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 – “With 17 assists last night, Rajon Rondo’s numbers in that category are obscene, and when he was asked if Rondo could keep it up, so was Kevin Garnett. ‘[Expletive], why not?’ Garnett said after a 109-86 win over the Pistons. ‘You say he can’t. I say he can, you know. It’s all about the flow and all about if guys are hitting their shots. If he’s in a rhythm or a real good groove, he knows when to attack. He’s picking and choosing when to do certain things. He’s mixing it up really well. He’s keeping defenses off-balance. Who says he can’t?’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Rondo would love to keep his 16.8 assists per game average intact, but even he believes that number will fall over time. ‘More than most likely, it won’t continue to happen like this,’ Rondo said. ‘But if they make shots, it will. I’m not going to put it all on them. But it starts with our initial defense.’ This is Jermaine O’Neal’s first season with the Celtics, so all this dime-dropping by Rondo is new to him. Still, he has seen enough to believe that Rondo is indeed on a historic path as playmaker. ‘I knew Rondo was a pretty good young point guard, but his control and his command of the game … it’s light years ahead of his age,’ O’Neal said. ‘He looks like he’s been in the league 15 years already. It’s rare you find point guards with that type of command.’ … ‘He has an opportunity to be, if health and everything pans out, to be one of the all-time great point guards this league has ever seen,’ O’Neal said.”
Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press – “After saying no one is going to have sympathy for the injury-depleted Pistons, [coach John Kuester] said: ‘We have to collectively someway or somehow find another voice besides my own that is going to lead us.’ Tayshaun Prince agreed with him — but said Kuester has to share the blame on the horrible start. ‘… He’s right, but at the same time it goes both ways,” Prince said. “We can sit here and continue to get on each other and be vocal, but like I said, the right thing has got to come from him as well as us. It goes both ways. He says we got to be more vocal, he has to do some things better, too. Obviously, we’re 0-4 so it ain’t just the team.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “‘I was telling Kevin and Rondo and Paul and Ray (Allen) that I’m starting to understand the areas where they like the ball and where you have to get to,’ [Jermaine O'Neal] said. ‘Kevin said the same thing to me – now I see where you want to go. Rondo is one of the best point guards in this league and he just probes and finds guys and makes decisions,” O’Neal added. “You just have to figure where the flow of the offense is going. Tonight was the first time I was able to do that – even combined with practices – to see how he tries to get the ball into the paint and where he likes to find those guys.’ The results make Doc Rivers look prescient. ‘We keep telling (O’Neal) to be a defensive player and you’ll be amazed at how many points you’ll score, because we’re unselfish,’ said the Celtics coach. ‘If you run and set picks you’ll be wide open, and you’ll get wide-open shots. The first thing he said was, ‘My goodness, with these guys on the floor if I set open picks they’re going to find me.””
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “You can add Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers to the long list of folks who got a big kick out of the hilarious outfits that Celtics players donned for Halloween. ‘They had a nice time,’ Rivers said. ‘That’s good. I like what our team is doing on that front. Off the floor, they’re having a lot of fun and they’re doing it together. That’s nice.’ There’s no way to quantify if those moments will factor into more wins. But Rivers has been around long enough to know that it can’t hurt. ‘I don’t know if you can put a win total on it, but team-building is team-building,’ Rivers said. ‘Teams that are together, win. That’s been proven through history.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The assault began about a minute into the game. Garnett blew past Daye, got under the basket, and scooped up a reverse while absorbing a Daye foul, then cursed at himself as he saw it roll around the rim and out, costing him a chance at a 3-point play. ‘I said just keep doing that,’ Ray Allen said. ‘Whatever we do, just throw the ball in there and just make them make a decision.’ From the opening minutes of the Celtics’ 109-86 win, Garnett treated Daye like a chew toy. Rajon Rondo put the ball in Garnett’s hands early and often, and Garnett scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in the first frame, using Daye as his early-season lab rat. At times it looked like a one-on-one clinic, but Garnett insisted it was just business. ‘It wasn’t clinical,’ he said. ‘The young fella’s really good. He reminds me of myself when I was younger, plays the perimeter but has the potential to be a force. He just has to continue to put in the work, get his body together, continue to get better. He has a great IQ of basketball. I respect that. He works hard. He’s going to be all right.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Last night against the Pistons, O’Neal made his first start as a Celtic, replacing Shaquille O’Neal, who stayed at home with a bone bruise in his right knee. He played 21 minutes in the Celtics’ 109-86 victory, with a season-high 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks. The opportunity to start was something O’Neal spent the past couple of days savoring, as he recalled those days on the bench in Portland and realized that at 32, it is something that no longer can be taken for granted. O’Neal seemed to finally stop pressing in his desire to impress his new teammates. ‘He’s definitely sensing the simplicity of the game that we have,’ guard Ray Allen said. ‘If he puts himself in the right position, we’re going to find him. We’re going to get him his shots and he doesn’t have to press and he doesn’t have to take tough shots. You set screens and you’re wide open. Being out there, he’s going to fall into his comfort zone and he’s going to start hitting that stride.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Jermaine O’Neal was feeling a good kind of remorse last night – the kind that applies to a mistake made by one of your former teams, not the current one. ‘I’m kind of angry, because we worked this guy out,’ the Celtics center said of Rajon Rondo’s pre-draft workout with the Indiana Pacers in the spring of 2006. ‘If I had known back then what I know now, I would have called Donnie (Walsh, former Pacers general manager) and told him we need to get this guy.’ … If all goes as planned, Shaquille O’Neal will play in tonight’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks after missing the Pistons contest to rest a bruised right knee. But considering the juggling coach Doc Rivers has already been forced to perform with the two O’Neals, that plan could be scrapped this morning.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “The big challenge for Jermaine O’Neal at this point is finding his way offensively with a group that will draw a considerable amount of attention from opponents. ‘He’s going to be overlooked,’ Pierce said. ‘And that’s great because he’s going to get a lot of opportunities, and he’s going to take advantage of them. He’s a high percentage shooter. He’s an all-star. And when you get him around the basket, he can finish. He can knock down a 15-footer. If he’s the guy you’re going to leave open, we’re going to be be happy with that. Because he’s going to make them pay.’”
Ben Rohrbach, WEEI – “In O’Neal’s absence, Erden also blocked a pair of Pistons attempts, picked up three rebounds and ran the floor for a wide-open dunk. The latter was a shining example of the energy the Turk played with throughout his 15 minutes on the floor. Most importantly, Erden looked as though he belonged on an NBA floor. The first-half play of Erden could be the best sign for the Celtics future, as he showed that the potential to spell both O’Neals — who, as we know, will need their share of spelling. That leaves Glen Davis to continue giving Kevin Garnett his rest, limiting minutes for all three veteran big men over the course of the 82-game season. Of course, any excitement over the play of J.O. and Semih last night can be tempered by the fact that they played the Pistons, who by the looks of things should be one of the worst five teams in the league.”
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