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.
“I’m motivated, you know? I hear y’all calling me old. I hear y’all calling me older, weathered. It don’t take really much to motivate me, man. I’m older in basketball years, but in life I’m 30-something. I’m looking at your gray hair, no hair, half hair, beautiful hair, wet hair. I’m just motivated. I like to use that word.
“The first half wasn’t the most pleasurable for us. I thought I could be better, and I’ve been working towards that. I’ve been giving myself a true analysis in the mirror, looking at myself, telling myself, ‘What can I do better?’ And I’ve been going towards that. I know there are some things I can get better at, and I’ve been trying to do that.
“It doesn’t take much to motivate me, man. I don’t watch too many of you guys’ interviews — garbage — but the ones I do catch, it’s an opinion and it is what it is, but it puts a spark under me, and I like that. Playing against younger talent that’s supposed to be prolific and supposed to be above average, but I’m old, though, you know? Like I said, again, for the third time, it doesn’t take much to motivate me. That’s what it is. That’s what you see.”
Kevin Garnett is awesome in so many ways. I love when he does these postgame interviews and is feeling a little saucy. I knew from the beginning that anyone who wrote a pre-eulogy before its time would be exposed as a moron who was too quick on the trigger to write KG off.
It just turns out KG needed to get into shape becasue he wasn't ready for the season to start. He thought there wouldn't be a season and the quick resolution to the lockout after de-certification caught him by surprise.
He's in shape now. And he's in full prick mode… mixing it up with Al Jefferson, chucking an elbow into his sternum and making sure his shoulder caught Big Al square in the mug as he walked past him to get into position for a free throw. I think Ryan Hollins summed it up best earlier this week:
"You hate him," Hollins admitted, "when you're playing against him. You love to be on his team. You see how he's kind of the model for bigs around the league when you talk about talking, communicating, rotating, things like that.
"He's Kevin Garnett. He's always the example, the ideal. Now I have him as a teammate, and I'm glad to be on his side."
Yup. KG is being KG… and it is glorious.
You know… if KG got motivated by all the people calling him old, and that helped lead him to this point… then you might be able to say I helped turn the Celtics season around.
Yeah…. you're welcome.
Related links: ESPN Boston: KG: "I hear y'all calllng me old" | WEEI: Is Kevin Garnett the center for now and the future? | Herald: Motivated KG pouring it on |
On Page 2: The Celtics hope Ray's back tomorrow
“He’s not doing great enough to play,” said Doc Rivers. “He went through shootaround today and didn’t feel great, so we’re hoping for Friday. I’m not that concerned by it, but I don’t know anyway. He’ll be fine I think. We just hope it doesn’t become one of those things that lingers for a couple of games, and then he has to sit out a couple. But I honestly don’t have the knowledge to know that.
The Celtics are 8-1 without Ray Allen. It's a quirk of scheduling and matchups, but it's also partly the fact that Ray isn't quite the player he was in the past.
Now, maybe some of that's the ankle. Maybe some of it is age. I'm not sure what it is, but there is something there. He's constantly getting burned on D, where as Bradley and Pietrus, who have started in his absence, are much better defenders.
Personally, I say move Ray to the bench, start Rondo and Bradley (or Pietrus if he can make it back at all…. we'll have to wait and see if that's possible) and now bring Ray in at the same time you sub KG out. Now you've not only got a shooter on the second unit, you've got Ray matching up against 2nd teamers, which will make it easier for him to get his shot off and defend.
This isn't one of those "let's move a starter to the bench because the bench sucks" ideas. This is a "Ray's not what he used to be and it's time to consider him moving to the bench" idea. I still think Ray finishes games because he's a clutch player… but it'd be easier, I think, to get him going offensively if he moves to the bench. Once he's on that roll… he's hard to stop.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Hollins alley oops his way into fans hearts | ESPN Boston: What if Austin Rivers is on board for C's? | Postgame notes: Health over seeding | Technicals rescinded for Hollins, Stiemsma | Herald: Celtics flag down win | Big Al Jefferson eats up Hub | Globe: Celtics tune out Jazz | Rough night for Jefferson | Rivers gives son blessing to enter draft | MWDN: C's make sweet music