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.
“When we started finally teaching to switch last year, we were better defensively,” Rivers said before Monday’s practice in Miami. “That’s something we’ve never done. I really didn’t like it (but) the better we got at it the more I liked it.”
He liked it most against the Heat, because Miami happens to be the one team in the league that cannot be beaten unless their challenger can operate defensively while switching. With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade orchestrating the Heat’s offense, mismatches are all over the floor at all times. Their eclectic set of skills, coupled with their strength and speed, allows them to take advantage of nearly any matchup that comes their way.
Marc D’Amico delivers some insight into the Celtics defensive approach with Miami. Watch for the forwards and guards to switch on screens involving LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Another variable in the matchup is Miami’s devotion to small ball; Lebron at the 4 and Chris Bosh at the 5.
“I think Miami has married themselves to going small this year, the whole year” commented Rivers. “Last year they didn’t do it until we forced them, basically. And from Game 4 or 5 on, they went small.”
The Celtics are now able to marry themselves to such a lineup as well. The additions of Jeff Green and Courtney Lee give Rivers the flexibility to cater his lineup to nearly any situation, particularly against James, the league’s reigning MVP.
I’ll take Doc Rivers over Erik Spoelstra in a chess match of coaching moves. Of course, LeBron is so damn good, he can overcome any coaching deficiencies (see Brown, Mike).
What are the Celtics saying about competing against Ray Allen?
“I’m here to play the game and get the hell up out of here,” barked Kevin Garnett when asked about Allen. “Period, point blank.”
Rondo downplayed the first matchup against Allen, but not without a tiny jab.
“We’re two different positions. I’m sure I’ll probably chase Ray around some screens,” said Rondo. “But I dont’ think he’ll be [guarding] me.”
Pressed on facing Allen, Rondo added: “I’ve played against former teammates before. I played against [Kendrick Perkins], played against Eddie House. He’s not the first one I played against.”
Gotta love Rondo. Comparing Ray to Eddie House.
The Herald’s Mark Murphy has the scoop on tonight’s ring ceremony:
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will obviously welcome tonight’s ring and banner ceremony, but it sounds like he would like to keep it short. The ceremony is scheduled to start at approximately 7:30, last 15 minutes, and give both teams approximately a 15-minute warmup period before the game starts.
Unless required by the league (and I’m not sure if they are), I cannot imagine the Celtics watching the ring ceremony from their bench.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Celtics face dilemma of guarding Ray Allen | Rondo ranks among Celtics greats | CSNNE – Allen not sure what to expect in opener | Celtics following trend of smaller lineups | ESPN Boston – Ray just latest twist in Celtics/Heat saga | Herald – Celtics go as far as Garnett will take them | Miami holds applause on Green upgrades |