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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where Stevens was encouraged after last night’s mess

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) January 3, 2014 Brad Stevens, The Morning Dump 9 Comments

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 actually leave very encouraged, and the reason why is I thought we played really physical,” said Stevens. “And I think they’re very physical and they’re really aggressive. We didn’t make some chippies there at the rim, but those things don’t really weigh on me all that much. I leave encouraged.”

[...] “They’ve had their struggles, but that’s not a 13-18 team,” said the coach of the now 13-19 Celts. “And as they (get) fully healthy, they’ll continue to have success because they execute on both ends of the floor as well as anybody in the league.

“We didn’t make shots, but they had a large role in that. I’m a big believer that if you’re physical and you’re tough and you’re aggressive, then even the open ones don’t feel right. That’s kind of the way we had tonight with our shooting. But otherwise I leave pretty encouraged. In fact, I think this is the best we’ve played in a lot of ways in the last seven games.”

Herald: Celtics fall, but coach sees silver lining  (video via CSNNE)

Last night was an ugly mess, but Brad Stevens is really good at accentuating the positive on a night where very little went right.  I’ve said it before… things like this are what make him a really good coach.  He knows what tone to strike after wins and losses.

There’s no doubt that the Celtics put up a fight.  They could have rolled over after the Dunleavy-fueled run that put the game out of reach, but they made a little run of their own and made it so the game wasn’t really over until the final minute.

So kudos to Stevens for keeping the right frame of mind.  Pumping up those guys was probably the right thing to do for a bunch that is probably quite frustrated.

Problem is, that’s probably not going to change this month, so Brad’s going to have a lot of encouraging to do.

Page 2: Is it time to sit Sullinger?

Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger has been adamant that a lingering left-hand injury isn’t a big concern, but the growing padding around the ailment and a declining stat line suggests the opposite.

Two days after aggravating the hand injury while falling to the floor against the Atlanta Hawks, Sullinger sported a padded glove over his left paw during Thursday’s 94-82 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Sullinger put up 11 points and 11 rebounds over 31:13, but his shooting touch (5-of-12 overall, 0-for-5 away from the restricted area) seemed off, and he just hasn’t been himself in recent games.

[...] There might be nothing Boston’s medical staff can do. Sullinger might be at the mercy of letting the ligaments and bone bruise heal and, with proper padding, he might simply be limiting any further chance of aggravation. But the fact that it’s become an issue at all, more than a month after the initial injury, is reason for concern. And the Celtics must consider resting Sullinger and that hand if that’s the only way to allow it to fully heal.

ESPN Boston:  Notebook: Is it time to protect Sullinger?

I know Jared Sullinger is a warrior.  This is an old school type of player who believes in hard fouls, doing the dirty work, and playing if he’s able to walk and run.

This is why the Celtics have to take the decision out of his hands.  He’s clearly not the same Sully we’ve seen all year.

There’s little point in throwing Sullinger out there if he’s not catching passed and grabbing rebounds he usually gets.

Here’s the thing about Sullinger:  he can’t be a 70% player and be effective for this team.  Guys like LeBron and Durant can be effective at 70%.  Sully needs to be at 90%+ so he can do things like muscle his way in between 3 defenders and grab rebounds that he shouldn’t be grabbing.

If he can’t finish off those plays by grabbing boards with his left hand, then there’s no point in putting him out there.  I’d rather the Celtics sit him down so he can get healthy.

It’s possible that the MMA glove (or whatever you want to call it), just takes some getting used to, but the last thing I want to do is set Sullinger back with another injury, or a worsening of this one.

Related links:  CSNNE:  Blakely:  Sit Sullinger so his hand can heal

The rest of the links:

Herald: Rondo’s road looks smooth  |  Coach clears son’s name with Peyton  |  Realistic Rondo in no rush  |  Globe: Rondo “pretty close” to returning  |  CSNNE:  Brooks scores 27 in D-League debut |  D-League stint would test Rondo’s conditioning  |  ESPN Boston:  Rondo would embrace camping with Claws  |  Thibodeau, Stevens hold mutual respect  |  WEEI:  Celtics slump continues

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  • chuckmckenney

    This shouldn’t happen: “Dunleavy-fueled run”

  • Chuck Da buck

    I like Stevens but lost some respect for him when I heard those comments he’s lying to himself. That game was awful he tries saying they just missed shots and that’s true but the shots they are taking is contested jumpers. He needs to start posting up the bigs again. This team has turned into a jump soothing team who never gets easy buckets. A the beginning of the year Stevens said they were going to be a fastbreak team but instead they turned I to a slow half court team that doesn’t get into there offense until the shot clocks at 12. It’s getting hard to watch when all they do is take long contested jumpers. When they hit them they win and it tricks us into thinking they played well but the truth is they didnt get any easy baskets and hit theyre contested mid range shots. If they continue to play like that we will keep blowing huge leads and end up being awful I’d rather watch a exciting team that runs the floor and win or lose its still fun to watch these games get me mad about the loss and the style of play.

    • Jake Gruber

      It is true that this team does not fast break as much as they have to to make up for their lack of skill.

  • NE_Celt

    I’m just happy he mentioned how physical the play was…explains to me why he sat Kelly most of the game…he isn’t a bruiser in there…yet.

    And I agree if sullys isn’t 100% with a lingering injury like this he should sit and rest up and heal…you know…for the playoff run :P

  • vitamin d

    You can tell KG taught Sully well…. He’s tough.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Brad Stevens is talking to a much larger audience than New England sports fans.

    When he displays a calm, yet upbeat/positive/encouraging attitude, and shows major support for his players in defeat…other NBA players hear that.

    Soon-to-be free agents take note of what he`s saying. This is exactly the type of coach they WANT to play for, especially those who only spent a year playing college ball.

  • Cleangreen

    Dilusional. Stevens is not as good as you all think

  • Curt Hays

    Having dealt with bone bruises, after the initial pain period…like a solid three weeks, the healing begins and the swelling goes down in another couple of months, maybe 6 months on a larger bone.

    I’m not disagreeing with his numbers being low, but I’m not concerned that it will injure him worse BECAUSE he isn’t healed. The fact that he is on the court is the biggest danger. I say let him sit and work out with Rondo till Rondo is ready.

  • adam

    I think if we get a couple more talented pieces (a jettison a few) this team will come together nicely. Who knows, maybe Danny is making a push for Lebron when his contract expires……….

    Sullinger needs to rest, the kid is a beast. What a steal.