Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“We’ll see it how it goes,” Olynyk said after the shootaround. “It’s a little sore, a little stiff. I’d say it’s still not exactly where I want it to be yet but it’s definitely on the right path so we’ll see how it responds.”
The Celtics have gone 6-3 during Olynyk’s absence, but the impact of his absence can be spotted in the smaller details. Before the All-Star break, the team had finally figured out a way to score with Isaiah Thomas on the bench. At least part of that formula — a supercharged bench lineup that also included starter Avery Bradley — relied heavily on Olynyk’s skills. Since the big man’s injury, Boston’s progress in scoring without Thomas has evaporated; the Celtics have scored 111.0 points per 100 possessions with the dynamic guard on the court but just 96.5 points per 100 possessions without him. Essentially, their offense has been either near-Warriors or near-76ers depending on Thomas’ presence.
Olynyk’s return, whenever it comes, should help eliminate at least part of that discrepancy. For the season, he actually owns the best net rating (a measurement of how the team performs during a player’s time on the court) among Boston’s regulars despite playing fewer than half his minutes alongside Thomas.
Kelly Olynyk doesn’t sound overly optimistic about the health of his right shoulder. Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since Olynyk injured himself vs the Clippers.
While he’s approaching the extremely vague recovery timetable set by the team, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sits out two more games and returns next Tuesday vs Indiana. The last thing we want is a situation where he returns early and risks another dislocation. We’ve been through this before with Avery Bradley.
Meanwhile, Jared Sullinger has been straight fire since Olynyk went down. He’s averaging 13 points (50% FG), 10 rebounds and 3 assists (!) over his last ten games.
On Page 2, Marcus Smart isn’t going to change his approach with officials.
“I mean, everybody that plays this game is going to feel [emotional],” Smart said. “That’s why it takes five guys out there. Isaiah was just talking to me, and we just had a discussion. He was telling me what I already know and what everybody knows with the technical, you know, we didn’t need it at the time. We were just talking how we can come back and capitalize on the next play.”
Does Smart feel like he needs to change anything when it comes to his style of play, which at times can lead to frustrations with the officials? Not really, though it did sound like he understood that the refs can’t be perfect out there.
“I don’t think it’s nothing I have to change,” Smart said. “Everybody’s going to make mistakes, just not as a player but as officials, too. They’re humans just like us. So it’s nothing personal between the players or the refs to us or vice versa. It’s just everybody gets caught up in the moment of the game and stuff like that’s going to happen.”
No one got screwed harder by the officials on Saturday night than Marcus Smart. And I’ll be the first one to say the behavior exhibited by that officiating crew was so abhorrent they should be disciplined by the league.
But Marcus doesn’t quite seem to grasp that he’s building an unfavorable image/reputation around the league. I’m sure he’ll get his due over the years as he becomes a star player, but right now he’s not going to get the benefit of doubt from anyone with a whistle.
And finally, Melo calls on Rondo for help.
But in a candid session with a couple of reporters Monday — still four months from the beginning of New York’s offseason-of-reckoning — Anthony professed his desire to increase his role in free agency, and started it with a public pitch for point guard Rajon Rondo.
“I think Rondo — just me personally, I don’t want to be tampering — but I’ve heard he said he wouldn’t thrive in a system like this,” Anthony said. “I think he’d be perfect in a system like this.”
Anthony then refuted the idea that the triangle isn’t a system for ball-dominant point guards, or averse to those like Rondo who aren’t good shooters but create through penetration.
“It is a misconception about that. Some of the keys of our offense is penetration, getting in the paint,” Anthony said. “Pushing the pace, transition. Creating in the paint for bigs, for yourself, everybody else. I think a point guard would love that. Especially a point guard who can penetrate, create for yourself, create for others. I think it’s a perfect opportunity for him.
Carmelo Anthony wants a seat at the head of the table in free agent meetings with players. “Put me at the head of the (meeting) table,” Anthony said. “And let’s go to work.”
Anyone else thoroughly enjoying watching Melo and the Knicks endure another miserable season?