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.
In a condensed season, an experienced team like the Celtics just wants to survive the regular season and get a decent seed in the playoffs. And though it hasn’t been pretty (they’ve cracked the 100-point mark just five times), the Celtics have survived thus far.
They actually won six of the eight games Rondo missed, and they’ve benefitted from an easy and home-heavy schedule early on. After a 5-9 start, they won nine out of 10 games to put some fear in the rest of the Eastern Conference, but have since flattened out. And in reality, they may just be a .500 team.
Offensively, they’re below average. As usual, turnovers are an issue. And they no longer get to line as much as they used to. In a related point, the Celtics no longer own the paint. After outscoring their opponents by 5.2 points in the paint per game over the previous seasons, they’re getting outscored by 4.4 this season.
Allen and Garnett are free agents this summer and the big three era may be over sooner than that if Danny Ainge gets an itchy trigger finger around the trade deadline. The cracks have been showing for a while now, and for Ainge, surviving may not be enough.
My initial reaction after reading this rosy team report card was… “When did John start working for NBA.com?”
John Schumann is spot on with most of his analysis. I don’t quite understand how he can give the reserves a B-, and then give Doc Rivers credit for working with a shallow bench.
I’ve give the Celtics a C. Even with all the injuries, there are a handful of losses that should be wins.
On Page 2, Charles Oakley takes a shot at Kevin Garnett.
“Garnett left Minnesota and hollered and screamed and all that but he’s not a tough guy,” Oakley said. “He’s one of the weakest guys to ever play the game. He’s a complimentary player and went to Paul Pierce’s team and won a championship. I wouldn’t consider him a top 10 tough guy.”
“He’s just like Garnett,” Oakley said. “They holler and complain. If Kendrick Perkins would play basketball, Oklahoma City would win a championship the next three or four years . . . [He brings] Nothing [to the table]. That’s why he got dunked on and he got mad about someone tweeting about it.
“You’re a power forward, you don’t let guys dunk on you. I played 18, 19 years I got dunked on three times, you’re limited on offense do something on defense, get a rebound make some free throws.”
Oakley is right on one account, Kevin Garnett is not a top 10 tough guy. But he’s a future Hall of Famer and one of the best defenders the league has ever seen. Guys who spent their careers as role players, should refrain from attacking legends.
Somebody get Oakley some more fiber. I think he’s binding up.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Celtics feeling the pain of injuries | WEEI – What if the Celtics don’t make a move? | As Celtics falter, Danny’s test begins | CSNNE – Did Rondo miss his All-Star opportunity? | Herald – Kevin Garnett returns at right time