Chat with Chris Forsberg
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNBoston.com blogger Chris Forsberg stops by to chat about 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 Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Chris Forsberg (2:30 PM)
Hey everybody. Thanks for hanging out. We'll dive into your questions about the C's and Game 6 shortly.
Chris Forsberg (2:34 PM)
I love this. KJ and Hondo from Mayor Menino. This has to motivate Garnett right? The other night he said he's motivated by "the competition, the naysayers, the owners who talk too much." Mayors of his own city that don't know his name has to be on that list now, too, right?
Dave (Dover, NH)
Does this series not have a Sox/Yanks 04 feel to it?
Chris Forsberg (2:36 PM)
Kinda, but 2-0 and 3-0 are so very different. That said, if we were nominating a play for "Dave Roberts stolen base" can we give it to Pierce's 3-pointer over James? Totally different scenario in the sense that Boston was up a point, but everybody in the building knew it was coming and everybody knew it was going in. Runner up: Rondo's touch pass to Pietrus after the Wade block. That thing belongs in the Hall of Fame on its own.
Avery Bradley (Boston, MA)
This is killing me....
Chris Forsberg (2:38 PM)
The Celtics are winning with defense right now and I really can't even imagine how good this team could be if not only Bradley, but Pierce was 100 percent, too. Bradley would have had a little extra motivation against OKC -- if the Celtics get that far -- as that's the team he got injured with during a pre-draft workout, setting back his rookie season.
Jermaine O'Neal (Boston, MA)
Remember me? Why can't I attend the game!?!
Chris Forsberg (2:39 PM)
Maybe it's under another name. I see free tickets here for Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley. O'Neal ... hmmmm... oh here it is! Oh wait, that's Shaquille. Could it be under something else?
Nate (Bristol, CT)
I put the main blame for the Heat on how woeful Spoelstra has been as a coach. Rivers has truly outcoached him this series.
Chris Forsberg (2:40 PM)
He'll get some, pun intended, heat for not playing Bosh more in the second half of Game 5. But I don't get a sense that his coaching has impacted the series one way or another. Sure, Doc's done a nice job with game management at times to buy his guys rest and draw up ATO (after timeout) plays, but I don't feel like Spoelstra's necessarily made a lot of bad decisions. It's on his players at times.
Richard (Northern NJ)
It may not register like Hondo's or Bird's steal in Celtics lore but Rondo's touch pass to Pietrus on the Wade block was critical to game 5 and may have been the most astonishing blend of athleticism, basketball IQ and confidence I've ever seen. How important was that play to the game 5 victory?
Chris Forsberg (2:42 PM)
I really can't put into words how impressive that sequence was. Now, if Pietrus misses the 3, it doesn't matter. But just everything that went into that sequence was amazing. Regardless of how this all plays out -- but especially if Boston moves on -- it deserves to potentially be the highlight of the season for how important it was at that moment. Remember, if Miami goes the other way with that block, they had a chance to go up 8 with 6 minutes to go.
Pete (Yarmouth, ME)
ok Chris, so no one expected the Celts to be in this position, but why can't the "experts" (your colleagues) give the Celts some credit for 3 wins in a row. All I've heard is what the Heat aren't doing or what the refs are/aren't calling. How about some respect for the Celts?!?!
Chris Forsberg (2:45 PM)
Throw me in that group. I had the Heat in 6 and I couldn't have been more wrong, particularly after this team went down 2-0. That said, I think the court of expert opinion has completely swayed and now everyone seems to be crashing down on Miami a little too hard. Winning in the playoffs is not easy. To win three in a row like the Celtics have is amazing, but they gotta get one more. Miami won't go quietly either. Just a fun series to watch.
Frank (La Marque)
How close was this team to being broken up early on in the season?
Chris Forsberg (2:46 PM)
Well, clearly the Celtics and Danny Ainge lusted over Chris Paul before the season. After that point, save for the potential Ray Allen deal, Doc Rivers said it never got too close. Let's remember that, despite the team's struggles, there was this great sense of, "Their best chance might be to keep it together" at the deadline. Clearly it worked out that way.
Tron (Waltham, MA)
Of course only Jackie Mac (one of the best b-ball writers) writes anything about the four big minutes Stiemsma played in the 3rd quarter. Nothing spectacular but got some boards, played OK D, and had some solid minutes with KG on the bench and the C's making their move. Also glad to see he made the select team. Should give him some great practice this summer if he can get healthy! Sorry that was more of a comment then a question...
Chris Forsberg (2:47 PM)
::nods politely:: Looking forward to hearing the Steamboat whistle when he checks in tonight. Makes me chuckle every time. Only thing on his Select Team selection: I almost wonder if time off would be good for him and his achy feet.
Is it safe to say that more pressure will be on the HEAT to win tonite because of all of the hype and expectations?
Chris Forsberg (2:48 PM)
Let's get one thing straight, we never, under any circumstances capitalize all the letters in HEAT. The team does this in all of its press materials and it's infuriating.
And, sure, there will be pressure on the Heat, but Boston doesn't want to deal with a Game 7 in Miami, so they'll have the same batch of expectations on themselves.
Walter Ray Allen (Boston )
How will I play tonight & will we win?
Chris Forsberg (2:50 PM)
Somewhat concerning that your ankle locked up the other night, but you've grinded through the last 16 games, so I don't think it'll be a big issue. Ultimately, the success of the Celtics comes down heavy on Rondo & KG in this series.
Will Boston win? I think the Celtics love to make things as difficult as possible on themselves. But I do think being home and having the momentum will help them win this game if they don't get sloppy and abandon what's helped them win three straight.
cheeroo (Westfield, MA)
Am sincerely hoping Mr.Forsberg's prediction of Miami winning the series is proven wrong tonight. Mr.Forsberg I know you predicted 4-2 for Miami which is already ruled out but hope that number works in favor of the Cs.. Go Cs!!
Chris Forsberg (2:51 PM)
That's the politest: "Your prediction sucked!" I've received so far. Thanks for not making fun of my hair.
Austin (Reston, VA)
How important is it for Boston to win tonight?
Chris Forsberg (2:52 PM)
Boston proved it can win in Miami, so it won't be overwhelmed by a Game 7. That said, you don't want to give the Heat any confidence and a chance to win this series on their home turf. The Celtics can't act like they have a safety net tonight.
Spencer (Springfield, MA)
Will the Celtics ever give out Green T-shirts to everyone in the Garden like they do in OKC if they go to the finals?
Chris Forsberg (2:55 PM)
They did this a couple years back and the building looked amazing. Alas, they've settled on rally towels lately. I know there's a perception that Boston doesn't need a gimmick to get "The Jungle" rocking, but I still think the green shirts made the arena look awesome (see for yourself)
Isn't this one of the most satisfying seasons to be a Celtics fan after all the adversity, naysayers, and obstacles they've overcome to be at this position?
Chris Forsberg (2:57 PM)
Hard to argue with that. In a way, this team has no business being one game away from the NBA Finals. But it is and while it's challenging the blood pressure of its entire fan base, it's provided a lot of memorable moments this postseason. As I keep telling people, enjoy every moment of this season. These don't happen very often. Very special to watch it unfold.
Wally Cronkite [via mobile]
The entire sports "media" has been so wrong in analyzing & predicting this series, its just amazing. It's ALL about Miami and what's wrong w/ them. Do you think the industry's been watered down with people who truly don't know what they're talking about?
Chris Forsberg (3:00 PM)
Listen, I've watched this team all year long and I really didn't think they had a shot in this series. The way they looked in Game 1 only confirmed that. But this is what makes sports great. The Celtics are defying all conventional wisdom. Yes, as I wrote today spotlighting the defense, I think it would be better if we looked at what Boston is doing to lead this series rather than what the Heat are not. But that's just the way it goes. There's a section of our audience that simply wants LeBron and Co. to lose and that's a more intriguing story line.
shamar [via mobile]
Who does Boston target in free agency with all the money coming off the books
Chris Forsberg (3:00 PM)
One win away from the Finals and we talkin' about free agency? Let's chat in early July.
Josh (Dallas,Tx) [via mobile]
The Celtics should win tonight. The temperature is just too hot for Miami to handle now. It will be close, but that Celtic pride will land a victory in the end. Besides, we have to see our old buddy Perkins. It's only fate. Your thoughts?
Chris Forsberg (3:01 PM)
Did you just suggest that it's, um, too hot for the Heat?
Clearly the idea of a Perkins vs. Celtics Finals matchup is incredibly intriguing. It would be fascinating hype to that potential series.
Kevin Garnett (Boston)
Tonight is gonna be a [expletive] bar fight!
Chris Forsberg (3:02 PM)
You ever been in a bar fight, KJ?
Brandon (Boston, MA)
When the Celtics advance to the NBA Finals tonight, what are your predictions vs the Thunder?
Chris Forsberg (3:03 PM)
Listen, I'm taking enough flak for picking the Heat. Let's cross that bridge when we get there.
Do the C's have a shot at winning in double digits tonight?
Chris Forsberg (3:04 PM)
Geez, if they win and Gino plays, that building might crumble. I think most fans would be content with just winning the game.
mik [via mobile]
Whats your take on Docs changing of man to man defense to zone?
Chris Forsberg (3:05 PM)
DIdn't really help the team in Game 5, but it's a nice changeup to mix in to keep them guessing. It's not a game-changer, but it's in the toolbox.
kevin (Lincoln, NE)
Do role players come up big again in the Garden tonight and help us close out in 6? (Pietrus, Dooling, Daniels, Steamer...)
Chris Forsberg (3:07 PM)
Can we talk about how big the bench has been the last three games? Pietrus and Dooling have been fantastic, downright Posey & House like. Stiemsma has done a solid job in low minutes. Daniels had that huge cameo in Game 3 that turned into a podium visit. This is exactly what Boston needs from that group and with confidence from this stretch, I think it makes them more likely to contribute in Game 6.
Carmen (Worcester, MA)
You said the Celtics had second round exit written all over this team. Well, look at them now. In your face, Forsberg.
Chris Forsberg (3:09 PM)
Man, from my own Worcester hood no less. That one stings. You know what's ironic to me, I thought they had second-round knockout written all over them because it should have been the Bulls in that round and I didn't like that matchup. The crazy part is that Philadelphia might ultimately be Boston's toughest challenge in the East if Boston closes out tonight.
Jeff Green (somewhere)
Imagine if Avery and I were healthy?
Chris Forsberg (3:11 PM)
One thing there: If Jeff Green never had the heart issue, it's unlikely the Celtics ever land Mickael Pietrus. I think Green would have really helped this team, but Pietrus has been big, particularly on defense.
Zenyatta of Basketball (Naying the Naysayers)
It's utterly amazing how the C's are still being treated as hard respectable workers who will have no chance in their potential finals match-up. Really? After all this? Seriously?
Chris Forsberg (3:12 PM)
I keep going back to the defense. How are we overlooking the fact that Boston has the best defense in the postseason? Shouldn't this be a bigger deal? There's this notion that they are overachieving, but they are playing really good basketball at that end of the floor (and are simply inconsistent offensively).
Cheryl (Atlanta, GA)
I am a huge Celtics fan and I am disgusted by everyone that picked the Heat and all of a sudden when the Celtics are winning they all want to "jump ship". Please it is either you are a true Celtic fan or not don't just flip flopping it is so annoying.
Chris Forsberg (3:14 PM)
Keep in mind that we don't get paid to be "true Celtics fans." You can make the case that I, better than anyone else having followed this team, should have known better than to rule them out. But I undervalued Boston's ability to play as a team and how poor Miami has been in clutch situations. You can't put a value on Boston's postseason experience.
Interested in your take on the impact of MP's defense so far. Are we better with him in the lineup rather than Bass?
Chris Forsberg (3:15 PM)
I'm not saying he's been a lockdown defender, but to be able to put him on LeBron and NOT be a liability is a huge advantage for Boston. Put it this way, Pietrus couldn't make ANYTHING at the start of the playoffs and Rivers' confidence never wavered because of his defensive play. That's a huge asset to have. He makes a great defense just that much better when on the floor in a crunch-time lineup.
The Cs get no respect. Vegas favoring Heat tonight in Boston and giving Cs the lowest chance of winning it all out of the 3 remaining teams.
Chris Forsberg (3:16 PM)
You've seen the C's record in closeout games, no? That said, Boston has been fantastic in closeout chances at home. They have to play as desperate as Miami will, though, to win this game.
Danny Ainge (Boston)
Chris, I'm getting nervous. No, not about Game 6 tonight (or Game 7 on Saturday, which I have a feeling we'll see). No, what I'm nervous about is HOW MUCH will KG want to re-sign? He's been rejuvenated since moving to the 5. Can he command, say, 3 years, $45M? I kind of HAVE to give it to him, right? So much for cap space.
Chris Forsberg (3:18 PM)
Just enjoy the playoffs, Danny. You can fret about that in early July. I do think Kevin's price tag went up a bit, but let's face it. He's 36 now. He'll get angry at the insinuation, but I just can't see him doing what he's doing at age 39. A one- or (gulp) two-year deal at reasonable money should get it done.
Flo Allen (courtside)
Should I be renewing my Celtics tickets for 2013, or will my son be "taking his talents" somewhere else?
Chris Forsberg (3:19 PM)
Can you get a Bulls jersey bedazzled over the summer? I think it's a coin flip right now. I wouldn't be surprised to see him back, but my gut says the C's might want to use that cash elsewhere.
Tron (Waltham, MA)
Here's a real question: Gonna watch the game at a bar tonight... Asides from the usuals around causway (which will be PACKED) any other suggestions in the Boston/Fenway area? Maybe post to the other chatters...
Chris Forsberg (3:21 PM)
Any suggestions for Tron? If you live in Worcester and you're not at Mahoneys, you're doing it wrong.
Why shouldn't you capitalize HEAT?
Chris Forsberg (3:22 PM)
Do I really need to answer this one? Should I capitalize CELTICS?
Jason (Tuscaloosa, Al)
I just ate nacho's from Moes southwest in your honor! That has to be a good sign for tonight right?
Chris Forsberg (3:23 PM)
It's a sign that I need to wrap this chat up and hit my local Moe's before I get to the game. Let's try to blast through a few more questions. You guys are bringing it this week. Playoff intensity. I love it.
Why did it take 17 years and a team with no healthy bigs to discover that KG could dominate at the 5?
Chris Forsberg (3:24 PM)
Typical progression in his game. Overall lack of talent at center spot across the league.
Over/under on off-season trade rumors involving me: 19.
Chris Forsberg (3:25 PM)
Call me crazy. Maybe, just maybe it'll be a quiet summer for you. Nah, let's say 17. That contract is just too attractive.
Nate (Woburn, MA)
Chris, even ESPN.com is not giving you any respect. Auto update is not active, 38 minutes into the chat! Who is working the controls? Joey Crawford?
Chris Forsberg (3:25 PM)
I'm whining to my editors like Doc at Ed Malloy. And there's the technical!
DJ (Portsmouth, NH)
Is the Hawk's owner having nightmares of KG's stare every night?
Chris Forsberg (3:26 PM)
Everyone is having nightmares of KG's stare. I thought he was coming through my computer when I watched it for the first time.
John Havlicek (Hondo) (Boston)
Wait, am I really starting tonight? I respect Doc Rivers but that seems like a big mistake.
Chris Forsberg (3:27 PM)
Ironically, your addition does not affect the average age of the team. Hi-yo! I'm here all week.
Forsberg, just so there's no mistake- your prediction sucked and you have funny hair. thanks
Chris Forsberg (3:27 PM)
Kristian (Puerto Rico)
Hi, love your coverage. Seems like none of the big guys - Steemer and Hollins - are providing some of the real support needed to give KG some real time off. What's your take?
Chris Forsberg (3:28 PM)
C's have gone small this series. Bosh might force that issue a bit tonight. If C's get quality minutes from Stiemsma again, they can weather that storm.
Mayor Menino (Boston)
Why does everyone think I'm an idiot? Didn't you hear Doc is starting Havlicek and Kevin Johnson tonight?
Chris Forsberg (3:29 PM)
To be fair, KJ is the Mayor of Sacramento, right? Mayors gotta stick together.
Nick Ventura California [via mobile]
Every question I type doesn't go through. Is there a character maximum or are they crappy questions?
Chris Forsberg (3:30 PM)
Probably crappy questions. Hang in there.
Why is Danny Crawford allowed to ref another game in this series after dishing out so many unfair techs to the Celtic?
Chris Forsberg (3:32 PM)
Never say never but I don't think the officiating will be in focus tonight.
Chris, I am lucky enough to have tickets tonight. I am behind the basket, so in your experience, what should we be doing when the Heat take free throws if we have a shot at throwing any of them off?
Chris Forsberg (3:32 PM)
Call and response with the other side of the arena: "Good job! Good effort!"
Chris Forsberg (3:33 PM)
Alright, let's wrap it up there. Thanks for hanging out everybody. Good job, good effort to you as well. Enjoy Game 6. Back next week. Will we be talking NBA Finals? Or tackling all those draft questions I ignored this time around?
Chris Forsberg (3:36 PM)
Sorry about the auto-update guys. Didn't know until late in the chat. I'm guessing the fact that we moved the time of the chat made it fail to activate. We'll tweak it before the next time. Thanks for hanging in there. And sorry to wear about your shift and refresh keys.