Chat with Chris Forsberg
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, ESPNBoston.com blogger Chris Forsberg stops by to chat about the NBA and the Boston Celtics.
Forsberg has been reporting on the Boston sports scene since 1999. With his video camera in tow, Forsberg covered everything from Massachusetts high school sports to Boston's pro sports teams. Follow him at his Celtics blog.
Send your questions now and join Forsberg Monday at noon ET!
Chris Forsberg (12:00 PM)
Good afternoon everybody, thanks for dropping by. Lots of game action over the next 30 days to wrap up the regular season. Let's dive into your questions... And let's have some fun today, kinda like this...
Sasha Pavlovic's Jumper (Parts Unknown)
Has anyone seen me? Did I ever exist? I'm freaking out over here...
Chris Forsberg (12:03 PM)
Funny that the first thing most of us looked at when Pavlovic signed was his 3-point numbers. I guess that happens with most wing players. But, let's be honest, it's all about defense for a backup wing like Pavlovic and he's done a nice job bringing intensity there. A career 40 percent shooter, I'm not expecting much offense. He's put up only 10 shots in 55 minutes with Boston thus far. As long as he's limiting the production of opposing wings, that's all Doc Rivers and Co. want to see.
Hi Chris. What are you thinking about Semih Erden ? I am from Turkey and I always try follow Turkish basketball player in NBA.And I think Semih is one of the best player.But I want hear from you :))
Chris Forsberg (12:06 PM)
This was the first question in today's queue. I'm pumped to know that we've still maintained our stranglehold on the Turkish audience despite Semih's departure.
I think Semih has a very bright future in this league. You could see him really developing throughout this season, even as he played through shoulder and groin pain. My only concern now is that he's on a team that's not positioned to let him grow. He might get more minutes, but I think the veteran presences -- like Shaq and Perkins -- in Boston helped him more than maybe floor time might right now. Either way, he's got the potential to be a very nice backup in this league, he's just gotta keep working and learn how to maintain his intensity the entire time he's on the court.
Chris Forsberg (12:09 PM)
Brief timeout on the floor as we figure out why this isn't showing up live on the chat page.
ESPN Boston (12:10 PM)
Chris Forsberg (12:11 PM)
And we're back...
ACK (Burlington, VT)
I'm worried about KG- he looks slower and tired. is he hurt?
Chris Forsberg (12:13 PM)
No, I think he's just a bit gassed. All of the starters are. That's why the best thing about Sunday's win might have been seeing a guy like Rondo play less minutes than his backup (Arroyo). Garnett's shot has definitely been off, but I don't see anything that suggests its anything more than a brief slump. He was 4-of-7 shooting last night, including 3-of-4 in the first half. He's working it out.
Von Wafer (Boston, MA)
So I'm like, totally screwed when I heal up, right?
Chris Forsberg (12:16 PM)
I won't sugarcoat it, Von. The timing of that injury stunk for you. Not only were you playing well, but the team had 10 healthy bodies and you were in line for some serious burn. But if you can come back and be the player you were right before the injury, there's a chance you can push Sasha Pavlovic for that third wing role in the playoffs. Just gotta get that calf right.
Wafer said Sunday that he expects to be back before the end of the regular season, but it could be at least another two weeks before that calf allows him to get back on the court.
Am I the only one who has noticed Krstic has been a fierce rebounder, maybe even more so than when Perkins was here? I'd also say he's playing better here than when he was in OKC. Your thoughts?
Chris Forsberg (12:19 PM)
Let's put it this way, Nenad Krstic currently has a longer double-double streak than Kevin Love... He's quietly doing a great job on the glass the last two games. He's not a loud rebounder, but you look up at the end of the game and see he's got double-digit caroms. It's impressive.
His defense has great strides to be made to even be near what Perkins provided, but I think there's a lot to like about Krstic's game. He talked last night a lot about how the number of touches he's getting in Boston's system is allowing him to thrive. In fact, for more on his last two games, I'll shamelessly point you HERE.
So now that Kristic is actually playing pretty well, we're not gonna be forced to suffer through any more brutal Jermaine O'Neal minutes in the playoffs, right?
Chris Forsberg (12:21 PM)
Doc Rivers did note last night that he'd be find with just one of the O'Neal Brothers getting healthy for the playoffs at this point. I do think J.O. has potential to be a defensive-minded option with the second unit, but as I've preached all along: Expect nothing from him the rest of the season, and enjoy anything he gives you. Boston will need all the big bodies it can muster if they go deep in the postseason.
Is Jermaine O'Neal alive?
Chris Forsberg (12:22 PM)
I'll admit, we haven't seen him in forever, so I can't quite verify that. But they tell us he's working out every day in Waltham and I'm actually quite intrigued to see if he comes out as a leaner, meaner J.O. If Shaq dropped 15 pounds recently, I wonder if J.O. has been able to trim down as well.
Nate Robinson (Oklahoma City)
Do you think my old team the Celtics will get the number 1 seed? It would seem pointless to be the best team in the east for so long and then let the Bulls take it at the very end.
Chris Forsberg (12:25 PM)
Wordaapp, Nate. Hope all is well in OKC. Get that knee right.
Doc Rivers said Monday that the No. 1 seed is no longer a priority (while admitting that it was as recently as late January before the injury bug went berserk). Now I think the C's are content to just get their players healthy enough for a postseason push, regardless if that comes at the expense of the No. 1 seed. Listen, you've got a chance that the 6-8 seeds are: Milwaukee, Philadelphia, New York. That's no picnic regardless if you're 1-3 seed. Now, if the Pacers manage to hang on to the No. 8 seed, then you might see some jostling for the top spot.
I have almost never seen Doc have 5 players on the court without any of the big threes but have seen more of that recently after the new players joined us. does that mean we are going to see that in the playoff? or Doc is just trying to give the new guys more playing time to get familiar with the stuffs we run?
Chris Forsberg (12:28 PM)
No, Doc's just trying to limit minutes now. It's the same for every team in the league: During the regular season, you can go with a five-man second unit in order to rest guys. But in the playoffs, at least two starters will almost always be on the floor (especially Rondo, Ray, and Pierce). The key for the Celtics before season's end, is getting a few reps with, say, a Rondo-Ray-Pierce-Green-Krstic lineup, or a Rondo-Deonte-Pierce-KG-Baby lineup, something were there are reserves mixed in.
Joei (South End)
Chris, with all the additions and doc cutting down to a 9 man rotation for the playoffs, who gets left out?
Chris Forsberg (12:30 PM)
I think your core nine right now, assuming all healthy, are Big Four, Shaq, Delonte, Green, Baby,
Chris Forsberg (12:31 PM)
Arroyo, too, I should note, has potential to play his way into a playoff role. He's looked strong while picking up the offense and having a pure PG that allows West some versatility, would be a nice benefit.
omar (detroit michigan)
i think doc should rest shaq until april so he doesnt get hurt with playoffs so close. what do you think?
Chris Forsberg (12:33 PM)
No, at some point these guys need to get on the floor and get some continuity. I think Shaq gets the most rope because he's had time already with the starters and, let's face it, at 39 he doesn't need much time to tune-up. He's been here and done that.
But guys like Delonte and J.O. desperately need some court time to work things out.
Corwyn Canedy (New London, CT)
Which team in the bottom of the eastern conference playoff race would give the celtics the biggest problems?
Chris Forsberg (12:35 PM)
The 76ers have played three very, very competitive games; the Knicks took the Celtics to the wire before they had Carmelo; and Milwaukee isn't exactly the pushover that showed last night. I think the Celtics preferred postseason first-round opponent ranking system would be: Indiana-Milwaukee-Philadelphia-New York (maybe flip-flopping those last two).
Big Baby (Boston, MA)
Someone say something about cupcakes?
Chris Forsberg (12:36 PM)
Well played off this Tweet.
Paul P. (Newark, NJ)
The C's have lost a lot of road games on the back end of back-to-backs this year. That doesn't happen tonight, right?
Chris Forsberg (12:38 PM)
No, captain, I think you're good tonight. The starters got a ton of rest last night. Heck, I can't even remember the last time y'all got to spend an entire fourth quarter cracking jokes on the sideline. The Nets will be a little tougher with Deron Williams back tonight, but let's remember that the Celtics won by 25 here earlier this season with a lineup that saw rookie Avery Bradley log a ton of minutes.
Do you think it would be better to run Arroyo at point and Delonte at SG once he returns? Or should both be back up points. Also, what will happen to Von Wafer in the midst of all this?
Chris Forsberg (12:40 PM)
This is the great thing about Boston's new bench: So much versatility. West can play the 1 and 2; Green can play the 3 and 4; Baby can play the 4 and 5. You can go big, you can go small. Yes, that means Doc has to figure out how everything works and he's experimenting now, but I really like the flexibility the Celtics have now. I can definitely see scenarios where Arroyo and West share ball-handling duties with Rondo on the pine.
What's with Rondo? He's been really off since the Perk trade. Is that effecting him, or is it something else?
Chris Forsberg (12:42 PM)
Again, I think he's just a little gassed. Nights like Sunday will go a long way. I think you'll see a much more inspired Rondo with tonight's first Atlantic Division clash with Williams. A matchup with an elite PG typically brings out his A game.
michael harrington (Augusta National)
Could Shaq have played the last month or so if it was the playoffs? Who has a easier schedule the rest of the way- Celtics or Chicago?
Chris Forsberg (12:43 PM)
Maybe if they shot up his right foot with pain-numbers. But I think that right foot was really bothering him (and probably still is). They've got a month to get it right and, by that point, he'll have to play through pain.
PJS (Pembroke Pines Fl)
If Shaq or JO don't make it back will C's be able to resign Chris johnson?
ESPN Boston (12:53 PM)
Chris is having technical difficulties. He will be back shortly.
ESPN Boston (1:09 PM)
Sorry everyone ... Chris is unable to get back in the chat, so we'll have to cap it off here. He says to check the Celtics blog later, however, as he will answer a handful of leftover questions there.