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.
If Rondo is out, the Celtics will counter the Suns’ Steve Nash with Avery Bradley and E’Twaun Moore, who played most of the second half against Toronto. Nash had 26 points and 11 assists as Phoenix took a 91-88 win over New York Wednesday.
“I watched him when I got home,’’ Rivers said of Nash. “And he’s – you laugh, because he’s just destroying people. He put on a clinic in New York. When you factor his age and the speed he’s doing it now, it’s laughable. He’s hard to guard because he’s so crafty.’’
Rondo postponed an MRI on his wrist to tutor Bradley and Moore.
“Two young point guards,’’ Rondo said. “Not that they need help, but encouragement, things I can try to tell them and teach them. I just want to be there for them.’’
I think Rajon Rondo will play. But if he’s a no-go, I’m frightened at the thought of Avery Bradley and E’Twaun Moore guarding Steve Nash.
The 37-year-old Nash is having another fantastic season: 15 ppg, 10.1 apg, 55% FG, 42% 3 FG.
Bradley has the physical tools to stick with Nash on defense. But the savvy Nash will toy with him. This could get ugly.
On offense, we might see Paul Pierce play the point forward role tonight.
On Page 2, Austin Rivers would be great for the Celtics.
“I would love the opportunity, I guess,” said Rivers. “It would be uncomfortable. I just think that would be a strange thing to do. Having that said that, I wouldn’t mind. He can score, and I think that would be great for us.”
The best prep guard in the country as a high school senior last winter, Austin Rivers averages a team-leading 13.8 points per game for No. 4 ranked Duke this season, shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from beyond the arc. Once projected as a surefire lottery pick, his stock has slipped to No. 21 on ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford‘s Top 100 NBA prospects list. So, what must improve for him to have an impact at the next level?
“Just his whole game,” said the elder Rivers, who despite running practices for their teams once or twice has never coached his four kids. “I think he can score in this league right now. I don’t think he could have any problem with that. I think defensively — just the knowledge on the weak side of the ball — is where he would have to improve.”
What college player is adept at handling weak side defense? Probably no one. I don’t follow college basketball closely, so it’s intriguing that Austin has slipped and is not a consensus No. 1 pick.
Having Doc coach his son wouldn’t be easy. It adds a huge wrinkle to the player-coach relationship.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – 5-on-5: The Big Picture | Ainge: I was only stating the obvious | WEEI – Danny Ainge, TNT and lessons from Red | Herald – Celtics trade chatter ruffles feathers | Yahoo! – OKC signs Westbrook to $80 million extension |