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.
“Barbosa was terrific,” said Rivers. “He bailed us out, not only just replacing Rondo. I thought our starters started the game out pretty flat and I thought our second unit with Courtney Lee and Barbosa, Jared (Sullinger), that group gave us a spurt, Jeff Green. Then obviously Rondo goes out in the second half and just putting LB in and we didn’t run much because he doesn’t know much. But everything was basically pick-and-rolls. We told him to just keep attacking to the basket and we’ll figure it out from there.”
Barbosa finished the night with 16 points (6-8 FG, 3-6 FT, 1-1 3PG) along with three assists and two rebounds in 23 minutes. For someone who didn’t have a team until October 18, he is quickly earning a spot in Boston.
“He’s earned it,” said Rivers. “I tell everybody, ‘Listen, we sign you and you come, there’s no guarantees that you’re going to play. But if you earn it, you get to play.’ And he’s earned it. He deserves to play.”
It’s time for me to eat some crow for dismissing the signing of Leandro Barbosa. I didn’t think a guy who languished in free agency until mid-October could make an impact on this team. Boy, was I wrong.
Barbosa was fantastic last night. His 7 point spurt in 3 minutes in the 2nd quarter was the perfect example of his scoring capability. And it’s not like he sits on the perimeter just chucking. The guy attacks the rim.
Most importantly, the Celtics offense did not sputter or stall in the 4th quarter with Barbosa at the helm. It may be a bit haphazard or one-dimensional, but it worked last night.
As for Rajon Rondo’s ankle injury and his availability for tonight’s game vs Brooklyn:
Pressed on the severity of the injury, Rivers added, “I have no idea. Look, with a sprained ankle — tomorrow you’ll know more.”Rondo walked through the locker room after the game, but did not meet with reporters before the team’s flight to Brooklyn.
If Rondo does sit, we could see Jason Terry starting at the point with Courtney Lee at shooting guard. I’m guessing Doc would leave Barbosa with the second unit.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Green on post dunk: It felt great | Green rises up, dunks frustration | Rapid Reaction: Celtics 98 Utah 93 | Al’s back in Boston | CSNNE – Celtics squeak out win over Jazz | Globe – Rondo injures ankle, but Celtics rally | Barbosa got right to the point | Herald – Barbosa eases fear of no Rondo | Celtics get tough in clutch | Big Al open to return to Boston |