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.
“They are my inspiration,” he said. “I’ve been watching them the last couple of years and nobody thought they would be at the point they are right now with guys who just came out of nowhere and played together. They are all on the same page. They are getting the job done. Now they have a great chance of winning the World Series.
“I think we’re in a similar position where we have guys who not a lot of people know. (Rajon) Rondo would be our (David) Oritz. And we just have to follow his lead. We have to go out there, and play hard, and give it our all.”
Green said the comparison is something he has been thinking about for the past couple of months.
“Everybody’s been counting us out,” he said. “They did the same thing with the Red Sox. Now look at where they’re at, and how hard they had to battle to get to that point. We have to do the same thing.”
Before this run to the World Series started, the fellas over at Ted’s Army were split on whether the Red Sox would even make the playoffs. They reflected a general consensus that the Red Sox sere a wild card team at best, if they were going to make the playoffs at all.
I don’t want to get everyone’s hopes up making the comparison, but I’m for anything that inspires the guys to play hard. These guys will need whatever inspiration they can get this season, so if Jeff Green wants to draw parallels to the guys across town, so be it.
Let’s be honest here, though, the Celtics don’t have a Sox-type run in them. I say that not out of a lack of faith or anything like that… it’s just the reality of the situation. The Sox had a bunch of guys step up to become some of the best in the league at their positions, and (watch out, this one’s going to sting) they still have an old #34 on their team that can re-capture some playoff magic. We don’t (see, I told you).
One team’s season will begin tonight, another’s could end. Maybe we’ll see some Sox stroll through the Garden to flash some new jewelry and pump up the crowd, and apparently, the players. But as we embark on this season, the only thing in common these teams will have is the city to which their mail is delivered.
Page 2: Don’t expect any set starting lineups yet
“Until there’s separation there can’t be a set lineup,” said Ainge, the Celtics’ president of Basketball Operations. “So I think most likely that it won’t happen on the first crack, but the second or third crack we’ll figure it out.”
Stevens will likely play at least 10 players early on, but admits he would ideally like to have a nine-man rotation.”
And the crazy part is, I can get down to (nine players) but it’s really healthy if they get down to it and they separate themselves in that regard and nine guys stand out above all others,” Stevens said. “It’s happened some, but it hasn’t happened consistently.”
Which is why Stevens’ starting five should be written in disappearing ink all season.
Right now, I’m leaning towards Crawford, Bradley, Green, Wallace, Faverani as my opening night lineup (since Sullinger is suspended for the opener). It easily could be Bradley, Green, Wallace, Olynyk, and Fav. Or it could be Crawford, Bradley, Green, Olynyk and Fav. Or maybe, Crawford, Green, Wallace, Humphries, and Olynyk. Or maybe….
….. you get it.
It’s all one big competition. In some senses it’s positive, because guys will have to earn their time. In some senses it’s negative, because it could encourage some individual, rather than team play. But at this point, you have to try to find out who your best 5 are.
I’ll say this, though: Brad Stevens is already armed with a ton of data, and he knows who his best combinations are right now. Expect them to really play with the Green/Wallace combination. And I think Fav has shown he can get plenty of minutes and be alright.
And once these guy start to separate themselves, Rondo will be ready to go and we get to start all over again. This is why I think the early part of the season will be a struggle while the second half will be markedly better. It’s a two-stage process of figuring out how to play with one another. And while I think these guys will try to make it as seamless as possible, it won’t be seamless. It’ll take until mid-January or February, assuming Rondo is back before Christmas, to really get their timing down with Rondo back in the line up.
Until then, we embrace the process.
Related links: ESPN Boston: Lineup remains unsettled
The rest of the links:
Herald: Levelhead coach | Sullinger suspended for opener | First step in rebuild a smart one | CSNNE: CelticsTalk TV: What words describe Stevens | Impressive Olynyk kicks off career in home country | Celtics pick up option on Sullinger’s contract | Bradley among those expected to become RFA’s | ESPN Boston: 10 things to know as season starts | Celtics hope to be full of surprises | Ainge talks options/extensions | Sullinger understands team suspension | WEEI: Celtics, for the last time series: Phil Pressey | Brandon Bass | Vitor Faverani | Avery Bradley | Gerald Wallace | Kelly Olynyk | MWDN: For Celtics, season of transition tips off in Toronto