5 Celtics training camp questions


5 Celtics training camp questions

With the Boston Celtics scheduled to begin training camp Friday evening, I'm sure you all have questions -- lots of questions.

So do we and we have answers, too.

Wanna see 'em?

Here they are.

Q: How will Rajon Rondo handle the Chris Paul trade rumors?

A: If you go by his track record, the answer is obvious: not well. I may be in the minority on this -- OK, I AM in the minority on this -- but I really believe Rondo will handle this better than most might expect.

It's not the first time his name has been associated with trade talk, and it certainly won't be the last, either. In the past he has sulked and become even more distant when such talk surfaced, showing a lack of maturity that isn't all that unusual for young players.

But Rondo is 25 years old, has a growing family and isn't the same kid anymore (we hope so, at least). Trade talk comes with the territory as an NBA player.

If anything, Rondo needs to use that as motivation especially when you consider one of the reasons why the trade didn't go through was because frankly, the Hornets didn't think he was worth it.

And who can't use a little added motivation, right?

Q: What shape will vets like Jermaine O'Neal be in?

A: On the first day of training camp? Awesome. I don't expect any players to come in out of shape, honestly. But the real challenge for them will be how their bodies hold up with so many games crammed together in such a short period of time. I worry most about Kevin Garnett. He's the one veteran whose minutes will be limited, regardless of what condition his body is in. Remember these words: strategic rest. Chances are good -- very good -- you'll be seeing and hearing a lot about it this year.

Q: What's up with the bench? Will the C's even have one?

A: They'll have one, for sure. How good will it be? That remains to be seen. The addition of Brandon Bass gives the C's a player with offensive skills comparable to Glen Davis. And Keyon Dooling will provide a much-needed defensive pressure at the point coming off the bench. But the key for the Celtics will be who among the big men invitees steps up and provides some relief for Jermaine O'Neal at center.

Q: Will Jeff Green be back?

A: Great question. You have to believe that the C's decision to sign-and-trade away Glen Davis for Bass, will increase the likelihood that Green accepts the Celtics' qualifying offer. Green's youth (25), versatility and athleticism are all qualities the Celtics are short on.

Q: Can the Celtics bring home Banner 18 this year?
A: As it stands now, it's unlikely that the Celtics will be the last team standing when all is said and done. But we've seen stranger things happen in the NBA. For the C's to beat the odds and win another NBA title, two things are absolute musts: stay relatively healthy and get players to outperform their contracts. The most likely players to do that are Jajuan Johnson, Boston's first round selection who will see minutes in the frontcourt behind Kevin Garnett; and Marquis Daniels, the kind of high-impact player off the Celtics bench, when healthy.

Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind


Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while gearing up for Big Papi weekend.

*A “behind-the-scenes” look as Jimmy Vesey was sold on the New York Rangers, but there’s not too much detail about the pitches from the other teams. Feels pretty apparent at this point that Vesey wanted to live, and work, in New York City.

*Damien Cox says that the World Cup of Hockey better get it right the next time, or else…or else what, Damien? You’re going to block them on Twitter?

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban making their preseason debuts on Saturday. David Backes and David Pastrnak will play their first preseason games for the Bruins as well.  

*It’s a complicated, strange story with Vladimir Sobotka, the KHL and the contract he seemingly can’t get out of to again play for the St. Louis Blues.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is ready to get back to work with the Arizona Coyotes after his World Cup experience.

*San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier is out for the next month with mono, which is definitely worse timing than Zach Senyshyn getting hit with the mononucleosis bomb over the summer.

*A quick look at the Philadelphia Flyers in advance of their preseason meeting with the Black and Gold tonight, which won’t be televised.

*For something completely different: there will be some pretty funky stuff happening on The Walking Dead this season.



Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It hasn’t been difficult to spot Claude Julien randomly at Fenway Park on a nice summer night in Boston over the past ten years. The Bruins coach doesn’t hide his affection for the Old Towne Team. 

So, Julien didn’t waste much time before sharing his thoughts on the final season for David Ortiz and the celebration of his Hall of Fame-worthy career that’s going on at the Fens this weekend.

It might have been a chore when the rest of the Team Canada coaching staff was watching the Toronto Blue Jackets during the World Cup of Hockey, but Julien never strayed too far away from his Red Stockings.

“He’s finishing in style, and you don’t see that very often,” said Claude Julien of Big Papi, who was sitting with numbers of .316 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI that border on the ridiculous at 40 years old. 

“A lot of times when people retire the game has caught up to them big time. Not him. He doesn’t seem to have missed a beat here. I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled this year, and what he’s done. If I’m correct he just hit the home run last night for the game-winner.

“But as you know I was in Blue Jays land for about two weeks, so I had to keep a low profile. They were watching the Blue Jays and I’m Canadian too...but I was watching the Red Sox. So, it was healthy competition for our [World Cup] coaching staff.”

The most intriguing part about all is that the best is still yet to come for Ortiz in his farewell tour as he gets one more chance to clutch up in the postseason. It'll give Julien more to marvel at over the next few weeks while showing again why Big Papi will go down as the greatest clutch hitter in the history of Major League Baseball.