A. Sherrod Blakely's Truth and Rumors


A. Sherrod Blakely's Truth and Rumors

By A.Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON One man goes down. Someone steps up.

It has been like that all season for the Boston Celtics.

So when Marquis Daniels went down with a bruised spinal cord injury recently the Celtics were not in panic mode, even though losing Daniels for the next month or two will rob them of their most versatile player off the bench.

Someone has to fill the void left by Daniels, and all indications are that it will be Von Wafer.

We have seen Wafer play well in spurts, in part because those were the only minutes made available to him.

But the more we see Wafer play, the more he shows signs of being a much more complete player than the shot-chucking-guard label that has followed him throughout his NBA career.

"This team has embraced me, and taught me," Wafer told CSNNE.com. "In the past, people just beat me up, but this team, they took me in and showed me the right way to do it. And it's paying dividends."

Now that an opportunity to play more exists, we'll see if the 6-foot- 5 guard will do what so many of his teammates have already done.

One man goes down. Someone else steps up.
Mavericks pose great challenge to C's

When Danny Ainge went about putting this Celtics team together this summer, the goal was to have a squad that would challenge the Los Angeles Lakers.

But it's becoming clear that the C's might face an even bigger foe out West - and it's not the San Antonio Spurs, who have the league's best record.

It's the Dallas Mavericks, the only team to sweep the C's thus far this season.

When you look at the teams out West, the Mavericks present a series of challenges that few others do for the C's.

They have a nice 1-2 punch at center in Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood.

And as we know, when the playoffs roll around, size does matter.

The Mavs are led by 32-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, who is still one of the best players in the NBA.

Future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd is nearing the end of his career, but he's still one of the tougher point guard matchups in the NBA.

Although the Mavericks don't appear to have as much depth as the C's, they do have a pair of high impact scorers in Jason Terry and Shawn Marion, along with Haywood coming off the bench.

Dallas recently added Peja Stojakovic to their roster, giving them even more offensive firepower off the bench.

"This is a good fit for me," Stojakovic told CSNNE.com. "We have a lot of really good shooters here already."

It all adds up to a talented team that may present an even bigger challenge to the C's than the two-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Trade deadline coming up

With the trading deadline just a couple weeks away, the Celtics will do as they always do and make calls to see if there's a way to improve their roster.

Because of all the injuries, there's a knee-jerk reaction to believe that, yes, the C's need to make a move.

Not so fast, people!

We're 51 games into the season, and the Celtics have yet to play a single game with the player rotation they expect to have for the playoffs.

But there are reasons why the C's aren't likely to make a deal.

Any deal involves having assets that 1) you're willing to part with, and 2) others might be interested in acquiring.

The Celtics appear to come up short on one or both of those fronts.

But that's OK.

We've seen what the Celtics can do with a roster that's not at full strength.

Knowing that most of their injured players will be back in time for the playoffs is reason enough for the Celtics to stand pat and give this team - one constructed to go deep into the playoffs - a chance to bring home Banner 18 as they are constructed now.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Has Isaiah Thomas proven that he deserves a max deal?

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Bulls' point guard counsel spun to Isaiah Canaan in Game 4

Bulls' point guard counsel spun to Isaiah Canaan in Game 4

CHICAGO – The point guard carousel continues to swirl for the Chicago Bulls who will now give Isaiah Canaan a try as they continue to search for a suitable replacement for Rajon Rondo (right thumb) who is out indefinitely.

Canaan, a seldom-used backup this season, came off the bench and provided a major spark for the Bulls in 34 fairly productive minutes. 

He led all Chicago bench players with 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting which included a 3-for-7 showing from 3-point range. 

More than anything, Canaan looked like a serviceable playmaker which is a huge, huge upgrade to what Chicago got out of Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams. 

Grant, who struggled mightily in Game 3 as well, was not ready for the moment. He couldn’t make shots, slow down Isaiah Thomas or impact the game other than negatively for the Bulls which is why Fred Hoiberg benched him after less than five minutes of court time. The dude had a plus/minus of -10 in less than five minutes (four minutes, 41 seconds to be exact).

The Bulls will need better play than that to have any shot at winning, which is why Hoiberg named Canaan the starter and not Michael Carter-Williams who like Grant, struggled in Games 3 and 4. 

“I really thought he (Canaan) did a good job picking up the ball and pressuring the point a full 94 feet," Hoiberg said. "I thought his initial ball pressure was good. We have to get off to a much better start if we want to have any chance of winning another game in this series. That’s two games in a row now we’ve gotten ourselves down 20 points and fought all the way back. Game 3 cut it to 1. Last night we took the lead and then had five empty possessions in a row where they scored on the other end. You spend so much energy digging out of that hole. We need to do a better job of using that energy in a better start."

Playing with energy may become an issue for Canaan who readily admits that not being in the regular rotation while racking up a bunch of DNP-CDs this season made it more challenging for him in Game 4 to get into a good flow. 

"The way I play, I was more worried about my wind,” Canaan told reporters. “God helped me out as much as possible. I’m looking forward to that next game and getting that rhythm back."