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.
“Once they picked up their intensity, I didn’t think we really played with a sense of urgency in the third or fourth quarter,” Pierce said. “That’s a chance where you have a team on its back, you’re up 15 and you really take their confidence. We didn’t do that. You give a team some life, they went on a run and it just carried over all the way through the third and fourth quarter. That was really on us.”
“In that stretch I had to do a better job of slowing us down and getting us into the next set. I had to demand that guys get into the right spots offensively. It’s a calculation for me of when we’re doing a good job in random and when we’re not in that stretch. And in that 15-2 run we didn’t do a good job.
“But in the first half we did make those shots. In the second half when we weren’t making those shots we had to slow it down. But it all comes down to defense. We may have lost our composure, but we’re a veteran team and we’re better than that. We should have responded better.”
"And once we did, we never really returned to playing basketball the way we played in the first half," he said.
Rivers took responsibility for not being able to get his team back on track.
"You know, whenever that happens I always think that's me," Rivers said. "I always think there's something the coach can do to slow them down, to get them back in their sets, to get them back in their rhythm, and I couldn't do it."
Everyone's to blame. Doc.. the players… all of them. The Celtics came out of the half looking to do the same thing they were doing to start the game… and they were. Then the whistles game. And you can say what you want about the whistles, but the Celtics never adjusted. They just stopped playing their game and they let Philly live.
I'm not going to blame the refs. I'll just be blunt about it: Blaming the refs is loser talk. Losers blame refs, winners figure out a way to win. The Celtics, to their credit, are not blaming the refs. There were bad calls.. TERRIBLE calls… but the Celtics still had chances down the stretch. If they had just grabbed a few offensive rebounds, run a play or two, or maybe not had Ray Allen guarding Andre Iguodala down the stretch… we'd be talking about escaping with a 3-1 series lead.
So bemoan the calls if you want, but blaming the refs for a loss… nope.
On page 2: KG's off night
"Doc calls all the plays; Rondo obviously is involved with the play-calling," explained Garnett. "We consolidate the ball here… I thought Brandon came out, had a hot hand; [Paul] came out had a hot hand. At times I played well, but it's all in the flow of the offense. Other than that, it's not pointing a finger, or nothing like that. It's just how our offense runs."
This was bound to happen. I know we got used to KG nailing those jumpers at a ridiculous rate, but the fact remains that the shots he takes are a low percentage shot. Every once in a while, he's going to have an off night.
Well, last night was the off night. We gotta live with it. 3-12 from the field looks bad.. but if he hits 3 more shots he's beating the odds on those long two's by a healthy margin. The bigger issue is when he stops attacking and starts passing way too much. Doc said KG played passively last night. If the Celtics are going to win, they need an aggressive Kevin Garnett. I'd rather see 18 shots in the box score than 12. Chances are good if KG's shooting that much, he'll find the flow.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Rondo's King of the Rock | Game Center: The hard way | CSNNE: Rondo: I need to do a better job of executing our offense | The one that got away | Celtics let Sixers steal one that was all but theirs | WEEI: Celtics blow opportunity to take lead | Rivers: "The free throw line tells the story" | Herald: Celtics stray from plan in collapse | Correct mindset, fear boost Sixers | Celtics now out of control | Dooling studies life in the game | Globe: Arrogance has its disadvantages | Disappearing act | Defense let up in 2nd half