First, the All Star ballots are out. The Celtics have 6 players on the ballot including the starting 5 and Sheed. I know that Dwight Howard will be the starting center but I'd love for Perk to be picked by the coaches. You can vote every 24 hours. If every Celtics fan voted for all 5 Celtics starters every 24 hours, who knows what would happen. You can go here to vote. Vote early and vote often.
I watched the end of the Bulls/Nuggets game and wow, what an ending. There were 6 seconds left and Hinrich fouled Billups who made the first and missed the second. Noah grabbed the rebound and called for an immediate timeout. They put .3 on the clock and Brad Miller hit a shot at the buzzer. The refs initially called it good and there was much celebrating by the Bulls. About 3 minutes later, after watching the replay from all angles, the refs called it no good and the Nuggets won after all. I remember the heartache of a Tony Allen foul at the buzzer and having Chauncey Billups beat us with 2 free throws. But this had the added drama of that last second shot that was just a fraction of a second too late.
The Celtics just finished 8 games in 12 days with 3 sets of back to backs and 4 games on the road. That was a brutal stretch. No other team had as tough a schedule as the Celtics did to begin the season. They have now had 3 days off to rest up and get some much needed practice in. Now the schedule becomes a lot more friendly with 9 games over the next 20 days and only 3 of those are on the road. After the brutal first 12 days, the next 20 should be a breeze.
Ray Allen has struggled at times with his shot over the first 8 games. But, there is still no player I'd rather taking the final shot in a game. Against the Nets, he had just 4 points through the first 3 quarters but scored 8 points in the 4th to seal the victory. He is the oldest of the starters, has played the most minutes of the starters, and yet, when every other player was clanking outside shots off the front of the rim, Ray came through and hit the shots when they were most needed.
Next up is the Jazz. The anticipated matchup of point guards may or may not materialize as Deron Williams will be a game time decision after an injury in Monday's game. In their last game, the Jazz barely got past the Knicks. If the Celtics have found their defense over the past 3 days' rest, then they have a very good chance of winning this one big.