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 kind of messed the play up. That’s why it looked like that,” Tatum said of the last-ditch scramble with 8.4 seconds left, after Carmelo Anthony let the Celtics back in with two missed free throws.
“That was my fault, I was in the wrong spot,” said the Celtics rookie, who led the way with 23 points. “Terry (Rozier) was supposed to come off a screen, and if he didn’t have a shot, then try to create. Then he couldn’t get open. Al (Horford) caught it, swung to me, they were collapsing all night. I tried to drive, found one of the guys. Luckily he hit it so we didn’t have to go into overtime.”
Instead, the Celtics walked away with an entirely different feeling from last Wednesday’s double overtime loss to Washington in the Garden.
Morris, who has never passed up a shot opportunity, didn’t need to think twice once Tatum got the ball to him out of the scrum. He lost Paul George with a pump fake before launching the shot over Steven Adams.
“Hesitation? I don’t even know how to spell hesitation. I have no hesitation never,” stressed Morris, a 21-point scorer. “I pump-faked and stepped to the side. It was a good shot. It meant a lot to me. I’m not going to tell you why, but it meant a lot.”
I winced as Marcus Morris jacked up that shot because 1) he appeared to be double covered and 2) Al Horford* was WIDE open.
But the replay showed Morris created a good deal of space with that crafty side step and he nailed it.
The Celtics hung tough all night but I kept waiting for the Thunder blitz that would bury them. There were a few runs but this Boston team never quits. When the hell am I going to learn that despite the names on the floor, they are never out of a game.
According to ESPN, “prior to last night’s game teams were 0-884 this season when trailing by 5 or more points in the final 20 seconds of the game. The Celtics trailed by 5 with 16.8 seconds to go and won.”
And there’s this:
There are so damn good teams on that list.
*Horford is 11-38 in the three games since his illness. He’s shooting 40% in March. On top of that, he looks slower than usual. Not Greg Monroe slow, but I’m concerned.
On Page 2, Brad seems optimistic about Kyrie’s knee.
“Just continued soreness is what’s made the decision not to play tonight, and made the decision to not go on the trip, and seek outside counsel,” said Stevens. “It’s not new pain by any means, nothing new. Continued soreness.
“So still the same thing that we’ve talked about. That knee has been sore. But he worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season and I think he’s had some pretty good days recently so I’m encouraged by it in the big picture,” he said. “He’s going to get a second opinion, that’s why he probably won’t go on the trip. And again I think that’s smart of him. But I haven’t talked with him yet since that decision was made. Or I haven’t talked to Danny (Ainge) or our staff about it.”
I may have been in full blown panic mode yesterday but the calm, soothing, logical tone of our fearless leader has brought me off the ledge.
Fingers crossed the second opinion confirms that Irving isn’t putting himself at risk by playing through the
pain discomfort soreness.
Related links: Globe – Celtics could hurt themselves if they rush Irving