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 – “In the fourth quarter after Portland cut Boston’s lead down to just nine points, Rudy Fernandez was able to penetrate into the lane past his defender. Davis played the role of help-side defender, and was able to draw two charges against Fernandez. Not only did it wipe out possible scoring opportunities for Portland, but it also led to Fernandez being more hesitant to attack the lane. ‘We’ve been such a good team on the ball (defensively),’ Rivers said. ‘This year, we’ve been pretty poor on the ball. Over break, let’s give in on that and become a help-defensive team. What our guards are doing, when our bigs are getting there, they’re cracking back and taking their bigs off the glass.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Rivers, since the arrival of the Big Three, has set an agenda that hasn’t changed, and Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations, hopes that the Robinson acquisition, as well as good health, will put everyone on the same mental path. ‘We’re a competitive team, and I’m not different than anyone else on this team from being that,’’ Garnett said. “I listen to what Doc says. If Doc says run through a wall headfirst, in my mind I am going to question it, but I’m going to do it. But as far as confidence and as a team collectively, that has to stay [strong]. As much as we preach it and as much as we talk about it, saying it is one thing but actions are another. It’s starting to come so we have to continue to preach it to each other until we’re blue in the face.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “Allen has been mentioned in trade talks before, but, again, this was different. ‘This time it was constant,’ he said. ‘Every three or four days I was going somewhere else. But it was always other teams interested. And that’s always a good thing. Teams want you. I knew that I was even more interesting to teams because of my situation, and that’s one of the reasons it didn’t affect me. It wasn’t so much about me; it was about the contract.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Firday’s win illustrates that the many lessons that Rivers has been preaching to the players, and the conversations they have been having repeatedly with one another, is starting to pay off. ‘We’ve talked about it since the break, we keep getting opportunities in the first and second quarters and then we start walking the ball up and not moving the ball and I thought this was the first game that we maintained that throughout the game,’ Rivers said.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “While talking about the team, Allen might as well have been talking about his own reemergence. ‘It looks like we’re starting to surface,’ said Allen. ‘We’re coming back to the reality of who we think we are — the team we started the season as. Every night is a new challenge, you never just show up, and that’s one thing that we always have to remember.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘We knew who we were, we just weren’t doing it,’ Rivers said. ‘We know the formula, we know who we are. It just helps to do it. We’re all doing it and our bench has been fantastic. To me that may be the best part of everything, our bench.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Though he missed 10 of his 16 shots Thursday, Garnett looked as lively and mobile as he has since his return. Certain aspects of his game – such as offensive rebounding – are still works in progress. But ‘you can start seeing some of that swagger and some of that confidence coming back from knowing we can get stops,’ he said. ‘You sit on the bench and you look at each other’s face and you look in their eyes, you can see it, you can feel it. We’re not hitting shots, but we’re not fixing to let them hit any shots, let’s buckle down and get a shot.’”