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.
“That’s the beauty of the team,” said Paul Pierce. “We can put five guys not named Paul Pierce out there at the end of the game and win the game. That’s realistic. I’m not just saying that. The guys that we put out there are going to be more than capable of finishing.
“I just hope I can earn me a spot out there at the end of games.”
Oh, the sarcasm is hitting me harder than this nor'easter right now.
This topic actually came up last night on The 2 Man Game with Chris Forsberg. We're all so focused on which center will start… but really… it's about who will finish. Because no matter where Shaq enters the game… he's not going to be a 32 minute a game guy. Here's the show from last night:
Shaq played 23 minutes a game last year, and has played no more than 30 minutes a game since the 2005-06 season. So Shaq will play somewhere around 20 minutes a game this year. That means even if he starts, he'll be subbed out early. And chances are he won't be on the floor in tight games because it would be stupid to have a career 52.7% FT shooter out on the floor when you've got other legitimate options.
That's not to say Shaq won't be out there to finish a few games this year. But people get WAAAAY too caught up in who's starting games (I'm looking at you, Allen Iverson). Once the ball is tipped… who cares if the first 5 minutes of the 30 minutes you played came to start to the game or later in the game?
I'd bet you're more likely to see Jermaine O'Neal on the floor to finish games because of his shooting ability and defense. He'll still be option 4 or 5… but he's a nice option to have in a tight game… especially with that career 71% from the line.
Congrats, by the way, to Steve Bulpett for his 25 years with the Herald. His coverage is always top notch.
On Page 2… Ray Allen actually laughs
Nobody is safe from the comical wrath of this team. Not even Ray Allen who was on the short end (pun totally intended) of a Nate Robinson joke about the time Allen dyed his hair blonde.
Allen got a chuckle or two out of it, as did his teammates.
Seeing Allen in a relaxed state is a rarity.
But he'll be the first to tell you, he totally gets the need to balance being serious with the desire from time to time, being silly.
"When it's time to lock in and pay attention to the game plan, then everybody needs to focus on what we're trying to do," Allen told CSNNE.com. "But you know those other times when you can relax some. There's nothing on the board. No coaches are in here, so you can laugh a little bit. You have to take advantage of it."
Blone Ray Allen is just…
This goes to show that Ray is right there in the middle of all the shenanigans. He's not the one rapping in masks or anything… but he's there. He sees it all and is having the same kind of fun. Plus, it's not like Ray is opposed to dressing up and putting himself out there.
It's nice to see everyone involved. And it's nice to see Ray confirming that the joking is only happening during down times… and the team is focused when they need to be.
Good team chemistry… good focus… generally adds up to good results.
The rest of the links
ESPN Boston: Foreign relations | Lasme's excellent chance | WEEI: Players union plans legal challenge to techs | Jermaine O'Neal loves the Celtics | Globe: Harangody slows, stedies | CSNNE: The Larry Bird money clip | CelticsHub: Joey Dorsey swung at Scalabrine?
And here are the blogger northwest division previews as organized by CelticsBlog:
Recaps: All Previews