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.
Say this for Doc Rivers — he’s not going to order any blank white banners with green trim just because his team systematically dismantled one of the best teams in the NBA on Sunday at TD Garden. The Celtics outscored the Heat, 31-12, in the third quarter, taking the heart right out Miami en route to a 91-72 blowout over the second-place team in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics could very well see Miami in the playoffs. And if they do, does Sunday’s performance give Rivers a baseline of what it’s going to take to have a chance?
“It’s going to take this, and better because they’re going to be better,” Rivers said. “Miami didn’t play well today. We had something to do with it but they didn’t play well. They’re better than that. We know that.”
Watch the video clip (with headphones – NSFW) and remind yourself that yesterday's win counts as just one win in the standings.
In the span of 24 hours, I've gone from "the Celtics deserve more respect from the national media" to "let's not get crazy with our expectations."
I'm not worried about the team overreacting. They are too smart and too experienced. And Doc Rivers will never let them get comfortable.
The Celtics have a helluva week – Spurs, Bulls and Pacers. How many wins would make you happy? I'll throw a party if they can win 2 out of 3.
On Page 2, Mickael Pietrus is having trouble with light.
Still feeling the affects of what coach Doc Rivers said was a Grade III concussion (the most serious classification), particularly light sensitivity, Pietrus' return to the court remains in limbo, but the team was excited to have him in attendance for a blockbuster matchup with the Heat.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if he played next week [and] I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn't see him," Rivers said. "I just don’t know. With that injury, I don’t think anyone really knows now. When I played it was easy, we just played the next day and [Rivers' former Hawks coach] Mike Fratello would yell at me for not playing well. Now I call Mike all the time and tell him, ‘I have an excuse!’ But really it’s amazing what we didn’t know back then and what we know now. I’m glad we know it now."
The Celtics expected Pietrus to simply pop in and Rivers said he was hoping to send him right back home to recover. In typical Pietrus fashion, he stayed until the end of the game to revel with his teammates after a big win over the rival Heat. Spotted leaving the locker room, he wore sunglasses and a hood to help with the light sensitivity.
Glad to see Pietrus visiting the Garden, but the light sensitivity scares me. We're going to need his defense in the playoffs.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Rondo once again shines on big stage | James: Good ole fashioned you know what | Globe – Bradley getting comfortable as a starter | Rondo triple-double helps Celtics stifle Heat | Road not so hot for stumbling foe | Herald – Celtics hand Heat beating | Rondo tunes in yet again | Healthy guard Doo-ing more | WEEI – Fast starts key to winning ways | ESPN Boston – Turnaround on turnovers | Healthy Pierce helping to mask injuries | Rondo shines under spotlight |