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 – “After making the first half look as rocky as imaginable with injuries, inconsistency, signs of dissension, and now, incessant trade rumors, the Celtics come out of the break with a West Coast trip that starts tonight in Sacramento and then takes them to Los Angeles to face the Lakers, then Portland, and Denver. ‘It’s a big trip . . . it’s one of the biggest trips of the year,’ Pierce said. ‘It’s a chance for us to start new. Put the first half behind us, go out there against some quality teams and try to make a statement. A lot of people are kind of writing us off and I would, too, with the way we played. We’ve just got to go out there and prove to ourselves and everybody else what type of team we are.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “All season, [Ray] Allen has maintained that he wants to be a Celtic for the remainder of this season and beyond. But he’s wise enough to know that his desire may not necessarily be enough to stay in Boston if the C’s believe they can improve their chances at a title by trading him. ‘Organizationally, we’re lucky to be part of an organization that wants to win,’ Allen said. ‘From that aspect, winning a championship is not guaranteed. That’s why we’re all fortunate to be here. If that changes with me, I have to move on and figure out the best way that I can help myself.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “‘We just have to do a better job of being on the same page,’ said C’s guard Eddie House. ‘Part of that has to do with not having everybody healthy. We’ve had guys out hurt, guys coming back and then guys who were playing not playing as much. The bottom line, we just have to get better, that’s all.’ And that starts with winning games, which in turns creates some much-needed momentum heading toward the end of the season and into the playoffs. ‘Right now, every team is coming out of the break, they know it’s not a lot of games left; playoff positioning is starting every night, and you want to get your rhythm going into the playoffs,’ said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. ‘Whoever is going to be in the playoffs, you better start to get it going now.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Teams were intimidated by the Celtics in the first six weeks, but a 92-90 loss to the Clippers Dec. 27 in Los Angeles changed the course of the season. The Celtics haven’t been the same since Baron Davis’s buzzer-beating jumper defeated them that night. They began showing the characteristics that have plagued them the past two months. They were unable to put away an inferior team. They had several defensive breakdowns, including leaving Rasual Butler, one of the league’s most scary 3-point shooters, for a late tying shot in that loss.”