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Saturday Notebook: No Excuses For Starters, Big Baby To Return Sunday?

The Celtics are back in town today with an off day and in a slight bit of a surprise (not really) are not practicing before their Sunday evening tilt with the Milwaukee Bucks tomorrow at the TD Garden at 6 pm. Perhaps Doc Rivers, sensing his starters were a bit burnt out with all these extra minutes following the injuries and trades, figured the guys are better off with more rest at this point than the additional practice time.

Nonetheless, with five new faces on the roster along with Avery Bradley, you would think that crew needs as much time as they can get right now to get acclimated with the Boston system on both ends of the floor. In a way, it’s almost an impossible scenario for Doc to try to balance right now, but then again, it would probably be just as challenging with Nate Robinson, Luke Harangody and Semih Erden on the roster.

We’ll start things with Glen Davis, who walked through with the second unit down in Philadelphia before last night’s game. Doc had referred to Baby practicing with the team earlier in the week during today’s practice session, but since that’s not happening, we’ll assume that he’ll also go through tomorrow’s walkthrough at the TD Garden before the game. Here’s Doc on how he looked yesterday. (ESPNBoston.com)

“He looked better,” said Rivers. “He didn’t do enough, just skeleton. You can’t tell from that. It’s just skeleton offense, nothing strenuous. But I do think he’ll play Sunday, we just don’t know for sure.”

With the starters swooning (outside of Nenad Krstic) and Doc (rightfully) unwilling to let Troy Murphy see the floor more than five minutes a game at this juncture, I’d say it’s a safe bet we see Baby on the floor tomorrow night to give this team a much needed energy boost. Davis worked wonders in the first half of the season in this department, now it’s time to see whether some extra rest for his sore knee will allow him to get back to that form.

The good news for the C’s is the Bucks play tonight against Philly in Milwaukee, so they will be losing an hour (two actually) when you factor in daylight’s savings heading into tonight’s early evening tilt. So if there was ever a time when an opponent might be incredibly gassed on the second half of a back-to-back, tomorrow might be it.

With that said, Milwaukee is still a very young team and will be much healthy (Andrew Bogut’s back) than they were when Boston beat them last Sunday. The Bucks are fighting tooth and nail for that elusive 8 spot in the East, so their focus will there, despite any issues of fatigue for Scott Skiles’ squad.

More Reasons To Like Carlos Arroyo

“I give him a lot of credit, at shootaround this morning, [the second unit] knew every play and they ran through it like they’ve been doing it all year,” said Allen. “The second unit that we have now, a lot of them have a high basketball IQ.” (ESPNBoston)

Give this guy 20-25 minutes already until Rajon Rondo snaps out of his funk/gets healthy and Delonte West returns (who is doubtful for Sunday).

Excuses, Excuses

Ryan covered the starters’ problems in his recap last night, but it’s still interesting to hear what a few of them have to say on their issues and whether it ties into the moves that were bad: (Boston Herald

KG: “Myself, I know I have to be more consistent and do a lot more,” Garnett said. “Doc Rivers just says, ‘Be aggressive, be aggressive.’ We’re trying to figure it all out on the go, but still we have to get it done.

“I’m not the one to make excuses,” he said. “The transformation is not an easy thing, but we have to fix it, and I’m sure we will.”

Rondo: “It’s on the starters, the new guys aren’t starting the game. Now, it’s on us.”

The fact that the starters can second guess themselves and trying to “figure it out on the go” is a bit bothersome in my mind, and one of the many risks of this trade. There’s always going to be that voice in the back of their heads when the playoffs roll around wondering, man what if Perk was here.

I think this team is mentally tough enough to get over that, and the current issues will obviously be eased when more experienced big bodies return, but I don’t like to hear KG talk like that, since it’s clear he shares the same worries than we do.

Finally the latest edition of the CelticsHub podcast featuring yours truly and a frequent CelticsHub contributor Jro or John Rodier. Enjoy!

CelticsHub.com Podcast with JRo by BRobb7

Much more to come tomorrow, enjoy your Saturdays everyone and good luck finding that extra hour of sleep we all lose tonight.

  • Celtics Freak

    The Celtics are not in a slump they just lost a couple, thats all. Its like the Celtics lose 2 in a row and fans think the world is over

  • john schaffer

    i agree but doc also has to get them ready for playoffs , i just wish rondo shoot more instead of worrying about assists

  • jim

    I think we all have to remember that without making this trade the team would have been in worse trouble then just a mini two game losing streak. Nate Robinson was playing poorly when we traded him and it turns out he was hurt ,Semih had been playing hurt for sometime and his game was not what it was at the start of the season and add to that that Perk has not played since before the trade we could have had a real disaster taking shape. There is no guarantee that Perk will be the same guy he was coming off surgery and I think Kristic has more then held his own taking into account he has had limited time to learn the defense. Granted he will never play defense like Perk but with him on the floor people on the other team have to worry about one more offensive threat from our starters. Perk was not good with his hands and had a tendency to turn the ball over. I will always love the guy but the team is better now.

  • ElRoz

    Doc and the rest of the staff have to work, to put in hours and also to hold the new guys to a more demanding standard so that these 20 games before round 1 are used to incorportae and adjust the new guys – especially Green, Kristic, and Arroyo especially….and Murphy and Pavlovic as secondary. Man, that's 5 new players!

    I think if Arroyo can mesh with the team, this will be important, as he and Delonte can be a more productive backcourt than Delonte and Wafer, even if somewhat smaller; with all respect to Von Wafer and his good contributions this season.