The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Davis shrugged his shoulders during media day when asked what the addition of veteran big men Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal meant for him this season, then sounded off on his situation. ‘I don’t even know, I gotta find out what my role is,’ said Davis. ‘With Rasheed [Wallace] last year, I had to become a center. Now? I don’t know. Do I become a [power forward]? Do I go back to playing the 4? We’ll see. It’s difficult because, as a player, you kind of don’t understand where [the organization is] going or what they are doing. No matter what I do — I can play great — it’s still not enough. I’m just here to help the team wherever possible, any way I can. Whenever I find my role, I’ll do it to the max, the only way I can.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “‘It feels great to be back in green and white, where I started my career,’ he said. ‘That’s a great compliment, being picked up from a team that’s coming off a Game Seven [of the NBA Finals] and got their eyes set on a championship. To be called to render my services to help this team put up another banner, that’s an amazing feeling.’ The Celtics believe West can bolster their bench and add versatility to their backcourt. ‘He plays both ends of the court, brings great defense, intensity, shooting, passing. He’s a pretty complete player,’ Ainge said of West, who averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds last season for the Cavaliers. West hopes to help the C’s by being selfless and sacrificing himself for the betterment of the team. He understands their “we-not-me” mentality and is on board with their championship ambitions. Even though the Celtics only won 24 games the last time West played in Boston, he has no question of their motivation this time around. ‘It’s definitely a different vibe in the locker room,’ he said. ‘There’s a lot more maturity going on around here than last time I was here. You can just sense it in the air — guys want to win. I walk through the locker room, everyone here has that gold trophy in their pupils.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald - ”‘I was like, man, looking at the Celtics roster, that’s the first thing I was thinking. I’d love to go back there and help their team win,’ West said in an interview otherwise limited – per team order – to basketball questions. ‘Just watching them play in the playoffs, it was hard not to be a fan of the way they were playing. I’ve always been a fan of coach (Doc) Rivers’ style and the way he likes to get things done. It was always on my mind. I chit-chatted with Paul Pierce a few times over the summer and I expressed how I felt and how I could help the team. It’s definitely a different vibe in the locker room (compared to his previous stint). There’s a lot more maturity going on around here than the last time I was here. You can just sense it in the air. Guys want to win. When I walk through the locker room, everyone here has the gold trophy in their pupils. You can see it. You can feel it. There’s a lot of excitement here. Everyone’s so selfless here. They’re sacrificing for the greater good of the team and that’s the type of player I am any way, so I think I’ll fit in here perfect.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “The tip-off came on Thursday when Ainge mentioned Delonte West several times before the team’s charity golf outing. This was Rivers Monday: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever coached a more competitive human being.’ West will have to sit out the first 10 games of the season to serve an NBA-ordered suspension, but when he is able to come back, the Celtics see him as a multiple-position defender and multi-talented guard. ‘Delonte is huge for us because when you lose a guy like Tony Allen, he was our defensive stopper,” Pierce said. “Delonte is probably going to fill in that role. He brings some versatility to that position that we haven’t had since he left.’ They all wanted West back: Pierce, Perkins and Rondo. Truthfully, they never wanted him to leave and Ainge didn’t really want to give him up. ‘If it wasn’t for such a good player it would have been very difficult for me to trade Delonte,’ Ainge said, referencing the Ray Allen deal. ‘He’s a perfect fit for what we need.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – O‘Neal has laid off hamburgers, fried chicken, macaroni, and cornbread to stay in shape this summer. He clocks in at 345 pounds, a weight he plans on maintaining throughout the season. His teammates have noticed how well he is moving on the court. ‘We’ve played in a couple pickup games,’ said Paul Pierce. ‘He looks good, just him getting up and down the court. In one pickup game, he got three fast-break layups. You don’t really hardly hear about Shaq getting fast-break layups. But he’s looked good. I think he’s looked better than I guess people anticipated. A lot of people say he comes and gets in shape in camp, but he looks really good in the pickup games we’ve playing the last couple of weeks.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “You probably have heard this one before, but on the eve of the final (or second-to-last) roundup, it’s worth repeating. After a week of playing pick-up ball with his aging, but willing, teammate, Paul Pierce is sold on Kevin Garnett. ‘KG is one guy that looks great the way he’s moving, his attitude, he’s over that injury and he’s ready to play some ball right now,’ Pierce said during yesterday’s Celtics media day/training camp kickoff. Similar hopes were floated at this time last year, only to drift off the radar until playoff time. The difference yesterday was that Garnett, who chafed and squirmed at any mention of his surgically repaired knee last season, was his own biggest proponent. ‘Lot more confidence in my leg and body,’ he said. ‘I feel a lot better. I’m eager to start camp. I don’t like us, I love us.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Garnett labored through much of last season while coming off knee surgery that curtailed both his 2008-09 season and Boston’s hopes that season of defending its 17th NBA title. He admitted Monday that, at no point last season, did he ever feel 100 percent, something that wore on him mentally, even when his play improved in the postseason. ‘More mentally than anything, last year was hard for me, just because I knew I was playing through some difficult times,’ said Garnett. ‘I’m not one to make excuses; I’m not one to be out here [expletive] and complaining about things. I’m one to work, to come in here and continue to work, and try to better myself. That’s what I did.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – [Paul Pierce said:] “‘Truthfully, man, I had the same feeling about this team in [before the 2007-08 season], when we got Kevin [Garnett] on the team and Ray [Allen]. The additions that we added — [Shaquille O'Neal], Jermaine [O'Neal], Delonte [West], and some of the other rookies — this is one of the most talented teams, top to bottom. It’s more talented than the teams than I’ve been on since I’ve been a Celtic. We talked about this last week when we all had a chance to play pickup with Shaq and KG. We were talking about the energy that’s around here again. Guys felt it — the urgency to win another championship. Guys were talking about the memories of Game 7, as far as putting that behind us. I know it hasn’t really gotten out of my head. As much as you want to put it behind you, it’s hard. You can’t. The only way to erase that memory is to go out and try to get another championship. Guys are motivated. The energy is back in the building and we’re ready.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘You know, Shaq is going to be Shaq,’ captain Paul Pierce said. ‘All the publicity and all the circus that’s going to come with it, I mean, he’s one of the biggest stars that this game has ever seen, so you’ve got to expect that. I’m happy to say I have a chance to play with him. Just to be in the locker room with him for a year or two or however long he decides to play, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully I can learn some things from him. I’m just going to enjoy this ride.’”
Dan Duggan, Boston Herald – “Delonte West was with the Celtics during Rajon Rondo’s rookie season in 2006-07, but was traded that summer in the Ray Allen draft-day deal. Back this offseason via free agency, he says the difference in the starting point guard – entering his fifth NBA season – is striking. ‘He knows who he is. He knows his game,’ West said. ‘He knows what he has to do each and every night to help his team win.’ West considers Rondo the best point guard in the NBA right now – a notion that gained steam last postseason but took a hit after Rondo withdrew from Team USA at the world championships.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “And he’s got some new teammates with whom to rub shoulders. Perkins made a point to approach newcomers Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal recently. He wanted them to know his hits were nothing personal. ‘I kind of approached them in a happy-go-lucky way just to let them know that when they’re on the other team it’s business, but now they’re on my team and I’m the coolest guy they can be around,’ Perkins said. ‘I’m their supporter.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “When you listen to Jermaine O’Neal talk about the Boston Celtics, his respect for the organization is obvious. But as much as he loves them now . . we’ll just let him tell you how he used to feel. ‘I hated their team for so long,’ O’Neal acknowledged during the C’s media day on Monday. ‘But I always admired their team and what they represented. On that court, it was all about winning and playing together and playing hard.’”
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