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.
It is indeed a vulture culture these days around Celtics Nation, with NBA executives viewing the C's as ripe for the picking off of its superstars.
Two league executives contacted by CSNNE.com on Tuesday confirmed that Pierce is a player of interest if the C's look to break up the Big Four which consists of Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
"If Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) decides to blow it up, why wouldn't you at least look into adding Paul Pierce?" one Western Conference front-office official said Tuesday evening. "You're telling me Paul Pierce couldn't help your team?"
It's going to take the "perfect storm" scenario for Danny Ainge to move Ray, KG and Paul. Any sensible deal would have to involve:
- Large expiring contract
- Promising young player with short, affordable contract
I'm not sure there's a contending team with those assets. If you got one, throw it in the comments section below.
UPDATE: Sherrod Blakely says Paul Pierce does not have a No-Trade clause in his contract.
On Page 2, vomit-enducing statistics about the Celtics play around the rim.
According to analytical site HoopData, the Celtics attempted a season-high 33 attempts at the rim Monday, but missed 15 of them. For the season, Boston is 154 of 255 at the rim, a 60.3 percent clip, ranking them in the bottom third of the league overall.
Dig deeper and the numbers are even more cringeworthy.
According to Synergy Sports, the Celtics rank 29th in the league averaging a mere 1 point per play around the basket (in non-post-up situations). In fact, the Celtics have connected on a mere 47.9 percent of those shots (104 of 217 overall). For comparison's sake, the Miami Heat average a league-best 1.286 points per play around the basket, converting a whopping 62.3 percent of their close-range shots (170 of 273 overall).
What's more, the Celtics are getting their shots blocked at an alarming rate. According to HoopData, the Celtics are getting blocked on 8.48 percent of their field goal tries. The next closest team is Detroit at 7.69 percent (the league average is 6.24 percent).
Garnett and Jermaine have to be the reason for those statistics. Unless they get bionic calf implants, I don't think those numbers are going to improve.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Pietrus is staying positive | CSNNE – Durant dedicates season to Jeff Green | ESPN Boston – Apologies and empty promises | PTI – Will Cs make the playoffs? | WEEI – Jermaine wants to be judged on defense, not offense | CBS – Raptors/Celtics preview