Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – Good fortune and good health seemingly are required for a run at 72. ‘Pretty much everything has to go right,’ Kerr said. ‘You can’t have injuries. You have to fight through the doldrums, the dog days. You have to get lucky in a few games. You have to have somebody take over games. We probably had seven or eight games that year where Michael just said, ‘We’re not going to lose.’ ‘If the Celtics are going to do it, it’s got to be Pierce or Allen or whoever, but somebody just has to lift them up on their shoulders now and then.’”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “This season has marked the emergence of the two youngest Celtics starters, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo, according to president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. ‘The young guys are kind of catching up to the stars on our team,’ Ainge said yesterday. ‘They are contributing on a lot more equal basis.’ Heading into last night’s games, Perkins (.649) was leading the league and Rondo (.535) was 16th in field goal percentage as the Celtics (20-4) became the first team to reach 20 wins.”
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub – “For a while I was beginning to get worried. Last season, the Celtics offense played remarkably well in the 22 games KG missed due to his knee injury. The C’s scored more than 114 points per 100 possessions in those games, up from about 110 points/100 possessions with KG in the line-up. That is the difference between a once-in-a-decade offense and a top-three or top-five offense in any given season. It’s a big difference. I theorized last June that the trend had to be a weird statistical blip; there’s no way the C’s offense could perform better without Kevin freaking Garnett, right? The C’s scored morein those 22 games primarily because they hit 43.2 percent of their threes without KG, an unsustainable number and significantly better than the (already awesome) 39 percent they hit the rest of the season.”
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com – “While the team’s Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have gotten, and will continue to get, most of the attention, Rondo has asserted himself into opponents’ game-planning more than ever. If the Celtics aren’t thought of yet as the Big Four, they at least know that Rondo is right there, next in line. He’s way more Ringo Starr than Billy Preston. ‘Me? That’s really kind of irrelevant right now,” Rondo said. “It is what it is. I’m happy with my situation. They can get all the accolades and awards. I just want a ring. Bottom line. That’s going to make my summer go a lot easier.’”
Brian Robb, Celtics Hub – “You hear all the time about Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins getting all kinds of defensive accolades. Deservedly so, I might add. However, by one statistical measurement (Defensive Rating) the best defender on the Celtics is none other than……Rasheed Wallace? Sheed actually ranks 2nd in the NBA with 95.9 defensive rating just behind Gerald Wallace of the Bobcats who is rebounding at an astronomical rate. Now, it’s clear that this best defender label does not pass the eye test with Wallace, but it does bring to the forefront how Wallace’s defensive contributions have been going under the radar.”
Loscy – “At the very least, anyone could have made the argument that Perk is a co-anchor of our defense: Perk holds down the paint so that KG can make those quicker switches. But the surprise to many of us this season is that Perk has all of the sudden turned into an offensive threat with the addition of so many of his post moves and ability to front defenders with the ball. Now, Perk is not only our defensive stalwart, but turning into a light (dieted version of an) offensive weapon as well. It only makes sense for Perk to be on the floor when it matters. We hired Sheed to be a bench guy that could fill in the front court in case of an injury; we did not bring Sheed on to close out our games. This is Perk’s job… to perform with Rondo, Ray Ray, Pierce, and KG.”
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