On the Celtics: CelticsBlog / Celtics Hub / Red's Army / Loy's Place
Unfortunately for the Bucks, last night did happen. And their reward for laying down and letting the Blazers walk all over them? An all-expenses-paid trip to Boston for a tough matchup with the Celtics.
Celtic Pride. Boston put the league on notice with an opening night win over the Heat, and while they proceeded to suffer a big letdown against the Cavs next game out, they've dispatched Eastern wannabes the Knicks and Pistons since then. On Tuesday night they were in Detroit waxing the Pistons 109-86, so like the Bucks they'll be flying into Beantown from the Midwest for a back-to-back. Shaq did not play against the Pistons due to a knee injury but could be back against the Bucks, which is a bit unfortunate given he still seems to own Andrew Bogut. Last year Bogut averaged just 11 ppg on 43% shooting against Shaq's Cavs, while the Diesel dropped 32 ppg in two games against Milwaukee in 08/09.
Swimming upstream. Let's not mince words: John Salmons has stunk. While he's saying the right things about feeling better, the bottom line is that he still looks like a guy who missed all of preseason and has yet to get his bearings back. He made just 2/14 against Portland and is now just 11/41 on the season, but Skiles continues to play him big minutes in the hope that he plays his way into shape. Last year Salmons had an uncanny knack for slithering into the lane and finishing on his way down, relying more on guile than vertical explosiveness. This year that last shred of athleticism doesn't seem to be there, limiting his finishing while his jumper has also been wobbly. The other problem is that his primary backup CDR is hurt and Keyon Dooling has looked beyond clueless thus far, giving Skiles limited options at the 2.