Celtics trying to establish a home court presence


Celtics trying to establish a home court presence

BOSTON To have a 16-17 record is bad enough for the Boston Celtics. Realizing that only one team (the Minnesota Timberwolves) had more home games prior to the All-Star break than the C's is downright depressing.

The Garden has been affectionately referred to as the jungle for all the rough and tumble action teams expect when they're on the Green Team's turf.

But this year?

It's been more like a jungle gym as the Celtics sport an 11-8 home record, the kind of mediocrity that they know can't continue if they're to make a surge record-wise.

"We gotta go home and play better basketball," said Paul Pierce. "That's something we've been thinking about, something we've been talking about, just playing better at home. If we played better at home in the first part (of the season), we know we'd have a better record. That's on us, to take care of business at home."

Winning at home is important, obviously.

For the Celtics, winning period is what really matters at this point.

"Momentum is important for us right now," said Kevin Garnett, whose strong play in Tuesday's win at Cleveland helped snap a five-game losing streak. "We playing every other day, and this is going to be a grind, a true grind physically. Mentally, we have to be into it and prepare and just be ready to hoop."

And as far as winning at home, Garnett added, "We have to establish some type of presence at home, and it starts (tonight against Milwaukee)."

Said Rajon Rondo: "We need to establish a presence, period. We're trying to get back on track some how, some way. It starts with a win (over the Cavs), try to follow with another win (tonight over Milwaukee)."

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back


Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.

*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.

*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.

*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.

*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.

*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.

*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.


Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

Kyrie goes back to the mask tonight

The mask will be back tonight in Atlanta for Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics guard told reporters at the team's shootaround Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Hawks - where Boston will try and win its 15th in a row - that he'll grudgingly go back to wearing the clear plastic facemask he had been using to protect a facial fracture he suffered last week. 

Irving wore the mask against Brooklyn for a full game earlier in the week then ditched it in the second half of the victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. He shot just 4-for-16 from the field (1-for-5 on 3's) against the Warriors and has made no secret of his disdain for wearing it.