The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “But the reason Jermaine O’Neal sat out had nothing to do with the scoreboard, and everything to do with that still-troublesome left knee. Prior to Friday’s game, Rivers said O’Neal’s left knee was sore and it only got progressively worse in the first half. ‘So I knew in the second half I wasn’t going to go with him,’ Rivers said. ‘And we had a lead, so we just looked at it, and if we could get him through this game and maybe play him tomorrow (against Chicago), it would be great.’”
Mike Petraglia, WEEI – “Using a flare for the dramatic, Doc Rivers explained why Jermaine O’Neal didn’t play in the second half of Friday’s 20-point blowout win over Toronto. Rivers pointed to Boston’s 67-45 halftime lead and O’Neal’s stiff left knee as reasons O’Neal played just nine minutes, allowing Luke Harangody to have his rookie breakout game. Rivers said the hope is that he’ll be ready for the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday night. ‘His knee was sore, so I knew in the second half I wasn’t going to go with him,’ Rivers said of O’Neal’s chronic left knee. ‘And we had a lead, so we just looked at it and if we could get him through this game and maybe play him [Saturday] it would be great. It was a little sore before the game, but it got – at halftime he came to me and said, ‘Man, my knee’s sore.’ So I think his knee’s sore for the rest of his life. But there’s going to be different degrees of pain.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “He didn’t plan on being able to play for another three weeks, but before last night’s game against the Raptors, Kendrick Perkins was in a rush to get out of the locker room and get some shots up. ‘I’m already late,’ he said. That said, his recovery process from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee is ahead of schedule. After undergoing surgery in July and rehabbing vigorously, Perkins said he will be able to practice in a week and expects to return to the lineup by the end of the month. He hasn’t had to deal with any setbacks or swelling, and after sitting out the first three months of the season, he’s eager to put his rehab in warp speed. ‘It feels like these three weeks are not going by fast enough, but I guess the six months or whatever went by pretty fast,’ said Perkins. ‘Just trying to wait it out, see how it goes.’ In three-on-three workouts, Perkins has gone full tilt, finishing with dunks. … Pressed about whether he expected to start once he returned, Perkins said, ‘Yeah.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “While Rivers didn’t have any formal update on Garnett, he did suggest the Big Ticket could be back on the court as early as Monday’s visit from the Houston Rockets. ‘He’s shooting, doing everything,’ said Rivers. ‘I think he’ll be back early next week. What’s the date again?’ Informed by reporters that two weeks would have him back on Wednesday, Rivers smiled and added, ‘Thank you very much. I think he’ll be back Monday or Wednesday. I think he could play by then.’ Asked if Garnett might need a practice to shake any rust, Rivers smiled again and said: ‘We’re just going to throw him in. If he can’t remember the stuff, we’re in trouble.’”
Dan Duggan, Boston Herald – “West initially hoped to be back by mid-January, but he said that date is overly optimistic. He’s currently undergoing treatment to relieve stiffness in his wrist. He has yet to be cleared for weight-lifting or full basketball activities. Reluctantly, West acknowledged that the All-Star break in mid-February is a more realistic target.”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “West works out four times a day, soaking the wrist, going through different movements and stretches, and working out the scar tissue. ‘That’s all I can do is do the treatments that they gave me,’ he said. ‘My conditioning is there. My body is there. It’s just you can’t force it. You can try as much as you want to work out the stiffness, but it’s only time. It’s just a waiting game for me. Each day it’s loosening up more and more. But I’m still a few weeks away.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Going through most of his rehab with Perkins, a longtime teammate and good friend, has made some of the more mundane aspects of rehabilitation easier to cope with. ‘It’s tough when a team goes on a road trip and you are the only one left behind,’ West said. ‘You have to go in the gym everyday. It’s fun when you have company, someone else you can talk to. It’s not fun riding that treadmill by yourself.’ But West, as optimistic as ever, knows those days will be behind him soon. ‘Only time will tell,’ West said when asked about when he was returning to practice. ‘I’m in the right mainframe; doing as much as I can with the left hand and the basketball. But I can’t force the stiffness out there, the movement. I’m working out four times a day. Each day, it’s loosening up more and more.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “‘It probably does [give Boston a boost],’ Rivers said of Perkins’ impending return. ‘Right now, it gives us energy when anyone comes back on the floor. It’ll help him out, it’ll help our team. It’ll allow me to manage minutes better Shaq and Jermaine, so it’ll do a lot of things.’ But Rivers thinks West’s return might be the key moving forward. ‘It’ll mean a lot more for Nate and the second unit,’ said Rivers. ‘The tough part with Delonte is he was just starting to get our stuff again then — bam — he’s out. Now we have to re-do that. Even though he’s been here, there are different things and it’ll take some time. The sooner we can get him back, he may be even more important than Perk in some ways.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “‘The one thing he is not is shy; I think he was [shy] in all of a half a second and [then] he took a shot,’ joked Celtics coach Doc Rivers. ‘The whole bench started laughing because that’s who he is. And we want him to stay that way.’ Indeed, 10 seconds after checking in for Glen Davis, Harangody drilled a 20-foot jumper. He later added a pair of layups and a 14-foot baseline jumper before the end of the first quarter, doubling his previous career high for points (four) in a mere four minutes. Riding that momentum, Harangody canned his first NBA 3-pointer 30 seconds into the second half, the Garden faithful swooning over their new bench crush. They would serenade him with chants of ‘Ha-ran-go-dy!’ later in the night. … Even as he spent the better part of November and early December glued to the bench, Harangody never got discouraged. ‘On this team, you gotta look around this locker room and realize who’s around,’ Harangody said. ‘I just took it as an honor to be in this locker room with all the Hall of Famers in here.’ … So he’s making the most of his chances, and that means being his shot-happy self. ‘I think we should blame — or thank — [Notre Dame coach] Mike Brey for that,’ Rivers said. ‘I watched him a couple of times against Georgetown when my son was there and he shot it basically every time he touched it. He’s just keeping that tradition going.’ And if he keeps putting up these type of numbers, the Celtics won’t try to change him. ‘He’ll make mistakes because he’s young and he’ll make mistakes because he’s going fast, but he’ll never make a mistake because he’s not going hard,’ Rivers said. ‘To me, as a coach, as long as he doesn’t hurt the team too much with mistakes, you love him.’”
Dan Duggan, Boston Herald – “But the Celts had friended Harangody long before the fans got into the act. ‘He’s going to fight,’ said Rivers. ‘He’s going to do whatever he needs to do for you. And the guys appreciate that honestly. They love effort. When you get guys that come off the bench and play with the effort and the intensity that he plays with, I really think the starters love that. That’s what gets them up and cheering, and that’s why they like him so much, because they see his effort every day.’”
Dan Duggan, Boston Herald – “‘The good thing about us is we’re very unselfish and we move the ball well,’ [Shaq] O’Neal said. ‘Ray and Paul and those guys have been shooting the ball well and (Rajon) Rondo is the type that he knows who to get the ball to and he knows when to get it to them. With him back in there, everything is starting to click again.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “When Ray Allen missed two free throw late in Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, he proclaimed that he would take 100 free throws at practice. Well, he didn’t go to that extreme. But he got back into the zone with physical and mental preparation. ‘I was trying to fatigue myself and go back-and-forth to the free throw line and just get that rhythm because free throws are all rhythm too,’ he said. ‘You get to the free throw line, getting your comfort, knowing when you need to go mentally, how your body should feel when you’re at the free throw line, so I was trying to put myself in that situation of feeling fatigue being at the free throw line and still shooting the free throw.’”
Got a tip? An article you think should be included? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @CelticsTown.