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.
There will be no sellout crowd to greet the Celtics Saturday in Atlanta. They will look up at thousands of empty seats in Philips Arena — a far cry from Thursday in the Garden when a full house stood for long stretches as the home team came back to defeat Golden State.
What inspiration they draw from beyond the court will be via the numerous New England transplants that will attend and, if the circumstances are right, drown out the Hawks’ supporters.
The beat goes on, folks. Win or lose, there’s another game coming up shortly this time of the year. The next team you face doesn’t care whether you played well or lousy against the last team, and that win against Golden State will mean about as much tonight as Tuesday’s win over Brooklyn meant on Thursday.
Aside from Jaylen Brown and maybe Al Horford, it’s going to be pretty hard for the Celtics to find much outside motivation for this game. Having beaten Golden State, honestly, each one of the next 66 games is winnable, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to win all 66, and with the way the Celtics have been playing, it seems likely that the inevitable next loss is going to come in a game like tonight’s–against an iffy team on an off-day playing on the road in an empty stadium. I’m not trying to jinx or reverse jinx the Celtics tonight, but I’m happy to take credit for either outcome.
Page 2: Where Danny Ainge and Bobby Doerr went way back
“Our relationship was great,” Ainge said. “I loved him. He really cared. I thought he was a great teacher. He had a very calm and trusting demeanor. I thought he was brilliant in his ways of teaching hitting.”
Doerr, a Hall of Famer and nine-time All-Star, died Monday at the age of 99. He saw Ainge blossom into an NBA All-Star and two-time world champion in Boston, the same city where Doerr shined for 14 seasons. But their unlikely bond was created in Toronto, after Doerr had left Boston.
“I learned a lot from him about just the mental part of hitting,” Ainge said. “He would talk about that a lot. He would talk to me about strategies of most pitchers. It was just amazing how he was able to teach me about just thinking the game of baseball.”
Ainge, who was just 20 years old during his rookie season with the Blue Jays, said that Doerr would often sit with him in the dugout and analyze games in real time. He had an uncanny ability to look at the pitcher, the batter, and the circumstance, and predict exactly what would happen next.
Bobby Doerr played his first game in the majors in 1937.
Bill Russell was 3 years old in 1937. Lou Gehrig was still playing first base for the Yankees. Connie Mack was still managing the Philadelphia Athletics. There was a basketball team called the Celtics back then, but they were from New York and they played in the American Basketball League.
Bobby was already in his 60s when Ainge met him in ’79. He seems to have taken a shine to Ainge, possibly because they both hailed from Oregon (Bobby by choice, Danny by birth).
The rest of the links
NBC Sports Boston: Scalabrine on Jaylen Brown: ‘This guy is a gamer’
Photo credit: MrMichael/Weather Underground