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.
The Celtics were flying above the clouds and the Eastern Conference as they headed back from Washington. But as they touched down in the wee hours of the Sabbath, there came a chilling realization of Biblical proportion.
Goliath fears David.
The Bostonians have counted victories over NBA overall leader San Antonio, Orlando and Oklahoma City. Twice they’ve taken the measure of Miami.
But they’ve lost to the likes of Detroit, Toronto and the Wizards. They even fell to 8-35 Cleveland, but that was back at the start of the season before the Cavaliers understood how bad they are.
Looking back to that exercise and the coming of the Cavaliers, Pierce — a man of much confidence — expressed a healthy concern.
“These are the games I’m more scared of truthfully,” he said. “When we play the contending teams and the teams who are playoff-bound, you know, I know we’re going to be mentally ready from top to bottom.
“It’s these games right here that I worry about.”
A lot of the same stuff from last year is happening all over again… its just this team is better and deeper so they're not losing all those games. The games they do lose are close instead of second half blowouts. Look at the Detroit game. Last year that would have been a loss… but a better KG and better bench let the C's hang around long enough to pull it out.
So the C's have a motivation problem against the bad teams. Let me dig up some of the consternation from last year and re-post it. This way I'll put as much effort into writing about their problem with bad teams as the C's do in playing those teams.
And just like last year… what is there to worry about? A team full of near-the-end veterans getting bored in January? At this point, It's not costing them anything. Every team has had its struggles. I don't like watching it… but I've resigned myself to the fact that its gonna happen. And until they prove otherwise, I'll always watch the games against bad teams with some amount of trepidation.
On Page 2: Perk looks good
“He’s been working pretty well. We’ll see, I’m not sure,’’ Rivers said Saturday of Perkins being available next week for the home game against the Mavericks. “He looks good in practice, I will say that. He’s running well. He’s working hard. I don’t know if I’ve seen him or any guy work as hard as he’s worked. He really wants to get back. He wants to get to playing. He knows it’s going to take time once you get on the floor. He’s doing the work.’’
Want to know how to combat some of that boredom we were just talking about? Re-introduce some key players who will be starting their seasons right now. They're anxious where the rest of the team is kinda bored.
Throw Perk out there with some energy, and other guys will raise their games a little. Add Delonte and they have to keep up somehow. And not only that… two healthy bodies to take up minutes will keep other guys rested.
February 4th is around the corner. It will be good to see you back, Perk.
Related Links: ESPN Boston: Morning Shootaround: Help is on the way
The rest of the links:
MWDN: Celtics make percentage gains | Dark horse rookies lending a hand in the paint | CSNNE: Powe unable to make trip to Boston | Rivers doesn't think Shaq injury is serious | ESPN Boston: C's score well on midterm grades