October 30, 2003

Ladies and Gentleman, the New Heart & Soul of the Celtics...: Vin Baker. Yup, that Vin Baker. The Season just started. He's only played one game. But thousand mile journeys all start with one step.
More inside...

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 07:04 PM - 17 comments

I've always liked Vin, back to his Milwaukee days. I followed him to the Sonics. And it was very disappointing to see his game erode so quickly. The lithe, quick power forward who could work inside and out was soon little but bench ballast. His large contract certainly didn't help, considering it came as Shawn Kemp left. There were plenty of stories deriding his preperation, his desire, his mental state, his game. Then came the trade to Boston. Finally the admission of alcohol abuse. I have to admit that coming out of last season, I was a doubter. But seeing Vin in camp and in the preseason was like a breath of fresh air. He truly seems to be a rejuvenated man. For his sake, I hope he continues to do well. There are a lot of stories that came out of this offseason. Vin's is one that I will root for.

posted by lilnemo at 07:13 PM on October 30

They looked good last night. Now let's see them enact their 5 year plan against a team that isn't hurt, tired, on the road, missing their best player(s), suffering a shocking coaching retirement and just generally not Miami. Marcus Banks needs to be watched carefully. By "watched" I mean he needs Jim O'Brien or Dick Harter or Lester Connor or a fat guy in the first row screaming "This isn't college, new fish" until Banks realizes he's playing with men now and all that bullshit that worked in school is over. Then he could be good. Last night he looked awful. But he's fast and he has potential.

posted by yerfatma at 07:40 PM on October 30

By "men" I mean males over the age of 17 not in college.

posted by yerfatma at 07:40 PM on October 30

BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... No, but seriously. You've been had.

posted by vito90 at 08:15 AM on October 31

Yeah - echo Vito. Aren't we talking abut Vin Baker? He's a total stiff. Boston fans better just get used to enjoying Paul Pierce's game - cuz this team SUCKS. Vin Baker. Worst signing since, uh, since, uh... Actually, right now I can't think of a worse signing. Even Ostertag's deal isn't this bad.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:29 AM on October 31

Wait, so the lil'nemo says (effectively), "I hope Vin Baker plays well this year now that he's stopped drinking" and what we get back is laughter and a statement about how the Celtics suck? vito, I know how much you love Vin, but Weedy, why will the Celtics suck? I don't think they'll be as good as last year, but I doubt they'll suck. They may actually play uptempo and the defense may be better than last year, especially in the interior. Mark Blount, whom I've routinely castigated for looking like he rides the short bus to work and playing like a large, flightless bird, seems a new man. Raef LaFrentz is never going to play like a #3 overall pick, but he could be an effective center in the East. Baker looked ok in the first game. I'm not betting the rent on him or the team playing that well all year, but I think they'll make the playoffs.

posted by yerfatma at 11:47 AM on October 31

haha godammit yerfatma I was hoping nobody would remember that. What a day of ignominy for me. First I blow the bunny in the locker room and then you relink that sad FPP. I feel as useless as...well...Vin Baker!

posted by vito90 at 02:02 PM on October 31

Also yerfatma - reread your last post - you say you don't think the Celtics will suck but then list a bunch of reasons why they sure won't be much good. All your complements of those guys were backhanded, and c'mon...Mark Blount? Raef LaFrentz? These guys don't crack a starting lineup in the west.

posted by vito90 at 02:05 PM on October 31

These guys don't crack a starting lineup in the west. That's why I was qualifying everything (that and trying to temper my fanboy enthusiasm). The Eastern Conference is still "The Race for Second Place". I find it hard to believe the Celtics suck more than anyone else in the East except (maybe) NJ and Indiana.

posted by yerfatma at 02:08 PM on October 31

No second option, I don't see the improved D (if by improve by subtraction then, well, maybe), poor bench - a centre with no back-to-the-basket game and poor shot blocking - and no Antoine = no playoffs. Can't see them making it. Of course, I could be horribly, horribly wrong. That's why they play the games. Boston will benefit from having basically only a few teams actually improving in the East. But they're worse off than last year. Nope don't llike that collection of talent at all.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:20 PM on October 31

looking like he rides the short bus to work huh?

posted by billsaysthis at 05:40 PM on October 31

Don't play like you don't know.

posted by yerfatma at 09:43 PM on October 31

The Celtics got a very good and under-rated player in Raef Lafrentz and a up-and-comer in Jiri Welsch. Raef struggled in Dallas because he was asked to do something that Dallas needed: a banger and enforcer down low. Raef was constantly asked to guard Shaq, Duncan, etc. one on one, and, consequently, Raef was always in foul trouble. Also, since the perimeter defense of the Mavs was so poor, Raef also had to always come over and help on people slashing to the hoop, which also further his constant foul trouble. Raef is not that kind of player. He is a face to the basket 4. Not a post-up 5. In the smaller, less physical East, Raef should become an All-star. He has great skills, is a hard worker, and can be a mismatch with his mobility and ball-handling at 7'. So I don't think Vin and PP have to try to win it by themselves. I think Raef will help them be a very good team in the East (tho, the wouldn't be a playoff team in the West). Also, the Celtics picked up a sleeper in Jiri Welsch. This kid is going to be extremely good. 6'7" sharpshooter who can play 1,2 or 3. Don Nelson was quoted as saying that he didn't want to lose him because he thought he could be special, but the Nellie really wanted 'Toine for a point-forward. So the Celtics are going to be good in the East. It isn't just the Vin and PP show.

posted by kinack at 12:44 PM on November 01

{btw - that's my first post.} /me high-fives kinack.

posted by kinack at 12:45 PM on November 01

Welcome kinack. I agree with your post. However, I would like to see the Celts develop Welsch as a 3 much like Stojakovic. It is obvious that he has ball handling ability, but his shooting stroke would be a bigger boon to a Celtics squad that has one "real" scoring option in Paul Pierce.

posted by lilnemo at 01:05 PM on November 01

Vin-tracker: Okay, now its 2 games (both wins). Avgs: 19.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 72.7 % FG. Tonight is New Orleans.
Updates tomorrow.

posted by lilnemo at 01:14 PM on November 01

Welcome, kinack, but (after checking your profile) be warned that we do lots of soccerassociation football and baseball here. Do you know Ufez? He's also in Dallas.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:52 PM on November 01

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