Random Thoughts as We Wait for Delonte
We all know that Delonte is going to help the Celtics. He should give both Ray and Rondo a few less minutes. He will help guide the second unit and give them a steady hand at the helm. He will also allow Nate to move into a more natural role for him, not having to bring the ball up every time. Delonte also brings energy off the bench. With Nate, Baby, Marquis, Delonte and any of the centers, that unit is going to be a lot of fun to watch. I know that there may be a few growing pains as they work Delonte into the lineup and as Delonte works off the nerves from his first game. But once they get that all worked out, look out!
I had to chuckle over all the hoopla about LeBron being nominated for Time Magazine's Person of the year. Yes, there have been many great selections for that honor, including the American Soldier. But let's not forget that Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin (twice even) were also chosen for Time's person of the year also.
The Lakers are starting to show some cracks. They are 3rd in the West and have lost 2 in a row. They are 8-2 but they have had another cupcake schedule to begin the season. 7 of those 10 games were at home. Their first 8 opponents were a combined 26-38. They will play 7 of their next 11 on the road but against teams with a combined winning percentage of 39%. They also have had just 1 set of back to back games and will have the fewest back to back games of anyone in the league this season. I guess the saying is true. When the going gets rough, it definitely won't be the Lakers.
Back to LeBron. It cracked me up when he complained about his minutes after the Celtics beat the Heat. He played 44 minutes and that's why he bricked 2 free throws down the stretch, airballed a 3 pointer and hit another one off the side of the backboard. For the past 2 seasons, Ray Allen has played over 40 minutes in a lot of games but never complained. I imagine he got some flack from Pat Riley for throwing his coach under the bus because the next day he started dancing around saying he didn't say what he said. Pat doesn't want LeBron complaining about the coach since it would look too much like he was LeBron's puppet when he dumps Spoelstra and takes over.
With Jermaine out and not knowing how long he'll be out or if he will be healthy this season, let's hope that Shaq holds up and Semih's shoulder doesn't get worse. I really miss Perk. I love reading all the stories about how hard he is working to come back. He is using this time to stay in great condition and also he is working on coming back as a 70-80% free throw shooter. He is shooting 250 free throws a day. He is also aiming for a late January return. I can't wait for Perk to get back.
Keeping an eye on the technical fouls list, Dwight Howard is all alone at the top with 4. He did have 5 but had one rescinded yesterday. Melo, Beasley, Ilgauskas, Andre Miller, Chris Paul and Amar'e are in the second tier with 3 players. There are 10 players with 2 technicals, including the Celtics' Kevin Garnett. 58 players have 1 technical. This list includes Celtics Big Baby Davis, Shaquille O'Neal and Nate Robinson. Kobe and Teflon LeBron also have just one. There have been 12 technicals rescinded in the review process but no Celtics' T's have been rescinded.
One more day until Delonte's debut. I can just imagine the welcome he's going to get from the Garden crowd.