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.
“With the way we’re playing right now, I think we do need (the break), so we’re going to take it. And we don’t have a lot of time. This has been an unusual ending to a season with all the games. The decision was made on how we played (Sunday at Miami) and that we lost the game. That was more of what this is about.”
The larger goal for Rivers is to get his team ready for a mini-training camp in the latter part of the week.
“Best-case scenario we play Sunday, which I think is what’s going to happen with the Bruins [team stats] (who play Game 2 at the Garden against Montreal on Saturday). I really thank them,” Rivers said. “But there’s still not a lot of days. You get Thursday, Friday, Saturday — that’s it. Then you play a playoff game.
“This way you get Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and your practice on Thursday can be a great practice with fresh guys, and we can really get to work. So I’d rather do that. The whole reason is that it allows us to have practices with energy, and I think we need that more than anything.”
I thought home court advantage meant something this year. Hasn’t that been the mantra since Game 7?
Forget about it. Doc is not willing to fight to the end for the Eastern Conference 2nd seed. He doesn’t care about having a better record than LA or Dallas, two potential Finals opponents.
Doc Rivers is living in the present. He doesn’t like what he sees from his starters and he wants to get them right for the playoffs. The best way to get them right – practice.
It’s a gamble… but in Doc I trust.
On Page 2, Jermaine O’Neal played his best basketball last night.
O’Neal didn’t just register his first double-double while posting season-highs with 15 points and 13 rebounds, but logged a whopping 36 minutes 54 seconds of court time, the most action he’s seen in a regular-season game since turning in 37:27 for the Heat against the Magic on March 18, 2010.
O’Neal has a balky left knee, one that caused him to squeeze in a maintenance day last Friday night against these same Wizards, this after sitting out 57 games due to injury this season. Monday’s effort was an encouraging step for O’Neal and showed his potential to contribute for long stretches in the postseason (especially important given the uncertainty surrounding Shaquille O’Neal and his ability to stay healthy in the postseason).
Jermaine O’Neal was active around the basket Monday. Not only did he haul in 13 rebounds (five in the offensive end), he also blocked five shots. Then late in the third quarter, he found some space going toward the basket and delivered an emphatic (and unexpected) left-handed jam with Andray Blatche and Yi Jianlian only able to watch. Dare we say, it was as explosive as we’ve seen O’Neal since his 2004 MVP candidate years in Indiana (OK, maybe not that good, but you get the point).
Before you discount Jermaine’s performance against Washington, let me remind you that the Javale McGee and Andray Blatche are two very athletic big men. Jermaine had to work for his boards (except when Yi was on the floor). If he delivered 50% of last night’s effort against the Heat, the Celtics might have had a chance.
If he plays like this in the playoffs… (fill in the blank)
Jermaine will not play Wednesday vs the Knicks. I’m guessing he’s sore as hell.
Related links: CSNNE – O’Neal gives Cs taste of what they missed |
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – West reinjures ankle | Rivers: It was a good showing | Celtics slated to facer Knicks | Herald – Celtics have gone soft | Globe – Game 1 return goal for Shaq | Celtics off the mark | Celtics will face Knicks | Wafer’s overtime blunder | WEEI - Celtics lose 2 seed, Delonte | ESPN Boston – At the buzzer |