The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Forgive Boston if it’s simply not in the mood to pen the latest chapter in the greatest rivalry in basketball. Eleven days after an epic meeting in Los Angeles — the first encounter since Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals — the Celtics have encountered so much turbulence that a matchup against a rival with revenge on its mind is truly the last thing Boston needs right now. Ravaged by injuries, struggling for consistency, and clinging to a suddenly tenuous half-game lead atop the Eastern Conference, Boston would have been just fine if it was, say, eight-win Cleveland visiting the Garden on Thursday. Instead, it’s a Lakers squad that’s been in a bit of a panic mode since Boston’s late January victory. After arriving in town Wednesday, Los Angeles set out to squash trade rumors involving Carmelo Anthony and now it would like to squash the Celtics.”
Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles – “‘Obviously it’s a game that we would like to win,’ said Pau Gasol after practice Wednesday when all the Andrew Bynum-to-Denver questions had been exhausted. ‘It’s a game that could give us confidence going forward.’ There aren’t many teams you can point to that the back-to-back champions would play and actually gain confidence from. Lamar Odom says they suffer from overconfidence in that regard, pointing to their body of work over the years rather than the sample size against the league’s elite this season as a litmus test. But after failing to get up for the rest of the best this season — going 1-6 so far against the Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls — it’s about time the Lakers showed up, if not for anything to serve as a practice test for the looming playoffs.”
Jimmy Toscano, CelticsBlog – “On April 7, 2006 he moved into 2nd place all-time in career three-pointer’s – one spot behind Reggie Miller. Now playing in his fourth season for the Boston Celtics, and under a new contract, Allen’s last day behind Miller could be today. ‘You know, the one thing I can say about Reggie is he’s been in my corner the last three, four years since I’ve been here,’ Allen said. ‘I catch him in the hallways, catch him in the hotels, and he’s always been a great supporter for everything that I’ve done. He’s taught me kind of how to be even a better person. Be humble [in] success when great things are happening to you.’ Allen’s and Miller’s careers overlapped from the time Allen entered the league in 1996, to when Miller retired after the 2004-05 season. In that span, the two faced off 26 times in the regular season. Both being the hard stuck-in-their-way workers, they’d see each other on the court hours before game time. ‘Reggie was a guy who believed in getting his work in early. When I came in the gym Reggie was in there or he was just finishing. You could tell he’s focusing in on trying to get his shots up and working on what he needed to work on to be better for that game that particular evening.’”
Bill Doyle, Worcester Telegram – “Allen, 35, is in his 15th NBA season and hopes to play beyond next season when his two-year contract with the Celtics runs out. ‘One of the things that I said about my longevity,’ Allen said, ‘is I wanted my kids to really be able to see and understand what I’m doing and what I am because I want it to have an impact on them in a positive way.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Just when it seemed like the Celtics’ roster couldn’t possibly be thinned any further, captain Paul Pierce sat out Wednesday’s session due to illness and, while coach Doc Rivers expects him to play Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, it was the latest setback for a Boston squad suddenly desperate for healthy bodies. The Celtics operated with a 10-man session as Pierce, Shaquille O’Neal (inflamed Achilles), Jermaine O’Neal (left knee surgery), Marquis Daniels (bruised spinal cord), and Semih Erden (right adductor strain) were all absent. All but Pierce have been ruled out for Thursday’s game. On the more encouraging side, reserve guard Delonte West engaged in his first full-contact practice since fracturing his right wrist in mid-November and, despite lobbying Rivers and the training staff to let him play as early as Thursday, the team is still targeting a return later in the month. ‘We don’t worry about body count,’ said Rivers. ‘[The Lakers are] not going to worry about the body count, I can guarantee you that. We’ll be ready, we’ll be fine.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “Just days after coach Doc Rivers came out in staunch defense of him, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett got more support Wednesday from president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and teammate Ray Allen. ‘I don’t even comment on that stuff,’ said Ainge. ‘It’s just so insignificant. I will just say this one thing about KG: There’s not a team in the league that wouldn’t die to have him, and there’s not a coach or general manager in the league, or fans, that wouldn’t wish that every one of their players played like Kevin Garnett. And that’s all I’ll say about it.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “But Celtics guard Ray Allen, who needs one to tie Miller and two to surpass him, will be worried about the ones after that. Why stop there? ‘Then you get back sitting home five years later and they say, ‘You know what? There was a discrepancy,’ ‘ Allen said. ‘I don’t need any discrepancies, I need to be way beyond what I’m getting.’ The magic number is 2,560 — the number of threes Miller made in his starry career with the Pacers. But Allen, who may be playing at his highest level since coming to Boston in 2007, wouldn’t mind blowing by it. ‘I don’t want to be two threes over it,’ Allen said. ‘I want to keep going and just keep pushing, and then whatever that number’s going to be, it’s going to be.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “Speaking of his ever-changing rotation, [Doc Rivers] added, “I don’t ever want to be used to it, but we are. It’s what we have. This is extreme obviously when you don’t have a back-up three, you don’t have a back-up five. That puts a lot of pressure on all of our guys. But we’re in this situation. We’re not going to be in it all year; we know that. We just have to try to squeak out wins somehow.’
Bob Ryan, Boston Globe – “In fact, victories over the Lakers and Heat would ensure season series advantages over both foes, which is something to think about. There is no chance the Heat will waltz in here feeling it’s just one of 82, either. They would like to show Boston that the Boston victories on Oct. 26 and Nov. 11 have no relevance now that the Heat have gotten themselves properly calibrated at both ends of the floor. Since bottoming out at 9-8, the Heat have gone 29-6, with a 95 percent guaranteed W in Auburn Hills tomorrow night. LeBron James is at the peak of his game and the auxiliary players such as old friend Eddie House (26 of 54 on threes in his last 12 games) are in a groove. This is the NBA struttin’ its best regular-season stuff, with Marv, Steve, and Reggie here tonight for TNT and Mike, Mark, and Jeff here Sunday for ABC. The savvy Boston fans aren’t the only ones who know these games are anything but routine.”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “Delonte West went through his first full practice since breaking his right wrist Nov. 24 and added a lengthy shooting session for good measure. Rivers still doesn’t expect the guard to play before the All-Star break. ‘It felt pretty good,’ West said. ‘If it was up to me, I’m confident in playing (tonight against the Lakers), but my timing was off. Familiarity with the plays wasn’t 100 percent, and I guess in a game like (tonight) we need for-sures out there. So I’m going to let it go. I think they want to stick to the plan of at least a few more days of practice. With Marquis going down and Paul (Pierce) out (of practice with flu-like symptoms), I had to get on out there sooner than I expected, but I definitely surprised myself. I was able to go full contact. I got down in there scrapping around with the big guys a little bit.’”
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