Random Thoughts on Cyber Monday

Thanksgiving is past and now the rush to the Christmas holiday. I really enjoyed the story in the Globe about Perk's visits to the Childrens' Hospital. The photos of him smiling with the kids and the story about how he played games with the children and was so good with them is so different from his on court tough guy image. But kids bring out the best in Perk. You can see it with these kids and with his own little boy. Perk is a great teammate on the court and a genuine good guy off the court. This quote from the article shows just how sensitive this guy really is.
“It’s emotional,’’ the 26-year-old Perkins says after the visit. “Every child is different. Once you go into a room, you adapt. I stay away from asking how they are doing because they might not be doing that good. I just try to brighten their day, make it a good day to remember.’’
How many guys would think about not asking a kid how he's doing just in case he's having a bad day? Next time you see Perk scowling on the court, think about him watching Tom and Jerry with a little girl or playing trucks with a little boy in the hospital as he tries to help them feel better.

While I am on the subject of Perk (I'm never really too far from talking about Perk- I love this guy!) I came across this post on the Raptors' boards:
I was talking to a friend last night about the Peja deal and the potential cap space it opens up and we both realized that Perkins is a FA.

Now, a lot of teams are banking that with the new CBA they'll be able to cut salary (not guaranteed) so right now Toronto is in a nice position to make a run at him. Even if there are teams out there that have additional space I still think Toronto NEEDS to make a solid run at him.

He'd address everything this team lacks. Interior defense, rebounding, toughness. Add into it, his experience with Boston, playing in the finals and being underrated offensively I'd LOVE for him to be here. If he's healthy, it's a no brainer. If we're committed to building with Andrea then we need to get him. If we overpay then so be it.
And this isn't an isolated thing, either. On a LOT of boards there are threads talking about how they need to make a run at getting Perk. The center position is one of the most crucial to fill and the number of very good big men who play in the post is very small. Perk is one of the top defensive centers in the league. I really hope that Danny realizes what he has. Perk has been one of the biggest bargains in the league on his current contract. Without Perk, we don't get past Orlando. Perk is one of the very few players in the league who can guard Dwight Howard one on one and slow him down. Without Perk in the center, it opens up their outside shooters because Howard would demand a double team. And Perk is still young. He is one of the hardest workers in the league, has improved every season, and plays his role on the team to perfection. I really hope Danny does the right thing and gives Perk an extension. He deserves it. Don't let this kid go, Danny! You'll be very sorry if you do!

I've always hated the Lakers from the time I became a Celtics fan in 1969. So it shouldn't be any surprise that I enjoy seeing any news about them struggling. The Lakers are 13-4 and at a glance you would think that they are having a great season so far. But if you look a little deeper, there are some problems in Lala Land. The Lakers have had a very soft schedule so far. Of their 13 wins, only one of those is against a team with a winning record. They have lost 2 in a row and in those two losses, Pau Gasol has averaged 45 minutes, and you thought the Celtics players were playing too many minutes. And there are stories about tension between Phil Jackson and Ron Artest. Not even zen can help Jackson with Ron Ron, who always eventually wears on his coaches and his teams. The Fakers get a lot of help from Herr Stern with an easy schedule and the refs bowing to them so it's always good to see that even with all the bennies from Uncle Stern they still can't get it done.

Speaking of the league's disdain for the Celtics. Remember that game against the Hawks? Delonte had 2 incredible blocks in it. The Celtics made countless plays that made you go "WOW" and so I tuned into the NBA's top 10 plays of the night, expecting to see at least two of the Celtics plays up there in the top 10. Surely, that sensational block by Delonte had to be in there. As they counted down the plays, there was just one play from the Celtics game. Was it Delonte's sensational block? Nope. It was Al Horford's block on a Paul Pierce drive. They failed to mention that the block led to a Ray Allen 3. Another play that ranked better than any of the Celtics' plays was a 3 from the corner from LeBron in a Heat loss. Really NBA? Really?

And Herr Stern's other pet project in Miami is faring even worse than his Fakers are. I see a lot of people blaming the coach. I don't see it as being Spo's fault entirely. At some point, LeJerk needs to get some blame for his teams' losing. In my opinion there is no comparison with the Celtics Big 3. When Danny put the 3 players together to build around, he already had a solid center and point guard in place. He got Ray Allen, who is one of the best at moving without the ball, Kevin Garnett, a great defender and inside presence, and Paul Pierce, a scorer and slasher. These 3 complement each other perfectly. But, they couldn't have done it without the solid play from Perk and Rondo.

Riley put his 3 together but they don't have a good center or point guard. Big Z, at this point in his career should be just a fill in off the bench and not the starting center. Joel Anthony, who just got a 5 year contract at just under 4 million a year, is one of the worst players in the league, according to Heat fans. And they just signed Eric Dampier, who isn't the answer either. At point they have Arroyo and Chalmers and LeBron and that is one of the reasons that they have been burned by every team they have played with an elite point guard. I've seen a lot of threads on the Miami boards saying how they need to get Perk this off season. Yes, Perk is exactly what they need. But he is also exactly what the Celtics need and I hope Danny won't let him get away, no matter what the other teams throw at him.

I'm thinking that Riley wants no part of coaching these 3 prima donnas.   I also think that if Riley was to take over, LeJerk's boo boo elbow would be the least of his worries as the first time he bumps Riley like he has done to Brown and Spoelstra,  Riley would wring his egotistical neck.   For a team who wants to chill and have more fun, the last thing they want is Riley coaching them.   Riley is legendary for running a very tight ship with 5 hour practices,  body fat checks, and allowing no slack whatsoever in his game plans.    I just don't see LeJerk being happy with that.   And, then you have the fact that Wade really likes Spo as a coach.  After having Riley as a coach, you don't have to wonder why.   In the meantime,  I'm enjoying the fact that LeBron is not having any fun. Thursday's game when the Heat visit Cleveland will be very interesting. I don't see a basketball fan in the world not wanting to watch that one. 

I'm a bit disappointed that the Celtics don't do their West coast trip until the end of January this year. Having to get up very early to get kids off to school, I always liked having that west coast trip during Christmas vacation. It's going to be murder staying up until midnight or 1 am to watch the games and then get up at 5 am. But no way I'll miss a game. Celtics take precedence over sleep.

Celtics play the Cavs tomorrow night. I expect a revenge game from the Celtics. The Cavs will be looking past the Celtics to Thursday's game vs the Heat and I don't see the Celtics losing twice to the same team. They better bring the effort in this one since they didn't in their first meeting. It's yet another back to back set. Wednesday it's Portland at the Garden. I'm starting to wonder if Portland isn't cursed somehow. They sure do have their problems with injuries. I feel really bad for Oden. The kid seems like a nice guy and it's really tough that he has been injured since he was drafted. And now Roy is playing without any cartilage in his knees. Wally did it and I expect Roy to somehow adapt and play through it but it will be a tough road for him.

Speaking of injury prone, what a tough break for Delonte. He was so happy to be back and playing and for this to happen after just 5 games is cruel. But, he will be able to be with the team, unlike during his suspension and I'm sure his teammates will keep him upbeat and I expect him back sooner rather than later. He broke the same wrist when he was with Cleveland and was back in 6 weeks (16 games). Depending on how much more severe this break is, I am hoping to see him back before the All Star game. I see him coming up big for the Celtics in their stretch run leading up to the playoffs with everyone finally healthy going into the playoffs.