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.
While there are technical reasons the Celtics are playing better now — better ball movement, more fast-break opportunities — the questions most often asked them are about the dynamic in the dressing room.“I just think you have good character guys in here who respond well to adversity,” Pierce said. “That’s why we’re able to play well through the injuries.“We’ve come together. We’ve become even closer. A lot of people don’t have any expectations for us right now, but we have expectations, and we understand what they are in this locker room. We’re going to continue to thrive and play to our expectations. I think it’s just bonded us together even more. That’s pretty much the most I can say about that.”
The Celts clearly aren’t daunted by proclamations of their imminent demise.
“I mean, they were writing us off even before the injury,” Pierce said. “It’s probably enhanced even more since the injuries, but, you know, people are going to say what they believe and what they feel.
“But, like I said, at the end of the day, we have our goals in this locker room. We have our beliefs, and they really don’t coincide with everybody else’s belief.”
Boston Herald – C’s invest in bonds
One of the more interesting dynamics of the KG-era Celtics has been the ‘nobody believed in us’ mentality of the team. Even dating back to the inaugural (and championship) season, you got the sense from the team since Day 1. Critics said it would take a few years, that beyond the big three, there were more questions than answers. Using the outside critics as fuel for the fire inside the locker room, the Celtics have routinely surprised everyone outside of the New England area by the time the playoff fog of war has been cleared. No, they haven’t won it all since 2008, but it seems like each year they go further than anyone seems to predict they will (save for KG’s 2009 knee injury and Rondo’s 2011 elbow dislocation).
So maybe, just maybe after losing their superstar, super playoff performer in Rajon Rondo as well as their abnormally consistent rookie in Jared Sullinger, the ‘us-against-the-world’ theme will carry them further again. Paul Pierce has never been one to lack confidence, swagger or even some cockiness as evidenced above. Neither has KG or newcomer Jason Terry. All three are NBA champions and they have been rubbing off on the team now. Not much is expected of them now and it looks like that is giving them all they need. It sure has been fun to watch.
The rest of the links:
Boston Herald – Rondo’s plus-minus | Boston Globe – Avery Bradley’s subtle nudge to Celtics coach Doc Rivers shows player’s growth in leadership, maturity | Grant Hill, 40, is old man of the NBA mountain (Sunday Notes) | CSNNE – Celtics-Nuggets still expected to play on Sunday | Rondo thanks fans in tweet | Wilcox making presence known off C’s bench