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.
How can you not love Pietrus? Of course he picks out the pretty girl "oh hi.. you…. come here." You dog, you. As for his play last night?
“He is able to come off the bench and give us great minutes for his defensive and shooting ability,’’ Pierce said. “I think [the defense] definitely goes to another level, because he’s our energy guy that we use off the bench.
“You know when he’s out there to start the game, he gets us off to a great start,’’ Pierce said. “He’s such a great rebounder for his size [6 feet 6 inches], and he can spread the floor with his 3-point shooting. It was a real big lift to have him out there.
“We knew we were missing Ray tonight, but we knew Pietrus could fill in.’’
There has been some chatter in our comments and online about starting Pietrus over Ray… that Ray bogs down the offense with his constant need for screens.
I'll be honest, I'm on the fence about it. There is a solid argument to be made either way.
A) Start Pietrus
He's quicker and you don't need to run him off 3 screens every half court set. He can drive (he's getting more comfortable with his knee) and, as Pierce said, he rebounds really well at his position. He can also defend better than Ray at this point.
B) Start Ray
It's very difficult to put a guy like Ray on the bench mid-season because it could cause a ripple effect in the team's chemistry that, as we just discussed, is finally starting to come together a little. The team is used to having Ray as a starter, it has run well in the past with him as a starter, and it can run well again in the future. Ray is also a much better shooter with a history of clutch shots, so you need that level of play in to spread the floor when Rondo attacks or else defenses will sag even more.
I'm leaning towards the start Ray, myself. But it's something to keep an eye on. Another thing to consider is still starting Ray, but pulling him earlier in the first quarter… maybe when KG sits with 5 minutes. That might be the best compromise there. Give him a good 5 minutes to run… then bring Pietrus and Bass/Wilcox off the bench (depending on who's starting) and run those guys in to change up the offense mid-way through the 1st. This way, you're forcing their D to react to you.
On Page 2: Pierce and KG guided Rondo through the trade talk
“Well it’s nothing we haven’t been through before,” Pierce said after dropping 27 on the Nets in Boston’s 107-94 win that once again put the Celtics above .500 at 18-17. “Rondo’s been through it, I’ve been though it a number of times. The thing is you have to do your job, you can’t let that affect you. I kind of mentioned it to Rondo today, you know I was part of trade rumors for probably four or five straight years. I just didn’t let it affect me on how I approached each and every game. You know whatever happens, happens, it’s business. Sometimes you don’t have control of it.”
“We hear it, but it’s out of our hands, man,” Garnett said. “We try to get everybody that are in the talks, try to make sure that they stay focused and enjoy it and enjoy the guys that are here. Management is going to do what they have to do. As players, we have to all come together in this locker room and understand that we are players and we’re all in the same boat. We all support one another. At the end of the day, we’re C’s and everyone in here understands that.”
We're all trying to figure out what it is about the past couple of games that has suddenly seemingly galvanized these guys… and maybe it's all these rumors.
I don't know if I'm reading too much into those quotes, but those just make it seem that the adversity of hearing guys in trade rumors has brought the guys together a little. Of course, it could just be the three crappy teams they've played, but they've still progressively looked better.
So maybe this has all been a good thing. I guess we'll find out more tomorrow when they face a better team in the Knicks.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Bradley rolls ankle, plans to play Sunday | Nets' Green back in Boston | ESPN Boston: Leader of the (head) band | WEEI: O'Neal considering surgery on wrist | Rondo brings back the headband | Rondo, headband of brothers, take down nets | Herald: Celtics make it happen | For Garnett it's a numbers game | Globe: Celts crank it up |