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.
Due to recent injuries, Boston essentially has no depth at swingman or center, maybe the two most important positions when facing the Lakers. Captain Paul Pierce sat out practice Wednesday due to illness, the latest addition on an infirmary report that includes centers Shaquille O’Neal (inflamed Achilles), Jermaine O’Neal (sore left knee), and Semih Erden (right adductor strain), swingman Marquis Daniels (bruised spinal cord), and guard Delonte West (fractured right wrist).
That leaves Boston with an available roster featuring just 10 players, two of which are oft-unused rookies (Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody), who the Celtics had hoped just a short time ago would both be with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.
…The Celtics fully acknowledge that, given their roster issues, they simply need to find a way to sneak out some wins before the All-Star break. The Lakers, on the other hand, have plenty of motivation.
Just ask Von Wafer.
“They’re going to be ready,” said Wafer, who could see increased time in the absence of Daniels. “They’re going to be ready to play because we just kicked their butts on national TV. They're going to come in here ready to play. We're going to have to be ready to play."
We can only hope the Lakers are reading up on tonight's game. Because the overall theme from the media is the Celtics are too injured to beat a motivated Lakers team. Not only will LA want to avenge the 13-point beating they took from the Celtics a few weeks ago, they are a team out to prove it can play with the big boys. The Lakers record vs elite teams is 1-6.
I can't imagine either team in this rivalry overlooking the other. But in the same way we've seen the Celtics lose to a Kevin Durant-less OKC Thunder, teams can let their guard down a bit. It's possible LA carries that mentality into the Garden tonight.
It's also possible the Celtics outwork and outplay them because they still have enough talent to win.
On Page 2, Ray Allen doesn't want to rush.
The last thing Allen wants is to rush the record.
“The one thing I don’t want to do is go into the game with that on my mind: ‘I’ve got to shoot a three, I’ve got to get two up real quick, bring the building to its feet,’ ’’ he said.
Allen has played out the moment in his mind. And he gets to do it in front of the home crowd.
He doesn’t expect a stoppage.
Maybe just a hat tip.
“The anticipation of it will be great,’’ Allen said, “because so many people will be waiting, expecting it and wanting to see it.’’
Ray is breaking the record tonight. The only scenario where I wouldn't want to see it – if the Lakers are blowing out the Cs.
There will be some sort of interaction with Reggie Miller, who will be courtside calling the game for TNT. Whether Reggie bows to Ray or the duo exchange a hand slap, I expect some type of acknowledgement.
Related links: Herald – Deep thoughts on Ray's quest | CSNNE – 5 things on Ray and the record | ESPN Boston – Conspi-Ray-cy Theory | Preparation key to Ray success | WEEI – Ray thinks Reggie is a classy guy |
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Celtics looking forward to rivalry game | Delonte West returns to practice | ESPN LA – Lakers vs Celtics always a big game | Globe – Special teams on the stage (Ryan) | Drama follows LA on road |