The Boston Celtics are in OKC tonight for the second and final game between the Thunder and C's this season. CelticsBlog CEO Jeff Clark was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions about how he thinks both the Celtics and the NBA's season has gone thus far. Be sure to stop by CelticsBlog when you have a moment in order to get ready for tonight's game.
Mr. Clark also posed some questions for me to answer, so if you'd like to take a gander, hop on over and check it out:
Q&A With Welcome to Loud City | CelticsBlog
1) How would you grade the Celtics' first half of the season? What do you think their second half upside is?
Well, Britt Brobson gave us a C and I find it hard to argue with that. Basically we've been riding a roller coaster this season, and not the fun MGM kind. The wins and losses all come in waves and it is leaving the fanbase confused and nearly bi-polar (or more than usual if that is possible). The kicker is that the first half of the year was supposed to be the easy part of our schedule - with long homestands and not too many back to backs. The upcoming schedule is brutal and one can only hope that traveling together somehow bonds the team in an us-against-the-world mentality. Then again, this group is who they are at this point, which is to say ...inconsistent.
2) Rajon Rondo...I know it's painful, but what do you think this suspension means for his long-term future in Boston? In regards to this season, do you think this ball-throwing incident is the harbinger or the turning point?
I think the ball throwing incident is just a very public display of what we already know about Rondo. He's quiet but very, very competitive and very emotional. He's also still got some growing up to do and this is just another step in that direction. We watched Paul Pierce grow up through the years and I think fans are largely willing to let Rondo grow up in green as well. Then again, there are things that keep him from being considered one of the top point guards in the league that go beyond his inability to hit a 3 pointer. So the jury is still out on him, which is kind of crazy to think about considering that this is his 5th year in the league.
3) If the Celtics continue at their current pace, they're probably going to end up as a 7 or 8 seed and have to deal with either the Bulls or the Heat in the first round. Is the current make-up of the team worth devoting to in order to get a slightly higher seed and therefore a greater chance at getting out of the 1st round, or is it time to break up the band and get some return before it's too late?
I've been harping on the "there's no reason to blow up the team" rant for a while now but I have to admit that there's one small error in my argument. The benefit to selling off and starting over early is that the team would lose more games and fall into the lottery in a year where there is very good talent in the draft. Still, ...I just can't get behind a tanking strategy. Honestly, as a fan, I'd rather watch this old guy group have a victory lap than live through another year of tanking (remember we've tanked before, missing out on Duncan and Durant/Oden in both cases). Besides, if there's an outside chance of landing Dwight and bringing back the old guys for one more run, I'm willing to take that chance.
4) What does the western conference look like to you from your east coast perch, and who do you think is going to challenge for the title?
The West looks like it is yours to lose. Behind the Thunder are two old teams (Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs) that will be threats in the playoffs, the two LA teams that appear headed in opposite directions, and everyone else. There are miles and miles to go before the Finals, but I wouldn't at all be surprised to see Oklahoma City representing the West. It will be a great storyline to see Perkins play against his old mates when Boston is there too!