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 – “‘We had no focus, so I thought we deserved to lose,’ Rivers said. ‘The bank shot that Gallinari hit was the basketball gods punishing us for not having great focus.’ Here was Garnett’s take: ‘It was the basketball gods hurting us.’ Glen Davis chose to tell a parable. ‘I was surprised with our play today,’ he said. ‘But that’s the way it is. If you mess with the game – if you plant bad seed – then you’re going to reap a bad harvest. We took them lightly. We have to play. Pure and simple, we have to play.’”
Jonathan Abrams, New York Times – “For two seasons, the Knicks have slashed, purged and repeated in order to trim payroll in an attempt to attract star players through free agency. How does a center who can haul in 18 rebounds and score 17 points against the playoff-bound Boston Celtics resonate? The Knicks had him for a night. His name is Earl Barron. If he is not familiar, it is because he is the latest in a line of unfamiliar names to join the Knicks. He signed last week, fresh from the Development League, as the Knicks’ forgettable season quietly winds down. He may be with them next season. He may not. But he was everywhere for a noteworthy evening Tuesday, spreading his wiry 7-foot frame to grab rebound after rebound and helping the Knicks defeat the Celtics, 104-101, and spoil Nate Robinson’s return to Madison Square Garden.”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “‘We made up our mind we thought we were going to win at any point and we could score whenever we wanted to and all of a sudden you get outhustled,’ Rivers said. Garnett offered no excuses. ‘I didn’t think we played good basketball at all,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what you call it, but we can’t come out and play like that. We just played like . . . we played like crap tonight.’ A letdown after the win over the Cavaliers? ‘That’s over,’ Garnett said. ‘You’ve got to respect each team in this league. You’ve got to come to play every night. You can’t pick and choose when you want to play. You can’t pick and choose when you want to execute. You can’t pick and choose when you want to play defense. You’ve got to prepare and play defense. You’ve got to prepare and play each team as if you’re playing Cleveland.’ Said Perkins, ‘We’re just two different teams from what I saw Sunday. It was just two different basketball teams.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “As was the case in Friday’s meltdown against Houston, Boston’s starters couldn’t put a young and feisty opponent away Tuesday. Unlike other recent games, Boston simply seemed disinterested at times against New York. ‘The other games we didn’t play well, but [Tuesday night] I was disappointed,’ admitted Rivers. ‘It was a tough game to watch throughout. You could just see it not being there, in our defensive lapses, which, to me, is a result of focus.’ What made Tuesday’s loss sting even more was that the Hawks lost to the Bobcats, so the Celtics blew a chance to gain ground in the race for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta remains a game ahead of Boston with five to play.”
Jessica Camerato, WEEI – “It didn’t take long for [Nate] Robinson, who sat out the entire game against the Cavaliers, to get back in. He got the nod late in the first quarter in front of his former home crowd. ‘I don’t know about inspirational or sentimental,’ Rivers told reporters before the game. ‘But I’m going to play him because the other guys want to see him play tonight. So I’m going to give him some run and hopefully he plays well.’ Robinson looked comfortable in New York, where he spent over five years. He scored five points and dished an assist during a comeback stretch by the Celtics in the fourth quarter. Robinson also finished the game with three rebounds and five assists in 14 minutes.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “[Ray] Allen played more than 14 minutes in the second half – only Rondo played more during that time – and managed to score just three points on 1-for-3 shooting. In the pivotal fourth quarter, Allen didn’t get a single shot attempt. The only real attempt it seemed the C’s made in getting him a shot came on that desperation attempt near the end of the game. ‘I didn’t think Ray was open,’ Rondo said. Said Allen: ‘I don’t know when I came off, if Rondo didn’t see I was open. I don’t know what he had. Right when I came off the corner, I was ready for it. But I don’t know if he thought I wasn’t open, or what.’ Regardless of whether he was open or not, it should not have come down to that shot.”