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 – “‘I’m so beyond comfortable it’s ridiculous, from knowing the plays to knowing my role just to bring energy,’ said Robinson. ‘I’m not just the point guard – I’m the energy guy. Whenever (Rajon) Rondo needs a breather, I’m going to be the best sub that I can be for him, to make it easier for him to come in and pick up where I left off. It’s like a good tag team in wrestling,’ he said. ‘Come in, do your job, you tag out, you wait, and come in again.’ … ’I’m more relaxed. As Doc says, there’s a time to relax and a time to focus,’ said Robinson, whose own faith in Rivers has been bolstered by the coach’s decision to bring him back last summer. ‘Doc stuck by me, and the thing you learn is to just stay ready. Now that I have training camp and a couple of games behind me it’s much better. I’m just trying to learn all the plays and do whatever I can to help this team. Stay energized and stay focused. It helps me a lot because now, I know the plays now easy. In preseason now it’s easier for me to run the second team, know where each guy is supposed to be. It’s fun. Now I don’t have to worry about, ‘Oh, am I in the right spot?’ because I know where I’m supposed to be.’ … It helps to be on a second unit as good as this one appears to be. Rivers has praised Robinson’s work with Delonte West, in particular, as ‘seamless.’ ‘Our games feed off each other,’ Robinson said, referencing his fellow backup guard. ‘That’s the best thing for us. Even with the way we’re practicing now, we’re going to know what to do once the season starts. He’s real smart, real poised. He plays the game at his pace, whereas my pace is fast, his pace is slow, and as they say opposites attract. The good thing about our game is that we just take what the defense gives us. We’re like counter-effect. Everything counters, like a boxer who isn’t too aggressive and a boxer who isn’t too laid back. When the other guy makes a mistake, that’s when we capitalize.’”
Jim Fenton, Patriot Ledger – “‘So far, so good,’ said Coach Doc Rivers of using Robinson and West together. ‘It’s been seamlessly almost right now. They fit very well. Nate, so far, has been a very good point guard. He’s made a lot of good decisions. When they do get too fast, it seems like Delonte has been the guy that kind of calms the group down, (saying) ‘Slow down, let’s get back to playing at my pace again.’ Defensively, they’ve been a terror. They put so much pressure on the ball. That’s something we really haven’t had. We’ve been able to do it at one (guard) position. When you’re able to do it at two of the guard positions at the same time on the floor, that puts a lot of stress on the other team’s offense.’”
Bob Ryan, Boston Globe – “Year 65 of the NBA. Year 16 of the Fill-In-The-Bank Garden. More importantly, Year 4 of the — I’m going to say it once and once only — Big Three. When this Celtics unit was first assembled, the operative phrase was ‘three-year window.’ … On the eve of the 2010 playoffs, I certainly didn’t think we’d see these guys together again. That 27-27 ending looked very much like the real deal, and there didn’t seem to be any sense in investing more money in what would be a 35-year-old shooting guard (Ray Allen), and if that were the case who knew what would happen with Paul Pierce? At that point Ainge had the very real option of slamming the window shut and proceeding to the next phase of Boston Celtics history. But the events of April, May, and June changed everything. … Year 4. Call it Bonus Year, call it Retribution Year, call it Geezer Year. Call it I Can’t Believe It’s Happening Year. But it’s here.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Even after 14 years in the NBA, Jermaine O’Neal admitted to a case of the butterflies when he stepped on the floor for the first time in a Celtics uniform Sunday. It showed. In just five ticks of the clock, he managed to get whistled for a defensive three-second violation (which resulted in a team technical foul) and, soon after, got called for a rather obvious offensive foul trying to slow down a defender chasing a Boston shooter along the baseline. Then, like so many other times during his career, came a big block that settled O’Neal down. ‘I was a little bit nervous the first minute, a little bit uncomfortable because you want to play well in front of your new team, a new town,’ said O’Neal, who logged seven first-half minutes in which he blocked three shots, grabbed two rebounds and took a charge. He did not attempt a shot. For me, my defense sets my offensive tone; it gets my blood going. Sometimes guys dictate their game by making a shot. Sometimes you’re not going to make that shot, or it takes a while to get that shot. Blocking a shot, taking a charge — that really gets me going.’ … ‘Blocking a shot or taking a charge, I’m there,’ said Jermaine O’Neal. ‘I feel like I’m the best big in the game as far as taking charges. I consider myself a real safety and I can cover a lot of ground quickly.’”
Rob Bradford, WEEI – “Talking after his team’s 91-87 preseason loss to the Celtics on Sunday night at TD Garden, Toronto forward Reggie Evans suggested that his former teammate, Chris Bosh, would be using the motivation derived from being kicked by Paul Pierce during dunk in the midst of a Nov. 27 game last year at the Garden when Bosh’s new team, the Heat, face off with the Celts in the teams’ season-opener. ‘Me knowing Chris, I know he’s got that game penciled in based on what happened last year with the Paul Pierce dunk, with the kick and stuff,’ Evans said. ‘Knowing him, when he has so much ammunition on a team, I know he’s looking forward to that game. He may deny it, but I’m pretty sure he’s looking forward to it. It’s going to be fun to watch.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “The starters may start suffering from guilt. All of the closing has been left to the Celtics reserves the last two games. Last night’s 91-87 exhibition win over Toronto – the Celtics’ third straight – featured a little of everything. Marquis Daniels, who won Thursday night’s game in New Jersey with a 3-pointer, added another trey in a nine-point, 4-for-4 fourth last night. Stephane Lasme broke the stretch open with a house-rattling tomahawk dunk, and Von Wafer drove his way to the line with three free throws in the last 1:23. All, obviously, are attempting to break onto coach Doc Rivers’ radar. ‘I liked that (Toronto) had to put some of their (regulars) back in,’ Rivers said. ‘We came out of a timeout with an iso for Steph and he came through – that was nice to see. Von got to the basket twice in a row. That was nice to see.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “O’Neal sat out of Saturday’s practice, bothered by his hips, and Doc Rivers plans to keep him out of one of the remaining preseason games. O’Neal explained he isn’t focused on his playing time and will do whatever it takes to help the Celtics. ‘My hip is good. I’ve got a little arthritis. A lot of pounding, but we’ve got a great staff here and I’m getting a lot of rest . . . I’ll be fine,’ he said, adding, ‘I’m here as a team player, so if Doc needs me to play big minutes, little minutes, I’m here and I won’t complain. I’m just here to try to help the Celtics get number 18 and help myself get number five.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “One thing that’s obvious is that the Celtics very much enjoy having such a monster post presence and are making every effort to get Shaq the ball every time his defender so much as looks the other way. ‘[Celtics point guard Rajon] Rondo knows that if he goes to the basket and my man leaves me, just throw it at the rim,’ said Shaq. ‘Just throw it at the backboard, throw it up; I’ll get it. He’s a great player and if he can make the pass, then most of the time I can make the catch.’ And, if Shaq can make the catch, more often than not the ball’s going to end up in the hoop (or he’ll end up at the charity stripe). ‘He commands such a presence on the inside that, when I drive the ball or Ray drives the ball, you really can’t come off of him because if you do, he’s going to get to finish,’ said Celtics captain Paul Pierce. ‘On offense, when you give him the ball, he’s such a great passer and guys tend to sink on him, and it’s going to open things up for us on the perimeter.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “It’s not like Jay Triano wasn’t familiar with Rajon Rondo already. Last season was Triano’s first as coach of the Raptors, and Rondo welcomed him to the division with 18.3 points, 10.3 assists, and 5.7 rebounds in their three meetings. But this summer, when he was an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski’s USA Basketball staff, Triano noticed something in Rondo he hadn’t before. ‘He’s a very smart basketball player,’ Triano said. ‘That surprised me. I wasn’t sure about that before. He’s one of the most highly intelligent players in the game right now,’ added Triano before his Raptors fell, 91-87, to the Celtics last night in an exhibition at TD Garden. ‘He knows everything. You cannot make a mistake with him. If you screw up on a scouting report, he knows.’ … Since it’s new assistant coach Lawrence Frank’s job to draw up the scouting reports this season, Rivers is bracing Frank for the task. ‘I’ve alerted Lawrence, this year, you get it right, because the coaches will know and so will Rondo,’ Rivers said.”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “But the truth is, simply walking into the Celtics locker room is the experience West has wanted. It’s been three years since he stepped on the parquet in green and white, and there is a different feeling this time around. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins, and Rajon Rondo are still there, but players like Gerald Green and Allan Ray have been replaced with the likes of Ray Allen and Shaquille O’Neal. There is no music playing in the locker room before the game. Instead, West notices a sense of focus among the team’s boisterous personalities. ‘I think when I was here, we had a lot of first- and second-year players here and we weren’t really quite understanding what it meant to be in the Celtics locker room,’ he said. ‘I sit in this seat now and appreciate being a part of a team like this. Wearing a Celtics badge is like an honor. It’s like you’re part of something, part of a fraternity.’”
Broderick Turner, LA Times – “Kobe Bryant still is trying to get his right knee stronger after having surgery in July. Andrew Bynum hasn’t begun to practice after surgery on his right knee and might not play until late November or early December. Luke Walton is dealing with a right hamstring injury that kept him out of the first two exhibition games. He’s expected to be reevaluated this week. ‘I just don’t think that Andrew, that there is a chance he’s going to possibly be ready for the season,’ said Jackson, who added that the Lakers also aren’t sure how ready Bryant will be when the season starts. ‘So we have to bring up the game and have a concept on how we want to play the game. That will be done during these next preseason games in the next week and a half.’”
Chris Tomasson, NBA Fanhouse – “Greg Oden claims he doesn’t listen to all the talk about how Portland should have taken Kevin Durant instead with the top pick in 2007 and about how he’s joined Bill Walton and Sam Bowie on an infamous list of Trail Blazers’ injured centers. But there is one thing Oden believes should be heard when he speaks. ‘When I get out there 100 percent, everybody will see what kind of player I am,’ Oden said in an interview with FanHouse. ‘When I get 100 percent and I get to improve on the court, I feel I can be an All-Star.’”
Marc Spears, Yahoo! – “The ball bounced high off the rim and disappeared into Blake Griffin’s hands. In an instant, the Los Angeles Clippers forward was slamming home the rebound for a thundering dunk that brought even the opposing fans to their feet at Arco Arena. Griffin stared at the Clippers’ bench as the roar fell over him. Yes, this was Griffin’s way of announcing his return – or his delayed arrival. After missing all of his first NBA season with a broken left kneecap, Griffin has wasted little time this preseason in showing off the talent and potential that made him the No. 1 pick of the 2009 draft. ‘I’ve been seeing that for like the last three weeks in practice,’ Clippers guard Baron Davis of Griffin’s highlight dunk against the Sacramento Kings. ‘For him to come back the way he did after this injury really says something.’ It says that not only does Griffin look healthy, he also now looks ready to fulfill all that promise.”
Got a tip? An article you think should be included? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @CelticsTown.