WEEI>On Demand>>Jackie MacMullan on the Celtics health and on the court struggles

Jackie MacMullan on the Celtics health and on the court struggles

Jan 17, 2012|

Jackie talks about how much of a factor age, health and conditioning are playing in the Celtics struggles to open the season. She also talks about what the Celtics could do to fix these issues and get back in the win column.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Take a little bit of the break from the championship talk talk little basketball. Last night Celtics. Not lose at home there now for an eight on the year might be a little bit further away from a championship then this patriots team isn't joining us. On the AT&T hot line get a faster with Ford GAT and T rethink possible. Jack Jackie McMullen of ESPN Jackie -- -- -- Dario. I -- I think we're doing well I why I saw you might cut Gorman breakdown the game I thought he you nailed it after that thing last night there at the garden just wonder. And you wrote about not being too. It's okay don't worry about the Celtic team is that team -- -- get the feeling that they are concerned about this ornate start over there. Well certainly the coaches. And I think he's a time perturbed that his team isn't a little more concerned about it. You know seventeen points in the first quarter. When you're talking about urgency and a young team coming in that's starting a long road trip. He got come out with a little more than that and yet the magic number for Boston I think at this point is around ninety points. If they don't score ninety -- and it's really that simple and you're not gonna score ninety points when you come on the first quarter and scored seventeen. You know we talked to Paul Pierce last week you suck abolish the all the -- got as effective offenses in rhythm. Police say this team is -- 24 two internal was last night audio rebounding. Its other things. It that that was an incredible stat that 22. -- fortitude on points off turnovers that to me was just a stunning statistic I can't imagine 143013. Turnovers. And only getting two point cabinet I can't imagine how that happened in and that that's a lack of energy hustle whatever you want a college and -- And -- they played very hard in the second half. They did the Q you've got to play hard ball. An amateur they played -- -- the coach would like in the first. Jackie Paul Pierce is getting some heat from our -- today about being out of shape how much of that was the lockout and how much is the heel and that he'll affecting his ability to to get in shape for the season. But -- -- question -- I don't I don't know the answer I don't know where it -- you really which one came first the -- -- Border when he out of shape and so we got a bad -- I don't know the answer only apologize. You know Garnett I never thought I'd see him cracking and popping that I have this year. Ray and Rondo where you know they're perfect like -- have been in perfect shape I don't worry about either one of them but. I think all these guys Jermaine O'Neal that goes without saying these guys came back -- when you're older too it's not as easy -- shape. Yeah you don't do the same thing that a twenty something year old does during the offseason anyway. Because your body you know you need to rest your body after a long he can certainly had that that was too would KG and pierce -- And I need to beat up on him too much because maybe at this point their careers. I'm a big part of their offseason regiment have to be you -- you know that's the -- -- -- -- Daily airline now what this team with a forty stock it was odd days gonna blow this team up and and it sounds easy but. You blowing this team up how do you improve your team by trading -- kind of pieces can you get in return. Well I mean you know blow to team up I think you know -- give games cred he had the right idea he went out there and try to get Chris Paul. And tried to get David West you know you have those two guys here I think everything looks a little different -- younger maybe you've got a little better future you've got to really strong pieces. But you know the problem Celtics have now is. You've got some guys I think Ray Allen for the right team come February or whenever they decide to trading deadline is. There will be interest in him but what do you get back -- -- draft picks back you know what you gonna get return. Same with Garnett. You know I think some interesting decisions to make here what they want to do gold for the problem is after you go after pollen then he -- -- and -- -- signed an extension and you know can you get Deron Williams and you know who would Rondo is your best player in your most promising player going forward is that what you eat. You're not gonna get White House here it's not gonna happen normally sources telling that over and over again you're -- have all -- money and space. Next summer but we have expended on it's a big big big problem. Speaking of the money and in space where will this development civil Kevin Garnett coming off the -- the book she's 21 million ray announced and Jermaine O'Neal. Is six -- if you look at he's just 37 million dollars but is it really as far as salary cap -- Well in his the other thing though you haven't even thought about Lewis and I don't know if they'd ever do that. But would the Celtics have the guts to swallow hard and make Paul Pierce -- empty -- next year and cut him loose and and then -- really did you get you -- -- under but then you don't have any players. Again the free agent class if if Dwight Howard got the board is Deron Williams is not the board Chris Paul is already off the board. At -- spend that money. So support so it's a real quandary so what is the plant in your in your minds now make up up puts you in the seat you can mediating a jacket that. What age is trying to do I like the idea that he was going -- they're trying to get Chris Paul and I don't still understand like David West couldn't take a little less money really over the longer how it was almost. The same could they would have a bio -- that would have made the same. Why he would get. So you look around me. I would try to I would I wouldn't even -- everyone tells me -- arrogant wanna -- here I would keep trying to get Dwight Howard to come here that's an instant solution. But you know he's not on the list you saw the list that they had -- permission teams that of the teams have had permission to talk to Dwight Howard and and Boston tonight but you need to go for a big player like that try to grab somebody like that any direct very well but. You know Jeff -- didn't even come back we don't now. We don't know he's a freak out and restricted free agent anymore he's an unrestricted free -- so we can be looking at some lean years. And you can be looking at some you know rebuilding through the draft any good because I think he's proven to be a guy that does very well through the draft. But guys that's a long term solution short term I don't see -- Don't. You want to Jackie reading your book which keel O'Neil a ton of interest in stuff and there are I came away with the idea in the confirmation that or John Roberts and different caddies a little bit sensitive and he is he operates a little bit differently that being said. At four and eight the one positive I take us away this kid is playing it seems is that it's and it's a whole -- chip on his shoulder almost like hey you want to trade me. I'm gonna show you what I'm made -- and he has been a great bright spot and his team for. I love Rhonda how could you not let Rondo and you know this state. Then going after Chris -- is not liking Rondo they love Ron I would just Chris Paul the cut above concede he's got a lot of Rondo skill set policy can -- So I mean I would think people misunderstand it it's -- they're unhappy with Rondo they just like Chris Paul Moore and I loved Mickey and I love it hired I love the intensity. You know he was shooting shooting the ball better. And it's free throw shooting to start the year was to really get I think he's under -- -- 59% now he's starting to creep back down again. But you know you got some progress you know the only thing is night. And this is the part it. It always makes it. They have positive Rondo and he's got to get in the game last night. People kept writing every ball that account that I read today talked about the fourth quarter the Celtics lost that game in the third quarter. They tied the game they were back in it appeared to start to really feel it. And and Rondo made a mistake that he often does when he played against players. That are big time point guards like himself he got caught up in the whole mono mono thing with Russell -- -- he can't afford to do that. Russell Westbrook is an offensive minded point guard Rondo is not and he tried to get caught up in that you know. Extra pick pocketed them twice member of the two big plays in the third quarter next. And then run this get a feel like you've got to get it back. Are we felt the what -- he do he comes down to -- a jump shot from the left hand side of the floor there was an air ball by the way. With a shot clock instead of limit the ball around and that's the kind of stuff. That -- to hit he got totally sucked in by Westbrook exactly what I'm sure Doc Rivers told them not to do. And can't by the way got sucked in depth all right don't worry I'll win this sport I'm feeling good now let me win it all by myself. So those are the kind of things that you can run and you say okay he's not there yet. Not quite there yet yes that's right and when they had the momentum they tied the game. And and Rondo and pierce tried to put it on overdrive indeed too much. The itself this is fifteen have to win as a team because the other problem -- have right now is every kind of income vineyard it's a close game. Go back to Dallas they did the Dallas game. Leaving Chicago for that matter but became tight. Dirk Nowitzki the best player on the floor and he delivered first team last night the game gets tight. The best player on the floor it Kevin Durant the second best player would probably Westbrook and they both come through for their team. That's problems you've got to play at eighteen they don't they no longer have that one stud go to guy that can't be stopped. Here we spent a lot tech talk what this team it's a guy you know we don't know how to get to the schedule the role but it's all about what they're like going in the playoffs the problem I have is ethic even if even the all right even draw healthy that the first time in awhile he -- security that even even healthy but still not the most altitude. Don't know I don't think they are I think they can -- but I'd I'd still. I don't think their playoff team I really believe that I think you're seeing -- every game looks a little better a little better he's he's rounding back into form. And he is their best chance that you know coming down the -- to get a big shots for you with a lot of guys -- -- on you I think Paul Pierce can still do that and Kevin Garnett. You know I mean I like him into the Pedro Martinez. And a common wrote last week. You know you can't throw heat ninety miles an hour every time out anymore you gotta throw some off speed stuff. And I think Garnett still defensively is a very strong presence offensively. You're gonna have to take that shot from the elbow it's not going to be stuff that's gonna happen above the rim. And that so look at there's enough experience there it's still -- the defensive rotations. But you -- -- -- -- Brandon -- says one rebound in this game it doesn't help when -- only gets. Seven shots you know every night it seems like. Another piece breakdown I don't know that there's been a game yet where your your top five or six players have all played well together I haven't I haven't seen it yet. -- Kendrick Perkins a big boy as intimidating guy and I'll answer the fans level we saw that last lap after the game was. In my an emotional Kendrick Perkins a sensitive Kendrick Perkins -- it seemed like this game really bothered -- said he was house completely out of this game and know what I was doing on the court. Yeah yeah he got a little -- -- -- send -- to the -- traded for him. Brought on a little bit. Incidentally by himself because certainly the Celtics tried to lock him up to an extension and its parent can do want to get out there and he would be to get the open market he got a lot more than the Celtics repayment. Being able to pay him. But that doesn't mean you want a leader conceded he wanted he want to be told me last -- -- -- -- -- going to be at Celtic his whole career and Iran does his best friend and all that he in a better situation no question about that. But if you come back here and you Don cherry drove by we are used to live and that's that's an emotional thing for anybody and he is a very very emotional guy. Always has been. And Jack you know -- -- unit to play the role Danny Ainge and and just in terms of how he approaches this do you think there's a date. In his mind is there is there a position in the standings in his mind or he sort of recognizes that. Okay -- it's it's time for -- it to move Ford is that a flexible they it is a hard day how how does your pro mountains. I don't think in I mean I'll let you -- speaking for daily certainly shouldn't but I mean if I had to guess just from what I know about any. In these documents and any artificial deadlines he's gonna get out there -- -- I'm sure he's on the phone every day trying to make something happen I mean he's never been. You don't shy about doing that he's made more trades than most GMs make it a lifetime he doesn't worry about that he cut his losses and move on it that's what he has to do. So I'm sure he's out there. But I just don't tell you. -- -- and you saw this off the top and I think he need to get a little more time. Now I I do really think they are playoff team now are they and number one seed now you know. I think at second round playoff exit -- maybe even a first round this year I mean that's the reality. But I do still think their playoff team I don't think it's. You can look at this team and say okay this is how it's going to be an and that is how it's gonna be the rest of the way because I don't believe that but it's -- bit -- in the middle. They're too small quick they were built small to beat the Miami Heat better hope they get a chance to even do in the playoffs you know. And I think they're a little too long a little too thin up front. A quick Eastern Conference questioned any. Any doubt that this Philadelphia -- the restart is the surprise of many of these post lockout teams here and Easter conference. Well you know -- I'm playing great defense in and you know you look at their roster and we -- -- Andre Iguodala would. Could play like this and now he's he's finally hit. Elton Brand I think we just -- except now he's not what we thought right he's not a 2010 guy after all maybe post surgery. But he's very serviceable guy that can defend for you and Evan Turner after you know kind of disappointing rookie year. This make you think happened and then you look at a guy like Lou Williams around all the plays and you say now are they way to win the championship I I certainly don't think so. But there's definitely a playoff team. And you know it was really important to Doug Collins last season to get them into the postseason he wanted these young guys have a taste of it. No it wasn't going to be very much last year but knowing as he spent the team progresses that these young guys need a little playoff experience of going for they can actually make some noise. -- great stuff is always like talking basketball if you look for a talk next week I technically that is Jack McMullen joining us here on the.

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