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.
Pietrus singled out teammates by name. He was careful to be respectful, but he was also critical. As the new guy he undoubtedly raised a few eyebrows, but that didn’t stop Pietrus from standing up in a room that is ruled and policed by the most veteran group of future Hall of Famers in the NBA.
Nor did the Celtics swingman stop there. He has reportedly spoken out several times since the Toronto game.
“Guys give you respect after 10 years in the league,” Pietrus said of his teammates’ reactions. “I wasn’t too loud. I was just trying to clarify points with everybody. But some things have to remain in the locker room. You have to respect guys, and you have to respect their families. Since (then) the chemistry has been better. It’s just been a great day with the Celtics. Every day has been a blessing for me. It was just the importance of the game for us, and why we’re together — for a championship.
Mark Murphy gives us a peek into the Celtics' locker room with today's story on Mickael Pietrus.
Pietrus challenged his team – Big 4 included – following last month's lazy loss in Toronto. This is a positive, for a couple of reasons.
The Big 3 need criticism. Even future HOFers are prone to lapses.
The second unit needs a voice. They don't want to be perceived as whipping boys for everything that's wrong with the team.
Pietrus is the right guy for this job. He's a veteran. He plays hard. He's a fresh voice.
On Page 2, silly fouls have Doc in a foul mood.
Pierce fouled out of Boston's 98-91 loss at Denver on Saturday, and was in foul trouble before finishing with five fouls in Boston's 79-76 win at Atlanta on Monday.
"You just can't pick up silly fouls," Rivers said. "Three of his five (against Atlanta) were bad. I'm trying to get our team to understand, we don't have a margin for error."
And it's not just Pierce who has picked up bad fouls lately.
Against the Hawks, Rivers recalled a conversation he had with Kevin Garnett shortly after Garnett picked up an early foul in which he wrapped up an Atlanta player.
"I said, 'Kevin, we don't have fouls to give," Rivers recalled. "We're not 12-deep right now."
Foul trouble isn't usually an issue with the Celtics. Of the top 100 players listed in the personal fouls per game leaders, Brandon Bass is 80th, Pierce is 81st and Kevin Garent is 97th.
Most of the foul calls against Pierce in that Atlanta game were horrendous. The officials hate the Celtics, anyways. [sarcasm]
The rest of the links:
Herald – JO thanksful for chance in the Hub | ESPN Boston – Managing some sizable expectations | Should C's consider Fesenko? | CSNNE – Celtics have trouble finishing games | Pierce, Rondo are true flops | Banners removed from Garden for NCAA tourney | Globe – Helping themselves looks to be a Celtics move | Bucks thumbnails | WEEI – Options dwindling for big man search |
Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images