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.
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “‘[Kendrick Perkins is] a load, he knows his role, he knows how to play the game,’’ Bosh said. “He’s not saying a lot. He’s not asking for the ball a lot. He’s a strong post player. He knows where to pick and choose his spots.’ Perkins had 11 points and nine rebounds against Horford and an Atlanta team that backed into a zone defense in the second half. ‘Every time you come in and play Boston, you know it’s going to be a war,’ said Horford, who had 9 points and 12 rebounds. ‘They may blow you out but you are not going to blow them out. It’s a war.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Veterans aren’t the only players Boston needs to be concerned with logging too many minutes. Point guard Rajon Rondo missed one game with a left hamstring injury, and although he’s been fine since returning to action, the Celtics have to be careful not to wear down the 23-year-old. ‘He’s a really big part of their team,’ said Hawks guard Jamal Crawford. ‘He’s been one of the best point guards in the NBA this season.’ Because of his impact on the team, he will naturally play a lot, but the minutes he’s logged lately are just insane. In the four games since he sat out Boston’s Jan. 2 win over Toronto, Rondo has averaged 21 points and 9.5 assists while playing 45.3 minutes per game. That includes a 50-minute effort in an overtime win., but even if you look at the other three games, that still averages out to 43.7 minutes a night.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “[Paul] Pierce is the same guy who watched Scalabrine going through extra drills after the shootaround in Memphis last month and said, ‘I love Brian Scalabrine. Look at him out there sweating. Young guys need to see what he’s doing and learn from that.’ Because Scalabrine shoots so rarely (nine shots is a quarter for Lakers star Kobe Bryant), coach Doc Rivers wasn’t bothered for the team by the recent drought. But he was concerned for Scalabrine.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “The Celtics are 26-10 nearing the midway point of the season. They’re still on pace for around 60 wins. Sure, it’s not the 72 victories that some had them pegged for after a blazing 20-4 start, but they’re on track to be one of the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference (currently second behind the Cavaliers). The real question is: Will the Celtics ever be free of the injury/illness bug? Is this a rash of bad luck that will fade before the postseason? Or, as many pundits openly wondered in the preseason, are the Celtics simply too old and fragile?”
Jessica Camerato, WEEI – “The chemistry on the court between Rondo and Kevin Garnett make alley-oops look effortless. But as Rondo explains, it takes a certain kind of player to pull off the dunk. ‘Everybody can’t do it. There are guys in the league that can do it, but it may be four or five things — you’ve got to have the athleticism, perceptiveness, the set up, knowing when to do it, you’ve got to be a good player. Part of the reason why [Garnett] gets so many lobs is because people fear him getting the ball. If he gets the ball, he’s going to score so they try to deny him the ball. He has great coordination, great timing. When he spins out, he loses track of the ball, so after he turns around he has to go up and find the ball and then find the rim. It’s not as easy as it looks. He does a great job at it.’”
Dave D’Alessandro, The Star-Ledger – “And rest assured, the Nets are disappointed enough to listen to offers for [Devin] Harris — they just don’t expect to get anything done with any of their six core guys before the Feb. 18th deadline. But they’re not exactly considering him (sportswriter cliché alert) an untouchable anymore. Why should he be tenured, anyway? His jumper’s broken. His defense, by and large, is still poor. He’s injury prone. And he’s still young and talented enough to bring back a very good return, given his contract (at least if you pair it with one of the expiring deals). But even if the Nets think they could do better, we find it very hard to drop all the blame of this 3-34 nightmare on this kid’s head.”
Zach Lowe, CelticsHub – “In his last 11 games, Perk has turned the ball over 41 times. In his last 11 games, Rajon Rondo has turned the ball over 44 times. That’s eight turnovers per game between two players. And as well as these two guys have played, that’s just too many. Right now, there isn’t a more turnover prone center-point guard combo in the starting line-up of any NBA team.”