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.
Danny Ainge on @Toucherandrich: Isaiah Thomas got a PRP injection for groin injury yesterday. Hinted he’s unlikely to play vs Raptors.
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) December 8, 2016
My initial reaction to the Celtics’ thumping of the Magic sans IT was, “good to know the Cs can rise to the occasion without their leading scorer. Glad we’ll have him back on Friday.”
Well, that’s not happening. In a game that will serve as a chance to dipstick where the Celtics are in the eastern conference, they won’t have their straw that stirs the drink.
Maybe, though, that drink is better shaken, not stirred. The Cs ball movement was the best it’s been all season in Orlando. They scored from all over the court and played beautiful offensive basketball. Now, the Magic were willing participants in all of this, but if the offense hums like this again on Friday night, without Thomas, against a conference rival, maybe Brad Stevens will need to reevaluate the offensive scheme when IT returns.
Please don’t mistake this for a hot take about how the Celtics should ditch Isaiah Thomas. But last night was far and away the best game the Celtics have put together all season. If they can approach something like that again tomorrow night, it gets you thinking.
On page 2, talking about what Brown did for the Cs last night
Racing free into the paint when his defender whiffed on a steal attempt, Brown soared over Orlando Magic 7-footer Nikola Vucevic and threw down an emphatic tomahawk slam that left the Boston bench stumbling onto the floor in celebration.
After a couple of near misses this season, including on opening night when he came close to a poster dunk on the Brooklyn Nets‘ Justin Hamilton, Brown produced what teammates are certain is just the first entry in a future YouTube dunk compilation.
“Just know that you’re going to see a lot more of that in his career,” Avery Bradley said. “Jaylen’s a really good player, and he gets us going.”
Brown’s dunk, as he would later admit, was largely inconsequential in Wednesday’s game. The Magic shot 80 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half, and Brown’s two first-half dunks did little to cool them off.
But on a night the Celtics played without All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas(groin strain), it was the energy and effort that younger players such as Brown contributed that helped the Celtics run away with a 117-87 triumph at the Amway Center.
ESPN Boston – Jaylen Brown’s big dunk aids Boston Celtics win
I screamed so loud as Jaylen Brown thundered down the lane and unfurled a vicious slam on the poor head of Nik Vucevic that my girlfriend, who’s sick and was asleep in the other room, rushed out of bed to ask me what was wrong.
Oh, nothing, just a special delivery from Brown, who flashes just enough in this rookie season to put visions in your head of what’s possible down the road.
Overall, it was incredibly encouraging to see guys like Brown and Terry Rozier step up last night in Isaiah’s absence. For as much as this season has been one of fits and starts for a team with high expectations, it’s important to remember that the Cs are giving veteran Evan Turner’s minutes to young guys who are still growing.
Hopefully, as the season continues on, these guys continue putting in performances like last night.
Herald – Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown take advantage of more minutes
And finally, the Clippers still can’t beat the Warriors
Golden State lacked its usual outside shooting touch. The Warriors still had an easy time with the Clippers.
Klay Thompson scored 24 points, Draymond Green added 22 points and the Warriors won 115-98 Wednesday night for their seventh straight victory over Los Angeles.
Stephen Curry had 19 points for Golden State, and Kevin Durant, who came in averaging a team-best 27.0 points, was held to 16 on 5-of-17 shooting.
Curry failed to make a 3-pointer for just the second time this season, going 0 of 8. The Warriors were 7 of 30 from long range.
Associated Press – Warriors rout Clippers 115-90 for 7th straight win over LA
Remember last month when the Clippers, a collection of all-star caliber guys that have played together over multiple years, were looking like the toast of the Western Conference and possibly a true threat to the super-villain Warriors?
Yeah, well, probably not.
If the Warriors are coasting over the Clippers while erratic from downtown, there’s a slim chance LA can win a 7 game series against them.
Just keep paving the way for the last chapter of The Trilogy this June.