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.
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “While Rivers’ choice of reserves was getting much of the talk, the coach said he’s been spending more time making certain his first five is ready for a playoff run. And run would be the operative word. ‘I wasn’t worried about the bench,’ Rivers said. ‘I was more worried about our starters because their minutes were up. I was concerned with what you have in the tank if we extend their minutes, because (in) our practices, except for today, we’ve been running more. We’ve been really working their legs to try to build their minutes up. (Sunday) was the first day we used them (for extra) minutes, and I thought we showed some fatigue. But overall after the game all those guys said they felt great. I told them after watching the video I didn’t see great, but I saw really good.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “The fact Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson did not play during Sunday’s 117-113 Celtics victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers was not an accident. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Monday that the two players are out of his current rotation and will have to work their way back in. Daniels and Robinson have essentially been replaced by Tony Allen and Michael Finley and it’s a disappointing outcome considering the Celtics counted on both players to produce when they were acquired.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “After Wallace drew a technical foul Sunday late in the third quarter against Cleveland, he vented his anger to anyone who would listen, and some of that venom got directed at Rivers as he pulled Wallace from the game. On Monday, Rivers wouldn’t elaborate about why Wallace got so heated, particularly at his coach, but said the two had a good conversation about the episode. ‘It happens. It won’t be the last time,’ said Rivers. ‘As a coach, your job when a — I call it an emotional hijack — happens, your job is keep your team focused and you can’t focus on the one guy. Then after the game, the next day, you have a conversation and get that right. Emotionally, it’s not personal. When you have an emotional hijack, you don’t get along with anybody at that moment. I understand that. We had a great talk. I didn’t seek his apologies, but he said, ‘Hey, I should have controlled myself.’ I don’t know if that’s an apology, but I didn’t ask for him an apology because I didn’t need it.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Tony Allen has earned more playing time. He had one of his better defensive games of the season Sunday, causing at least a distraction for James, who scored 42 points but missed all nine 3-pointers. Allen also added 7 points and has 19 the past two games. After missing early parts of the season recovering from right ankle surgery, then playing inconsistently most of the year, Allen has finally captured Rivers’s attention. ‘It’s when you are in school, you take tests, quizzes, and I have been taking quizzes all year,’ Allen said. ‘Just being in games, in situations that affected long term, I passed some of those tests and they are paying off right now.’”
Rich Levine, CSNNE – “But why is Tony flourishing now, when over the past few years, he’s been unable to grab opportunity by the horns? ‘I’m healthier, I have more strength, I think I’m more focused,’ he said. ‘I know pretty much what I have to be doing out there on the court, both offensively and defensively. It starts in practice, and I think that’s carried over in games.’ Health is one obvious reason, but really, it’s clear that Tony’s better understanding of the game, the team, and himself, have been the biggest difference makers. ‘I approach each game as a defender,’ he said, ‘even though I know that I can score. I take advantage of my opportunity but basically I’m doing within the offense and that will keep me on the court. As long as I’m not trying to do too much I know that I’m out there with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, and those are our primary scorers and I think I just gotta feed off those guys, and that’s basically giving me the opportunity right now. For this team, that’s what’s going to get me on the floor. Talking to Doc, he said I need to be ready to defend guys. He knows that I can score but my primary job is to come out and get stops, rebound and shoot open shots. Just straight line drives when I get, no dancing with the ball. And I just take that into every game.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “The Celtics have been in a nice rhythm offensively in recent games. However, Boston’s defense is a another story. For the season, Boston is allowing opponents to score just 95.1 points per game which puts the C’s near the top of the heap. But the Celtics are giving up 108.8 points in their last four games – three of which they lost. And when you look at the Celtic’s playoff rotation, it includes a pair of veterans (Rasheed Wallace and Michael Finley) whose experience is valuable. However, they will likely be matched up with younger, more athletic players so fatigue may become an issue.”