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.
And, for Pierce, there also was frustration about a lack of fourth-quarter playing time, the 14th-year veteran openly wondering if things might have been different if he played more than the final 3:42, when the Cavaliers closed on an 8-0 run (part of a 12-0 spurt) and rookie Kyrie Irving‘s driving layup with 2.6 seconds to go provided the winner.
“Maybe I should play a little bit more, I don’t know,” Pierce said when questioned about what the Celtics have to do to maintain a fourth-quarter edge.
Asked if he was disappointed in being put back in so late, Pierce snapped, “No comment.”
Before anybody starts screaming about player-coach friction and ask whether Pierce was second-guessing Doc Rivers, keep in mind that Pierce soon after admitted the root of his frustration simply was not winning the game.
“I’m more upset with losing, more so than not getting back in,” he said. “Certainly I would have liked to have been in there to finish off the game, but the coaches make their decisions. At the time, you can understand when we have an [11-point] lead [with 4:25 to play] to rest the guys. So it’s a double-edged sword.”
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Paul Pierce so bitter (watch the video to get a better feel of Pierce’s attitude).
He’s angry. Angry at the loss to the Cavaliers. And angry that Doc Rivers waited so long to insert him back into the line-up.
To his credit, Pierce repeatedly criticized his own play and turnovers (7). And he tries to couch his criticism of Doc Rivers, but there’s some venom there.
Will there be any long term damage to chemistry? Absolutely not. I won’t be surprised if Pierce apologizes to Doc.
On Page 2, what’s the deal with Rondo?
Rondo likes to joke that he’ll be back sometime around the Feb. 26 All-Star Game.
But if the guard’s wrist continues to heal this slowly, Rondo may be more right than even he knows. He missed his sixth straight game last night, and according to Rivers, he could also be out for tomorrow’s rematch in Cleveland.
“I can’t say it’s worse or better,” Rivers said. “It’s just that he’s still out and he’ll be back soon.”
Did we ever get an official diagnosis of Rondo’s wrist injury? Is it a simple sprain?
Rondo injured the wrist on January 18, nearly two weeks ago. If this talk of a late February return is accurate, Rondo will have missed about 6 weeks. It doesn’t take six weeks for a sprain to heal.
The rest of the links:
Herald – Celtics collapse late | For Allen, it’s not to be in return | Globe – Cavs steal one from Celtics | Ray Allen back in groove | CSNNE – Celtics/Cavs review | Turnovers, poor defense doom Celtics | ESPN Boston – A star is born | Allen laments missed chances | Rapid Reaction | Worcester Telegram: Doc wants privacy when watching Austin | WEEI - Celtics let one get away