Celtics are in a 2 way tie with the Nets for the Titanic division lead, with a woeful record of 5-8. The Nets play tonight which will break the tie one way or the other. If the Nets lose, we will be alone atop the division. Pretty scary. Actually it is pretty scary that we are anywhere near the top of the division with a losing record. Amid reports of a good practice yesterday and Perk still resting his sore foot, we can only hope to play well tomorrow and beat New Jersey to start another winning streak. In the meantime, here is what is going on around the Celtics Nation today:
Mark Murphy reports that the Celtics aren't impressed with leading the division. Wally says that standings are the worst thing to pay attention to this time of the year and Pierce admits that he would rather be playing well than in first place. I have to agree with both of them. One positive about it is that we aren't completely left behind in the East. We got off to a poor start, but then so again did the rest of the East so there is hope that we can turn it around and make the playoffs.
In the Celtics Notebook, Doc says that he senses a disconnect between the fans and the players and coaches. He sees it as a result of the bloated salaries that players get these days. The article also mentions that the Celtics had a good practice yesterday with mostly healthy players. Pierce has his wrist wrapped but it is nothing serious. Perk is resting his sore foot but is expected to play on Wednesday.
Peter May comments on the sad state of the Eastern Conference. Not just the Celtics are struggling but almost every team in the East. While only 3 teams in the East have winning records, only 3 teams in the West have losing records. The Celtics benefit from an easy early schedule in that they don't start their first West coast trip until December 25 and by that time let's hope they have begun to gel and will have a better trip than the other Eastern teams that have ventured out west so far.
The Globe Notebook starts with Perk sitting out practices to rest his plantar fasciitis and expecting to play in Wednesday's game. Other than Perk, the rest of the active players had a good practice. Telfair drew praise from the Bucks' coach for his inspired play in the second half of Saturday's game. The Nets are coming off that West coast trip and are playing tonight at home which may give us an advantage against them tomorrow night if we run and play decent defense, we should have a chance to win.
Celtics Blog has a developmental check on Perk. It is no secret that Perk is my favorite player. I just love his work ethic and intensity. Here is Jeff's conclusion:
In just about every category, he’s improved his game. In some cases, he’s improved dramatically. He was the 27th pick of the 2003 draft and played only a handful of minutes his first year. Now he’s a starting NBA center with excellent rebounding ability and the potential to be a defensive force. If he can move his feet and make the right rotations on defense, he’ll stay out of foul trouble and stay on the floor, where he will help this team win ballgames.
I think with a little more playing time, Perk is going to figure it out and be the dominant force we need in the center. He works too hard not to.
Bill Reynolds tells us that the team is already feeling the heat of their slow start. Many fans expect a lot more out of this team, but I still think that patience is what is needed most. This team shows flashes of what they can be and that is exciting. They are going to put it together and then we will be glad we waited because they will be very good for years to come.
Scott Souza has more on the Celtics good practice yesterday. Doc feels that the poor practices along with the injuries are the reason for the big losses last week. Wally has another opinion, though.
"I have often said that I like it when we get into a routine when we play every other day because then you get in a rhythm," he said. "We got into a situation where we won three in a row, then we broke our rhythm with the three days off."
If Wally is right, we should expect another let down on Wednesday. I am hoping that Doc is right and we come out strong and beat the Nets.
Bill Doyle has the surprising information that Doc actually doesn't like small ball. I also don't care for small ball except in short spurts to shake up a game. We need to have post players and rebounders in there. Also mentioned in this article is Telfair's emergence and Gerald Green as our 3 point specialist.
In some exciting news, Red's Army is now featuring podcasts on their site. Check out the reason why we shouldn't get excited about Gasol and some answers to questions about KG and Danny's recruiting trip.