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Red's Army

Encouraging Signs

RedsArmyAdmin April 15, 2009 Uncategorized 7 Comments

 (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

As far as I'm concerned, there are 3 things about which we should be very encouraged after last night's game.  (4 if you count me busting out proper grammar for the opening sentence.  Hooked on Phonics worked for me)

Tony Allen

He filled the stat sheet in 39 minutes. 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.  He looked in aggressive but in control.  He played with no hint of worry about his injured thumb.  He, in short, did everything we wanted Tony Allen to do all year.  As impressive as Paul Pierce was last night, I think the story of the game was Tony Allen playing as well as he did.  If THIS is the Tony Allen we'll have for the playoffs, then the second unit is going to kill other teams.  Think about Stephon Marbury's recent improvement, Eddie House's deadly shooting and Big Baby's marked improvement.  Now add last night's Tony Allen to that mix.  That's one hell of a second unit.  And we haven't even talked about Leon Powe… whose return last night was also very encouraging.

The first round

Briefly piggy-backing on Chuck's post-game analysis… I think it's clear that the Celtics without Ray and KG are still probably a 6 seed in the playoffs.  And let me stop the people who will feel the urge to comment right there… I'm very well aware of the Hawks series last year.  But this year is much different.  The 76'ers are not the Hawks.  The Celtics are not last year's Celtics.  The 76'ers were playing for something last night:  playoff position and to send a message.  They accomplished neither in front of their home crowd.

Kevin Garnett

I'm going to keep marching on as one of the few people around this town that isn't developing an ulcer over KG's knee. It's not that I don't understand why some people are worried, I'm just focusing on what Danny Ainge said yesterday.

“When Kevin plays is his decision,” Ainge said yesterday. “But I think Kevin (right knee) plays once the playoffs start. Ultimately, it’s just his decision. Could Kevin play right now?. Absolutely. But the question is whether it is in his best interests. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who feels he can’t play. It’s just a hot topic right now…

“Nothing is worse,” Ainge said. “It’s just a matter of identifying the best opportunity for his return. Every two or three days we have this discussion.

“It hasn’t taken a turn for the worse, but we want to give him the best chance once the playoffs start.”

I'm not sure how much of it is spin and how much of it is fact.  I think the Celtics are well aware that KG has only so many minutes left in that knee this year, so there's no point in playing him more than they have to.

So with that, I full expect KG to be back on Saturday.  I expect him to start and play hard.  But I also expect him to sit after about 6 minutes… and maybe not come back until midway through the 2nd quarter (and only after sufficient warmup… maybe on the Brian Scalabrine memorial stationary bike on the sideline).  The C's will probably look to pull KG from the game once they have a lead they feel can be sustained by the rest of the team.  I think they'll use that same approach for the first round… maybe increasing his minutes a little in each game.  Then they'll have him as fresh as possible for that assumed 2nd round matchup against Orlando… which is bad news for Orlando because that will allow the C's to play Dwight Howard straight up again.  That's been a winning formula for the C's.

So kick back and relax everyone.  The season ends tonight.  The REAL season begins on Saturday.  And there's plenty of encouraging news out there.

Herald:  Pierce deep sixes SixersWizards scouting report |  Globe: Pierce busy in win Wizards thumbnails | Brown Daily Herald:  Q&A with Bill Russell |  Comcast SportsNet:  Multi-tasking during the second halfLakers get 65th win

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  • Lex

    I’d rather KG come off the bench. Play him 14-24 MPGs for the rest of the playoffs. Then keep his ass there next year.

  • Jester00

    het i know this is not C’s related but our favorite GM must be starvin, becuase ZEKE is at FIU. He is so dumb it takes Him 3 hours to watch 60 minutes

  • Brian Regan

    Did you steal my bit? K-a-t-t, I’m outta here.

  • Doctor Hardwood

    I understand what you’re saying Baron. It IS an incredible accomplishment after all we’ve been through this year. But…CLE and LAL have gotten considerably better from last year, so that leaves us effectively WAY behind from last year.
    I’m not worried about home court or record. I’m worried about how we tend to shrink whenever teams throw a stout defense at us. I’m worried about how nervous everyone on the team plays when calls don’t go our way, or teams get physical with us. I’m worried about how we seem unable to effectively deal with running teams. I’m worried about our constant turnovers.
    Even with KG playing I’m having a hard time seeing us raising Banner 18 this year. I REALLY hope I’m wrong.

  • Pete

    when does the playoff schedule get announced? any insider information on when the saturday game will be?

  • thetitleisours

    The bench really seems to be coming along. Glad to see Powe play as his toughness will be needed. The second season gets extra physical.
    Also glad to see RA had a much needed rest for playing “elbow billiards”
    Time to pull the switch and play like they did at the start of the season

  • http://www.redsarmy.com redsarmy

    No schedule announced yet… but since the Bruins are playing Montreal, the league is going to give the marquee matchup to Hockey Night In Canada. That’ll be in prime time.
    So that means the Celtics will have to be the first game on Saturday. Probably 12:30.