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.
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Garnett stepped to the podium and breathed a heavy sigh after Saturday’s game. Asked initially about the loss he said, ‘I got nothing to say, I feel disgusted.’ Later he expanded: ‘I’m not going to sit up here and give a bunch of excuses, that’s not my style. You lose, you lose. They kicked our asses tonight. Period. Point blank. Players have to do more, including myself. We all have to dig deep and see what we’re made of as a team. Seriously.’ Seriously. The NBA season is in its last trimester. The Celtics look like a dad-to-be who’s just realized the baby is going to be here sooner than later. Maybe it’s time to paint the nursery and set up the crib. ‘There’s too much heart and drive, we’ll find a way to figure something out,’ Wallace said. ‘No one in here is giving up. Just because we didn’t [beat the Nets], that’s not the end of the season. No one in here is giving up. There’s too much basketball knowledge to let this go away.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘I think so,’ he said. ‘That’s what it is. Doc gives us direction, and guys have to go out there and follow the plan and execute. That’s all it is. I’m not going to sit up here and give a whole bunch of excuses. That’s not my style. You know, you lose, you lose. They kicked our (butt) tonight, period. Point blank.Players have to do more, including myself. We’ve all got to dig deep and see what we’re made of as a team. Seriously.’ Added Rasheed Wallace: ‘Oh, definitely it’s in this room. . . . We’re the ones out there on the floor. Doc can only do but so much. So we can’t sit up there and say, ‘Oh, it’s Doc’s fault that we lost or Doc’s not doing this or Doc’s not doing that.’ Doc’s not out there on the floor. It’s the five guys that are out there.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “‘I don’t know how many wake-up calls we need, really,’ said Kendrick Perkins (2 points, 2 rebounds). ‘We done got a few this year.’ Coming off their most lopsided loss of the season, 108-88 to Cleveland Thursday, the Celtics took what will likely be their most embarrassing defeat yesterday, falling to a woeful Nets team on a home court they’ve struggled to protect all year (16-11). Coach Doc Rivers was at a loss to explain it. ‘It’s just a mind-set that we’ve really struggled getting them out of,’ he said. ‘It’s just a team that’s absolutely relaxed, and that’s on me. So I’ve got to keep working.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘Honestly I’m coaching this year, you know what I mean?’ Rivers said. ‘So that stuff I could care less about. I could care less about anything past this season, because as a coach you have to coach this year. I’ll let Danny, Wyc (Grousbeck, the C’s co-owner) and all those other guys worry about the future. But this team is built for right now. . . . After that we’ll see. But I believe this team’s good enough to win a world championship. This team. I don’t think we’ve proven that. I think we still have to prove that. And we can talk about it all day, but at some point we have to show it – and I don’t think we’ve shown it. But I still believe that.’ As for any potential benefit from Ainge supporting concepts the coach already has offered the team, Rivers said, ‘I don’t think that matters. I think at the end of the day it’s in the locker room, and it’s going to have to come out of the locker room. I can talk about it. Danny, Wyc, you know, whoever, Bill Walton . . . it doesn’t matter. At some point it’s going to have to come out of the locker room. And it will, and I believe that. But it hasn’t consistently yet. It has in stretches, but nothing consistently yet. We haven’t been able to sustain a game. Even in some of our good wins we haven’t been able to sustain 48 minutes yet. So that has to come from in the locker room.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘Yeah, two in a row, back-to-back home games,’ said Rondo. ‘That’s what we talked about coming out of the road trip, that we wanted to come back and sustain homecourt advantage and take advantage of playing at home. Not right now, guys are coming in thinking they can win at the Garden, and last year it was totally opposite.’”
Dan Duggan, Boston Herald – “Garnett, whose balky right knee remains closely monitored, showed his full repertoire, drilling his patented mid-range jump shots while also finishing at the rim. ‘I liked that he was aggressive,’ Rivers said. ‘Kevin is so unselfish, as everyone who’s been here knows. . . . Kevin is so 100 percent about the team, he’s always thinking ball movement early. One of the things we told him, ‘We are moving it – to you. And we want you to look at it.’ I thought he did a great job of that early on.’”