The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald - If it was up to rookie guard Avery Bradley, he could play his first serious basketball – at least in practice – any day now. ‘I could be back tomorrow the way I’m going, but I’ll take it day by day and see how my ankle feels each morning,” the first-round pick, who had ankle surgery in July, said before last night’s exhibition opener against the Sixers at Verizon Wireless Arena. It feels good. I never had an injury before. I thought it would take three weeks, but I haven’t played in so long. But my trainer and teammates tell me not to come back and hurt myself.’ That’s all the message coming from Doc Rivers. ‘When I talk to him he’s doing OK, in passing,’ the Celtics coach said. ‘I haven’t seen him on the floor. But we don’t want to rush him. This is his first year, it’s a foot injury, he’s going to have a healthy career, but I think we’re handling this the right way. We’re not going to push him at all. We’re actually holding him back a bit. I don’t want him to get off to a slow start with your confidence and everything. I want him to be 100 percent before he gets on the floor. It’s important that he gets healthy. I would love him to play. Him missing what he’s missed already has set him back a ways, but putting him back on the floor would hurt him more mentally at this point.’ There’s a possibility Bradley could miss so much time, his only realistic place for action will be Portland with the Maine Red Claws – the C’s NBDL affiliate.”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Judging from the way an injury-riddled Philadelphia team capitulated, Shaquille O’Neal makes a nice replacement player. The Celtics shut down Phillly so completely in their 93-65 win, the Sixers produced every conceivable bad number, from 19 percent first-half shooting (it inched up to 26.9 percent by game’s end) to 22 turnovers. … ‘Semih was terrific. He played great,’ Rivers said. ‘He’s playing against Shaq every day in practice, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. For him to play someone else tonight was probably a joy. You can see he’s played the game. He has a really high IQ. He had some coverages tonight that were fantastic. The bumps, getting back out, finding his guy in rotation, that takes a while to get, and he has it already.’ Erden gave credit where it was due. ‘I’m happy. I played good, and everybody helped me,’ he said. ‘Good experience, because Shaq and also Kevin (Garnett), Glen Davis, Jermaine O’Neal are great players. Shaq is big, and I try to defend him.’ … Erden should expect a lot of action as long as Jermaine O’Neal is sidelined with a pulled left hamstring. And to hear his coach and teammates tell it, he’s ready for the exposure. ‘Semih’s very poised, man,’ Garnett said. ‘I’m very impressed with his play. He’s had a great camp. Playing Shaq every day and JO every day is not an easy thing. We’re very impressed with him.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “The fact that Erden scored 13 points means little. His four rebounds doesn’t say much, either. But his defense, particularly in pick-and-roll situations, was easily the best among Boston’s big men. ‘It’s good,’ Erden said without the help of his translator. ‘I’m just a little bit nervous, but I play good. I think everyday, I do better. So, it’s good.’ When he had to switch out on a smaller player, he didn’t allow them to get to the basket. And when players got the ball around the basket, more often than not he was able to force a miss or turnover. ‘I think first defense,’ Erden said.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Rivers would love it if his team could have the same amount of success while West sits out the first 10 games of the NBA regular season. ‘It’s interesting, knowing he can’t play the first 10 games; it’s a tough one,’ said Rivers. ‘I’m not even sure what to do there. Maybe I should call Mike Tomlin and ask him what he did in Pittsburgh with Roethlisberger. I really don’t know how to do this, I’ve never had this before. I am going to play him a lot, probably in all eight games. To miss 10 games in a row, that’s difficult. But we can try to get him as many minutes as he can get, just so he can have some games under him.’ … ‘Some of our young guys will play a lot of minutes,’ said Rivers. ‘The guy I really plan on playing a lot of minutes, besides Delonte, is Semih. We may need him. To think that Jermaine and Shaq are going to be healthy all year until Perk gets back is unrealistic, in my opinion. Semih would be the guy, so we have to move him along.’”
Jimmy Toscano, CelticsBlog – “Hailing from Gaziosmanpaşa, Istanbul, Celtics rookie Semih Erden still needs a translator to help him with the English language. After making his first NBA appearance on Wenesday, it appears as though his game translates pretty well on the basketball court. Erden logged over 23 minutes of playing time, scoring 13 points on 3-3 shooting from the field and 7-8 from the line, while grabbing five boards. His efforts along with the rest of the team’s propelled the C’s to the 93-65 shellacking of the Sixers. ‘Defensively and offensively you can see he’s played the game,’ Rivers said of Erden. ‘He has a really high IQ and he’s been able to pick up our defense pretty well. He had some coverages today that were fantastic. The bumps, getting back out, finding his guy in rotation – that takes a while to get and he has it already.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “‘Our defense was phenomenal,’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. ‘Just the ball pressure that I thought Nate [Robinson] and [Rajon] Rondo – Rondo in particular — put on the ball allowed everybody to do their jobs. So, I was really happy.’ … “Paul Pierce sat out the second half because he felt ill but he said after the game he was fine. ‘It was just a little stomach ache that was bothering me,’ he said. ‘But I’ll be all right.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “But the minutes of Rajon Rondo might have been limited for other reasons. The All-Star point guard spent the bulk of the second half on the bench with a large wrap around his right hand. He told CSNNE.com that the wrap was merely a precautionary measure, and added that he was expecting to play Thursday night at New Jersey. Rondo didn’t say how he injured his hand, but coach Doc Rivers said it has been bothering Rondo for a couple days. ‘He either fell on it or someone hit it [on Wednesday],’ Rivers said. The injury didn’t appear to limit Rondo’s effectiveness.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “From smashing Nate Robinson with an oversized stretching pad, to joking with reporters that he had no idea he was in New Hampshire, to flashing his detective badge for the Celtics’ rookies, it was just another day at the office for Shaquille O’Neal. In between all the fun, Shaq quietly chipped in eight points on 4-of-5 shooting with two rebounds, a steal, and a blocked shot in his debut in a Boston uniform. ‘I’m just trying to get into it with the guys,’ he said. ‘Just trying to stay a thousand percent healthy, because, in a couple a weeks, you know, it’s for all the marbles. So I just want to go out there and not really do too much; just do a little bit and have a fun.’ Added Pierce: ‘We just need to keep doing what we’re doing as far as practice, getting [Shaq] more reps, and just trying to get out chemistry down. But he’s done a lot … so I think he’s learning it well, what we’re trying to do, and he’s looking good.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “There was no need for the Boston Celtics to dismantle the undermanned Philadelphia 76ers, 93-65. Sixers president Rod Thorn already knew they were good. ‘I love them,’ Thorn told CSNNE.com when asked about the C’s this season. Thorn, who had success as a GM with the New Jersey Nets, appreciates the way Boston has not only constructed its team but also how it’s been able to consistently add talented players to remain among the NBA’s elite. ‘They added two players in Shaq and Delonte West, that are quality players,’ Thorn said. ‘Ray Allen, quality. Kevin [Garnett], quality. Rondo . . . ‘ Thorn went down just about every player on the C’s roster, all of whom he believes can play an important role in the Celtics’ quest to win another championship. ‘They’ve got a lot of pieces,’ Thorn said. ‘Anybody that writes them off, is crazy.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “The 93-65 final against the Sixers didn’t even do it justice. The Celtics shot 57 percent in the first half and held Philly to a woeful 5-for-31 shooting effort from the floor. Subtract Thaddeus Young from the equation and the Sixers made just two of 24 shots in the opening half. … There were mitigating factors. Philly was playing the second night of a back-to-back and Doug Collins elected to sit Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala. In their place, the immortal Jodie Meeks and Trent Plaisted received starter minutes for the Sixers, which didn’t exactly make this a fair fight. Still, the Celtics executed their defense and also performed well offensively despite working from a limited offensive playbook. ‘With the little things we ran, the execution of it was terrific,’ Rivers said.”
Brian Robb, Celtics Hub – “Bubble watch continues with Von Wafer and Mario West. Neither did much to distinguish himself tonight. Wafer seemed to be trying a bit too hard to distribute the ball and make the extra pass offensively, then just had trouble getting the ball altogether once the entire third unit came in. I’d love to see him get some run with the second unit soon, to see what he could do with some open looks.”
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