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Doc Rivers ‘very concerned’ about Nemo after effects

02.10.13 at 5:55 pm ET
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As Nemo was belting New England Friday night and Saturday morning, all Doc Rivers could do was stay inside in his Boston home, cook up a batch of gumbo and watch – what else – basketball.

“I cooked some gumbo,” Rivers said when asked how he kept himself busy. “I went out on the blizzard night because my oldest [Jeremiah] was in. He’s from Florida and he’s never been in one. So I thought he should experience it. We walked about a half block and he wanted to turn around — that was disappointing. But it was cool. It was really neat seeing the city with no one in it, at least no cars. It was great.”

While the Bruins did everything in their power to get in Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay before the NHL, city of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts stepped, Rivers likewise thought there might be some way to get his team out to Waltham for a practice.

“Trust me, we tried everything we could [Saturday], even into the evening I had guys in our [director of] security, Mr. Phil Lynch, thought it would be very dangerous, and he was right, which I hate to say that,” Rivers said. “So I’m very concerned. We even contemplated going this morning on a 6 o’clock game, it’s just tough when you have two days off. What actually concerned me more is that Denver was playing last night, because you knew they would come in with rhythm.

“But there’s nothing you can do. We came earlier than usual this evening [to TD Garden], and actually went over stuff at a real pace. I don’t know what that does, but it makes me feel better.”

But not much. Rivers knows his team will have a monumental challenge in handling the Nuggets, winners of nine straight, including a victory in Cleveland Saturday night. The Nuggets didn’t get into Boston until 3 a.m. Sunday, not leaving much time for coach George Karl and the Nuggets to get ready. Still, the Nuggets (33-18) are impressive, just 5.5 games behind Oklahoma City in the Northwest Division.

“Because they run, they play together,” Rivers said when asked to explain their success. “I love watching them, I tell George that all the time. They are genderless when you watch them play — nobody cares. They have six guys in double figures. [Kenneth Faried] led the team in attempts or second in attempts [Saturday]; he could take two attempts and he doesn’t care. They don’t care and that’s what you see when you watch them play. It’s very difficult team to load on. We load on a couple guys per game, [but] we’re sitting trying to pick which guy do we do that to tonight. It’s just hard.”

Rivers was asked if that formula could play well for the Celtics.

“I don’t know if we’ll have that balance because we have a guy named Paul Pierce on our team that’s pretty good, and Kevin Garnett,” said Rivers. “After those two, the balance should look like theirs.”

Read More: blizzard, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, George Karl

Back in business: Red-hot Celtics ready to heat up Garden

02.10.13 at 4:47 pm ET
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With practice canceled Saturday in Waltham, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley were just two of the Celtics out early before Sunday evening’s game with the Denver Nuggets at TD Garden. The “Nemo” blizzard of 2013 shutdown most modes of transportation in and out of Boston, including Boston’s commuter rail and T system, making transportation to the Garden difficult for even players and coaches.

The Celtics game is the first game at the Garden since Nemo hit Friday night.

The Bruins had their game with the Lightning postponed due to the state of emergency in Boston through Saturday night. The game was originally slated for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Garden and then pushed back to 7 p.m. before the NHL canceled the game late Saturday afternoon.

As for the Celtics (26-23), they are second-hottest team in the NBA having won six straight. The only hotter team is Denver. They have won nine straight and sit 33-15 on the season. Boston has moved up to seventh place in the East and stand just a game behind No. 6 Atlanta. They are just three games back in the loss column of third place Indiana and fourth place Chicago.

The Celtics leave immediately after the game with the Nuggets for Charlotte, where they take on the Bobcats Monday night. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: blizzard, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats

Celtics recall Fab Melo in time for Nuggets

02.10.13 at 2:50 pm ET
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The Celtics announced Sunday that they have recalled center Fab Melo from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. The 7-foot center will be dressed and available for duty against the Nuggets in the 6 p.m. contest at TD Garden.

In his one game on assignment to the Red Claws, Melo scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and had one assist in just under 23 minutes against the Bakersfield Jam on February 8. He is averaging 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.45 blocks in 27.4 minutes per game in his 20 contests with Maine this season.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, D-League, Fab Melo, Maine Red Claws

Fab Melo sent back to D-League

02.08.13 at 6:05 pm ET
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Fab Melo

Fab Melo

Celtics announced Friday that they have assigned center Fab Melo to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Since returning from his last assignment to the Claws, Melo, a 7-foot center, appeared in two games with the Celtics. Melo played three minutes against the Magic before playing the final five minutes Thursday night against the Lakers.

Melo recorded his first two career points in the blowout win, to go along with a steal and a block.

In 19 games (17 starts) for the Red Claws, Melo is averaging 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.6 blocks a game while averaging 27.7 minutes.

Read More: Boston Celtics, D-League, Fab Melo, Maine Red Claws

Donny Marshall on M&M: Celtics ‘more mentally healthy’ without Rajon Rondo

02.08.13 at 12:35 pm ET
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Donny Marshall of CSNNE joined Mut & Merloni to talk about the state of the Celtics without Rajon Rondo and why he thinks Kevin Garnett, not Rondo, is the team’s true leader.

Marshall said he thought the third quarter of the Celtics’ win over the Lakers on Thursday night was the best he’s seen the C’s play in a long time.

“They looked perfect,” Marshall said. “It was one of those situations, at least in my opinion, where it wasn’t just the bad Lakers, but it was the great Celtics. We’ve seen this team play really well, but the other teams are just so horrendous that me, you and Lou could get out there and play with them … Last night I really think it was the product of the Celtics playing great.”

Marshall said he doesn’t think the Celtics are a better team overall without Rondo, but that his absence is allowing them a change of perspective that’s helped them.

“It seems like they needed to be more mentally healthy, and it looks like that’s what they are right now,” Marshall said. “I don’t want to make it sound like Rondo is … by no means is he a Dwight Howard that’s going to screw things up just because it’s all about him, going to purposely screw the mechanism up of Doc [Rivers'] machine there. But sometimes when we’re young and have success early we can’t stay out of our own way, and I think Rondo kind of ran into that a little bit. He really is a great player, but there’s more than just being a great player when it comes to basketball.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

On Rondo’s leadership: “You can’t go in the locker room and alienate your teammates. I don’t know if he’s doing that or not, but it seems like that locker room is much healthier. You can’t go on the court and say, ‘I’ll handle the ball, get out of the way, I’ll make you better.’

“There would be situations where Ray Allen would be in position to make a move one-on-one, and Rondo would run over to him and grab the ball from him and say, ‘Get to the corner, I’m going to run the play.’ This team doesn’t have that guy right now, and they’re playing so free. Their spacing is amazing, which helps their ball movement. It’s just incredible to see, for a team that doesn’t really have that one guy that stands out to you over this streak, it’s really amazing.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jared Sullinger, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo

Report: Rajon Rondo ACL surgery set for next week

02.08.13 at 3:04 am ET
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Rajon Rondo is expected to have surgery next week on his torn right ACL. (AP)

Rajon Rondo is expected to have surgery next week on his torn right ACL. (AP)

Rajon Rondo will have season-ending surgery after all.

A source tells Yahoo’s Marc Spears that Rondo “is projected to be out six months after surgery next week” to repair a partially torn right knee ACL.

Rondo suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Hawks in Atlanta on Jan. 25. He was diagnosed with a torn ACL before the game with the Heat on Jan. 27. Since his injury, the Celtics have not lost, going on a six-game winning streak.

Spears added that Rondo has “spoken to three doctors, one in person, and will decide as early as Friday” which one will perform his surgery. According to Spears, Rondo also will not attend NBA All-Star weekend in Houston Feb. 15-17 because he won’t be able to travel so soon after surgery.

Spears added that the surgery will take place next Tuesday or Wednesday.

There had been speculation as late as Thursday that Rondo suffered only a partial tear of the ACL and might attempt some sort of drastic comeback this spring.

Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy told CSNNE.com that Rondo’s tear was only “partial” and could lead to a return “sooner” than expected.

Read More: Bill Duffy, Boston Celtics, NBA, Rajon Rondo

Danny Ainge on Big Show: Not trading Pierce and Garnett ‘by far the most likely thing’

02.08.13 at 2:23 am ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, in his weekly appearance on The Big Show, said that he considers it unlikely that he will deal either Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce prior to the NBA trading deadline. Ainge said that stance reflected in part on the fact that the age of the two players likely has made them more valuable in the eyes of the Celtics than they would be with another team.

“I think by far it’s the most likely thing,” Ainge said when asked if keeping both players was an outcome that he expected. “Because I’ve been doing this for 10 years, with this group of guys for the last couple years, I don’t see that much changing. There aren’t a lot of times that are trying to pursue players of KG’s and Paul’s age. We value them more than other teams.

“There are so many teams that are trying to get younger. There are so many teams that are trying to rebuild. There are so many teams that are trying to get higher draft picks already. I just think that where we value them as players is just greater than the rest of the league, which I think is common for players that age.”

Ainge did say that he he would have direct conversastions with either Pierce or Garnett if he entertained the idea of trading them — in part because their contracts give them leverage to limit deals.

“First of all, Paul has been here his whole career and he’s a franchise player, plus he has what’s called a trade kicker in his contract, where he would get an increased amount of pay,” he said. “KG has a no-trade clause in his contract. He can veto any trade anyway, so of course we’d talk to him.”

More highlights are below. To listen to the complete interview, click here. Read the rest of this entry »

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