The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Dave D’Alessandro, New Jersey Star Ledger – “Every time they snap on the tube or log on to the interwebs, they see it. Just like we all do. If this bothers the Celtics, they don’t admit it. LeBron’s beaming visage, D-Wade’s scowl, Riley’s rings — maybe these inescapable images hold their attention for a heated Miami moment or two, but if they’re like most people in the NBA, they figure this is what happens when the hype machine goes into overdrive, and when ordinary men become self-involved to the point of psychosis. The Celtics, after all, are old enough not to be affected by the sensory overload that drives the Miami sound machine. They may not be the team they used to be, but the memories of their own invincibility are still fresh, and sometimes that sustains you in times like these. Because there’s no escaping it: Miami’s the team to watch in the new decade, with $327 million in high-wattage talent that seems destined to make history. And the Celtics, those troglodytes who had to scrap for everything they’ve earned these past three years, are Thursday’s news. ‘Like we supposed to be scared or something,’ Paul Pierce spat, but only half-jokingly. ‘I mean, c’mon.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The shot splashed through, breaking the tie, and after a couple of Nate Robinson free throws, the rest of the Celtics 96-92 win was a formality. Daniels said at the start of training camp that he spent the summer working on his perimeter shooting. That was the only shot he took from outside all night, and he was able to knock it down. ‘I just tried to make at least 500 to a thousand a day, just 3s,’ Daniels said. ‘Just trying to better myself.’ Daniels has the luxury of playing without the ball now that Robinson and Delonte West are in the back court for the second unit. He went 4 of 8 from the floor and scored 9 points as the reserves carried the load for the Celtics. Rivers said he wants to find more ways to utilize Daniels, who fell out of the rotation at the end of last season. ’He’s healthy, he’s playing pretty hard and it was a big shot for him,’ Rivers said. ‘We want to keep posting him more. I don’t think we’re getting enough of that out of him. We have to go to him, which I didn’t think we did a very good job of. But he has to learn how to hold his position better.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “‘I take what the defense gives me,’ Daniels said. ‘I’m trying to get to the basket, make the best of the opportunity. Last year, with the injury, it affected me. Now I can just come out and play hard.’ Do his teammates see a newfound confidence in his play? Robinson rode a similar roller coaster last season, and while he started to build back his own confidence during the NBA Finals, giving him a ramp to this season, he believes Daniels is simply taking advantage of the opportunity. ‘He’s here now, knowing he’s a part of this team and helping out,’ Robinson said. ‘He’s playing defense; he’s got that little post-up game. He showing he knows how to play this game.’ Daniels is playing with confidence, again.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The quintet of Davis, West, Robinson, Daniels and Semih Erden then outscored the Nets by 11 in the second quarter. Davis and West had a dozen points each in the frame, and Robinson added nine. The Celts shot 68.4 percent in the quarter. The Celtics starters then pushed a 56-54 halftime lead out to double figures in the first few minutes of the third quarter. Said Rivers of West, ‘I think he saw we were struggling a little bit, and he just basically took the game over for a stretch. It’s nice when you have a guy off the bench doing that.’ West left the game in the third quarter when his back spasms returned. ‘Coming in at halftime, I felt my lower back pinching,’ he said. ‘It’s real minor. The muscles are tightening up, and I think they’re pinching on a nerve. It’s just precautionary.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Before the game, West told CSNNE.com that he was looking to set up teammates but if they needed him to score, he could do that as well. ‘I’m a jack of all trades,’ West said. ‘I don’t do anything great, but I do a lot of things good.’ … ‘I know when I get out there, I have a job to do,’ West told CSNNE.com prior to the game. ‘And that job isn’t always the same every night. Sometimes, I need to score. Other nights, I need to set my teammates up, or rebound, or defend. It really doesn’t matter to me what my team needs. They know I’ll do whatever I have to do to help us win.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “And with that, the BBM era – that’s Boston Bench Mob - began with Thursday’s 96-92 preseason win over the New Jersey Nets. ‘It’s a beautiful thing. I like it; I like it a lot,’ said Celtics backup Nate Robinson of the nickname. ‘It was Shaq’s idea. He’s the one that comes up with a lot of good ideas.’ … ‘You could pretty much sub our five new guys off the bench,’ said C’s forward Paul Pierce who had 15 points. ‘I think they developed a certain chemistry out here in training camp and in the preseason. You can see, it’s coming along. They’re going to be a unit that’s going to be able to extend a lead, and we’re going to look for them to do that on nights when we don’t get a good start.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “But after watching the Celtics lose to some poor teams last season, [Ray] Allen doesn’t want them to be overly concerned with the NBA iron. ‘We know this is a league of many teams that are capable, many players that are capable,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to beat teams we’re supposed to beat. You play the best teams in your conference four times and two against the other (conference), so we’d be foolish to focus on the good teams. It’s (against) the teams that you’re supposed to beat that you let your guard down and you end up losing games. If we want to do the things we hope we can do, we’d like to have homecourt advantage all throughout the playoffs. It changes things a lot. So it requires us to make sure that we take care of business all around the board and don’t get too fancy free about playing the teams that are supposed to be the ones that are better than us or just as good.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Celtics guard Von Wafer picked up his second technical foul in as many nights after flapping his gums at the officials in the fourth quarter. Wafer, whose contract is not fully guaranteed and who has admitted he’s in a dogfight for a final roster spot, has done little to distinguish himself on the court (other than wearing a pair of Rondo’s bright green Nike shoes). He played for more than nine minutes Thursday and did not put up a single shot, not exactly what the Celtics are looking for from a player whose biggest attribute is supposed to be his scoring. The technical fouls, especially at what turned out to be a critical juncture in the game, didn’t help his cause. ‘I don’t love [Wafer's technicals],’ said a clearly peeved Rivers. ‘I’m just going to stop there.’”
Peter May, ESPN Boston – “Rivers said he is not going to increase Garnett’s playing time this season. If anything, with the anticipated development of the second unit, Garnett’s time might decrease. The goal, as has been the case since 2007, is to have Garnett healthy for the real season in April, May and, the Celtics hope, June. ‘Health is a very big part of why you win,’ Garnett said. ‘Simple as that.’ That should be the game plan. Shaq will help. Jermaine O’Neal will help. Delonte West will help. Semih Erden could even help. But for the Celtics, even with all the new names and big bodies, it begins and ends with defense and, by extension, with No. 5. Garnett might be losing face time to the newer Celtics, but as long as he stays healthy, he is not going to be ceding important playing time. And that’s what still matters the most.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “‘It’s important that we have a deeper rotation [this season], it’s better for the playoffs,’ Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. ‘Last year, there were times when we had [an] eight[-man rotation] and, in the playoffs, we were almost at seven at times. We’ll probably shorten for the playoffs [this year], but to get there, we really need a bench. And we need a great bench. For us to have an honest chance of winning this whole thing, our bench has to be huge during the regular season. They’re going to have to win games for us some nights.’”
Chris Sheridan, ESPN – “High praise trumped high comedy when Shaquille O’Neal made his postgame comments tonight after the Nets’ 96-92 loss to the Boston Celtics, which is notable all by itself. The level of praise was notable, too, because Shaq made quite the comparison in assessing the talents of New Jersey center Brook Lopez. ‘Reminds me of … I’m going to go with Tim Duncan,’ O’Neal said. ‘Classy guy. You’ll never hear about him getting in trouble. Great moves, great composure, and you’re really not going to faze him. A couple guys will probably try to rough him up, but that’s not going to faze him. Good player. Good player.’”
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