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 Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Still, Rivers said, he would have selected Greg Oden over Durant in the 2007 draft. ‘I was for Oden, completely,’ Rivers said. ‘I just wanted his size and all that. And anybody who tells you otherwise, they have amnesia. That’s all I’ll say. Everyone now, ‘I was Durant, Durant, I loved Durant.’ But I saw Oden’s size and I thought, ‘Go with Oden.’ Clearly, I made a mistake but that’s what I would have done.’ Rivers said the Thunder will be a difficult playoff foe, despite a lack of experience. ‘They’ve got all highly skilled players, Durant is highly skilled,’ Rivers said. ‘The only way you’re going to get [experience] is by getting in it. It’s always dangerous. It’s clear the one thing you want to always avoid is if the best player is on the other team.’”
Scott Souza, MetroWest Daily News – “But as injuries and inconsistency continue to plague Doc Rivers’ club, slugging it out with Atlanta for the No. 3 spot in the East is not a priority for the coach. ‘Not as much as it is for everyone else,’ he said following yesterday’s workout in which Kendrick Perkins (knee tendinitis) returned and Paul Pierce (shoulder stinger) left early. ‘Obviously, I guess you want to avoid Cleveland (in the second round). That’s what everyone is saying. But if you want to win a title, you’ve got play them eventually. You can make the case that it’s better to play them early because you’re fresher and you’re stronger.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Changing dynamics on the Celtics and Daniels’ recovery from thumb surgery have become a debilitating combination for the swingman. Daniels, however, is at a loss for a reason. ‘I don’t know why,’ Daniels said. ‘But I’ve been through worse, man. I’ve been through a whole lot worse than anything that can happen here. It’s really hard to say. But I don’t ever think that this is about making hoops. I just take my shots when they’re there. Just staying aggressive is the important thing for me. But right now I’m just playing within the offense.’ Regaining his aggressiveness may be the issue now, and one that doesn’t appear to bother Celtics management. General manager Danny Ainge has faith that last summer’s valuable free agent simply needs to rediscover his groove. ‘I think Marquis is fine,’ Ainge said. ‘I think he’s had some good moments. Our expectations always seem to climb on the guys who suddenly are playing less minutes. Marquis just needs to get confidence right now. It’s a matter of consistent minutes. We’re trying to work Nate Robinson and Michael Finley into the blend. But I’m not disappointed in Marquis. He just needs timing and rhythm. Sometimes it appears the intensity level isn’t there with a player when it’s instead a case of these other things. We’re also trying to build depth right now, and you need a roster that protects against injuries. Marquis has been injured and so has Tony, so these are things that factor in.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Like every Celtic player, Daniels wants to play, but he understands that Rivers’ decision to go with Allen is simply about giving the C’s the best chance to win. ‘You’re a professional athlete. You’re going to to through ups and downs,’ Daniels told CSNNE.com. ‘Whenever your time comes, no matter what the situation may be . . . you have to stay ready, regardless of what the situation is.’ Daniels’ situation is different than most player demotions. Allen was giving the C’s a bigger lift coming off the bench than Daniels. ‘This is the thing about our team. Everybody here can play,’ Daniels said. ‘It doesn’t matter about the role, this or that. Of course you want to be on the floor, but if another guy has it going, sometimes you have to let them keep going. Tony came in, did some great things. So [coach] Doc [Rivers] felt we needed to roll with that. Things are working out good. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and go from there.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Rivers, who went so far as to call Daniels the most important player to get healthy as the Celtics battled the injury bug in February, isn’t giving up on the versatile swingman, but he needs to see more from Daniels over the final nine games. And Rivers admitted it might actually be up to the team as a whole to get Daniels going again. ‘I think we have to do a better job of getting him the ball in the post and activating hm,’ Rivers said after Tuesday’s practice in which Daniels spent time with the first unit after Pierce’s departure with a shoulder injury. ‘Sometimes a player needs to be activated to get them going, so maybe that [is what Daniels is lacking right now]. I’m reaching, but we do need him. We need him to be the best defensive player on our team at times and to be a better rebounder. We need him to come back with more energy.’”