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.
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “But Allen far exceeded even his own expectations Thursday night in Washington. Allen connected on 4 of 5 shots for eight points, with three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. Most impressively, he finished with a game-high plus-14 in the plus/minus category, showing how much he contributed at both ends of the floor in a dominant second quarter for the Green. ‘[Allen] was big for us,’ said Celtics captain Paul Pierce. ‘He came in and gave us some very productive minutes. He was able to play defense for us and he came back in the nick of time with Marquis being out so he was able to fill the void. We are able to put him on different guys, defensively, and what people don’t know is that he can get to the basket and score the ball, too.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The Celtics got into a shootout early on before building a 14-point halftime lead. A 20-6 run by Washington to start the third quarter turned that lead to dust and put the Wizards up, 72-70, midway through the quarter. Allen settled things down with a 3-pointer that was as fitting as it was timely, giving him 20,000 career points and putting the Celtics ahead, 73-72. ‘When I say we’re not a 48-minute team, that’s proof right there,’ Rivers said. Paul Pierce, who scored 12 points to eclipse 19,000 in his career, agreed. ‘I thought we just played down to the level of our competition in the second half and that’s something we want to keep building on,’ Pierce said. ‘We played one half of basketball tonight and we have to continue to get better.’”
AP, Boston Globe – “‘Tonight it was me being aggressive. I still wanted to pass first, but tonight I had to take the shot,’ Rondo said. ‘Clearly their game plan was they weren’t going to guard him,” Rivers said. “They were going to give him shots, and he took them.’ Gilbert Arenas led Washington with 25 points, but missed a pair of free throws with 26.7 seconds to play. Arenas missed five of his six free throws. After Paul Pierce hit one of two free throws to make it 101-98, Arenas hit a layup with 17 seconds to make it 101-100. Allen hit two free throws with 14.6 left for a 103-100 lead. Arenas and Randy Foye missed 3-point attempts in the final seconds. Rondo not only was a shooter, he had to try and contain Arenas. ‘He’s playing one of the premier point guards in the league in Gilbert, so you know he’s going to be geeked and jacked up for that,’ Garnett said.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “Allen, in his second game back from offseason ankle surgery, seemed intent on deflecting any pressure that might come his way with Daniels out 6-8 weeks following surgery to repair a torn left thumb ligament. But he came through when needed last night, scoring eight points (4-of-5 shooting) with three rebounds and two steals in 17:24 as the Celtics took the Wizards, 104-102. ‘Tony was great,’ said Doc Rivers. ‘I thought Tony and Shelden (Williams) saved us in the first half. When we stretched the lead, it was with the second unit. I didn’t think either one of them tried to do too much.’”
Chris Forsberg (again), ESPNBoston – “Despite all their success during this nine-game winning streak, one of the Celtics’ glaring weaknesses recently has been rebounding. Opponents have dominated the battle on the glass, sometimes staying close in games solely because of their ability to generate second-chance opportunities off of offensive rebounds. How much better was Boston’s effort on the boards Thursday night in a 104-102 win over the Wizards? It was record breaking.”
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub – “The C’s turned the ball over five times in the last 7:00 of the quarter, including three cough-ups in a span of four possessions, a streak that catapulted the Wiz into the lead. The Wiz also grabbed offensive rebounds on four of six possessions during an overlapping stretch, and those boards turned into a made free throw, a three-pointer and two regular baskets. These are the streaks that drive you crazy and lose you games. The Wiz only grabbed eight offensive rebounds in 38 rebounding chances (21 percent) under Boston’s basket, so Boston did its job on the boards in a general sense. But damn if it didn’t feel that way. And that’s because the timing of those rebounds was so damaging. When the C’s absolutely needed to finish a defensive stop and derail the run, they could not do it. (Nor could they do it with 1:21 left, when Jamison grabbed a rebound in traffic and tossed in a typical Jamison awkward-yet-effective over-the-shoulder put-back to tie the game at 98).”