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Sunday Celtics Thoughts

11.02.08 at 1:41 pm ET

Just passing along a few Celtics-related items…

It’s not that the C’s blowout loss in Indiana was completely unexpected. (The NBA: Where sleep-deprived blowouts happen). What is disconcerting is that this sort of thing never happened last year.

The Celtics were 8-0 in road games the night after home games last season, which reveals something about their A) Preparedness, B) Professionalism and C) Mental toughness. I’ll be curious to see what happens Tuesday against Houston, but if getting run off the floor against a mediocre Indiana squad doesn’t get their attention, nothing will.

After the jump, three more things while trying to figure out what to do if a Cheetah gets loose on your plane.

1. Of course, James Posey would have stopped the Pacers, right? Seriously, what is with the cult of Posey? Everybody from Rob Bradford to Bill Simmons’ dad thinks that Posey is the difference between the C’s winning a championship or losing to Cleveland in the conference finals. Posey is a great role player, a fine 3-point shooter and a hugger of unsurpassed genius, but can one truly be a difference-maker when they average 7 points and 24 minutes?

2. Leon for Sixth Man of the Year!

Speaking of the bench, the Celtics most consistent player through the first three games has been Leon Powe. For all the hand-wringing about Posey, do keep in mind that it wasn’t until late January when Leon started getting consistent minutes last year. The bench is different this year. It’s more offensive-minded with Powe and Tony Allen both averaging double figures.

Their evolution will be one of the storylines this year, but, again, the Celtics chances of repeating have far more to do with the health of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, etc. than they do with the bench play.

3. The Ray Allen watch starts soon.

At what point do we seriously begin to wonder how much Allen has left in the tank? My colleague Jeff Goodman brought up the subject earlier in the week, bringing up the altogether obvious, and completely fair point that Ray turned 33 this past summer. That is the age, traditionally, when shooting guards start to go south–and quickly.

The usual comp is Mitch Richmond who fell fast and never recovered once he hit that age and was traded to Washington for Chris Webber in one of the all-time worst deals. A couple of things about Richmond, since I was in D.C. at the time. That was the lockout year, and Richmond along with a lot of other NBA stars showed up completely out of shape. He wasn’t Shawn Kemp fat, but he wasn’t svelte either.

Also, Rock was a different kind of player from Ray-Ray. He was a good shooter, but not in Allen’s class, and his game was more of the baseline post-up variety. All of which is to say that one day Allen won’t be Allen anymore. Three games is not nearly enough to convince me that today is that day.

Still, I couldn’t agree more with Goodman’s main point that if we’re talking about the Celtics three best players we’re talking about Garnett, Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

Deep thought: Did you all see the guy getting brained with the bottle during the post-game celebration/riot in Philly? That is my new favorite sports-related video, narrowly edging “Football in the groin” from the Simpsons.

On the one hand, this has a football in the groin, on the other hand, you can hear the bottle making contact with his skull.

Read More: Cheetahs, James Posey, Leon Powe, Morons
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