Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here…
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
"I know you guys are tired of writing it in your columns, I apologize
for all that. At some point there has to be some action, you're right,
you're totally right. Doc has a saying, you have to run through the
whole race and we've got to do that. Until we as players decide to do
that, we're going to be in this predicament."
After torching the Cavs for 56 first-half points, the Celtics went stone cold in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Here's the ugly truth:
- shot 9 of 41 in the second half
- shot 1 for 12 from 3
- shot 3-21 in the 4th quarter
- outscored 35-14 in 4th quarter
Yes, the Celtics came out strong, built a double-digit lead (although it was just 8 at the half) and wilted in the final 12 minutes. But I'm going to cut them some slack. They matched the Cavs on the boards (40-43) and in the paint (44-50). They had 11 offensive rebounds. They protected the ball (11 turnovers).
They just couldn't make shots. And they were without two of their top 7 players – Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels (he was a shell of himself last night). The Cavaliers needed to make amends for the opening night loss in their building and it showed. On Page 2, how the Cavaliers changed the game defensively.
They just couldn't make shots. And they were without two of their top 7 players – Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels (he was a shell of himself last night).
The Cavaliers needed to make amends for the opening night loss in their building and it showed.
On Page 2, how the Cavaliers changed the game defensively.
center and backed him up with forward J.J. Hickson. That instantly made
the Cavs more athletic, and athletic teams give the Celtics trouble.
But no one was stronger than Varejao, whose quickness at the center spot choked off the Celtics' pick and roll game.
The proof is in Rondo's shooting numbers for the second half: 1-7. You could also point his 45 minutes of playing time.
Did Mike Brown go small because he's a defensive genius? No. Shaq injured his thumb and was unavailable in the second half.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Cavs run away from Celtics | In end, Celtics had enough | O'Neal hurt as defense shackles | Herald – Celtics unable to contend after break | Talk won't work anymore | CSN – Glimpses of greatness go awry | Rondo inching towards elite | NY Post – Rondo to receive belated invitation to Team USA | ESPN Boston – Why the Celtics faltered |