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 – “Doc Rivers talks of his team’s inability to sustain itself, and every week he’s proved correct. Unlike the 2008 NBA championship team, this Celtics unit is woefully impatient. ‘Sometimes we fight through it, and when it doesn’t work, we all try to go somewhere else,’ said Allen. ‘But it’s all cyclical in this league. The biggest thing is that we have to protect the home court. But we’ve been on a roller coaster ride all year,’ he said. ‘We just keep plugging. The bad games just crystallize what you want to do even more. It makes us work harder.’ But with only nine regular-season games left, even hard work may have a limit. The Celtics [team stats] still are attempting to make adjustments that some teams completed a month ago. ‘It’s actually a lot of time,’ said Michael Finley, the former Spur who has been down this path many times. ‘It seems like a short period of time, but it’s a chance to come closer and to get our confidence in the right state of mind. You learn from both wins and losses,’ he said. ‘But I think you learn more from losses, and (the San Antonio game) was no different.”
NESN – “‘[Rasheed Wallace] checks in and checks out again,’ Benbow told anchor Jade McCarthy. Benbow went on to say that Wallace is well aware of the whispers surrounding his shortcomings, offering a recent criticism that Wallace only gets one rebound per night. ‘Then he comes out and pulls down five or six the first quarter [the next game], then you don’t hear from him the rest of the night,’ Benbow said. ‘He knows there is pressure on him to perform.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “A couple of noteworthy stats from our ESPN Stats and Information folks that showcased why Boston struggled so badly in Sunday’s loss to the Spurs: 1) The Celtics finished with their lowest point total since the Big Three united, highlighted by an inability to hit shots beyond the paint. Boston shot 37 percent overall (its second worst performance this season) and scored 30 second-half points, matching a season low. A big part of those troubles stemmed from an inability to score on jump shots. The Celtics were a cringe-worthy 7 of 40 overall (17.5 percent) on jump shots for the game. Rasheed Wallace hit the team’s only 3-pointer of the night in the first half, and Boston finished 1 of 14 from beyond the arc overall (missing all five trifectas it took in the second half).”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “The Celtics have nine games remaining and in addition to trying to claim the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, coach Doc Rivers has promised to tighten his playing rotations. It’s uncertain who will play on a given night. A left knee injury to Kendrick Perkins allowed Brian Scalabrine to get some action after he was on the inactive list for 10 games. Tony Allen had his playing time drastically cut with the arrival of Michael Finley, but has played 41 minutes over the past three games. The consensus is Rivers can’t stick with a 10- or 11-man rotation during the playoffs. There needs to be consistent minutes for his primary rotation so they can prepare for their postseason roles. [...] ‘Obviously I don’t think we can go with 10 or 11,’ Rondo said. ‘He’s done a good job every year. I think he knows his playoff rotation. I think maybe he’s trying to find one or two more guys that he wants to go with.’”
Zach Lowe, Celtics Hub – “For all the many advancements Rajon Rondo has made this season, he hasn’t made the one improvement we’ve been wishing for the most: He still can’t shoot jumpers. He’s improved his shooting from 15 feet and in, and he’s shown flashes of a quality jump shot from outside of 15 feet. But the last two months or so have shown the long jumper just isn’t going to be a reliable part of Rajon’s arsenal this season. And you feel the impact of that reality when the C’s face a team (like the Spurs) that packs the paint on defense and doesn’t turn the ball over and allow Boston to get into transition. Over Boston’s last 20 games, Rajon Rondo is 13-of-55 (24 percent) on shots from outside 15 feet, according to box scores on Hoopdata.”