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.
It didn't hurt Friday that he was hooping with a chip on his shoulder. In a season in which Celtics coach Doc Rivers suggested he's had a "list" of opponents he's seeking atonement against for injury-diminished play last season, Garnett also had the motivation of Noah's verbal outbursts following Boston's victory last month. That included an ESPN radio appearance in which Noah called Garnett "a very mean guy" and added that he was "ugly, too."
Garnett tried, but did little to dismiss the notion that he had increased motivation from Noah's comments.
"No, let me tell you something about people, man," said Garnett. "Everybody has an opinion and, obviously, he had one. I'm not entertaining nor addressing nobodies. I'm not even entertaining them. I'm focused on basketball — winning and trying to make this team better. Other than that, I'm not on anything."
Asked twice if he considered Noah a "nobody" (he asked for the question to be repeated the first time), Garnett barked, "Next question," and gave a quick wink triggering laughter from reporters.
And even if he didn't say it in so many words, Shaquille O'Neal hammered it home.
"It's not that he's up for [Friday's game], it's that these young cats have no respect," said O'Neal. "So Kevin just has to teach them."
For all his brash behavior on the court, Garnett is sly when the microphones are in his face. He'll drop the subtle digs, but rarely delivers the bulletin board material.
As we are all witnessing, KG's improved play is speaking louder than any words. He's dominating again. And it should give pause to some of these 'young cats' with brass balls.
On Page 2, Delonte West expects to play this year.
West, with his arm in a sling, said he is looking forward to his recovery and will have his cast removed in two weeks. He expects to play again this season.
“I feel good, man,’’ he said. “Of course there was a lot of pain from the surgery. I dealt with the nausea, [medication] wearing off. Today is the first day I felt decent. No headaches. The pain has gone away. It will be smooth sailing from here.’’
“It definitely hurt,’’ said the seventh-year guard. “It was one of the worst breaks of my life. I have broken eight bones in my life they have all been in [my right] hand or this wrist. It’s one of those things. It was the worst thing I’ve ever felt, saw the bones come right out the arm. I felt it right away. I don’t even want to go back to that day.’’
While we're all speculating 8-12 weeks, the Celtics have yet to release a formal timetable for Delonte's return. That's probably because they want to temper expectations, internal and external, for his return.
If he was done for the season, I think we'd know about it.
For those wondering about Rondo's knee:
“I didn’t feel like nothing was [torn] or snapped or anything,’’ said Rondo. “It just gave out. It was an awkward fall.’’
That play scared the sh-t out of me. Thank god he's fine.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Cs look lively | Rondo rises to occasion | CSNNE – Rondo treating everyone like Derrick Rose | Shaq's most diverse offense | Thibs on Rose on lookout for Rondo | ESPN Boston – Postgame notes | Herald – Hall of a job, guys | Cs right from start | Keep Rondo healthy |