Celtics learning from grind-it-out games

949741.jpg

Celtics learning from grind-it-out games

BOSTON Sunday's overtime win at Orlando would not have come about if not for the collective efforts of just about every Celtic who got a chance to play.

It was a pretty typical night for the Celtics, one filled with drama brought on by the opponent . . . as well as themselves.

Boston's started strong, especially on the glass, only to be surpassed when Orlando erased a 12-point Celtics lead in the third quarter. Boston then rallied in the fourth and went into full blown takeover-mode in the overtime period in pulling out a 116-110 victory over the Magic.

Maybe just as important, it was yet another gut-check game for the Celtics (8-6) that required them to push themselves harder than usual in order to get the win.

Of Boston's eight wins this season, six have been by six points or less.

"We've been grinding a lot of games out," said Boston's Brandon Bass who had 13 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. "Now it's time for us to blow some teams out. But I'm happy with the win."

It's all part of this self-discovery mission the Celtics are on, one that they hopes will bring about a greater understanding not just of how to play well together, but also how to find different ways to win.

"We let them back in the game so we had to find a way to win," said Boston's Paul Pierce. "That was what it was all about . . . finding a way to win. We had to grind it out. That's what we did."

Once the game went into overtime, it was clear that Boston's level of intensity and focus on details had skyrocketed. The Celtics closed out the overtime period by limiting the Magic to just 1-for-8 shooting.

Kevin Garnett doesn't believe there's a need for close, grind-it-out games. However, he does recognize their value in terms of helping foster more team unity and cohesiveness.

"It does build character," said Garnett who added, "and you do as a team, young and old, you do get better and you do learn something from it. Anything you can learn from, it's a positive."

Tuesday, July 26: Daley’s surprise visit with the Cup

cp_morning_skate-.jpg

Tuesday, July 26: Daley’s surprise visit with the Cup

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while never getting tired of the Bernie Sanders/Curb Your Enthusiasm parallels.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Trevor Daley making a surprise visit with the Stanley Cup and talking more about his emotional moment hoisting the Cup right after the win by the Penguins.

*Don Cherry and Ron MacLean get their just reward with a star on the Canada Walk of Fame after years of great hockey entertainment.

*Adam Larsson has heard the fan reaction in Edmonton after being traded for Taylor Hall, and he’s downplaying it all.

*A lack of a deal for RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba with the Winnipeg Jets doesn’t mean Trouba trouble quite yet. But it sure doesn’t sound like things are all ducky in Winnipeg.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Rosen sits down with Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka to answer five questions about his new gig, and some big changes for the Desert Dogs.

*Scott Powers has Jimmy Vesey’s camp confirming that the Chicago Blackhawks will be one of the teams on Vesey’s “short list” when he speaks with teams on Aug. 15. Watch out for Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks, who have been out to see Vesey a couple of times in Foxboro over the last month.

*The Washington Capitals continue to build depth among their forward group, and have constructed a strong roster for next season.

*For something completely different: if you love baseball or have ever enjoyed some of the truly great Dan Shaughnessy columns over the years, you will enjoy this column from Shaughnessy about his Hall of Fame induction. Congrats to Dan, a true titan in our industry.