Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Case for J.R. Giddens 10/1/09

First, I need to mention that I'll be away and without computer access until late Sunday evening.  I hope you'll continue to use the blog to make comments during that time.  Please don't be afraid to stray off-topic on any thread; it's definitely NOT a problem on this blog.  If you encounter any comments by taunting interlopers, please do NOT respond.  Leave me the pleasure of zapping them mercilessly upon my return.  (It's so rewarding.)  I will be monitoring the blog on my BlackBerry, but I can't "zap" with the BlackBerry, and my blog comments will be limited by oversized fingers trying to adapt to a tiny keyboard.

*****

The quest for the best record requires intense, unremitting focus by the coach.  Doc has never been the type to relax the winning quest; and contending for the best record and championships has only reinforced that trait.  It SOUNDS good to advocate playing young guys in December to rest older guys for the stretch run.  But Doc knows that one dismal five-minute stretch in December, due to inexperience, could lose a game that would cost them the best record at the end of the season.

During the past two seasons, he has steadfastly insisted that young guys prove in practice that they were ready to be tested in prime time.  He has not compromised a winning mentality.  He obviously feels that, when a game is still on the line, it's not a time for the floor to become an experimental laboratory except at garbage time.  Yes, there have been times when his hand has been forced by injuries and certain young guys (Gomes, Baby) have performed well when thrown to the wolves.  But who can say they would have done as well if Doc hadn't held them back for seasoning as long as he did?

This guy knows what he is doing, and he has become a championship-level coach as a result.  He's got a squad that's at least 11-strong with veterans, and that's no accident.  He has confidence in veterans, and veterans do win championships.

BUT this season could be different.  Despite the plethora of veterans on the team, the veteran depth is strongest in the so-called "power positions."  Consequently there could be some wiggle room for J.R. Giddens to earn "prime time" minutes more quickly than some of his predecessors.  With Tony a question mark (although he unexpectedly did go through the entire practice yesterday) and Walker out (at least for now), and with no open roster slots, the Celtics are thin at the backup SF, SG and PG positions.

Scal, Daniels and Eddie currently are the only veteran candidates to fill these three needs, and Scal (against the more agile SF) and Eddie (against the taller SG) have their limitations in terms of the types of opponents against whom they match up reasonably well.  Yes, Doc can always extend the minutes of Pierce, Ray or Rondo to include some stints with the bench.  In terms of endurance, Rondo might be a reasonable possibility, but we've seen what can happen if Paul and Ray are over-used.  And Rondo would create a small trio in the shooting and point positions (most likely with Daniels and Eddie).

If Tony does not wind up in game shape (and possibly even if he does), there is potentially a golden opportunity for Giddens to provide a taller alternative to Eddie at SG.  The second unit has already shocked doc in terms of rapidly developing chemistry.  The situation could be nearly ideal for J.R. to experience rapid growth at backup SG within a veteran "womb."  He wouldn't have to be the primary rebounder, the primary shooter, the primary floor general, the primary floor spacer, the primary slasher.  He could seek his own "role level" in complementing the others on the floor...perhaps concentrating on the defensive end at first.

It will be interesting to track Tony's hopeful progress while ascertaining whether J.R. can hop on the fast track and become an exception to Doc's policies of the past.

And, by the way, the news on KG continues to very positive, as he went full-speed through yesterday's two-hour practice (although he described himself as "80%-85%" afterwards.  He even survived a kick in the bad leg, shook it off, and returned to action.  Apparently, martial arts are helping Baby gain muscle strength.  Rondo was described by KG as "sharp."  And Eddie missed something like one shot in practice.  Maybe they're just keeping the bad stuff from us, but it all sounds good so far.

See you in a few days.

Best regards,

Sam

24 comments:

Bob said...

Walker's injury might be JR's "Wally Pip moment". Ok, so JR's no Lou Gehrig, but it is an opportunity for him.

He's 6'5", 215# with ape-hangers for arms. I was amazed at how he looked as big or bigger than Walker in summer camp (Walker's 6'6", 220#). With SG speed and those arms, his size could make him a defensive presence at SG. With Eddie, Sheed and Baby on the second unit, we don't need offense from the backup SG (or backup PG, for that matter).

beat said...

Bob

I,m surer you remember Don Chaney from the 70's. He was the defensive guard of that team. Couldn't and didn't shoot much (didn't need to with White Hondo Cowens Nellie ect,)but he was 6'5" or so and had those darn long arms.

Was an unsung player on those championship teams of the 70's.

If JR can play good defense, he'll get some time on the floor in games.

Looks like Sam will have a little zapping to do when he gets back.

beat

Sam said...

Beat

Will do.

Sam

beat said...

Sam

Have a great couple of days on the other side of the pond.

Perhaps you can find some euro talent for old school.

beat

irishmic1 said...

Beat,
Yes certainly remember Don "Duck" Chaney, really good defensive guard, harrassed oponents, with those long arms. Team defense.
Sam, thanks for keeping the gang informed.
Anyone read any other teams recent invites to camps, Bonzi, ect. Always wonder how careers fade with some players due to self destruction, injuries.

David14 said...

Beat, if you think about it most of our 17 championships the C's always had a defensive specialist on the roster. Satch Sanders was Red's weapon to defend Elgin and Bob Petit for example. DJ was the "defensive specialist", however Larry helped DJ become more of an offensive presence. We obviously had Russ, and then KC, ML Carr, and Duck Chaney, among others. Doc tried to use Tony Allen in that role, however Tony's basketball IQ (hate that word) needs work. How many times has Tony left his feet on a ball fake only to "juked" into a foul. It appeared that Doc hoped that Tony could have been the defensive mitigator for Kobe and LeBron. With that experiment failing so far, I think the team was hoping that Walker was going to be the new Chaney or Bruce Bowen. I think they will keep Walker for that reason. At least I hope they do. KG certainly is a defensive stopper even if he is an offensive machi

beat said...

Irishmic & David

Loved watching that 74 team play. Hondo still had game. White hardly ever missed an open jumper and ws so smooth. The you had the human combustion machine Cowens. I know KG is intense and vocal but he is no more intense on the floor than Cowens was. KG is more vocal off the court no doubt.

For a guy that was 6'8" or so he was just plain tough as nails.
When the C's aquired Silas that squad when over the top. Too bad the influx of one John Y. Brown curtailed what could have been a string of more championships.

It will be interesting to see just how well the defense comes together with the newbees, I'm really not worried about the offensive end of the floor.

Just a few days and we actually will have a pre season game to review. Can't wait.

beat

beat said...

By the way in thinking about Silas, getting Sheed is very similar to when we got Silas. And hopefully it will woork out as well.

beat

Rosalie said...

Funny, I posted yesterday on this site and it never showed up. But, Beat you took the words right out of my mouth when you compared Giddens size (arm length in particular) to Chaney. It was always fun watching him play defense. He poked that ball out of more players hands than you can count. This could be a break for
Giddens. I watched him this summer and at times was very impressed with him. I liked what I saw of Hudson too, but that wasn't much.
I do feel bad for Walker though, I was hoping that he would get some work in with these guys and he might become a little more valuable. Oh well, such is life.
I did get a chuckle out of Tony
Allen saying that he would pass out towels and Gatorade if he had to just to get another ring. Gee,
2.5 million for a towel boy!

Did you say that the Celtics were
going to be on the NBA Channel on October 3rd. What time? Is it the
series they are running about different teams training camps?

beat said...

Rosalie

yes to the Celts on NBA-TV this weekend in their train camp feature. You will need to Check NBA-TV for the exact times but they will rerun the same feature multiple times over the next two days so you should be able to catch it at a convienent time. Also I have discovered that there are 6 Celtic preseason games on NBA-League pass thru Direct-TV, I think the first one is a week from today (or tomorrow).

Yeah the "Duck" was fun to watch. Wonder who coined that name? My guess is Johnny Most but maybe he got it in Houston prior to the C's. I remember to he was a darn good rebounder too and averaged over 5 a game.

beat

Bob said...

Nice article in the Globe about Daniels not having second thoughts about signing with the Celts for less $. Ubuntu, baby, Ubuntu.

Apparently Baby has shed some of his baby fat and is not a lean, mean, basketball machine. Practicing mixed martial arts in the off season will do that for you.

Oooh, I can't wait!!!


bob

Bob said...

If there's one thing about this site that I have a problem with, it's that I can't go back and edit typos.

Obviously, what I meant to say in my previous post, is that Baby is NOW a lean, mean, basketball machine (not NOT).

bob

Rosalie said...

That article in the Herald today with an interview with Doc was very
interesting and revealing. It seems that he felt last year that the team became a "me" team instead of a "we" team. Was he referring to Rondo without saying his name. I can remember all those shots that Rondo took (and missed), when he should have been looking for his shooters.
Remember the conversations on BDC about the shot selection, and why Rondo was taking so many shots he shouldn't have been taking. And, Big Baby. When he got that ball,
he was not going to give it up unless he had to, so, I guess maybe observations were right on last playoffs. Hopefully, they have
grown up more this summer.

robert said...

Rosalie,

Well, it's pretty well documented by now that Danny felt that Rondo needed some maturity. I, for one, agree with you about some of Rondo's shots. He tried to play "hero-ball" more than once DESPITE his jumpshot being weak.

Oh well, that was last year and this is this year.

bob

robert said...

Loved the interviews by KG saying he's pain-free and his knee is 100%. Best news I've heard in a long, long time. It's about conditioning now, and with the depth we have on this club we're in no rush.

Can't wait.
bob

David14 said...

The Boston.com Board is back to becoming a consistent "war of words". I applaud Bob H. for his patience and self discipline. I can't believe a media source such as the New Times/Boston Globe cannot improve its moderation capabilities. Oh well, I wish more Celtic fans would support Sam's efforts on this site.

Despite some Laker fan's theories that folks in my category should be sent out to pasture, I have decided to take another bar exam next Feb. Therefore I'm holding off returning until Boston.com can add some improved monitoring. Although, at some point it would be great to respond to certain folks. The "response bank" is getting full!!!

On the issue of KG, I watched the Celtics NBA.com Celtic showing a number of times. Other than Scal showing a bit of "out of shape red", the guys all looked as expected. Anyone that plays sports can understand that KG's legs will take a bit of time to get into basketball shape. His limp, as Danny and Doc indicated, are from sore muscles and shin soreness, not from residual physical issues with the knee. It's only natural that KG will "favor" his knee until his confidence returns. The BDC site discussing KG's knee is creating "food" for the "war". It's obvious that C's have their swagger back. It may take a bit of time to find the best combinations, however it appears 2009/2010 will be great fun. My bet is that Tommy H. will be as animated as ever!!! Nothing wrong with a "homer" willing to stand up to anyone like Tommy has done. My hope is that the Laker fans will do as they usually do after a few losses. That is to start talking about USC football, UCLA basketball, the music recording and actor's local hot spots, and the most popular beaches!!! They sure don't like talking about the importance of "history"!!

Rosalie said...

Did anyone honestly think he was going to come back and be exactly as he was before he got hurt? It takes a while to get yourself back into shape. The muscles in the leg are going to be strained a little, they haven't been used very much since February. I am of the firm belief that KG will return to form, he is too devoted a player not to. I think that Wallace will allow him the opportunity to return at a good pace. Lacerte is not going to let this guy ruin himself under his watch. He is too goo a trainer. So, the BDC can argue all they want, I have really had it with them all. It is no longer fun to answer someone there and get a sarcastic, nasty message back. Bob H, If you let them get to you, you will lose again. What is the sense. We have to see if we can drum up some more people for Sam's site.

David14 said...

Well stated Rosalie. They wouldn't allow KG to go all out if there were any residual physical issues with the repaired knee. The internal competition and push from Sheed will motivate KG to return to full strength as soon as possible. I also agree that it would be great if more Celtic fans joined Sam's site.

beat said...

a few things....

David

Agreed about the BDC site. It has become a wasteland, nothing like it was even 6 months ago. I still post but never (hardly) ever respont to laker trolls. Once in a while a legit thread starts but even those are few and far between. Sams site is at least workable but we need to get several more of the regulars over here.

Bob

After I post Is when I too see a few of my typos and there is no way to go back and edit them. Oh well most people should be able to figure out what I meant.

I too really hope that Daniels can be the jack=of=all trades like Hondo used to be.



All

The stuff regarding KG's injury is crazy. I watched as much of him as I could today on the NBA-TV, he locked uncomfortable but was moving about well but not effortlessly. Again what did we expect in a few practices. The man has done little basketball in the past 6 months of course he would be stiff. Lets wait until at least the 3-4th preseason game and see where he is at. I just can't believe, for the life of me, if there was any problem with him doing himself more harm he would not even be out there.

Well one last thing;

Marcus got his "new" basketball sneakers yesterday.....size 12's,
If feet have anything to do with height then I guess he has a couple more inches to grow.
With a home equity line of credit we were able to afford them.

First informal practice tomorrow evening at 7 PM. We'll see how it goes.

Sam will be back tomorrow and hopefully we'll have a few newbees on here too.

beat

David14 said...

Beat, I tried posting on BDC for a few months, however; compared to other commercial sites, their management and monitoring leaves a lot to be desired. It became too time consuming to respond to the Laker fans asking questions, and then with some postings from a few Celtic fans who did not fully understand why I am obligated to keep things civil. Since most of the posters here still post on BDC, I may return in the future with a bit more self discipline. If I do return, I will do so under my initial user name.

As far "shoe size v height", it's been my experience that they are related. Marcus probably will have another growth period. I did have the honor of working with Bob Lanier on some Chrysler projects in Detroit. Talk about "large shoes"!! As you know, the difference between a good college player and making it to the pro's, is hard work and discipline!!! My regret is that I did not work hard enough to pursue a baseball or a pro bowling career!! Hopefully, if Marcus has pro sports ambitions he will make practice a religion!!

Sam said...

Beat,

I have every confidence that sports are so strongly engrained in Marcus's makeup that he'll do whatever is necessary to be an achiever. He seems to have an ideal mix of passion and intelligence to continue to become a fine athlete.

Sam

philbert_2k5 said...

Hello Sam,
First, thank you for establishing this site for us.
On the topic at hand, I would really like to see J.R succeed and be that defensive stopper at the two. As David14 posted, I am also frustrated at seeing Tony Allen fouling three point shooters. The foul on Billups at the end of the first game with Detroit of the 2007-2008 season still irks me to this day.

mtwhitworth said...

Sam,

Thanks for starting this site! It will take a while to get used to navigating a new forum, but first impressions are that it can work!

Like many others, I did not like the timbre of the BDC of late. Too childish and frustrating. Although I'll not post often, I'll be an avid reader. I love the insights/comments from all who regularly post here.

The 2009/2010 season promises to be fantastic! We are loaded.

Can't wait for it all to begin.

Dave Spiegel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.