Wake up with the Celtics  and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
It’s a hodgepodge edition of Irish Coffee this morning, so stay alert. While Brent Barry may have compared Glen “Big Baby” Davis to an actual baby in the video that accompanies this blog, we’re going to take a look at the per-minute averages of Celtics centers Jermaine O’Neal  and Semih Erden:
J. O’Neal: 0.29 points, 0.21 rebounds, 0.16 personal fouls, 0.07 blocks, 0.06 turnovers, 0.03 assists, 0.01 steals, 44.7 field-goal percentage, 77.8 free-throw percentage.
Erden: 0.28 points, 0.18 rebounds, 0.17 personal fouls, 0.06 turnovers, 0.04 blocks, 0.03 assists, 0.02 steals, 57.7 field-goal percentage, 60.5 free-throw percentage.
After Erden dropped 10 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes against the Kings while O’Neal sat out his 21st game of the season with a sore knee, I thought to myself: Would Erden be a better option than O’Neal? Considering these numbers at this point, why not invest your time in a 24-year-old rookie with room for improvement rather than a 32-year-old veteran who has logged 24,757 minutes and has a sore knee for life ?
Paul Flannery has more on the growing concern that is Jermaine O’Neal’s knee in his Three-Pointer .
The difference between the Celtics and Kings is so glaring that Sacramento’s players and coach not only openly admitted that fact, they expressed their desire to essentially grow up to be the C’s:
Kings coach Paul Westphal (via the Sacramento Bee ): “You could pick up how they work together to take away your first and second options. They were really on the same page doing that. … They really don’t care who shoots. They run their stuff, and they know they have threats at all the places, and they get the shot they want.”
Kings guard Beno Udrih (also via the Bee): “On offense, nobody’s worrying about who’s going to score. They just hit the guy that’s open. They set screens. They play basketball basically the way it should be played.”
And then there’s my favorite quote of the day, also from Westphal , on the starting matchup between Kings rookie Eugene “Pooh” Jeter (Boston fans have probably used that nickname for another guy) and Rajon Rondo :
“Rajon Rondo was kind of toying with the game a lot of times both offensively and defensively, but he’s that good. Pooh went out there and played 40 minutes of tough basketball, and it was a great experience.”
I’m pretty sure “Pooh went out there and played 40 minutes of tough basketball, and it was a great experience” is my favorite quote of the season so far. That, and Davis saying Ray Allen  “really isn’t Jesus .”
PLAYERS PREDICT CELTICS TO LOSE
In the latest edition of Sports Illustrated, the magazine polled 157 NBA players with this question: Who will win the NBA title in 2011? The Lakers received 69 percent of the vote, while the Celtics only received 22 percent. That means 108 of the 157 players voted for the Lakers, while only 35 took the C’s. Perhaps even more amazing, only five players polled picked the Heat to win the NBA title. This chart would’ve looked drastically different before the season:
CELTICS NOT SO FANTASTIC
Because you’d be hard-pressed to name who of the Celtics’ Big Three plus Rondo is the most valuable player on the team, I thought I’d check out where the C’s rank on ESPN’s fantasy basketball “Player Rater ” for all 403 NBA talents (for reference sake, Chris Paul  ranks No. 1 in the league with a 16.15 player rating):
- 16. Paul Pierce  (11.28)
- 23. Ray Allen (9.42)
- 42. Kevin Garnett  (7.24)
- 65. Rajon Rondo (5.57)
- 112. Glen Davis  (2.96)
- 173. Marquis Daniels  (0.64)
- 181. Nate Robinson  (0.39)
- 200. Shaquille O’Neal  (–0.59)
- 278. Semih Erden (–3.14)
- 280. Jermaine O’Neal (–3.19)
- 309. Von Wafer  (–3.90)
- 340. Delonte West  (–4.65)
- 350. Luke Harangody (–4.81)
- 429. Avery Bradley  (–6.06)
Obviously, their rankings have no indication of how important they’ve been to the Celtics’ actual success, but it does reflect how well they’ve performed statistically this season.
THE AUSTIN RIVERS SHOW
The son of the Celtics’ head coach and the nation’s No. 1 ranked recruit , Austin Rivers will play in front of a nationally televised audience on Friday night. The 6-foot-4 Duke University commitment’s Winter Park (Fla.) High team will face Saint Patrick (N.J.) High at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
“They had a lot to say about us at the City of Palms [tournament in Fort Myers], and we heard it,” Austin Rivers told the Orlando Sentinel . “We’re pretty fired up. Our gym is going to be filled, and it’s going to be intense.”