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 said Swag — that's what we call him around here, Swag; the young boy's got a lot of swag — it's good to see him in the building, good to see him in practice," said Garnett. "After the game, actually, in Atlanta, we'd seen him after the game and it's just good to see him. The kid's still learning, still getting better. He and Ray [Allen] tonight, [were] pure energy. It was good."
While Garnett struggled from the field, Rondo's assists helped facilitate much of his offense. Even still, he wasn't about to let Swag off the hook and played fashion police when informed of Rondo's postgame attire of a black blazer over an Angry Birds T-shirt that read, "I'm So Fly."
"Yeah, I saw that — with red jeans," said Garnett. "But, like I said, that's Swag."
I'm not going to pretend that this was the game I expected out of Rondo, even though the final stat-line might suggest it was. And I'm not even sure what to make of an historic triple double like that when the entire game was so disjointed.
But it was historic. Look at the numbers:
Rondo became the first player in NBA history with at least 17 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals in a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Elias also tells us he’s the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double in a playoff game after missing his team’s previous game.
Rondo triple-doubles equal Celtics wins. In Rondo’s 20 career triple-doubles (13 in the regular season, seven in the playoffs), the Celtics have a 19-1 record. The lone loss came to the Chicago Bulls in the first round in 2009.
Including the regular season and playoffs, nobody has more triple-doubles than Rajon Rondo (20) since the start of the 2008-09 season.
Those are just amazing statistics. In a horrible game with no flow and no energy… a game the Celtics should have won by 30 when you consider they were at full strength, the Hawks were missing key players, and this was the first game in front of a crazy home crowd…it's almost unfathomable how one guy could do so much.
Rondo was as responsible as anyone for why the game was what it was. But he was responsible for winning it too.
Related links: CSNNE: Rondo leads Celtics to victory | Rondo steals show with triple double | WEEI: Nothing easy for Celtics and Rondo | Herald: Rajon Rondo points right way | Rondo proves triple threat once again | Globe: Rondo leads the way as adventure continues
On Page 2: Injury upates on Ray Allen and Avery Bradley
"Now it's just achy. It feels like it's just mad at me a little bit. I've been here before. I have all these safeguards in place. When I get home, I know exactly what I need to do. I have my contraptions to make sure I'm able to go to sleep well, and when I get up in the morning making sure I get my treatment and therapy so… I'm in a goo place"
Ray played 37 minutes last night, and the Celtics needed all 37 of those. I guess when Doc said no limitations, he meant it.
Here's the thing with that ankle… once you sit, it gets stiff (Ray explains it in the video). So playing minutes was a way to get the most out of him.
Let's temper our expectations with Ray. This might be the only game he plays this series. He might not miss another game. It's impossible to tell right now.
Bradley left the game with just over two minutes left in the third quarter and went back to the locker room with team doctor Brian McKeon. The team originally said he would return, but then that prognosis changed in the fourth quarter. Bradley told a pack of reporters he was fine as he left the arena.
"Usually they're able to, like a lego, they'll snap it back," coach Doc Rivers said. "It wouldn't go back in. So, we'll find out more [Saturday.]"
Doc might find out more today, but I'm not sure if we will. Doc gave the guys today off to rest.
I like that Avery said he's fine. I'm not sure if he really is or not, but at least he said he is. I've never had my shoulder pop out, but my understanding is that they can go back in and not be an issue, but the more it happens, the easier it is to happen again.
We'll wait and see.
Related links: CSNNE: Ray Allen provides spark in return | Bradley injures shoulder, uncertain for Game 4 | ESPN Boston: Bradley dislocates shoulder, status uncertain | WEEI: Ray: I wasn't holding anything back | Herald: Ray Allen a real shot in the arm | Bradley joins list of walking wounded | Globe: Game 4 may be a go for Allen | MWDN: Allen makes triumphant return
The rest of the links
CSNNE: Teague making his presence felt | ESPN Boston: Pierce: No sleep 'till offseason | Herald: Celtics grind it out in OT | Stiemsma new kid on the block | Larry Drew, Celtics old friends | Globe: He's a "Ticket" to ride | Hawks can't shift to overdrive in the clutch | Injured Smith eyeing game 4 | Force play |