With a heavy heart (RIP Red), the Boston Celtics tipped off last night against the Oklahoma City-New Orleans-formerly Charlotte Hornets.

Let me once again whip out the Starting Five:

1. OK, start with the starting five: Delonte West, Bassy Telfair, Paul P, Wally & Big Perk? Where was Big Al? Where was Ryan Gomes? Heck, Tony Allen would make more sense than Delonte West at 2, Wally at 3, and Paul Pierce at 4. Ugh. Why not Telfair and Rondo at 1 and 2 if the team is going that small? Great moves, Doc. No wonder the season started out so cold.

2. On to the offense: it was, in a word, offensive. Pierce and Szczerbiak put up half of the shots for the Green. Where was Telfair and Rondo? Does anyone know that Ryan Gomes can shoot? Yes, Big Perk should not have the ball too much, but everyone was deferring to lobbing it over to Pierce or Wally and letting them fire bombs. That is not the way this team will win games.

3. Running/Transition Game? What running/transition game? The Celtics did not push the ball. For a team with apparently no half-court sets, they spent the whole game in the half-court standing around like they had no clue what to do in that situation. Maybe Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy (formerly known as the Boston Sports Guy) at ESPN.com is right about Doc Rivers not having a clue. He sure looked dead-on last night.

4. No Kandi so soon after Halloween: Nope, no Kandi-man in the middle to provide a defensive stop when they really, really needed one. He has never played a regular season game for the Green, and I already miss Theo Ratliff.

5. Leave 15 freebies unmade, lose by 4 points: You miss 15 free throws, you deserve to lose. I have not shot a basketball in about a year, and I could hit free throws at a better percentage than the highly paid professionals in Green did last night.

All is not lost, however. The Celtics were horrible, and still they almost won the game. That is as good a sign as anyone can get from a stinker like last night. They are better, they will be better, and I still say they come out with 45-50 wins.

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