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 [home court in the playoffs is] secondary to health and rest and freshness. Nothing is more important than just fresh bodies. We’ve seen what’s happened to KG with just a few days off and how he’s responded where he was dragging. It’s not a perfect science, you can’t predict it. The temptation is to continue to grind and push and fight for every win, and … between Doc, KG, and I, we’ll try to figure it out and we’ve got to trust KG to talk to us, and I think that he is more willing to do that than he ever has been in his career. I think he’s wiser and sort of gets it, and so I think that we need to figure out what’s best for him. And not only him, but Paul.
“Paul’s been playing with the sore neck. When we went into the really bad stretch after winning six in a row and then we went through the bad stretch, I think a lot of it was Paul. I saw Paul every day during that stretch just really in pain. … And as we started winning, I don’t think it was a coincidence that Paul started feeling a lot better. So I think that those are two guys and then I think Jason Terry, also.”
Yup… it’s time to start having the seeding vs. health discussion… always a good one here in Celtics-land.
It’s evolved over the course of time. It used to be “should the C’s go for the top seed?” Now it’s “should they try for home court.” But no matter what the position they’re in or going for, the most logical approach is always the same:
If you can grab better playoff position, then great. But you don’t overuse the old guys to do it.
Here’s a look at the standings:
I feel comfortable about the C’s being 10 games up on Toronto and Philly. And I’m pretty sure no one is catching Miami. As for the rest…. well…..
I’m not necessarily saying they’ll reach the 2 seed, but being 4.5 games away isn’t impossible. It’s not likely because they’d need everyone ahead of them to lose while continuing to win most of the 23 games they have left. But it’s there.
The more obvious scenario is making the push up to the 4 seed, which is just sitting there, a game and a half away. The C’s can move into the 5th seed tonight by beating the Hawks and by Chicago losing to the Utah Jazz. From here on out it’s going to be a scrum where a win could vault you three spots and a loss could drop you three. If Indy and New York aren’t careful, we could some a crazy 6-way tie for the second seed before this is all over.
There are two danger zones, really. The 8th seed, which means a first round matchup vs. Miami… and the 4th seed, which means a 2nd round date with LeBron. I know people might say “let’s face them right away when we’re fresh,” but I’m of the opinion that you should avoid them as much as you can. If you lose to them, I’d rather it be in the Conference Finals… and if you beat them, I’d rather not limp out of that series and have to play three more. I’d rather ride the wave of momentum into the Finals.
I know that’s getting WAY ahead of ourselves. Doc’s going to sit KG a few more times for sure… maybe Pierce too. Who know how those games will go. After the Phoenix game, you can’t chalk them up as losses. So we’ll have to wait and see.
I will say this. It’s nice to be writing about this rather than looking ahead to the draft right now. For the second year in a row, the Celtics are making an improbable run after being written off. One of these days, the writing off will be accurate… but not this year.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Quick hits from Doc | C’s find success with manwich zone | Globe – Retooled Celtics soaring to playoffs | Herald – Ain’t easy being Green | WEEI – All about heart: Green’s remarkable comeback | CSNNE – Blakely: We’re learning this Celtics team won’t quit | Bradley, Rondo lean on each other in tough times | Off the bench: Doc named 1st car “The rib joint”