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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,

Doc Rivers on D&C, 11/19

11.19.09 at 10:34 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan for his weekly chat, and the hosts asked him about his coaching style, how he deals with different players and whether he would go for the win or the tie if he was down by two points. (Click here for complete audio interview.)

Coaches have been in the news lately. As a jumping-off point, do you consider yourself a player’s coach?

Rivers: I’ve heard that for years — what’s a player’s coach? I don’t know if there is such a thing, honestly. There’s coaches who have great relationships with their players, there are those who don’t, but I don’t think that’s what makes them a player’s coach or not. I think the respect factor is huge. If you have respect in the locker room with your players and vice versa then I guess that makes you a player’s coach.

Do you ever toss a table, break a chalkboard or scream bloody murder?

I scream bloody murder. I’ve never been a chalkboard puncher, but I’ve done things where I’ve lost my temper. But I don’t think those are things you can do very often because eventually it will not work. But you have to be demanding. You have to demand a standard, which is what we call it in our locker room. We set a standard. I demand that standard. That’s the part you have to get your players to buy into.

What are the things you live by to set that standard?

The number one thing with me is you have to remain agenda free. It has to be about team and it has to be about winning. If you have those two things and they believe that and it has to be true then they will follow you. It’s not about a star. It’s not about anything else but winning, and you tell them that up front. That doesn’t mean the decisions you make are always right. When you make a decision and it’s always about what’s good for the team then it’s very difficult for someone to question you on that.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t do something different and that may be true. I tell my players all the time, I’m not going to do right all the time, but I know if you do right all the time it will still work. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: D+C, Doc Rivers,

NBA POWER RANKINGS – 11/19

11.19.09 at 9:45 am ET
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1. (5): It was a hell of a week for the young Hawks, who outworked the Celtics at the Garden and then swept through home games against the rudderless Hornets, the Blazers and the Heat. By the way, Josh Smith scares me to death. He was never a bad player, yet he’s twice as good now as he was three years ago.

2. (1): The fact that Steve Nash is averaging 12 assists per game is impressive enough, but to be doing it at 35 years old is ridiculous. If Nash can maintain this pace — and he can’t — his numbers will be better than his MVP seasons. Look at the top 15 assist men in league history and none of them has had an assist season close to this at 35.

3. (9): I wonder which Magic player has the most entertaining, profane material on Stan Van Gundy. I’m telling you, despite the wins, they hate this guy. Van Gundy is right not to obsess over stats, but Rashard Lewis won’t soon forget that his head coach held him out the entire fourth quarter when he was a measly assist shy of a triple double.

4. (12): Oh, I know I can be stubborn, but this ranking is also proof that I can prop up teams that I don’t like. It’s not personal. I would never trust this group in a big game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: NBA, power rankings,

Wallace looks back on Pistons Pacers Brawl

11.18.09 at 11:54 pm ET
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Thursday marks five years since the Pacers – Pistons brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Rasheed Wallace, a member of the Pistons at the time, was surprised it has been that long.

‘€œNo, no I don’t even think about it unless somebody brings it up,’€ he told WEEI.com.

So what does he think when someone does bring it up?

‘€œThat was a funny little event there, if you ask me,’€ he said.

The fight began with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter. It started with a Ron Artest foul against Ben Wallace and spiraled out of control … and into the stands. Punches and drinks were thrown, among other things, by both players and fans. A total of nine players were suspended for nearly 150 games.

In spite of the penalties, Wallace, who was not suspended, doesn’t think there have been many lessons learned from the fight.

‘€œNo, not really,’€ he said. ‘€œThere’s fights that still go on. They just try to break it up. But see, once it’s a real melee they talk all the refs tried to break it up but no, they [are] ghosts. The refs are in the back. So it’s all on the players to break it up.’€

Wallace may not think about the fight that often, but to many NBA fans, “The Malice at the Palace” still stands out to them.

Read More: Rasheed Wallace,
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