Let’s start with the important stuff after another absolutely miserable night in Golden State, where (just like last year), the C’s lost a frustrating game the night after losing an equally frustrating game at the beginning stages of the season’s first West Coast swing.
* Glen Davis’ status is uncertain after he sprained his right ankle in the 4th quarter. Per the Globe’s Celtics Blog:
The bad news: Glen “Big Baby” Davis left the arena on crutches and told reporters he has a sprained right ankle. He was wearing a protective boot and said he couldn’t walk without aid. He could be out for an extended period. He didn’t sound positive. X-rays were negative.
Davis sprained the ankle in an ugly collision with Golden State’s rugged Rony Turiaf, in which Davis was called for the offensive foul. Turiaf landed awkwardly and fell on Davis’ ankle.
“I sprained the ankle before (as in last season), so hopefully I’ll be back soon,” he said. “I can’t walk. If I can’t walk, I can’t run.”
It was nice having Glen back, wasn’t it? Nine offensive boards in two games—despite limited minutes—for a team that badly needs those ORBs. Get well, Baby.
* Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston points out that Baby’s injury opens the door for Shelden Williams to re-establish his role on the team after not seeing the floor in three of Boston’s last four games.
* Rajon Rondo has played the last two games with a sore left hamstring, which makes the number of minutes he is playing (46 last night against the Dubs) both impressive and worrisome. I’ve already written how the Daniels and Pierce injuries compromise the point guard rotation, but 46 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back in late December is just too many. Especially if the guy is hurt.
And he’s hurting. Here’s Doc, via the Herald:
“I thought he played terrific all night,” said Rivers. “His hamstring is bothering him. We almost took him out at the end but he just wanted to keep playing, and he played great.”
Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston says Rondo first “tweaked” the hamstring against the Clippers.
I hate the worked “tweaked”.
A “tweak” as an adjustment or slight change, right? Does saying Rondo “tweaked” the injury against the Clippers mean it already existed to a lesser degree? Or that the injury itself is so minor as to be classified as a “tweak” rather than a real injury.
In any case, hamstrings are funny things. Keep your fingers crossed.
* Speaking of Rajon, he hit 7-of-9 from the foul line last night and generally seems unconcerned with his key free throw misses Sunday at the Clippers. Here’s Rajon talking to Gary Washburn of the Globe:
“I felt confident shooting them,’’ he said. “The first one was long and the second one was long. I kept my follow-through up, I think. I was breathing, took my time – I just missed it.’’
Good for him. It also helps to have someone as thoughtful as KG (with experience being labeled a choker to boot!) on the team. Here’s how KG described his post-game free throw chat with Rajon to the Herald’s Steve Bulpett:
“I told him after the game, ‘Man, we’ve all been in that position. We’ve all made them; we’ve all missed them,” Kevin Garnett said before last night’s 103-99 loss to the Warriors. “And more than less, I’ve got the confidence in you to go back up there and make those.’ That’s the confidence I’ve got in Rondo. If he was to go up there a hundred times, I’m going to support him a hundred times, if not a hundred and one.”
He shared tales of his own failures, saying, “I have actually airballed game-winners. I think when we had a chance to put the Lakers away I missed two big free throws. I mean, it’s what gives you tough skin.
“And I told Rondo the true essence and the true meaning of confidence is being able to step back up there and take them. A lot of people don’t want to be in that position. A lot of people shy away from that. Things happen to certain individuals, and he’s a special one. You know what? He’ll grow. This is part of it. It’s part of growing pains, and you live and learn with it.”
Fantastic stuff. KG’s reputation as a person has suffered a bit the last two seasons, since the trade from Minnesota to a suddenly elite Boston team exposed his trash talking and huge profanity problem to a larger viewing audience. Observers have labeled him a bully, an irritant and someone who crosses the line of appropriateness with his chatter.
Frankly, some of KG’s antics—particularly his antics on the bench during the playoffs last season—verged on the embarrassing. And to some people, they will overshadow the crucial leadership role he plays for this team, because the antics are so public while much of his leadership occurs in quiet conversations like this one.
It’s good to hear more than the usual platitudes about one of those conversations.
* Also from the Herald: Doc got the team some cool Christmas gifts:
Coach Doc Rivers played Santa to the players, giving each “Beats by Dr. Dre” headphones for Christmas. The noise-canceling sets are green with each player’s number on top and the word “Ubuntu” on the earpiece.
How much would you throw down for one of those at a charity auction? Also: Nice to see Ubuntu featured prominently.
* Finally, in the interest of fairness: In Saturday’s notebook post, I mocked Stan Van Gundy for complaining about playing on Christmas just a few months after complaining about not receiving what he considered the showcase TV slot on Christmas. Stan is a whiner. This is indisputable.
But Doc has his own gripes about the C’s schedule, and I wanted to highlight them here as well. Per the Herald:
“A Christmas Day game – a high-intensity game – plus six hours of travel I don’t think ever goes hand in hand,” he said. “You know, it’s strange where you live in Boston, you fly all the way to Florida to go to the West Coast. I don’t know the routing, but I know that’s not good routing.”
Nice finish, Doc: “That’s not good routing.”
In any case, complaining about the schedule is like complaining about the weather. It’s worth complaining about, but it is out of your control.
Let’s regroup and get a win tomorrow against the Suns, who blew out the Artest-less Lakers last night.