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 – “Players, when queried, may feign disinterest in the standings, especially competition for something as mundane as the third seed in the Eastern Conference. But Rajon Rondo knew exactly where the Celts stood with news that the Atlanta Hawks lost to the Pistons at Detroit. ‘That means we have third,” said Rondo, referring to the fact that though the teams are now tied in terms of record, the Celtics own the tiebreaker due to their Atlantic Division title. . . .Kendrick Perkins turned a bit wistful when asked how Miami would look if impending Raptors free agent Chris Bosh were to join Dwyane Wade on the Heat roster next season. ‘Great on paper,” Perkins said. ‘But anything can look good on paper. Just look at us.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “With Atlanta’s 90-88 loss to Detroit, the Celtics are tied with the Hawks for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Boston holds the tiebreaker. Thanks to Finley, with an assist from Lacerte, the Celtics recovered from a disheartening loss Tuesday in New York. ‘Each chance I get to play with these guys I get more comfortable,’ said Finley, who was signed March 4 after being placed on waivers by San Antonio. ‘Last couple of games I have had a chance to play with more of the starters, so being comfortable with them has helped too. I’m just trying to get in a pretty good rhythm before the stretch run.’ [...] With his four 3-pointers last night, he has made 15 of 30 from behind the arc and shot nearly 57 percent overall since joining the Celtics, showing little rust. ‘When Ray and Michael get it going at the same time and they’re both on the floor, that makes us really good,’ said coach Doc Rivers. ‘We can still pound the ball down low and it takes the low-post game away [from the defense] because they are so worried about the guys out on the perimeter.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Finley is averaging 6.8 points per game in four appearances in April, hitting 6 of his last 8 3-pointers, and 8 of his last 12 shots overall. ‘I didn’t know what to expect,’ admitted Rivers. ‘We kept it simple. We use him as a guy who spaces the floor and we set picks for him. When you’re that type of an offensive guy, it’s easy to fit in. It’s tough to get him to take a bad shot. He’s so solid. And he’s such a good guy in the locker room. Like I said before we picked him up, even if he doesn’t make a shot, it’ll be good for us. The fact that he makes shots, it’s really good for us.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Finley, still attempting to fit in, finished with his best night in Green. Rajon Rondo [stats] led the team with 21 points, and Allen made up for Tuesday’s no-show. ‘I try to be as aggressive as I can be, without being overbearing in the offense,” Allen said. “If I have the ball in my hands, I try to get a shot, get to the paint. All of those things I want to do, so it’s on us as a team. Guys have to move the ball. Once it comes around to me, I’m going to be aggressive. People talk about how I shoot the ball, and that being my strong suit, but I’ve played the game my whole life. I just like to take what the defense gives me.’”
Rich Levine, CSNNE – “The Celtics had struggled in the early going, and actually went into the half trailing 54-52. But Rivers made a few halftime adjustments that would prove critical after the break. Specifically, he told Rajon Rondo to be more aggressive. While Rondo was on the bench during the key fourth quarter stretch, he did lead the team with 21 points and seven assists, and helped set the stage for Finley and Allen’s heroics. ‘We told (Rondo) to be more aggressive and attack,’ Rivers said. ‘We ran more pick and rolls, but we tend to run more pick and rolls in the second half. In the first half we tried to run to get some continuity and get more guys involved. In the second half we tried to use Rondo as our attack weapon, so that’s basically what happened.’ But in the end, tonight was really about Finley and Allen, two veterans who spent three quarters plotting their attack and then pounced when the time was right. ‘It was just one of those games when you have to follow it and pay attention,’ Allen said. ‘We got to the fourth quarter and we just found our spots.’”