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 – “First, there was the most anticipated season opener in NBA history, against the Heat, followed by a trip to Cleveland for the biggest trap game. The Celtics got a day of rest yesterday before they host the new-look Knicks tonight. There are back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday at Detroit and in Boston against the Bucks. After a home game against the Bulls next Friday, the Celtics go on the road for four straight against Oklahoma City, Dallas, Miami, and Memphis. ‘When you read the list of teams we’re playing our first 10 games, it’s a brutal list,’ Rivers said. Fast starts have been the Celtics’ signature the past three seasons, but this time it may be more difficult. The schedule isn’t on their side, and neither are the circumstances. They’ll have to go through that tough 10-game stretch without Delonte West, the floor general of their second unit, because of his 10-game league suspension stemming from gun charges last year. ‘That’s a big concern, how we’re going to get through that stretch,’ Rivers said.”
Marc Berman, New York Post – “If Stoudemire steers the Knicks to the eighth playoff seed, he expects the Celtics waiting for them as the East’s top dog. ‘Absolutely, for the simple fact they were in the Finals last year,’ said Stoudemire when asked if the Celtics were the team to beat in the East. ‘You can’t undercut that. And they got stonger. They got better.’ … ’Boston is good, man,’ Stoudemire said. ‘They got All-Star-caliber players at every position in their starting lineup. They’re a team to be reckoned with and Coach [Doc] Rivers is a great coach.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The Celtics are hoping the way they played Wednesday night in Cleveland can be a scared-straight moment. After committing repeated acts of self-abuse during the 2009-10 regular season before getting their shots together in the playoffs, they ran away from running their offense against the Cavaliers, abandoning their defensive principles for long stretches, as well. It was a reminder of last season, when things got testy on and off the court during a run that was uneven at best. The game video from Wednesday is roughly akin to seeing a picture of what you wore to the eighth grade dance. The Celtics simply don’t want to put themselves through that again. This time around, they want to maintain their focus and pay attention to the details that allow their many talents to come through. They want to play by-the-numbers basketball, with 1. being to get the rock to the paint. ‘Last year was tough in the regular season, but I don’t think that’s going to happen with this team,’ captain Paul Pierce said. ‘We’ve got to understand that teams are going to compete hard, and I think on a night-in, night-out basis we’ve got to do a better job of taking advantage of our strengths. I think we should have gotten the ball inside more (vs. the Cavs). When we’ve got (Shaquille O’Neal) and (Kevin Garnett) and I look up and they’re taking four and eight shots (respectively), that’s not enough. That’s where we’re going to have an advantage every night, and I think we have to thrive on that. So that’s something we’ve got to fix. We’ve got to get the ball in to them. But I don’t think this team is going to lose focus like we did last year. Yeah, that was definitely frustrating. But this team is highly motivated. I don’t think that’s going to happen this year.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “The Boston Celtics aren’t in flip-the-switch mode right now. Like most NBA teams this time of year, the Celtics are working towards developing a consistent rhythm. That’s why there’s no increased concern or added urgency following Wednesday’s 95-87 loss at Cleveland, a game in which the C’s led by as many as 11 points in the second half before being outscored 13-3 to close out the game. If anything, the first two games reaffirmed coach Doc Rivers’ belief that, on paper at least, the Celtics are good enough to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season. ‘We’re going to be really good,’ Rivers said following the loss at Cleveland.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “The mid-range shot (16 to 23 feet) isn’t one of Boston’s biggest weapons as the team averaged only 16.6 attempts per game from that distance last season (third least in the NBA, ahead of only Houston and Orlando). But the Celtics were fifth best in the NBA at that distance, shooting a solid 40.8 percent, meaning its nice to have in the toolbox. Through the first two games of the 2010-11 season, the Celtics haven’t harnessed the full power of their mid-range game, connecting on a mere 9 of 27 attempts (33 percent) from 16 to 23 feet.”
Chris Tomasson, NBA Fanhouse – “Already, Williams said [Al] Jefferson gives the Jazz a type of ‘low-post scorer we’ve never had” who will ‘command double teams.” Of course, even Jefferson admits that, when those double teams come, he sometimes must pass. Jefferson, though, overall is excited about coming to Utah. He shrugs off there being any pressure to replace Boozer since he’s already been through that by taking over for Kevin Garnett when he went from Minnesota to Boston in the July 2007 deal that landed Jefferson. ‘I love it, man,’ Jefferson said of being with the Jazz. ‘It’s the best thing that could have happened to me. I think it’s the beginning of something special, a chance to show the league what I can do on another level.’ It sure beats growing old during Minnesota’s seemingly endless rebuilding process.”
Chris Tomasson, NBA Fanhouse – “‘I felt early last year that he played better than I had seen him play (previously in his career),” Nuggets coach George Karl of [Shelden] Williams, who eventually had trouble getting minutes as the Celtics made it to the NBA Finals with Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Rasheed Wallace and Davis as their primary post players. “That’s the kind of thing that stuck in my head. He didn’t play much the second half of the season. ‘But you’re searching for those guys who want playing time as much as they want a contract. I think Shelden realized our circumstance (with Martin and Andersen out). He was going to have an opportunity to play, and he used it very well. And he’s been on of our top players in training camp.’ Williams said he also got minimum contract offers from Chicago and Utah before signing with Denver. He impressed the Nuggets with averages of 12.6 points and 7.9 rebounds in the preseason before erupting in the opener. ‘I just tried to be aggressive on the glass and tried to take as much as I can,” Williams said. ‘Fortunately, it worked out well.’ It sure did. ‘It told him he played like Moses Malone as far as his rebounding,’ said Nuggets guard Anthony Carter.”
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