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.
“Coach was pointing out the little things and how they all add up,” Pierce said. “From the first half to the second half against LA, we were like a totally different team. If we just execute and do what we do, regardless of the guys we put out there, we win that game. It’s stuff we do all the time — making the extra pass, setting a pick, moving the ball, defending. That’s stuff we didn’t do in the second half of the LA game. If we do those things, we’ve still got enough to win those type of games.
“Bad habits creep in when we stop doing the little things.”
…. "regardless of the guys we put outh there"….
You win as a team, you lose as a team. And to borrow a popular phrase from Doc, no one cares how many guys are hurt, they want to beat the Boston Celtics.
So Avery Bradley, Von Wafer, and whomever else gets playing time against the Heat, or any other team… you've got to do your jobs and do them well. The C's don't have as many options as they've had before… and that just flat sucks. But that just means other guys are going to have to take advantage of their opportunities. You can't choose when to step into the spotlight… that spotlight is thrust upon you.
If the Celtics are going to win this game… they're going to have to give maximum effort from the jump (which is always a question mark in these early afternoon Sunday starts) and they're going to have to get good play from seldom used players.
On Page 2… some Pierce trash talking to Ray Allen nearly slips through the cracks
And now I’m happy to let you know that Ray has decided to try to conquer his fears and will face me in the three point competition during All-Star weekend. Record or no record, he’s gonna have to face the defending champ (me) and then really show everyone what he’s got from beyond the arc. Took some convincing, but I called him out and he rose to the occasion. It’ll be fun though and you know I wasn’t afraid to call him out on it. It’ll definitely add some excitement to the weekend. But you gotta remember all the other great star shooters in the league too: Dirk, Nash, Stojakovic, who’ve also all won the three-point contest before — I’m calling them all out too, and I’m hoping they’ll participate as well. Just bring ‘em all together and see who’s the best of the best. That’s what people really want to see, and that’s what we should want to give our fans. And it’s really about them, our fans, so come on guys, step up and give the fans a show to remember. I’m throwin' the gauntlet down so let’s see who besides Ray is up to the challenge.
This blog actually went up a couple of days ago and no one seems to have picked it up. Pierce must not have heard that the rest of the field has already been picked. Aside from Pierce and Ray, it'll be Kevin Durant, Daniel Gibson, James Jones of the Heat, and Dorell Wright.
Pierce and Ray have been taking little good-natured shots at each other for a while now over this 3 point contest. It's actually pretty fun. Pierc was talking more after yesterday's practice.
Celtics captain Paul Pierce was addressing a group of reporters as Ray Allen walked off the floor following the session. The new NBA 3-point record holder announced, "Paul said I have no chance in the 3-point contest," before hoisting what would have been an intimidating pre-All-Star midcourt heave. It landed wide right.
Quipped Pierce: "No chance. No, I'm not smiling, either."
My God… if Pierce wins this thing again he's going to be insufferable. And much awesomeness will ensue. I'm sure Ray won't let Pierce forget it either if HE wins.
And don't think for a second that Ray is taking this lightly. Ray is known as a shooter. That's his thing. If he comes out and lets Pierce beat him… forget it. He doesn't want to hear what will follow. In the season that he breaks the record, Ray will be focused on winning this thing just to he can maintain his role on this team as THE shooter.
This is gonna be fun. I can't wait.
One last note: I can't believe I forgot to put this up yesterday… but Happy Birthday Bill Russell
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Video: look back on Celtics-Heat | WEEI: Shaq won't return until after the All Star break | Nate will try to play | All eyes on Rondo as Celtics prepare for Heat | Herald: Talents fit on South Beach | Injured Celtics could put Heat in place | Nate expected back today, Delonte out | CBS Sports: 10 keys to Celtics/Heat 3 | Globe: Celtics breace for a heated up James | Feeling the Heat before break | It only gets tougher | House has no hard feelings | NY Times (via Celtics Blog): Indomitable Russell values one accolade above the rest | CSNNE: Centers down, Robinson possible | Pro Basketball Talk: Implications of C's/Heat 3