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.
Kevin Garnett is Kevin Garnett again: In the midst of all the turmoil, Garnett has very quietly run off a string of double-doubles on this West Coast trip. After scoring 18 points to go with 14 rebounds he now has seven in his last eight games. Garnett was at his best, though, on the defensive end, where he switched over to Al Jefferson late in the game and shut the big man down.
The key moment came when Garnett and Jefferson were called for double technicals late in the fourth quarter. The T’s didn’t stop the chatter between the two players and Jefferson was obviously primed to get the ball and score. He got the ball, but Garnett gave ground at the right moment and caused a travel. It was a classic veteran trap and Jefferson fell right into it.
Lost among all the hoopla surrounding the Celtics/OKC trade is the recent play of Kevin Garnett. In his last 5 games, he's averaging 16.8 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.4 spg while shooting 50%.
It doesn't matter if it's Kendrick Perkins, Nenad Krstic or me playing center for the Celtics, KG is the anchor of this team.
Gotta love the doubters who have been waiting to pounce since the trade:
Win or lose, this was not the strongest night for Boston fans who defended the Perk trade.
3 issues w/ Perk leaving: having to rely on Baby exclusively in crunch-time; interior D; Green stepping up. 0 for 3 tonight. Ray saved us.
That's Bill Simmons. The intelligent fan knows that Glen Davis generally plays much better that what we saw last night. And that Shaq will be around to help.
On the buyout front, nothing has changed much since last night. The Cs are interested in Corey Brewer and Troy Murphy is deciding between Boston and Miami.
On Page 2, Delonte's injury isn't a big deal.
“It’s not a bad sprain,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “If it was a playoff game, he’d play. But you know how we are now. [He might even miss tomorrow’s] game, and then he’ll be back after that.’’
“I don’t even think they noticed today,’’ Rivers said. “We were doing film and I said, ‘Delonte’s not here.’ The guys were looking around. I don’t even think they count anymore who’s in the room and who’s not. They just kind of focus on what they have to do and move forward.’’
Center Shaquille O’Neal is likely to miss one to two more weeks because of an inflamed Achilles’ tendon, and center Jermaine O’Neal is likely out another three to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in January.
“We have every reason to believe and continue to believe that Shaq and J.O. will be healthy,’’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said.
Even though I'd love to see him go several weeks w/o any type of knick or bruise, this is great news about Delonte.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Celtics trip up Jazz | Cs know its selling points that count | Herald – Heartless, not gutless | Celtics maintain rhythm | Heat-ed battle for help | CSNNE – Celtics, Heat vie for Murphy | Green, Davis to compete for crrunch time minutes | Cs wary of potential traps | Bradley gets mid-game minutes | Krstic still learning the ropes | Jefferson wowed by Perk trade | Pierce satisfied with road trip | ESPN Boston – Rapid Reaction | Bargain shopping |