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.
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The Celtics went up as many as 15 in the first half. Kendrick Perkins nearly had a double-double in the first quarter. Tony Allen seemed like he was everywhere at once. But once the lead got comfortable, so did the Celtics. ‘You almost hate to go up [big],’ said Ray Allen, “because your human nature has you settling and getting comfortable.’ There’s a swagger that comes with a winning streak. And having done so and then come out and run up a large lead, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, said his team had a false sense of it. ‘We played with this swagger – the losing swagger,’ Rivers said. ‘It’s one thing to have the winning swagger and you go out and you feel great about your team, and you go out and play. And then there’s another thing when you just show up and you think the other team’s going to lay over and fall because you’re the Celtics.’”
Ron Borges, Boston Herald – “To lose to the Sixers took maximum disinterest by the Celtics and a bit of a hostile whistle by the referees, although the latter were far from co-conspirators in the Celtics demise. When you blow a 15-point lead to a team that is 6-19, well, you’re doing it to yourself. Last night, the Celtics got what they deserved, which was coal in their Nikes a week before Christmas. ‘We’re our own worst enemy,’ growled a disgusted Paul Pierce before returning to the locker room and pasting up a ‘No Media Loitering Here’ sign around his locker. Too bad he didn’t have a ‘No Sixers Loitering In the Paint’ sign up when Elton Brand put back a miss by Marreese Speights a foot from the basket with 7.7 seconds to play for the game-winner, because no one in green and white did anything to prevent it.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Elton Brand’s putback with 7.7 seconds remaining lifted the 76ers to a stunning 98-97 triumph over the Celtics, ending Boston’s 11-game winning streak Friday at the TD Garden. ‘We were like, ‘Aww, here we go again,” said Brand, who came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points. ‘We’ve been here in the Cleveland game, the Detroit game… Charlotte with two minutes left. You know we’re much better than our record indicates. We should have closed out some of these games. We closed out a game with a team winning 11 in a row, the best in the league, it bodes well for our confidence.’ Echoed 76ers coach Eddie Jordan: ‘We made some great plays down the end, big plays. And for a long time, we’ve lost these types of games. We just kept saying we couldn’t get a break and we came to the conclusion that we have to make our breaks. We said that before and we made some breaks tonight.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “The Celtics might as well be spending their Friday night home games in their actual homes – out in the suburbs, next to a warm, drowsy fire. It’s a nice prescription for sleep, if not winning basketball. The Celtics, caught in this increasingly bizarre spell all season, fell to 2-4 in Friday home games with last night’s 98-97 loss to Philadelphia.”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Asked if he was disappointed in the ejection, Rivers replied: ‘Yeah, I am. I’m disappointed when anybody gets thrown out of a game. You know, whether he’s right or wrong doesn’t matter – you’ve got to control yourself to stay in the game. But he didn’t. And I didn’t – I wasn’t going to try to stand there and talk him out of it. He’s a grown man. And, you know, at some point, it’s him – he understands his value to this team, and his teammates understand his value to the team, and I think, at some point, that’ll get to him. Listen, I can [talk to Wallace]. And I will a little bit. But, I’m not going to have a summit, I can tell you that. It’s too early. He’s been doing it a long time. He’s an expert at it. But we knew that when we got him, and I still love him. I think he’s great, he’s been great for our team, but he’s going to have some of these days.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘I sliced it at the top, got the hand off and I was just trying to get some space to get a shot,’ said Pierce. ‘I thought I got a good look at the rim, it felt good coming off my hands, but sometimes the ball bounces off that way, you know? Tough one to swallow.’ The Celtics, who led by 15 in the third quarter, know it shouldn’t have come down to a final possession. ‘I think our energy sucked all night,’ said Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. ‘I think we could have done a better job of having energy out there. Philly’s a team that’s going to scrap for 48 minutes and we didn’t put them away when we were supposed to.’”