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.
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “‘If it’s not the third quarter, it’s the fourth quarter,’ Pierce said. ‘We’re going into droughts. We’re not playing as a confident ball club and you can see it. We haven’t hit 100 in how many games? And we’ve got to get that back, somehow. We’ve got to find a way, hopefully this road trip coming up against some tough teams we can get that back. Because when we lose a lead, we’re hesitant, we’re not cutting as sharp, we’re turning the ball over, our defensive swagger isn’t there anymore, and we’ve got to find a way to get that back. Until we get our defensive confidence back I think it will carry over to the offense. Right now, we need to take this break and gather ourselves, get some rest, heal some bodies, and get ready for a second-half run.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Doc Rivers has become accustomed to calling out his team, so why stop now? ‘The lesson for the 40th time is that you can’t turn on a team and then think you can turn them off,’ the Celtics coach said. ‘You may be able to turn yourself back on, but you can’t turn them off. They were ready to go in the third quarter, and we allowed them to stick around. (It was) the same thing. They came out and played hard, and we didn’t get back on defense early on. Had a big lead, and I thought we played different in the second half. In the third quarter we came out with quick jump shots, turnovers. It’s tough to win when you miss (six) free throws in a row. Our defense was horrible in the third quarter, though it was phenomenal in the fourth.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “The Celtics had promised coach Doc Rivers that things would change after enduring an embarrassing third-quarter shellacking against the Orlando Magic on Sunday at TD Garden, where the Magic outscored Boston 36-11 in erasing an 11-point deficit before emerging with the win. Rivers told his team Monday that it was time to stop talking about fixing problems and actually start doing that on the court. Yet, on Wednesday, nothing changed. Worse yet, Gang Green actually looked like they regressed in some ways.”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “Kevin Garnett also struggled through a tough game. Garnett was just 2-for-9 from the field and finished with seven points. He has now played 10 games since returning from his hyper-extended right knee and he has not scored 20 points or had 10 rebounds in any of them. The Celtics are 5-5 since his return and while it can be argued that they would have been much worse without him, they have not been that much better, either. Ainge believes the Celtics will get healthier as the season goes along, but that may be just so much blind faith.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Garnett and Pierce combined for a mere two points after intermission. On the bright side, Daniels shined with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting with 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and a block over 24 minutes off the bench in his second game back after missing 28 contests due to torn ligaments in his left thumb. ‘I’m still trying to get into my rhythm,’ said Daniels. ‘I’m still a little rusty out there. I’m missing some plays. There are still a couple of things that I have to get better at.’”