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.
Frank Isola, Newsday (Via Celtics Hub) – “Nate Robinson rose from his seat on the Celtics bench, looked at Mike D’Antoni and began clapping. Lil’ Him wasn’t honoring his former coach Wednesday night as much as he was taunting him. With Boston building a 27-point third-quarter lead over the Knicks, Robinson twice made it a point to show that he was enjoying D’Antoni’s misery. It was another example of Nate being Nate during the Celtics’ 109-97 victory over Robinson’s former club.”
Green Street, WEEI – “When you said, ‘This team is very, very close,’ what did you mean by that? I thought you might even be a little sarcastic with the remark. ‘No, I was not. You look at the Cleveland game, we didn’t play great and it was 68-all with four minutes left in the third quarter, on the road. There was a lot of positive signs, we had the ball back to back in those possessions, turned it over, and missed four free throws in a row. What we didn’t do was when Cleveland made their next run, was fight after. You can just see things — Paul improving, Kevin improving, everybody’s starting to get their rhythm back. And I’ve said it earlier, I don’t think people realize — and it wasn’t about the injuries, it was about the amount of injuries and trying to bring guys back at the same time — you lose your rhythm. Not only as a team but as an individual, and we haven’t gotten it back. But we’re starting to get it back, and if we can get it back in time, like I said in the interview, I love our chances.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “‘I know a lot of people are like, ‘You don’t want to be in that fourth seed to face Cleveland in the second round,’ ‘ Perkins said. ‘But, shoot, we both got to get to the second round.’ The Celtics have 15 games left, 10 against teams with winning records. The Magic, currently the second seed, are in the enviable position of simply having to win winnable games. Only seven of Orlando’s last 13 games are against teams above .500. Atlanta has nine games left (out of 15) against winning teams. The Celtics are 13-18 against teams with winning records. ‘It’d be great, obviously, to get the second or third seed,’ Rivers said. ‘It’s not going to be easy.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Boston’s next three foes – Houston, Dallas and Utah – have a combined winning percentage of 61.9 this season. And for a team with so few quality wins to its credit, Boston could benefit in more ways than padding its win total with a successful West coast trip. Coach Doc Rivers has been preaching for weeks that no one game has a greater value than another. But even he acknowledges the C’s could use a few more wins over teams above .500 between now and the playoffs. ‘It’s nice to beat a playoff team,’ Rivers said. ‘We haven’t played well against a lot of them.’ Uh, try most of them, coach.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “What’s critical is that Garnett recognize the changes and adjust. NBA people have been saying for years that he is not the best when it comes to some of the positional minutiae, but Garnett always has had the energy, desire and physical gifts to recover when an opponent gained a step on him. Now the foes are finishing. ‘I think now he has to be a little more sound fundamentally,’ Ainge said. ‘He’ll have to do it more, because he’s not the same athlete. He’s had some adjustments to make, for sure. KG’s got to do a better job of keeping guys in front of him because he can’t catch up. But that’s the case with everyone on our team.’ The question is whether Garnett can perform as well as the Celtics need him to in the postseason. ‘Yes,’ Ainge said. ‘Absolutely.’”