Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘We’re a great team on paper if you look (and) see what we have,’ he said. ‘But we have to go out there and prove it. We have to go out there and put fear in our opponent’s heart.’ And if the Celtics don’t, if they continue to come up small as the tests become even larger, Sheed knows the No. 30 on his chest and back will take on the appearance of a target. ‘Aw, that ain’t nothing new,’ said Wallace. ‘Expletive), I’ve been facing it since Day 1 when I came into the NBA. People get upset with me because I speak my mind. I don’t hold my tongue. I don’t care who it is or who it’s about. In this league and this game and this business, they don’t like that. They want you to kiss (butt). I ain’t no kiss-(butt) dude.’ His game is alternately endearing and infuriating to fans. His makes beget some of the Garden’s loudest cheers; his clanged treys set of a chorus of groans. That Wallace is bold and unapologetic simply highlights the latter. Like my mom said, 50 percent of the people are going to love you and 50 percent are going to hate you,’ he said. ‘You can’t please everybody. That’s pretty much how I play. I don’t sit out there and worry about what the next person is thinking at all. ‘Oh, he’s got too many techs (technical fouls) and he shoots too many 3’s.’ I don’t worry about that.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “One by one, the goals this team set for itself are disappearing quicker than a Tiger Woods endorsement. The dreams of a 72-win season were squashed some time ago. Finishing with the best record in the NBA was kicked to the curb as well. Home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs is no longer something to take for granted. And now, it appears not even the scheduling gods can save the C’s, something the five-win — no, make that six-win — New Jersey Nets proved when they beat the Celtics on Saturday. Up next for the C’s is Detroit, another lottery-bound club that has already beaten Boston this season.”
Jessica Camerato, WEEI – “On Friday, Yahoo! Sports reported Tony Battie is a candidate to be bought out by the Nets before Monday’s deadline. WEEI.com has learned the Celtics are one of the teams Battie would be interested in signing with if he is bought out. [...]He has not, however, had any conversations with the Celtics organization.”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Meanwhile, the Celtics seemed to have lost the script once again. Pierce’s return could solve many problems. ‘We miss him a lot,’ Perkins said. ‘ ‘P’ is our go-to guy. Still, when Kobe [Bryant] was out, the Lakers found ways to win without him, so that’s no excuse. We’ve got a lot of confident guys on this team, lot of confidence within our coaches. We just need that one game to get on track and we’ll take off from there. See how we bounce back against Detroit. We’ve got a few days to think about these last two losses, guys get some rest, get in the gym and do their workouts, do what they’ve got to do, have a good practice. Remember, we lost our last one in Detroit, so we need to go get that one.’”
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub – “Save for a couple of games against New Jersey (ahem), the C’s schedule since late January has been brutal. Seven of the team’s last 15 games have come against Atlanta, Denver, the Lakers (twice), Orlando (twice) and Cleveland, and that 15-game span also included five straight road games against Western Conference teams. The C’s went 7-8 over that stretch, with only two of those wins coming against teams that currently stand at .500 or better (@ Portland and @ the Lakers, with both teams battling injuries). The next seven games represent something of a reprieve. Only two come against teams with .500 or better records (as of Sunday morning), and none are more than two games over .500:”
Jeff Clark, CelticsBlog – “I can’t pinpoint any one player that could possibly be to blame for the issues, but they all must share in the blame here. I’m getting a little tired of hearing about how the team is leading the league in points against. There is such a thing as timely defense. If you hold a team to 85 points but can’t stop them on the last 3 possessions and end up losing 84 to 85, then what good is your league leading defense?”
Dennis J. McGrath/Phil Miller, Minnesota Star Tribune – “The Timberwolves accepted center Al Jefferson’s apology on Sunday for alleged drunken driving after Saturday night’s loss to Portland, but they suspended their leading scorer for the next two games as punishment.
Jefferson was arrested on Interstate 394 just outside downtown Minneapolis at 1:08 a.m. Sunday, a little more than three hours after he scored 19 points in the Wolves’ 110-91 loss, and booked into jail on a charge of fourth-degree driving while impaired, said State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. ‘I made a very poor decision and I am truly sorry for that,’ Jefferson said in a written apology to Wolves owner Glen Taylor, his teammates, coaches and ‘Wolves fans everywhere.’”