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.
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “The Celtics are about to experience something completely different – a six-games-in-12-days homestand. ‘I don’t think any of us knows what that feels like,’ Ray Allen said of a stretch that begins tonight against Denver at the Garden. ‘We haven’t been home that long all year. Hopefully I can get my bags unpacked.’ Perhaps they can unpack some of what worked on their 2-1 road swing through Texas and Utah. The second half of Monday night’s frustrating loss to the Jazz aside, the Celtics showed some of the most promising signs yet that they are ready for a stretch run.”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “So there is much at stake in this six-game stretch, with four opponents heading to the playoffs (Denver, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Cleveland) in addition to a difficult game against Houston and a tricky matchup with the young Kings. ‘It’s tough, but it’s at home,’ said coach Doc Rivers. ‘It would be a nice chance to reestablish us at home. We haven’t done that this year yet. We haven’t had a lot of rhythm at home, so we have a chance right now.’ The numbers at home are quite similar to the road numbers, hence the nearly identical records. The Celtics score almost 3 more points per game at TD Garden and allow opponents just 1.6 more points.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “The Celtics’ play of late has squashed a number of the questions and concerns about them being too old to compete with the top teams. ‘Maybe for 82 games, people can say that … the Celtics are too old,’ Dallas guard Jason Kidd told CSNNE.com recently. ‘But when it comes down to it, they keep on winning. Come playoff time, you don’t look at age. You look at experience and understanding the situation.’ The Celtics’ situation is pretty clear – keep on winning. ‘We want to be greedy, especially this time of year,’ Pierce said. ‘Our goal is to win every game.’”
Peter May, ESPNBoston – “The Celtics looked tired against the Jazz. It was their third game in four days, and they had no response to the Jazz in the second half. The season-long bugaboos — turnovers, rebounding — surfaced again. The C’s lost to a very good team on the road. It happens. Only one Eastern Conference team — Atlanta — has won in Salt Lake City. So what does it all mean going forward? The mission statement continues to be ‘We just want to get better.’ Doc Rivers admits it sounds corny and that most people probably don’t believe him. Rivers still hopes that the team he had in November and December, the one before the injuries hit, can re-emerge.”
Greg Payne, CelticsBlog – “And now, as the C’s continue to gear up for the postseason, they are about to welcome in the Denver Nuggets, the Sacramento Kings, the San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hopefully the Celtics will welcome these clubs in with nothing short of a sincere sense of utter hostility. For, with the playoffs looming, it would be nice to see this club continue to fine tune its game, re-establish the roles of its essential players, and play with the same sense of bravado that they’ve displayed several times on the road this season. We applauded their efforts against the Rockets and Mavericks. That aggression, that intensity (particularly on the defensive end), and that sense of calm amidst their opponents’ respective runs – we all want to see more of it, for its what we expected to see all along.”
Jessica Camerato, WEEI – [Nate Robinson said,] “I remember one time I was like 15 or 16 and I was in Oakland, California. There was this park where I grew up called Bushrod, it’s in north Oakland, me and my family took a little trip up to another park called Mosswood. It’s like rival parks and my family went up there and we played against another family. I remember we put the money in a hat, everybody put in five dollars. … We played for hat, played for the money. I remember this one big dude, my cousin threw me an alley-oop and I caught it and I dunked on him. I was screaming and yelling. He was like, ‘If you do that again, I’m doing to kick your butt.’ I was like, ‘Oh man.’ So I’m going through the game, I was scoring, and it was game point. My cousin who was on fast break, she threw another lob and dude goes up and I was like, ‘A. Do I catch it and dunk on him? B. Do I let the ball go out of bounds and I lose and my family beats me up?’ (laughs) I didn’t know what to do. So I just went with my first instinct, caught it, and I dunked on him again. We got the money and we ran home. They were chasing us (laughs), they were mad.’”