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.
Avery has been tremendous. One, he brings defensive intensity that is very contagious. I mean, it just feeds through the team. We love the way he plays. He’s young. He’s athletic. He has a nose for the ball defensively.
Defense has been the difference in this five-game win streak. We found our identity. We struggled to find our identity early in the year. We knew what we wanted it to be, but to actually make it happen out on the court it took for Avery to come back for us to really say, “OK, we’re a defensive team first and we’re opportunistic with our defense where we can get easy baskets offensively.” I think that’s been the biggest difference in our wins and losses.
Another difference is our bench is intact. It’s how we envisioned it from day one with myself, [Jared] Sullinger, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee. We spent all training camp working on that particular group and the chemistry was there, but we never got to put it in motion. Now that it is, you can see how dangerous we are. I’ve nicknamed the bench “Gangster Squad” after the new movie that is out. I love it as a nickname…
…We have a nice homestand going on and will play the Knicks again and Miami at home towards the end of January. I like the fact that nobody seems to be talking about us. We’re pretty much the underdog. I have a tattoo on my left arm that I’ve had a long time of Underdog. In fact, it’s one of my first tattoos. I love being thought of like that. We’re playing the villain role, and rightfully so, because that’s how this team is made up.
ESPN Boston: Terry diary: C’s D, trash-talk, hockey, NFL
Throughout the season, Jason Terry has submitted a few entries to his ‘diary’ for ESPN Boston. In the quote above he gives a nice synopsis into the C’s turnaround. Sure it’s a relatively modest 5 game winning streak but it is important. They’ve won games several different ways, with the main reason being their return to playing their trademark KG-era defense. Just as JET describes, Avery Bradley has been vital in a few ways. First, himself returning to the court is obvious. Second, the trickle-down effect it has on not only the contagious energy level but everyone else’s role has seemed to be solidifying now. Finally, their attitude and mentality has returned, so much so that they’ve adopted the roles of underdog villains. It’s an interesting combination but hey if that’s what’s working for them I’ll roll with it.
JET also describes the relationship between Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. Even though publicly the majority of players and people in the organization have deemed this to be Rondo’s team now, Terry subtly makes it clear that it’s still KG’s team until he retires (as it should be). Terry also describes how rough it was to end 2012 with that nightmare-ish west coast trip and how they felt they were very close to being a good team even though they were getting routinely throttled.
Terry also describes some of the trash talking that goes on, saying that KG is legendary but Paul Pierce is “just as brutal.” He delves into a whole list of things including having two favorite NFL teams (Seahawks, Patriots), his love for hockey, how Doc gave the Patriots a pre-game speech the last time they played the Texans (Bill Belichick might want to have him do that again today) and how excited he is at the prospect of the NBA returning to his home town Seattle.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: The Killer D’s: Bradley and Lee |Doc Rivers inspires Jackie Bradley Jr. |Boston Globe: Celtics president Danny Ainge needs to make a few moves for the team to be a legitimate contender | Old mentor comes to defense of Kevin Garnett (Sunday Notes) | Boston Herald: Austin Rivers’ new ordeal | Game’s urban legends (Sunday Notes) | CSNNE: C’s starters benefit from strong bench play | Maxwell on Sullinger: “Tremendous force on the inside” | MWDN: Courtside View: Bradley sparking Celtics’ revival