The Celtics have gotten rid of their morning walkthrough, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Here are a few Celtics links, and maybe even an NBA link or two, to help wake you up and get you focused for the day.
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Durant is awesome,’’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s going to lead the league in scoring very soon and he’s going to lead this team into the playoffs very soon, you can see it coming. He’s really just difficult to stop. I will say this, Paul had the best defensive job I’ve seen in a long time. He took the challenge – we challenged him and he took it, and I thought his leadership was a turning point in the third quarter.”
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub – Thing to keep in mind: Rondo’s last three baskets of the quarter—including the two contested lay-ins that made me drool—came with the 5′10” Mike Wilks guarding him. Rondo is not yet comfortable taking those shots over guys a bit taller than him, but he showed tonight that he can attack smaller guys one-on-one and punish them. Related note: Jameer Nelson is 6′0” and Mo Williams is 6′1″. File it away.
Tom Halzack, Celtics Central – It was the 4th and last game of the Celtics’ road trip. They just played San Antonio in a tough game. It was the back game of a back-to-back. It’s what is called a trap game. It would be easy to get surprised, outplayed, and call it a week. (Remember last year’s Clippers game ?) They have three days until their next game. The aging Celtics had a lot of reasons to lose and go home 3-1 with a solid road trip. The Celtics had different ideas. Looking more and more like the Green Machine of the previous two years, they crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-87.
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – Rivers has diverted comparisons with the 2008 title team, fully realizing this team – especially with Wallace and a healthy Garnett – needs to establish its personality. That evolution occurs during November games and sometimes the growing period is deceiving. The goal isn’t to win pretty, it is to win. And the pretty wins, such as last night against a talented Thunder team, will come in time. Rivers promised this, showing little distress when questioned by reporters about the team’s issues.
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “It starts with Rondo,” he said. “When our point guard is dictating the flow, turning the opposing point guard and getting everybody into the game – not just me but Paul (Pierce), Ray (Allen), Perk, and then he comes in with the second group, Rasheed (Wallace) and Eddie House, and gives them opportunity, it starts with the point. “Rondo and I, it was just a flow,” Garnett added. “It starts with our point guard, and he controlled the flow from the beginning to the end. Just flowing with plays that just took eye contact, and he took the pace of the game and went.”