The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Rich Levine, CSNNE – “But the one thing Garnett doesn’t, and never will, tolerate are players who don’t share his drive for self-improvement. The need to get better and be better and do whatever it takes to get there. And if you’re unwilling to take advice from Garnett — regardless of his tone, or the circumstances — then that’s proof you don’t have what it takes. I mean, it’s not like the guy’s advising you on which girl to marry or which car to buy. He’s trying to teach you a specific skill that a) directly affects your life and b) he understands better than just about and anyone in the world, and you can’t swallow your pride? Then KG has no use for you. Especially at this point in his career; especially considering what he has with this Celtics team. Garnett loves basketball, but he still treats it like a job. His job is to win, and he’s more driven to achieve that than maybe anyone who’s ever played. But this is a team game; Garnett knows he can’t do it by himself. So he builds an army of guys who can best help him do that. He instills in them the values, priorities and motivations that he knows will give them the best chance to get there, and prays to God it sticks. When KG’s coaching up Erden, Harangody, Mikki Moore or Patrick O’Bryant, he’s not looking for a new friend, or a new partner in crime or even to mold a future NBA All-Star. He’s looking for pieces to his championship puzzle. He’s looking for the guys who get it; the guys who are smart enough to let him make them better.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “”It just felt good to be out there again,” Bradley said after icing an ankle that tightened up on him from inactivity in the second half. He’s optimistic it will be OK on Wednesday, but the Celtics have exercised extreme caution in regard to player health. ‘I haven’t been on the court playing in a game in a long time, since my last game at Texas. It felt real good being out there.’ Bradley checked in for his first game action with 1:38 to play in the first quarter. He grabbed a defensive rebound just before the quarter expired, but got more involved in the second period. After missing a couple of jumpers, he hit a mid-range attempt with 8:57 to play in the half for his first NBA bucket. It was the only shot he hit on six attempts, but Bradley proved, true to his predraft reputation, to be most impressive on the defensive side of the ball. ‘Avery played great in the first half, you can see what he can do with ball pressure. It’s amazing,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “But in the second half, I thought he got tired, No. 1. And I thought his ankle stiffened up, that’s why we had to put Nate [Robinson] in. We didn’t want to take [Bradley] out, but he couldn’t have survived. I was happy. He’s going to be a really good player.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Although Davis and Rivers have had their differences, Rivers will be the first to acknowledge Davis has tremendous value to the Celtics in their quest toward Banner No. 18. ‘He’s headed in the right direction,’ Rivers said. ‘He has a ways to go, but he’s clearly improved each year. He’s more comfortable. He understands what he needs to do on the floor.’ Added Davis: ‘[Rivers] knows me and in big games . . . he knows I’m a seasoned player who has performed in big games coming off the bench.’ But there have been times when Davis has focused on excelling at one facet of his game, like scoring, which took away from his true strength, which is his versatility. Scoring may get the headlines, but players who excel at the game’s intangibles or less glorified aspects of the game, do quite well. ‘I’ve told him several times, Dennis Rodman was one of the best rebounders of all time,’ said C’s guard Ray Allen. ‘And he got paid great money. Ben Wallace, great rebounding, wasn’t a scorer. But he was making a max contract. [Davis] can carve out his own niche; because of his athleticism, his footwork, he can shoot the ball. Just being that guy that can fill in the gap. You don’t have to be a 15-20 points-per-night scorer. You can be nine points a night and grab 8 to 10 rebounds, and then you become the guy that people on other teams are always afraid of when you come to the game.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “Here’s a homework assignment from Shaquille O’Neal. (Actually he gave it to us and we’re sharing the workload.) Shaq wants to know if there has ever been an active player in the NBA with a Ph.D. O’Neal is curious, because he says he will be getting his doctorate later this season from Barry University in Miami Shores. Shaq began working on the Ph.D. in human resource development. (It’s a doctorate in leadership and education, with a specialization in HRD.) O’Neal sat out last night’s game to rest his hips, and he may not play tonight in New York either. ‘I feel OK,’ he said. ‘I’m just taking a break. I’ve got a couple of knick-knacks, and the real deal is about to start, so it’s all about that. I want to make sure that starts perfectly for me and the team. What I’ve got now ain’t nothing to worry about, nothing to cry about. I’ve got my man (strength coach Bryan Doo) here, and I’m still doing my exercises, so we’ll be fine.’ . . . Delonte West also sat out. ‘Delonte would have been a starter, but his back is still really giving him problems,’ Rivers said. The coach is not worried about any long-term effects on West, who will get a league-mandated break because of the gun-possession charges.”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Jermaine O’Neal’s starting to get slightly self-conscious about his offense. … He said this after shooting 1 of 6 from the floor tonight. ‘You’ve got to keep building. You can’t get too frustrated. That’s just what it’s about, trying to do whatever you can do to get a rhythm for Oct. 26. I’m surprised I’ve been struggling with something I do well — that’s score — but I rebounded better tonight. Just kind of putting it together. Just me continuing to do what I’m doing, don’t get frustrated and go from there. Rivers’ response: *Shrug*. ‘It’s funny,’ Rivers said. ‘He was looking at the 1 for 6, and I told him I could care less. It’s the 12 rebounds, the blocked shots, the charges. He’s going to be really good for us defensively.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Luke Harangody knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and credited his offensive rhythm to simply slowing down. He shot 4 of 5 from the floor and finished with 11 points after going 0 for 3 and looking rushed against Toronto. ‘Just talking to the coaching staff, I’m doing a lot better just slowing myself down,’ he said, ‘and today was another step up, taking my time with my shot and just coming into it now. I feel great out there.’ Rivers said it’s impossible to slow the rookie down entirely, but he’s settling in. ‘I don’t know if we can slow him down right now, but he’s playing,’ Rivers said. ‘It’s good to see him make shots. That’s what he does. The back-to-back threes for him was good. He just goes so fast at times. But he’s getting it.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The Celtics will take on the Knicks tonight, then meet the Raptors in Toronto Friday and play New York in Hartford Saturday. After that, they have just next Wednesday’s Garden date with New Jersey on their dance card. The goal in these last games is to try some different combinations and get a working rotation together. ‘We haven’t done that much, yet,’ Rivers said. ‘It’s almost been five and five (subbing the reserves as a unit). (Tonight) we’ll try to do a lot of it. The one combination I want to do is play Kevin (Garnett) and Baby (Glen Davis) together. I don’t think they’ve had one second together yet. We were going to do it (last Sunday against Toronto), and then Baby gets hit in the nose. So there goes that plan.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Standing next to each other on one side of the paint, Boston Celtics teammates Jermaine O’Neal and Glen Davis saw, at precisely the same moment, a Sixers ball-handler ready to drive from the opposite baseline. Like two shoppers racing for a must-have Christmas gift on Black Friday, the two practically pushed each other out of the way trying to scramble over and draw an offensive foul. In a way, it seemed appropriate. These two figure to be pushing each other to take charges all season long. ‘It’s a contest this year: Who can draw the most charges,’ O’Neal said after the game with a big grin. ‘And I believe I’m going to win it.’”
Chris Sheridan, ESPN New York – “And what coach Mike D’Antoni made clear Tuesday on the eve of that opener was this: That main centerpiece, Amare Stoudemire, will not be forced to play out of position at center when the ball goes up at Madison Square Garden for the first time this fall. Instead, rookie Russian center Timofey Mozgov will be manning the middle for the restructured Knicks in the home preseason opener against the Boston Celtics after D’Antoni gave every indication Tuesday that Mozgov has earned a semi-permanent spot in the starting lineup. ‘He’s playing well, and he picks things up extremely fast. I know there’s going to be rough spots ahead, but I just like his attitude and his effort, and then we’ll see what happens,’ D’Antoni said. ‘He might have more rough spots than what I hoped, but we’ll work through it. He does a lot of good things, and we’ll see over the next six, seven, eight games how it goes with him, and then we’ll see what happens.’ Mozgov’s debut could come against none other than Shaquille O’Neal if circumstances permit, but O’Neal’s availability for Wednesday night game at MSG was in question after Boston coach Doc Rivers said O’Neal would be held out of Tuesday night’s exhibition game against Philadelphia because of a hamstring issue.”
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