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.
When the consummate professional is angry, he doesn’t lash out in the media or bare his soul when his emotions are raw. He slips out of the back of the visiting locker room at Conseco Fieldhouse, nearly jamming his nice travel bag in the door, pulling it through so hard that a piece breaks off and falls onto the floor.
Ray Allen kept walking, hardly concerned about the condition of his bag, more consumed by his lack of involvement in the Celtics’ offense and the team’s struggles to score down the stretch.
Allen has attempted nearly three fewer shots per game in March than in February. In the past four games, Allen, 35, has logged an average of 37 minutes and has taken just over nine shots per game. The Celtics have lost three of those games.
The Celtics are 18-4 this season when Allen scores 20 or more points. That statistic cannot be ignored.
This is the difficulty with having a Big 4. Sometimes you need another basketball.
For months, we've been chirping that Rondo needs to be more aggressive. He was in attack mode last night and took 13 shots. Wasn't it just last week that Doc Rivers said Paul Pierce needs more shots? And KG has played well enough this season that he deserves to get his shots too.
The offense is clearly missing balance. You can't have Ray Allen go an entire month averaging three fewer shots per game. One game here and one game there, that's ok.
So what's the answer? Paging Doc Rivers…
On Page 2, Jermaine O'Neal is going to play Thursday. Seriously.
He's targeting Thursday night's game at San Antonio for his return, but coach Doc Rivers isn't nearly as optimistic.
"I doubt it," Rivers said when asked about O'Neal coming back that quickly. "There's a chance. That's just so quick. Honestly, the only way is if we had some type of other injury or something. Even then, I doubt I'd do it."
Regardless of when he returns, O'Neal has prepared himself as best he could.
Working out in Chicago with famed trainer Tim Grover, O'Neal said he has spent weeks working out six days a week.
The result is he's in better shape now than he was when he reported to the Celtics this summer, adding that he has also dropped 12 pounds to take even more pressure off his surgically repaired left knee.
"Whatever it's going to be, I'm physically prepared for," O'Neal said. "And if it doesn't pan out the way I want it to be, I can say I know I've given it my all."
After watching Roy Hibbert torch the Celtics last night, I'll take anything Jermaine O'Neal can give. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Anything…
The rest of the links:
Globe – Off track in Indy | Jermaine near return | Herald – Rondo back at point | Celtics need a good Doc | ESPN Boston – Jermaine eyes return | Pacers 107 – Celtics 100 | Accentuating the positive | Fouls KO'd KG | Austin honors Doc in Chicago | CSNNE – Rondo plays well in surprise return | Cs lacking extra effort | Garnett: We're a grit team | Playoff tickes on sale Thursday |