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.
Here’s another way of looking at it – that starting five has been in
place for 10 games since Garnett’s injury.
“I don’t because I don’t know if we have maybe one game or two,”
Rivers said last night of how recently he’s had that luxury. “In games
it’s important, but it would be nice to have them in practice so you can
get ready for the games. But we should still be winning games and
playing better than we’ve been playing. We have to correct the way we’re
playing with whoever is on the floor, and it has nothing to do with
injuries. Injuries have kept us from playing as well as we want to play,
but it hasn’t kept us from winning games. We should win more games.
“When you look at the scale in the rest of the league we’re not in
bad shape. Everybody, except for the Lakers and Cleveland, is a game
apart. Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks. You plan on being healthy, but
when injuries happen you just go through it. We’ve probably been
through it more with our key guys. But the Lakers missed (Pau) Gasol for
a couple of games and Kobe (Bryant) for a couple of games. Everyone
goes through it.”
I'm not going to pretend that the Celtics turned some corner last night. They didn't look great at all… but a win is a win. And Doc's right… the Celtics are 2.5 games out of the 2nd seed.
After all that… after everything the Celtics have been through… they're still only a couple of games out of that #2 seed. The Celtics had their starting 5 intact for the first 26 games of the season… and only 10 games since. They're fighting through injury and general malaise. And they're still right there.
Maybe it's not as bad as it looks.
Coming up… Page 2, Where Rondo's been working on his free throws
Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images
"I've been working hard on it," said Rondo, who had 15
points and a game-high 11 assists. "Teams are going to foul me, so I
have to step up and try and knock them down."
Said Ray Allen: "He
looks like he's in a great rhythm. And that rhythm, it gives you
confidence. He shot the free throws, up, down, they didn't touch the rim
. . . it just seemed like it went in the way you hope to make your free
throws. I like it."
So did Kevin Garnett, who has talked to
Rondo about approaching the line with the same high level of confidence
he has when he's driving to the basket or pulling up for a jumper.
wants it," Garnett said. "I think he's out to prove not only something
to us, and you [media] guys, and whoever else and himself. I told him,
'Don't be afraid of anything in basketball, especially when you work on
When he was fouled with 6 seconds left with the Celtics up 3, I said "just need one Rondo."
He calmly swished both.
After starting out shooting 38.5% from the line in November… he raised that percentage to 59.1% at the All Star break…. and he's been shooting 70.4% since. He's improving. It's a work in progress… you can see how his form has evolved throughout the season… but he's improving.
I do think Rondo should bear some more of the responsibility for the Celtics' sloppy play… but we'll save that for later in the day.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Robinson & Co. help nix Pistons on the road to victory | Celtics hope to get a shot at Finley | Globe: Celtics get it righted | Change will be spare | Perk's absence overcome | ESPN Boston: Seldom Shelden, Captain's comeback | First impressions | Coach Robinson? | CSNNE: Littlest C's come up big | WEEI: Fast break – Celtics-Pistons | Celtics Blog: great to have Nate | Lex: Can we start the bench? | Ginos Jungle: Why grab Finley?