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An off-season for the seasons.

September 12, 2009

At about 5:24am this morning, our red-eyed US Air carrier landed at Boston’s Logan Airport.

Upon coming home, we had about 3.5 weeks worth of mail in front of us. A few bills. 4 issues of Sports Illustrated. 1 Atlantic Monthly. 2 ESPN magazines. 1 issue of Sun Magazine. Some fancy boxes from Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel. Not having slept or with a proper meal for the last 14 hours, I plunked down for a “nap” because I didn’t have the energy to do anything else.

For the first 9 days of our honeymoon, I resisted the urge. I did my due-diligence in regards to kicking back with my wife and enjoying all of the amenities of the Pacific Northwest in beautiful Vancouver and Vancouver Island. We had our iPod touch with us in order to stay connected via email and to do random research about our local when free wi-fi was within reach.

But on day 10, I cracked.

It started with ESPN.com. I read about the whole Ortiz deal without the disbelief that fellow Nation fans felt. Then I moved to SI.com… then CelticsBlog… And then Red’s Army… then the Globe’s Celtics page… then the Herald’s Celtics page… then HoopsWord… then Ball Don’t Lie… then I realized that 40 minutes had passed and I had only read headlines. No stories. No analysis. Just headlines.

I felt guilty. I felt bad. I felt like I had let myself down, and fell off the wagon.

I was doing so well.

9 days. Not so much without a headlines check on ESPN. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

In an odd way, I felt like an addict. ***Quick disclaimer: I am in no way saying that my constant curiosity about the happenings of the Celtics is like a crack addict, but I’ll head in that direction for the sake of adding a flare for the dramatics to this first post in weeks.*** It was like a crack addict finding a little stash of crack while in rehab. It’s… just… too… tempting…

I allowed myself to JUST check headlines for the remainder of the trip, but I set 2 ground rules: no more than 15 minutes and only allowed myself to check once a day for the last 5 days of the trip.

And now I am back. The clock tells me it’s 5:03pm, but it feels like 00:00am. My body is completely out of whack. But slowly, I’ve been trying to settle in. Pictures from the trip were uploaded. Dirty clothes found their way to the washer/dryer. A big trip to the grocery store put food back on the shelves and in the fridge. A long shower was in order. The bills got paid. The mail read.

And now, I allow myself to read other things. No more headlines.

Sooooooo much has been written about, and yet very little has happened. Sheldon Williams signed, we’ve pretty much locked in Marquise Daniels (minus the whole contract thing), and we wait on the fate of BBD.

Here is the likely depth chart for the start of the season (assuming we get Quisy Daniels and keep BBD):

PG: Rondo, TBD

SG: RayRay, Eddie, JR Giddens

SF: Pierce, Daniels, TA, Walker

PF: KG, BBD, Scal, Shelden Williams

C: Perk, Sheed

This is of course assuming we get Quisy through a sign-and-trade and we re-sign Big Baby, which seems more likely as the days of summer roll on by. As we’ve talked about before, Baby just happens to be looking for money during a year where money is tight. Although we have a few over-paid big coming off the bench (mainly Magic’s Marcin Gortat and the Cav’s Andy Varejao), Baby’s lack of length and inability to play above the rim pretty much limits him to the short contract in the field of $2-3 million per year. If that’s the case, no one is going to offer that money to BBD because they know the Celts will match the offer. Danny took the gamble and the lucky bastard got it right again: the market wasn’t ready for Baby. I think we’ll see #11 back in green for at least the start of the season.

With this current lineup, I’m hoping 2 things happen actually happen:

1) We sign a veteran point guard to back up Rondo. We just need a solid 12 minutes from an old guard that can feed Eddie House on the wing or Sheed at the top of the key or down on the block. That’s all we need in a second unit floor general. I don’t want to go young here: I’m glad we dumped Gabe Pruitt and I hope we go in the older direction: we don’t need legs that can run up and down the court, we just need a 3 assist and 0 turnover guy with good decision-making instincts.

2) We get rid of Tony Allen. Dump him. Drop him. Do whatever you need to do. Just get rid of him. Trade him for 300 pints of fresh strawberries, for a back-up charter bus, or new carpet for the TD Garden locker room. I don’t care. Move him. Move him. Move him. Realistically, use him as trade bait. Package him with Scal and that gives you a $5 million caliber player in return.

Unlikely things to happen to this lineup, but that I’d be happy with:

1) Re-sign Steph for $1 million for one year. Everyone is pretty much saying the same thing: his internet video escapades are only raising concerns as to whether or not he is capable of even tying his shoes, let alone running an offense for a professional basketball team. I’ll take my chances for $1 million.

2) Trade Tony Allen for a veteran point guard. Please, please do this. Now.

3) Package JR Giddens and Tony Allen to get anyone that is 6’-11” and weighs more than 250 lbs. This will allow you to keep Bill Walker and give Lester Hudson a chance, and give us more length in the front court. Shelden Williams and BBD are big boys, but lack that length. I love the lineup possibilities with Sheed, KG, and Perk… but one other body in that front-court makes me feel better. Who knows if Sheldon Williams will make it through the year? Plus, I really like the idea of signing BBD now and letting him shine off the bench for the first half of the year, and possibility trading him away in February for MORE offensive punch. Find a team in the Western Conference in need of a hustling flubber of a power forward that is willing to exchange something we need. I know this is looking too far forward, but you got to anticipate injuries and/or lack of offense from that second unit. And if not, we get a great player in BBD.

Players I’m assuming stay in green all season:

PG: Rondo

SG: RayRay, Eddie

SF: Pierce, Bill Walker

PF: KG

C: Perk, Sheed

As for the others? Who knows. Most of them will probably stay on, but this core is what I am excited about. I’m hoping that the others are used to get what we really need: a capable slasher/shooter swingman, someone that does more than take up space in the middle and is over 6’-9”, a reliable veteran point guard. Whether it’s through signings or trades, let’s make it happen.

I’m dying to know how this roster is going to shape up.

And yes, all of that felt good… “Crack” good.

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