Blog Entry

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 1:07 pm
By Matt Moore

In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, Ken keeps sticking up for the Celtics, we talk about whether the Nets are a disaster, and early surprises. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. You threw the Celtics a life line on Tuesday, saying how their comeback effort against the Heat meant they're not dead yet. Then they turned around and flopped in New Orleans like a corpse. No, I'm sorry, that's too far. A corpse would at least give resistance by being dead weight. How bad is this going to get for the Celtics to be in some real trouble?

Ken Berger: You can't fully evaluate the Celtics until they get Paul Pierce back. Even then, it's going to be a bit of a horror show at times for Boston, with old bodies stressed by the schedule and not enough depth to cover it up. In a shortened season, three- and four-game losing streaks certainly are magnified. But as long as Boston's core remains healthy and gets them through the season, they'll be there at the end.

2. We're two weeks out of training camp and a week into the season. How much leftover anger from the lockout are you hearing from players and agents?

KB: Haven't heard much. I think everyone (including myself) needed to shift gears from lockout mode to basketball mode. I do think at some point there will be a power struggle for leadership of the NBPA, as the agents who wanted Billy Hunter out have not changed their minds.

3. The Nets are off to a pretty horrific start. Is there a point where this becomes a concern for Dwight Howard as he evaluates suitors, and does this only strengthen the likelihood of him ending up in L.A. as you forecasted?

KB: Well, yes and no. It's faulty logic to look at the Nets and shake your head in disbelief that Dwight would want to play for THAT team. That's not the team Dwight would be playing for; he'd be playing for a Nets team with HIM on it. Big difference. The most interesting aspect of the Dwight saga won't be where he does and doesn't want to play, but where the Magic are and aren't willing to trade him. If Otis Smith and Alex Martins decide they want Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, the likelihood that Dwight's a Laker goes through the roof. If that can't or won't happen, can the Nets flip some of their assets for win-now players Orlando would want, i.e., Luis Scola and Kevin Martin from the Rockets, or something similar? Fascinating chess match that Orlando will be playing.

4. The Knicks do not look good right now after being dominated by an L.A. team playing Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy significant minutes. Rank their concerns in order: Injuries (Davis, Jeffries), Mike D'Antoni, overall roster.

KB: I'd say injuries and schedule are the Knicks' biggest problems, and I'd include Iman Shumpert among the injured players they miss the most. Not that Shumpert was necessarily ready, but losing him means Mike Bibby must fill a bigger role off the bench, and this is not good. Tyson Chandler needs to tone it down a notch; with three techs in three games, he's making Knicks fans yearn for Rasheed Wallace to come out of retirement and sign for the mini mid-level. Heading out West to start the season isn't ideal after a long lockout and short training camp, so I'll re-evaluate the Knicks after they play a couple of home games this week and get comfortable on the East Coast. I do like the offense running through Melo and would like to see more Melo-Amar'e pick-and-rolls. Like a lot of contending teams (Dallas, Lakers, Celtics), the Knicks are having to incorporate new players and tweak their schemes with little or no practice time. So it's too early to panic and point the finger at D'Antoni.

5. Two parter. What's the team that's impressed you the most and team that's disappointed you the most so far, early in this season?

KB: Even though I picked them to go to the Finals, I'd have to say the Thunder (4-0) are playing even better than I thought they would. It's a little early for disappointment, but I'd classify it as disappointing to see the Nets lose Brook Lopez and face a long, ugly road to the March 15 trade deadline without their key asset in a potential Dwight Howard trade.

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2011 7:42 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

I went to high school with Ken "Burger" Berger, and he didnt play.

Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 5:33 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

If you are going to say a writer shouldn't have a job, at least spell his name correctly. Second, how do you know he never played the game?

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2011 3:47 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

ur an idiot

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2011 1:03 pm

TRIANGLE, if D'antoni cant think outside the BOX

The Knicks will play like this all season long...The problem is their offensive set-ups...D'antoni is an offensive genius because what?!,...he simply yells push after any defensive rebound?  Once the offense enters the half court, its the same high pick and roll every time with no cutters and no baseline movement.  The offense has no character, no smart sets that work for anyone except Carmelo.  Granted, Carmelo can keep the team in every game, but so did Amare when he was the lone man last year...Opposing offenses have ravaged the knicks inside, and the offense needs a playbook, not a coach who yells push in the hopes of a fast break.  Do some homework and give the offense some more character with plays involving multiple screens, cuts and picks...not a single hi-pick and a game of catch with teammates after...I feel a Triangle coming next year if Mike D doesnt start thinking outside the "box" a little bit!  The offense is vanilla but has the ingredients of becoming a top-tiered dessert, it just needs the right chef to create it...

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2011 10:27 am

Burger still has a job?

Wow, I guess the economy isnt as bad as I thought. I look forward to another season of total speculation, rumor played as fact reporting, and basketball insite from a guy who never played the game.

Since: Dec 31, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 8:23 am

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

melo well be fine, his melo. remember this knicks team had a 3-4 year play to contend in the finals, and gave alot of assets to denver. With a short training camp some new additions playing a dueling road schedule the first week. Let them mesh let them play, offense will be there defense will follow. They will still do better then the celtics with paul pierce there or not.

Since: Dec 30, 2010
Posted on: December 31, 2011 3:04 am

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns


Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:41 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

The Knicks suck. I said that before the season so 3 games is irrelevant. i said it last year after the Melo deal. Melo is soft and nothing but a jumpshooter. He will have hot nights and the Knicks will win but jumpshooters dont bring home the hardware.  He is not even a top 20 player and they gave up way too much for him. Anyone who doesnt see this is just a blind hometowner who drank too much koolaide.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 7:49 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

A "very small sample size"??? How about three games into the season isn't even a sample. As of today, we should be on the verge of playing our final pre season game. To judge any team in the NBA based on 3 games is ridiculous. You can't look at statistics, or anything like that-- they are irrelevant and have zero weight. With time, the NY Knicks will be fine. The fact that some of us are making claims of disappointment or anything close to that is "amateurish" and shouldn't be entertained...Rookie Iman Shumpert plays a BIG role in this offense. With him being out for 2-4 weeks, it puts things on hold. He is a lockdown defender, playmaker, and scorer. He showed these attributes in college, the Pro-Am in Vegas in the offseason, the preseason games, and against the Celtics....Another problem in this offense is that the Knicks have poor spacing. There are 4 guys standing on the perimeter, watching each other, instead of moving without the ball. The Knicks have one offensive set, that they run over and over and over again. These problems aren't terminal to their season; they can be fixed and will be fixed as the season goes on.... The mistake in making these claims of "failure" is that you tend to stick your foot in your mouth as the season goes on. Wait atleast til the All Star Break to make any claims

Since: Dec 30, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:10 pm

Friday 5 with KB: (Too) Early returns

I think with the shortened pre-season and the compressed schedule that any indications are way too premature. Most of these teams are still learning how to play with new players in place and some adjusting to new coaches. I wouldn't panic or get to hyped until about week 3 or 4 then things will start to play out and be a better indication of what 2012 season will entail.

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