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 do not want to repeat what we went through last year,'' Rivers said after the opening day of training camp at Salve Regina University. "What you can say to them is that if we had won more games and taken care of business at home, then Game 7 would have been in Boston and that would have made a huge difference.
"But that is on us. What we did last season was out of necessity. It wasn't planned. But when we had all the injuries, we had to make a tough call. Guys were in rehab. We were resting guys in the middle of the season. We were dropping games to teams you know you can beat. That is difficult for a coach to sit there and take. I am really, really hoping we don't have to do any of that this year. Because it's no fun. It's no fun at all."
One reason why we can't go through that again… the East keeps getting better:
"You go through a lull this year like we did last year and you'll end up being a seventh seed,'' Rivers said. "There simply are too many good teams. Everyone has to play."
Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago and Milwaukee are five teams right off the top of my head that could make the C's play for goofing around during the regular season. So Doc's not that far off when he says you'd end up as the seventh seed if you slack.
BUT… I'm sure the Celtics will hit a stretch where they have no choice. Yes, we got giddy over Doc calling KG explosive… but there has been exactly one practice so far. Guys will get banged up. Key guys will miss games. And there will be some level of repetition of last year's plan.
The difference between this year's team and last year's is that this year's team is much deeper. There are guys that can step up on this squad that didn't exist last year. So the bench will win some games that were lost last season.
I can appreciate these guys talking up the regular season, though. And I'm sure Wyc Grousbeck and the rest of the ownership team appreciate it too… because they've got a lot of money riding on people buying tickets and merchandise. You can't walk into the season saying "Yeah… we'll coast if we have to. Your best bet is to just tune in around March or April." That costs the team money.
On Page 2: Delonte is happy to be back
“It feels great to be back in green and white, where I started my career,” West said. “That’s a great compliment, being picked up from a team that’s coming off an [NBA finals] Game 7 and got their eyes set on a championship. To be called to render my services to help this team put up another banner, that’s an amazing feeling.”
[...]“I don’t know if I’ve ever coached a more competitive human being,” Rivers added. “Even with these guys, Delonte is always, he’s competitive. I like that.”
Now there’s no King on the court — just a bunch of very talented jesters in the locker room — starting with “The Big Shamrock,” Shaquille O’Neal, and Kevin Garnett.
“It’s definitely a different vibe in the locker room,” he said. “There’s a lot more maturity going on around here than last time I was here. You can just sense it in the air — guys want to win. I walk through the locker room, everyone here has that gold trophy in their pupils.”
First off… great little moment there with Delonte and Tommy.
Second… I think Delonte will do well here. This is the kind of place that will keep him in check. The attitude here is different… the support system here is different. The city here is different.
I know there's no guarantee that he'll even make the team… but I would expect that he does. Just listening to how people talk about him… how DOC talks about him… this is the kind of guy the Celtics want coming off the bench.
And I echo Tommy's sentiments in the video. Good luck, kid.
Before we hit the links, here's the next installment of blogger NBA previews courtesy of CelticsBlog:
Recaps: All Previews
(Tardy) Knicks Preview: Straight Bangin'
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Begin with the end in mind | Jermaine on first practice | First impressions: first practice | WEEI: O'Neal passes first test | Shaq Q&A: 'Always knew Doc was a great coach ' | Doc: Kevin was phenomenal | Pierce on Doc's return: 'that was huge' | Herald: Doc, Danny discuss Baby's first words | Refreshed Doc returns with Celtics | Doc conducts 3 hour tour-ture | Shaq-waves: an imposing presence | C's will give Chris Johnson a look | Carmelo Anthony deal "dead" | Globe: Fresh Legs | Baby making a little ruckus | Advice to the O'Neals | Photos: Celtics meet media | MWDN/Souza: Jermaine O'Neal fits right in | More thoughts from first practice | CSNNE: Davis searches to find role with Celtics