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.
"I think it's going to be good for me," he said. "I think I can help them both ways, offensively and defensively. They have guys who know how to win games. Those guys know how to win championships. For me, it's an honor to play for the Celtics. I'm very excited to playing with a team that has a chance to win a championship. My agent talked to other teams but for me it was important to get to a team that was going to make the playoffs…Right now I'm going to try to improve the Celtics. There's someone I really like on the team, Kevin Garnett. And I like Doc Rivers, too. It's going to be a perfect fit for me.
Even though he's just signed for the rest of the season, Pietrus said he hopes to be with the Celtics long-term.
"I'm not in Boston for only four months," he said. "I'm in Boston for six years. I love that team."
Mickael Pietrus is as excited as I was on Christmas morning in 1984. I'll never forget walking into the living room and seeing IntelliVision hooked up to my TV. Oh the fun…
Not to play Grinch but… let's make it through this season before talking long term commitment with Pietrus. Nobody gets married after the first date. Scratch that. John did 17 years ago while vacationing in Thailand. To his credit, she was a sensitive, caring, intelligent escort.
As for when Pietrus will hit the court:
Pietrus, whose own right knee swelling voided a trade from Phoenix to Toronto earlier this month, said in a telephone interview Saturday night that he was not yet ready to play, and wouldn't be in New York Sunday, but hoped to join the Celtics in Miami for Tuesday's game against the Heat. He doesn't have a timetable for his return to the court.
"My knee's feeling better," he said. "I had time to get it stronger and I think I'll be fine, ready to go, ready to help the Celtics whenever I'm healthy. In the case of the Celtics or the Lakers or the Magic, the most important thing is to get ready for the playoffs. I think I'm very close. I can't say [when he'll play], but I'm very close."
Under normal conditions the Celtics might give Pietrus a week to assimilate to his new team. Get settled, learn the plays, etc. But with Pierce hobbled and every game magnified due to the shortened season, I expect to see MP in uniform Tuesday night vs Miami.
On Page 2, the Knicks remind Doc of the Lakers.
By just stepping on the court, Chandler adds a 7-foot-1 presence to the Knicks' lineup, and when combined with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, that makes for an a rather daunting frontcourt — one Rivers fully acknowledged is imposing on paper (like a certain team out West used to be).
"They’re really good, they really are," said Rivers. "They’re long. To me, they remind me of the [2010-11] Lakers in some ways. They go with their Bynum (Chandler), Gasol (Stoudemire) and Odom (Anthony) almost — because that’s a big lineup. Carmelo is huge; I don’t think people realize how big he is. Then you have [Chandler and Stoudemire] so they have length now. And that’s something they didn’t have. They were small last year, now they’re big."
Rivers and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge have stressed that Boston has enough size to match up with any team in the league, and that'll be put to the test early. The Celtics will start Jermaine O'Neal and Kevin Garnett up front, but will lean heavy on the likes of newcomers Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox to play bigger than they are when they come off the bench.
Tyson Chandler vs Rajon Rondo will be an intriguing match-up. As we witnessed last year, Rondo can blow past Toney Douglas at will. He will get into the lane and Chandler will be there offering help defense. If Rondo makes the right decisions, it will be a long day for the Knicks defense.
The Knicks are 5 point favorites. The questionable status of Paul Pierce is likely impacting the line. But I feel like the world has forgotten how the Celtics dominated the Knicks last season. 4-0 in the regular season. 4-0 in the playoffs.
The rest of the links:
NY Post – It starts with today's Garden party | ESPN NY – Knicks/Celtics W2W4 | ESPN Boston – Celtics/Knicks W2W4 | Herald – Celtics/Knicks clash again | Stars must shine brightly | Globe – Celtics know time is short |