The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Rivers admitted the Semih Erden Era could start in earnest Tuesday against the Pistons, with potential even for Erden to start (he ran with the first-teamers at the end of Sunday’s session). That would take some of the pressure off the rookie center, who has yet to see floor time despite being active through the first three games. It would also allow the team to keep Glen Davis in his first-off-the-bench role. ‘I don’t like starting Baby; Baby comes in at the 5 or 4 off the bench and when you start him, now you really take away a lot of options,’ said Rivers. ‘And then if he gets in foul trouble, you’ve taken away all your options.’ So if Shaq can’t go, Rivers would prefer to lean on Jermaine O’Neal as starter, but if the team isn’t confident he can perform at a high level, that job might fall to Erden. Rivers heaped high praise on Erden despite his lack of court time thus far. ‘He knows how to play, he’s just trying to learn how to play our way,’ said Rivers. ‘The language barrier is a problem, no doubt about that, but we just gotta keep working on it. He’s going to be a good big in this league and he’s going to be a good big in this league for a long time. I don’t know if he’s a good enough big right now. He is talent wise, but there’s just so many things. It’s tough when you’re a rookie and you understand me; It’s even tougher when you don’t.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “Jermaine O’Neal plans to play against the Pistons, but his recent injury history (back, hamstring, wrist and knee problems) since the start of camp make everything about him day-to-day. ‘My comfort level is probably at an all-time low as far as chemistry, because I’ve been in and out of the lineup,’ O’Neal said. ‘That’s the only way you can get comfortable with a new system. It’s been rough. I’m not going to lie. I’m disappointed.’ This latest malady caught O’Neal off guard the day after he fouled out in the loss at Cleveland. ‘It was strange,’ he said. ‘I played the game and woke up the next day and had a lot of soreness and some swelling. So I wanted to be a little proactive about it.’ Semih Erden got in most of the reps with the first team yesterday. If neither O’Neal plays tomorrow, the rookie will get the start. Rivers wants to keep Glen Davis in a reserve role because he’s backing up two positions (power forward, center). And the coach has been impressed with Erden.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Following treatments on Sunday which included swimming laps with Kendrick Perkins (out with a right knee injury), the Big Shamrock said he is ‘day-to-day.’ ‘Hopefully I’ll be ready to go Tuesday,” O’Neal said. ‘If not, just sit back until it gets right.’ The news wasn’t all bad for the Celtics on the injury front. Jermaine O’Neal, who didn’t play in Boston’s 105-101 win over New York on Friday, was able to participate in most of the C’s Sunday practice. If healthy enough, Jermaine O’Neal will get his first start as a Celtic against the Pistons. ‘It felt pretty good,’ said O’Neal, who is nursing a knee injury.”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “[Jermaine] O’Neal said he has also been adjusting to his role with the Celtics. ‘My role with this team isn’t what I’m used to,’ he said. ‘I’m not asked to come in and score. I have to get used to just running to the boards, trying to block shots and play defense. That’s my job and getting used to that and mentally locking in is something I’m getting used to but at the same time I accept that and I want to do my job. But I can’t do my job when I’m not on the court.’”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Celtics guard Delonte West said after practice yesterday that his conflict with teammate Von Wafer has been resolved. West and Wafer scuffled during a workout before Friday night’s game. ‘It’s not that serious,’ West said. ‘We’ve moved past that, you know. We’re competitive guys being competitive. I’m competitive, he’s competitive. Hopefully, it’s for the betterment of the team. There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition and pushing each other to get better. Things went a little too far but, at the same time, we’re able to move past that. We’re professionals and we’re on to something different, we’ve forgotten all about it. We actually laughed about it [yesterday]. I read the reports and a lot of things were taken out of [context], and facts were made up that were not true, how things played out. Guys get into scuffles, or whatever you want to call it, but at the end of the day we’re brothers in here and we had a big laugh about it. We’re trying to win, we’re competitive, we have fiery guys in here and, you know, you’ve got to get to the next thing, next game, next challenge.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “[Delonte West] also said that he appreciated the support of the Celtics organization. ‘To be on a team such as the Celtics and they have high hopes for me and asked me to contribute and help them win a championship, that’s a very high compliment, and I take it to heart,’ West said. ‘I don’t want to let this team down.’ West said that his back, which kept him out of several preseason games, felt ’100 percent.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE - “There hasn’t been much down time for this second-round pick from the University of Notre Dame. When [Luke Harangody] isn’t practicing with the Celtics, he’s sticking around at their training facility to get in extra workouts. And even though life on the road can be hard, he is learning a thing or two from his veteran teammates. The fans have helped ease the transition, too. ‘The travel [surprised me], getting into a city at 2 o’clock in the morning,’ he said. ‘There are so many back-to-backs in the NBA, you don’t really see that in college where you never really travel from one city to another. You’re usually coming back to campus every time after a game. When you have a chance to get some sleep, I think you need to take care of your body. Watching the veterans, I learn from them and how they approach the game and how they take care of their bodies, especially in the training room. [I was also surprised by] the amount of time rookies have to get here early and put their work in. It’s something that we want to do just to get better. We want to get here early and be the last ones out of the gym because as a younger guy, I don’t get as many reps in at practice so I have to put more work in in the weight room and conditioning. I’ll get here two hours before and leave an hour to two hours after. I like to get some shots up and conditioning on the floor. Usually we play two-on-two because the younger guys aren’t getting as many reps in practice. The atmosphere at the Garden threw me off guard. The fans love the Celtics and that was great to see and great to be a part of a team like that. They threw me out there [for a preseason game introduction] and that was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was happy to do that. It was great and I’ve even run into some fans who’ve said they were there for that and they told me what a good job I did. I told them they were just being nice (laughs).’”
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