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.
What remains to be decided is where the series will open. As Atlantic Division champions, the Celtics will be the No. 4 seed, but home-court advantage is determined by overall record, meaning the No. 5 Hawks can still host the series. In fact, Atlanta (38-26) owns a 1-game advantage over Boston (37-27) with two games to go. The Celtics are aided slightly by owning the tie-breaker in the event the two teams finish the season with matching records.
The remaining schedules:
Boston: Heat (4/24), Bucks (4/26)
Atlanta: Clippers (4/24), Mavericks (4/26)
By sending out a junior varsity lineup on Friday night in a head-to-head matchup with Atlanta, the Celtics have essentially stated they don't care who lands home-court advantage, preferring to err on the side or rest and health over opening the series in Boston. That said, it will be interesting to see how hard both sides push over the last two games with a chance to aid their cause both at the start of the series and in a potential Game 7.
Go for it, Doc. You can pull off home court w/o overextending your key guys.
Pierce, KG and Rondo will have had 5 full days of rest since last hitting the court (Wed vs ORL). I'm betting we see all three vs Miami on Tuesday. The Heat won't play D-Wade (dislocated finger) and Mario Chalmers (flu). Erik Spoelstra could sit LeBron, who played 36 minutes yesterday.
The Clippers are still fighting for playoff seeding in the West, so they won't lie down vs Atlanta. If the Hawks beat LA on Tuesday, then Doc can pack it in and rest his starters in the season finale vs Milwaukee.
Looking ahead to the playoffs, Al Horford is close to returning. He's missed 3 1/2 months with a torn pectoral muscle.
On Page 2, Sean Williams is brilliant smart.
“I talked to everyone,’’ Rivers said when asked whether he contacted NBA people who knew Williams. “I talked to nine coaches, assistant coaches, ex-players who played with him, because my locker room is unbelievable and I don’t want to bring in anyone, even if it was for five days, that’ll upset that.
“The one thing they all say is that he’s not just smart, he’s brilliant smart, but he does dumb things and we have to get him away from that, and [to] just being a ballplayer. That’s what he has to view himself as, and if he can do that, he has a chance.’’
Brilliant smart or not, Sean Williams must have some serious issues if he can't stick in a league desperate for big men. Hell, Eddy Curry still has a job.
The good news… the signing of Williams is low risk, high reward.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Video: C's by the numbers | Sports Media: NBA TV to produce own playoff telecasts, ending simulcasts of local coverage |