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.