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.
“Emotional highjacks,” the Celtics coach said after yesterday’s practice. “And they always happen when you’re down or in the heat of battle. It always happens, but once you let it get to a point where it highjacks your team, then it’s never good. But it’s part of the game, in every sport and on every team.”
The Celtics, though, looked as if they had been boarded and highjacked by Captain Jack Sparrow’s entire crew during several timeouts on Tuesday night.
In perhaps the most blatant instance, Rajon Rondo stormed away from Paul Pierce as the Celtics captain attempted to make a point at the end of a timeout. Not long after, Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen appeared to be holding their own conference outside the greater team huddle.
That they lost Game 2, and fell into an 0-2 hole to Miami, highlighted the disharmony.
I'm about to have an emotional hijack and direct it at Rajon Rondo. Is anyone else fed up with his bull-sh*t? Yes, he's only 25 but this is his 5th season. He also has 70 playoff games under his belt.
He may have a fantastic poker face, but he's more emotional than a woman 8 months pregnant. There's the rampant rumors of his anger over the Perkins trade. His stubborness is well-documented. On the Association, we learned of his locker room fight with KG back in 2008.
I'm not blaming him for the Celtics troubles with the Heat. But there's a fine line between winning and losing in the playoffs, and the Cs need him to have a laser focus for the rest of this series.
Related link: Globe – Celtics have their heated moments
On Page 2, a closer look at the Cs late game possessions in Game 2.
The Celtics went to sixth man Glen Davis on each of the first two plays, but he missed a pair of bunnies before Ray Allen misfired on a 3-pointer, and Jermaine O'Neal botched a dunk. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each missed on long jumpers soon after as well.
"I liked some of the stuff," said Rivers. "I didn’t like the first play. The call was to go somewhere else. Listen, you trust your players, they saw something, they thought Baby was deep. The other one, Paul [Pierce] had an [isolation], but Baby cut, and he threw the ball, he did the right thing. I actually thought that one, there was a lot of contact, and he went across his arms, and there was a no-call, so other than that, I didn’t mind what we did."
Here's the key stat, according to ESPN researchers: Boston is shooting a mere 48.1 percent inside of 5 feet this postseason as opposed to 57.1 percent in the regular season. That's a huge dip, particularly in this series with the Celtics trying to exploit their opponent's frontcourt.
Excellent job by Chris Forsberg. While everyone is screaming about Glen Davis taking two shots during the crucial stretch, this breakdown shows the shots were decent looks. Notice the shot clock on his first possession – 11 seconds. If he passes, who's to say the Cs get a better look?
I expected the Celtics shooting percentage within 5 feet to be much worse. Check out that last screen grab in Forsberg's story. Jermaine O'Neal is wide open at the lower semi-circle. How the hell do you miss that shot?
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Celtics focused on fundamentals | How will Big 4 step up? | Havlicek visits before Gm 3 | Shaq expected to play | Herald – Will Jeff Green mean to stop LBJ? | Ray Allen stays confident | The Celtics game, to win | ESPN Boston – Forde's mock draft | Globe – Anthony a quiet force | Shaq probable for Game 3 | WEEI – Havlicek to BBD: Remember 1969 |