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Rajon Rondo out with hyper-extended left knee, getting MRI

01.27.13 at 12:55 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo will not play Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat due to a hyper-extended right knee suffered late in Friday double-overtime loss to the Hawks in Atlanta.

According to the Celtics, Rondo showed up for the normal shootaround at 10:15 Sunday morning and taped a pre-game interview for ABC. He went in for more treatment and the discomfort did not subside.

He left the building and went to New England Baptist Hospital for a precautionary MRI.

The Celtics added that the injury had nothing to do with his departure early in the game Friday due to illness. Rondo is averaging 13.7 points and 11.1 assists in 38 games this season.

Courtney Lee started for Rondo, marking the second major change to the lineup, as Jared Sullinger started in place of Brandon Bass.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Rajon Rondo

Doc Rivers hesitantly starts Jared Sullinger in desperate move to shake up his Celtics

01.27.13 at 12:39 pm ET
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Doc Rivers admitted Sunday morning that’s he’s desperate to shake up his struggling Celtics.

And sometimes that means making moves you don’t want to make.

Sunday, Rivers took Jared Sullinger out of his comfort zone off the bench and placed him in the starting lineup to add some energy to a team that has lost six straight.

“More because Jared is playing well,” Rivers said. “Honestly, I don’t love it because I worry about our bench. Our bench has been off the charts and that may affect them. But we’re doing it because he’s been playing so well.”

Sullinger has hit a speed bump in his last two games, being held scoreless in the double-overtime game against the Hawks Friday night and scoring just seven points with three rebounds in 15 minutes Thursday against the Knicks.

Rivers said he didn’t make the move just to give the team a spark against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“Not much,” Rivers said. “Just the way our starters were playing, I thought our lineup needed a shaking up. I’m really doing it cautiously because I just think at some point our starters will find themselves. The one thing I always worry about is our bench. Our bench has been off the charts. The one thing about the Atlanta game, it was a six-point [lead] when they came in and it was 27 points when they left. You don’t hear that a lot from a bench.”

“We just took the game for granted.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jared Sullinger, Miami Heat

Ray Allen warms up before Sunday’s game

01.27.13 at 11:52 am ET
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Heat sharpshooter Ray Allen warms up before Sunday’s game with the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Sunday marks Allen’s return to Boston for the first time since signing as a free-agent with the world champion Heat last summer.

Allen admitted that he doesn’t expect the reception in the Garden to be very warm when he takes the parquet for the first time since signing with Miami.

Allen had 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting in 31 minutes against the Celtics in the season opener on Oct. 30 in Miami. That was the game most-famously remembered for the cold shoulder Kevin Garnett gave Allen when Allen checked in for the first time in the first quarter.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Ray Allen

Ray Allen ‘will deal with whatever emotions are’ in TD Garden Sunday

01.27.13 at 8:00 am ET
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LeBron James doesn’€™t anticipate a warm reception for Ray Allen from the TD Garden crowd Sunday afternoon.

‘€œI don’€™t expect it to be good,’€ James told the Miami Herald. ‘€œIf you don’€™t wear green in that building, they don’€™t like you. We’€™re there for him.’€

Allen ‘€“ the guard who spurned the Celtics‘€™ two-year, $12 million offer in favor of the Heat’€™s two-year, $6 million deal – isn’€™t quite sure what to expect.

‘€œI will deal with whatever emotions there are,’€ he told the newspaper. ‘€œYou never know until you get there. Regardless of how they respond to me, it won’€™t change how I feel. I have great memories.’€

Allen is coming off the bench for the Heat, playing nine fewer minutes per game than a year ago (to 25.5 mpg). He is also averaging a career-low 11.4 points per game. The guard is, however, shooting better than his career average, both from the field (45.8 percent) and on threes (44.3 percent).

‘€œI’€™ve moved on, but who I was as a Celtic will always be inside of me,’€ he told the newspaper. ‘€œI look back and think about all the great times that we had. I will always cherish those moments there.’€

Added Miami teammate Dwyane Wade, ‘€œWe just want to play well for him.’€

For a complete preview of Sunday’s game, click here.

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Is one NBA scout’s scathing take on Celtics accurate?

01.26.13 at 3:05 pm ET
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NBA general managers must be hovering like vultures over Danny Ainge‘s struggling Celtics, so it’s no surprise they are a main focus ESPN.com writer Marc Stein’s must-read Weekend Dime.

With all due respect to the NBA scout who rightfully ripped the Celtics to shreds in Stein’s piece, the outlook isn’t quite as bad as he makes it out to be, despite their current six-game losing streak.

“Their bench has to be playing at the top of their abilities for them to win.”

According to HoopsStats.com, the Celtics are 12-11 when their bench outperforms the opposing team’s and 7-11 when it doesn’t. That lends some credence to this statement, but they can win when their reserves don’t contribute. We knew these C’s would rely on their depth more this season than they have in the past, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers couldn’t even begin to structure a consistent rotation until Avery Bradley returned this month.

And they don’t have enough guys big-guy-wise that Doc [Rivers] is comfortable with.

The C’s everlasting search for frontcourt depth behind Kevin Garnett has been no secret. Hence, their rumored interest in both Marcin Gortat and DeMarcus Cousins. The struggles of Brandon Bass and the thumb injury to Chris Wilcox haven’t helped, but don’t rule out those two contributing more in the second half of the season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Jason Terry, NBA

Celtics blow 27-point lead against Hawks on way to sixth-straight loss

01.25.13 at 10:50 pm ET
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The Celtics blew a 27-point first-half lead, eventually dropping a double-overtime, 123-111 loss to the Hawks in Atlanta. It was the Celts’€™ sixth-straight defeat.

According to Celtics’€™ play-by-play announcer Sean Grande the C’€™s had won 153 straight games when leading by more than 19 points, having last blown a lead as much as 27 points on Dec. 5, 2003 in Phoenix.

The Celts, who had jumped out to a 29-10 lead after one quarter, finally succumbed to the affects of playing back-to-back games, being out-scored, 16-4, in the second overtime. The visitors were also outscored 21-2 to start the third quarter.

‘€œI thought it changed once we put the starters in with about five minutes left in the second quarter,’€ Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters after the game, adding, ‘€œI told our guys you can’€™t win without humility. ‘€¦ We started breaking rules you can’€™t break in grade school.’€

Both Kevin Garnett and Jared Sullinger fouled out, with Garnett playing 38 minutes (scoring 24 points), while the rookie failed to score 24 minutes.

Rajon Rondo did manager a triple-double, scoring 16 points, dishing out 11 assists and hauling in 10 rebounds. The Celtics’€™ bench also produced with the combination of Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry teamed for 45 points.

Atlanta exposed the Celtics from beyond the three-point line, with Kyle Korver making 8-of-12 from beyond the arc.

‘€œIt’€™s me,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œI have to figure out a way to push buttons with each individual. ‘€¦ I keep telling myself and telling my coaches we have the right group. But we have to act right.’€

For a complete recap, click here.

For more Celtics news, go to the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Rajon Rondo: When a triple-double is ‘irrelevant’

01.25.13 at 11:18 am ET
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Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo says the Celtics simply did not execute down the stretch in their 89-86 loss to the New York Knicks Thursday night at TD Garden.

Rondo had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, his 27th career triple-double and fourth the season. But that couldn’t prevent Boston from suffering its fifth straight loss, 89-86, to the Knicks Thursday, dropping to 20-22 on the season.

“It wipes it out. It’s kind of irrelevant. You score 40 or 50 points, you lose, you lose. All that matters is Ws and Ls.

“I like our group, I like our guys,” Rondo insisted. “We have a group of guys that listen. Right now, we’re not getting it done. It’s like night and day. We won six in a row and we were clicking on all cylinders. But now, it’s not all five guys at one time throughout the game for 48 minutes. We go through stretches where we’re not scoring the ball and our defense is lacking as well. We just have to pick it up collectively as a team, and individually as well.”

Rondo was asked about Ray Allen coming back to Boston on Sunday and Paul Pierce not making the All-Star team Eastern Conference reserves. The answer was the same.

“We’re not worried about that,” Rondo said. “We’re worried about Atlanta.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Paul Pierce
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