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 – “‘We came into the game with a completely different mind-set,’ Rivers said. ‘Before the game I don’t even think I said the word ‘offense’. Our defensive disposition from the start was terrific. I felt that we were going to compete defensively, but the big question is, can we do this every night? We’re a veteran team and sometimes it seems like we’re counting how many games we have until the playoffs.’ Whether they can do it every night, Pierce said, shouldn’t depend on how angry they are. ‘That’s the way we should be every night,’ he said. ‘We shouldn’t ever have to use the losses to get us up for these teams. We should play like that every night and we’ll put together a great season if we do.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “‘I mentioned that,’ Pierce said of last season’s sweep. ‘Teams think we’re sweet after losing the last two games, and the team beat us four times, so it was sort of like a statement game to me. Maybe it’s a team that we meet in the playoffs.’ The problem is that the C’s can’t count on an angry bus ride for every win. ‘Very angry,’ Pierce said of the team’s Sunday state of mind. ‘The whole bus drive from the gym to the airport, through customs, even in the gym this morning during shootaround, you could see that everyone was (ticked) off. That’s the way we should be every night. We shouldn’t have to use losses to get over these things.’ Garnett, perhaps the angriest of the angry, said, ‘We should bottle this and put it on the shelf or something. We were (ticked) off, knew what we wanted to do. Tonight it was important to come out with a lot more energy. We got together last night – not a real meeting, just a general conversation we sometimes have. (We got) beat the last two games, swept last year – Doc writes all that down and we don’t forget any of that.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “The word ‘bored’ has been tossed around a little bit with the Celtics over the last few days and besides ‘injured,’ that’s the one word that no one really wants to hear with this team. Everyone knew it was going to happen at some point, but the fact that it began after just 11 games was a little disconcerting. The Celtics added another word to their vocabulary Monday night: ‘angry,’ and they played like they were ticked off at the world in a 99-76 win over the Hawks. They should have been. After losing at home to an Oklahoma City team that was without Kevin Durant and then sleepwalking through a loss to Toronto, the Celtics had every reason to be miserable. The good news is that they did something about it. Too often last season the anger wasn’t exactly paired with execution, but against the Hawks they were nearly flawless.”
Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal Constitution – “Let’s see. Who else have they got on that bench? Bob Bender? He’s been a Hawks’ assistant since 2004 — hey, that pitch worked for Larry Drew — and Bender played under Bobby Knight. Why not give him a shot? Or maybe Lester Conner. At least he played D in his playing days. Or maybe Wally Blase, who’s technically the trainer, but at this point who really cares? It took the Hawks six years to stop listening to Mike Woodson. It has taken one month for them to tune out his successor. To say the effort the Hawks gave against the Boston Celtics on Monday night was amateurish is to discredit the concept of amateurism and to distort the meaning of ‘effort.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “There would be no rallies, and the Hawks were left to wonder how far they had fallen from the team that had dusted the Celtics four times last season. ‘This was very embarrassing,’ coach Larry Drew said. ‘If I had to sum it up in one word, embarrassing, to come out and play with that type of energy, that type of urgency. I addressed the team right after the game, and what I see with our team right now, I don’t feel real good about. I am disappointed that we are not playing with a hunger. We’re looking to point fingers. We’re playing the blame game.’”
Chris Tomasson, NBA Fanhouse – “‘He’s had a bad day already, and he’s going to have one,’ said Rivers, who otherwise lauded West’s behavior so far. ‘But we just got to work with him. (The incident with Wafer) was handled inside. … But it wasn’t the right thing, and (West) knew that.’ Well, maybe West doesn’t know that. He claimed the incident was blown out of proportion, although he wouldn’t give details on what happened with Wafer. ‘It wasn’t necessarily negative,” West said. ‘Things were taken out of context. Somebody took it and ran with it. There’s a part of competition when games are played. Guys get into it, exchanging words, rough play. I guess (it was publicized) because I’ve been riding a motorcycle. It might have something to do with motorcycles, I guess. So I don’t know. But it’s no big deal. People wanted to make a big deal of it.’ West and Wafer might have had a disagreement in that locker room. But there wasn’t one Monday. ‘Just being competitive with each other. That’s it,’ said Wafer, agreeing with West in shrugging off the incident. ‘It wasn’t even that big of a deal. It just got blown out of proportion because (West) is who he is.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Rondo tested the hamstring last night, hoping he could play after sitting out against Toronto, but Rivers consulted with trainer Eddie Lacerte and decided to keep Rondo out of the lineup. Rivers was uncertain whether Rondo would be ready tomorrow against the Nets. ‘If it’s an ankle, you always push the envelope,’ Rivers said. ‘If they say they can play, you usually let them play. But if it’s a hamstring, I don’t even consult with Rondo on a hamstring. It’s straight what Eddie says. The player has very little input with hamstring injuries because they all think they can play. Then they get out and they tear it, and now you’re out for the year. So I don’t think I’ve asked Rondo one question about his hamstring.’ Rondo missed time last January with a hamstring injury. ‘There’s just no benefit of playing one of your key guys, or any guy, getting them injured, and now they’re out for the season or longer than they should be,’ Rivers said. ‘I would rather take the approach of doing without him early right now, and in a lot of ways it could help your team in the long run.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Nate Robinson continues to flourish as Rondo’s substitute starter – especially early. He went from a 16-point first quarter Sunday in Toronto to a nine-point first last night on the way to a 16-point, 10-assist performance. ‘He just goes out there and plays within the flow,’ Paul Pierce said. ‘He’s getting a lot of open shots with the guys we have out there, and he’s taking advantage of them. He’s been really good over the last few games. He’s more of a scorer (than Rondo). A lot of times he’s coming up with quick open shots, and we encourage Nate to take those shots. But he really passed the ball well tonight.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “While it’s believed that O’Neal could have signed elsewhere for more than the veteran’s minimum, it was clear that he would only do that as a last resort. And even then, it had to be with a team that he felt could win a championship – like the Celtics. ‘I could have went anywhere. But my thing, I wanted to win,’ said O’Neal, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds in just over 21 minutes on Monday. ‘If I came here (to Atlanta), everybody would have been looking at me to be the savior. My savior days are over at 38. That’s why I decided to take less money and come to Boston.’ However, O’Neal admitted a more lucrative offer from Sund might have enticed him into signing with the Hawks. ‘If Rick would have offered that 10 (million) that I was talking about, I probably could have been here,’ O’Neal said.”
Michael Cunningham, Atlanta Journal Constitution – “The Celtics were the latest team to look better than the Hawks even though they played the day before. The Bucks and Mavericks also were quicker and sharper to open the game. ‘I told the guys I don’t know what you are doing the night before we play,’ Drew said. ‘I don’t know what you are doing away from the floor. Something is going on that is not allowing us to play with an energy and passion that we should be playing with. As a head coach, I’ve got to find out what it is.’”
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