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Fast break: Celtics-Bulls

10.30.09 at 10:31 pm ET
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The Celtics did it with defense and the bench in the first half and then they buried the Bulls under a 3-point barrage in the second half in a 118-90 win win. While the Celtics pushed the lead into the 30’s in the third quarter, this game was essentially over early. The Bulls shot just 5-for-20 in the first quarter and 29 percent in the first half.

The Celtics are now 3-0 and looking very much like the best team in the league.

Player of the game: Paul Pierce. You could make a case for Kevin Garnett (16 points, four rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (16 assists, eight rebounds) as well, but Pierce was solid throughout racking up 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Turning point: At the 4-minute mark of the second quarter Garnett joined Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins on the bench with two fouls. The Celtics had a 15-13 lead at the time. Over the next 10 minutes the second unit (and Pierce) built the lead up to 14 points, 35-21, and the Bulls never got back in the game. It was a slow, methodical dissection built entirely on defense.

* The Celtics made their first six 3-pointers of the second half, including four from Pierce. The 3-point barrage was just the icing on the cake for the C’s. Even though they made just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half they still shot an even 50 percent from the floor. They said after the Charlotte game that they had not played a complete game yet. Wonder if they still feel that way.

* It’s a little unfair to say that this is how the first round of the playoffs would have gone last year if Garnett had been healthy. After all, Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels are now in the mix and the Bulls are without Ben Gordon and are trying to work Luol Deng back into the lineup. Also, Derrick Rose is dealing with an ankle injury. All that said, it’s probably a safe bet that the series wouldn’t have gone seven games

* Allen moved past John Stockton for 33rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Somehow seems odd to pass Stockton on any list that has to do with scoring.

* With about two minutes left in the game, Doc Rivers emptied the bench to play out the final string. Joining the five before they took the floor was Wallace who was dispensing advice to rookie Lester Hudson.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Fast Break,

Davis: It was a ‘stupid mistake’

10.30.09 at 8:33 pm ET
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Even though he needed a little prodding from general manager Danny Ainge next to him on the podium stage, Glen Davis characterized his actions that resulted in a fractured last thumb last weekend.

“It was a stupid mistake, a stupid mistake,” Davis said, after Ainge helped him answer the initial question. “Like Danny said, it’s something I most definitely have learned from looking forward.”

Sporting a white cast on his right hand and forearm, Davis continued to express his remorse for getting involved in an altercation last Sunday that has put him out of action for the next six weeks.

Ainge said Davis has made his apologies to everyone, including his team and now it’s time to move forward.

“My teammates are my teammates,” Davis said. “They’re there for me, no matter what. I just am thankful that I have great teammates like that.

“It’s been tough watching those guys play and not being there and be able to experience those experiences with them. I just want to move on, work hard and stay in shape to make sure I’m ready to play.” Read the rest of this entry »

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No suspension for Glen Davis

10.30.09 at 8:09 pm ET
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Saying he wants Glen Davis around the team at practice and in meetings, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge announced before Friday’s game that the forward will not be suspended for his actions that resulted in a fractured thumb two days before the season opener.

“We have decided, as an organization, not to suspend Glen. We’ve levied a fine against him. We want him around the team, we want him with the team on the road. This was an unfortunate incident. Glen has apologized to owners and teammates and coaches and fans and everybody and it’s just time to move forward and put it behind us.”

Ainge had indicated 30 minutes before the season opener on Tuesday in Cleveland that Davis was being suspended, after owner Wyc Grousbeck indicated a suspension was “very likely.”

More from Ainge:

On why Davis was not suspended: ‘€œWe want him around and he’€™s part of the team. And we have that option to either have him around or suspend him and not have him around and so its pretty simple. Glen is well liked by his teammates and I think the better chance of him coming back and being prepared to play when he’€™s healthy is being with the team..’€

On whether he thinks Davis is still think out for 6 weeks: ‘€œYeah we’€™re looking at six weeks, fast healer, maybe five.’€

Read More: Celtics, Glen Davis, NBA,

Bill Simmons talks some hoops

10.30.09 at 2:11 pm ET
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Bill Simmons joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about his new book, ‘The Book of Basketball’, among other things. Here is a transcript of the conversation (To listen to the audio click here.):

(Transcript courtesy Dan Rowinski)

That is a long book.

Take your time with it. It was never meant to be a book that you read in two days or three days or whatever. It was actually kind of designed that if you want to put it next to your toilet and read it in six months, that’€™s fine.

How long did it take your to write it?

It took me three years. Actually five years from a research standpoint. But really like three solid years of watching games and taking notes and going through every NBA opinion I ever had to make sure that I did not repeat myself. Reading, I read like 100 books. I have ever NBA book that’€™s ever been written including some of the worst books you have ever seen.

Why don’€™t you just make it clear and say those books sucked?

Some of those books were good. I had a bibliography at the end and I wanted to make it clear which books helped my book and some of the books just didn’€™t help, you know?

If it took three years to write, did you ever write something in Year 1 that you ended up changing? Because I know you already changed your thoughts on who will be in the NBA Finals next spring.

Yeah, I did. I wrote the prologue in the summer of ‘€™07, before the KG trade. That’€™s when I really started writing the book. And, we had just lost the lottery and if you remember it was just so depressing to be a Celtics fans. Like, what are we going to do, are we going to take that Chinese guy where he has the workouts where he just goes against the chair. What’€™s going to happen? So, I had this whole thing that it was once great to be a Celtics fan and then the wheels came off and what’€™s going to happen now? As I was writing the book, things totally change, we win the title. That was the thing I had to change the most.

Heard you had some big book signings. Are you so big that you got Tim Donaghy’€™s book squashed because it would have been competition for you?

No, I am not big. Because if I was big that same book company would have sent me those excerpts instead of the sports blog.

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Rondo deadline extended to Monday

10.29.09 at 9:23 pm ET
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ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the NBA has extended the deadline to sign players from the 2006 draft class to a contract extension to Monday, meaning the Celtics have until then to re-sign Rajon Rondo. Per Stein, the NBA moved the deadline to be in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.

Thebo Sefolosaha was the fourth player from the class to sign an extension, joining Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Andrea Bargnani. Rondo is by far the best player from that class who hasn’t worked out an extension.

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NBA Power Rankings — 10/29

10.29.09 at 11:59 am ET
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1. All right, dammit, I’ll give them their props for last year. But there’s no way in hell they’ll be here next week.

2. I thought Sheed was crazy with the 72-win talk; why not 75? Seriously, this will be Doc’s best team yet.

3. Tim Duncan is still great, but the Spurs also win because they’ve got the smartest front office in the league.

4. You’ve hated on Vince. I’ve hated on Vince. But Vince is gonna play out of his mind in this system.

5. OK, Mike Brown. I’ll be the first to say it: The Cavs would be a better team if Shaq came off the bench.

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Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/29

10.29.09 at 11:24 am ET
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Doc Rivers appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show and talked about the Celtics‘ fast start, the impressive bench, and Glen Davis‘ immaturity. A transcript follows. Listen to the interview at the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Can the first game of an 82-game season … be a statement game?

I don’t know if it can be a statement game. I don’t think it’s a statement game to the Cavs, for sure. But I think for us, it helps us. Because we’ve had problems winning in that building, and now you have that monkey off your back, so when you go in there, at least that won’t be in the conversation anymore.

Was [last night's blowout] useful?

It’s always useful this early in the season. We have a lot of things to work on. They didn’t play well, Charlotte, especially in the first half. It’s funny, I thought defensively we were really good, obviously, you look at the numbers all game. But in the first half, I thought we played terrific defense and our offense didn’t match at all. And then in the second half we continued to play terrific defense and then our offense matched. And that’s what stretched the score. I think it was only 10 points at halftime. It was one of those games. Film-wise, it will be a good film session for us when we watch it tomorrow.

Are there not some easy wins in the NBA?

You’re never comfortable. Obviously, just like in football, fourth quarter, you have a big lead, that quarter can become easy. But up until then, it’s all work. You have to earn that score, you have to earn that lead. I was not happy at halftime, because I thought we had blown a golden opportunity to maybe have an easy night the rest of the night. And then we came out in the third quarter and played terrific on both ends. But it’s still hard work to get those leads. And once you get it, as a coaching staff, then you’re panicked to keep it all the time.

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