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.
“It’ll be fun,” said coach Doc Rivers, perhaps speaking more in the hopeful than definitive sense. “We have a chance to catch Atlanta, have a chance to put room (between themselves and) Milwaukee and catch Philly. I mean, the next three games are going to be great. It should be a lot of fun.”
Now as the trip turns, their fate falls into their own hands.
“We’re all fighting for playoff position,” Pierce said. “All these games are amongst teams that these positions can change with every game. Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia: We’ve got to make sure we try to finish out this trip on a strong note.
“It was about our effort, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to clean that up in the next three games.”
HUGE might be a bit of an overstatement, but work with me here.
A check of the standings finds the Celtics 2.5 games behind the Hawks (tonight's opponent) in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia – the Atlantic Division leader – is 1 game ahead of Boston.
The critics and cynics are probably thinking: "Who gives a crap? This team isn't going anywhere." But… getting out of the 7th seed could mean an extra two weeks of basketball for us. Isn't that why we are here – to enjoy hoops?
We need to accept this team for what they are: aging and inconsistent. Alter your perspective and expectations and you might have a bit more fun. The negativity in this town on this site sucks.
On Page 2, the pros and cons to signing Ronny Turiaf.
When Turiaf is healthy, he's a rather efficient offensive player. In 64 appearances for the Knicks last season, he averaged 1.085 points per play, ranking him in the 95th percentile among all NBA players. He's actually one of the best at rolling to the hoop in the pick-and-roll and excels as a cutter. Don't get too excited, it only translated into 4.2 points over 17.8 minutes per game, but it shows that good things happen when he gets the ball.
Defensively, the news isn't as sunny. Turiaf is middle of the pack, allowing 0.89 points per play last season (53rd percentile). His career defensive rating is 107 (and was only slightly better in his time with the Lakers than the Warriors and Knicks). And this may be the deal-breaker: Turiaf just isn't that good on the glass. For his career, he's averaged 3.8 rebounds over 17.9 minutes per game, but his total rebound percentage is just 11.9 percent (only slightly better than JaJuan Johnson this season). His career defensive rebounding percentage is 16.7 percent (Wilcox was at 20.2, while Jermaine O'Neal was 19.9 this year).
Turiaf would bring athleticism and some offensive skill. But as our luck would have it, he's a poor defensive rebounder. I still think he's the best option available.
Related link: ESPN Boston – Celtics not aiming high for big help
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