pierce 0, with 1 no decision (considering Artest was in foul trouble almost all of game 3).  Doc needs to find a way to get the catalyst going.  Whether is implementing screens for Pierce to run off of (similar to the offense run for Ray), or maybe going with a different lineup to create some match up issues, something needs to be done to get Pierce into this series.

-Glen “Big Baby” Davis essentially defines the term “leave it all on the court.”  On a nightly basis he is clearly hardest working Celtic on the court, diving after rebounds, flopping all over the place, taking elbows to the face, doing whatever it takes to try and grab a victory for his team.  Sadly, Baby’s inability to finish at the rim has really hurt Boston this series.  Countless time his size underneath has hindered his offensive performance by either his shots getting blocked or not being able to get his shot off at all.  He’s a great role player, but to rely on him to contribute consistently on offense is unrealistic, and has hurt the Celtics in this series.

-Tony Allen is doing a pretty good job playing tight defense on Kobe, but every time Allen touches the ball I cringe at the possibility of him committing a turnover or taking a stupid shot.

-When Nate Robinson enters the game, the offense falls apart completely.  The ball doesn’t rotate, players are not moving, and before you know it Robinson is throwing up a three pointer because there are three seconds left on the shot clock.  I know Rondo needs a breather on occasion, but the Celtics can’t afford to have periods of offensive stagnancy.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Nate get some time alongside Rondo and see what kind of spark that would give the offense (granted then you need to determine who is going to cover Kobe).

-Thank god Lamar Odom has yet to show up or this series would be over.

-Rondo has improved his game dramatically even from the beginning of the season.  He has recently shown the ability to consistently knock down the 15-18 foot jump shot.  He is getting to the hoop with relative ease, and while his ability to finish at the hoop is questionable at times, he has a knack of finding the open man in a crowded paint.  Sadly for Rajon, the open man has been unable to finish the play consistently throughout this entire series.  Too many times has Garnett and Perkins either missed bunnies or didn’t even attempt to take the shot at all and kick the ball out to the three point line.  What happened to the days when KG was stuffing the ball down Gasol’s throat after he slammed it through the rim?  What happened to the Perkins of March that kept the ball above his shoulders when he caught it?  Rajon has supplanted himself in the discussion as one of the top point guards in the game (although I’m still saying he’s maybe top 5), but he’s not yet good enough to carry this team through the Los Angeles Lakers on their way to an NBA Championship.  Rondo needs help, and I have yet to see where it is going to come from…

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.