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.
“You get used to playing a certain way, and you come in here and expect everything to be together like it always is, then sometimes somebody moves your cheese a little bit,’’ said Ray Allen. “That’s the kind of position we’re in, where we have to figure it out, and it’s a new challenge.
“When Delonte went out, that was a new challenge and it forced us to play one way. Then Rondo went down and we had to change again. Now, it’s Kevin.’’
Julian Benbow does a nice job of reminding us that the Celtics still haven't had the original line up they planned on in camp.
Knowing that Perk was out, Doc's original plan was to start Jermaine O'Neal. But he got hurt so Shaq stepped in. Then Shaq go hurt and Jermaine stepped in again. Then the Delonte thing happened. Then Rondo. Then KG.
The C's have seen their cheese moved time and time again (I'm not sure what that means. Maybe it's some kind of reference to a lab-rat that takes the same maze route to its cheese or something. I'm just working with what I got). They've got no choice but to make it work. That's going to mean more of Luke Harangody and Avery Bradley than we ever thought we'd see… but so be it. The C's were supposed to be a deep team. Time to put that to the test.
On Page 2: Is Jermaine going to pull a Sheed?
O’Neal is slowly regaining his rhythm after missing more than six weeks with a sore left knee, but he admits the knee will probably bother him all season. The 6-foot-11 center-forward signed a two-year contract with the Celtics, but he isn’t sure if he wants to play next season.
“Those decisions will be made when the season’s over with,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal may not have to decide because there could be a lockout next season, but this could be his last season regardless.
“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s not only just thinking about this season, it’s thinking about life after basketball. You only get one body and you try to stay as strong as you possibly can.”
O’Neal wants to avoid living the rest of his life in pain.
“Sometimes it’s hard, I’m not going to lie,” he said, “getting up out of the bed and going up and down stairs. I’m sure Shaq (O’Neal) and I’m sure Kevin (Garnett) and all of us, we talked about this the other day. You worry. I’ve got a four-year-old boy who loves basketball. He’s doing push-ups and he’s really ready to play. There would be nothing more disappointing to me as a father not to be able to play with him and run around and shoot.”
Why do I feel like some people are going to chime in with a "he can go right now if he wants" kinda thing?
I'm not going to fault Jermaine for his injuries. He's injury prone now… that's how it is. If we can get some of these other guys healthy, the C's won't have to use him for 33 minutes like they did against New Orleans. After looking at what this team has been and can do… I'll be happy to stick Perk back in there at the 5 when he's healthy, then bring Shaq off the bench along with Baby and then mix in some Jermaine for 15 minutes a game or so tops. You know you've got Semih in the hole too who can at least contribute.
I'm sure this has been frustrating for Jermaine, but I think the injuries we've seen have largely been fairly minor. It's a bunch of strains and sprains and, aside from Delonte (and Perk, of course, but that was last year), nothing much bigger than that. The bigger issue has been timing. These are all overlapping.
So we'll see if Jermaine has had enough when this season is over. I'm betting that if the C's win a ring… he'll walk. He might if they don't… but I'm betting he'll leave on top.
The rest of the links: