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.
Rondo finished with four points, eight assists and five turnovers, but his numbers had no relevance last night.
Instead, the Rondo factor had to be measured in the way Pierce (30 points, 10-for-15 shooting, seven rebounds) and Ray Allen (23 points, 10-for-18, 3-for-5 on 3-pointers) were released from the poor flow of the last seven games.
“I thought it was a relief for all of them,” Rivers said when asked about how Pierce — surrogate playmaker in Rondo’s absence — could return to thinking about his own offense. “You could see how the ball moved today. (It was a relief for him) not only not being a playmaker, but getting the ball to him in his right spots.
I thought (Pierce) and Ray were really struggling because without Rondo they got the ball way out of their spots — never on the spot where we wanted them to get the ball. Rondo has the ability to deliver the ball at the time they’re open, in their spot, and it makes a big difference.
“Down the stretch you could just see the difference in the execution. We ran basically one play and got every option out of that play, and that’s what a point guard does for you. Because he knows everything we run, we were back to running stuff that we had put into hibernation while he was out.”
Here are some stats to back up Doc's comments (courtesy Chris Forsberg):
Its field goal percentage in danger of dipping below 50 percent, Boston connected on 38-of-70 attempts (54.3 percent) Sunday while generating assists on 78.9 percent of its field goals.
Amazing what an elite point guard can do for an offense.
On Page 2, Paul Pierce is the latest to tweak an ankle.
Later, on a breakaway, Pierce dunked again. On that play, he hurt himself.
He came down awkwardly on his ankle.
Pierce did not return to the game, in part because the C's had a big enough cushion to where the Raptors were no legit threat to rally.
"It's a little tender now," Pierce said of his right ankle. "I turned it. It's not too bad, though. It didn't swell up. I have pretty flexible ankles."
Pierce will be fine… Doc joked that late game injuries are a veteran's excuse for missing practice the next day.
Paul is reveling in his thunderous 4th quarter dunk. He tweeted out the video link with this comment:
Excuse me I need to get thru please
Related link: ESPN Boston – Pierce sprains ankle
The rest of the links:
Globe – Shots fall this time | Flipping the calendar | Herald – Big Baby's growing | CSNNE – Davis bounces back | Canada.com – Banged up Raptors no match for rejuvenated Celtics |