The Celtics have gotten rid of their morning walkthrough, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Here are a few Celtics links, and maybe even an NBA link or two, to help wake you up and get you focused for the day.
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald - “In what was very likely the Celts’ last visit to the Meadowlands, the final snapshot was a surgical strike that kept New Jersey on the turnpike to the worst record in NBA history. The 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers [team stats] (9-73) are about to be taken off the hook. The Celts were ahead by 21 in the first quarter when a Nets writer turned to a Boston counterpart and said, ‘This is the point where you’re supposed to tap me on the shoulder and ask how they’ve been able to win three games.’”
Mike Fine, Patriot Ledger -”Kevin Garnett is out again, and now, so too is Rasheed Wallace. Marquis Daniels is on an extended recovery break and Glen Davis has already been there. The Celtics have been unable to find a rhythm, and you have to wonder if there are some parallels that trace to the 1986-87 season. ‘You certainly hope not, because that’s out of everybody’s hands,’ McHale said from his Minnesota home Wednesday. ‘That’s just a tough thing. It’s hard. One thing about the NBA is that if you’re lucky enough and blessed enough to have the talent to play in the NBA, playing basketball is really fun and enjoyable and actually fairly easy. But when you’re out there playing hurt, it’s hard, it’s drudgery, it’s not fun. It steals the fun from you so you hate to see a guy like Garnett, who loves to play, go through that. So I’m hoping they have good health, but that’s something that is kind of out of your control.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “He’s been absolutely great, and you can see now that they’re allowing him to work out, you’re seeing (Garnett’s intensity) creep back up a little more, which is good. You want him to want to play,” Rivers said. “I don’t think he’s been more down in his life than he was sitting on the bench during the playoffs last year, and I think he would do anything to not ever be in that position again.’ And as for the overall state of his team, which improved to 27-10 — only two games off the pace they were on at this point a year ago — this was Rivers’ State of the Celtics’ sermon: ‘I love our team. I’d love to see ‘em. I don’t think we’ve had our team intact one game yet this year, our main nine, eight guys, so I’m looking forward to actually seeing that group, and I think we will eventually,’ Rivers said. ‘I’m hoping after the All-Star break we’re whole. I like our team as it is now. Obviously if you can improve it, you will. But I like our chemistry, I like our mindset, who we are as a group, and when you get that you want to hold onto it.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely – “Boston made 10 of its first 11 shots and barely slowed up from there, building a 36-point lead during its highest-scoring first half of the season and cruising to its 11th straight victory over the Nets (3-35). Yi Jianlian scored 19 points and Brook Lopez had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who lost their sixth straight and were as far away from the Celtics on the court as they are in the standings.”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “Limited action for the top of the rotation meant extended minutes for little-used reserves like J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker. Both second-year players showcased their athleticism, while registering six points apiece. Walker, who played six minutes after logging just six minutes all year, posterized Nets center Josh Boone with an emphatic one-handed jam, then assisted on a pair of Giddens buckets. ‘Big time,’ Ray Allen said when asked how much the Celtics needed an easy win. ‘Just seeing the young guys coming in and playing and be able to run up and down the floor. It continues to make them — or allow them — to work harder if they’re not getting a lot of minutes. And then getting a lot of rest for the starters.’”
Julian Garcia, NY Daily News – “Someone was bound to snap. And while Devin Harris may not have broken anything or singled out a teammate at halftime of Wednesday night’s game against the Celtics, it could be a good sign that the Nets’ de facto captain finally ripped into the team during one of its most dreadful performances yet. Maybe the Nets needed to hear it from their usually understated leader during an embarrassing 111-87 loss to the shorthanded Celtics. Maybe his message will finally wake the Nets up from a season-long slumber that has resulted in a 3-35 record.”
Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports – “The biggest struggles among the Magic’s core players have come in adjusting to playing with [Vince] Carter. Though Carter is averaging a team-high 17.4 points, he’s also shooting a team-worst 39.2 percent. The Magic also have won five of the six games in which he hasn’t played. Carter, Van Gundy said, has ‘made a lot of bad decisions in terms of shot selection.’ Struggling to find his All-Star form in Orlando, Vince Carter is shooting a team-worst 39.2 percent this season. ‘He’s predetermined of what he’s doing offensively,’ Van Gundy said. ‘Vince is thinking too much. He’s very conscientious. He wants to fit in, make the right play. I think he’s thinking ahead of time, like, ‘I’m not being aggressive enough, I have to drive at this time. If I’m going under the screen, I got to shoot it or I got to get Dwight a shot,’ instead of just making plays and trusting his instincts.’ Lewis and Howard miss playing with Turkoglu, who often looked to get them the ball and was patient enough to let his own offense come in the flow of the game.”