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The reason Shaquille O’Neal was shouting ‘Chimichanga!’ at Big Baby

10.16.10 at 10:47 pm ET
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HARTFORD — Glen Davis would get the ball on the far wing, square up on an isolation, and then, rising above all the other noise in the XL Center, would come a voice from the Celtics‘ bench.

First time it was, “Jumbalaya!”

The next came, “Chimichanga!”

And, finally, was, “Barb-b-que chicken!”

The source of the shouting was Shaquille O’Neal. So why was he doing it?

“I can’€™t tell you. It’€™s an LSU thing,” he explained to group of reporters after the Celtics’ 97-84 preseason win over the Knicks Saturday night.

The center was then asked if it was something he did to all players who attended his alma mater.

“Yes, all LSU players,” O’Neal deadpanned. “I can’t tell you our secret society codes.”

But, while walking out to the bus, O’Neal offered a chance to unlock the secret. One guess, which was: It was encouragement for ‘Big Baby’ to eat up his competition on the isolation.

Another mystery revolving around the mysterious Big Shamrock solved. About one million to go.

Doc Rivers doesn’t ‘get all the hatred’ toward Miami Heat

10.16.10 at 9:35 pm ET
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HARTFORD — The questions will continue to come fast and furious as Oct. 26 approaches.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers understands the deal: The inquiries leading into his team’s season opener will be just part of the equation. Just as many questions will also center around the team the C’s are playing, the Miami Heat and their three faces of the franchise — LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade.

This time, just prior to the Celtics’ preseason tilt with the Knicks at the XL Center, Rivers was asked about the difference in people’s perception regarding the the Heat and the C’s.

“I don’t get all the hatred,” Rivers said. “I guess the press conference had a little bit to do wit that. We did it through trade, they did it through free agency, maybe that had a little bit to do with it. Whatever it is at the end of the day, when the games start the Miami fans are going to cheer for Miami, and the Boston fans are going to cheer for Boston. The Orlando fans are going to cheer for Orlando. We’ll see how it goes.”

Doc on how Celtics can get better: ‘We can win Game 7’

10.16.10 at 9:23 pm ET
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HARTFORD — Doc Riversinitial explanation of how his Celtics can better from last season’s team, which came one win away from the NBA title, wasn’t complicated.

“We can win Game 7,” he said prior to the C’s preseason tilt with the Knicks Saturday night at XL Center.

But, as the Celtics’ coach talked, he got more specific.

“We can rebound better. We were awful during the regular season. We turned the ball over during the regular season. And we didn’t win enough home games,” Rivers said. “I know we had the injuries, but we were losing the home games even when we were playing well last year. And in retrospect, it came back and we had a Game 7 on the road, so that’s how we can get better. I don’t know record-wise if we will be better or not, but I know we can be a better basketball team.”

Another difference Rivers will be looking for?

“Veteran teams have to be playing well all year, just like young teams,” he said. “I’ve said it before, what we did last year was unusual. It usually doesn’t work and in my opinion didn’t work. It got us to the Finals but didn’t us to what we wanted. We didn’t win it. That’s what we’re going to fight. Just because we have a lot of experience, we can’t use that as a crutch all year.”

Then came the final, much more specific, focal point that might allow the C’s to leave the season with a smile: Actually pounding the ball into the post instead of living on the perimeter.

“When you have injuries you tend to stay outside, and it hurt us. You look at some of the bigger games in the playoffs, we really didn’t have post presences at the time. That’s a difficult way to play basketball and win. We got away with it for the most part, but not all the way,” Rivers explained. “You’ll see more. Two years ago, we were an in and out basketball team. We had to basically abandon that in some ways.”

The coach continued: “We’re posting everybody. That’s what we told them the first day, is we have to get back to being an in and out team. We want to run, we want to get easy baskets, we want to look to the early post. Like yesterday, Kevin [Garnett] had five of them where sprinted down the floor, beat everybody down the floor, got deep in the post, and last year he was the last guy down the floor. He was dragging his leg. We had to do what we had to do to win. It allows you to stop runs when you have a post game. Teams are on an 8-0 run, you can call a timeout and go right to the post, you usually get something out of that. When you don’t that you just better hope to make every shot.”

And then there is the secret weapon …

Paul [Pierce] loves the post, so does Kevin. [Rajon] Rondo is the guy, for me, who is the new guy that we can actually use,” Rivers explained. “Rondo is better than you think down there. We were working on it a lot last year, we just never had the confidence to do it.

“What makes him effective is that you have to guard him down there. You can’t back off of him on the post. When he’s guarded, it not only spreads the floor, but it makes him a better passer.”

So, there you have it in a nutshell: The keys to unlocking the door that the Celtics couldn’t walk through a season ago.

One reporter’s take on which NBA team has the best starting lineup

10.16.10 at 10:51 am ET
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So you think the Celtics have the best starting lineup in the NBA? Well, Dime Magazine suggests they might have some competition for the honor. In an article penned by Andrew Macaluso, the merits of the C’s, Hawks, Mavericks, Lakers, and Magic are pointed out based off a numerical formula that looks solely at last year’s stats (hence, the reason for no Heat). Here is what Macaluso had to say about the Celtics:

When Kevin Garnett came to Boston, they instantly turned into a defensive-minded team. How do you think they won an NBA title the same season? After logging 1,179 minutes last season, Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins posted a record of 38-19 (66.6 win percentage) with an Off of 1.13 and a Def of 1.00. Unfortunately, Perkins went down in the playoffs with a major knee injury, so what did the Celtics do? They went out and signed (and drafted) nothing but defensive players. With ‘€˜Sheed Wallace retiring ‘€” although he made their defense worse when he was in the lineup ‘€” and even with Perkins out until February, I expect Shaq, J.O., Big Baby and rookieAvery Bradley, to help keep the Celtics’€™ defense in lockdown mode until Perkins comes back.

To read the entire article click here.

Irish Coffee: Top 5 Celtics Rappers

10.15.10 at 10:43 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Other than the player’s union’ s legal action against the NBA over all the hullabaloo about technical fouls, it’s a slow Celtics Friday. Inspired by Marquis Daniels‘ new hip hop track “Something to Talk About,” I thought we’d do a little Celtics Idol with C’s turned rappers. Submit your vote in the comments section below. (Drum roll please) And the nominees are …

MARQUIS DANIELS (AKA Q6)

Song: “Something to Talk About” feat. Kevin Cossom
Lyric: “I plan to raise the game until my bank account impregnate.
The haters say I regulate. Cheese on that beefsteak.”
Simon Cowell: “Not everybody is perfect, and I don’t think we should be looking for perfect people.”

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL (AKA Shaq Diesel)

Song: “(I Know I Got) Skillz” feat. Def Jef
Lyrics: “I got a hand that’ll rock ya cradle,
cream you like cheese, spread you on my bagel,
my Ford Explorer boomin’ with the clumped-up funk,
all you jealous punks can’t stop my dunks.”
Simon Cowell: “You’ve got quite a good voice, the problem I have is this looks to me like 10 years ago.”

DANA BARROS

Song: “Check It”
Lyric: “I’m about to snap, so you better give me room.
I’m blowing up on the hit when it go boom.
Mad dough’s what I made when I played.”
Simon Cowell: “A natural. A total natural. And I like you.”

GARY PAYTON

Song: “Livin’ Legal and Large”
Lyrics: “On my way to practice to work on my shot
’cause you can’t stop even you reach the top.
Check it, a lot of folks hate the fact that I’m the man
Got the mic to the left and the ball in my right hand.”
Simon Cowell: “Not in a billion years. There are only so many words I can drag out of my vocabulary to say how awful that was.”

BRIAN SHAW

Song: “Anything Can Happen”
Lyrics: “So, what I do, I keeps a lo-pro composure,
developing my skills without no exposure
Born in Oakland, California, raised in Richmond,
class of 1983, smacking opponents coming in my kitchen.”
Simon Cowell: “It was dreadful. No, no, really dreadful. I’m telling you to be kind, because you will never, ever, ever have a career in singing.”

AND THE WINNER IS … My vote is clearly for Dana Barros. Dude can rhyme. His song’s got a little old school feel to it, like a Naughty by Nature production.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)

Read More: Brian Shaw, Dana Barros, Gary Payton, Marquis Daniels

Player’s union plans legal challenge to techs

10.14.10 at 9:33 pm ET
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Billy Hunter, the executive director of the NBA player’s union, said in a statement that the union would mount a legal challenge against the league’s crackdown on technical fouls. Hunter added that the players were not consulted about the rule change before it was implemented.

Here’s the statement:

“We have not seen any increase in the level of ‘complaining’ to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials. Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product. The changes were made without proper consultation with the Players Association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge.’€”

The union’s move comes on the heels of Kevin Garnett’s ejection Wednesday during the Celtics exhibition game with the Knicks. Garnett was issued two quick technical fouls just before the end of the first half.

(For more on Garnett’s ejection and how the new rules affect the Celtics, click here).

Read More: Billy Hunter, David Stern, Kevin Garnett,

Jermaine O’Neal loves the Celtics

10.14.10 at 1:04 pm ET
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In a conversation with SLAM Online‘s Russ Bengtson prior to last night’s game against the Knicks, Jermaine O’Neal continued to heap praise on his new team:

  • ‘€œIt’€™s hard to explain the chemistry that we have. I always try to picture words to express the feeling that I have about being here. You know, obviously the rich tradition of championships and all the guys that’€™ve played in this uniform. It’€™s definitely an honor and a pleasure to be involved in something like this.’€
  • “Most teams you’€™re on you’€™re gonna dominate the guy that’€™s backing you up or the guy that you share time with. But here it’€™s like, OK, let me get stretched. Let me make sure I’€™m ready to go when Doc says let’€™s go.’€
  • ‘€œEverything that I’€™ve pictured it would be, it’€™s been that way. But it’€™s been probably five times better. You look at the point in my career where the chapter’€™s coming to a close, and if I had to pick a group of guys to close it with, this is it right here.’€
Read More: Jermaine O'Neal,
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