We knew Delonte West would be unavailable for the first ten games. We knew the flush guard corps would be shorthanded with West suspended and Bradley still rehabbing his ankle. We knew Perkins would be out until sometime in the new year. Well that sets the active/inactive lists for November. Hold on there, not so quick. What we didn’t know, or at least I didn’t know, was that in signing West the Celtics accepted an additional penalty that comes with the suspension. From Julian Benbow’s article in the Globe:
“A catch that comes with West’s 10-game suspension is that the Celtics will have to keep him on the active roster as a penalty, meaning they’ll only have 11 available players.”
Considering that both O’Neal’s have missed significant time during the preseason and Erden is “probable” for opening night due to a shoulder injury, the deep-benched Celtics suddenly look bare boned. I suppose that the silver lining is that even though Delonte won’t be on the inactive list, the Celtics seem to be plagued with enough injuries to avoid putting an able bodied player in street clothes. Pretty tarnished silver that. For Tuesday’s opener the “Bring a Sports Coat” award will go to Erden if he can’t go, otherwise expect to see Luke Harrangody continue his rookie learning wearing long pants.
For the first ten games the Celtics will take the floor with a team two deep plus a big man. I suppose that hedges our bets in the most favorable way since if someone pulls up lame during a game, the smart money would be on one of the O’Neals. For those of you still beating the foolish “Doc does better with his options limited” drum, I suppose this will be your kind of November. Here’s to everyone getting healthy and cluttering up River’s decision making, not to mention burying the opposition beneath waves of energetic talent on fresh legs.