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Your Morning Dump… Where Doc says Darko has been phenomenal

Chuck - Red's Army October 9, 2012 Celtics News, Darko Milicic, The Morning Dump 24 Comments

Darko MilicicEvery 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.

The more Doc Rivers sees Darko Milicic, the more he appreciates the talents of the Serbian center.

Milicic had nine rebounds and four blocked shots in 19 minutes Sunday against Olimpia Milano. He also had three assists, and often kept the second unit in a flow.

“He’s been phenomenal, with his defense and passing,” said Rivers. “We were really using him as a point guard on the floor with that second unit, because we didn’t have a real point guard on the floor. He’s been wonderful.”

Boston Herald

I’m pretty sure the words ‘Darko’ and ‘phenomenal’ haven’t been used in the same sentence since 2004.

But we all know what Doc is doing. He’s playing that build-up-his-confidence game, again.

After watching Darko for the first time on Friday, I thought… he’s not that bad. He’s actually a capable basketball player. His reputation is so awful, I almost expected him to turn the ball over on every possession.

ESPN Boston’s Greg Payne has a good analysis of Darko’s play on Sunday:

Playing in the second and fourth quarters, Milicic seemed to embrace his hefty 7-foot frame on Sunday, utilizing his considerable size in every area he was able to find success. He used it to block shots, to reach rebounds ahead of the opposition, and he used it on the high post — the spot on the floor the Celtics have stuck him at most through two preseason games. C’s head coach Doc Rivers understands that he has a capable passer in Milicic, which is why he’s so willing to line him up at either one of the elbows, where he receives an entry pass and allows the action to develop around him. A quick kickout pass can lead to an open look for a teammate, or allow Milicic to re-position himself to set a bulky screen to free up one of Boston’s perimeter players.

Screen setting was the quietest part of Milicic’s production on Sunday. Boston’s equipped with a versatile collection of offensive players, all of which can benefit from having an open lane or open floor space to create their offense. Consider the 5:06mark of the second quarter, when Jason Terry simply ducked behind Milicic’s frame to open up enough space to fire off a 3-pointer, or the 4:24 mark when Courtney Lee charged to the basket on the left side only once his man was shaken by a Milicic screen.

Nothing flashy, just steady play. Brace yourself haters, Darko might actually have a positive impact on the 2012-13 Celtics.

One other note, WEEI’s Paul Flannery has a good blog post breaking down the differences between Jared Sullinger and Glen Davis.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Sullinger starts strong | Globe – Celtics experience success, adversity | Herald – European Union: Celtics hope trip stirs up winning | Milano coach can dream of green | CSNNE – Terry shows worth just being on court | Garnett plays name game with rookies

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  • http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com Slap Dog Hoops

    I am so happy for Darko silencing those haters. hopefully he will continue this inspired play in the regular season.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Exceeding expectations against Milan in October is one thing….doing it against the Mavericks in February is another animal altogether!

    • RM

      Darko not sucking against Milan in October is still way better than Darko sucking against Milan in October, I’ll take it~

    • Corbs

      The mavericks?

      • RedsLoveChild

        Yeah…they`re an NBA team, based in Dallas. Rumor has it they won the championship as recently as 2011.

        • Drew

          Have you been paying ANY attention to The Mavs lately? They completely fell apart.

          • RedsLoveChild

            I`m certainly not picking Dallas to win the title this year…but, I also would not say they have “completely fell apart”.

            I know they added Elton Brand, Chris Kamen, and OJ Mayo over the summer. Not bad.

            I also know the Celtics have gone nearly three years without beating them.

        • Curt

          And the Mavericks have, what, 2 of the same players? 3 if you include Mark Cuban. The Mavs will be good, and I’ll be at the game when Boston plays in Dallas, but I think going against Chicago, Philly, Memphis, and OKC will be much more of a test.

          Don’t even mention the Flakers.

        • Corbs

          Haha easy big fella. Was just noting the randomness of you saying if darko can do it against the mavs of all teams youll be impressed. Would have understood if you said the heat or thunder or a team of relevance. But apparently you have solved the celtics problems the last three years, their inability to beat the mavs on the reg season the last three years. Heres to hopeing darko puts up 20 and 10 in dallas!!

  • DJisintheHall

    Here is how you deal With Darko. Dont set any expectations. If he doesn’t come in and have a negative impact. All is good.

  • Paul

    Doc’s favorite compliment is PHENOMENAL.

  • Will

    Hope he is not the MVP of preseason like jermaine oneal last year according to doc

    • KY Celts fan

      Haha. Good point.

    • Curt

      It’s going to be tough to by preseason MVP when you have Jason Terry and Jared Sullinger trying to get minutes as well…JO didn’t have any noobs to compete with really. He was new to the team, but the other guys already knew they had NO chance, haha.

  • JG

    Redslovechild-

    I think the confusion is coming from the fact that the Mavs were just a pretty random team to choose to have him play well against. Usually you pick either a team in the same division, conference, or rival. Or maybe someone who has a particular center that they would need to slow in order to beat. That’s all, just a very random team to choose. The team that won the title in 2011 was virtually disassembled by the way, so that point is kind of irrelevant.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Fair enough, I shall clarify….

      I will be impressed by Darko if, and only if, he performs well against NBA opponents, during the upcoming regular season.

      Him playing well against Milan does not do it for me.

  • Ray

    Why are Dallas fans even on a Celtics blog wow times must be hard in Maverick land sorry ass team with no history

    • Curt

      really? a dallas fan name RedsLoveChild? Get off of here Ray, or at least change your name. haha

  • Quest

    Has Doc ever criticized any of his players in public. Just creating team cohesion through positive reinforcements.

  • Brick James

    I’m rooting for Darko, but withholding judgement until we play an actual NBA team.

  • JR99

    You know, if you just look at Darko’s performance as a Celtic, ignoring his history, you’d say this guy is playing center at an elite level right now. Personally, I don’t care about his history. What I know is that so far, the guys is playing terrific ball for us. Which is exciting and pretty amazing to imagine that if this continues, we will have picked up a top-tier center for the vet min. More praise for Danny’s amazing offseason, if that happens.

  • vivek NJ

    i knew darko only through the negative posts about him in celtic blogs. but i have also seen the likes of ryan hollins and other centers come in and play but darko made me feel refreshed with his enthusiasm.

  • kg215

    I already like him better than Stiemsma who was wildly overrated on a certain different Celtic blog, and Darko has way more talent/upside plus we got him for the minimum. Win win.

  • Chris

    You’re switched on. I’m glad some people are finally seeing Stiemsma for what he is – good for an undrafted player, not a good player. Milicic is a massive defensive upgrade and the offensive short-comings will be covered by Wilcox and/or Sullinger, and that’s forgetting how much more offense we’ll have from Terry and Green.