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.
Another day, another injury for the Detroit Pistons. Actually, make it two.
Richard Hamilton injured his foot and Charlie Villanueva sprained his ankle Saturday night in Detroit's loss to the Chicago Bulls.
Hamilton is questionable for Tuesday night's game against the Boston Celtics, and Villanueva will be a game-time decision.
Will Bynum (out) and Chris Wilcox (doubtful) continue to battle sore hamstrings. If those four are unable to play, the Pistons — already without Jonas Jerebko (torn Achilles tendon) and Terrico White (broken foot) — will have nine players available against Boston.
Pistons coach John Kuester said Austin Daye likely would still get most of his minutes at power forward. That means DaJuan Summers likely will back up Ben Gordon at shooting guard.
Even without Shaq and the banged up Jermaine O'Neal starting, the Celtics might not need Semih Erden to play a lot of minutes tonight. The Detroit bigs are undersized (Ben Wallace, Jason Maxiell) which means Glen Davis can hold down the center position.
Doc doesn't appear sold on Semih:
“[Erden] looked OK. He’s still got a ways to go but he’s trying his best and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.’’
Asked if Erden had improved in a specific area, Rivers said, “Just a little bit of everything and not a lot of one thing. You’d almost prefer a lot of one thing. He doesn’t have any one thing down well. It’s just going to take time. The problem is we’re going to have to use him [in games] in the time that we would like to get it done.
“Defensively, he’s OK at doing our stuff. Offensively, he’s a great picker, a roller, he needs to learn how to finish better. He’s really struggling at the basket, but he’ll get that. Physicality and the injuries . . . he has a bad hand, a bad shoulder, and he’s playing against us every day in practice — and us reffing, that might be the most important factor for him. I haven’t seen a foul so far this year in practice, and we don’t call them very often.’’
Expect to see a lot of small lineups.
On Page 2, the surge in rebounding.
Jermaine O’Neal has been a nonfactor, and Erden hasn’t logged a minute. Shaquille O’Neal has been solid, but is averaging fewer rebounds than Kendrick Perkins [stats] did as the starting center last season.
The difference for the Celtics has come primarily from three individuals, all of whom were a part of the team that finished 29th in the NBA in rebounding last season.
Kevin Garnett is averaging 11.7 rebounds (7.3 last year), Paul Pierce [stats] is averaging 8.3 (4.4) and Rajon Rondo [stats] is averaging 6.3 (4.4). The Celts are averaging 44.7 rebounds, an improvement of 6.1 boards per game from last season.
I don't expect these guys to sustain those rebounding numbers. Here are some realistic numbers: KG – 9.5, Pierce – 6.5 and Rondo – 5.5. All numbers closer to their career averages. One player not mentioned in the article is Glen Davis. His rebounding totals are +1.5.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Pierce getting back on boards | Jermaine to start Tuesday | Herald – Jermaine ready to step in for Shaq | ESPN Boston – Saldirgan, Semih | Red Claws add 9 | Practice notes | Celtics vs Pistons game preview | Globe – Celtics at Piston preview |