• Let’s start with the important stuff: The team’s health. Brian Robb got you updated on the prognoses of KG (out 10 days, maybe more) and Rondo (appears likely to play Wednesday at Miami), but Pierce gave reporters the full medical rundown on his right knee yesterday. Here’s the Truth, via Mark Murphy at the Herald:
“At this point it’s all in my pain threshold,” Pierce, who yesterday jumped rope and rode an exercise bicycle for the first time since the issues arose, said of not worrying about further damage to the knee. “No ligament damage, no tear. The swelling is going down every day. I measure it every day, ice it, keep my leg strong. . . . Right now I can’t bend it all the way back when I want to, but when I can I’ll probably be able to play.”
All good news. In the same story, Pierce says his white blood cell count was through the roof when he had the first of two procedures done early on Dec. 23, meaning his immune system was fighting something. Here’s Pierce playing doctor on the possible cause:
“(The) infection somehow got into the leg. I got a cut on my toe from the locker room and it could have been that, but I have no idea.”
Interesting stuff, though I have no clue about the medical plausibility of this theory.
• In shocking news, Sheed is angry about his technical last night, according to same Herald piece.
Here’s Sheed on his double tech with Hedo Turkoglu:
“That was some B.S.,” Wallace said. “We both went up for a rebound (and got tangled up). He swung his arm and hit me in the chest. If anything, it should be a double foul. I know why they did it, but I ain’t even tripping on it.”
Let me state this clearly for Sheed and Perk: If you swing your arms in a violent, exaggerated motion during an entanglement, some refs are going to whistle you for a technical. It doesn’t matter if the other guy swings first, though I think Sheed is exaggerating the extent to which Turkoglu “swung” any body part in his direction last night. It’s an aggressive motion, it’s unnecessary and some refs really don’t like it. If you don’t want the technicals, stop doing the arm flail.
• Speaking of techs, Perk had his long-awaited (by about three-dozen hard core C’s fans, anyway) meeting with Stu Jackson, the NBA disciplinary czar, about the possibility of rescinding one or two of Perk’s 10 technicals. Here’s the low down, via the Herald:
Perkins, who is appealing his two most recent techs, talked Friday with NBA discipline czar Stu Jackson. The league has yet to announce a decision on the appeal.
“I think we’ll get something accomplished,” Perkins said.
• Rod Thorn, the Nets president, says Perk deserves All-Star consideration. Via the Herald’s Mark Murphy again:
“Perkins is certainly deserving,” Nets president Rod Thorn said. “He’s become one of the best, if not the best, defensive one-on-one centers in the league.”
Perk’s not going to make it to Dallas, but the praise is nice and well-deserved.
• In some really interesting comments, Doc and the players discussed how they adjusted the offense to make up for the absences of their point guard, captain and primary post threat. In short: They simplified the number of basic sets and added in some new wrinkles to those sets. Here’s Doc in the Globe’s Celtics Blog:
“You know, yesterday all we did, we worked on keeping it simple, four sets only, multiple passes, and less dribble for the team. That’s all we talked about.”
You could definitely see this watching the game. The C’s started an unusually large number of possessions in a common set you see across the NBA: The ball-handler dribbling at the top of the three point arc with two bigs stationed at the elbows ready to receive a pass or set screens. From this set, the handler can call for a screen or (more common, especially with House as the handler) pass to one of the bigs at the elbows and cut into the teeth of the defense to set a screen for someone else on the wing.
But as I mentioned in my recap, the C’s added some new wrinkles last night to match their new line-ups, including one funky play involving House and Scalabrine setting screens for each other.
The coaches and players discussed how the C’s were both simple and creative last night. Here’s Doc (via the Globe’s Julian Benbow):
Rivers only put in four plays, and emphasized more passing and less dribbling. And when the situation called for more plays, then so did Rivers.
“In some ways, I never called more plays probably in my life,’’ Rivers said. “But we knew that coming in.’’
And Ray Allen talking to WEEI’s Jess Camerato:
“The beautiful thing is, yesterday when we went through practice we were going through plays and it is a little different for certain guys being in different positions,” Ray Allen explained after the game.
TA told Camerato something similar:
“I think it was, it started from practice,” Tony Allen said. “We had a lot of, like just dummy offenses, a lot of hard sets we had to run without defense knowing our assists.”
Doc Rivers and his staff can coach offense. Period.
• Tony Allen appears to be OK after hyper-extending his left arm in the 4th quarter collision with Marcus Banks, according to Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston:
He didn’t look much worse for the wear after the game and said he’d come in for treatment Sunday, but expected to be fine when the Celtics resume practice Monday.
The C’s really need TA right now. That is not a joke.
• Doc hinted after the game that he may not trust TA to handle the ball if teams decide to press the C’s full court, as Toronto did once or twice last night. Via Frank Dell’Apa at the Globe:
I thought Marcus Banks did a pretty good job of applying single point-guard pressure. I thought they may do that, just with their point guard getting up into our guards. But, if you noticed, that’s why Ray [Allen] brought it up a lot.
• Only one of Big Baby’s nine shot attempts last night was a jumper, and Baby is still getting his jumper back into game shape after breaking part of his shooting hand before the season, according to the Herald’s Steve Buckley:
Does he still have that nice jump shot he picked up last year?
“I still have it,” he said, “but when you break your hand you have to re-train it. You have to re-invent it, just get that feeling back. You know, I’ve got tape on it. I just have to mentally get back in that mode.
“But right now, I don’t have to shoot from outside. I just have to keep working on it to develop it.”
Davis has looked sensational so far, considering he is recovering from one old injury (the broken hand) and one new one (the sprained ankle). If you still think he should have to compete with Shelden Williams for minutes, I don’t know what to tell you.
• Finally, I’ll end the notebook with this quote from Raps rookie DeMar DeRozan (via ESPNBoston):
“Without their main players, they still go out there and play tough, play hard, and play like they want to be a championship team.”
Damn right, rook.