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Your Morning Dump… Where we don’t want a repeat of last year

Chuck - Red's Army December 24, 2010 Uncategorized 13 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

The Celtics had made the holiday trek to Orlando last year without Paul Pierce, who had developed an infection in his right knee that needed to be flushed (including once on Christmas Day as his teammates topped the Magic to improve to 23-5 overall). It was the first of a cocktail of injuries Pierce would endure, and the first of a spate of maladies the Celtics battled over the next four months.

Boston lost its first three games after Christmas, 11 of its next 17 overall and ultimately played .500 basketball over the final 54 games of the regular season. Two games after Christmas, Kevin Garnett got kicked in his surgically repaired right knee and looked hobbled again until the playoffs arrived, when Boston surged despite being an unheralded fourth seed.

Given the injuries they've already battled this season, the Celtics know how delicate NBA success can be. They've stockpiled wins like squirrels collecting nuts before winter arrives.

"The only reason we went on a slide — and no one wanted to hear that last year during the whole stretch — was that we had the whole team hurt," Rivers said. "It's not like we started playing bad. We started playing injured and we never really got healthy, completely. Then we made the conscious choice to shut bodies down.

ESPN Boston – Celtics aim for wins despite injuries

Raise your hand if you expect the Celtics to fall apart after whooping Orlando on Christmas?

It's not happening this year. For starters, this team is gaining players, not losing them.

Jermaine O'Neal is expected to play tomorrow. Rajon Rondo will likely return at some point next week.

Delonte West could hit the court in mid-late January, and Kendrick Perkins will follow.

I think its perfectly reasonable to expect the Celtics to maintain a similar pace the remainder of the season. This team is winning 65+ games.

Related links: Globe - Rivers aching for full squad | Herald – Sizzling Cs serve up deep dish

On Page 2, Lebron wants the league to contract teams.

"Hopefully the league can figure out one way where it can go back to the '80s where you had three or four All-Stars, three or four superstars, three or four Hall of Famers on the same team," James said. "The league was great. It wasn't as watered down as it is [now]."

In fact, James seemed to have a couple of ideas of which teams could go and some players that would make other teams better right now.

"[Contraction] is not my job; I'm a player but that is why it the league was so great," James said.

"Imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team and you shrink the [league]. Looking at some of the teams that aren't that great, you take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off these teams that aren't that good right now and you add him to a team that could be really good. Not saying let's take New Jersey and let's take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid, I'm not stupid, it would be great for the league."

ESPN – Lebron discusses contraction

You think the head of the NBA players union is happy the game's most recognizable player is advocating for the contraction of teams and the loss of 24 jobs?

I agree with Lebron. Less is more.

The Nets aren't going anywhere. But a case could be made for Minnesota, New Orleans, Charlotte and the Clippers (my wishful thinking).

File this idea under – Not Happening.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Celtics celebrate holidays at BMC | CSNNE – Cs could end up with 5 all-stars | Celtics rookies ready to play on Xmas | Daniels home for holidays | WEEI – Ainge likes this team better | Ray likes playing on Christmas |

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  • CFH

    It might be a good bargaining strategy for the players to say “go ahead” when the owners threaten with contraction, because that doesn’t really benefit the owners either… they don’t want to buy out and settle up with 2-3 of their partners.
    But that’s clearly not the players’ strategy, and this is yet another case of LeBron not having a clue about the affect his words will have.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/kwapt KWAPT

    Funny, as I was just thinking about where we were last year at Xmas time, and wondering if we’d collapse again. Don’t think we’re going to.

  • Mileke

    I dont think we collapse, I think we get better, last year the chemistry was horrible compared to this year, and as long as KG can help it, he would never let them slide again, also last year, Christmas was the beggining of our injuries, this year its closer to the end…. So i believe we’re going to get better following Christmas!

  • KY Celts fan

    Where’d you get number 24?

  • BigMck

    12 active roster spots. Guess I could have gone with 30.

  • Caterpillar from Italy

    KG is the key. If he stays healthy, everything is possible.

  • Mr Miyagi

    Wrong, Mr James!!
    You. Are. Stupid.
    If only because you claim you are not.
    Love,
    Mr Miyagi.

  • Lee in Oregon

    I don’t see them coallapsing this year. Different team, different mind-set.

  • Jared

    Looks like Mr. James never got his union card in the mail.
    Friggin idiot. Keep that kinda shit up and you might find some sub-.500 bench warmer keeping a few of your teeth as souveniers next time you take it to the hoop.

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com jtshoopsblog

    I wonder who will be replacing Pierce when the Celts play Orlando? Could it be Marquis Daniels? Or could they play small put Nate Robinson at the 2 moving Ray Allen at the three? This kind of situation can make Boston fans regret giving up Tony Allen in Free Agency.

  • ShawnCVD

    I feel kinda bad calling you outing this one. Your ignorance of this team is monumental. Pierce is fine this year and will play tomorrow. If you reread the story LAST Christmas Pierce was out due to knee problems . Considering Rondo is out going small at Pierce’s position would be inserting Von. And Quis is PP’s back up he slides intothe starting role should Truth ever need a night off.
    Please cease from lowering the collective IQ of this blog with your ill informed opinions and/or trolling.

  • ShawnCVD

    Oh yeah and I for one don’t regret giving up TA.
    Happy Holidays Reds Army community!

  • Classless

    Couldn’t Lebron be fined for tampering by bringing up specific names of players and advocating them to be removed from their teams?
    It’s kinda funny he says all this because it’s an obvious veiled shot at the other 9 guys on the Heat’s roster. He does know there is still a salary cap and that Kevin Love and Brook Lopez aren’t playing for minimum wage with him, right?