The Celtics have gotten rid of their morning walkthrough, but that doesn't mean we have to. Here are a few Celtics links, and maybe even an NBA link or two, to help wake you up and get you focused for the day.
Zach Lowe, CelticsHub - "I’ll be honest, though: I was a little surprised to see the C’s starters leading the league again this season. My impression has been that Doc is experimenting with different line-ups more often now than in either ‘08 or ‘09. I’ve written before that Doc has never—almost literally never—played KG without both Ray and Pierce on the floor alongside him. That has changed a bit this season; half of the five-man units KG has spent the most time with include just one of the other Big Three members, according to 82games. But about 500 of KG’s 700 minutes played have come as part of the starting line-up, so the more diverse usage of KG is really just picking at the margins. We’ve also seen Doc play Eddie House more with the starters as the first man off the bench, a move that has allowed Rondo to take a new leadership role with line-ups that usually include three back-ups and one other starter. I suspect we would have seen even more of this sort of experimentation if not for the Marquis Daniels injury. And yet still: The C’s starters spend a ton of time playing together."
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE - "There's no universal currency when it comes to measuring the value of stellar point guard play. But make no mistake about it. The play of Rajon Rondo during Boston's 10-game winning streak has been priceless. Rondo's numbers - 13.2 points, 10.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds - during the streak tell the story of his versatility. But it's what he has done for the rest of the team that has coach Doc Rivers excited about his budding point guard prodigy. 'It's great where he's at mentally with our team,' Rivers said. 'If we come down and take three or four shots without running our offense, he'll slow it down and get us in a set. That's a sign of a great point guard.'"
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe - "Weeks ago there was hesitation. Rondo would pause before taking a jumper and then either force the shot or attempt an acrobatic drive. That is no longer the case. 'I’m taking [the jumper] more. I am getting it with the shot clock running, trying not to settle for the jump shot, [but] I don’t mind taking it at all,' he said. 'I just try to be efficient as much as possible. Teams are giving me the shot and I am taking it this year and I think that’s the only difference. I have more freedom. I don’t know what it is, I am just shooting it.' Coach Doc Rivers has been pushing his point guard to shoot more. First, the more Rondo shoots, the more confidence he gets. Second, the more he draws defenders, the more he can drive past them for a dish to a teammate or layup. 'It’s great where he is at mentally, he understands our team,' Rivers said. 'If we come down and take three or four shots without running the offense, he’ll slow us down and get us in a set. That’s the sign of a great point guard. He’s become a leader on our team and I think that’s the step he’s taken this year. Our guys now want to follow him and that’s huge when your point guard is your leader.'"
Jeff Clark, CelticsBlog - "Call me greedy, but I want a little more. I'm looking forward to one game in particular 12 days from now. Last year this team had some similar themes that were concerning. The team ran over lesser teams but hit a brick wall against the Lakers and staggered through a rough stretch. They got their mojo somewhat back down the stretch but we don't know how good the team could have been with a healthy KG in place. The Magic beat us in November, which appears to have motivated the team to step it up a notch. They haven't lost since and they get their chance at revenge on Christmas day. I want that win. I want it badly."
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald - "Lester Hudson, the pride of Central High, was very much looking forward to coming home. In fact, he will find it hard not to be a little sentimental tonight when he takes the FedEx Forum floor in his Celtics uniform. After working his way through community college and Tennessee-Martin, the 25-year-old rookie guard has reached this level against strong odds. 'I think about it all the time because it was my dream,' Hudson said. 'It was the dream of everyone in here to be an NBA player. It was rough for me growing up, and there were times I didn’t know it was going to happen. I doubted myself. But I kept working hard, and I had good people in my corner - family and friends and my coaches.'"