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Too soon for judgment calls on Cherington

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  December 20, 2011 07:25 AM

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greenjeffceltics.jpg6. While in the big picture it is of course an extraordinary blessing that the Celtics caught Jeff Green's heart problem during his physical, it's a bummer from a basketball perspective that he will miss the entire season while recovering from surgery for aortic aneurism.

But please, can we refrain from using Green's health status to blame Danny Ainge yet again for trading Kendrick Perkins? No, the deal did not work. But it was a gamble he had to take -- the Celtics knew they'd need more help on the perimeter in the postseason against Miami and, though they never faced them, Chicago.

Perk, as admirable as he was, was injured, ineffective in Oklahoma City after the trade, and was headed toward free agency.

He couldn't have saved them against Miami, either, though I'll admit he probably could have frightened Chris Bosh into going all fetal once or twice.

7. With the revelation about Green's health, it's even more disappointing that the reports that David West was headed to the Celtics proved premature.

He'd have been a great fit with his toughness and scoring ability, and you know Larry Bird enjoyed swiping him out from under Ainge's nose and bringing him to the Pacers on a two-year deal. Bah. I hate lamenting things before the season has even begun.

8. It seems to me that the conventional public perception of Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo is that he's a talented, bright linebacker who, despite leading the NFL in tackles last season, probably doesn't make enough highlight plays to be considered truly elite.

The suspicion here for a while has been that he's recognized as much more than that within the Patriots locker room and meeting rooms, and his essential importance to Bill Belichick's way of doing things is confirmed in his new five-year deal. He's a damn valuable player who is worth more than outsiders can comprehend.

9. The initial reaction here as a giddy collection of Kansas City Chiefs emptied a bucket of Gatorade on Romeo Crennel's head Sunday: RAC can still really coach, and I wish he had somehow found his way back to the Patriots sideline after he was dismissed in Cleveland.

Second reaction? Man, those guys must have really loathed Todd Haley, the NFL coaching embodiment of Clint from "Dazed and Confused." I have no doubt he tried to beat up Matt Cassel at least once down by the moon tower.

10. As for today's Completely Random Basketball Card:

batesbillyrayfinn.jpg

I'll keep the recommendation simple, since it's one I've made before: If you're a basketball fan and you've never read David Halberstam's 1981 masterpiece "The Breaks of the Game,'' which elegantly uses the narrative of a season spent with the post-Walton 1979-80 Trail Blazers as a device to consider the condition of American society, do yourself a favor. Buy a copy on Amazon or your neighborhood used bookstore and jump it ahead of all the new bestsellers you'll get for the holidays.

I'm not one to re-read many books, but I break this one open every few years, and it's always as wonderful and fulfilling as I remember.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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