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 – “Garnett, who scored seven of the C’s last 14 points, boosted an entire building when, after sprinting down the floor to foil a Clippers rush by breaking up a Baron Davis pass, pumped both fists at the crowd and shouted, ‘I’m back.’ So, all concerned hope, is his team. ‘It’s coming,’ coach Doc Rivers said. ‘You know, we’re not there yet, but it’s coming. And that’s what you want. As a coach you always want to say it’s coming, because that means you’re improving and taking steps forward. . . . The game (Friday night against Portland), we didn’t play great, but we won. Tonight, we didn’t play great the entire game, but we played in stretches. So it’s definitely coming. You can feel it. I’ll be glad when it gets here.’”
Tom Halzack, Celtics Central – “The big news is that Kevin Garnett is back and so are the missing 48 minutes of Celtic defense. They held the Clips to 89 points and .388 shooting on the night. And that is after holding Portland to .382 shooting in KG’s first game back. This is the first time this season they have held their opponents under 40% shooting for two straight games. That is the difference having a healthy Kevin Garnett makes.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Trailing at the half, Rivers said he got on his team about two things at intermission: gambling on defense and making extra passes on offense. ‘I counted 12 points on gambles in the first half, and then offensively, [assistant coach] Armond [Hill], who keeps all the offensive stats, I think he had 11 times where we didn’t make the next pass,’ said Rivers. ‘So our thought in the second half was ‘Make the next pass.’ The game’s simple — it really is — when you do that. And I thought our guys did it, and then they almost started doing it to a fault. But I would rather fix that problem, than the other way.’”
Jimmy Toscano, CelticsBlog – “‘Perkins and I were laughing before, for some reason our two guys got off last game, and we knew that we had to step up and take the challenge,’ Rondo said. ‘At the end of the day we had to man up and try and get stops. Perk and I were talking and we pride ourselves on defense.’ Tonight, Rondo kept Davis in check, as Davis only scored 16 points on 5-13 shooting and dished out seven assists. Kaman didn’t have much success either, scoring 10 points on only 5-19 shooting and grabbing nine boards. Rondo scored 16 and dished out 12 assists while Perkins scored nine and grabbed 15 rebounds.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘No,’ coach Doc Rivers said before last night’s win against the Clippers when asked if he thinks the Celts need to make a move. ‘I like our team. I would be willing to go into the playoffs exactly the way we are right now. If we can improve, we improve it, and that would be great, too. But if we started the playoffs with the 12 guys or whatever number we have and everybody was healthy, I love our team.’”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Last night’s Celtics-Clippers game almost did not proceed past the opening quarter. Condensation formed on the court, and lead official Joe Crawford halted the contest with the Clippers leading, 14-13. ‘It was terrible, it was warm in the building with it still being winter, and the ice was just giving way just a little bit,’ Rasheed Wallace said after a 95-89 Celtics win. ‘So, it made it a little slick out there. Had to play cautiously the whole game. You can’t put them brakes on when you want to because you didn’t know if you’re going to slide. You saw a couple of guys slipping out there like Peggy Fleming. It’s part of it, though, when you play in arenas that have ice up under it.’”
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub – “This was a frustrating game in spurts because when the C’s ran their set plays, the Clippers just could not stay with them. The Celtics could get open looks whenever they wanted, provided they a) didn’t turn the ball over; and b) stuck with their offense. Unfortunately, the C’s turned the ball over 13 times over the first three quarters and resorted to some ugly isolation ball during short stretches throughout the game. But when they got the Clippers defense moving with screen/rolls, pick-and-pops, flashes to the post or baseline action? The Clips had no chance.”