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 – “Plantar fasciitis isn’t contagious, but a pain in Nate Robinson’s foot made him think it was. The guard played just four minutes last night, hampered by foot pain. The Celtics already have their starting point guard, Rajon Rondo, playing through plantar fasciitis. ‘It feels like it, but it ain’t that,’ Robinson said. ‘It’s the bottom of my foot, left side. I’ll be all right. Just icing it, keep getting treatment every day and keep working.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Still, that pain was severe enough on Wednesday to where Robinson couldn’t come in to spell Rajon Rondo, who is battling his share of injuries as well. Coach Doc Rivers had little choice but to play Rondo extended minutes against the Blazers. ‘I left Rondo in because Nate’s foot was hurting,’ said Rivers, who added that Rondo’s hamstring started to get sore. ‘He [Rondo] was worried that if he came out, he couldn’t return. So the injury thing is really starting to creep up on us. It is what it is.’ … By playing with the sore hamstring, Rondo runs the risk of doing further damage that would not only prove potentially disastrous to him, but to the Celtics in their quest to win Banner 18. ‘I don’t look at it as being disastrous,’ Rondo said. ‘If it happens, it happens. If I play [and] I get hurt, it’s part of the game. I just can’t continue to sit out.’ If he’s not too careful with his injuries, the 6-foot-1 guard might not have much of a choice.”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “‘Like a fine wine,’ Pierce said. He’s 33 years old, which isn’t exactly young in the NBA, but it’s not ancient either. As the years have rolled by, Pierce has gotten better. He’s gotten smarter. He’s become harder to guard even, because Pierce very rarely beats himself anymore. His turnovers, long the only chink in his offensive armor, are way down this year and he’s shooting the ball at an incredible rate. Consider Wednesday night’s game: Pierce took 11 shots, made nine of them, hit four of five from 3-point range and converted all six of his free throw attempts. He scored 28 points on 11 shots. Calling that effort efficient is like saying a Prius gets a few miles per gallon. ‘It has something to do with practice habits, my preparation,’ Pierce said. ‘The things a lot of people don’t see, the hours I spend in the gym. The older I get the more I put into my preparation. I’m becoming a more mature player each and every year.’ Pierce is now shooting 53 percent from the floor and 46 percent from beyond the arc. Add in 84 percent free throw shooting and you can make the argument that there is no more efficient scorer among wing forwards in the league.”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Every drop of Paul Pierce’s 28-point performance was needed, but the game wasn’t sealed until Ray Allen buried his only 3-pointer of the night with 10.7 seconds left. Allen, who also launched a rare air ball earlier in the fourth, was simply happy for the second, third and fourth chances last night. ‘There were a couple of last shots that would have been last shots if they had gone down for us,’ said the Celtics guard, who finished 3-of-12 from the field, including 1-of-6 from downtown. ‘It was unfortunate that we were in that predicament,’ Allen said. ‘In the last five or six possessions we didn’t attack. We had the advantage. We had Glen (Davis) in the game and we had a small on him. ‘We just were passive. We had good looks. I was looking at the rim, and the ball just didn’t want to fall for me. But I was always ready to take the next shot.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘You do what you do,’ said Doc Rivers. ‘That’s a great example. It’s just trust. It really is. We talk about it all the time, and it works sometimes. But that was a great example. Paul was covered, he saw an open guy, and he gave it to the open guy.’ The fact the open guy had been in this position innumerable times also helped make the decision. ‘You know,’ said Pierce. ‘You guys have seen Ray over the years. He’s one of the great shooters of all time. For me, as a scorer, you always feel that next one’s going to go in. And there’s just something about clutch players. There’s just something that runs through your veins when the game is on the line. You tend to forget about what’s happened in the rest of the game and you focus in on that last play or that last shot. Your concentration and focus goes to another level. That’s what you see from Ray year in and year out. When you need him the most, he’s going to deliver. Ray Allen wide open for the game is a no-brainer. I’m going to give it to him.’”
Michael Vega, Boston Globe – “There was no point, however, “where I felt like I was beside myself and worried about the shot going in,’’ Allen said. “It was all about the early rhythm of getting your legs and getting the ball up in the air. The shot that I made? I didn’t look at it any differently. I was just making sure that I was ready. ‘That was probably the easiest shot I had, based on them rotating out and me having enough room to get it off.’ It sent the Blazers to their fifth consecutive loss, and third in a row on the road. ‘Well, he’s a great shooter and you’ve got to know where he’s at. Whether he missed five in a row, he’s going to take it,’ said Portland coach Nate McMillan. ‘He’s a big-time shooter.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “No stranger to in-game stitches, Kevin Garnett didn’t even attempt to argue when Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte told him a small gash under his chin sustained in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game would need stitches to close up. Instead Garnett sprinted immediately for the tunnel and returned to the locker room for team doctors to patch him up. Garnett would be absent a mere four minutes of game time before returning to the Boston bench, but with a pair of TV timeouts mixed in before he was able to return to the court, it only felt like an eternity, which had Celtics coach Doc Rivers barking at poor Lacerte wondering what was taking so long to administer five stitches. Fortunately, when Garnett did return, he came back with a vengeance. Stepping back on the court with 2:24 to play in the third quarter, he aided Boston’s 17-4 run to close out the period, producing a 19-foot turnaround right before the buzzer that sent the Celtics into the fourth quarter with a seven-point cushion they’d desperately need to hang on to the win. Garnett scored nine of his 17 points while playing the final 14:24 of the game. As Rivers surmised, ‘He was [angry] someone hit him in the mouth.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Kevin Garnett knows this much: The Celtics without Doc Rivers wouldn’t be nearly as desirable as they are now. ‘I told Danny (Ainge, general manager), ‘The day you get rid of Doc is the day I tip my hat to the Boston area and the Boston fans,’’ Garnett said after last night’s 99-95 win against Portland at the Garden. ‘I love Doc. He’s a credit to our success. He’s always motivating you, pushing you. I love him for that.’ … Last night marked the 200th regular-season game that Garnett, Paul Pierce and Allen have played together since they first joined the C’s in 2007. They are 150-50 in those games. ‘I don’t know if that means anything, but the other day I was looking at Kevin shooting on the floor and I was thinking wow, this was our fourth year together,’ Allen said. ‘We’ve been teammates, and we’ve won a lot of games here. This era that we played together with this team is the one we’ll remember the most. I still believe there’s so much more left. Four years, by league standards, qualifies as a long time, because you see a lot. You see players moving around. A lot has happened in the league since ’07.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Allen came up with the big shot down the stretch, but it was a series of big plays by Paul Pierce that put the Celtics in position to win the game. Pierce can score, and at times he can be a surprisingly effective defender. The Celtics got both from the Captain on Wednesday, as he finished with a game-high 28 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field. ‘That’s why I labeled him ‘The Truth’ 10-12 years ago,’ said Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal, who had 14 points. ‘He has it all: Inside, outside, post. Great player and also a great teammate.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Rivers said he talked with Jermaine O’Neal via telephone Wednesday and gave a small dose of encouraging news. O’Neal, who is on rehab from left knee soreness, is hoping to resume working out next week. ‘That’s the first time I’ve heard that. That’s a good sign,’ said Rivers. That said, Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte has not given Rivers the one-week alert he asked for when the medical staff believed O’Neal would be ready for action, meaning his return to the playing court is not imminent.”
Joe Freeman, The Oregonian – “The final scoreboard displayed yet another Trail Blazers loss Wednesday night at TD Garden. The NBA standings showed that it was the Blazers’ fifth defeat in a row and that, after 18 games, they sit in second-to-last place in the Northwest Division — ahead of only the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves. But look beyond the gut-wrenching 99-95 defeat to the Boston Celtics and gaze past the sad and surprising state of the team and you’ll find there’s a more positive discovery to be unearthed. ‘If we play with that fight every game, with that emotion, that passion, then we’ll dig out of this rut that we’re in,’ said LaMarcus Aldridge, who played 45 minutes and scored 18 points. ‘This is something we can build off of.’
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “The Maine Red Claws signed Northeastern product Matt Janning on Wednesday, filling a roster spot opened when recently acquired Jordan Eglseder was waived due to a knee injury. Janning shined for Boston’s summer league squad, actually being implored by Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to stick with the team, but decided to join Phoenix’s squad for the Las Vegas summer league and it led to an NBA job (he inked a multi-year contract, but couldn’t stick early in his rookie season).”
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