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 was telling [team president] Rich Gotham it should have been promoted as part of our holiday [ticket] package: ‘Every game is an adventure,'” deadpanned Stevens after the Celtics almost gave away a 22-point lead before fending off the Cleveland Cavaliers at the finish line of a 103-100 triumph in a Saturday matinee at TD Garden.
“And that would have been, you know, Green Runs Deep, hashtag Every Game is an Adventure,” cracked Stevens, referring to the team’s 2013-14 slogan Green Runs Deep, which is often attached in hashtag form to its tweets. “That would be a great thing to promote. Maybe we can work on that. Can we get that on the website?”
The Celtics entered the fourth quarter Saturday with a 19-point lead but watched the Cavaliers get the ball back down two with 19.3 seconds to play. Fortunately for Stevens, his team displayed the defensive focus that he’s been imploring them for while twice denying the Cavaliers the chance to win or force overtime over their final two possessions.
Showcasing that same sense of humor, Stevens opened Saturday’s postgame news conference by noting, “I thought we did a really good job and played exceptionally well in the fourth quarter, for [19.3] seconds.”
ESPN Boston – Adventurous Celtics fend off Cavs
Ahh you make it seem so easy, Coach Stevens… even for us meager bloggers. I mean how could we not use the coach’s self-proclaimed hashtag for the dump? Stevens is proving to be a Warlock both on and off the court and could even bring a moment of levity to what was nearly another huge lead choked away at home. Brandon Bass and the Celtics dodged a huge bullet when Bass blocked Dion Waiters’ driving lay-up attempt, but Bass clearly got him with the body, knocking Waiters off balance enough for Bass to get a great angle to block the shot. My guess is that if that play happened in quarters one through three (and possibly the majority of the fourth) it would have been a foul. But, late game possessions are usually different in the NBA and the C’s were lucky to stave off a furious Cavs rally.
It has been adventurous especially at home lately as is pointed out above. It’s one thing to lose an early 20 point lead slowly over the course of any game, but the alarming thing is how rapidly late they are coughing these games away. If the C’s were a contender then this would be cause for some hoops panic, but considering the circumstances, it’s all part of growing and rebuilding. Especially when your all-star point guard is still out. While nothing is definite, I’m willing to bet that with a healthy Rondo, the majority of these blown leads do not happen. It’s not that he’d be necessarily taking all of the shots, but he’d control the ball better and get better shots for guys.
At any rate, he’s been working hard to get back but it’s still a bit cloudy as to when he’ll return. In the meantime expect Coach Stevens to put on a fedora and keep cracking that whip Indiana Jones style because the adventures will continue. Just don’t expect them to find the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail. This season seems more like a walk through the Temple of Doom.
On Page 2, Ainge likes the team’s progress
The results thus far, while still below .500, have been better than expected, and Stevens hasn’t injured anything on the leap from college to the NBA.
“I think that the greatest thing so far for our team is just that the attitude has been great,” said Ainge. “Obviously a lot of guys don’t love the roles they’re in. Everybody wants to play more minutes, and we have a fairly balanced roster. But the way the guys have sort of handled their roles has been very impressive, and that’s made it fun so far.”
Boston Herald – C’s torn down for rebuild job
In the above piece, Ainge rehashes the year that was for the Celtics, including the KG/P/Doc issues and what ultimately led to the decision to rebuild. At this point inthe process it’s hard not to be anything but relatively happy with what has transpired. The C’s have established a solid foundation very quickly.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Notebook: No more No-Pass Bass?
CSNNE – Bass’ big block key to Celtics victory | Good, bad & ugly: Sullinger gets time with second unit | Wallace OK after taking hit to nose | Blakely: Brandon Bass ‘true star’ vs. Cavaliers | Green’s layup: six bounces and in | In the bonus: Green vs. SF-by-committee
WEEI – Rajon Rondo taking it all in stride as he continues to work back to game action | Fast Break: Brandon Bass, Celtics hold off Cavaliers’ charge | Brad Stevens on Celtics ‘#EveryGameIsAnAdventure’
MassLive – Brandon Bass block allows Celtics to stave off fierce 4th quarter run | Brandon Bass never agreed with No Pass Bass nickname | Jordan Crawford on wild turnover late in Boston Celtics’ win: ‘I kept the team loose with that turnover’