|12.21.09 at 3:02 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Paul Pierce can laugh about the dark days now. But three seasons ago, when he was captain of a team languishing through a 24-win season, it wasn’t so easy.
It was after that season, and just before the acquisitions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, that Pierce thought his marriage to the Celtics, and specifically, the Doc Rivers‘ system, was headed for divorce.
“Early years, I was almost close to divorce but I didn’t have my pre-nup in place so I had to think twice,” Pierce joked on Monday. “It was cheaper to keep her.”
“I don’t know who that is,” Rivers said when asked if he remembers the Paul Pierce from his first season coaching the Celtics in 2004-05. “The one here is amazing. He’s an amazing person. He’s older, he’s more mature. He’s just solid. He’s a solid player.”
But after a 2008 NBA title and a 62-win season last year, Pierce is smitten once again with the Celtics and the Rivers’ system of Ubuntu.
“Put it this way, you’ve been with a girl for five years and you break up with her,” Pierce said. ” Then you have a new girlfriend, you’ve got to get used to each other because the last girlfriend, you knew everything about her, you’ve been together for so long so you’re going to make a lot of different mistakes and have a lot of different arguments.” Read the rest of this entry »
|12.21.09 at 1:28 am ET|
BOSTON ‘ Lester Hudson only played three games for the Maine Red Claws but his short time in the NBA Development League was beneficial.
The rookie was assigned to the Celtics D-League affiliate on December 15 and recalled just five days later to fill out the Cs roster. During that short span Hudson averaged 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, including a 25-point debut performance.
‘I learned a lot,’ he told WEEI.com on Sunday. ‘I learned a lot about the pick-and-roll, team defense. Those were things my coach, (head coach) Doc [Rivers] and (President of Basketball Operations) Danny [Ainge] told me to work on so I tried to work on that and I think I got a little better at that. Read the rest of this entry »
|12.21.09 at 1:17 am ET|
After nearly 12 years in the league, Pierce has learned how to accentuate his talents to help the Celtics win. He ranked first on the Celtics in scoring and 3-point shooting, second in assists, and third in rebounding heading into Sunday’s game. This overall versatility is what makes him one of the most dangerous players in the league.
Whether it is hitting a clutch shot or diving on the floor for a loose ball, Pierce has an unrelenting drive to help the Celtics win. This whatever-it-takes attitude was instilled in him as a child, but he did not learn it watching professional basketball players.
He learned it from his mother, Lorraine Hosey.
As part of the WEEI.com’s ‘Inside the Game’ series with the Celtics, Pierce explained how his mother’s inspiration has transformed him into the player he is today.
A Man of Many Weapons: Pierce boasts a career average of 22.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
‘Some nights it might not be my scoring. Some nights it might be my defense. I think I have the ability to do it all, so I think that’s the way I affect the game. Some nights it’s going to be, like I said, my rebounding, my offense, my defense. I just think it’s whatever the team needs that night. Ray [Allen] might have it going or someone else may have it going and they may need me to lock down one of their best players. So that’s what I try to bring to this team.’
Feeling the Flow: Pierce tied a franchise record with his 6-for-6 long-range performance on Sunday. He shot a perfect 3-for-3 during the second quarter alone. The performance offered an example of how he adapts his game to the flow of the game on any given night.
‘I just think I’ve got a feel for the game. It’s all a feel from the start of the game, kind of realizing at the beginning this is going to be a game where they’re going to need my scoring. You sort of feel it during the game. It’s hard to explain. You kind of go through the flow of the game and you understand it and you understand what kind of night it’s going to be. It’s just experience, playing with a great team also. Before it was like every night they needed my scoring. But when you play on a great team with so many great players, you kind of figure out whatever I need to bring to the game.’
Always On Call: Last season Pierce ranked ninth among all players in clutch shooting on 82games.com. (This stat is defined by scoring in the fourth quarter or overtime with less than five minutes left and neither team ahead by more than five points.)
‘[It’s all about] just being mentally ready and focused. That’s what the game is all about. I may not have it going, I may not be hitting my shots, but I’m always mentally in tune and ready.’
An Unexpected Source of Inspiration: Pierce grew up in California as a Lakers fan. No one, however, in purple and gold could top what he learned at home.
‘[It was] definitely mom. She was always there when I needed something. Not as an athlete but period. I get it from her… I definitely [carry part of her on the court]. Of course she [knows it]. I just got my never-quit attitude from her. My mom didn’t grow up in the best situations, raising three boys by herself, maintaining three jobs just to put food on the table. She didn’t look at adversity as something that would bring her down. She always tried to find a way.’
|12.20.09 at 9:41 pm ET|
BOSTON – On Sunday following the Celtics-Timberwolves game, Rasheed Wallace spoke out about his ejection on Friday against the 76ers. Wallace said he will not alter his game to try to prevent being called for technical fouls. In fact, he was not happy with how close referee Bill Kennedy stood near the Celtics bench during timeouts.
Wallace was ejected by Kennedy during a timeout in the second quarter.
“If they’re standing right near our huddle trying to stick their ear or nose in there, then yeah, they’re going to hear some stuff,” he said. “That’s exactly what it was. When have you ever seen somebody – a ref – standing over there that close to our bench during a timeout. You already know what it is. I ain’t tripping.”
Wallace later added, “I’ll still play my game. I’ll still be me. I ain’t changing my game for nobody. I ain’t changing nothing for nobody.”
|12.20.09 at 8:32 pm ET|
BOSTON – Their first meeting was close, but that would not be the case on Sunday. The Celtics reached a season-high in scoring and easily defeated the T’Wolves, 122-104, at the Garden.
Turning Point: In a moment that is sure to appear on SportsCenter, Eddie House stole the ball, passed it behind his back as he stumbled out of bounds near the scorer’s table and dished it to Tony Allen for a dunk over Corey Brewer. That second-quarter play proved the entire Celtics squad ‘ not just their starting five ‘ was going to cause problems for the Timberwolves.
Player of the Game: Paul Pierce hit six 3s (tying a team season-high) and led all players with 29 points. He shot a perfect three-for-three from long range in the second quarter alone. Pierce also chipped in seven rebounds and four assists.
– Tony Allen also had an impressive night ‘ 15 points (5-8 FG, 5-7 FT), six rebounds, three assists. This was Allen’s second consecutive double-digit performance.
– The Celtics scored a season-high 34 points in the first quarter. (The previous high was 31 against the Thunder on December 4.) The Celtics held the Timberwolves to 28 percent shooting in the first quarter (7-25 FG). Just four Minnesota players scored in the first 12 minutes compared to seven on the C’s.
– Kendrick Perkins was whistled for a technical in the third quarter. He did not get to the free throw line the entire night.
– The Celtics improved to 4-0 when scoring more than 30 points in the first quarter. They are also 4-0 on Sundays.
|12.20.09 at 5:44 pm ET|
“I think we all have a finger or two that’s probably pointing in another direction,” he said prior to the game. “It’s just an occupational hazard.”
Allen injured his finger during practice on Saturday playing defense against Tony Allen. He considered taping it for gametime but decided against it. He would be more aware of the injury that way.
Even though Allen acknowledged that his finger is sore and he could aggravate it during the game, he pointed out “Once I start playing, nothing bothers me.”
Allen stuck to his gameday routine even with a bothersome finger. Aware of the snowstorm, he left his house at 1:45pm to get to the Garden with plenty of time for his pregame shooting. Allen did, however, have one regret.
“The mistake I made was I didn’t get those little poles to stick in my grass because [the snow plower’s] all over the grass. He’s killing my grass,” he said with a laugh. “When April roles around I’m going to look at my grass and there’s going to look like some moles or some hedgehogs are climbing out of my grass. Just tore my yard up.”
|12.20.09 at 5:37 pm ET|
BOSTON – There will only be two officials on hand to call the Celtics-Timberwolves game on Sunday. Leon Wood was scheduled to officiate and is not available. Derrick Stafford and Kevin Fehr will referee the game.
Doc Rivers, who played part of his career with just two refs, prefers a two-man team but believes there could be a learning curve.
“I enjoy it, actually, because I thought first of all there were less rules. You just played and the refs reffed the game,” he said prior to the game. “Now I think they have so many things they have to call, I think it actually makes it difficult. And I think sometimes that third ref, one ref will see something and he will not want to make the call because it’s the other guy’s call. When it’s two refs, they just call what they see and they don’t worry about stepping on each other’s toes. I think it will be difficult, though, in this instance because they’re not used to doing it with two refs.”
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