The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Mike Wells, Indy Star – “Once he hangs up his sneakers for good, which could happen next summer, Boston Celtics forward Jermaine O’Neal wants to retire with the team that helped him become an All-Star. O’Neal, who is out with a knee injury, said he wants to retire as an Indiana Pacer. ‘Just because I’m not there anymore doesn’t mean all the memories are forgotten,’ O’Neal said. ‘If it wasn’t for the Pacers, the organization and the community, nobody would have probably known who I was. Anywhere in the world I go, they know me because of my Pacers days.’ … O’Neal, 32, said he’ll think about retiring next summer if the Celtics, who have the second-best record in the NBA, win the title this season.”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Davis is going to bring quirkiness and a fun-loving personality to the table, but his work ethic is unquestioned. He said he took 5,000 shots a day on those sweltering days in Las Vegas, and Rivers nodded in approval. ‘Baby, he doesn’t have long arms, and if you remember his first two years, he struggles finishing and still does,’ Rivers said. ‘Today he caught Hibbert a couple of times under the basket and couldn’t get to the basket. We just told him to take 1,000 shots a day and your game will be from the elbows and the corners. We need you to be efficient offensively and you will be with your jump shot. And he has been.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “The compliment gets thrown in his direction fairly often and it’s almost always sincere, especially when delivered by those who have observed all the greats: Paul Pierce is the best scorer in Boston Celtics history. And that’s saying something considering the likes of John Havlicek and Larry Bird have worn the jersey. But Pierce wouldn’t mind someday being regarded as one of the most complete players in Celtics history. On Sunday against the Indiana Pacers, he gave the latest example of why he deserves to be in the conversation. … ‘He’s the chameleon,’ said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, a fitting description of a player who has spent his entire 13-year career in green, but found ways to adapt to those around him. ‘We would rather, honestly, have him in scoring mode all the time. But with this team, especially with the injuries, he’s been a phenomenal utility player for us.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘I’ve known that for seven years,’ the coach said of the Pierce luxury. ‘He’s a great guy to have on your team because he does so many things. I think people just look at him as a scorer, and he really . . . his IQ, he’s a very smart basketball player.’ Pierce just shrugged. ‘Like I’ve told you guys before, I just try to give the game what it needs,’ he said. ‘I just try to do the things that are necessary for this ballclub to win.’ OK, so what’s more difficult — producing a triple-double or making it sound like just another day at the office?”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “That level of maturity, maybe more than anything else, speaks to how Pierce’s game has evolved over the years from being a big-time scorer to an all-around player that can help the C’s in multiple ways. ‘Paul discovered a long time ago the kind of player he wants to be,’ said Pacers coach Jim O’Brien, who coached Pierce for three years in Boston. ‘He wanted to be one of the best in the world, and he is. Nothing he does surprises me.’ … ‘Great player’ was how O’Neal describe Pierce, whose nickname ‘the Truth’ was given to him by O’Neal. ‘One of the leaders on this team. Passes the ball when necessary, shoots the ball when necessary, plays defense when necessary. He looked good out there.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “‘I want him to stay Nate and be aggressive,’ Rivers said. ‘That’s one of the reasons we’ve given the ball to Paul so he can stay aggressive and try to score.’ This is how it works. The Celtics start the game with Robinson handling the ball and running the offense. If the other team pressures him fullcourt, the Celtics give it to Pierce. If they try to pressure Pierce, it falls on Ray Allen to bring the ball up the court. The Celtics had six turnovers in the first quarter and 18 in the game, which was one of the few things that kept them from blowing out the Pacers, while shooting 54 percent. So, Rivers left it to Pierce to run the offense. ‘He helps Nate,’ Rivers said. ‘He does what Delonte [West] was doing in some ways. Nate’s a good basketball player. He’s been terrific for us. He’s not a pure point guard. There’s thing that he can see and there’s things that he can’t see and you try to keep him out of those positions.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “Jermaine O’Neal is getting closer. Really. He went through practice on Saturday and if all goes well on Tuesday (the Celtics are off Monday), there’s a chance he’ll be able to play Wednesday. Erden is battling a groin injury and a shoulder that hurts him more than he has let on. Rivers didn’t think he would be able to play against the Pacers, but he gave them seven minutes. ‘Semih is not feeling well,’ Rivers said before the game. ‘He is going to play but I don’t know how much he’s going to play. At this point [Saturday] we thought he wasn’t playing and then today he said he was fine. So we’ll see.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Shaquille O’Neal returned to the lineup yesterday, but it doesn’t guarantee that he’ll play Wednesday against Philadelphia. O’Neal played 21 minutes in yesterday’s 99-88 win, giving the Celtics 11 points and five rebounds (along with five fouls), after sitting out four games because of a sore right calf. ‘It’s kind of sore, but I’ll just take it easy and just try to strengthen the area,’ O’Neal said. Even though Semih Erden played seven minutes, he was hampered by a pulled groin, which meant that without O’Neal the Celtics’ options at center would have been slim.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Glen Davis scored a game-high 18 points (matching the output of Pierce and Robinson) while logging nearly 35 minutes off the bench, but said after the game his back is sore and that he planned to be examined by Lacerte to ensure it’s nothing serious. Davis didn’t think he’d miss any time, but sported a big bandage while sitting on the bench and again in the locker room. ‘I’m not sitting out,’ Davis said. ‘I don’t know what happened. I just woke up this morning and my back was hurting. I’ve got to find out from Ed. They’re going to examine me and make sure I’m OK, but I can play. It’s another bruise, something like a hangnail.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “The Pacers boasted one of the NBA’s bright young big men in Roy Hibbert, and the 7-footer acquitted himself well with 17 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots. But this was an ornery Shaq on the floor yesterday. ‘I don’t have any impression,’ O’Neal said of Hibbert. ‘(My) only impression of anyone is Blake Griffin (of the Los Angeles Clippers). Other than that, I don’t have anything to say about anybody. Blake Griffin is the truth. All these other guys — I’m not impressed. As a 7-footer, (Hibbert is) putting up double digits. He’s supposed to do that. Show me something different for me to raise my eyebrows.’ The Pacers are more easily impressed. After watching the Celtics build on the NBA’s longest active winning streak, Danny Granger gained a little more perspective on the rest of the league. The Pacers have scored some big wins this season, including road victories over Miami and the Lakers. ‘I think the Celtics are more talented than those other teams across the board,’ Granger said. ‘They probably have 40 years of All-Star Games between them. They’re more talented than those teams. They’re more tied in defensively,’ he said. ‘Even offensively they really know how to play with each other. So I think that’s the best team right now.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “[T.J.] Ford has been there to give him support during the learning process. One of his biggest points of emphasis to Bradley is understanding that the hard work he puts in now will pay off in the long run. ‘He usually always texts me after every game and tries to motivate me because he knows that I don’t play that much being on the Celtics,’ said Bradley. ‘He just tells me to learn as much as I can. He always says the same thing, like, ‘I know that you’re not playing that much, just learn as much as you can. You have a great team.’ Everything he says has something to do with that.’”
Mike Wells, Indy Star – “‘They’re so tied in together,’ Pacers forward Danny Granger said of the Celtics. ‘They can be beat, but you have to play a near perfect game. We missed a lot of shots, but we missed a lot of shots because they were in our face. They’re a good defensive team.’ The Pacers attempted a season-high 96 shots and had 16 offensive rebounds, but they couldn’t take advantage of the extra possessions. They shot 35.4 percent from the field, their second-worst shooting game of the season. ‘They’re a great defensive team. They always have been,’ Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said about the Celtics. ‘We missed some quality looks. They really work to get their hands up. Roy (Hibbert) had a lot of 16-footers. I think he made one.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “O’Brien sees no reason why Walker can’t make it back to the NBA despite roughly a two-year absence. ‘It depends on how the scouts evaluate him,’ said O’Brien. ‘If his skill set is still there, if he can still stretch the defense, if he’s in good enough condition, and teams down the stretch are looking for a veteran presence, someone who can play the game, then sure. He can still play the game. I don’t know what his conditioning level is, but I don’t think it’s ever too late — if you’re in shape.’ Asked about Walker, 34, shooting a vintage 6-for-12 from 3-point range, O’Brien laughed and said, ‘It doesn’t surprise me that he took 12. It’s good to know that he made six.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “The last time Allen shot 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, he finished with just nine points. Sunday’s performance was the most points he has scored all season when only making one three-point shot. ‘I just had to go to the hole,’ Allen said. ‘I missed a couple shots that seemed like they were right on, but I did sense the urgency to take me off the three-point ball. So when I was coming up, I was just trying to get to the hole because there were gaps there.’ Allen provided one of the highlights of the game with a fastbreak layup that froze Mike Dunleavy in his tracks. While the play was something typical of a speedy point guard, it was part of Allen’s plan of attack. ‘It’s just, I’m not the guy that always has the ball in his hands,’ he said. ‘I’m known for what I’ve been doing while in this role. But my whole career, I’ve had to create opportunities for myself, be a playmaker for other guys on the team, try to get other guys involved. I don’t have to do that as much this year. (Rajon) Rondo is a guy who is the creator here on the team, but we still have to be able to make plays with each other.’”
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