The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “It didn’t take long to recognize a transformation in Glen Davis this season. It started with the charges, as he sacrificed his body and slammed to the floor night after night. Next came the jumpshots, which he began to knock down on a consistent basis. Then there were the interviews where he spoke about leadership, maturity, and accountability. Davis had come a long way from the player who, just last season, broke his thumb fighting a friend and was fined for shouting an obscenity at a fan. Big Baby was growing up — but what changed him? Why now? As Davis revealed, someone very small has had a huge influence on him. ‘The summer was an eye-opening experience for me, just because of losing in the Finals,’ he told CSNNE.com. ‘Then also it comes to realization of, ‘Hey, I’ve become a father.’ I think that was one of the biggest things that really changed me.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “The first, crafted by Kevin Garnett and Tom Brady, requires at least a year after knee surgery before an athlete reaches his destination: complete health. And then there’s the Wes Welker version — the one that completes the trip in half the time. Perkins, who took an important step over the first half of yesterday’s practice by participating and even dunking in a dummy offensive drill, believes he can follow the faster road. ‘It was two different surgeries, two different guys,’ Perkins, who had the more radical surgery, said of Garnett. ‘Believe it or not, me and KG are mentally different. KG had to take his time getting back, and I’m a guy who will push to get back quicker. It’s the difference between me and him.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “‘Perk looked great for what he did, he actually dunked a couple times,’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. ‘That’s good. He’s in great shape and that’s one thing. He’s worked so hard.’ Little more than five months after undergoing ACL surgery in mid-July, Perkins underwent a MRI last week to gauge his healing. With his doctors satisfied with his progress, Perkins was fitted for a new brace for his right knee and cleared by the Celtics’ medical staff to participate in noncontact drills with the team. … Asked if he thought about his knee during the practice, Perkins said, ‘Not today. A couple times I did, like on a pick-and-roll that I went up and dunked, but I didn’t even think about it then, not until after. I was like, ‘Damn, I might be all right, after all.’ I felt pretty good out there.’ One time on the court isn’t enough to clear that mental hurdle, and Rivers knows that is likely the biggest challenge any injured player faces in coming back from a major injury. ‘The mental part is when he comes back, how much he trusts his leg,’ Rivers said. ‘If we can get anything out of Perk this year, we’ll be thrilled. I know he’s going to play, but it usually takes a year after surgery to be completely confident. Some break that barrier earlier — [New England Patriots wide receiver] Wes Welker being one — but Tom Brady couldn’t. He was good last year; he’s the MVP this year.’ Perkins would love to make like Welker, and his ability to get back on the playing field for even the most basic of exercises just five months after surgery is remarkable. But Perkins also stressed that, while he hasn’t suffered any setbacks in his recovery, he’s trying not to be overly ambitious with his timeline to return. In fact, he suggested that Rivers, who usually preaches a ‘take all the time you need to get 100 percent’ philosophy, might have a speedier timeline (late January/early February, according to Perkins) than the big man himself is envisioning (All-Star break in late February).”
Michael Vega, Boston Globe – “O’Neal, meanwhile, drew one step closer to getting back from a sore left knee that left him sidelined for the last 19 games. He hinted that he might play tonight against the 76ers at TD Garden. ‘It’s a challenge,’ O’Neal said of his protracted absence — since the second half of an 89-87 loss at Dallas Nov. 8. ‘We don’t have a ton of practices, so you can’t wait until you get five good practices. You got to play when you feel like it’s doable and I feel like I’m close. I may play [tonight]. I’m just going to talk to the medical staff and see how they feel and how they’re going to gauge it, but I feel like we’ve done enough work to protect the knee. Conditioning-wise, I’m not going to be in tip-top shape, but it happens when you don’t have enough practices. I will [be] when I do have enough practices.’ A welcome sight for the lucky sponsors who attended the open practice was Perkins throwing down a dunk off a pick-and-roll move. ‘Today he was the most active [that he’s been],’ coach Doc Rivers said of Perkins. “He even did the warm-ups, which he’s never done before.’”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “Rivers had an interesting analogy when asked about Garnett’s importance to his defense. ‘I think (Garnett) is the best linebacker in the league,’ the coach said. ‘He’s very much like Mike Singletary was with the Bears — you can see those eyes, and he’s calling out all the coverages. He’s pretty much back to where he was three years ago, and he may be better now because he knows the team better. He sees the floor. He’s the point guard on defense, he sees the coverages, he smells things out. He studies the game. If we call ‘four up three down’ (tonight) — that’s a Philly play — he’ll know the actions. Him and two other guys. That’s why he’s good. (Orlando’s) Dwight Howard is pretty good, too, but they’re different.’”
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