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.
Coming out of a timeout, Ray Allen missed a 3-pointer, but Jermaine O'Neal got an offensive rebound to keep the possession alive. Inexplicably, Glen Davis fired an off-the-mark 25-foot 3-pointer from the right wing with 13 seconds still showing on the shot clock.
New Orleans got the rebound, David West drilled a 19-foot jumper with less than a minute to play for a five-point cushion and the Celtics couldn't rally back.
Rivers barked at Davis for the ill-advised shot during a timeout after West's jumper, and Davis appeared to shout right back in the huddle. After the game, Rivers didn't hide his frustration when a reporter asked, in general, whether players had made mental miscues.
"Who are you talking about? I'm just curious; can you give me a name?" Rivers asked, before the Davis play was referenced.
"That's a very good observation. I'm going to let you just say that. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that," he said.
While I didn't see any of the game, I feel perfectly okay saying that Glen Davis should never take a three-pointer with 13 seconds on the shot clock… no matter how open he is… no matter what the score.
Everybody has bad days… it's too bad Big Baby (4-14 FG – the only starter to shoot below 50%) suffered through one during the first game of Kevin Garnett's absence.
The bigger problem with Davis is the attitude. Barking at Doc Rivers… slamming doors and storming out of the locker room are completely uncalled for and unprofessional.
He needs to take a lesson from Paul Pierce:
"We probably should've kept Marquis in there for me late in the game," Pierce said. "When he was in the game, he had a very good stretch and we pushed the lead up. … Maybe Paul Pierce has to do a better job in stepping up his game. I really didn't come to play today, evidently, when you look it up — six turnovers, but we only lose by two."
On Page 2, have the Celtics reached their tipping point?
The C’s played hard. The C’s played with a sense of urgency. But the C’s played without four members of their core rotation.
Rondo, Perkins and West were tough enough to overcome. Garnett’s strained right calf was the tipping point. Suddenly the Celtics were doing their best to be plucky.
They were looking more like The Little Engine That Could rather than The Locomotive That Will.
The preponderance of pain had finally reached the critical stage.
“Well, it got to us tonight, but we can’t let it get to us,” said Doc Rivers. “You know, we’re not going to be healthy next game.”
Steve Bulpett kindly reminds us the injury ravaged Celtics are missing three starters from last year's squad and another core player (Delonte West).
Are they still capable of beating teams like the Hornets? Yes.
Will the wheels completely fall off the train? No. Doc, Paul and Ray will keep the team together. And Rondo should return at some point next week.
Related link: Globe – December swoon in forecast
The rest of the links:
Globe – Feeling the sting | Bench players stood tall | CSNNE – Celtics lose playing hero ball | Rondo anguishes on bench | Herald – Rondo return put on ice | Ray, Paul take shot at finding solution | ESPN Boston – Rondo misses 7th game |