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.
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “To compensate for the loss, the Celtics recalled Bill Walker from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. When the second-year forward got the call, he was in the middle of a practice in Portland. He may now be part of the patching coach Doc Rivers will have to do to fill in the significant lineup gap left by Pierce. ‘Positionally, this is going to fall on people like Billy, Tony (Allen), J.R. (Giddens) and Scal (Brian Scalabrine), but how else we make up for it I really don’t know,’ Ainge said. ‘We really like the progress (Walker’s) been making in Portland.’”
Joel Brigham, Hoops World – After watching 57 players get selected before him in June’s draft, Hudson thought for a while that he might not get selected at all. ‘I know I’m fortunate to be here because a lot of the other players were on big high school teams and AAU and had gotten that recognition,’ Hudson explained. ‘I didn’t get that recognition until junior year in college. Before that, they didn’t know nothing about me. I just played one year of high school, and then I went to junior college. The difference between me and them is that they’ve gotten the credit all their life. I haven’t. That’s why I’m just so very happy to be here.’ Where many rookies expect to make the NBA their whole lives, Hudson has had to work for it, and his humble demeanor and grateful personality certainly shows the strength of his character. He’s working as hard as anyone, and at 25 years old he’s also got the maturity and life experience to know what this opportunity to means. ‘He’s one of the better rookies that I’ve had,’ Ray Allen said, ‘just from the standpoint of talent and the ability to want to get better.’”
Jeff Clark, CelticsBlog – “I’m sure Ainge will continue to monitor the trade market, but once again, he likely won’t feel pressured into making any sort of deal that he wouldn’t have made in the offseason. If a good deal presents itself, great. Otherwise, they’ll go with what they’ve got. So what have they got left? Well, the most logical guy to step up into the starting lineup is Tony Allen. Pause for a moment and reflect on how insane that statement would have sounded 3 weeks ago. But give Tony credit. He’s played solid defense, he’s attacked the rim, and he’s added needed hustle and athleticism to our bench. He’s always played better when he was on the court for longer stretches, and he’ll get that opportunity now. Perhaps being surrounded by the starters will limit the mistakes and miscues that he’s become famous for.”
Frank Dell’Apa. Boston Globe – “‘That’s what you have to do – it’s a different preparation,’ Wallace said. ‘When you’re coming off the bench you’re looking more at the guys that they have coming off the bench. At first, I was more focused on [Tyler] Hansbrough and the guys they have, then I focused on [Roy] Hibbert and [Troy] Murphy and try and do what I can with them. That first half, I’m not going to lie, they were kicking our [butts]. They was beating us to loose balls, getting any shot they wanted, getting layups, fast-break points. They were able to pass it without no pressure, going to any spot on the floor. Doc [Rivers] came in here and chewed us out and we knew what we had to do – go out in the second half and apply pressure. We couldn’t give them easy passes and easy buckets.’ Wallace’s technical foul count this season was reduced to nine after he successfully appealed one from a game at Miami Nov. 29. ‘No, I’m not happy,’ Wallace said of the favorable decision. ‘Because there are still some more that, hopefully, they can look at. That was the only one we were talking about and that one got rescinded that fast because of the referee [Bennett Salvatore]. As for the outcome of the others, I know it won’t be no time soon because of the simple fact it’s on the backburner because of the [collective bargaining agreement] meetings and all that stuff. So I’m not worried about it, yet.’”
Brian Robb, CelticsHub – Brian Robb: ‘Talk a little bit about Tony Allen. No one in Boston was expecting much out of the guy after an inconsistent past 2 seasons as he seemed to have lost his confidence. I had been a defender of TA up until last year when he forced me to jump off the wagon. This year however, he has been a nice sparkplug off the bench. What have you seen from Tony? Do you think he can keep this up on a consistent basis and still be an asset, even when Marquis Daniels returns from injury?’ Mike Gorman: ‘Doc has told me, and told Tony that if you defend, and don’t turn the ball over, you will get minutes. I think that’s where Tony is right now. He is the most aggressive defender on the floor when he is in the game. Even though he does find himself sometimes being the psuedo point guard here and there on the floor, he has played through those stretches well thus far, not turning the ball over and making good places. So to go back to your original question, I think it’s an embarrassment of riches for the C’s when Marquis comes back, but I think Marquis is going to take a little bit longer to come back than anyone is expecting. Tony is going to have a lot of time and Big Baby is going to have a lot of time to establish some minutes. Doc is just in a great situation since the team is so deep. There are going to be a lot of guys fighting for playing time.’
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “‘[Rajon Rondo] just kills your whole gameplan because you don’t know where he’s going to be,’ Murphy said. ‘He’s all over the place. He’s taking chances. He just creates havoc out there. He’s tough.’ Rondo leads the league in steals, which is part of taking chances and creating havoc, yet he’s doing it while playing ‘more solid’ as Doc Rivers has pointed out several times. There are no metrics for staying under control both offensively and defensively, but that’s what Rondo is doing this year, while still maintaining his creativity offensively and his gameplan destroying nature defensively. In other words, he’s putting it all together. People will start to notice soon off. Even the other players.”