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Magic: Can’t Afford to Foul Rondo

11.20.09 at 7:46 pm ET
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BOSTON — Even though Rajon Rondo enters Friday’s game shooting a mere 25 percent from the free throw line, the Magic are not going to give him extra trips to the charity stripe. Just because free throws have been a weakness for Rondo this season that doesn’t mean the same is true for his teammates.

‘€œWith their team you don’t want to foul unnecessarily,’€ said Anthony Johnson. ‘€œEven though maybe he’s not shooting well, Paul Pierce, KG, all the other guys, they’re going to draw fouls.’€

In spite of Rondo’s struggle (4-16 FG), the Celtics are still in the middle of the pack around the league. Ray Allen is ranked eighth in the NBA (89.3%) while Shelden Williams and Pierce are both shooting better than 80 percent.

‘€œIf you waste your fouls on Rondo, it’s going to help them as a team get into the bonus and it’s going to give those guys free points,’€ Johnson said. ‘€œSo as much as possible we want to keep them off the line, including him, and try to make them make tough shots over the top of us.’€

The Magic have a lot more to worry about with Rondo than just free throws. They are without starting point guard Jameer Nelson (knee) and will depend on veterans  Johnson and Jason Williams to contain Rondo.

“He’s a guy that plays with a lot of energy offensively and defensively so you’ve got to always keep him in front of you, don’t allow him to really dictate the tempo with his ball pressure and just putting pressure on our defense getting into the paint,” said Johnson. “So we’re going to have to keep him in front of us and not let him orchestrate and make all the big plays.”

Read More: Anthony Johnson, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Paul Pierce

Sheed trying to keep Superman from lifting off

11.20.09 at 1:27 pm ET
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Rasheed Wallace makes no bones about his game plan heading into tonight’s match-up with Dwight Howard the defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic.

Don’t let Superman take off.

“Step on his launch pad,” Wallace said of his strategy. “He’s a big fella, he can jump. If you step on his launch pad before he can take off and make it a hard shot for him, it’s a 50-50 chance. He going to come with the hook and little jumper, just take that 50-50 chance.”

But just because he wants to make life miserable on Howard’s big feet, don’t get the impression he doesn’t try and help Howard when the two aren’t combatants in the low post.

Wallace actually gives Howard advice on how to become even more of a force than he is now.

“He doesn’t try to brush me off,” Wallace said. “He listens. That’s coming from him being raised well by his mom and dad. I don’t think he’s arroagant. He’s still trying to learn. I think he’s just tipping the iceberg because all we’re seeing right now is him dunking and catching the alley-oops. If he decides to go into the gym and get that little 12-to-15 footer down and they establish a good pick-and-roll with the three guys they’ve got, him and Jameer or him and Rashard, I think they’ll be pretty good.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Magic, Rasheed Wallace

Ray Allen’s Ray of Hope Fundraiser

11.20.09 at 10:20 am ET
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Ray Allen teams up with Wyc Grousbeck and French Lick for the Ray of Hope Foundation benefit at the Lansdowne Pub.

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Do You Believe in Magic? Celtics-Magic Preview

11.20.09 at 8:40 am ET
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They’€™re the reason the Green reloaded.

After a Game 7 loss to the Magic ended the Celtics‘€™ season last year, Boston went into the offseason with a clear objective: Get deeper. The series loss to the Magic exposed a clear weakness within the Celtics team, specifically a lack of depth at the big positions. Boston stormed into the offseason guns-a-blazing, signing Rasheed Wallace and Shelden Williams to give them depth at the bigs, and even grabbing Marquis Daniels to add both scoring and defense off the bench.

The Magic exposed the Celtics’€™ weaknesses. The Magic played a major role in pushing the Celtics to reload and retool their bench, and now they have to face the beast they helped create.

In a much-anticipated rematch, the two teams will return to the court where they met for their decisive Game 7 just four short months ago, and perhaps some will view this as a chance to start settling a score.

That being said, at this point in the season, a lot has changed between the two teams. For Boston, there are the aforementioned changes to the bench and the return to health of Kevin Garnett. Meanwhile in Orlando, Hedo Turkoglu is out, Vince Carter is in, and Jameer Nelson is back on the shelf. Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics savor shot at Magical redemption

11.19.09 at 10:26 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  When last the Celtics saw the Orlando Magic, Kevin Garnett walked out of TD Garden one ticke- off man.

He had to watch from the bench as his teammates lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“I was [ticked] off. Really just [ticked] off,” Garnett admitted following Thursday’s practice.

“I’m not a miserable person,” Garnett continued. “I’m just looking forward to playing them. Obviously, they’re considered one of the best teams. I’m sure we’re going to rate ourselves and grade ourselves on that and try to play better. We’re a team that’s trying to get better so it should be a fun game.”

The Magic are tied with the Celtics with a 9-3, just behind Atlanta for early-season supremacy in the East.

“It’ll be nice to get to play them,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “They’re the team everyone is chasing in the East. They won the championship of the East last year. As far as we’re concerned, they’re the favorite, Cleveland’s the second favorite and we’re the third, based on the results of last year. It’ll be good to see where we’re at.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Garnett, Magic, NBA

Kevin Garnett on D&H, 11/19

11.19.09 at 4:01 pm ET
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Celtics forward Kevin Garnett joined the Dale & Holley Show on Thursday. The Celtics star discussed his health, the challenge of returning from injury, the impact of Rasheed Wallace on the Celtics and the state of this season’s team.

Highlights are transcribed below. To listen to the complete interview, click here.

Last week Rasheed Wallace said he might not have an outside range. What’€™s yours, 75-feet?

Well, if you want to take that shot last night, probably about 80 to 75-feet, yeah, that’€™s about accurate, yeah.

You called it in the air didn’€™t you?

I called it when I let it go, and then Don Nelson sort of said something to me. That’€™s why my reaction was the way it was, because I knew when I let it go, it felt good, but you never know in those situations. I let it go, it felt good, ooh, went in.

I’€™m wondering if fear is the right word to use when you had a major injury for the first time in your career. When you didn’€™t know what was going on, were you fearful at all about what was going on in there?

I fear God and I fear my mother, that’€™s about the only thing in life, other than that it was just straight up pain. At one point I thought it was something that I could play through, I knew when I got home and when I was in my own personal space, that’€™s when I knew it was something serious. Walking up steps, sitting down, laying out on the floor, stretched out on the floor, my leg was constantly bothering me.

And you’€™re talking about a lot of activity, so when I really started to take it serious and the more I got educated on what was going on, that’€™s when I started to make decisions health wise, what was best for me. I was running like I was running with a peg leg, and Doc in practice was like, this is terrible to watch. My effort, I pretty much through was there, I tried to come back, play a couple games, I knew that I was hurt, I knew that I was really hurt, but I was trying to grind through it, trying to give Paul and the rest of these guys some support.

But I just knew at the same time I was probably making it worse by playing. I had a very, very, very rare injury, obviously bone spurs but the size of the spur was pretty irregular, and pretty dramatic. It wasn’€™t until I got to see it then I took it a lot more serious, but until that point I was built off hard work and dedication to your craft. I haven’€™t changed that since I got here, I’€™ve always felt like mind over matter, you know the mind tells the body, but at some point the mind has to listen to the body. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen,

Raising Ray

11.19.09 at 3:03 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  Following today’s practice, Ray Allen will be getting ready to host a special charity event to raise money for his big turkey giveaway next week.

Tonight’s event at The Lansdowne Pub will be open to the public for a minimum $20 donation at the door, with money raised to benefit the Ray of Hope Foundation’s efforts to purchase turkey dinners for the needy for Thanksgiving.

The vouchers for next Tuesday’s giveaway have already been distributed to pre-selected families at various Centers for Youth & Families around Boston.

A limited number of VIP tables are still available tonight for $1,000 by calling 617-247-1222.

Read More: Celtics, Ray Allen, Thanksgiving turkeys,
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