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RE: (no subject)
Come on guys, is there anything more insignificant than a starting lineup in
the first preseason game? If Pitino locked in on one lineup and didn't at
least experiment with players in different combinations, he wouldn't be
doing his job. Injuries, foul trouble and matchups dictate a lot of
different combinations during the season. Now is the time to find out which
work and which don't.
I'm sure we'll see plenty of Vitaly and Fortson together, just as we'll see
plenty of Battie matched up with one or the other as well. One of the nice
things about this team is it has several players who can play different
positions and give the Celtics different matchup advantages against certain
So let's not jump off any bridges because of last night's starting lineup or
From: Dan Forant Sr [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 1999 8:27 AM
Subject: Re: (no subject)
Absolutely, Pitino get's a *C* for coaching last nites game. He must
picked starters and matchup's out of a hat. I'm beginning to wonder
At 01:54 PM 10/14/99 +0200, you wrote:
> I'm of course only relying on the boxscore, but IMO Pitino is
>wasting our time and Fortson's time by handing opponents the same
>mismatch Denver did all season strictly out of desperation
>Fortson at center). Since we have a center to play alongside
>(Vitaly), by all means we need to already have them getting reps
>alongside each other, rather than going at each other hard every
>practice trying to make one or the other guy redundant.
> One reason I'm concerned about this meaningless exhibition game
>because Pitino did something very similar with Battie last year.
>ALL the evidence, Pitino continually groomed Battie as a backup
>for 80% of the season, insisting he just needed "work in the
>weightroom". When Antoine went down, Pitino finally had no choice
>test Battie's play at power forward, and naturally Battie
>fan expectations, exploiting his natural born advantages to average
>a shade under 10 rebounds and tons of blocks. IMO, Battie would
>shed his career-backup "El Busto" tag and inconsistent play until
>allowed repeated repetitions and confidence-building at his natural
>forward position, where he actually has hope of guarding people.
>Thankfully, Pitino changed his tune with Battie (saying he could
>even a Grant Hill etc. blah, blah, blah).
> Yet now we seem to be going through Pitino's same stubborn
>process" with Fortson, a guy with the perfect temperament and
>be an Oakley-type menace playing alongside any true center.
> Taken on its own, last night was just an innocent game, wherein
>Pitino tried out two distinct lineups so he could evaluate as many
>his players as possible. But IMO he desperately needs to evaluate
>players at their natural positions, playing shoulder-to-shoulder
>the lineup they'll play most regularly with. Instead Pitino's
>Pierce at forward, Walker at power forward and goes with a 6-7
>and our poor-man's Ron Mercer (Duck Cheaney) at guard.
>Is that an improved lineup over last season? Gimmeabreak. I feel
>wasted an entire game having our key players doing reps at a
>they logically should only play in emergencies during the season.
>Remember, we have three absolutely critical starters playing a
>position (Pierce, Walker and Fortson). I can't stress enough my
>that Pitino should give all of them the reps now, or the fans will
>suffer the consequences. When I first read that Fortson and Vitaly
>going at each other hard every second of practice, I knew the Celts
>falling off-track. Now I read that VP got 13 minutes last night and
>the 10th guy off the Celts bench (presumably on the "pressing unit"
>less) and I just feel like my worst "he's not THAT dumb, is he?"
>suspicion was confirmed. Under the new cap, we are going to be
>many clubs with starting lineups that have played together daily
>many meaningful games in a row. We fans don't have time for this
> IMO Fort and VP should be working together going against Pervis
>Battie every day, who are an ideal practice (since they represent a
>fairly typical, mobile and tall 4-5 combination in the NBA). If
>Vitaly can't win a daily war of attrition against Pervis and
>then fine we should scrap the whole idea. But it sounds like we
>even trying, and that really worries me. The Celtics have talent.
>needs to proactively define the potential mismatches the Celts pose
>other teams, rather than worry about how we match up with opposing
> On top of this, Pitino should stop wasting Fortson's career
>nearly did with Battie. The NBA is full of player whose offensive
>slowly (or immediately) deteriorated as they lost confidence in
>ability to score. In the case of Fortson, we are asking the kid to
>reasonably confident offensively (he was a terrific scorer in
>despite giving up at least half-a-foot in wingspan and equal bulk
>guy defending him (last night it was Eldon Campbell). If it were
>would you be able to maintain your form and keep trying to shoot
>these guys? That kid is physically mismatched at center, even if he
>still did incredibly gutsy work last year (let's face it, so far in
>fascinating career he has made phenoms like Battie, Keon Clark and
>apparently even Vitaly look like "El Busto" benchwarmers).
>Fortson is a lottery team center, the type of 6-7 guy who will
>unavoidably always be in foul trouble (and eventually break down
>completely) trying to guard seven-footers only a desperate team and
>idiot coach would force him to guard.
> I know it's only a preseason game, everything seems innocent
>and Pitino is as glib and confident as ever. Bottom line, I'd like
>see from now on that our players get as many repetitions as
>the position that suits them and exploits the Celtics' overall team
>"strengths" (rebounding, toughness, and clearly defined roles and
>scorers). Until we start doing this (even if we start now it will
>time), opposing teams with less talent but far more year-to-year
>cohesion will beat us. I guarantee you that this, in turn, will
>to make misguided evaluations of certain players, and then the
>merry-go-round of wholesale player transactions will start all over
>again (as if we haven't seen it coming). :-) Obviously, there are
>on this list that advocate that sort of thing.
> The only solace I'll take is that Pitino has always been
>weak at coaching big men, so any input from Bill Russell can
>great synergy. As incredibly gifted a coach as Pitino is, I don't
>he'd make any informed "top 100" list of guys you'd want to develop
>post talent. I think his string of fantastic success in college
>any true center (Walter McCarty may have been his best), made him
>his innovative system might continue working at the next level even
>a Mark Pope-type finesse guy manning the middle (Travis Knight
>Russell watched the game last night, he was probably tempted to get
>the cell phone and cackle in Pitino's face. Now that he has the
>Pitino needs to cut down the gimmicks and think only of building
>chemistry and defining each starter's role. The way his mind seems
>work, I'd actually be surprised right now if Pitino starts both
>and Vitaly to open the season.