Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “That Perkins made it through the four games in six nights with no physical trouble is a goal secured. ‘This definitely helps my confidence,’ Perkins said. ‘I think it’s all mental. I keep saying that. A lot of people out there are not 100 percent, so I think you’ve just got to keep pushing, keep grinding. I feel good. My body feels good. I feel like I’m getting in good shape. It’s only five games. I’m just going to keep on pushing from there.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Delonte West, coming off a broken wrist, traveled with the team for the first time this season and has a meeting with doctors this week. He hopes to be cleared for practice soon and wants to return this month, giving the Celtics added depth.”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The four-game trip felt like it took forever. The Celtics couldn’t get out of Phoenix Friday night because of fog, arriving in Los Angeles a day later than scheduled, then snowstorms made it impossible to get out of Sacramento Tuesday night. The schedule doesn’t get any easier once the Celtics return home. The Dallas Mavericks are scheduled to be at TD Garden tomorrow night, and the Celtics wrap up their season series with Orlando Sunday. Then after going to Charlotte Monday, the Celtics meet the Lakers again next Thursday. ‘It gets tougher, but at least we’re home,’ Rivers said. ‘The two-day break is nice, even though we’re not going to get it now. Dallas, then Orlando, it just gets tough, and that’s fine. We just had to get through this stretch first.’”
Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN – “Even as their principal players return to health, the Miami Heat readily acknowledge that they can’t compete with the chemistry established by the Boston Celtics and other formidable rivals. ‘We’re way behind those guys,’ LeBron James said following the Heat’s practice on Wednesday. ‘Just look at the number of games played, the number of playoff series those guys have had. We’re only a few months in together — 40-something-plus games. I’ve seen the statistics. Boston has like 250-plus games played together. We’re way behind those teams.’”
Paul Flannery, WEEI – “Getting four All-Stars is a big deal. It’s happened only eight other times in NBA history and only twice since the Sixers pulled it off in 1983. Only the 1998 Lakers and 2006 Pistons have pulled it off in the last 27 years. The Celtics have had three reps a staggering 31 times – and they have done it every season since Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett arrived – but they have had four All-Stars only three other times in franchise history: 1953, 1962 and 1975. The argument against the Celtics getting four this season seems to focus on the rarity of the achievement. The question gets twisted into: Are the Celtics having a good enough season to warrant four selections, while other teams like the Magic and Bulls may be left with one? That’s really a non-existent issue. All-Star selections should be based on individual merit, and while team success shouldn’t be dismissed, this is about which players are having the best seasons. The issue really isn’t if the Celtics deserve four All-Stars, but instead whether there are four Celtics having All-Star seasons.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “Imagine being told four months into your first NBA season that you were assigned to the NBA Development League. Suddenly, your career had taken you from the sports mecca of Boston to Portland, Maine. How would you feel? Frustrated? Disappointed? Not Avery Bradley. He embraced the Celtics’ decision. ‘It’s very important for me to make the most of it,’ Bradley told CSNNE.com. ‘Seeing how I didn’t get the chance to play Summer League, this is really my first chance to get a lot of minutes since college. I’m really trying to get my game back, trying to get all the rust off my game, so it’s really good for me. That’s how I’ve got to look at it, and that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s why I’m staying positive, knowing that I have to do this so I can get better for my team, and that is the Celtics. They need me to do this and so that’s what I’m doing here, just trying to get better.’”
Meredith Goldstein, Boston Globe – “Shaquille O’Neal stood in his kitchen on a recent chilly afternoon debating finances with his girlfriend, Nikki ‘Hoopz’ Alexander. They argued about whether certain bills had been paid. Or at least, they tried to argue. They teased each other with wide grins. Within seconds of the debate, they were giggling. It’s difficult for either of them to stay serious when they’re anywhere near each other. ‘I knew he was a goofball,’ Alexander, 28, said of her boyfriend O’Neal, 38, who famously joined the Boston Celtics over the summer. ‘We’re the same. We’re both goofballs.’ … At home, she’s followed around by her two dogs, a teacup Yorkie named Hunny and a white Lab named Koty, which Shaq bought for her after another of her dogs was hit by a car. She and Shaq also share a new pit bull that he named Shamrock — for obvious reasons.”
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