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 think I struggled offensively, I think I rushed a lot,” Pierce
said following the Celtics Game 2 win over the Lakers. “I don’t think it
was too much about what Ron (Artest) did (defensively). I had about
three or four open shots off the pick-and-roll that guys got me open
that I missed. I loved the looks I got tonight. I’m happy with that, but
at the same time I’m not going to force the issue on my offense.”
Pierce finished the game with 10 points, 14 less than in Game 1. But
it’s how he made up for it that matters. He grabbed four rebounds and
held Artest to just six points off of 1-for-10 shooting. Pierce
considers himself to be a versatile player, not just a scorer, and
he utilized those skills to help the Celtics get the win.
“I don’t have a big burden for me offensively on my team as Kobe
(Bryant) does,” he said. “So when I’m not out here making buckets I’m
out there trying to rebound, defend, make plays for other guys.
Obviously Ray was the catalyst tonight along with Rajon (Rondo), so I
tried to do other things."
Pierce did not have great game offensively, but what he did on the other end of the floor shouldn't be overlooked. He played well defensively, got rebounds when he could, and he moved the ball around.
That's the big thing with Paul Pierce, or even KG, right now. When both of those guys are struggling offensively, they can shift their mindset and do other things. Paul willingly sacrificing his offense for a blazing hot Ray Allen is just as important as Paul getting hot himself.
Look at this say, if we said that at halftime, Pierce and Ray would combine for about 30 points… you'd be happy, right? So if there are cases where Pierce is setting picks to spring Ray and it just so happens that Ray has scored all but about about 4 of those "combined" 30… so be it.
The Celtics have options. The Celtics STILL have not had the same guy lead them in scoring in back to back games during these playoffs. So last night it was Rondo and Ray carrying the burden. Who knows who can be next.
So we'll need Pierce to carry the team eventually. And he will… because at some point the Lakers are going to have to figure out a way to slow other guys down… and Pierce will get the opening he needs to get going.
On Page 2: The best timeout ever
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
With 1:26 left in the game and the C’s two seconds away from a
half-court violation, Doc
Rivers ran onto the court to get the officiating crew’s
attention for a timeout.
The coach’s move triggered a breakout of laughter on his own bench.
“He claims that he’s in shape, and when he ran out there we told him
he wasn’t in shape,” Allen said. “You guys have got to give him a hard
time about that. But he made it out there, so it definitely got us an
one second left,’’ Rivers said. “I’m glad they saw me. I don’t think
they had a choice but to see me. I was past them.’’
…Rivers saved the Celtics a possession and
possibly the game, and on the way back to the bench his team greeted him
as if he had taken a charge. Brian Scalabrine rubbed his shoulders and
Kevin Garnett threw a couple elbows as if Rivers were Perkins.
…“The guys got a kick out of that,’’
Rivers said. “You know, it was funny, as big as that little moment was, I
actually thought that the bigger moment was all the players were
laughing at me and it allowed them to breathe a little bit, and I
thought that helped us.’’Rondo,
the floor general, praised Rivers’s smarts.
“Doc is a pretty intelligent coach,’’
Rondo said after posting his second triple-double of the postseason (19
points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists). “He knew the time and score. He knew
we needed the possession.’’
Look closely, and you can see Doc laughing as KG assaults him… Nate Robinson is all fired up… everyone is getting a kick out of it.
It's just a great little moment… and proof that the little things matter in basketball.
And I honestly have never seen that kind of reaction to a coach before. How many players would go rush a coach because of him calling a time out (albeit the most emphatic time out I've ever seen)?
Little moment… but is says a lot about the game and this team.
(My apologize for a slight scaled back posting schedule over the past few days. Chuck and I have been in Chicago, but we should be getting back to normal today)
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Postgame notes: KG, Pierce struggle | First impressions | WEEI: Garnett's odd night | WEEI Locker room: Ron Artest | 3 things that went right and wrong | Shocker: Phil and Kobe aren't happy about the refs | Character, not characters, could define Celtics | Rivers on Rondo: He was special | Herald: Celtics show late punch | Ray makes mark for Celtics | All smiles on red eye | Rondo's night at movies | Working together again | Kobe, LA fade in final minutes | Cowens back in Boston | Artest will make you laugh, or cringe | Eerily familiar for Lakers | Globe: An historic shooting display | Best is yet to come | Vintage win for C's | McHale has lasting memories of rivalry | They got it done together | Bryant's plans fouled up | Abdul Jabbar pays homage | Rondo keeps moving | Robinson to the rescue of Rondo again |