|02.08.13 at 6:05 pm ET|
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.
|02.08.13 at 12:35 pm ET|
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.”
|02.08.13 at 3:04 am ET|
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.
BOS G Rajon Rondo’s surgery is expected to be on Feb 12 or 13 and will be a procedure using either his ligaments or a cadaver,source told Y!
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 8, 2013
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.
|02.08.13 at 2:23 am ET|
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.”
|02.08.13 at 1:54 am ET|
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the Garden parquet, laughing side-by-side as Gino danced his ridiculous dance on the Jumbotron. The former had submitted his finest performance against the Lakers since walking off the same floor with an NBA Finals MVP trophy. The latter had scored his 25,000th point in owning the league’s most dominant big. Together, they delivered a sixth straight Celtics win sans Rajon Rondo.
They are 35 and 36 years old, respectively. Combined, they’ve played nearly 90,000 minutes, which translates into more than a year of playing time on NBA basketball courts across the country. And they’re not done yet.
“It’s a generational thing,” said 34-year-old Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant after an embarrassing 106-95 loss to the Celtics. “In that generation, we all seem to hold on or have found the same fountain of youth somewhere.”
And not the kind of fountain of youth Alex Rodriquez reportedly found in Miami. “Not that one,” laughed Bryant. “Not that one.” More like a pacemaker that keeps a championship heart beating year after year. Like a 32-year-old Muhammad Ali biding his time against a 25-year-old George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle.
“It’s typical Celtics basketball,” said Bryant. “They all just put their hard hats on, and they go out, play hard and figure things out. Whenever their backs against the wall, that’s when you really see the best from them. … It’s just like last year, when they made their playoff run. That’s just what this team does. They kind of rope-a-dope you.”
|02.07.13 at 11:51 pm ET|
Following Thursday’s blowout win over the Lakers, Kevin Garnett left no doubt where he wants to end this season and his career.
There has been plenty of speculation in the last week, linking Garnett’s name to trade rumors involving the Clippers and, most recently, the Nuggets.
Garnett, one of the most sensitive and informed superstars in the league, took the opportunity – unsolicited – to remind everyone of his intentions.
“On a last note, I just want to say I love my situation here,” said Garnett, who has a full no-trade clause and can veto any deal the Celtics may encounter heading toward the Feb. 21 trade deadline. “I don’t know what y’all’s sources are or whoever is making up these bulls**t articles about me getting traded to Denver and all these other places. I bleed green and I continue to do that. If it’s up to me, I’m going to retire a Celtic. I just want y’all to know that. Keep it real.”
Minutes earlier, when asked what kind of message a six-game winning streak sends Celtics GM Danny Ainge about keeping the team together, Garnett offered this:
‘I don’t know what Danny and upper management has up their sleeves as far as making this team better,” Garnett said. “But we, as players, can only control us. Right now, we are in a rhythm; we are moving the ball. I know I kind of sound like a broken record but we are continuing to consolidate the ball and everybody’s touching the ball and playing with a lot of confidence. We are playing together on both ends and that’s important right now.’
The Celtics are 6-0 since Rajon Rondo went down with season-ending ACL tear in his right knee. Garnett explained that the Celtics lost their best chef but they’re still cooking up a winning recipe.
“Well, the only way I can really explain it is that when you sit back, Rondo does so many great things for this team, you kind of get lackadaisical if you will,” Garnett began. “It’s very similar to if you had someone cooking for you and you’re expecting that every day. All of sudden, someone isn’t there for you in your house to do that. And it’s up to you to feed yourself. All of sudden, you start making all of these gourmet dishes and then it’s more people over to the house. You never knew you possess that unless you lost that person who was cooking. It’s kind of like that.”
Garnett then went into the above soliloquy on bleeding green for life.
All of this on a night when he became the first player in NBA history with 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists and 1,500 blocks.
‘I’m sure someday I’ll fall back and rock in my rocking chair having a cigar, thinking about what I’ve done, I’m sure it will make some sense to me,” Garnett said. “But you know, I told Doc when I came here to all the coaches and ex-players and current players and systems and organizations, this great organization that I play for, I’m more than honored, because without the systems and the coaches, and obviously players that put you in a position to score the basketball none of this would be possible. You know, I try to keep my body young and keep together. But there’s so many different components going into some of the individual awards, and I’d just like to obviously say I’m more than honored. But thank you, to all the ones that you guys don’t see. So, I guess all that said and done I’m more than flattered and honored.’
For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
|02.07.13 at 10:29 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett scored his 25,000th career point, Paul Pierce outshined Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard showed up (but not really), Fab Melo scored his first NBA points and the Celtics won their sixth straight game without Rajon Rondo, 116-95 against the Lakers. All in all, not a bad night for the C’s.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Exclusive membership: With a fadeaway jumper 3:52 into the second quarter, Kevin Garnett became the 16th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, Dominique Wilkins, John Havlicek, Alex English, Reggie Miller and Jerry West. Garnett became the first player to amass 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals in his career. During the following timeout, after Doc Rivers drew up a play, the crowd saluted Garnett, who returned the favor.
Winter Green: For the sixth time in seven games, Jeff Green scored double-digit points. He entered the game averaging 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 26.3 minutes a night this month. That’s 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes. That’s good. He’s also played better defensively, assuming some of the load on Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant over the past eight games.
The sequence: The Celtics closed the third quarter on a 12-3 run that seemed more like an 83-1 run. The remarkable stretch featured the best of what these C’s have to offer: the Brandon Bass mid-range game (18-footer), Avery Bradley‘s defense (picked Bryant’s pocket), Jason Terry on the runway (a transition triple), Jeff Green‘s athleticism (a fast-break dunk followed by a block of Antawn Jamison) and both Paul Pierce‘s step-back jumper (from 19 feet) and his sense for the moment (a dagger of a 3). All that gave the Celtics a 95-69 lead after three, sent the Garden crowd into a frenzy and reminded just about everyone of Game 6 of the 2008 NBA finals.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Foul mood: In a span of 39 seconds — just two minutes into the game — the Celtics committed five fouls, including two by Kevin Garnett. Enter Jason Collins, who didn’t fare much better despite his reputation as the so-called Dwight stopper. Collins quickly racked up three personal fouls, giving way to Chris Wilcox. On the bright side, the Lakers missed 10-of-18 first-half free throws (Howard: 1-6 FT) and Garnett survived the first half with the two fouls.
Kobe being Kobe: It’s probably hard for Celtics fans to stop and appreciate Bryant’s offensive bag of tricks, but there’s something special about the fact that two natural born scorers like he and Pierce have played in L.A. and Boston for the entirety of their careers. Bryant’s best shot of the night — a ridiculous up-and-under — got waved off by a foul, but his jump shot along the baseline to close out the first half was classic Kobe. Keeping the Lakers within striking distance for most of the night, Bryant finished with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
No Leandro: The Celtics scored 100 points, and somehow Leandro Barbosa wasn’t involved. He finished 0-for-4 from the floor in 16 minutes, but still managed to contribute four rebounds and three assists. This is nitpicking, for sure, but the Celtics ran the Lakers out of the Garden and won their sixth straight game without Rondo. There wasn’t much that went wrong.