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.
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “For years, Rasheed Wallace has saved his best play until after the All-Star break. This season appears to be no exception, as Wallace delivered at both ends of the floor Tuesday night to help Boston escape with a 95-92 win over the Sacramento Kings. ‘It’s money time,’ said Wallace, who led all reserves with 17 points. ‘Coming down to that crunch time. First half of the season, on some teams you got some guys that want to make the All-Star team, guys putting up shots freely. But that second half of the season, when shots are big, people depending on those shots to be made, a lot of guys don’t want to take them. They’ll let the, quote-unquote, star players take them. That’s nut-crunching time. That’s the time I like.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The Celtics still aren’t quite over their second-half suicidal tendencies, but for one night at least, their flaws weren’t fatal. They shot just 37.5 percent and again gave up a fourth-quarter lead, but some clutch work at the line and a bit of luck were enough to get a 95-52 victory against Sacramento last night. ‘It wasn’t our best game, but we’re improving, man,’ said Kevin Garnett, who had nine points and nine rebounds. ‘It’s very encouraging, something to build off of. That’s what’s most important. We got the win.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The Celtics were sloppy on defense, playing the kind of game the Kings (averaging 102 points a night) live for, until Boston’s second unit buckled down. The Celtics led, 39-37, when Wallace barked at the second unit, ‘Let’s get stops. Let’s build this lead.’ Wallace swatted one shot. Glen Davis batted away another. The Celtics forced clangs on the Kings next three shots and opened up a 44-39 lead. Tony Allen smacked away a Kevin Martin layup for good measure. ‘For a minute it was back and forth, you know, we score then they score,’ Wallace said. “It’s just playing basic basketball. We had to get some stops. We had to put a string of stops together and a string of buckets together and just build the lead up.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘It’s a win,’ said Rivers, seeming to acknowledge that beggars can’t be choosers. ‘I don’t know what tone it’s going to set, but we get a win and now we have to move to the next game. That’s our approach over the next 31 games. We’re not looking ahead, we’re not sending messages, we’re just trying to win this game, get better, then focus on the next game. The whole trip, we’re just looking at the next game. That’s how we have to do it.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The guard [Ray Allen] certainly would be professional about it if he does get dealt, but it would hurt him to leave the Celtics. ‘We won a championship together,’ Allen said. ‘This team is, by most accounts, still one of the better teams in the league. When we’re right, we’re one of the favorites. We still have a great shot. I just hope we win the next game (last night’s contest with the Sacramento Kings) and catch fire and keep pushing forward. The rest of the stuff is out of my control.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “[Ray Allen's] tears are dry now. He understands that players are uprooted, teams move on, and players must adapt. ‘[In 2003] I was oblivious to what was happening, but now I understand a lot more what goes on based on having an expiring contract,’’ he said yesterday morning at Arco Arena before the Celtics faced the Kings to begin the second half of the season. “It’s part of it. For individual players, you have to be able to take advantage of the [luxuries] that you get. The money you make. The contracts you make. Traveling to the places that you travel to. That’s what this game has given all of us, but you know [trades are] the setbacks.You are part of a system that has been in place before we came along and while we’re here, we’re here to take advantage of it. And hopefully we leave it in a better place. You know the rules and you just deal with them.’”