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.
haven’t done throughout the course of the playoffs,’’ Pierce said.
“I’ve got to get better, obviously,’’ Artest said. “I’m not doing nothing,
obviously. Obviously, my defense, obviously it’s not affecting anybody,
obviously. So I’ve got to go out there and try to make it affect
“I’ve dominated a game defensively, but you really don’t see it,’’
Artest said. “It’s like that death blow, the Chinese blow, when you hit
but you don’t really feel it until it’s in you. Five seconds later, you
kind of die.’’
My fears about this match-up are coming to fruition. Ron Artest has the right blend of quickness and physicality to effectively guard Paul Pierce. The Celtics cannot hand Pierce the ball and expect him to be productive in 1-on-1 situations. While Doc Rivers says it's simply a matter of Pierce missing open shots, I'm not buying it.
I'm not surprised at Pierce's comments. The egos of NBA players don't permit them to admit someone is getting the best of them. Engaging Artest in a war of words might be a good tactic. We all know it won't take much to push Ron over the edge.
On Page 2, proof the officiating hasn't changed much.
Despite all the wailing about how “the flow” of the first three games
has been disrupted, fouls in this year’s playoffs are up an average of
only one per game from a year ago, according to Stu Jackson, the NBA’s
vice president of basketball operations.
He did admit to CBSSports.com
that there have been almost seven more foul shots taken per game
compared with last year’s Finals, but claimed that discrepancy is due to
the vagaries of when calls are made.
I'm going to take Stu Jackson's stat and throw it right in the trash. Anyone with an ounce of basketball knowledge realizes the referees are 1) over-officiating these Finals games and 2) making a ton of bad calls.
There's been a noticeable difference between the officiating in the previous three rounds and in the Finals. I don't give a crap about the average fouls from year to year.
To the growing number of media types who are suddenly patronizing the anti-referee contingent with their "stop your whining" columns, I'm not saying the officials are the reason the Celtics are trailing 2-1 in the series. I'm saying it sucks beyond usual. It's a valid discussion point.
UPDATE: Here are the officials for Game 4: Eddie F. Rush, Scott Foster and Greg Willard.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Allen's faith isn't shot | Replay calls getting mixed reviews | Celtics minority owner confronts Stern | Bynum sure of playing | Herald – Celtics stuck in traffic again | Allen decides to sleep on it | Glen Davis play explains everything | CSNNE – Celtics comeback begins with Game 4 | Big 3 looking for more consistency | ESPN Boston – Wed. practice notes | Perk's offense lost in shuffle | MWDN – Celtics need more from Big 3 | LA Times – Lakers benefit from defense and D-Fish | Bynum's meditation helps overcome knee injury |