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.
Spoiler Alert (sort of)
Three of Boston’s five remaining opponents are realistically playing for playoff seeding, and a fourth, the Cavaliers, have not yet been mathematically eliminated.
Next on the schedule: The Atlanta Hawks, who have the inside track on the Eastern Conference’s final playoff berth. Rajon Rondo would be OK with Boston hurting the Hawks’ odds.
“We want to be that team,” the guard said. “Hopefully we can mess up Atlanta’s record a little bit more (Wednesday) and knock those guys out of the playoffs. Who knows? Every night when I got out there, I try to compete and win. It’ll be a good game (Wednesday) and we’ll compete.”
Still always fun to hear Rondo talk a little trash.
There exists a small part of my heart that wants to see this team run off a winning streak to end the season, even if only to see Brad Stevens crack a smile before the summer. Unfortunately, the more logical parts understand the implications these final five games hold. Securing the third or fourth lottery seed won’t necessarily result in a higher draft pick than the fifth or sixth slots, but it does limit just how bad our worst case scenario can be, and for that reason, I hope we don’t knock the Hawks (or anybody) out of the playoffs. At this point, the battle for a higher draft pick is becoming as competitive as fighting for the playoffs: We could still land anywhere from the third worst to the seventh worst record depending on how good/bad we play. After tonight’s game, we play the Bobcats, Cavs, Sixers, and Wizards to close out the season. Odd to think we live in a world where Charlotte and Washington are playoff teams. Still, I’d think all of those games are considered winnable.
Maybe a little random, but after watching the NCAA finals, would anybody else want to see the C’s pick up Shabazz Napier? With where our draft picks land, we’d likely have to trade for another late first-rounder to even consider it, but his play in the national championship game kind of reminded me of Rondo. He’s got a much better three-point shot than RR, but he’s also an aggressive playmaker (although looks a little turnover prone), plus he’s a local kid. At 22, he’s played a full college career and won two titles. He seems like the type of player who’d learn a lot by being around Rondo. Sure, we’ve got options this summer for a backup point guard, by either re-signing Jerry Bayless or keeping Phil Pressey — still, if any of this summer’s “fireworks” leave us with another pick this year (or a later pick in a trade down), would you consider it? If not who else would you prefer?
Page 2: Kris Humphries is scheduled for an MRI
Boston Celtics forward/center Kris Humphries will undergo an MRI on an ailing right knee on Wednesday and will not accompany the team on its trip to play the Atlanta Hawks.
Humphries sat out Saturday’s loss in Detroit with what the team termed a strained right patella tendon. He’s battled knee issues at times this season and the current issue has lingered. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said it was too early to know if the injury will force the team to shut down Humphries for the remainder of the season.
ESPN Boston – Humphries (Knee) set for MRI
Although Brad Stevens said it was too early to know if they’ll shut Humphries down, I can’t really see a point in him returning for the final few games. Even if the MRI comes back negative, why force him to play and risk re-injuring the knee, especially with free agency approaching this summer? Humph definitely changed the fans’ perception of him over the course of this year: He’s a reliable knock-down shooter with a higher than average basketball IQ and a sense of humor. I know we’ve got our hands full at power forward even before this upcoming draft, but in my opinion, he’ll be a guy worth considering keeping this offseason.
And finally, the clutchness has been calculated
ESPN Boston – Late-game options haven’t been good
Look at those threes! Jeryyd Bayless hit half of his, but nobody else is even close to 30%. Yikes. Kind of surprised to see Bass with such a low percentage as well.
The rest of the links: