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.
Business was thus completed. The Celtics secured the seventh seed, avoiding the No. 8 spot and the unwanted draw of the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round.
The Celtics will likely open the playoffs next weekend in New York against the Knicks.
“We have the next six or seven days. We can probably start preparing (tomorrow),” said Pierce. “Not to look past Indiana, but we can start preparing a little bit for New York.”
Rivers will also continue to rest his players. Terry is also a good bet to miss a second straight game on Tuesday in the Garden against the Pacers. Pierce and Garnett may sit out another game.
“It’s a fine line between rest and health,” said Pierce. “We’re as healthy as we can be at this point. Knowing we have the seventh seed, we’ll take it day by day.”
Garnett wanted to make one thing clear. Rest should not be confused with absence.
“Rest is always good,” he said. “There’s never anything wrong with rest, especially when you need it. It’s not that we’re not preparing with the team. We’re not playing. But we know what’s ahead of us and what the issues are. Doc always reminds us to take each game one at a time. He had talked about the schedule a long time ago with Paul and I. Rest is important. It doesn’t mean we’re not getting a rhythm just because we’re not playing in some of these games.”
That rhythm was certainly apparent last night.
Boston Herald – Celts help themselves to 7th seed in playoffs
After playing Miami fairly well but ultimately losing on Friday night, the Celtics went into Orlando and destroyed the Magic, fully cementing their place as the 7th seed in the east. Orlando did little to debunk Jason Terry’s suggestion that the Magic are a terrible team. Terry did not play, but Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce did and both looked good and moved well. Doc’s resting plan seems to have paid off heading into the playoffs.
Would the Celtics prefer to be a higher seed? Would they prefer to have home court advantage at least in the first round? Yes and yes. But all season long, as up and down as the season has been, Doc has always said he prefers health over any of that. Well his prescription has worked as the C’s are in relatively good health heading into what is likely going to be another battle on Broadway with the New York Knicks. Although Jeff Green turned the state of Florida into his personal dunking playground this weekend, he did collect a few minor injuries to the left elbow, hip and some whacks to the face. Green said he’s fine, although don’t be surprised if he gets some time off as well.
Doc said that KG and Pierce will likely play one of the final two games. Since Tuesday night is the home season finale and is fan appreciation night, my guess is that they will all play in that game and a skeleton crew will travel to Toronto for the season finale against the Raptors. Along with Green, Brandon Bass has been playing very well lately and the C’s will collectively need to bring it against a Knicks team that is riding high. There is no doubt that this will be one of the better first round matchups and should get prime time billing. Just what the Celtics would love – to knock out the Knicks on center stage.
Related links: Boston Globe – Boston Celtics clinch seventh seed in Eastern Conference with dominating performance against Orlando Magic | CSNNE – Celtics lock up 7-seed for NBA playoffs | WEEI – Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce return to help Celtics to rout of Magic
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Doc’s take: playoff preparations continue | Globe – Orlando’s Glen Davis is grateful for his time with the Celtics in helping him lead the youthful Orlando Magic | John Havlicek to part with mementos (Sunday Notes) Herald – Calm and collected (Sunday Notes) | Doc Rivers loves Kobe Bryant’s heart | CSNNE – Celtics make Magic disappear, 120-88 | Celtics express concern, optimism for Kobe | Celtics-Magic review: C’s leave no doubt