Once in a while, someone else’s article catches my eye. Sometimes, it’s because the article is so spot-on I wish I’d written it myself. Other times, it’s because the article enlightens me with something I never knew. Still other times, it’s because I disagree with whatever’s written. No matter what the reason, I dish it off to another writer to make his/her point. You know, throwing some dimes.
1. ESPNBoston – Practice Report: Doc Rivers said Kendrick Perkins was the C’s best player yesterday. He played well but… really, Doc?
“Perk’s been fantastic defensively, he’s doing a great job and a lot of it is 1-on1,” said Rivers. “You can’t use too many guys on [Jermaine] O’Neal with [Dwyane] Wade running around. I think what he’s doing is great, trying to fight [O'Neal] off the block, and he’s been pretty good at that.
“I thought Perk was the best player in the game [Tuesday]. I thought his passes is what got everybody shots. Most of [Glen Davis'] layups came off Perk passes. A couple of Ray’s shots and, again, the biggest play of the game, when [Miami] was up four, and I had gotten on them three or four times about making the next pass, Perkins threw that skip pass to Michael Finley for a 3-pointer. I think he played a great floor game and he was our point-center [Tuesday].”
2. Boston Globe – Ready to play the villain: Kevin Garnett is ready for some venomous boos from the Miami crowd.
“I don’t know if he can get more fired up in a game,” Rivers said. “That’s just who he is and we want him to stay that way. It’s important for him to play with that edge. And I think he’ll love being the villain because I think he enjoys that anyway on the road. Actually, I think most players enjoy that pretty much.”
Garnett hasn’t been winning popularity contests lately, with Joakim Noah being the most vocal hater. But he’s been Public Enemy No. 1 in a couple different arenas. Miami will be nothing new.
“I don’t expect any of us to get any cheers down there and I’m no different from that,” Garnett said. “I’m not saying I’m the villain or the hero. I could care less. I’ve played on the road before. Hell I played in San Antonio and I know they hate me there for whatever reasons. So this should be no different. I could care less.”
3. Slam Online – Q +A With Kendrick Perkins: Perk likes being the underdog.
SLAM: Do you feel this team has a target on your back after winning a championship two seasons ago?
KP: Yes and no. That was two years ago. Maybe last year they did, but this season I don’t think anyone really placed a target on our back. I don’t really feel anyone has picked us to win this. I think it is a great thing to have the ability to come in and surprise people and be the underdog.
SLAM: Do you feel this team likes being the underdog?
KP: For sure. I love the idea of being able to sneak up on people. Because a lot of people do not realize you always work a little harder when you are the underdog. People expect less and you give them more. It’s such a great process.
4. Real GM – Ray Allen: The NBA is softer now
“The league is a lot softer,” Allen said less than 72 hours after teammate Kevin Garnett elbowed Miami’s Quentin Richardson in the final moments of Game 1.
Garnett was suspended one game for his actions in Boston’s victory.
“The slightest little touch and you’re at the foul line,” Allen said of today’s game. “It’s like you have to be tricky.”
Allen then gave a perfect example of how the NBA has changed over the course of his career.
“Reggie [Miller] would grab my hands and throw them one way while going the other way,” he said, adding that he was expected by referees and coaches to defend such a move.
“That’s what made guys so great at what they did.”
5. Boston Herald – Wednesday Practice Notes: Ray Allen knows the C’s haven’t won anything yet.
Ray Allen said the C’s learned a lesson from the 2008 playoffs when they were dominant at home but struggled on the road in the early rounds.
“That’s all I think about,” Allen said of the team’s struggles with Atlanta in the first round of the 2008 playoffs. “It resonates so big with this team now because we’re flying high up two (games).”
6. Boston Globe – Celtics will need Wallace to step forward: As well as Glen Davis played, C’s need more out of Sheed.
The arrangement was fine for last night, but at some point in these playoffs Wallace has to be heard from on the court — and not just pleading his case to an official — or like him the Celtics will go out silently into the night. They cannot return to the NBA Finals if all they’re going to get out of Big Shot ‘Sheed is the combined 10 points and 6 rebounds they’ve gotten in the first two games of their Eastern Conference playoff series.
They need him to be the versatile, accomplished, clutch veteran presence off the bench he was billed as when he came to Boston, not the barely visible one he has been so far. As Mark Jackson would say, Rasheed Wallace you’re better than that.
Wallace said he and the Celtics would be ready when it was time for the “big-boy shots.” While the Celtics have turned up their game in the postseason, we’re still waiting on Wallace.
7. Celtics Hub – The Value of Ray: Zach Lowe describes how Ray Allen broke yesterday’s game wide open.
Ray’s value goes well beyond his three-point shooting percentage. And if you ever doubt that, you can do two things:
1) Look at Ray’s plus/minus stats, which have been by far the best of any Celtic over the last two seasons and show a consistent ability to elevate bench players; or
2) Much more fun: Watch the stretch between the 6:26 and 4:41 marks of the 3rd quarter from last night’s game.
The C’s scored 12 points in that 1:45—and Ray was responsible for all of them.
8. Ball Don’t Lie – Behind the Box Score: Kelly Dwyer predicts the Heat will win at least one game in Miami
It was a complete and utter blowout. Boston refuses to guard anyone but Dwyane Wade, they’ll essentially send two and a half defenders at the Heat’s All-Star every time he calls for a screen or attempts to drive, and the results aren’t pretty. A 76.5 points per game average for Miami in the series, and I don’t really need to normalize that for pace for you guys. It doesn’t get any better.
The only way Miami takes a game in Florida, and in this series, is if Boston relents. And because Boston has spent half its season relenting, I fully expect the Heat to take a game in Florida, perhaps two.