|02.27.10 at 1:40 pm ET|
The Celtics stayed true to form racing out to a 12-2 lead. Unfortunately, their second-half form also came out when they allowed the 5-52 Nets to go on a 16-6 run to tie the game at 18.
Like Thursday night, the Celtics were on fire from the floor, shooting a blazing 11-for-16 to start the opening quarter and finishing 12-for-19. Kevin Garnett made all four of his shots and finished with eight points.
Devin Harris, who is second on the Nets in scoring at 16.5 points a game, nearly had that many in the opening period, netting 11, including all six free throws.
Keyon Dooling drilled a three just before the first-quarter buzzer to give Nets a 29-27 lead.
|02.27.10 at 1:09 pm ET|
“It’s different because I think guys are really anxious to get to the playoffs,” he said. “You have your veteran guys, Sheed, KG, you could tell that this regular season really don’t excite them, seriously. Even with Paul and Ray, you still have to go out here and compete, and it’s not an excuse for losing but you can just tell guys just want to get to the crunch time, get to the playoffs.”
Then Perkins made reference to fact that the Celtics were swept this season in four games by Atlanta, one of the teams they’re battling with for playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference.
[Click here to hear Perkins tell it the way it is.]
“Even like the Atlanta series, when they swept us, we took it to heart but it wasn’t like a big deal like how everyone else tried to make it,” Perkins admitted. “I don’t know if that’s a bad thing but it’s just like we come into games focused and we’re not trying to lose games but you can see that sometimes maybe we do get bored with the process and we can’t do that.
“That first year we kept harping on trying to get that best record so we could have home court advantage through playoffs. I think now guys are [realize] last year we won a couple of games on the road, we won a lot more on the road this year, our road record is pretty decent and guys are comfortable and guys are really like we don’t care where we fall in the playoffs let’s just play so I don’t know if that’s a bad thing or good thing. I do hate losing, whether it’s the regular season or playoffs.”
Perkins said there was no panic in the Celtics locker room after blowing a 13-point lead to Cleveland on Thursday night and losing by 20.
“After the Cleveland game, I never got a bad vibe from the team, period,” he said. “Guys said what they had to say about why we lost but one thing about this is we’re always together. There’s never guys straying apart. Guys always stick together, whether we lose or win so that’s the good thing about our team.
“We’re always consistent on how we act we with each other. We never overreact to a loss or anything somebody may write about us. We always stick together. I guess that’s where ‘Ubuntu’ comes in.
|02.27.10 at 1:08 pm ET|
The Celtics television broadcast will go Hollywood today … “Access Hollywood,” that is.
“Access Hollywood” host and Medford native Maria Menounos will assume play-by-play duties during the second quarter of the Celtics-Nets game. She will call the game with Tommy Heinsohn on Comcast SportsNet New England.
Her new role is part of the “Access Hollywood” series, “‘Maria’s Madcap Adventures.” The segment will run this spring.
|02.27.10 at 12:50 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said before Saturday’s game against New Jersey that Paul Pierce would miss his third straight game with a sprained right thumb but the coach is hopeful Pierce could return by the team’s next game on Tuesday in Detroit.
|02.26.10 at 3:09 pm ET|
Recently acquired Celtics guard Nate Robinson appeared on the Dale & Holley show Friday afternoon to talk about how he is taking to his new home in Boston. Robinson said that he is going to “do my job and just try to help this team win as many games as we can” as he takes the place of the Eddie House off the bench.
Robinson talked about his appreciation for the history of his new team as a fan of the game of basketball. “I know the Celtics and the Celtics and Lakers, the dynamic in the past in the NBA they have been the two dominant teams in the world,” he said. “So it’s just good to be a part of it and hopefully I can make some history here.
He also touched on some of the negative perceptions that came out of the end of his tenure in New York, where Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni benched him for part of the season. Said Robinson: “Him putting me on the bench was his decision. I couldn’t argue against it. So, I had to sit there and wait my turn and be patient.” As for negative opinions, Robinson said that, “Me personally, I don’t really care at all if people like me or if they don’t. I’m here to play the game the right way and the best way I know how.”
The three-time champion of the All-Star dunk contest also added his thoughts on the event. Though he said that he is done dunking in the event, Robinson does not feel that the format of the marquee feature of All-Star Saturday needs to be tinkered with.”You’ve just got to find different guys to make it interesting. You have to get guys that want to do it. You can’t put guys in there who want to do it just to do it,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
|02.26.10 at 2:39 pm ET|
Before every game, NBA coaches and their assistants place the names of players to contain on a board as part of the game plan.
But it’s obvious now that they need to add a fourth name: Rajon Rondo.
He showed why in the first quarter on Thursday night, with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and six assists as the Celtics raced out to a 31-21 lead. James stopped short of saying Rondo has become the most important Celtic but not by much.
“I don’t know if I can say that,” James began. “When you scout for Boston, there are certain guys that make that board before the game, these type of guys you have to stop and he’s one of those guys.
“First couple of years here in Boston, he wasn’t on that board. He was fast point guard, you have to get back but other than that you didn’t talk about him, you didn’t talk about Rondo.”
[Click here to hear LeBron talk about Rondo.]
Rondo earned his first All-Star berth this winter and players like King James have taken note.
“Last year, he made a name for himself and he makes that board when you’re talking about, ‘This is what we’re doing again Paul, this is what we’re doing against Ray and this is what we’re doing against KG and this is what we’re doing against Rondo.’ When you make that board, you’re definitely a very good player.”
As for whether Rondo can get the Celtics back in gear and challenge the 45-14 Cavaliers, that remains to be seen. But James isn’t taking the Celtics lightly, even after a 20-point win on Thursday at TD Garden.
“They’re a very good team,” James said. “No one doubts Boston. No one who ever comes into this building or plays Boston on the road doubts that team. They have too many weapons, they’re too experienced. They have a good coach, a good coaching staff. No one ever doubts them and you better play well or they can embarrass you.”
|02.26.10 at 6:57 am ET|
‘When I came here early I did take an extra step that way [toward the Celtics locker room] because I’ve never been in this locker room before now,’ he said, laughing, ‘I came here, I was like, ‘Oh this locker room’s trash.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no wonder I’ve never been in here.’ ‘
On Thursday night he returned to the building where he played his first NBA game, won a championship, and spent the first three years of his career.
As it turns out, it was also the same building where he experienced another first.
After missing 10 months with a torn ACL, Powe made his regular-season debut with the Cavaliers on, of all place, the Garden parquet.
It took a minute to register when coach Mike Brown gave him the nod late in the second quarter.
‘He called my name like three times,’ Powe said. ‘I didn’t even know, was he calling me? I was looking down, I’m the only Leon, OK. All right, I’m going to go in now. So I wasn’t really sure. My teammates tapped me ‘ ‘Hey, hey, go in man.’ I was like, ‘Oh, OK. I haven’t played in a while, but it felt good getting back out there a little bit.’
Powe made the most of his four minutes of playing time. He scored four points, hit two free throws, and grabbed a pair of rebounds.
His main focus, though, continues to be tough defense. His assignment against the Celtics? Defend Kevin Garnett.
‘I was just messing with him a little bit, talking a little junk to him. He said a couple of things to me so I said something back,’ Powe chuckled. ‘You know me and KG, anybody can attest to this, at practice we’d go at it all the time, yelling, pushing, going at each other all the time. It was just like old times. It’s just his way of saying what’s up.’
Not only did Powe appreciate Garnett’s greeting, the response from the Celtics fans went a long way too. Just two days after giving Eddie House a standing ovation when he returned as a Knick, the crowd greeted Powe with a loud cheer.
‘The fans appreciated the hard work I did while I was here, and that’s big to me.’ he said. ‘I just hope that they continue to stick with me so any time I come here, I’d get a standing ovation.’
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