The Morning Walkthrough is a set of links to Boston Celtics articles throughout the internet, designed to get your day started the right way.
Brian Windhorst, ESPN – “Both sides attempted to deny it. The game was played Feb. 13, not even Valentine’s Day much less the All-Star break, which triggered a stream of platitudes about how in the grand scheme it is meaningless. Frankly, though, that’s too tough a sell. Wade and James know it and so do the Celtics, their pride at the victory and their continued dominance over this potential new rivalry shining through. Boston is now 3-0 against the re-tooled Heat this season, re-tooled to beat Boston, as a matter of fact. The two wins in the season’s first month can be minimized because they occurred squarely in the Heat’s adjustment period. This one came with the Celtics using really only seven players — five potential rotation players were out with injury — and with Paul Pierce having one of the worst shooting games of his career because of injuries to his hand and foot. ‘You can tell I’m upset,’ James said in an uncharacteristic tone. ‘I just want to win. We all want to win.’”
Dan Duggan, Boston Herald – “‘I got the same feeling right now (as I had) in my third or fourth year, when we continued to play Detroit and we could just not get over the hump,’ James said after his Heat lost 85-82 to the Celtics yesterday at the Garden. ‘In the regular season, the playoffs, we couldn’t get over the hump. It took a long time for us to finally get over the hump.’”
Ben Rohrbach, WEEI – “Chris Bosh tripled his scoring output from his Heat’s 88-80 opening-night loss to the Celtics, and it still didn’t matter. The C’s held Miami to 82 points in a three-point victory on Sunday that gave the East leaders a 3-0 season advantage over the conference’s second-place team. ‘We’ll just have to wait to beat the Celtics in another month or so,’ said Bosh. ‘I really hate losing to these guys, man. We’re just going to have to wait a little bit longer. Things like this are going to make us better. Coming into an environment like this, against tough teams like this, battling for first place, it’s going to add to our experience and add to our trust. We’re just going to have to keep going and learn from it.’”
Ron Borges, Boston Herald – “‘This is classic, typical bigger brothers,’ Wade admitted. ‘You’ve got to get over it. . . . You’ve got to get over the hump. We’re getting closer and closer, but we’re not there yet. Whether or not they had all their guys, they had their guys that have carried them to get to this place. We still got to get over the hump. It can happen any time. We got plenty of time. It can happen in the playoffs. That’s when we would like it to happen anyways.’”
Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports – “The Celtics blew out the Heat in the third quarter – outscoring them by 17 – and Rondo’s teammates were mesmerized watching a 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard bodying up and disrupting James. ‘I’ve never seen anybody make LeBron turn his back to the basket,’ Perkins said. ‘He really didn’t want to put [the ball] on the ground around him. When he picked him up, the energy just picked up.’ So much so, Rivers resisted pulling Rondo away from James when it began to work against the Celtics. ‘We can’t do this!’ Lawrence Frank, the Celtics’ defensive coordinator, blurted to his boss on the bench. ‘You’re right,’ Rivers said, ‘but we’re going to keep doing it.’ As Rivers would say later, ‘The matchup made no sense, hurt us a couple of times. …[But] the thing that I saw is that it gave us life.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Miami’s Big Three had been creating the type of hysteria that was expected at the beginning of the season. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade seemingly had developed chemistry, learned each other’s tendencies, and mastered halfcourt ball movement. But there was James yesterday, dribbling endlessly on the perimeter, searching for a crack in the defense, just as he was last May with the Cavaliers. The Celtics turned him into a freelancer while Wade continued his shooting doldrums against Boston. Bosh turned in a good game, but has there been a quieter 24 points and 10 rebounds? The Celtics needed essentially seven players to elbow — or hard screen — the Heat back to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Nate Robinson played five first-half minutes and did not return, and Avery Bradley spent nine seconds on the court in the first quarter. The Heat, meanwhile, were fully healthy. Sharpshooter Mike Miller, who missed the first two meetings with a fractured right thumb, was first off the bench. The Heat claimed they were a dramatically different team than in November and were ready to pounce on Boston, with little regard for its injury woes. But what we witnessed yesterday is a team that doesn’t respond well to teams that don’t fear them.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “While referees sorted things out, Rondo sneaked into the Heat huddle, attaching himself to James’ hip yet again. James twice pushed Boston’s lanky point guard out of the huddle before Ray Allen and the referees cleared him out (possibly with his safety in mind). ‘I think I was pretty poised and kept my composure,’ Rondo said with a shrug. ‘I was just trying to see the play. Nobody called a timeout. They drew the play up on the court and I wasn’t trying to start anything. I thought I could get my head in there and look at the play they were drawing up.’ Forget the huddle, Rondo was already in the Heat’s heads.”
Mark Murphy, Boston Herald – “‘They were on a winning streak,’ Kendrick Perkins said. ‘They have been playing well together. I think they started trusting in their system a little bit. I just feel like we needed this win. After coming off a few tough losses to the Lakers and Charlotte, I feel we needed this win.’ Especially as the trainer’s room door continues to swing like an ax. Pierce, for example, sprained his right (shooting) hand in practice Saturday and plans to have an MRI on his sore left foot today. ‘It was obviously a huge win with all of the stuff we have going on,” Rivers said. “Nate (Robinson, right knee bruise) had said he wasn’t going to play literally five minutes before the game and then said he wanted to give it a go. Paul said he felt awful. And so we thought we literally weren’t going to have enough bodies to play this game. We had to win this game with our energy, and I thought Rondo just willed us the game in a lot of ways. That wasn’t a set game plan for him to guard LeBron. We just wanted ball pressure, but Rondo took that upon himself that he was just going to guard and harass whoever was bringing the ball up.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “The Celtics managed to bring the Heat’s streak to an end, reclaiming a half-game lead for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and regaining their footing heading into the All-Star break. ‘We’re shorthanded but we’re not short of heart and grit,’ Kevin Garnett said. ‘We work hard, we will come out here and compete. We’re at home, we’re still a good team. We’re without some major pieces here, but that doesn’t mean we’re not a good team at the same time.’”
Greg Payne, ESPN Boston – “His production was a result of his aggressiveness, perhaps best evidenced by his first basket of the second quarter. Just under a minute into the frame, Perkins secured a Davis miss, but had his putback attempt blocked by Heat forward Chris Bosh. Not willing to be denied, Perkins controlled the blocked shot, and this time, in a tussle with Miami center Joel Anthony, he stormed back up and put in a contested layup as Anthony fouled him. He converted the ensuing free throw, capping off a three-point play that sparked signs of life into a Celtics team that trailed by five at the end of the first quarter. Perkins played in a manner that wouldn’t suggest he was logging time in only his 10th game of the season. Perkins missed the first two and a half months of the 2010-2011 campaign while rehabbing from offseason ACL surgery, but he hasn’t altered his style of play as a brooding, physical force on both ends of the floor. He’s already slid back into the Celtics’ starting lineup and hasn’t appeared physically limited in any way. ‘Perk did a great job today. I tip my hat off to Perk,’ said Davis afterwards. ‘He’s been sitting on the sideline watching us play and he comes back and is making his presence felt. That’s what it’s all about. You can see how important he is to us. Just him being back, I’m just so happy he’s back.’”
Jessica Camerato, CSNNE – “Wafer entered the game averaging 2.8 points in 8.7 minutes. He scored 10 points in 14 minutes to give the Celtics an edge with their second unit. Despite being shorthanded by injuries, the duo of Wafer and Glen Davis (16 points) helped the C’s fight back from an early deficit. The Celtics trailed, 20-15, to start the second quarter. Within a span of 2 1/2 minutes, Wafer picked off two steals and connected on two fastbreak lay-ups. His second layup with 8:36 to go in the second gave the Celtics their first lead since 4:22 left in the first. ‘The bench won the game in the first half. They got us back into it,’ said Doc Rivers. ‘I thought in a role reversal they showed the first unit how we were going to have to win this game, and then I thought our first unit took it from there. But Von and Baby were absolutely huge for us and terrific.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston – “As for limitations with the wrist, West noted that he doesn’t have full range of motion quite yet and that might limit some of his passing and his ability to complete right-handed layups. But he’s not concerned. ‘Actually, I didn’t shoot layups with my right hand before the injury anyway,’ West said. ‘I normally average one [right-handed layup] per year and I think I made a right-handed layup already — I remember it, the Toronto game — so I’m good for the year. I didn’t need it anyway.’ West said playing in Wednesday’s game would give him a morale boost heading into the All-Star break, especially since his return wasn’t initially projected until after the break. ‘It would help tremendously, knowing that I’m back,’ West said. ‘Maybe I’m not 100 percent, but being back part of this team, being part of the flow — maybe even Doc yelling at me a little bit. There’s nothing like being out there in a game-time situation.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “Paul Pierce entered yesterday’s game with the Heat nursing a sprained shooting hand, and he left it needing an MRI on his left foot, which was further banged up in the Celtics’ 85-82 win. Pierce said the foot issues originally crept up a week ago. He sprained the right hand in practice, he said, and banged it again yesterday. For the first time since 13 games into his rookie season, Pierce took double-digit shots and missed all of them, going 0 for 10 from the floor, 0 for 5 from 3-point range, and 1 for 2 from the line in 40 minutes. He said the hand clearly was a factor. ‘I think that really explains my tentativeness and my off shooting,’ Pierce said. ‘I told [coach] Doc [Rivers], I really didn’t have it, but I tried to grind it out, and thank goodness we came out with a win.’”
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