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 – “Allen, who’s shooting a career-worst 35.1 percent from 3-point land this season, has connected on just three of his last 17 shots from beyond the arc. But it didn’t matter Friday, he made the last one. ‘Ray is one of the great shooters of all time — he’s right behind me,’ joked Celtics captain Paul Pierce. ‘I told him that in the huddle. He had the looks, but the one we needed he was able to knock it down. That’s how much we believe in Ray.’ Like any good shooter, Allen refused to pin the blame on himself. As Rivers noted, great shooters think the next shot is always going to go in, and that’s what separates them from good shooters, who might typically stop firing away when the shots won’t fall. ‘There wasn’t anything wrong with my form or my mechanics,’ said Allen. ‘[The shots] just wouldn’t go in.’”
Rich Levine, CSNNE – “But on this night, only one thing mattered in Celtics Nation: A win. You could see it on Kevin Garnett’s face as the final buzzer sounded. He stood dramatically, facing the crowd, with his hands raised triumphantly in the air. He held it for a second, surely relishing in the fact that his team had not only sidestepped another potentially devastating loss, but that they’d also done it with him on the court. When his moment was over, KG tracked down Kendrick Perkins for a dramatic embrace and impromptu earful, before moving on to goat-turned-hero Ray Allen for an emphatic slap on the chest.”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “‘I got banged a couple of times’ KG said. ‘You know, it’s part of the game. You get roughed up. The old ’76 Pinto got banged up against the wall a little bit. Just give it gas. It keeps going.’ Born in May of that Bicentennial year (two months before Mark Fidrych started for the American League in the All-Star Game, right Buckley?), Garnett’s vintage wheels have spent considerable time with the mechanic in the last year. But the Celtics still believe he can get them where they want to go.”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “The Celtics struggled mightily in the second half against the Blazers, who were missing two starters, then lost Jerryd Bayless (sprained left ankle) a minute into the third quarter. Ray Allen was especially off target, but he recovered to convert the go-ahead 3-pointer in OT, then assisted on Tony Allen’s dunk, the final basket of the game. ‘It wasn’t pretty,’ Rivers said. ‘But in some ways, for us, the way we won may have been better for us.’”
Jimmy Toscano, CelticsBlog – “‘He has too much history of makes to ever doubt what he does,’ said Coach Doc Rivers of [Ray] Allen. ‘Guys, you know, that separates the good from the great. It always does. A good player wouldn’t have taken another shot the rest of the game, and the great ones, they truly believe the next one’s going in.’ The fact that the Celtics kept feeding Ray the ball, even though it was clear it wasn’t his best shooting night, proves just how much they trust in him.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “‘But sometimes you can’t be fussy. Doc Rivers also maintained faith in his best shooter. ‘Call me stubborn because we just kept running plays (for Ray Allen),’ the Celtics coach said. ‘I ran three plays in a row for him (in overtime). The funniest comment was on the third play. (Rajon) Rondo turns to me and says, ‘You know, Ray’s going to be open on this.’ Ray’s a shooter, and you’ve just got to keep shooting.’”