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 – “This season, he’s easily off to his best start as a Celtic. He’s averaging 16.6 points a game, scoring from the floor and from 3-point range as effectively as he has in any of his four seasons in Boston. At this time last season, the Celtics were 19-4, but Allen was shooting 33.7 percent from 3-point range (34 of 101). He finished the season at 36.3 percent, one of the lowest long-distance percentages of his career. After Saturday night’s 93-62 trouncing of the Bobcats, the Celtics are 19-4. Allen has led the Celtics in scoring each of the past three games. Crickets. He’s knocking down 43.5 percent of his long balls, better than he’s shot it in his career. Yawns. He pulled up in front of the Blazers bench Dec. 1 and drilled the shot that sent them back West with an L, on a night in which he missed 9 of his 12 shots, and the thought was that drilling the winner was what he was supposed to do. He knocked down a crucial 3-pointer with a little over a minute left in the Celtics’ win over the 76ers Thursday night, and Glen Davis got more credit for making the pass. The irony. ‘That’s how it is,’ said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. ‘When you assume something is going to happen, then it doesn’t, then you notice. The only way he gets noticed is when he misses shots.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The Celtics didn’t practice yesterday. They won’t practice today either. They may win the NBA championship this season, but the title of ‘Hardest Working Team in Show Business’ is probably out of reach. And that’s by necessity. Doc Rivers knows he must preserve his veterans if he hopes to lead them to a successful June. If that means they lose touch with the moniker worn by the late James Brown, well, so be it. But the coach knows it’s a fine line he’s walking — though it’s currently led to a 10-game winning streak. Rivers was talking about defensive slippage before the Celts pushed the listless Bobcats into 62 points on 33.8 percent shooting from the field Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. And he’s still disturbed that his club is losing touch with some of its principles and timing. ‘Absolutely,’ Rivers said. ‘We’ve been talking about it a lot. There’s definitely been slippage. That’s why I keep getting concerned. But it’s there for sure. You can definitely see the difference in the way we play and the way we execute when we don’t practice.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Boston is topping its competition in every major category on the stat sheet over the past 10 games, save for one column: offensive rebounds, where opponents hold a 9.5-7.2 per game advantage. That’s a category coach Doc Rivers will gladly sacrifice in order for his troops to get back and set on defense. Boston is dominating opponents in scoring (100.7-86.1), total rebounds (41.3-37), defensive rebounds (34.1-27.5), assists (25.9-19.1), steals (8.3-7), blocks (6.4-3.6) and field goal percentage (51.7-41.2). The often-sloppy Celtics even boast a small advantage in turnovers (14-15.1), are shooting more free throws (25.6-24.4) and are making the same percent of 3-pointers (35.6) with approximately two fewer attempts than their opponents per game (13.5-15.4). Boston also is annihilating its competition in the NBA’s measure of team efficiency », a metric that combines the major stat categories into one tidy number. Through Saturday’s action, the league average for team efficiency was about 111. During this 10-game stretch, the Celtics are averaging 126 for team efficiency, while opponents are at 86.3. NBA efficiency isn’t perfect, but rarely does a team win the efficiency battle and lose the game. In fact, it’s only happened once for Boston this season. The Celtics were plus-3 in efficiency against the Raptors on Nov. 21, but lost 102-101. The three times Boston came out on the negative side of the efficiency rating, they lost to Oklahoma City (minus-5), Dallas (minus-7) and Cleveland (minus-6). By comparison, Boston was plus-69 against Charlotte on Saturday, highlighting a 10-game stretch in which it hasn’t been below plus-10 (versus Portland on Dec. 1).”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Every victory is a big one when you consider that unlike past runs of success, Boston is beating teams with a roster that includes multiple rotation players out of the mix due to injuries. But the victories only validate this team’s across-the-board swagger. ‘This team is on one accord,’ said Paul Pierce. ‘We’re feeling good right now. We feel we can beat anybody, regardless of who we put out there. We’re in a great rhythm as a team.’ And that rhythm has made a number of struggling teams like the Bobcats look timid, as if they have no fight in them. ‘What you got to understand, man, we’re a well-oiled machine. Know what I mean?’ Kevin Garnett said when asked about whether the Bobcats quit in Saturday night’s game. ‘Those guys play hard. The better team won tonight.’”
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