In this week's edition of the Friday 5 with Ken Berger, the CBSSports.com senior NBA writer talks the Celtics' plan, covering the Super Bowl, the Suns' meltdown and, OK, fine, you got us, the Lakers. You can follow Ken on Twitter at @KBergCBS.
1. I'm seriously not going to ask anything about the Lakers this week. Celtics fall to 20-22, Ken. Time for you to once again talk me off the railing that I always jump off too soon with them. I thought they would beat New York because they've owned them. Instead, they fall apart. Danny Ainge is preaching patience, still. Is that the right move, or just the only move?
KB: I've become more convinced that the Celtics are going to try to ride this out and hope that Doc Rivers can coax a playoff identity out of them before it's too late. They're definitely looking at smaller deals that would improve the team -- the report of interest in J.J. Redick makes sense, and he would help. But I don't see them making any blockbuster deals. (Jinx!)
2. For real, no Lakers questions. Suns fire Alvin Gentry and you report on an altercation between Jermaine O'Neal and the front office; O'Neal, of course, later denies. If I'm a Suns fan, I'm not feeling confident in the organization's direction, right?
KB: No, you're not. It's one thing to be bad. It's quite another to be bad and suffer a cultural breakdown at the same time. Lindsey Hunter has his work cut out for him to repair the locker room and win over players suspicious of his hiring. Plus, it would appear that Hunter's job performance the rest of this season could have a lot to do with whether president Lon Babby and Lance Blanks are still around after the season to sort through the wreckage.
3. Nope, no Lakers questions this week. You were en fuego picking All-Star reserves, even if I didn't agree with your picks. (No Brook Lopez, Ken?!) Tell me whom the biggest snub was. (Readers can find our snubs here.)
KB: Stephen Curry in the West, and Brook Lopez in the East. It was really hard to find a place for Lopez, and I didn't even have Luol Deng on my squad -- and he more than deserved his selection. David West deserved to make it, too.
4. ... I can't help it, I gotta ask a Lakers question! Is Mike D'Antoni going to survive this? Can anyone survive this? And how many times do you think Lakers personnel have had to clear the locker room of sharp objects before Kobe walks in post-game?
KB: I don't envision the Lakers firing D'Antoni or trading Dwight Howard. The Lakers play by different rules than everybody else. If this is a complete disaster, so much so that Howard left after the season, the Lakers are perhaps the only team that could survive something like that. With only one contract on the books in 2014-15 (Steve Nash's at $9.7 million), they'd simply have to endure making boatloads of money while being bad for one more season. After that, you know, LeBron is a free agent.
KB: Lots of good memories, most involving restaurants. (Those were my pre-Crossfit days.) The Super Bowl is an incredible event, like a mini-Olympics. It's awful to cover as a journalist, however. Hundreds and hundreds of reporters, all fighting over the same two-week-old stories. It's extraordinarily challenging to break away from the pack and produce high-quality work that no one else is doing. Some of my friends and former colleagues do it, though, and I admire them. I'll take four days in Reno, any day, though.