The Celtics were absolutely demolished in Philadelphia by the 76ers last night, 103-71.
The Celtics might not be title contenders, but they are still a topic of conversation around town. They also beat the Bruins in the head-to-head national TV ratings on Sunday, when Celtics/Knicks (ABC – 6.4 rating, 15 share) beat Bruins/Rangers (NBC – 5.1 rating, 12 share) in the local market.
The level of ignorance/apathy from sport radio hosts on the Celtics is bothersome. The best option for Celtics talk is The Big Show, but Ordway spends most of his time laughing at fans suggestions about the team (though, to be fair, most of the suggestions ARE laughable.)
Michael Felger just flat out won’t talk about the Celtics, except to trash them. He’s an unabashed Celtics (and NBA) hater and takes every opportunity to remind you of that, and Tony Masserotti isn’t about to challenge him on anything. (An aside – Thanks to Toucher and Rich, we got this great 1990 cable-access video of Mazz, complete with Bill Cosby sweater.)
The worst though, are Dennis and Callahan, who, despite talking to Doc Rivers every week are completely clueless. They rail each week about how that since the Celtics are not contenders, Danny Ainge needs to “blow it up” and how he’s certain to trade away his veterans before next week’s deadline. Callahan restated it this morning.
What Callahan just doesn’t get is that Ainge has already blown it up. Making any sort of trade, unless it nets the Celtics a draft pick or a young building piece just makes no sense at all. Ainge has set it up so that next year’s team is likely to be unrecognizable. They’ve got four players under contract next year – Rondo, Piece, Bradley and JuJuan Johnson. Brandon Bass has a $4 million player option, which he’s likely to decline. The team is already “blown up.”
In order to trade away any of the veterans, the Celtics need to take back salary, which, if it carries over to next season, probably only hurts their rebuilding process, unless the salary coming back is in the form of young talent – which it won’t be. Not many teams can take on Ray Allen’s contract and give the Celtics back anything of value. Even less can take KG’s.
I don’t know what the offseason holds. The free agent options seem very limited, but the Celtics will have the ability to take on salary and make trades, even if they are straight salary dumps.
But for this season, unless the Celtics can steal someone from another team, I don’t see any big moves coming. They might make a move for a borderline big man who can rebound, but I don’t even know who that would be.
Moving on to Pete Sheppard and his return to WEEI, he talked to Jessica Heslam a little bit yesterday, saying he’d like to work into a larger role.
If radio stations were NFL teams, WEEI would be the New York Jets right now. They’re in cap hell. Huge contracts given to John Dennis, Gerry Callahan and Glenn Ordway have handcuffed the station from making significant changes. You’ll notice that those three people are the only major personalities still in their same roles at the station.
They tried to low-budget the mid-day show, (the only timeslot they were winning at the time) and it backfired. Somehow they got Dale Arnold to sign a new deal, which still surprises me, and now they brought back Sheppard.
If the ratings continue to stay as they are, what further moves could come?
One might think this would be a win for the fan, seeing WEEI humbled in this manner. The problem is that 98.5 is the new WEEI. They’re every bit as cocky as WEEI ever was, and have started treating listeners in the same fashion. Some there seem to think, like WEEI did, that success is about the “talent” and not the content.
Five quick links from this morning:
Ross-Sweeney combo could be a big upgrade for Red Sox in right – Tim Britton thinks that the duo could make a very successful platoon for the Red Sox this season.
Ready to Rott? The unconventional world of Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure – Alex Speier with a look at the Red Sox new pitching coach.
Jon Lester trying to set speed trap – Gordon Edes has Lester working on keeping baserunners under control.
AFC East with Peyton Manning a dream – Karen Guregian and the rest of the local media corps are drooling over the idea of Manning in the division.
Marty Turco arrives just in time – Joe McDonald looks at the Bruins new backup goaltender.