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.
“Shaq is like paradise, man,” he said. “You ever wash your sheets and then go outside and hang them out, and the sun dries them? You ever smell the sheets?
“That’s what Shaq is, Shaq is like,” Garnett said before breathing in deeply, like he was inhaling fresh air. “I don’t want to give any products any tags right now, but you know what I’m saying. For anybody who’s ever hung out clothes, they know what I mean.”
I know we're a day late on that quote… but it's too awesome not to put up.
Shaq has been pretty good this year. A quick peek at his advanced stats (via basketball-reference) show he's shooting better right now than he has in years. He's got a true shooting percentage (which takes all fg's and ft's into account) of .631… currently the highest of his career. He's grabbing a higher percentage of available rebounds than he has since being traded from Miami to Phoenix (18.3 vs. 20.8 in PHX in '07-'08). He's turning the ball over less than he did in Cleveland and he's using up fewer of his team's possessions than when he was in Cleveland.
That just confirms what our eyes have seen. Shaq is doing what the C's have asked: Finish at the rim when Rondo gets into the lane and grab rebounds when they're there. He's taking care of the ball and not being selfish.
What more can you ask out of the big fella? We're talking about a 38 year-old center that a lot of people thought would come in here, look old and slow, and maybe taint that team chemistry. Instead he's come in here in shape, done what the team has asked, and been a breath of fresh air for the locker room.
Just ask KG
Related Links: CSNNE: Garnett, Shaq tandem provides punch at both ends
On Page 2: Nate Robinson grows up
“He’s grown up an awful lot,’’ said [Jamal] Crawford. “I think that he actually won a couple of games in the playoffs for them with just his energy and his impact on the game. He’s never going to back down. If you’re going to war, that’s somebody you want to be in a foxhole with.’’
Some things were the same. For one, Robinson’s decibel level never changes.
“At 6 in the morning, he’s the same as at 6 at night,’’ Crawford said. “Seriously, he’s going around, bouncing off the walls. That’s just Nate.’’
And he was still likely to go on a pick-up game scoring spree. “Nate’s a problem in the summer,’’ Crawford said. “Imagine him with no coach.’’
Oh my God… imagine an unchecked Nate Robinson pulling up for fast-break 3's every other time down the floor?
He does that now.
You mean he's worse in pick-up games? Yeesh.
Nate's the epitome of a player with a scorer's mentality… which is what makes performances like the one against Atlanta more impressive. I went into it a lot yesterday so I won't re-hash everything. I'll just say that for a player like Nate, growth into a player that can function on a team like the Celtics is impressive. Yes, he'll be asked to be a scorer most of the time… but to be able to adjust when needed is a great sign of maturity.
Related links: CSNNE/Celtics Now: Robinson impresses as a starter
The rest of the links: Herald: Ray Allen serves up hope | Globe: Nets thumbnails | ESPN Boston: Video: Legler's top 5 | Home on the (mid) range | WEEI: Preview: Nets at Celtics | South Coast Today: Celtics should be wary of the Nets | Yahoo!: Michael Jackson (yes, Jackson) inspired Kobe | Heat sign Dampier to replace Haslem