Pierce still waiting for breakout game

600734.jpg

Pierce still waiting for breakout game

BOSTON Rajon Rondo has had multiple big-game performances for the Celtics in this still-young NBA season.

Ray Allen has come up big. So has Jermaine O'Neal at different moments. Most recently, it was Kevin Garnett who shined.

Don't think for a minute that Paul Pierce doesn't recognize this, well aware that at some point he too will be needed to carry the C's to victory.

That time could be tonight when the Celtics cap off a back-to-back set of games against the Washington Wizards, the same Wizards team they beat 94-86 on Sunday.

"I'm going to be one of the last guys to have a breakout game, but that's all right," Pierce said. "I'm going to get into the flow as time goes along."

Pierce missed all of training camp minus one day of practice, and sat out the first three games with a bone bruise in his right heel.

In the two games since he returned, the captain has averaged 10.5 points, five rebounds and four assists. But the most important number of all is two, as in two wins in Pierce's two games.

Pierce expects his breakout game to come sometime this month.

"I'd say about eight games," Pierce said. "I use the eight games like a preseason; the eight game preseason we didn't have."

While he's in no rush, the schedule might speed up that timetable as early as tonight as the Celtics host one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Washington (0-4) is the only team in the NBA yet to win a game. This would mark the fourth time in franchise history that the Wizards (and formerly the Bullets) were the last team to win a game with the most recent occurrence being in 2008.

"We still have a lot of work to do," said Wizards guard Roger Mason Jr. "I see a lot of things that we are doing that are encouraging for the future of this season, but we still need to get that first win."

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Monday, March 27: Hall call for Habs' Markov?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, with crunch time coming in the NHL.

*Jack Todd says that the Hall of Fame needs to reserve a spot for Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov. Is he Hall of Fame material, or Hall of Very Good material?

*The playoff streak is coming to an end for Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Red Wings finish out a lost season.

*Thanks to PHT writer James O’Brien for providing the kind of relaxing hockey moment that any dog lover could appreciate.

*Boston College standout Colin White has signed an amateur tryout deal with the Senators, but it remains to be seen if the entry level contract is coming.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mitch Melnick offers his hot takes about the Canadiens after a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

*The US men’s hockey team may join the women’s team in boycotting the world championships if there isn’t a resolution soon.

*A group of longtime Leafs writers share some of their best stories from the press box

*In the shameless interest of self-promotion, here’s my hit with Toucher and Rich this morning talking about riding the hot hand with Anton Khudobin.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers wonders if a lopsided loss will snap the Blackhawks out of their malaise.

*Sidney Crosby fires back at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk after he called the NHL star a whiner recently.

*For something completely different: getting to know new CSNPhilly.com baseball analyst John Kruk, who we all should know pretty well at this point.

 

 

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

BOSTON –  Like most of the NBA’s Millennials, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is active on social media.

But if you holla at him on Twitter or Instagram these days, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back anytime soon.
 
That’s because Brown is stepping away from the social media game to better focus on his first postseason journey with the Celtics, which begins next month.
 
Brown said he isn’t the only player inside the Celtics locker room who has pledged to do things differently leading up to the playoffs.
 
More than anything, the changes Brown speaks of are symbolic to illustrate the need for everyone to make sacrifices critical for a team’s success.
 
“I’ve paid attention to that, how a lot of guys are making the sacrifices necessary to add to this team,” Brown said. “Some guys are only drinking water. Some guys are cutting out cursing or other aspects. Some guys have some personal stuff...Everybody is putting themselves in that mind frame to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”
 
He added that taking a step back from social media was just one of a handful of changes he has made leading up to the playoffs.
 
“Some are personal, but some, just being a lot more focused and more locked in, eliminating distractions,” Brown told CSNNE.com. “This generation, we’re so social media dependent. So just eliminating that, filling that in with other stuff whether it’s gym time or film or just time to yourself instead of it being so predicated on the cell phone.”
 
Brown understands the battle Boston (48-26) is in for the top spot in the East heading into the playoffs and how important getting that would be to this team.


 
“It means a lot, especially being a rookie from my perspective, being on a team that’s number one seed in the East and being a contributor.” Brown said. “What more could you ask for, coming in to the league, coming into the NBA. It’s been great for me. It’s been a blessing.”
 
While Brown has had his share of ups and downs as a rookie, there’s no ignoring the fact that he’s progressing at a brisk rate.

“Offensively, I’m getting a little more comfortable scoring the ball; mid-range game, I’m developing,” he said. “Defensively, being in the right spot at the right time, stuff like that. I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go.”