A few links of interest:
• The Herald reports the following:
Sources have told the Herald that he is leaning toward leaving the bench after this season, but Rivers insisted yesterday no final decision has been made.
This could either be a huge story or a case of the paper getting a bit ahead of the actual news. I’m pretty confident Doc wouldn’t blind-side the C’s. If he does leave, it will be fascinating to see whether the C’s promote Tom Thibodeau.
• Bill Walker gets the full New York Times profile treatment, courtesy of Jonathan Abrams, one of the NYT’s great NBA writers. The gist: The last two months represented Walker’s chance to prove he belongs in the NBA. Did he do enough? Here’s Doc:
“He needed to get on the court and play,” Rivers said. “I told him I thought it was very important that he actually went there and had an opportunity to play games and he needed it. He’s been injured most of his career, and he just needed to prove to people that he can play.”
Walker’s impressive instincts as a scorer are his best assets, as evidenced by a 53.2 percent mark from the floor and an average of 16.4 points per 40 minutes.
Regardless, after battling his way back from multiple knee injuries, he’s clearly an NBA-caliber player.
In other news: Nate Robinson will not be on the Celtics next season. That’s not a judgement of the trade, which I still believe was a calculated risk worth taking. It’s just reality.
• Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus picks his All-Defense teams, and you might be surprised to know two Celtics make the first team.
Pelton makes his selections based on both his observations and some of the formulas BP uses to try and measure defense, including one (developed by Bradford Doolittle) which measures the production levels of a player’s head-to-head counterpart. If over the course of the season opposing power forwards produce at about 75 percent of their normal level when matched against KG, the measure will spit out that KG has held opponents 25 percent below their average production.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a solid start.
First Team – Kevin Garnett, Boston
Yes, Garnett has lost a step. Yes, players can occasionally turn the corner on him defensively, which was unthinkable just two years ago. Still, Garnett had room to slip slightly while remaining among the league’s better defenders. His numbers continue to put him at an elite level, and a Boston defense that ranks fourth in the league in per-possession scoring still relies heavily on Garnett’s presence as a quarterback on defense. Opponents have been 25.0 percent less productive than usual against Garnett, tops among power forwards.
• I’ve never watched one second of Glee, though a lot of folks I know enjoy it. There is a character on Glee called Artie Abrams, apparently. New York Magazine describes him as a “wheelchair-bound nerd.” The actor who portrays Artie Abrams is named Kevin McHale. So naturally, New York decided to do one of those compare-and-contrast charticles about the two Kevin McHales.
If you enjoy Glee, you’ll probably like it, and the person who wrote it clearly knows hoops.
• Finally, a reminder: The Celtics will play the Heat in the first round of the playoffs unless the following happen tonight:
1) The Bucks beat the Celtics. I’d consider this at least a 50/50 proposition, with the C’s locked into the 4th seed;
2) The Nets beat the Heat. If the Heat care about playing the C’s instead of the Hawks—and they probably do, though not as much as their fans do—New Jersey should have very little chance of pulling this off.
But if you’d prefer a match-up with the Bucks, root for New Jersey to get win #13 tonight.