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.
The newly minted front-line guard combination of Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee was unrelenting, pestering Sacramento’s guards and fueling Boston’s offense by pushing the ball the other way. The duo helped the Celtics limit the Kings to 39.2 percent shooting overall and force 19 turnovers (that led to a whopping 27 points).
Lee and Bradley shared the floor for 26 minutes on Wednesday — the team’s most-used two-man combo, according to NBA.com lineup data — and the Kings shot just 36.6 percent from the field. Boston’s defensive rating (points per 100 possessions) was a glossy 71.5 when the Lee/Bradley combo was on the floor (well below Boston’s defensive rating of 87.6 for the game and 100.1 for the season).
Maybe that’s why the two have taken to the moniker “The Pitbulls.”
Hmm… where did I first read about the Bradley/Lee combo’s defensive pressure igniting the offense? I’m really going to enjoy watching these two harass opposing backcourts. Sure, there will be nights a combined 7-19 FG and 20 points will be a detriment, but the Celtics have other offensive weapons.
Everyone is talking about the Celtics offense sans Rondo. All the ball movement and early offense. Memo to everyone: the Kings defense blows. Worst in the league. Any analysis, presumptions or gaseous emissions from blowhard sports talk radio hosts related to the Celtics offense based on last night’s game is a waste of time.
Here’s an update on Jared Sullinger’s back spasms:
“I know Eddie (Lacerte, the trainer) said something a week or two ago that it’s been bothering him, and I think this will be what will happen,” the C’s coach said of the problem. “He’ll have these episodes and we’ve got to get him through it. Hopefully he doesn’t miss games with them, but if he does he does. And then get it right and come back. But I’m not sure if it was before the game or not.”
Spasms aren’t the most serious condition, but there’s always concern when a guy with a history of back trouble starts to flare up. And it’s not like Sullinger can ease up on the court. He’s working his ass off in the trenches.
In trade news, an NBA source tells Gary Washburn the Celtics were never serious contenders for Rudy Gay:
Boston was rumored to be discussing sending franchise cornerstone Paul Pierce to Memphis in exchange for Gay, whom the Grizzlies had been looking to trade for weeks. According to the source, the Celtics didn’t feel Gay was worthy of franchise-player status, or sacrificing Pierce, who has one more year on his contract that is only partially guaranteed.
Gay’s physical tools make him a tempting player, but he doesn’t appear to have the mental make-up to lead a team.
The rest of the links:
Herald – Bad news for Jared Sullinger | Celtics spread wealth | Fab Melo returns, but not for long | Running w/o Rondo | Kings old problems surface in loss | CSNNE – Celtics squash Kings | Garnett steps up | Victory gives Celtics winning blueprint | Globe – Cousins claims he’s not aware of trade speculation | Up tempo style works for Celtics | Celtics start life w/o Rondo with impressive win