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.
Bradley took the veteran former All-Star apart for 30 grueling minutes. He forced five turnovers, including an 8-second violation when Nelson couldn’t get the ball over halfcourt. After it was over and the Celtics held the Magic to a franchise-worst 56 points and an unconscionable 16-for-65 shooting in an 87-56 victory, everyone was talking about Bradley.
Kevin Garnett: “It’s very, very hard to do in this league against a player like Jameer Nelson.”
Jermaine O’Neal: “I think he’s one of the best on-ball defenders in the game and he does at it a very high level for an extended period of time. You don’t see that.”
Stan Van Gundy: “His defense set the whole tone for the entire thing. He took us out.”
Doc Rivers: “That was the whole gameplan. The thing with them is you don’t want to give them a lot of clock. We were just trying to lower the clock as much as we could.”
For good measure, Van Gundy added, “That’s the most dominating defensive performance I’ve ever had against me.”
Avery Bradley destroyed Jameer Nelson. He climbed into Jameer's shorts, got nose-to-nose with him, and made him uncomfortable every second they were on the floor together.
And it just goes to show what happens to the Celtics defense when the opposing point guard is not living in the paint. I've said it before, but it bears repeating… if the C's front court doesn't have to worry about rotating over to stop a penetrating guard, then they can stay in better rebounding position and they won't foul as much.
I'm sure the defense was helped last night by a seemingly disinterested Magic team (especially Dwight Howard). Maybe the C's beat the interest out of Howard. But they also never allowed a second half run. They just slowly wore the Magic down until they had nothing left. They forced Orlando to settle for jumpers that weren't falling.
It was the Celtics D we remember.
On page 2: Glen Davis talks about his return
So what did Davis think of the montage of some of his finest moments in green?
“I looked really big, like really fat," Davis said. "I was like, 'Wow, chubby.' I look a little more leaner now. But it was good. It’s always good to see things like that — memories I can never forget. The fans showed love and I appreciate that.”
[...]Celtics coach Doc Rivers still heaped plenty of praise on Davis.
"Baby did a lot of great things for us," Rivers said. "He was on the stage when we held up the ball. And so he played a big part of that, he really did. He played his role, especially that year, [and] he was fantastic. He gave us a lot of laughs at times too, which is good for your locker room. But he did a lot of good things. He’s a better player sometimes, I think, than his act — if you know what I mean. I was very hard on him, I still am when I talk to him, about being the player and not the act, because Baby has a lot of good basketball left in him. And when he focuses on that, he does it."
Baby had a typically "Glen Davis" game. His 9 shots were second highest on the team. Only three of them were within 9 feet of the rim.
At one point after shooting a couple of free throws, Davis was taking big dramatic breaths to try to calm himself down.
It was a nice welcome back for Baby. Thanks for everything. I hated the way you left… and I don't mean that you signed with someone else. I hated the last, say, four months of your Celtics career, which paved the way for your exit. But I wish you luck in the future and I hope you can get out of your own head so you can achieve the level of success I know you're capable of.
Related links: Herald: Baby back in old crib | CSNNE: Now gone, Baby apprciates Doc's ways | WEEI: Big Baby: "The only thing I know is that I got paid a little more money"
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: O'Neal, Howard get into it during game | Talking points | C's band together, shut down Magic | Globe: Howard admits defeat | Latest injury is to Mickael Pietrus | With Pierce, offense is clicking | Herald: Howard tips hat to C's after ugly loss | Celtics work Magic | Reliving all the Magic | ESPN Boston: Banged up C's put a hurt on Magic | Elbows trigger JO/Howard dust up | Magic pull disappearing act | MWDN: Magical night for Celtics