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Fast Break: Celtics – Warriors

11.18.09 at 10:02 pm ET
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On Wednesday night the Celtics broke their losing streak against streaky scoring teams. After falling to Suns (111.3 ppg) and Hawks (108 ppg), the Celtics defeated the Warriors, the league’s highest scoring squad (111.6 ppg).They rolled 109-95 to improve to 9-3.

Player of the game: After scoring a total of 15 points over the last three games, Rondo scored 12 points in the third quarter alone to put the Celtics back in control. He finished the night with 18 points, 12 assists, and 7 rebounds. It was also a night of firsts for Rondo ‘€“ he hit his first free throw since November 4 against the Timberwolves and drained his first three-pointer of the season.

Play of the game: Rondo earned his player of the game status in the third quarter. He scored the Celtics first fastbreak points of the game with 4:45 to go, then completed a three-point play for a 12-point lead. On the next possession he kicked the ball cross-court to Paul Pierce for a three-pointer and drained a trey of his own to put the Celtics up 78-65.

– Pierce passed Isiah Thomas on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 19 points. He now ranks 48 (18,224) and is seven points behind Chet Walker (47th).

– The Celtics held the Warriors to 35.3% (6/17) three-point shooting. The Warriors came into the game ranked fourth in the league shooting 39.5% on the season. The Celtics, on the other hand, surpassed their season average (36.5%) with 8-for-19 shooting (42.1%).

– After getting outrebounded 21-14 in the first half, the Celtics crashed the boards in the second to reclaim the lead. They outrebounded the Warriors 22-14 in the second half (36-35 for the game).

– Former Celtic Mikki Moore posted six points and five rebounds in 28 minutes as the Warriors starting center. Before the game he said he is trying to help his high-scoring teammates become more defensive-minded, like the Celtics are.

Kendrick Perkins was the first Celtics player to score in double-digits. He finished with 15 points and passed his previous season high of 14.

Can Celtics finish?

11.18.09 at 8:45 pm ET
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In their two losses to Atlanta and Indiana, the Celtics have been jumping out to quick leads but unable to put away teams in the fourth quarter.

That’s a trait they perfected in 2008. And in three blowout wins against Utah, Charlotte and Philadelphia, it wasn’t even an issue as they built leads of over 20 points in each case, turning the final 12 minutes in each case into prime time for the bench.

But against Atlanta, they were outscored 25-16 in the fourth and lost 97-86. In Indianapolis the next night, they were outscored, 61-43, by the younger, fresher Pacers, losing 113-104. The Celtics have led in the fourth quarter in each of their three losses entering Wednesday.

“I’m concerned about bad finishes than slow starts, honestly,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s contest. “I think all three of the games, we’ve had a lead in the fourth quarter. I said it [Tuesday], I don’t think we’re a 48-minute team yet.”

On Wednesday, the Celtics took a 49-48 lead to the locker room, somewhat deflated by the waving off of Kevin Garnett’s 3/4-court heave that hit nothing but net.

But the real question remains – Can the Celtics finish?

Stay tuned now and for the rest of the season.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett,

Allen takes on second generation of shooters

11.18.09 at 7:32 pm ET
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Ray Allen reveres Dell Curry as one of the best players he ever competed against ‘€“ and with ‘€“ in the NBA. Ten years after playing with him on the Milwaukee Bucks, Allen is playing against Curry’s son, rookie Stephen, as the Celtics take on the Warriors.

‘€œIt doesn’t make me feel old,’€ Allen, 34, said before the game. ‘€œIt just makes me feel privileged to be able to play in two generations of players. I always say Dell was the one guy I feared playing against because he shot the ball so quick. And then when I played with him, it was a privilege because he was the one guy that I loved watching.’€

21-year-old Stephen looks forward to the match up as well. Allen was one of his favorite basketball players growing up and he has carefully watched Allen’s game with his father over the years.

‘€œWe would watch the Celtics play and he would point out how well Ray would move without the ball and how quickly he could get his shot off,’€ he told WEEI.com before tip-off. ‘€œI don’t think he figured out how to defend him so he couldn’t give me any advice. But you’ve just got to be able to chase him around the court because Ray Allen’s going to find a shot.’€

Allen believes Stephen will find his shoot, too, but he points out the bar has been raised for the young guard.

‘€œDell was a pure shooter. Dell’s a big guard, Dell was pretty slow.  Stephen is quicker but his jumpshoot doesn’t compare to his dad’s,’€ he said. ‘€œAs good as Stephen’s jumpshot is, people ask me who the best star is and I say Dell Curry and Dale Ellis that I’ve seen. And so you’re talking about 30 years combined of great shooting, so that’s lineage that Stephen has to live up to.’€

Read More: Ray Allen, Stephen Curry,

Danny Ainge on the Big Show

11.18.09 at 5:31 pm ET
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Danny Ainge joined the guys on The Big Show to talk about the rumored three-way trade that was just a rumor, the media’s incessant rumor-mongering and his team’s recent lack of consistency (CLICK HERE for complete audio interview). There’s also some good Stephon Marbury talk later on. [Edited in spots for clarity].

Lets’ get right to it, right off the bat. We keep hearing about this three-team deal, lay it on us, what’s going on?

Ainge: We have nothing going on.

Are you telling me that the media making this stuff up?

In the media there are people who are more concerned with breaking news then they are with writing truth and writing real history. It’s the competition of who breaks the story first, and I have a feeling there’s people with motives that are trying to get their player traded from another team. That’s why this story gets out.

Were there any conversations with any of these teams at all?

No.

You haven’t had any conversations with any of these teams?

No.

So, is it possible that an agent with a media person would have their own reason for doing it?

I think that happens a lot. There’s some person who will call some person in the business to get their input. That input spreads from person to person to the next thing you know a story comes out and there’s no validity to it. There’s so much of that that goes on. I spend so much of my time talking to reporters that are calling to see if this stuff is true.

Do you have to deal with the agents and players on the other side when something like this comes out?

That’s the easier part. Players get it. They understand the business. I’ve been very honest with my players. I’ll answer any question they have to see if there’s any validity to any of the rumors. It’s not just our team. There’s things that I read almost daily that I know for a fact aren’t true. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Big Show, Danny Ainge,

Donny Basketball

11.18.09 at 1:49 pm ET
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Doc Rivers has known Don Nelson a long time. When he arrived on the scene in the NBA, Rivers was a point guard on the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta would have knock down, drag out bouts with Nellie’s Milwaukee Bucks when the Bucks were winning Central Division titles year after year.

This year though, the Warriors are tops in the league in scoring through 10 games, at 111.6 points. Note to Celtics, the Suns and Hawks are second and third and both beat Boston at the Garden.

The flip side of that is they’re allowing 113.7 points a contest, the highest in the league.

“He didn’t start out that way,” Rivers said. “Don’s been coaching a long time. He’s basically taken what he has and uses it and turns it into that.

“In Milwaukee, they might have been the slowest basketball team on Earth to play. They walked the ball up the floor, played slow and used the clock and you were in an 80-point game with them.”

Nelson broke into coaching at the age of 36 in 1976 with the Milwaukee Bucks. He is now 69 and has more wins (1312) than any active coach and is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Don Nelson, Warriors

Celtics – Warriors Preview

11.18.09 at 10:40 am ET
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On Wednesday night, the Celtics square off against the Golden State Warriors at the TD Garden. Golden State is a team that has played the Cs close and pushed them on several occasions in recent years. Last year, the teams split the season season series, 1-1, with the Celtics winning the first match-up at home, 119-111, and then losing the second game on the road, 99-89.

A deeper look at the numbers shows that points off the bench for the teams were not a factor. In the first game, both benches scored 21 points. In the second game, the Golden State bench outscored the Cs bench 26-24. This year, in all likelihood, the benches could play a larger role, certainly for the Celtics, given their increased depth and the fact that Paul Pierce’s sore knee has led to some effort to scale back his work in practice over the last couple of days.

Coming off a two-game losing streak, the Celtics are looking to tighten their defense, something they did at practice on Monday. Pierce was seen at Tuesday’s practice, which bodes well since he chipped in 21 points in each game last season.

While the C’s won’t have to worry about Stephen Jackson this year, they will have to contend with Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic, both recently acquired by the Warriors in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Other key injuries for Golden State include Andris Biedrins, out with a plethora of injuries including groin and back strains, and Brandon Wright, sidelined from left shoulder surgery.

The Warriors injuries suggest that Stephen Curry and Corey Maggette likely will have to take on larger roles, especially with Kelenna Azubuike out for the season.

Tip off is at 7:30 p.m. The game will be the final stop on a five-game road trip for Golden State, which is finishing its run of back-to-back games against the Celtics, who come off four days rest.

Doc: ‘We’ve done a lot of things average’

11.17.09 at 4:23 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Doc Rivers knows his team hasn’t hit its stride yet.

He also realizes there’s 71 games left in the season.

But still, he, like everyone else, had to watch on Friday and Saturday as the Celtics dropped back-to-back games somewhat unexpectedly to the Hawks at home and the Pacers on the road.

The more alarming loss was Saturday when the weary Celts allowed Indiana to shoot 53 percent from the floor and score 113 points in a loss at Conseco Fieldhouse.

“It’€™s nothing big,” Rivers said following Tuesday’s practice. “We’€™ve done a lot of things average and we’€™re not an average team. When you play average on defense on certain things, and offense, you lose. It’€™s more of that. It’€™s nothing earth-shattering. It’€™s nothing we’€™re going to panic about. We know we have to get better.

‘€œTo me, the way we’€™ve played so far, we’€™ve been a spurt team. We’€™re not ready yet to be a 48-minute basketball team, that’€™s just not what we’€™ve done yet. We’€™re working on it.’€

Meanwhile, one of the Celtics best defenders of the last two seasons ‘€” when healthy ‘€” has been Tony Allen. The guard has been out with a right ankle injury since off-season surgery but could be getting closer to returning as he is now practicing with the team.

‘€œHe did well actually,” Rivers said. “He moved and played great. He’€™s moving well. I’€™m not sure if he’€™s ready to play yet, honestly. I just don’€™t know yet because I do think he’€™s not sure of his injuries. There’€™s several times he’€™ll jump and you can see he’€™s clearly thinking about it and I don’€™t like putting players on the floor when they’€™re thinking about it because that leads to something else.’€

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Tony Allen,
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