Marc Spears Celtics chat transcript

Tuesday Dec. 18, 2007
Jimbo57__Guest_Marc, I am excited about the upcoming game against the Pistons. In the past they have shown the then young Celtics how to win close games and play defense. This year's edition of the Celtics has the same work ethic and dedication to defense. Do you agree?
Marc_SpearsYes, it will be an interesting showdown between, in my opinion, the two best teams in the East and the two best defenses in the NBA. I'm REALLY looking forward to tomorrow night's game. Should be an intense playoff atmosphere.
golfbrett__Guest_to me the suns look to be the most difficult match up problem defensively for the Celts. How do you feel they stack up with the suns and who do you believe is going to give them the most difficulty?
Marc_SpearsVery interesting question. They don't play for the first time until late February. I actually think the Celtics create a match up problem for the Suns because the Celtics can play fast and slow. If Boston's defense can force the Suns to play half court, than Phoenix is in trouble. But if the Suns run... I think the Celtics have the edge here because of their top notch defense and their ability to play any style offensively.
celticsboy34__Guest_Hey Marc. How are you thanks for stopping by. How serious is Ray Allen's injury ? is it really just a bruise ?
Marc_SpearsWell, we will find out more at practice today. But Doc swears up and down that its not as big of a deal as it seems. I think Ray will be fine. I know he has had ankle issues, but he has wanted to play. It's been Doc who made him rest. Smart move by Doc.
celticsboy34__Guest_Do you feel like tomorrow's game is the Celtics first real test ?
Marc_SpearsNo. There have been other tests already that haven't got the attention probably deserved. The big win over the Nuggets, the top team in the Northwest Division. The losses at Orlando and Cleveland. The two wins at Toronto. Beating up Washington opening night. Beating up on two playoff teams in Golden State and the Lakers, who have winning records. I think we're not giving the Celtics enough credit for their wins. Hey man, 20-2 is nothing to sneeze at. Maybe Celtics fans are getting spoiled by all the blowouts.
bigticket__Guest_How excited are the Celtics about Big Baby? He is exceeding all expectations.
Marc_SpearsDuring training camp I was definitely expecting Baby to spend some time in the D-League. I don't think the coaching staff was that high on him when camp started. But what Baby did was change his practice habits to a much higher level. He challenged himself because he knew he had much more game than everyone else thought and his draft slot was. So, Baby has been a big surprise. He looks like a steal and I think in time we will say the same about Gabe Pruitt and maybe Brandon Wallace, too.
celtics_14_2__Guest_Do you think the Celtics will sign a back up veteran point guard and do you think they will try to trade for a big man center or sign one like PJ brown or Chris Webber.
Marc_SpearsI don't see Brown or Webber coming in. I also see a veteran big man maybe coming at some point for that open slot than a guard. Why? Eddie House has played well. Expect Gabe Pruitt to start getting an opportunity about mid-season. Tony Allen can play point guard if needed and will get healthier as the season goes along. But, if something happens to KG they are in trouble. A veteran big man will help him get more rest when needed.
jkstraw__Guest_Marc- Welcome to Boston. Any impressions on the community? In the past, the stigma was that NBA players didn't care for playing in Boston. Was it the lack of winning or a feeling of exclusion? Is writing at altitude different than at sea level?
Marc_SpearsIt's funny, the same thing people said about players not liking Boston is the same thing they said about Denver when I was covering the Nuggets. But you know what attracts players? Winning. Denver is a great town and once Melo and Andre Miller arrived, it made it cool to be there. The Nuggets players actually love Denver because they are big fish their who are worshipped but yet given their space. I also believe Boston is a phenomenal town. There is so much to do here. But you got to remember that during the season most of these guys like to chill when they are home. So, if you're bored for some reason, there is always the next road trip. Trust me, Boston is a lot better than many NBA cities. Boston gets an unfair bad rap. I've loved it so far.
pkd__Guest_Second round picks never get playing time in the NBA, why did Davis go so late in the draft and what's his ceiling?
Marc_SpearsWell, NBA scouts usually pick on players the longer they stay in college. Had Baby left after his freshman season at LSU, he probably would have been a lottery pick. But by the time he left, LSU wasn't coming off a great season, I believe his numbers dipped a little and he was seen more as an undersized big man. I'm sure in what seems to be a lackluster rookie class so far, some teams are second guessing themselves on Baby.
celticsboy34__Guest_Marc, lets pretend that the Celtics will get to the eastern conference finals. which team will give more problems to the Celtics, the magic or the pistons?
Marc_SpearsThe Pistons will because of their experience. I don't think the Magic will make it that far. Not experienced enough to overcome the likes of Boston, Detroit and Cleveland to get there.
a_b_c__Guest_Marc- Better pure shooter Ray or House?
Marc_SpearsMan, good question. Wow. I would say Ray because he is more consistent and House is streaky. But when the House gets on fire...
bigticket__Guest_Who is the player you most like to interview and why?
Marc_SpearsBig ticket? Is KG asking this question? Man, there are a lot of guys in the NBA that are great to interview. Some that come to mind include Shaq, Melo, Dirk, Nash, Baron, Kobe, Chauncey, Gilbert, Jermaine O'Neal, I can go on and on... As for the Celtics, they actually have a great lockeroom. Paul is a very good interview when he gets going. KG is a lot funnier than you probably think and very introspective. Ray Allen is extremely intelligent and could answer questions about anything from pick and rolls to the next president to global warming. Ray might be the most well rounded NBA player you'll ever meet.
evanernest__Guest_Coming from Denver, what do you think makes Boston's trio of stars so much more successful than the Nuggets'? Is the mentality of the players? Maturity level? Is it the coach?
Marc_SpearsWell, experience is a factor since Melo hasn't got out of the first round. AI and Camby have been to the NBA Finals. The Celtics' Big Three have all been to the conference finals. So, Melo still needs to overcome the challenge of getting out of the first round. The Celtics seem to be a lot more unselfish than the Nuggets and also seem to see eye to eye much, much more with their coach.
MC63__Guest_The Celtics are 20-2 and the TWolves are 3-20 with KG and BigAL putting up nearly identical stats. Do you think fans who were against this trade now understand there is more to a trade than just numbers. Speaking of KG's value, do you think he is the favorite for MVP? Thanks Marc!
Marc_SpearsYour welcome. I do think KG is the front runner for MVP because not only is he putting up numbers, but he has raised the level of intensity of his teammates and has shown great leadership. Without him, the Celtics go from being a GREAT team to a good one real quick. Plus, keep in mind that Al's numbers are on a bad team. Al has superstar potential. KG is a superstar with legendary potential.
celticsboy34__Guest_I have to agree 100 % with you marc, i feel like a win is a win , not matter against what team. However i do feel like the game tomorrow against the pistons is going to be a really good game. Do you think that there is any matchup that the celtics may have problems against the pistons
Marc_SpearsChauncey is a really big guard. So it will be interesting to see how Rajon Rondo adjusts to guarding him. With ankle issues, it could be a challenge for Ray Allen to guard Rip Hamilton who keeps running off screens like the energizer bunny. The Rasheed Wallace-Kevin Garnett matchup should be interesting too as will Tayshaun Prince guarding a much stronger Paul Pierce.
castra__Guest_great work marc. do you see perkins improve on offensive end, or the Celtics are happy with contributions that he is making so far? thanks
Marc_SpearsThanks. I think they are happy because he is doing what he is supposed to do. Dunking wide open shots he gets from KG double teams and his hook is becoming pretty consistent now.
icyhale__Guest_Am I alone in wishing Garnett took it stronger to the hoop now and then, stayed inside, vs. the fade-away jumpers? He's amazing, don't get me wrong, but wouldn't that make him even harder to defend?
Marc_SpearsI definitely understand what you're saying. KG, however, is not your regular back to the basket big. He is extremely versatile and talented. I'm not big on bigs shooting jumpers. But his mid range is money. So, with him, I definitely don't mind it. I think KG just takes what the defense gives him.
celticsboy34__Guest_Marc. If you don't see Webber or brown playing for the Celtics. Is there anyone in your mind that you think that can fill that open slot ?
Marc_SpearsGood question... Hmmm. I think that is a question I can answer better probably a month from now when they get closer to the trade deadline. I don't think they are pressed right now. Also, there will be some players cut on Jan. 10 when teams must decide whether to guarantee some players for the rest of the season. So, there could be some talent coming from cuts.
dsands__Guest_Marc I know it's a long season, but is 70 wins out of the question for this team the way they are playing right now...especially since they're winning games when not playing their strongest ball
Marc_SpearsIf they stay healthy, I don't think its out of the question. Health will determine their wins. Keep in mind there are a lot of games against the tough West to be played at home and on the road.
krouns__Guest_Why does Doc seem incapable of running a successful offense against a zone?
Marc_SpearsNot sure I can fully answer that question right now since I can't say I watched a lot of Celtics basketball in the past. I actually don't understand why teams don't run zones more. A lot of NBA teams seem to struggle with zones. But I do believe that Boston has the shooters to make a zone weak quickly.
Mark_Acres__Guest_Marc- obviously the team has played great all year, but how much are the players looking forward to really sending a statement this week, being that the quality of their opponents is significant?
Marc_SpearsThey keep saying they take it game by game. They say they know its cliché, but they take it game by game. I'm starting to believe them. But trust me, they will be hyped for the Pistons. I don't think they are looking past Wednesday.
celticsboy34__Guest_Marc. we all know how hard Garnett works on practice and during the games. we also know about his intensity. Is there anything that you can tell us about kg that we may not know? Maybe something like is rituals ?
Marc_SpearsHe is very focused before games. Don't dare talk to KG in the locker room before a game. He's almost in a zone. He also has a long routine just before the game starts where he ties his shorts underneath the basket, throws the talcum on his hands, then he steps on the sticky pad for his shoes, then he gets a hug and motivational words from Posey, then he MUST fist pop every player on the opposing team and then he walks towards the basket, pounds his chest and yells out some motivational words. Every game same thing.
RaginRondo__Guest_You mentioned the Celts bringing in a big man, who do you see as a possibility?
Marc_SpearsCheck out answer from earlier. Keep an eye on cuts in early January.
baked_beans__Guest_Marc - do you think all the hype surrounding the "Big-3" is turning more into recognition and respect? I seem to be hearing less about them in the sense that they have a lot to prove. Most teams have more to say about how good they are playing once they lose to the C's, particularly at home.
Marc_SpearsTeams aren't talking smack about them being 3-dimensional any more. They have a solid supporting cast and a great defense. The respect has grown a lot. You definitely have to be on your game to beat them right now.
baked_beans__Guest_what has impressed you more, the level of play that the new squad is showing - or the class and new found Celtic pride they display?
Marc_SpearsI'm impressed with the fact that nine new guys are on this team and that they have been able to mesh quickly all the way around. That's surprising, especially with three stars.
evanernest__Guest_How has Gabe Pruitt been doing in practice? It seems that whenever we see him get in the game, he makes the most of his opportunity. He's lighting up the D league. On Friday, he scored 7 points with a nice dime and a steal in 3 minutes. Is he giving the coaching staff anything to think about?
Marc_SpearsDefinitely. The problem for Gabe is there aren't too many practices for him to prove himself and for the coaching staff to get confidence in him. Gabe works hard on his shot after practices. The one thing I think the coaches need to see is Gabe become a better distributor and defender. They don't need him to score on this team, although that is a plus.
celticsboy34__Guest_Marc. Is amazing how the Celtics went from being one of the worst defensive team , to the best defensive team in an offseason. is it KG in the middle, having guys like Posey, or our new defensive coach Tom Thibodeau
Marc_SpearsFor the answer please read my story today in The Boston Globe on page D5... It will only cost you 50 cents. Haha.
baked_beans__Guest_I hate to say it but i was definitely on the "fire Doc and Danny" campaign for the last few years. What is is aside from the new players that makes Doc's approach work? For years I watched and wondered what the heck he was thinking with some lineup changes as well as him just looking defeated. Do you think he has a new confidence in himself?
Marc_SpearsA coach gets too much blame when a team is terrible and too much credit when they are great. A coach is only as good as his players. Doc has great players and they are responding to him. He didn't have that before. Danny definitely got the critics off of him with the moves he made this summer, too. Won't be surprised if both end up Coach and GM of the Year.
The_Little_Ticket__Guest_Do you think the Celtics will make a trade for an experienced point guard before the trade dead line? Will this also provide added security going into the second half of the season leading into the playoffs?
Marc_SpearsNo. With House, Tony Allen and a daily improving Gabe Pruitt I think they are fine just as long as Rajon Rondo stays healthy.
vinceyIt seems like you can't catch a break with the snow. I know you moved from Denver to Boston, but welcome; I enjoy your work at the Globe and on Comcast. Do you have any idea what DA may do come trade deadline?
Marc_SpearsThanks for the compliments and for reading and watching. Hopefully I sound like I know what I'm talking about. To answer your question, I wouldn't be surprised if they acquired another big before the deadline. But the way Baby is playing is helping them stay patient.
BostondotcomOr if you don't want to leave the cold to get a paper, read today's piece on the Celtics defense here
mateo__Guest_As one who doesn't get to watch the C's much, I'm wondering if Gabe Pruitt reminds anyone of Brian Shaw.
Marc_SpearsI think at this point Brian Shaw is a better shooter and Gabe is probably a better scorer. But they both have height, poise and calm demeanors.
celtics33__Guest_Do you think Ray Allen's injury will stick with him throughout the season?
Marc_SpearsVery hard to say. I think Doc gave him the rest so he can finally shake it off. But with past ankle injuries, there is always a possibility that it will return.
Freeease1__Guest_Your thoughts on Rondo progress?
Marc_SpearsHe's progress has been great. If he can stay consistent, that will be a huge plus for the Celtics. He's definitely a lot more confident in his game and his jumper than a year ago. And, he is open to getting constructive criticism to improve his game. I've seen him have several discussions at practices with Doc and assistant coach Armond Hill to make his game better.
celtics_14__Guest_Do you think the Celtics could match up with the spurs if both of them were in the NBA finals?
Marc_SpearsThat's what I picked before the season and I'm going to stick to that.
celticsboy34__Guest_They are being called the big three. pga tour . gpa whats your favorite nickname for paul kg and ray ?
Marc_SpearsThe one I made up: The GAP Band...
Cheeks__Guest_Marc...Do you think the Celtics Big 3 can compete with the Spurs Big 3?
Marc_SpearsI believe the Celtics one is better. KG and Duncan are a wash. But PP and Ray are better combined than Tony and Manu.
Dave__Guest_Hi Marc, Good thing the Celts didn't make that Iverson deal last year huh?
Marc_SpearsHaha, funny how good things come to those who wait. I did love covering AI though, have seen of late that he still has something left in his tank and he is a much better person than most people think. If AI did come here, they definitely would have been fun to watch.
BabyClutch__Guest_Hey Marc, do you think the Celtics have a realistic chance at breaking history with the best record in NBA history. They are on pace for 75 wins.
Marc_SpearsIt all depends on injuries. If they can stay healthy, its possible. But I'm still curious to see how they fare against the elite of the West.
kissace__Guest_I know a big may be top priority, but are the Celtics really satisfied with tony allen/eddie house/gabe pruitt as backup point guards down the stretch and into the postseason...who might be some options at that spot around the league?
Marc_SpearsI really don't think its a worry because all you got to do is throw the ball to the big 3. Actually think too much is being made on the pg issue. Earl Boykins is still a free agent, but Eddie House does what he does.
Tommy_Point__Guest_Marc, whose is a better defender on the ball Posey or Allen?
Marc_SpearsPosey. He's longer, more versatile, takes more charges and is healthy.
colljn__Guest_Why do the Celtics not get the press coverage that the Sox or Pats get? The C's are crazy dominant right now and no one respects them, why?
Marc_SpearsHaha. I guess you got to win a title in recent years before you get the press the Pats and Sox get. But, you're more than welcome to tell the brass at the Globe how you feel about getting the Cs more ink...
Lovethegreenmachine__Guest_Marc, will Ray Allen play against Detroit tomorrow?
Marc_SpearsUnless something changes at practice today, Doc says yes.
celticsboy34__Guest_Marc thanks for staying longer. who are the closest teammates in the team? we all know that paul was very close to toine and to Ricky. Who is the closest one to Paul in the team now?
Marc_SpearsI think they are collectively close because of the trip to Italy. They all check on each other and invite everyone to everything. Your welcome... Got three minutes left...
tdog__Guest_How do you think the C's will do on this tough road trip?
Marc_SpearsI'm looking forward to it. They can go 4-0. Utah is playing bad. The Kings, Sonics and the Lakers are teams Boston should beat. At worst, I think they will end it with one loss. But I expect them to sweep.
Dave__Guest_Marc-That's all we heard from the experts that the Celtics had a weak bench. But watching Posey, House, Tony Allen, etc. its amazing the turnaround from a year ago.
Marc_SpearsWe forget that they have veteran talent who know their roles.
icyhale__Guest_The new C's do seem to really enjoy playing with each other. Marc - what's your take on Pierce's mentality? It seems like he's taken really well to being more of a facilitator on the floor and not always having to carry the team.
Marc_SpearsHe has really put his ego aside for the team. I think he had to adapt more than anyone, and he has impressed me with it and adapted quicker than I thought he would.
ULTRAHIP__Guest_Has anyone found the real Gino yet?
Marc_SpearsThis is the last one... Sorry Celtics fans... Well, I was told that the Celtics actually called American Bandstand to locate the guy and they had no record. I'm also told that Gino is actually a concert T-shirt from a '70s music star. If any one out there can find the real Gino, please let me know asap at mspears@globe.com.
Marc_SpearsHEY everybody, thank you very much for the questions, the interest, your time and for reading. You guys have been very friendly and welcoming to me since I've come to Boston and its more appreciated than you'll ever know. Please keep reading and look forward to talking to you again soon.