The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “‘You can only say sorry so many times,’ said West, who had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 21 minutes in his season debut. ‘As a man, you have to apologize if I make a mistake, which I did. But that doesn’t reflect on my character as a person. It’s about being a little more cautious about places where I hang out and the company I keep around myself. But being on house arrest throughout the season and the playoffs, I’m just able to focus on basketball. I go here and I go home. I come back here later in the day, and then I go home. My grandma Joyce always told me, you have ups, you have downs. If you stay the same, they come back around, so here we go.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “West felt a surge of emotion when he took his first step on to the court since serving a 10-game suspension. Then he was hit by reality. ‘I was anxious,’ he said after the Celtics victory over the Washington Wizards. ‘I was wondering how the crowd was going to respond. They showed me a lot of love. I almost had a tear in my eye. Then Nick Young gave me like four buckets in a row and then the tears dried real fast. I remembered I’m back in the NBA.’ … ‘I just thank the Lord that the ownership here and coaching staff and [director of basketball operations] Danny Ainge, they know what I’m about,’ he said. ‘They knew the difference between a bad decision and a bad person. I’m just blessed to have this opportunity to do what I love to do.’ … ‘Last night I stayed up til 3, 4 o’clock in the morning trying to put a nice ensemble together, laying my clothes out on the floor,’ he said. ‘I realized, hey get some sleep.’ But West doesn’t have to rummage through his closet anymore. The outfit that suits him best is hanging in his locker.”
Peter May, ESPN Boston – “‘I thought after halftime that he got his legs a little bit and he was just terrific,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of West. ‘Obviously, he gives us offense. But he gives us another tough guard on the floor, and that’s good for us.’ It’s huge. West can back up Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. He can play with Rondo and Nate Robinson. He is relentless, competitive and knows that after everything that transpired last summer, he is on a very short leash. ‘The Lord gave me a second chance,’ he said. ‘I want to make the best of it.’ Or, as former and current teammate Shaquille O’Neal noted, “I think he’s just misunderstood at times.’ Eleven games down for the Celtics. The rest of a season remains. The Celtics might not have missed West in the past few weeks, but they feel they can sure use him going forward. The feeling is mutual.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘It felt great,’ West said. ‘For a minute there in the summertime, I thought I wasn’t going to see an NBA court again. But I just thank the Lord that the ownership here and the coaching staff and (GM) Danny Ainge, you know, they know what I’m about. They knew the difference between a bad decision and a bad person, and I’m just blessed to have this opportunity to do what I love to do. The Lord gave me a second opportunity, and I’m going to make the best of it.’ The Celtics are counting on it.”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “That he is because now the Celtics have a complete backcourt. West was the missing piece to that puzzle and now it’s coming together fully. It will take time, of course. Not every team is going to play ‘defense’ like the Wizards played, but the next one will get easier, and the one after that. ‘Glad I got it out the way,’ West said. ‘Now you guys can go back to bothering them and leave me alone.’ He was joking. After so much that’s happened, it was good to laugh.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “As Rivers noted, ‘Players — they have memories.’ Garnett responded Wednesday by connecting on 9-of-11 shots for 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds over 23 minutes as the Celtics atoned with a 114-83 thrashing. Garnett also limited Blatche to 10 points and three rebounds. ‘This team gave us problems last year, and we haven’t forgotten that,’ Garnett said. ‘I haven’t. Paul [Pierce] and I got here and could hear [former Celtic turned Wizards assistant coach] Sam Cassell [boasting] about how young they were and how they are going to come at us, but this team gave us problems last year. We made note of it.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Semih Erden, whose reward for working out against Shaquille O’Neal every day is a damaged left shoulder, admits that the joint eventually will require surgery. ‘After the season, yes,’ said the rookie, who plans to work through the season with the injury, despite the cringe-inducing diagnosis. ‘It’s a partial dislocation,’ Danny Ainge said. ‘He actually played with it in the summer. A lot of guys play entire careers with it. But he could go the way of (Kendrick Perkins) and eventually have surgery on it.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “In addition to plenty of fourth-quarter rest, O’Neal’s effort helped pave the way for the season’s first in-game appearance of Gino, the American Bandstand JumboTron dancer. Garnett and O’Neal stood shoulder to shoulder, laughing throughout the sequence as the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing” blared through the arena. ‘[Shaq] asked what was that? And I told him that any time we get up by a lot, it’s the Gino Show,’ explained Garnett. ‘Paul and I took him through, clip by clip. They got some new clips up there that we haven’t seen in a minute, we had to blow the dust off of Gino tonight. But we were testing him because Shaq’s a 70’s kid, he knows some of [the dance moves], The Bump, The Wap — some of those weird dances. Not all this weird, Dougie-ing and all that. So he recognized some of the moves, The Robot and all that. He enjoyed that, so hopefully we can get some more Gino up in here.’ O’Neal claimed to be aware of the Gino phenomenon, but had never been able to enjoy it from the opposing bench. ‘I’ve seen Gino before, he’s cool,’ said O’Neal. ‘I’ve seen Gino, [while] playing on other teams. I’ve been here 20 years, baby.’”
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