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.
“One thing I can say about this month is that we’ve gotten better as a team,” Avery Bradley said. “We’ve learned a lot about our team throughout this month. We played a lot of games. I feel like every single game, even though we had our ups and downs, we’ve continued to improve.”
Asked if the Celtics had “survived” the opening barrage of travel and back-to-backs, Bradley took a bit of umbrage to the term, but agreed with the sentiment.
“Survived? I wouldn’t use that word,” he said. “But it definitely makes us feel good knowing what we came from the first game. We can feel good about ourselves.”
There are only three games left in November, one of the most hellish months I’ve ever seen in the NBA. Before it began, I pegged five wins for the C’s. Now they have six, and they have a real chance at one or two more. And it gets easier once that calendar flips.
After six back-to-backs in November, the Celtics have just two in December. In fact, the Celtics sort of get another All Star break in December. We all know the week off they get around the game in February, but they have a six-day-off stretch in a month when they play the Pacers on Sunday, December 22, and then the Cavs on Saturday December 28.
That week off would be a nice long stretch to get Rajon Rondo back into the mix, practicing full speed with the first team, and ready to go in NBA action for the Cavs on the 28th, wouldn’t it?
Meanwhile, the team has weathered the early season storm and continues to grow… making me think the adversity of all these rapid-fire games was actually a good thing for them. Now it’s time to take all those lessons and apply them to all this extra practice time the guys will get.
And while it’s hard for some people to deem a 6-10 start a success (or hard for people who know it’s a success to enjoy it as they actively root for losses), I say this is a good thing. Realizing success as a result of hard work is still a good lesson to learn, no matter what age. This team needs positives to help build its team for the future, to figure out who’s truly capable of contributing, to find out who is valuable in trade scenarios… all of it. As much as some people want to tank and lose every game, the wins truly do help, and they even help the “tanking.” Other teams want to know they’re trading for quality, and scrappy players with ability to help get wins are players teams in the hunt will ask about. No one would ask about Jordan Crawford, or Courtney Lee, or Brandon Bass, or any other player if they and the C’s sucked all month. But now… who knows?
The rest of the East is upside down but I think things will get back to normal in New York and Brooklyn when every important players to both teams’ success come back. As much as I like to joke about them, they’re still the two best teams in the East when fully healthy, and neither team has been fully healthy. So once both of those teams make their inevitable runs, the words “Celtics” and “playoffs” probably won’t be uttered without the word “miss” in there (and you know what I mean… don’t think I’m not expecting “the Celtics won’t miss the playoffs” comments after that).
The bottom line: the Celtics got out of a crazy month with better-than-expected results. The guys are playing together, some unexpected guys are stepping up, and Brad Stevens is doing a pretty good job as a rookie head coach. It’s been mostly fun
Page 2: Brandon Bass is trying to be a great dad
Bass lives for Junior and Bella, his 2-year-old daughter. He grew up needing his own father and lived with the ache from that person’s absence in his life.
But Bass looks back at those early years, when he was forced to essentially raise himself in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Baton Rouge. He knows exactly what he wants for Junior.
Bass’ voice was free of bitterness when he said of his own father, Charles Joseph, “I’ll tell you this. My dad is a great guy. I was brought up in a different culture. I’ve read books, and I learned how to deal and understand different things, and how where you come from and your culture has an effect on who you are.
“His ways have inspired me to be the best father I can be.”
Great story about the little things, like conquering his fear of water, Brandon Bass is doing off the court. I’ll just leave it at that and let you go read it.
Wanting to assist in any way possible, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo provided Thanksgiving meal food items to 200 families in need Tuesday evening.
“No one should go to bed hungry,” said the guard. “Hunger is a huge problem not only in Massachusetts but across the nation. Thanksgiving is a holiday where food is central as families come together to celebrate. I wanted to make sure some of Boston’s neediest families were able to have a meal this Thursday.”
A lot of people on Twitter say that reminds them of this
Very cool thing of the Celtics and Rondo to do every year.
The rest of the links
Herald: All’s quiet on the Rondo return front | Sullinger feels for NBA’s early injury casualties | Globe: For Celtics, tanking and winning aren’t mutually exclusive | CSNNE: Blurry rotation coming into focus | Rondo misses practice for knee check up | Humphries proves to Celtics he can D up | ESPN Boston: Sullinger passes big test | Practice: Olynyk sits out session | Brooks on Rondo, I think he’s almost there | Souza: Crawford, Pressey point C’s in right direction