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.
The Boston Celtics will be without Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller and James Young on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks, according to the team’s PR.
Bradley, who has missed multiple games with a strained achilles, had been hoping he could play against the Hawks, but along with Zeller and Young, he will stay in Boston rather than making the flight to Atlanta.
Per the team’s PR, it does appear that both Amir Johnson and Jaylen Brown (both of whom sat out Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards with sprained ankles) will travel with the team, which could mean that either or both will be available to play.
“Amir Johnson has some swelling in his ankle,” Ainge continued. “It’s sore. I don’t think it’s real serious but he could miss a few games. Jaylen Brown, I expect him back soon. He has a tweaked ankle. And … James [Young] is still probably a couple of weeks away with his ankle sprain. He had a very severe sprain in practice. And Tyler [Zeller’s] illness has been, he’s been in and out with a lot of doctors doing a lot of testing, and I think they’ve finally gotten to the bottom of it. It’s an inner-ear infection, but he’s probably a week away still. So that’s good news, because it was looking like it might be longer than that.”
So, Wednesday’s game was pretty crazy, eh? Jordan Mickey starting, only ten guys suited up.
I can’t help but think that the C’s are being extra cautious with all this, given the extent to which the team suffered down the stretch last season, as nagging injuries caught up with the team and hobbled them through the playoffs.
Page 2: Where, yes, the Celtics know they need rebounding.
“We have to shore up the rebounding somehow.” (Brad Stevens)
“We had a tough time getting defensive rebounds at the end of that game as well. [Jonas] Valanciunas hurt us on the offensive boards” (Danny Ainge)
About the only thing that C’s fans can comfort themselves with now, looking at the rebounding situation, is that if they’d kept Jared Sullinger around, he wouldn’t be helping the team rebound right now anyway, because he’s injured again.
As Jay King points out in the MassLive article, the C’s are in a position where, much to fans’ dismay, the best option may be to just suffer through a season of poor rebounding.
They could trade for Noel, but there’s likely a huge disconnect between what Bryan Colangelo thinks he should get fro Noel, and what even the stupidest team in the NBA would offer for him. Right now, I wouldn’t trade anything for Noel other than a bench player or a late first round draft pick. Not both. You’re looking at a potential three month rental of a guy and Philly has zero leverage. Bogut’s got a contract. And after that where are you? Sacramento’s too stupid to trade WCS, even though they have about as much use for him as Philly has for Noel.
Page 3: Where Rozier’s back in the rotation
What we saw from Terry Rozier Wednesday night may not have been a given a couple of weeks earlier.
The 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting (2-of-3 treys), the four rebounds and the plus-19 in 25 minutes on the floor in the 117-108 win over Washington might not have been in him. He admitted that it’s possible he wouldn’t have been ready to react this way.
He’d played in the season’s first 30 games, averaging 18.0 minutes, 5.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists as the Celts, though dogged by injuries to some key regulars, ran out to a 17-13 start.
Then on Christmas Day — poof — it was gone. That afternoon in New York, if Rozier had found lumps of coal in his special NBA merchandise holiday-themed hoop stockings and left them there, it wouldn’t have mattered. He didn’t get off the pine.
Welcome to the up-and-down world of rookies and second-year players. Adjusting to the rigors of an NBA schedule that has always had too many games in it (The regular season is like six months long, and at the end of 82 games, not even half the teams in the league have been eliminated from the playoffs) is tough. Adjusting to a much higher level of competition is tough. Adjusting to reduced practice times is tough. You can’t get too down on these young guys when they have rough patches. It’s to be expected.
Finally: Some tweets!
IT was on “Area 21”:
The rest of the links
CSNNE: Garnett to Thomas: ‘I’ve got you in the conversation for MVP’ | Scalabrine: Celtics have to embrace their hard-nose identity | Five takeaways from the Celtics’ win over Wizards: Plenty in reserve | Mickey ‘nervous’ but settles in for Celtics in first NBA start