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.
Two games in, Ray Allen’s transformation into a sixth man has borne fruit.
The guard, who for only the sixth time in his career came off the bench last night, broke the Celtics [team stats]’ 86-72 win against the Indiana Pacers open with three fourth-quarter 3-pointers. Like most of his teammates, Allen got off to a slow start, but he finished with 19 points, four steals, seven rebounds and five treys.
“We got him good shots,” coach Doc Rivers said. “I told him it’s going to take a couple of games. You’re still trying to get your legs back. In the second half you could see that he had a breakthrough, and I thought that was terrific. I like the way he’s getting (shots). He didn’t search for them.
“With the second unit he and Kevin (Garnett) are the go-to (guys). Kevin couldn’t buy a shot for a while so we went with Ray. He hit some shots.”
Is Donny Marshall still bitching about this move?
Avery Bradley continues to play well defensively against bigger guards. The 6-8 Paul George was 0-7 last night.
On Page 2, Pavlovic produces.
Pavlovic played just over 14 minutes, but they were 14 highly productive minutes – especially in the first half. That is when he scored all eight of his points off the bench, including a buzzer-beating jumper to end the first quarter.
"Every time Sasha gets in the game, he makes big plays," Bradley said. I tell him, we all try to keep his confidence up … Sasha can shoot the ball. He always goes away from his (3-point shot) if he misses, but in this game he was confident and it showed. He made shots."
Especially in the second quarter, which is when the C's surged ahead by as many as 17 points with the bulk of the run coming with Pavlovic in the game.
"I was just ready to play," Pavlovic said. "I was executing the plays, and playing as hard as I can defensively. It was a good stretch for us."
Any production from Pavlovic is gravy. I do enjoy his feisty play, including last night's tiff with Dahntay Jones.
Doc Rivers said he was not sure if Pietrus began his concussion tests but he had not heard from head trainer Ed Lacerte. The Celtics are hoping Pietrus can return by the playoffs.
Anyone else worried Pietrus won't return this season?
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Celtics respond to Doc's challenge | Rapid Reaction: Celtics 86 – Pacers 72 | Globe – Big 3 too much for Pacers | Gerald Green jumps at latest opportunity | CSNNE – Antoine Walker announces retirement | Celtics/Pacers review: What we saw | Herald – Not a bad Celtics win |