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.
After noting that Boston's field-goal percentage defense had dropped from best in the league to ninth overall last season, Celtics coach Doc Rivers suggested last week at training camp that increased ball pressure would force opposing teams to start possessions with less time on the shot clock and aid Boston in reestablishing itself as one of the top defensive teams in the league.
"I didn't really know what to expect, but our defense was phenomenal," said Rivers. "Just the ball pressure that I thought Nate [Robinson] and [Rajon] Rondo put on the ball allowed everybody else to kind of do their job. So I was really happy… Defensively, you know, if we can play with that type of intensity and that type of ball pressure every night, we're going to be tough to score on."
The 76ers looked like a team expecting the Celtics to take it easy in their pre-season opener. Instead, they were greeted with defensive intensity worthy of a playoff game.
Every guy in green was active and it showed in the box score; steals (11), blocked shots (4) and forced turnovers (21).
Rajon Rondo toyed with Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner in the same way I toy with my two sons. It appeared he could have stripped either of them at will.
On Page 2, updates on the injuries.
He (Rondo) told CSNNE.com that the wrap was merely a precautionary measure, and added that he was expecting to play Thursday night at New Jersey.
Rondo didn't say how he injured his hand, but coach Doc Rivers said it has been bothering Rondo for a couple days. "He either fell on it or someone hit it [on Wednesday]," Rivers said.
"He (Pierce) was sick. I really think he went to see the baseball game," quipped Rivers. "But he said he was sick."
Sounds like those guys are fine.
While Jermaine O'Neal (hamstring) is being kept off the court, Sherrod Blakely reports that he's able to work on his conditioning.
Avery Bradley says he's ready to return to practice, but the Celtics continue to say they don't want to rush him back. Can someone remind the staff his surgery was in July?
The rest of the links:
Globe – Already on their game | CSNNE – Erden shines in first preseason win | Shaq debuts in Celtics uniform | Sixers brass believe Celtics have all the right pieces | Herald – D gives opening statement | WEEI – Wyc: JVG can't stand us |