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.
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “For the first time in his Boston tenure, Rivers is faced with the possibility that his team is too old and too content to compete. But he refuses to believe such assertions, and the past two days did nothing to change his coaching philosophy. ‘If you have a team that is ‘supposed to win a title’ or is in the running to win one, and if you’re not playing great at any point, then you’re going to be questioned,’ he said. ‘As a group, that doesn’t change. This year, something is wrong with our team and it is because we’re not winning.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “‘A lot of sickness, you battle injuries all year long,’ Paul Pierce said after Boston’s 105-100 victory over the Pistons. ‘Eventually, we’ll be able to put a full team out there for a long stretch, hopefully pretty soon, and hopefully we go on a run. We’re going to have to get some momentum pretty soon here going into the playoffs, start playing better basketball at this point in the season.’ Coach Doc Rivers said he liked the combination of Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace on the floor at the same time because of the way it opened things up. ‘Our guys, I’ve got to say, even though we’ve had all these different lineups, everybody’s been receptive to it,’ said Rivers. ‘They’ve been able to execute it for the most part. So we’ll take it.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “‘The bench just gave us a lot of energy,’ Garnett said. ‘They gave us a chance to get free and get open shots.’ Said Rivers: ‘They got the lead and protected the lead, and that’s what we need. Right now anybody that can give us a lift, we’ll take it.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “A 59.5 percent free-throw shooter, he calmly sank four free throws that proved to be the difference. ‘I’ve been working hard on it,’ said Rondo, who had 15 points and a game-high 11 assists. ‘Teams are going to foul me, so I have to step up and try and knock them down.’ Said Ray Allen: ‘He looks like he’s in a great rhythm. And that rhythm, it gives you confidence. He shot the free throws, up, down, they didn’t touch the rim . . . it just seemed like it went in the way you hope to make your free throws. I like it.’ So did Kevin Garnett, who has talked to Rondo about approaching the line with the same high level of confidence he has when he’s driving to the basket or pulling up for a jumper. ‘He wants it,’ Garnett said. ‘I think he’s out to prove not only something to us, and you [media] guys, and whoever else and himself. I told him, ‘Don’t be afraid of anything in basketball, especially when you work on it.’ ‘”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “‘It just seems like every time he plays, he does something good’ said coach Doc Rivers. ‘He rebounded well and we needed that off the bench.’ Rivers commended all his players for being ready when injuries have struck this season, which has been often. ‘One thing I love about this team is that guys like [Brian Scalabrine], guys like Shelden, guys like Tony Allen, can go five or six games without playing, then you throw them in and they play hard. They’re ready, and Shelden was ready tonight.’”