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 bottom line is every team goes through these situations,’’ said Ainge. “Right now, I can’t say anything. I have to manage our future payroll. I have to manage our team next year. There are a lot of things to weigh and there will be a lot of things that come across my desk.
“Just because a guy plays small forward doesn’t mean he’s better than the guys we have. We want to add quality to our team.’’
Ainge has great confidence in the roster he compiled, even as it crumbles around him. Harangody and Wafer will get their opportunities to produce in the spotlight, regardless of how ill-fitted they appear for their new roles.
The best-case scenario for the Celtics is that Daniels can recover from his injury in time to provide depth for the playoffs while the other reserves respond immediately with improved play.
If not, Ainge will keep his ears and eyes open, ready to do anything to win a title. The current group deserves the effort.
“It’s a good time for us to be maybe down a man or two, even though we are playing some pretty good teams,’’ said Ainge. “This is just part of what happens to every team. Nobody cares what goes on with the Celtics as far as injuries. It’s going to be fun.’’
The Celtics, because their roster is at its max (remember, injured players still count on the roster) have no choice but to be patient. One interesting note in that piece is that if Marquis can't make it back and is done for the season… the Celtics will likely buy him out out to open the roster spot.
Also, Avery Bradley isn't going anywhere… so any thought of that need to stop. And Von Wafer probably isn't going anywhere either. He played OK last night, and is showing he can be relied upon in spots.
Yes, it was tough to watch last night as the Celtics faded against a team that they could have beaten. But panic moves don't usually help. Look at the Magic. And look at what the Lakers have been talking about.
IF Marquis can't come back, then Danny's got to just give the guy his money, open up the spot, and then we move on from there. But if he can, then he's still the best option because he knows the system and the players. Until then, we can just look on the bright side of things and see Von and Bradley get some minutes that might ultimately prove beneficial.
On Page 2: There's a chance Delonte could return before the All Star break
Rivers said there was some discussion among the medical staff about possibly playing West against the Lakers.
Because no consensus was reached, Rivers decided to keep him out in Thursday's loss.
"He's going to practice Saturday," Rivers said of West. "I would like him actually to play in the New Jersey game [on Wednesday] just to get him one game. But even if he does play Sunday, let's say, it will be 5 or 10 minutes. It won't be much either way."
This falls under the Kendrick Perkins model: If he can practice at full speed, the why can't he play in a game? The answer, of course, is timing and conditioning. But if they feel comfortable with his timing and conditioning… then I'll take 10 minutes of Delonte West. Hell, they could have used it last night.
But I'll say what I said with Perk: Don't rush him back. I know we all want the #1 seed but I'm more focused on just being healthy for the playoffs. I don't care if the Celtics go in as the 2 or the 3 seed. A healthy Celtics team can win in any gym. Just get healthy.
But if Delonte CAN play… then hey… we'll take whatever help we can get.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Sloan's departure resonates with Rivers | Robinson departs with knee injury | Get well soon | WEEI: Emotional Ray relishes a moment he'll remember for the rest of his life | Kobe: "I'll bust your ass" | Lakers put a damper on Ray's night | Ray passes Reggie for 3 point history | No excuses for Celtics | C's owners: Thrilled with Doc | Herald: Ray Allen's long shot to top | Kobe, LA live up to challenge | Ray Allen shot all for naught | Photos | With Reggie on hand, 3's company for Ray Allen | Globe: Allen sets record | Allen felt the connection | LA Rounding into form | CSNNE: Rondo needs a jumper against Bryant | Rivers surprised by Sloan's retirement | Allen breaks record, savors the moment | Robinson to undergo MRI on bruised knee