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.
But amid all this doom there may actually be a savior on the horizon. Lurking out there, Cocoon-like, may be the equivalent of the Fountain of Youth, or at least the Fountain of One More Chance.
The (expected) NBA lockout.
Celtics management can’t discuss the details around the league reopening the collective bargaining agreement; heavy fines await those who do. But it’s fair to say your local team realizes the potential benefits if the disagreement between owners and players bit off a chunk of next season. Put simply, the Celtics are set up very well for one of those see-you-in-January seasons.
If this team reconvenes in January 2012 for training camp, it could be expected that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and Jermaine O’Neal and, if he wants another shot, Shaquille O’Neal will have taken advantage of the long break to rest their weary bones. They’ll then get into proper shape for a short sprint to the playoffs.
Remember how well the Celtics were playing in November, December and January? Imagine if they could stroll into the playoffs riding a wave of momentum with healthy and fresh legs?
The short-season-benefits-the-Celtics is a theory we've thrown around before. While a delayed start may help keep the Celtics healthy, it doesn't erase all of the team's athletic deficiencies.
There's a lot of pressure on Danny Ainge to bring in the right pieces. And with the team severely limited by the salary cap, the margin for error is slim. Unless Danny has a trick up his sleeve…
On Page 2, Danny defends Jeff Green.
Ainge will be second-guessed throughout the summer for pulling the trigger on a deal that sent center Kendrick Perkins packing to Oklahoma City. Boston acquired Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic and the results were underwhelming. Asked if he would do it over again, Ainge responded, "Yes, no regrets."
While acknowledging Green "didn't exactly tear it up" during his brief tenure in Boston, Ainge insisted, "I wasn't disappointed with Jeff. I think he was a little disappointed in himself, though.
"My expectations were probably a little different than others. I have always liked Jeff's game. He had some good games and some not so good games.
"The more he played, the better he played. The more he played with better players, the better he played."
Green's job entailed spelling Pierce on the defensive end against elite scorers like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, a role he handled with mixed results. His struggles to carve a niche offensively were well-documented, although he intermittently showed signs of promise. When Rivers called his name with post-ups, he was more aggressive than when he was left to his own devices and got caught standing and watching and ultimately deferring to KG, Pierce and/or Allen.
"It was the byproduct of a new position, a new team, a new coach, all of those things," Ainge said.
All valid points (many of which were made yesterday by John). Both Danny and Doc made comments about having one of the Big 3 come off the bench. Danny specifically mentioned Paul Pierce.
I call bull-sh*t. This has to be a ploy to drum up interest in Jeff Green.
Related link: Herald – Jeff Green looks forward to more time
The rest of the links:
Herald – Doc Rivers deal in works | Ainge's costly turnover | Pierce feels the Cs are not done | Jermaine's future a family affair | Globe – Window almost shut (Ryan) | Age-old problem | CSNNE – What does future hold for KG? | Perk wanted to see Celtics in Finals | Cs, Rivers working on multi-year deal |