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.
Doc: “You’re down 2-0 and you want to look inside yourself to see what you can do better. We do it as a coaching staff, and you do it individually as players. And then hopefully we do it as a team in a game. I think the risk whenever you’re down in anything is that you want go inside yourself and do it yourself, and that never works."
Doc's right. It's natural. The team is in a hole and we're all looking for someone to put the team on his back and carry them to a win. But that's the exact kind of basketball that will doom the Celtics.
Think of when the Celtics are playing their absolute best. Think of the characteristics of that team. The ball is whipped around the floor… guys are setting picks, getting open, making the right pass to the right player for open shots. When the Celtics are rolling, you'll see a Rondo drive on one possession, a Pierce step back on another, a Ray 3 on the break after that, and KG finding someone with an interior pass for an easy dunk. When the C's are clicking, everyone is touching the ball… everyone is getting after it on defense… and the constant barrage becomes too much for the other team to handle.
If the Celtics go out there tonight and play hero-ball, they will lose. If Paul Pierce TRIES to carry this team… the C's will go down in a ball of flames. But if Paul Pierce gets hot within the flow of a good, crisp offense… THAT'S when he'll do some team-carrying.
It has to be a team effort. It can't be anything else.
Related links: Herald: Pierce feels better about chances
On Page 2: Don't go writing the C's obituary just yet
“We’re taking their best shot,” Garnett said. “I still don’t think we’ve played our best basketball and we’ve got to do that. We can’t just come out here and talk about it. We’re not on the white sands of the beach no more. We’re back in the jungle. Hopefully that’ll do some good for us.”
So, here they are backed up against that adverse wall and to top it off they have a plethora of injured bodies that include Rajon Rondo’s bad back, Pierce’s strained Achilles and Allen’s bruised stomach.
It’s tempting to begin writing the obituary and maybe that’s the reality, but bury this team? No way. Not after everything they’ve been through over the last four years. From building their own impromptu super-team and seeing that vision to its completion, to the Garnett injury of 2009 and the soul-crushing loss to the Lakers in Game 7. There is simply too much history behind them, no matter what the objective mind tells you about their chances.
All you gotta do is win tonight. Nothing else matters.
Excellent piece (as usual) by Paul Flannery. Required reading, I'd say.
Related links: Celtics Big 3 facing last chance at greatness
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Celtics out of lifelines, must win Game 3 | Pierce #2 most influential athlete on Twitter | WEEI: Ainge: I believe Shaq is playing in Game 3 | Pierce returns to practice: "I feel good" | Garnett: An all in mentality for Celtics | ESPN Boston: Shaq's impact | West heating up for C's | Video: What role will Shaq play? | Herald: Tonight is the only game that matters | Is the Celtics comeback possible? You betcha | Globe: Calm in the face of a storm | Home to the year's biggest game | Mazz: I think its over | It could be a huge help | Heat: No big changes planned