Lots of news to go around this morning, with the team coming off a shorthanded win over the Heat. Without further ado, let’s get cracking:
The Ray Allen trade rumors have been discussed at length during the past couple weeks with Zach Lowe and myself repeatedly laying out exactly just how unlikely it is the C’s will trade the superstar. Despite Ainge and Doc’s repeated denials of any serious trade talks, the rumor mill has been strong enough in the past week for Ainge to feel the need to meet with Ray regarding the rumors.
This news comes via Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.COM So what exactly took place during the meeting yesterday? Blakely takes it from there:
Ainge made it abundantly clear to Allen that he had not been making any calls regarding a possible trade involving Allen.
Allen said the trade talk has not been something he has become concerned about.
“For me, I just keep playing basketball,” said Allen.
While Ainge’s intent is to keep this current group of Celtics intact, he is open to listening to what other GMs have to offer.
But it appears as though he’s intent on keeping Allen in Boston.
“We want Ray,” Ainge told WEEI on Wednesday. “We think Ray is a huge part of our winning a championship this year.”
This philosophy from Danny really shouldn’t come as big news to any C’s fans. With the team well over the salary cap for the next couple years, it doesn’t make sense to trade Ray for younger players that have backloaded contracts for the C’s both on the floor and fiscially. However, Danny can never say never and if a team wants to dump a solid player (Kevin Martin, Iguodala, etc.) in exchange for some cap space in the form of Allen, Ainge would be foolish not to listen. Obviously other teams would be unlikely to agree to that, but I think that’s the kind of possibility Ainge is referring to here.
All in all, it is nice to see Danny though addressing the speculation with Ray directly, in case it was affecting him mentally on or off the floor. He has a family and has been nicely settled here in town. He is still one of the top guys on this C’s squad and it’s crucial to make sure you keep your top dogs focused and make sure they know they are wanted. Smart move by Ainge.
Daniels Injury Update, and KG talks about Rondo’s chemistry comments from yesterday, after the jump
Steve Bulpett of The Herald has some quotes from KG postgame on the Rondo chemistry issues that fueled lots of speculation yesterday. The unquestioned leader of this team tried to squash that kind of speculation with his remarks:
“I’m not speaking for him, but on this team we have a lot of strong personalities,” he said. “I remember last year when we lost to Portland – lost three straight – I could just sense that everybody within themselves was just trying to do more than they should or (were) reverting back to being leaders on their team versus the way we have been doing it.
“When I read the comments, or when I talked to him personally . . . that’s what it was. We aren’t a team here that points fingers. We keep everyone accountable. Everyone knows what this is within the locker room. But if anything needs to be said, it will be said within the closed confinements of the locker room and among each other as men.
“I want everyone in here to respect that, all right?”
Good enough for me. Mike Gorman has told me that it’s KG that holds everything together backstage with this squad and comments like this would further confirm that belief to me. Give kudos to Rondo for trying to step up here and demand accountability, but the top dog has reeled him in and made sure he will go about it in another way next time.
Bulpett also had an update on the Marquis Daniels Injury with a few comments from Doc:
“The one that concerns me the most is Marquis because he hasn’t been with our team,” Rivers said. “He went through some stuff today with the guys, and clearly he doesn’t know our stuff anymore. That’s the biggest concern.”
Daniels likely will return Feb. 10 in New Orleans, although there’s an outside shot he could go Sunday against Orlando.
“He wants to play right away, but someone will have to convince me of that,” Rivers said. “I’m hoping New Orleans. That would be a great game for him because then we have Monday and Tuesday for practice.
“There’s a chance he could play Sunday. But if Paul (Pierce) can’t play on Sunday, I’m not going to push Marquis into duty just to play him.”
My guess is that either him or Paul Pierce will play Sunday against Orlando. Paul has been ruled doubtful for tomorrow night against the Nets. C’s shouldn’t need him anyway. The C’s will definitely need one of them, if not both against Orlando’s swingmen. Kind of discouraging to hear that Quisy has forgotten a lot of the team’s stuff, but understandable I guess if he is new this year. Luckily he has a couple weeks now to get back on the same page before the team heads west after the All Star Break.
Finally, we had some good old minutes talk with Doc via Frank Dell’Apa
Ray once again played big minutes last night (41) and Doc was singing the same old song and dance:
“I’ve got to lower his minutes,’’ Rivers said. “He’s the only guy I’m concerned about and he’s in the best shape of anybody on our team. But I’ve been around this too long and know that we’ve got to lower his minutes. “You have these rotations that you want to go in the game with and then one of the guards gets in foul trouble with Paul out and then you’re stuck. So, Billy [Walker] is going to play more.’’
I love you Doc, but if I had a quarter for everytime you said that in the past 2 years and didn’t follow up on it, I would have enough money to buy some courtside seats to one of the C’s games to tell him in person to stop lying about minute management. Last night, I can’t fault Doc too much for the playing time, since the team needed a win and definitely need Ray Allen’s production to get it without Pierce. That being said, 2 minutes for Bill Walker doesn’t count as giving the bench some time.
The team actually could stand to use J.R. Giddens here to help fill in for Pierce, but Giddens unfortunately just had surgery on his knee earlier this week and will be out for a month. Tough break. But please Doc, keep Ray under 30 minutes against the Nets so we can see another dunk show from Bill Walker. Also when people wonder why Ray is shooting 35 percent from downtown this year, Doc has to take some of the blame for that, for playing a 34 year old 40+ minutes 14 times already this season. Ray needs his legs Doc and you are not helping. It’s not all your fault given the injuries, but you have to keep a closer eye on him if you want him at full strength when it counts.