Celtics Already Feeling The Pain

HANG TIME TEXAS, Y’ALL – Admit it, just the mere thought of trying to cram 66 games into four months was enough to send many of us reaching for an ice pack and a comfortable spot on the sofa.

If you’re the aging Celtics, all of those trips on an off the planes, the back-to-back-to-backs and especially that grueling stretch of eight games in 13 nights in three time zones and five states touching both coasts in March were bound to take a toll. It’s a fact of life when your core consists of 34-year-old Paul Pierce, 35-year-old Kevin Garnett and 36-year-old Ray Allen.

But did anybody think it would be happening already, before the Green Seniors have even rolled out of bed on Christmas morning for the opener against the Knicks?

Coach Doc Rivers, as usual, is trying to stave off panic. But if any team of would-be contenders needs to walk the tightrope of good health, it’s these Celtics. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is already handcuffed by salary cap room in trying to make additions to his team and any kind of significant or lingering injury to a member of the Big Three could sink the Celtics in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it condensed season.

Having already lost key reserve Jeff Green for the season due to a heart problem, Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com tells us that the Celtics are now keeping a careful watch on a bruised right heel that’s been bothering Pierce:

Tip-off for the 2011-12 season is a mere five days away and Rivers expressed concern Tuesday about whether Pierce would be ready for a Christmas Day visit to New York because of a bruised right heel. What seemed like a minor ailment suffered on the first day of training camp has grown more worrisome as Pierce has been shut down yet again with the goal of getting him game-ready later in the week.

Rivers admits that, long term, Pierce’s injury is not much of a concern (though the pessimist would kindly remind him that he said something similar when Shaquille O’Neal first tweaked his Achilles in February and we all know how that turned out). Let’s be absolutely clear, we’re not suggesting that Pierce’s injury is anywhere near as severe (he worked out Monday, but woke up sore on Tuesday, forcing the team to reduce his workload with hopes of ramping him back up on Friday). But here’s the point: New season, familiar line of discussion.

Come to think of it, could the worries about injuries have been at least part of the motivation behind Allen’s blast of free agent David West choosing Indiana over Boston?

Considering the grind, can anyone really expect the Celtics to be and ready and able by the time the playoffs begin?

There are still four shopping days ‘til Christmas. If you haven’t picked out something for the Celtics yet, may we suggest a bottle of aspirin and some extra rolls of tape?

15 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Well, Dalembert is going to Houston, lets see if the celtics won’t try to get Stevenson since Green’s contract is going to be voided.

  2. steagle says:

    Every year sports writers use the “old” card when talking about the Celtics but look how well they’ve done the last four years. Every team deals with age and injuries. Look at Portland. Talk about a team with challenges who still has a fighting chance in the west. Teams find a way to adapt. I’d take KG, Truth and Ray Ray at their current age over most young players in the NBA. They’re champions and hall of famers and know how to play the game. Injuries are unavoidable but it’s not the end of the world for the Celts just yet.

  3. THE MAN says:

    The real truth ,

    Funny how you bring this up .. when it seems as if there is ANY chance the lakers wont win it all …. Kobe has some nagging Injury that he is somehow in a movie star role ” over coming all odds and playing with the pain ” …Nice try … sorry the Nba didn’t let you rape the hornets for Paul ..

  4. 2 big Celtics Fans In California. The big 4 are men not boys who cry when they lose. They just keep fighting, because they have heart! Don’t ever count them out!

  5. OzHeatFan says:

    I have much repsect for the Celts, but this season will be a fall from grace. Still a 45+ win season, but I don’t see them taking out NYK in the first round like last year.

    It will be trade time 2011-12, Wonder where they will end up at the end of next year?

  6. On the flip side ... says:

    No one mentioned the absence of ‘Baby’.
    And even so, the Celtics also have a huge advantage, over many a team, in having the same core group of players, same coach, same management … stability.
    In a shortened, back to back to back, season with little time to adjust and implement change, the Celtics, who have a proven game-plan and a good understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, could shine despite their age.
    No, don’t write them off … yet.

  7. J.Carter says:

    the Celtics will do just fine
    also ray allen has a good reason to call david west out because thats a bitch move to change your mind @ the 11th hour oh well indian cant beat boston in a 7 game series take that west!

  8. Law064 says:

    I’m with you Bwa Celtic’s fan but I have to admit they are not looking good however they still got the heart of champions so only time will tell. I still think with the loss of Green they will find ways to win games. Still have the big 4 so let’s see what happens. I also admit the end is near, like the Pistons and San Antonio when they were the teams to beat the power is starting to shift.

  9. The real truth says:

    I am a devoted Lakers fan, but as a fan of the game, dont count Boston out. they have another fight in them. On another note…Pierce is like “the boy who cried wolf”. From the 2008 game where he came out in a stretcher in the finals, to wincing every time he messes up a play or goes down…its simply hard to have any sympathy for him…and Danny Ainge and his rediculous mid-season trade of Perkins, to not getting anybody this summer, its just hard to feel sorry for Boston right now. Especially while Dalembert is still available and will definately be an upgrade from Jermaine Oneil. Im sorry, but Boston does not seem like they are really focused on the title, I think they are more comfortable at staying solid so that the Big three can go out gracefully, rather than spending their money building around guys that are on their way out of the league. But once again, in a seven game series…I like Rondo, Allen, Pierce, and Garnett’s chances against anybody…not saying they are the favourites, but im not saying they are the Bobcats.

  10. Ryan says:

    I like to watch the Celtics and am a big Ray Allen fan. That said, they have it tough this year. All those old knees are going to have it hard through all the back to backs. They will have a big fall from grace if they’re not in peak condition and injury free.

  11. bil says:

    a good team can always beat a bunch of superstars. Go celtics! show the world what this game is all about, it is about “WE” not “ME”

  12. Bwa says:

    Hey ! Yes the Celtics are old. Basketball is a game, you can only confirmed the winner after the game is finished. Let’s wait and see. I am a Boston Fan . I am with them until the last day of the season. Let’s go Celtics!! Let’s do it “unbutu”

    • Kathy says:

      It has not been proven that age stops the game. I agree let the games play out and at the end of the season we will see how age was playedin the game. I am a Celtics fan and I am with them until the final shot. Let’s go CELTICS!

      • Celtics 4ever says:

        i’m a celtics fan no matter what..!!! i admire them because people say that they can’t win a championship together when the big 3 come to boston .. they say too old.. i say they have basketball IQ and a heart to win it all..!!! (the complete opposite of the big 3 in miami but small 3 brains….)!!

      • A Real Basketball Fan says:

        Unless you are Steve Nash