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 during crunch time, coach Doc Rivers went to Bass, and he likely would have done the same if O’Neal (who is probable for tonight’s game against New Jersey) had been available.
“That’s a good lineup,’’ Rivers said. “I love that lineup. That’s what we finished with because there are shooters galore, and it makes [Rajon] Rondo very productive because there’s nowhere to help.’’
“The one thing we knew we were getting was energy,’’ Rivers said of Bass. “And we also knew we were getting a guy who could make shots.
“His energy’s been great. He still has to pick up schemes defensively. I think he can be a great defender. Right now, he’s just struggling with our schemes. So, we’ve just got to keep drilling him.’’
I'm running out of compliments for Brandon Bass. The guy has done everything right. And his defense is sure to improve, once he picks up those schemes.
Bass is quick to give credit to his teammates:
"As of right now, I’m pleased with my teammates more than anything," he said. "If you have a great locker room, you’ll play well on the court."
"He’s an LSU boy," Garnett said. "We’ve dealt with a couple of LSU boys (Shaquille O’Neal and Davis) here. We know with them you’ve got to cater toward that ego a little bit. But he falls right in with us, man.
Let's give some credit to Glen Davis, too. His shooting percentage has inched up to 36%.
On Page 2, Doc's playing mind games with Avery Bradley.
The competition is equally tight, and maybe a little queasy, between Avery Bradley and E’Twaun Moore for backup guard minutes. Rivers poured gasoline on the embers last week when he said that the rookie Moore passed Bradley, who is in his second year.
And yet Bradley was Rivers’ first choice for that backup role in the last two games. Rivers said he simply went with his gut. But Bradley also needed some support, and Danny Ainge, a mentor to the young guard, provided it with a long courtside talk before last Friday’s home opener against Detroit.
“I think he’s a terrific player, and I believe in Avery,” said the Celtics president. “I’m sympathetic to it because I’ve been there. I’ve been a player with high expectations who didn’t play right away, and it’s very, very frustrating because you know you can play. He’ll get through it. Young players play small-minute roles, and their tendency is to do too much, and the tendency of a coach is to pull in the reins and not make mistakes. The leash gets much shorter. He’s going through that phase.”
Are Doc and Danny playing good cop/bad cop with Avery Bradley? Seems like it. It's Doc's job to point out the kids flaws, while Danny is there to build up his confidence.
I'm a bit concerned about Bradley's personality. He seems a bit timid. Maybe it's just the stoic facial expressions.
Related link: ESPN Boston – Bradley emerging behind defense
The rest of the links: