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Your Morning Dump… There’s a rumbling around the league that the Celtics could be really, really good

Chuck - Red's Army October 18, 2012 Celtics News, Courtney Lee, The Morning Dump 29 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.

If you’re in Boston, you can buy into Jeff Green, who’s been one of the Celtics’ best — maybe the best — players in camp, showing no ill effects from his heart surgery last year. Green struggled to pick up the Celtics’ defense when he first came over from Oklahoma City in 2010, but he’s dramatically improved so far. He, along with Rajon Rondo, is playing with “great pace, force and focus,” according to an approving Beantownian.

There is a rumbling around the league, from people I respect, that the Celtics could be really, really good this season.

NBA.com – David Aldridge

The Celtics are going to be really, really good? Well, you don’t say. Maybe the national media will take a break from drooling over the Heat and Lakers, and give the Celtics some respect.

I should note that despite the commentary, Aldridge has the Celtics 6th (behind MIA, OKC, LAL, SA and IND)  in his top teams rank.

If you subscribe to ESPN The Magazine (I get it because it comes free with ESPN Insider), just throw away the NBA preview. You won’t want to waste a second reading how the Heat, Hawks and Knicks are picked ahead of Boston in the East.

The Celtics are one confident bunch. Here’s what Courtney Lee had to say about everyone but Miami:

Starting guard Courtney Lee, a former Net, essentially scoffed at the Atlantic Division this week when he told reporters, “We just feel like all the other teams (besides the Heat) are going to be just opponents – we’re going to beat and handle them.”

A tad brash, but I like it.

The rest of the links:

Globe – Barbosa is added by Celtics | Herald – Jason Collins stands tall | CSNNE – Collins keeping himself ready to go | WEEI – What Leandro means to back court mix

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  • Grandad434

    It’s scary how deep this team is. Can’t wait for Halloween!

  • Rhys

    And on the list of questions I thought I’d never ask: How is Darko?

    • http://redsarmy.com John

      He’ll be fine.

      • Larry Legend

        I dont get why you like this comment John. First off, this is type of stuff we Celtic fans kill other teams and their fans for…ie Heat. Second, one of the toughest opponents the Celts have is themselves. Doc calls it “the Cool Boston Celtics”. When this team just shows up thinking they got an automatic W they usually get their doors blown off…or lose to the Cavs, or Raptors. This team is at it’s best when they have an edge to them. As a Celtic fan and blogger you should know this. Shame on you buying thd hype on a quote like this. Cmon man…gotta be better than that

        • Brian Carey

          All the edge you’re looking for is right there in Lee’s comment. Nothing wrong with a little swag.

  • G

    ESPN Magazine or anything ESPN is an absolute joke at this point. This is a network that sensationalizes TIM TEBOW. This is a network that ranked Kobe the 7th best of the 2012 season. This is a network that tries to compare Lebron to Jordan. Seriously. ESPN has no creditiblity with most.

    The Knicks and Hawks ahead of the Celtics, Pacers, Sixers and Nets? WOW. At least David’s rankings sound sane, but Indy ahead of Boston, Philly or BK?

    Do some of these so-called experts look at team rosters or track records. So here’s the skinny on the Pacers. They lost Collins, Jones, Amundson, Barbosa, and Price. How are they better off? They have no true superstar and no solid bench.

    • Curt

      So true, G.

      I honestly think that the East comes down to Boston, Miami, Brooklyn, and Chicago still. Indiana is a joke. Philly’s best player is Nick Young (you’ll see). And if Atlanta didn’t have Horford, they’d go winless this season (hyperbole).

      I wonder if ESPN will catch one after the Finals this year…when Boston has Banner 18.

      • Dee Brown

        Philly’s best player is actually Bynum, but I’m still not buying into the hype surrounding the Sixers. Can Bynum stay healthy for 82 gms? I think if they still had Williams, Iguadola, Brand along w/Bynum I’ll say the Sixers are likely third best in the east.

        The Celtics have been unfairly labeled “Old” the past 2 seasons well the Knicks are now the oldest team in league history. The Knicks is and always be a clumsy organization. I won’t even waste time on the Hawks or Pacers.

        That’s typical of ESPN. After ESPN aired the Lebron’s “Decision” they lost all respect so anything that comes out of that network has to be taken with a grain of salt. These so-called experts need to let teams play out entire season before assuming.

  • Matt W

    I’m actually a little concerned we’re overhyping this team. This feels a little like the 2011 MLB offseason, when the Red Sox appeared to have become the best team ever on paper, which they obviously weren’t.

    Now, I’m not saying that this C’s team is going to be that bad, but I do think a lot has to go right for this team to be a serious force.

    • Danno

      They have the same core starters for the team that took the ECF against Miami last year to 7 games and only lost because their best defensive player and emerging star Bradley had to have surgery. They are now minus the one guy in the locker room who made everyone else uncomfortable and who has played like absolute ass the last few seasons (Ray). Their first line of Bench guys would be starters on 3/4 of the teams in this league. And they have a guy named Sullinger who looks every bit the lottery pick he should have been.

      This team is so stacked it’s not even funny.

    • Drew

      I agree. I’m completely fine with flying under the radar. The last thing I think is healthy for this team is an over hype. I already get the feeling this team will have a nasty identity crisis come mid season and go 10-10 during a stretch. We don’t need media hypes to complicate that.

      • Curt

        The Celtics won’t get hype in the media as long as they rely on the play of more than one guy. News articles look like this:

        “Kobe (OR Dwight OR Jordan OR Lin OR Ray Allen) Does So-and-So!”

        You can’t write every article and say “Rondo AND Garnett AND Pierce AND Sullinger AND Terry AND Lee Do So-and-So Together!”

        Most fans want to “be like Mike”. Celtics fans want to be like “the Celtics”. Team vs. Player.

        There will be no hype for us, and rarely have we seen it if it wasn’t Bird vs. Magic or Pierce vs. Lebron (which wasn’t even true…we had KG and Ray and Rondo)…you get my point.

        • Chulinho

          Excellent point. The Celtics are far more team-oriented than almost any other in the league.

          ESPN would prefer to cover the alpha-male, self-absorbed, and/or controversial athlete instead of guys that are willing to sacrifice for their team.

  • Andrew A

    I have to say that I’m not a fan of Courtney Lee’s statement. It’s never good to give division opponents any chalkboard material to feed off of going into the season. It’s especially unnerving when it comes from a guy who has never played a single game in a Celtics uniform. Don’t get me wrong, I like confidence but he could have done a better job of wording his statement.

    I’m a little concerned with Philadelphia this season. Once Bynum is healthy they’ll be a tough team and the Knicks will be better than last year with a stronger situation at point guard and more vets to fill out the bench.

    If the Celts stay healthy, they may have the best overall team they’ve fielded since 2007. The big x factor is Avery Bradley’s ability to return to last year’s pre-injury playoff form. I like what Green has been doing in camp/pre-season but let’s see how he can perform once the season starts. He’s got a lot to prove and this is his year to show the league that he’s everything we thought he was going to be.

    • Larry Legend

      Couldn’t agree more about Lee’s quote. We all know that often the Celtics toughest opponent is themselves…doc refers to it as “the cool Boston Celtics”. I hate when they talk. Just handle your business man. Go Celts

      • kg215

        You guys are worrying too much about bulletin board material. If some comments are what it takes for the Knicks or Nets to play hard, then that team is not going to win it all especially against the Heat or Lakers/Thunder. And if we can’t beat such a team then we got no shot at a ring.

    • Ray Lew

      @Andrew A
      I wasn’t too crazy with Lee’s comments,but that’s a reflection of Rivers constantly harping on the Miami Heat . I do believe the division is much more competitive than the previous years, but I’m not concerned. The reality is the Celtics will have to work much harder to stay king of hill of their division.

      Lee’s comments aren’t helpful, but as we all know the Celtics are a confident bunch that don’t scare.

  • Ray Lew

    Overhype? From who, because this team always flies under radar, over critiqued, or unfairly criticized. Granted the Celtics at times do deserve the criticism they receive, but at time it can be overbearing. Since the arrival of Garnett and Allen paring with Pierce and with the emergence of Rondo, the Celtics have rejuvenated basketball in the NBA, eastern conference and city of Boston.

    They’re respected by other players and coaching around the league and are a module of what basketball should be which is sharing, sacrifice and perseverance. Teams like the Celtics and Spurs are the anti-Miami Heat. Sadly in today’s media culture where ESPN dominates the new sports cycle 24/7, teams like the Heat are sensationalized.

    Preseason games or regular season slumps are not indicative of who the Celtics are. All that matters is what happens in the playoffs. The Celtics have nothing to prove to pundits in my opinion. The only opinions that matter are fans of the Boston Celtics.

    • IanD

      Amen, I can’t wait for the season to start

  • B

    Just read some Dldrige’s article and the title of above reads, ” TOP O’ THE WORLD, MA!” isn’t that’s KG’s quote after the Celtics won the 08′ finals? Anyway I don’t think the Pacers should be ahead of Boston or even Philly, Brooklyn and New York.

    The Pacers depth have regressed, because during the offseason they lost Darren Collins, L.Barbosa, L.Amundson, A.Price and D.Jones. Don’t understand how they’re better? And the Pacers have no scoring threat or superstar.

    Come mid-season we’ll find out more about all the teams listed, because as of now these rankings are premature.

  • http://jackhowland.com Jack

    What I like is the possibility of having a smothering defense, that then kicks out to blazing fast transition game. Sullinger, Darko, or KG kick it out to Rondo on the wing flying down the court with any number of really fast, aggressive, young guys. If that doesn’t work, here comes PP to drop a leisurely trailer 3. Apologies if you guys have already played out this idea thoroughly.

  • RedsLoveChild

    The Celtics will remain vulnerable…due to the fact that they scare nobody in the paint.

    They will not be nearly as formidable as they were when they stood 41-15 on 2/24/11, when a healthy Shaq & Perk were controling the paint.

    From 6`2″ {Bradley} to 6`9″ {Sullinger}…they will be very deep and talented.

    But, their lack of talented “bigs” will leave them exposed.

    However, that could change quickly IF Fab Melo stuns the world and becomes a defensive/shot blocking force.

    • Dee Brown

      @RedsLoveChild

      You can be a cynic at times. You say they lack talented bigs, but did u forget today’s NBA has a lack of quality big men. This lack of Celtics big talking point is highly overrated by C’s fans and others.

      Unless Gasol, Jordan, Noah, Hibbert, Bynum, Perkins, Howard, Dalembert, Gortat, Varjour, Cousins or Nene magically appear on the market by tomorrow, then this lack of bigs argument is dead.

      Vulnerable in the paint? I agree. Unit the Celtics bigs or forwards learn how to clog the paint, then yes they’ll be vulnerable like any other team that would have that problem.

      • RedsLoveChild

        How does this make me a cynic? You seem to agree with me.

        Of all the “bigs” you named, the two best ones play for the Lakers, which is a big reason why I predict they will win the championship.

        Besides, I did point out that Fab Melo could go a long way in changing the Celtics` paint situation. I`d love to see it!

    • MJ

      I dunno. Darko’s impressed me with how he’s been able to patrol the paint defensively with his presence, and Wilcox is one of our most athletic players even as a big man. I’m not ready to throw up the white flag just yet.

    • kg215

      Actually we protect the paint just fine and we were the best defensive team or 2nd best defensive team last year depending on how you look at things (Bulls is the other 1 or 2). KG doesn’t get a ton of blocks but he protects the rim without fouling. Shaq and Perkins do clog the middle but would have a lot of trouble these days as a lot of teams are going small. The only good team that isn’t is the Lakers really. The Heat are gonna play Bosh at 5 a lot, and the Thunder move Ibaka over to 5 pretty often late in games. Perkins hasn’t exactly been tearing it up in OKC. And Shaq was awesome when he was here, but he was barely out on the floor due to injuries. Definitely overblowing the paint issue.

  • 17rings

    Bottom line will be how much the celtics defense can improve from this day to April 20th. I have no worries about our offense.

    3 things that routinely kill the celtics: Rebounding, Bench Scoring, and Health.

    Now that bench scoring is sured up, rebounding will be our most major problem. And our team is deep enough to handle any injuries (besides to KG, Rondo, or P) almost seamlessly.

    Here’s hoping Avery comes back to start for us, I haven’t been so excited by watching someones defense in all of my years watching the C’s. With him and KG healthy.. I know we can be a top 3 defensive team EASILY.

    No team in the NBA is perfect.. everyone has a flaw or two (if you’re the bobcats, dozens).. I’ll be ecstatic if rebounding is our only major concern.. especially with Sully (no one on our team was getting those offensive rebounds last year).

    Just pray they are HEALTHY, because with Doc’s guidance and this team, I truly believe we can capture 18.

  • Brian

    I take ESPN the magazine out of my mail box and throw it right in the trash. I like the access to epsn insider but except for the body issue I got no use for it.
    I think we will be fine this year. We have the kind of depth that we could only dream about last year. I don’t think people realize how far we got with Daniels Doolling, Steamer and Hollins off the bench. Our starters were Gassed. Ray had a bad Wheel and Avery played with one arm until the pain was to much. Look at the Block against wade and see how he keeps moving his shoulder after. The guy was hurt alot more and played hurt a lot longer then people realize.
    As for the lack of Bigs, I think with Kg, Darko and Collins we will be fine. Darko has been great this camp, and isn’t trying to be the 2nd pick in the draft anymore. Kg will get his 30 mins and when Wilcox is back he will be throwing down lob dunks with the second unit. Collins is a beast on the defensive end when it comes to stopping guys like Bynum and Howard. His Per against those guys is amazing. He cant score at all, but perkins was no real threat on the offensive end either.
    This pre season I see the celitcs just going threw the motions before the games start. The games that they have lost cept for the blow out were all close until they wanted to get a look at what a guy like christmas or smith could do. With those guys gone, the reps will pick up for the key players on this team.
    I like the pick up of barbosa. As a fomer 6th man he is a team first guy, and will fit in great. He is a good enough ball handler that he can a play 10/12 mins and not hurt us. With out rondo on the floor you will have a hybrid of PG with Terry/Barbosa/Lee and Paul bring the ball up for the 10/12 mins that rondo is not on the floor.
    I still think the big surprise will be Green this year. He is 100% and allows Paul to take a rest and not have to play 40+ min in the playoffs, or 35+ in the regular season. Green will prove a lot of people wrong, and Danny knew that his is now a wing/sf league. When Paul only has to play 32 mins a game he has a lot more in the tank to get off those foul line jumpers to end games.
    Bring on The HEAT!!!!!!

  • Wil R

    Dont forget, ive watched most of their games this preseason, we’ve yet to see them operate the Celtics defense.

    Offense needs to stabilize soon. Their offense is great when it gets going, But it needs a consistent go to plays to minimize their turn overs.

    Their defense however is terrible with KG off the floor. I want to see the defense that brought them to the ECF.

    They shouldnt forget what defense did for them.