Friday, June 29, 2007

He Got Game

I Need another 20
Its funny how quickly a fan’s tune can change, mine changed a matter of hours. Yesterday I was talking about how anti-climatic the NBA draft was going to be for the Celtics, no matter what there wasn’t anything the C’s could do that would instantly make fans feel better – like getting Durant or Oden would have.

I guess deep down I was hoping the Celtics would pick Corey Brewer, assuming he was available (which he was) but I would have been alright with a player like Jeff Green too. Either guy would have helped the team but nothing was going to make them an instant contender.
Well after all the trade talks one finally went down that sent Delonte West, Wally and the fifth pick (Jeff Green) to Seattle for Jesus Shuttlesworth (a.k.a. Ray Allen). I might be the only Celtics fan who is ok with moving on from D-West and as much as I like Wally he sucked in Boston and it’s good to see his contract numbers go. With that said my reaction to the trade was simply confusion.

I don’t see how adding Ray Allen immediately helps the Celtics. Now I’ve heard that the Celtics brought him in as a way to try and entice Kevin Garnett to come to Boston (my sources are Joey Hegarty, The Herald and WEEI on that one). If you have Pierce, Shuttlesworth and Garnett then the Celtics are an instant contender. Plus the rumored deal would send out Al Jefferson (remember I said rumored), Theo Ratliff’s contract and Bassy Telfair to Minnesota. I’d be pretty happy with that since getting Ratliff and Wally off the books frees up some money to go after another point guard, which the Celtics need. Of course if that deal does turn out to be rumor then I am still very confused about the Celtics draft day.

It’s one thing to make a move for a proven scorer and veteran player like Ray Allen. Even if it seems like Danny Ainge was trying to appease Paul Pierce. It’s quite another to proceed the rest of the way like Boston did. Now I’m not Steven A. Smith or Danny Ainge or any other “expert” or GM but Corey Brewer was available, he can play D and has the ability to score at times, to me he would have been a safe pick at five, but I digress.

The trade gave Boston a second, second round pick. At 32 and 35 the Celtics surely had some solid players available and I’m willing to give Gabe Pruitt and Glen “Big Baby” Davis their shot, what do we have to lose at this point? I can’t help but feel like Pruitt wasn’t the right pick to make. Personally I was hoping for Tauren Green, he’s a point guard with a decent shot that can run the floor, he was the point on two national championship teams, and he looked like a good fit to play behind Rajon Rondo. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been saying Rondo was a great pick from day one but he’s not going to play 48 minutes every night. The Celtics need a back up point guard not another three point shooting two-guard - And no Bassy isn’t going to cut it, I don’t like to just rip on people but he was awful last year.

In my opinion Danny Ainge is rapidly running out of chances to fix this mess that the C’s have become. They definitely over achieved when they went to the Eastern Conference Finals but they were better then 24 wins that’s for sure. Of course all of this could change if the Garnett rumors were to come true that would buy Danny some extra lives. Especially since they’d instantly be a contender, even with a poor coach. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, I’m pulling for Gabe Pruitt, Big Baby and Jesus to prove me wrong…after all he got game.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Twenty Second Time Out - T-Minus Draft Day

Why do no NBA players want to come to Boston? I know it’s a lot to ask that all four of your cities major sports teams be at the top of their respective leagues. I’m not going to lie I’m pretty content with the Sox lineup right now and the Patriots are going to be codes, but I don’t think it’s asking too much to have your NBA franchise be relevant and competitive. I wrote about how unacceptable the Celtics season was after the lottery but as we sit here and hour away from the draft and the way the rumor mill has been swirling I simply can’t help myself.

I realize that everything that’s been on SportsCenter has been rumor but over and over again I’ve heard (Fill in NBA player name here) doesn’t want to go to Boston. It can’t just be because the Celtics suck, I know they do but so do a lot of other teams. I’ve also heard it’s a racial issue. Boston is not a place young black athletes jump at the chance to go to. If you look over the history, there is a precedent for that attitude. When Randy Moss first signed with the Pats I remember hearing a lot of talk about how it could be rough on him because Boston isn’t the greatest on polarizing black athletes. Which is true, Boston doesn’t have the best history. The Red Sox were the last team to integrate and the Boston media, newspapers and sports radio especially have been pretty tough on black players in this town.

Black players are often painted as selfish, lazy and or money hungry, like Deion Branch and Asante Samuel. Personally I have nothing against those guys, I do wish they’d play with out holding out but they also play a sport with the shortest average career length. If you look at it that way I can see where Asante is coming from with his “’Get Paid” tattoo.

This nobody wants to play in Boston sentiment is just another example of how far the Celtics have fallen and how Danny Ainge has failed (too this point – I still have a hint of optimism – surprisingly). At this point the draft is going to be anti-climatic for me. Without getting the one or two pick it almost doesn’t matter who they get. Obviously it will have implications for the future, like if they draft the Chinese guy we’re in trouble, unless the other NBA teams start signing chairs to play defense then we’ll be ok.

If asked me a month ago I’d say please God don’t take Joakim Noah, now I don’t see the Celtics winning more than 40-45 games so why not take Joakim at least he’s a winner. Ok I’m still not really sold on Joakim but that’s my point a month or two ago I was ready to swing over the NBA draft. Now I’m not sure how much I really care. Am I going to be pissed if we get Joakim, probably not, but I’m not going to be too stoked if we get Jeff Green, Al Horford and Corey Brewer or trade the pick. Since everyone apparently hates the idea of coming to Boston (easy Shawn Marion – not sure who you think you are) I guess they will just have to pick. I’d like to see Horford, but he probably won’t be available I think I’d honestly be the happiest with Corey Brewer; he really impressed me in the final four. Either way the draft is in 40 minutes, unfortunately it’s not going to be the block party we all hoped it would be a few months ago. Here’s to another couple of months of talking to the three Joe’s and trying to convince ourselves that if everyone stays healthy and the kids come together this team could surprise people… J