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 – “Paul Pierce started FitClub34 as a public service to encourage children to exercise. Perhaps he didn’t know it at the time, but it became a personal initiative as well. An athlete who sets himself up as a spokesman for fitness can’t then go to seed. It wouldn’t have been kosher for the Celtics [team stats] captain, in the wake of last June’s Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, to go home, get married, sign a new deal and spend the next two months at a luau. Instead, Pierce went home, got married, signed and lost five pounds. ‘I’ve got to lead by example, right? I can’t tell people to eat right and exercise and train and I don’t do it,’ he said. ‘It’s all a part of me and what I do in the lifestyle.’ … ‘I’d say I’m a week away, truthfully,’ he said. ‘Each and every year it’s been my focus to do a better job on my fitness, coming in in better shape with each year, especially the last four years. The older I get, it doesn’t get any easier. It’s important that I take care of my body, eat right, exercise and do the best I can to be healthy. That will take the stress off my knees. Last summer I had surgery on my knees, a hard time on my foot, so if I cut down on my weight it cuts back on the problem. That’s what I’m trying to do, especially at this point in my career.’”
Gary Washburn Boston Globe – “O’Neal is bigger and less nimble than Kendrick Perkins, so some adjustment is necessary. Garnett said O’Neal’s presence actually makes things easier defensively (Celtics Town note: offensively?). ‘It makes things more simple,’ he said. ‘Being out there with Shaq, everything’s open. I’m used to counter moves and setting up things, and for the most part I’ve been able to attack and not have double teams, and when they do, I have a great option in dropping it off. So it’s a good addition.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “With a revamped roster and improved health, the Celtics are hellbent on returning to that inside-outside game. To prove that point, Boston has attempted to post up just about everyone on their roster this preseason, including point guard Rajon Rondo. … ‘We’re posting everybody, even Rondo,’ said Rivers. ‘We told them on the first day [of training camp], ‘We’ve got to get back to being an in-and-out team.’ We want to run and get easy baskets, but we also want to look early to post. [Friday vs. Toronto], [Kevin Garnett] had five of them where he sprinted down the floor, beat everybody, and got into the deep post. Last year he was the last guy down the floor, dragging his leg. So we did what we had to do [last season]. It’s nice, it allows you to stop runs. When you have a post team and teams are on an 8-0 run, you can call timeout and usually you get something out of that. When you don’t have that, you have to hope you’re making shots.’ … Rivers has raved about the renewed confidence Garnett has in that leg and how he’s demanded the ball in the post, unlike last season when he shied away. Rivers also noted how even Paul Pierce was skittish to return to the post because of his variety of injuries a year ago. ‘Paul was injured too, and we forget that Paul missed a big chunk of time and it took a long time for him to get back to health,’ said Rivers. ‘When you have injuries, guys try to stay outside. That hurt him. You look at some of his bigger games in the playoffs, we didn’t have a post presence. It’s a difficult way to play and win.’ Some say the Celtics overcame that deficiency to come within a half-quarter of a title. But Rivers doesn’t buy it. The team didn’t walk out of the Staples Center with another title, so the coach says it’s time to get back to the championship ways of 2008.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Wake up, Celtics Nation! The C’s 97-84 preseason win over the New York Knicks on Saturday rang the alarm, loud and clear, that the regular season is right around the corner. ‘We feel like, it’s one preseason game left (against New Jersey on Wednesday), so we have to start sharpening up the tools going in,’ said Paul Pierce. … Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes that being banged up, more than boredom, was the main culprit in the C’s struggles last season which ended with Boston losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals on the road to the Los Angeles Lakers. ‘When Paul and Kevin got injured, we weren’t going to win a lot of games with injuries,’ Rivers said. ‘This year, we would like to have Game 7 at our place.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Despite playing in Tuesday’s game at Philadelphia, Avery Bradley has been experiencing setbacks in his recovery from ankle surgery. ‘I’m more upset for him because this is not the way you want to break into the NBA,’ Rivers said. ‘Where you’re frustrated and you can’t play. We probably have to try something else because what we’re doing is clearly not working. [Celtics trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and I talked about it [Friday] night. I don’t know what, but what we’re doing is not working.’ What possible avenues could the Celtics travel? ‘It’s just so sore, maybe he’s just not ready to play right now,’ Rivers said. ‘And we may just sit him down and let him do rehab. Maybe we pushed him back too soon.’”
John Schuhmann, NBA.com – “And as good as their starters have been, the Celtics’ bench will be just as critical to their success, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. The veteran stars of the team need to be fresh come April, but the Celtics do not want to take their foot off the gas at any point. Though they more than proved that they can flip the switch, they would rather not coast into the postseason like they did last year. ‘If we want to do the things that we hope we can do, we’d like to have home-court advantage all through the playoffs,’ Ray Allen says. ‘That changes things a lot. So that requires us to make sure that we take care of business all [season].’ The upgrades to the bench will help make that possible, and they go beyond the two O’Neals. In fact, it may be the return of Delonte West that will be most critical in keeping the Celtics at the top of the standings.”
Tim Povtak, NBA Fanhouse -”There is no point in playing the game if you’re not trying to be the best. I’m just trying to be the best in the NBA,’ [Derrick Rose] said with his typical quiet confidence before the Bulls played the Magic Thursday night. ‘If that’s not the case, retire and start doing something else.’ Rose doesn’t care that most everyone else believes that Kobe Bryant, James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, and even Anthony have a better chance to be the MVP. Rose doesn’t see it that way. He likes his Bulls, and he likes his chances. ‘Why can’t I be MVP of the league?’ he asked.”
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