The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe - They neglected the glass all last season, and it came back to haunt them in the Finals. Now, Celtics’ focus on improving their rebounding borders on obsession. In the preseason opener against the 76ers, Ray Allen grabbed eight boards, an abnormal number for him. The next night in New Jersey, Paul Pierce grabbed a game-high six. The Celtics marked the glass as their territory in the preseason, outrebounding their Atlantic Division sparring partners by an average of 43.4-34.6. Last season, they gave up 40.1 rebounds a night, grabbing just 38.6. They’ve added size in Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal, but from the time training camp opened, coach Doc Rivers made boxing out a top priority and emphasized that rebounding has to be a collective effort. ‘We lost a championship because we got destroyed on the glass,’ Rivers said. ‘You can look at a lot of things in that game, but the bottom line is, when a team outrebounds you by double the amount on the offensive glass and they shoot 25 more free throws than you, you’re probably going to lose that basketball game.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘I think Baby’s had a sensational camp – the best since he’s been here,’ Rivers said. ‘I think he’s finally found his way. He’s going to be big for us. All he has to do is just play his game, and that’s what he’s been doing. And I’m happy for him.’ Coming from this coach in regard to this player, the above is akin to a love letter. Then again, Rivers is not one to forget history. And we all recall how Davis’ great 2009 preseason ended with a fist and a friend and a broken thumb. ‘Yeah,’ said Rivers, ‘as long as he doesn’t get in a fight in the next four days, we’re good.’”
Lenny Megliola, MetroWest Daily News – “Since he arrived in town Shaq didn’t need to be 7-foot 1, 300 and who knows how many pounds to be ubiquitous. He likes the nightlife, he likes the city. That’s him. He’s been seen in every joint, every function and lot of hotel bars it a very short time. His picture’s in the celebrity city columns all the time. And smiling. Always smiling. You don’t have to tell him to live large. He is, and he does. He comes here with a very last chance of winning a championship (he’s got four rings), and he’s said all the right things. He’ll do anything Doc Rivers asks, even that means telling him you won’t be playing much tonight, Big Fella. Shaq has indicated he’ll subjugate himself for the greater good. A future Hall of Famer himself, he’s joining up with three more who, like him, are also running out of time. The first ring for Paul Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen arrived by overnight express. A second one has been elusive, after having their hearts ripped out in Game 7 last June. Can the Celtics really win it all again? ‘We have a legitimate chance,’ said Shaq.”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – But through it all, Allen, Pierce and Garnett have stayed relatively consistent in their performance and, most notably, in their approach with each other. ‘I can say that we haven’t had too many issues that we had to deal with between the three of us,’ Allen said. ‘Everything’s been very amicable the whole time. At worst, we’ve been amicable. At best, we’ve been as close as any other teammates I’ve ever had.’ But there were some issues last season. Not huge ones, perhaps, but small ones that gathered themselves from the dust of history and time into tangible things that had to be addressed. ‘We all change,’ Doc Rivers said. ‘We’ve all changed a little bit. Their respect for each other has grown and their respect for their other teammates, with Rondo and Perk, has grown. There’s such a trust there now.’ Rivers continued, ‘Where they’ve gotten better, I thought it happened toward the end of last year. The tough part about being together for too long is you start to have less patience for each other’s faults. They know what the other guy’s fault is, and when it comes out in a game they get [ticked] about it, and then they can’t play anymore. They have gotten past that part to try and cover up for each other’s faults. That’s a nice place to be, because most of the time it goes the other way.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE - “Lasme’s agent, Andy Miller, told CSNNE.com that his client — barring an NBA team signing him, which seems highly unlikely — will sign with the Red Claws. West played for the Red Claws briefly last season, and they still own his rights. As for Gallon, he told CSNNE.com following Boston’s 107-92 win over New Jersey that he was open to the idea of playing for the Red Claws as well. ‘I just want to go somewhere and play,’ said Gallon, who recently fired his agent. ‘I’m not tripping about where.’ A new rule that took effect this season allows the NBA’s Development League teams the option of picking up as many as three players total from their respective NBA affiliates (Boston and Charlotte) after those players are waived prior to the opening day roster. However, there’s a catch. Players who are waived and agree to sign with the respective NBA team’s D-League affiliate, are paid a D-League salary, which is significantly less money than they would make in the NBA or overseas.”
Chad Finn, Boston Globe – “Heinsohn, the legendary ex-Celtic player and coach who remains a boisterous if referee-phobic analyst at 76, and Gorman are about to begin their 30th season together. Although they were already established as the longest-running continuous television broadcast team in professional sports, CSNNE and the Celtics are putting particular emphasis on their latest milestone. ‘I don’t want to sound corny, but I used to sneak into the Garden up the fire escape and bang on the door on the second balcony until somebody would let us in and sit there and watch Tommy and Cooz [Bob Cousy] play,’ Gorman said. ‘So to find myself beside him, for 30 years, it’s just a treat. And you know, we’re good friends. We’ve managed a 30-year relationship in what can be a difficult business, and I could count the number of spats we’ve had on two or three fingers, and they never lasted more than a day or two. It’s really been fun.’”
Jerry Spar, WEEI – “According to multiple reports, former Celtics guard Charles Smith was shot Thursday afternoon at a house in Bowie, Md., and was in critical but stable condition following surgery. Authorities were searching for a man seen fleeing the home with a handgun.”
ESPN Boston – ESPN was granted exclusive access Thursday as Shaquille O’Neal invaded Harvard Square and posed like a statue for hundreds of fans. So how did he come up with the idea? ‘The idea of the Shaq statue originated from watching TV one day,’ Shaq told ESPN. ‘I was watching the royal British guards. If you know anything about those guys they have tremendous discipline. The other idea is I always wanted to tell people I went to Harvard.’”
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