As you know today's game is against the mighty Boston Keltics (I like to pronounce it properly). Since we already did a Q&A with my SBNation sister site Green Bandwagon, I figured I would get another perspective this time, so I went to Tom from CelticsBlog. CelticsBlog is an institution at this point, or as close to an institution as a blog can be. Since it's a different blogger for the same team, I thought it might be interesting to ask some of the same questions to see how the answers differ. That, and it saved me having to come up with new questions. Click here for the earlier Q&A with Jim from Green Bandwagon if you want to compare and contrast. Click here to see my answers to Tom's questions on CelticsBlog.
ClipperSteve: The Trade Deadline has come and gone and the Celtics did not add a point guard. I'm incredibly impressed with Rajon Rondo - hard to believe he was a
second round late first round pick, and oh by the way do you think the Suns might like him about now? But back to my point - are you worried about Rondo and playoff pressure? And are you worried about playing Eddie House as your backup point? Might something still happen before March 1 when playoff rosters are set?
CelticsBlog: First on Rondo. He's really been progressing nicely this year. He has a way to go, but the Celtics can definitely win with Rajon as the starting PG. However, the lack of a real back up point guard is the Celtics Achilles' Heel. The first time the Celts played Detroit the Pistons exploited the heck out of the lack of ball handling coming off the bench and really took that game away from the Celtics with their pressure defense. Moving towards the playoffs, I can definitely see this being an issue. Eddie House is not a PG, he's a three point specialist, who doesn't handle the ball well, can't drive and certainly is not going to distribute the ball effectively. Doc has used Tony Allen in spots to bring the ball up, but every time Tony starts to dribble, I, along with Celtics fans everywhere immediately feel sharp pains in my left arm and a shortness of breath. So that's not a good sign. Really the best cure for this is to pry Cassell away from the Clippers, short of that though, I wouldn't be surprised if the Celtics do something to shore up the ball handling duties.
ClipperSteve: After so many years wandering in the wilderness, how does it feel to have the Celtics be relevant again? Use very small and understandable words, because you're talking to Clippers fans, and it may seem like a foreign language to us.
CelticsBlog: I was asked this question awhile back by a beat reporter for the Raptors when we traded some questions before one of the games in December. It's fun to answer.
Using small, easy to understand words, I'll go with these three:
- Transcendent (okay maybe that one is big)
Really its great, every game is fun to watch again (although the Suns and Nuggets games were very frustrating). Early on in the season crazy comparisons the 72-10 Bulls were made, the Celts ruled the various Power Ranking polls and generally had a terrific national buzz. Success and all that comes with it really makes being a basketball fan more enjoyable.
(Editor: Strange and likely unwanted aside. Compare the hook in Badfinger's 'Day After Day' used in that KG commercial to the one in Joe Jackson's 'Breaking us In Two'. I love Joe Jackson, but that always just struck me as plagiarism. I almost posted about it when I first saw the commercial, but knew that no one would care. Now that the commercial is already in a post, I can no longer ignore my original instinct.)
ClipperSteve: Given the package of 'prospects' the Lakers sent to the Grizzlies for Gasol, are you now pissed off that McHale soaked you in that KG trade? Seriously, are there any qualms along the lines of 'Al Jefferson is going to be 27 and making $14M when KG is 35 and making $21M'?
CelticsBlog: Well I think our buddy Kevin McHale looks like a genius now thanks to Chris Wallace. No one can be mad about the KG trade or even upset about the salary/age point you brought up. I love Big Al. I still watch his games in Minny and root like he's still on the Celtics, but Al is not as good as KG. He's an all-NBA offensive talent, but he cannot play defense at all. Plus, would the Celtics have been able to add the important free agents (Posey and House) with a core of Pierce, Allen and Big Al? I doubt it. That's a huge part of the KG to the Celtics story that goes unreported. Without KG, the Celtics have zero depth and are definitely worse defensively.
Back to Chris Wallace though. He seems to be a nice guy. When he left Boston he created a username on Celticsblog and posted a nice thank you note for the support of the fans over the years and wished the Celtics well. It was very classy. However, holy cow he's a terrible GM. Short of the Gin Baker fiasco, this might have been the worst move he made, and its pretty awful. Mostly though I'm just very annoyed that Chris was somehow able to give the Lakers life again (I really hate the Lakers).
(Editor - pandering to the ClipsNation audience is highly encouraged whenever appropriate.)
ClipperSteve: Is there a clinic that Doc Rivers went to during the off-season to learn how to coach? Some Clipper fans would like to send MDsr there.
CelticsBlog: Well Doc will tell you that he's still the same coach. And you know what, that's probably true. What has happened this year is that (i) the Celtics added probably the Defensive Player of the Year, (ii) Pierce is motivated to play defense (and has done very, very well), (iii) Rondo, a great defensive PG plays a lot more this year, (iv) the Celtics added the best defensive coach in the league in Tom Thibodeau and (v) it appears that the Celtics actually instituted an offense this year, as opposed to prior years where Doc was more concerned with teaching guys how to actually play fundamental basketball.
All this has added up to Doc looking like a great coach. I've always thought that Doc was just okay, he's wonderful with the players and the media, but he has some serious in-game mistakes that will cost the team at times. Those mistakes are still there, but this year the Celtics are good enough to compensate where in prior years they haven't been good enough.
So sorry, MDsr probably isn't going to improve this summer by going to Coach Camp or anything like that. Really what the Clips need to do is trade for Chris Paul or LeBron - that will make MDsr look like a genius.
As always, that was fun. When I wrote that question about the Gasol trade, I wasn't even thinking about Chris Wallace's connection to the Celtics. But I'm oh for two on that Doc Rivers question - no one seems to notice the tongue in my cheek. These Keltic bloggers are just so serious all the time! By the way, Tom, don't forget that Elton Brand will make MDsr a better coach in much the same way Kevin Garnett made Doc a better coach. And thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!