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.
“He was the first down there to check on [Pietrus]. He’s a great teammate. I think he helps you focus and breathe. I remember when Marquis got hurt, he was very vocal. When MP got hurt, he was vocal. Every time I hit the floor, he’s always telling me to take my time. I haven’t in as serious a situation as those guys, but I think it helped them stay focused and stay calm when you have somebody’s voice you can hear and try not to panic.
“You know what, a matter of fact? When I [hurt] my elbow, he just kept saying the same thing over and over again. I was trying to stay calm but I was worried if I was ever going to play again because I thought it was broken.
“I think [I learn from watching him as a teammate] because he’s not always going to be here . . . He just doesn’t panic in those situations. He’s always calm and tries to give guys time. He wants to be that voice you can focus on. If anything is that serious, you can stay focused and listen to him and what he’s telling you to do. He’s not a doctor but he does a better job than a lot of the doctors I’ve seen.”
Kevin Garnett is unbridled emotion. What you see on the court is just one extreme. You can search through YouTube for some videos of KG acting goofy (this one from 2008 is a favorite). You see him acting serious. And I'm sure when it's appropriate, his sadness matches the other emotions.
And that might be what I love most about him. It's real. It's infectious. And he uses it effectively. The way he snaps from intense to calm in the face of a teammate's injury is amazing, and shows you he's a little more in control of his emotions than we might think.
On Page 2: The Celtics got this… as long as the Celtics play like they don't got this
Whether Josh Smith is fine, limited or out, it should not matter. The Celtics are going home, and they should handle their Garden chores. When both teams play their best, the Bostonians are better.
There is, however, one huge caveat to all this. The series is theirs only if the Celtics don’t act like the series is theirs.
If they play with the air of entitlement we saw in the opening quarter of Game 1, there could be trouble. That opening stretch is the main reason the Celtics get an all-expenses-paid trip back to Atlanta for a Game 5 next week. Taking the Hawks lightly again will prolong a series the Celts would be wise to end as expeditiously as possible. It could even — those in sneakers need to know — be the cause of an early exit from this postseason party.
I feel like I should break out Doc's "Cool Celtics" rant from the Bulls game earlier this year. I think we've all latched on to "Cool Celtics" as the guys who come out and say "hey… you see these jerseys? You see 'Celtics' on the front? Isn't it about time for you guys to shit yourselves and run crying for momma?" That's the point where the other team whips off a 20-5 run and we all lose our minds on Twitter.
I know others are afraid of that, especially if Josh Smith is out tomorrow. But I'm not. And here's why:
There are not many players in the NBA who play with more emotion than Rajon Rondo, so can we expect a huge Game Three from him after his Game Two suspension?
“I think he knows he owes his teammates.”
I think Rajon Rondo, fresh off a suspension, and an embarrassment, will come out blazing and trying to prove a point. The rest of the team will have no choice but to follow. Besides, that crowd is going to be out of its freakin' mind tomorrow night.
The Hawks are getting crushed. We'll see Gino tomorrow.
The rest of the links: