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 philosophy in Celtics camp is that it’s only a statement game if you win. It’s only a litmus test if you pass. It’s only a measuring stick if you measure up. There are, they say, too many variables to take anything relevant away from a regular-season game – or, in this case, a stretch of three marquee matchups: at Orlando and Atlanta and at home against the Lakers.”
Mike Petraglia, WEEI – “The Celtics leave Wednesday morning to begin one of their toughest four-day stretches of the season. On Thursday, they play in Orlando, followed by a road game in Atlanta the next night. They return home on Sunday to host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. All three teams have a combined 91 wins entering Tuesday’s play. ‘Huge’ Glen Davis said of the week. ‘These are big, big, big games. If you’re not a competitor, you don’t need to play in these games. This is a great opportunity for us to keep our win streak alive and also get better with playoff-contending teams. We’re looking forward to the challenge. Every game is big but these games are bigger.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Cleveland, which has an NBA-best 35-11 record, is currently playing without their starting backcourt of Mo Wiliams (left shoulder sprain) and Delonte West (left ring finger). Meanwhile, the Lakers who have the best record in the Western Conference at 34-11 following Tuesday night’s 115-103 win at Washington, have spent the bulk of this season at home. In their remaining 38 games, they will play 23 on the road, including Sunday’s afternoon tilt against the Celtics. That’s why this upcoming stretch is so important for Boston. Both Orlando and Atlanta are within a half game of the Celtics for the second-best record in the East.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘I think at this point, what I’m making now — I’ve made a great living throughout my career,” said Allen, who is making $19.8 million this season in the final year of a five-year, $80 million extension he inked in Seattle. “I know, going into next year, whatever I sign, it won’t be the money I’m making now. I know that.’ Allen even went as far to indicate that he’d even be fine with a reduced role (this as he routinely logs 40-minute nights this season). ‘Have you ever known me to worry about being in the game or playing less minutes?” he asked. “This is what I do for a living, so I live my life accordingly. Forty minutes is a lot of minutes when you get older, but however it comes up next year, I’m ready for whatever it is, whatever [Celtics coach] Doc [Rivers] needs me to do, whatever this team ends up being. I can sit right here, whatever needs to be done.’”
Rich Levine, CSNNE – “Since the dawn of the KG era in Boston, two-game winning streaks haven’t typically been cause for celebration. After all, with a roster like this you expect to win every night, so what’s two in a row? That’s like Tiger Woods celebrating back-to-back pars, or back-to-back one-night stands. It happens. It’s supposed to happen. Just do your business, and move on with it. But Monday night’s 95-89 victory over the Clippers, the team’s second straight win, was a little more special than numerous other two game-winning streak the C’s have experienced since the start of the 2007-08 season.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Ray Allen, Tony Allen and Shelden Williams spoke Tuesday morning at Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park as part of a stay-in-school assembly to honor high-achieving students. The Celtics stress PRIDE (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Decisions, Education) during these assemblies. ‘Taking pride in education is very important for students,’ said Ray Allen. ‘By making the right decisions and trying their best in the classroom, these children can accomplish anything.’”