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 think Doc is probably going to try and tweak the lineup again and do some things different. We’ll just try to be patient with this team as long as we can,” said the president of basketball operations.
He said the return of Avery Bradley adds a new dimension to the team that could help turn things around, and that once the new starting lineup settles in and players perform to their potential, many of the problems will be corrected.
“This will be the first game coming up against the best defensive team in the league right now in [the] Indiana Pacers where we have our best lineup that played last year, and that was with Rondo and Avery and Brandon and KG and Paul. That lineup hasn’t even played one minute together this year, so I’d like to give that a shot.”
I’ve joined the push for Sullinger to start because it helps the Celtics get another rebounder out there early on. But Ainge is making a not-so-thinly-veiled hint that Brandon Bass will make it back into the starting lineup. It’s hard to argue that logic, considering that’s the team that made that huge post-All-Star run last season.
I know Bass hasn’t played up to last year’s levels at all, leading one to believe we may have been fooled by a contract year. But he’s not the only one, and most of those who are struggling are guys whose roles has been an issue this season. It’s worth a shot to get the band back together and see if you can get into a comfort level.
Doc’s not panicking… Danny’s not panicking… but there’s one word that finishes both of those thoughts no mater where you turn lately: “yet”.
“We’re just looking at what we’re capable of becoming,” Ainge said. “I think we haven’t found the right pieces. I think that Doc is probably going to tweak the lineup again and try to do some things different. We’ll just try to be patient with this team as long as we can.”
I think it’s up to the players now. I think that Doc has certainly given them the right words and the right tools to play better. I think these next couple weeks are going to be huge to see where we are. We’re starting to get healthy. I think that Rondo is still not healthy. I think he’s played the last few games banged up and we’re not the same when he’s not 100 percent. And that’s clear.”
I’m saying this will take another few weeks before Danny hits Chuck’s panic button. They made significant, long-term investments in most of the guys on this team. He’s not going to give up on them a couple of months into the season. Danny’s saying the same thing I’ve been saying:
“I do believe that that can be fixed with attitude and health and practice time. I really do believe that. Our guys know how to do that.”
It’s on the players now to get the job done. The trade deadline is February 21. The Celtics are still 4.5 games from the 4th seed. Yes, the sand is trickling through the hourglass, but it’s not out yet.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Keep calm and carry on
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Rondo, Garnett among leading All Star vote getters | Rondo a “sore loser” | Wilcox to see doctors Tuesday | ESPN Boston: Sully the silver lining | Rajon, KG still on pace to start All Star | Practice notebook, sets for JET | Rondo: “I’m a sore loser” | WEEI: Bradley’s philosophy: Defense is just effort | Tony Allen: C’s missing a lot of pieces | Globe: C’s looking to end skid | Losing takes a toll on Rondo | Herald: Jason Terry in familiar territory | Rondo’s not one to judge | MWDN: Rondo assumes blame for C’s struggles