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Camp report: Fighting through the injuries

10.04.10 at 4:09 pm ET
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As always with the Celtics, injuries and their effects will be a constant theme this season. It’s fitting then that only a week into camp, the team is already dealing with a couple of minor ailments.

Jermaine O’Neal injured his left hamstring at the end of Friday’s practice and will likely be held out for the rest of the week. Delonte West left practice Monday after suffering back spasms. Doc Rivers is a little more optimistic on West, saying that West could be day to day. One thing is certain: the Celtics are playing it safe.

“We cannot take a chance with that,” Rivers said.

The injuries, however minor, do allow for Rivers to begin tinkering with lineups. When practice opened to the media, Shaquille O’Neal was with the first team and Von Wafer and Semih Erden were working with the second unit.

“When you look at Shaq and Jermaine and think that they’€™re going to play 82 games healthy, that would be nice, but we have to be ready for them to miss a couple of games,” Rivers said. “That’€™s why like Luke [Harangody] and Semih are so important. They’€™re going to have to play.”

Jermaine O’Neal’s hamstring injury, which he does not believe is serious, comes at a difficult time because he was just getting comfortable with the new system.

“I’€™m not really concerned about it,” O’Neal said. “It’€™s the timing, being here with the guys getting that chemistry. I was just starting to get comfortable with the philosophies, what Doc wanted. That’€™s the most frustrating part about it. But I don’€™t have any doubt in my mind that I’€™ll be back fairly soon. There’€™s no substitution for it. You can study and look all you want. I felt like Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I was really starting to get comfortable and everything was starting to slow down.”

Rivers termed O’Neal’s play “up and down,” through the first part of camp, which is understandable since he’s just beginning to process all the changes. “When you’€™re playing with a new team, you’€™re not playing, you’€™re thinking,” Rivers said. “But other than that I love what he was doing. He’€™s starting to make shots from the outside.”

The Celtics open their exhibition schedule Wednesday in Manchester, New Hampshire against the Sixers. O’Neal is almost certainly out for that game, while West is day to day.

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Read More: Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Shaquille O'Neal

Tony Gaffney on the move

10.04.10 at 10:26 am ET
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The Celtics officially announced the release of Tony Gaffney Monday morning and it appears the UMass product is headed to Turkey.

Gaffney, like a number of young players, is trying to crave out a role in the NBA. His strengths–defense and rebounding– would be welcome additions to most teams, but while the Celtics certainly value those traits they are also loaded at his position where he was already behind Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis.

The C’s feel like they need shooting and that has left Von Wafer with a fighting chance at the last roster spot. Wafer is getting pushed by Mario West, a defensive specialist who walked on at Georgia Tech and survived three seasons with the Hawks. West has played 156 career games and scored 132 points, so scoring is definitely not his thing.

But West can guard small forwards and that is a greater source of need for the Celtics than what Gaffney was able to provide.

Read More: Mario West, Tony Gaffney, Von Wafer,

Celtics: Irish Coffee

10.04.10 at 10:23 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

In an appearance at the London School of Basketball over the weekend, Kobe Bryant claimed he could beat LeBron James 1-0n-1 in his sleep.

“I’d win, I’d win” Bryant said. “That’s what I do. One on one is … that’s easy for me, you know. Playing one on one is how I grew up playing, it’s like my thing. LeBron is more like a Magic Johnson, he’s a great passer and plays an all-around game. At the core of me, I’m a one-on-one player. I’d do that in my sleep.”

That’s a bold statement, but I tend to agree. He’s arrogant, but his breakdown is pretty much spot on. So, what do you think? Could any current Celtics beat Kobe 1-on-1? I think Ray Allen could beat him in HORSE.

Why Boston hates L.A.

This is the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard. So, the L.A. Times is doing a weekly series on its Lakers Blog community. Each writer explains a little about himself, including how he became a Lakers fan. Well, this guy claims he was a longtime Celtics fan who became a loyal Lakers fan. I say that’s impossible.

“I liked winners, and they won every year–like the Yankees,” wrote Paul Hefti. “Following the Celtics, Yankees and Bruins seemed a natural thing to do. … I had moved to L.A. and the Lakers really got a hold of me. They were so clean, pretty, sunshiny–all things L.A.–and I was hooked. Getting beaten by the Celtics really started to kill me–my Boston family never forgave me.”

Is that the most ridiculous paragraph ever written in sports journalism history? No wonder Boston fans hate L.A. No true Celtics fan would ever become a Lakers fan. EVER. Anyone who roots for the Lakers and Yankees is called a fair-weather fan. Not a fan. And that’s the end of that.

Celtics idol?

Interested in singing the national anthem at a Celtics home game this season? Show up at the Hard Rock Café between noon and 5 p.m. today to audition in front of former New Edition member Michael Bivins, one-time American Idol contestant Ayla Brown and JAMN 94.5 personality Melissa. More info here. Try not to pull a Roseanne Barr or a Carl Lewis while attempting “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Celtics SCVNGR hunt

Foursquare competitor SCVNGR teamed with the Celtics to allow users to compete for a pair of season tickets. C’s fans with Android or iPhones can use SCVNGR to hunt around Boston, completing tasks at locations tied to the team. The fan with the most points by Oct. 22 wins a pair of season tix.

I’m not sure they thought of these, but I’d include: rub Bill Russell‘s beard, find the old Scotch ‘n Sirloin and imitate this kid’s dance moves step for step on a stairwell in Boston.

Read More: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, SCVNGR,

Shaq gossip all over the Radar

10.02.10 at 4:09 pm ET
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Don’t shoot the messenger on this one, but I thought this story from RadarOnline.com was weird when I read that Shaquille O’Neal‘s ex-wife Shaunie reportedly offered Shaq’s alleged mistress, Vanessa Lopez, an “incentive” to go public with an affair in order to nullify the terms of their pre-nup. But that’s the least bizarre aspect of the story.

Twist No. 1: According to RadarOnline.com, Shawn Darling, who used to work for Shaq, accused his former boss of hacking into his computer, destroying evidence and planting child pornography. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the old blame the cat for your disgusting kiddie porn trick that some guy tried a few months back. And, somehow, I don’t picture Shaq as the computer hacking type. Or should I say computer shaq-ing type (that was bad, I know).

Twist No. 2: Now, RadarOnline.com reports that Shaq allegedly hired Justin Zormelo to harass Lopez. Zormelo denies this claim in an e-mail to the website: “The allegations are completely untrue. I have never spoken to that woman, nor threatened her.”

I have no idea what to make of all this. Lawsuits are flying everywhere. Messy stuff. Whether the info is true or not, it obviously creates an unwanted distraction for Shaq.

Read More: Justin Zormelo, Shaquille O'Neal, Shawn Darling, Vanessa Lopez

Bye bye Tony Gaffney

10.02.10 at 3:57 pm ET
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Citing a numbers game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced Saturday that the team had waived rookie forward Tony Gaffney from the team on Saturday. The move brings the current roster to 17.

Gaffney, who played as a standout at UMass, was the final cut of the Lakers before last season, before signing on with a team in Israel. He injured his ankle in his first game overseas and returned to the States to rehab. Gaffney and Oliver Lafayette on April 14 to get an extended look at both over the summer.

The 25-year-old Gaffney, a native of Berkley, Mass., was a Celtics fan before becoming a standout at Somerset High School.

And as a senior at UMass, he was Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year in a season, averaging 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Oliver Lafayette, Tony Gaffney,

Celtics cut Tony Gaffney

10.02.10 at 2:03 pm ET
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According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Celtics have cut Tony Gaffney.

The former UMass star reportedly posted this on his Facebook page: “All good things must come to an end. It was a great time being w the celtics, it ended today. I appreciate all the love n support. You guys are the best. My agent is back to the drawing board and stirring up something. So when the next move is finalized you all will know. Thanks again everyone.”

The C’s have not yet formally announced the move. It would bring the roster down to 17 players, meaning Boston only has two cuts remaining. Of course, Gaffney could still land on the Maine Red Claws, the C’s NBA Development League affiliate.

Gaffney signed with the Celtics last season in April and received a non-guaranteed contract for the 2010-11 season.  He was the last man cut by the Lakers prior to the 2009-10 season.

Read More: Tony Gaffney,

Shaq vs. Nate Robinson, again

10.02.10 at 1:29 pm ET
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Dear Shaq and KG,

Please don’t kill Nate Robinson. He could be useful this season.

Thanks,
Ben

Read More: Kevin Garnett, Nate Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal,
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