The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Garnett delivered his best offensive game of the preseason, scoring 20 points in just 20 minutes. ‘For the most part, I’ve slowed down and let the offense flow,’ Garnett said. Despite shooting just 40 percent in the preseason, Garnett’s teammates offered up some friendly words of uh, “encouragement,” to keep on shooting. ‘My first primary is defense,’ Garnett. ‘Diesel [Shaquille O'Neal] has been on my ass, Ray [Allen], Paul [Pierce] been on me, [Rajon] Rondo been on me, Coach [Doc Rivers] been on me about relaxing and letting the offensive come to me.’ That process becomes a lot simpler for Garnett when he’s on the floor with Shaquille O’Neal. ‘Being out there with Shaq, everything is open,’ Garnett said. ‘I’m used to countermoves and settting up things. For the most part, I’ve been able to attack and not have double teams. When they do, I have a great option in dropping it off.’ Seeing Garnett put up the kind of numbers he has for so many years, was a welcomed sight for Pierce. ‘He looks fantastic,’ Pierce said. ‘He looks like the old KG out there.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “The Celtics want Shaquille O’Neal to be more vocal on the court. He certainly has no problem with that off the floor. After chipping in six points, three rebounds, and two assists over 13:38 in his first action since sitting out the past three preseason games, O’Neal retreated to the bench and cheered on fellow LSU big man Glen Davis. Those words of encouragement? ‘Jambalaya, barbecue chicken, and chimichangas,’ O’Neal said with a straight face after the game. ‘It’s an LSU thing. I can’t tell you, it’s all secret society code.’ Fortunately for the media, O’Neal broke that code during the game. After his initial screams of ‘Jambalaya’ as Davis drilled a face-up jumper over a Knicks defender, O’Neal turned to the media and noted, ‘It means eat [the defender] up down there.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “Even after three years with the Celtics, the opportunity to play alongside Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen is still important to Davis. ‘It feels good. It gives me a sense of confidence,’ he said. ‘They know what they’re doing out there and you’ve just got to worry about your role. When you play with caliber guys like that, it brings you up to a whole ‘nother level.’ Davis may be motivated by a secret code, but the reasons for his success are clear. ‘I’m just playing the game like it’s supposed to be played,’ he said. ‘Doc [Rivers] was showing a lot more confidence in me and my game. He sees something and sees a little bit more maturity, so he’s giving me a little bit more leeway. As long as I play within the team and the right way, he’s going to keep showing confidence in me.’”
Rob Bradford, WEEI – “Doc Rivers’ initial explanation of how his Celtics can better from last season’s team, which came one win away from the NBA title, wasn’t complicated. ‘We can win Game 7,’ he said prior to the C’s preseason tilt with the Knicks Saturday night at XL Center. But, as the Celtics’ coach talked, he got more specific. … ’When you have injuries you tend to stay outside, and it hurt us. You look at some of the bigger games in the playoffs, we really didn’t have post presences at the time. That’s a difficult way to play basketball and win. We got away with it for the most part, but not all the way,’ Rivers explained. ‘You’ll see more. Two years ago, we were an in and out basketball team. We had to basically abandon that in some ways.’ The coach continued: ‘We’re posting everybody. That’s what we told them the first day, is we have to get back to being an in and out team. We want to run, we want to get easy baskets, we want to look to the early post. Like yesterday, Kevin [Garnett] had five of them where sprinted down the floor, beat everybody down the floor, got deep in the post, and last year he was the last guy down the floor. He was dragging his leg. We had to do what we had to do to win. It allows you to stop runs when you have a post game. Teams are on an 8-0 run, you can call a timeout and go right to the post, you usually get something out of that. When you don’t that you just better hope to make every shot.’ And then there is the secret weapon … ‘Paul [Pierce] loves the post, so does Kevin. [Rajon] Rondo is the guy, for me, who is the new guy that we can actually use,’ Rivers explained. ‘Rondo is better than you think down there. We were working on it a lot last year, we just never had the confidence to do it. What makes him effective is that you have to guard him down there. You can’t back off of him on the post. When he’s guarded, it not only spreads the floor, but it makes him a better passer.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Avery Bradley dressed Saturday against the New York Knicks but sat the entire game, a victim of discomfort in his surgically repaired left ankle. It seems Bradley is digressing and Rivers said the rookie guard will sit until he is healthy. ‘I don’t know if you looked (Friday) night, we put him in and within two minutes you could see (the ankle was bothering him),’ Rivers said. ‘So that obviously hasn’t gone the way we would like, and I’m more upset for him because this is not the way you want to break in the NBA where you’re frustrated, you can’t play. You know we have to probably try something else because what we’re doing is clearly not working.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Bradley said he twisted the ankle on Friday against Toronto. ‘They seen it . . . I was limping,’ said Bradley, who did not play (coach’s decision) on Saturday. ‘I’m going to try and get myself into practice on Monday, and try to play Wednesday.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Jermaine O’Neal, after falling on his left hand Friday night in Toronto, was held out as a precaution last night. Rajon Rondo attempted to take a charge, and paid for it by hitting the floor with his right cheekbone. You might think that after four games in five days, the Celtics simply want the exhibition season to end. But judging from the way the starters pulled the team out of a nine-point third quarter hole in last night’s 97-84 win against New York, they may have actually enjoyed this early grueling stretch. ‘I told them they were only going to play five minutes in the third, but they asked in a timeout if they could play until we got the lead,’ coach Doc Rivers said. ‘It was nice to see Paul (Pierce) get going after it like that.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Ray Allen was reluctant to admit it, with the big man just feet away, flipping strength and conditioning coach Brian Doo in the air for fun. But Allen, as a freshman at the University of Connecticut, met Shaquille O’Neal (and Anfernee Hardaway) in 1995, after O’Neal dropped 38 points on the Celtics as a member of the Magic. Allen even owned a pair of O’Neal’s Reebok shoes from those days. ‘I never told him that, but I wore his shoes while I was in college,’ said Allen. ‘I was a big fan of his while I was in high school and college. I wore his shoes — they were Reeboks at the time. I’m a Nike guy, so that will never happen again.’”
Rob Bradford, WEEI – “This time, just prior to the Celtics’ preseason tilt with the Knicks at the XL Center, Rivers was asked about the difference in people’s perception regarding the the Heat and the C’s. ‘I don’t get all the hatred,’ Rivers said. ‘I guess the press conference had a little bit to do wit that. We did it through trade, they did it through free agency, maybe that had a little bit to do with it. Whatever it is at the end of the day, when the games start the Miami fans are going to cheer for Miami, and the Boston fans are going to cheer for Boston. The Orlando fans are going to cheer for Orlando. We’ll see how it goes.’”
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