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.
"Well, we give him a lot of [grief] about it because — and we still give him [grief] — I think on media day he said, 'You know, I'm an offensive player,'" Rivers said with a smile, knowing full well that being an offensive player doesn't mean a thing on his squads.
"That was his quote. But he's proven to us that he's more than that. I think a lot of players have that in them, they just don't know it sometimes. We're getting it out of him, and he's actually enjoying it. It's funny to watch him — he gets excited about defensive stops now. And that's great, because I get excited about that as well."
Wafer appears to be carving out a role in that defense-first mentality, aided by an almost frenzied approach to defense as he often hounds the opposing ball-handler. At one point Monday, Wafer's inspired defense on an in-bound play led to a five-second violation early in the fourth quarter.
The 10 points he contributed Monday were nice, but forcing that type of turnover is what will keep him on the floor.
"Everybody else [plays defense]," Wafer said. "I don't want to be the only guy who doesn't. I wouldn't be here if I didn't buy in."
Von Wafer is THE reason the Celtics won last night. Pierce's heroics don't happen… Ray's big 3 doesn't happen… if Von Wafer isn't in there to keep it close earlier in the game. The Celtics were doing a ton of standing around on both ends of the court and Wafer was actually active and moving.
That's the reason why he was able to grab so many rebounds. Sure, some of it was some measure of getting the right bounce… but Von put himself into great positions by playing good defense and found himself in spots to get the ball.
Von is finally getting the hang of it. Which makes this Globe story a little surprising
Wafer signed a nonguaranteed contract in August that becomes guaranteed for the rest of the season if he is on the roster Jan. 10. Wafer has improved defensively and has had his moments, such as scoring 10 points off the bench in a 96-93 victory over the Timberwolves last night, but the Celtics may waive him to increase roster flexibility. The Celtics have the maximum 15 players on their roster.
Teams are eligible to sign players to 10-day contracts starting tomorrow.
With all the Celtics injuries… with all the problems they've had… and with how he's played recently….
Are the Celtics REALLY going to waive Von Wafer now JUST so they might be able to sign someone at a different position later?
I understand that they're watching money. But he's not even making a million bucks. I don't see why a team that's been so hurt so far would just cut a healthy guy on the off chance they need to sign someone else later. I'm sure Danny is keeping all options open… but I can't see Von going away in the next week.
On Page 2: Delonte takes a huge step in his comeback
Calling it a big step, West had the hard cast protecting his healing right wrist removed on Monday, the first step of what he hopes could be a return on or shortly after the All-Star break. It was replaced with a brace to allow him some ability to start moving it for light rehab.
“It’s feels stiff but it’s not painful,” West said. “I got great news from doctors. They said maybe three weeks [then] rehabilitation. I’ve already started out conditioning, ball-handling. I’m left-handed anyway. Fortunately, I’m left handed anyway so I able to get shots on my left hand. It’s just a matter of time before I gain game strength in this one.
“Today is Day 1. I got a lot accomplished,” he said of Monday’s milestone in recovery.
As for watching the likes of Nate Robinson, Von Wafer, Marquis Daniels and even rookie Avery Bradleybeing forced to pick up the slack as Rajon Rondo‘s back-up, West admitted it’s been rough.
“I can’t wait to get back out there,” West said. “It’s killing me sitting back here and rooting from the sidelines but we all have a position to play and right now mine is getting healthy and getting ready to contribute.”
Allow me to state the obvious and say Delonte would make a HUGE impact on this second unit…. and maybe even on the first unit if we need Rajon Rondo to take a few games off in the next few months.
When you think about the injuries… Delonte will be back in about a month. Perk will be back at around that same time. And KG will have played his way back into shape by then. These guys can take some time to get back into the swing of things and the C's can have a couple of months playing at full strength right before the playoffs.
Considering how bad things have been injury-wise… this is a pretty good scenario.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Rapid Reaction | WEEI: Fast Break: Celtics outlast Minnesota | Finding ways to win | Herald: Celtics catch Wolves | Celtics better with Pierce scoring, not passing | Globe: Taking it away | Third quarter a real turning point for Pierce | CSNNE: Rondo back to being a player, not a coach | Pierce hits another Celtics milestone | Love owns glass for T'Wolves in loss | Celtics squeak out a win | CBS Sports: David Kahn predicts Darko will be an All Star