|02.24.10 at 8:49 pm ET|
Celtics president Danny Ainge was a guest on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon (Click here to listen to the interview) and he addressed the health of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, Nate Robinson’s adjustment to the team and Ray Allen’s resurgence. Following is a transcript.
Are you expecting Paul Pierce to be out against Cleveland?
I’m not sure yet. It will be a game-time decision. You never know with Paul. We want to be cautious with that thumb because those things can get aggravated easily. I don’t think the injury is serious, but they can get aggravated over and over and over.
Do you have to hold him out for his own benefit?
Yeah, but again, we will just see how the treatment goes and how much stronger it is tomorrow. By game time we will make that decision.
If you were playing the Nets tomorrow as opposed to Cleveland, would you treat it differently?
I don’t think so. I think that Cleveland might be a temptation for Paul. We still have the big picture in mind and it makes more sense to rest all his minor ailments and get him healthy once and for all.
How did Nate Robinson look last night?
I thought Nate was playing a little bit nervous. I think the dynamic of coming into a good team is a tough one because you are trying to fit in. He hasn’t played basketball in 10 days. They had a shootaround, basically, was all they had to go through the offense and playing the Knicks. I think all those things going in, there was a lot of emotion going on. I could see he was trying to fit in. Doc was trying to tell him that we just want you to be aggressive and attack, because that’s when he is at his best. Being an aggressive offensive player looking to score, I think that’s when he plays his best basketball. Read the rest of this entry »
|02.24.10 at 5:12 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Communicating would seem to come very naturally for Nate Robinson. But what the three-time NBA dunk champ learned Wednesday on the first full day of Celtics practice for him and Marcus Landry was a bit of a surprise.
The Celtics coaches told him they want him to “talk” and “be loud” – specifically when he’s on the court.
“Talking on defense,” Robinson said. “They want you to be loud and talking. I’m a loud person but sometimes in basketball some of the guys that talk a lot are not the ones who talk on defense. But they bring out the best in me and I’m looking forward to this.”
|02.24.10 at 4:04 pm ET|
Pierce was kept out of practice on Wednesday to protect his injured right thumb while Marquis Daniels was sent home with flu-like symptoms.
“I’m not going to say definitely but most likely not [Thursday],” Rivers said. “We’ll just evaluate it day-to-day. I didn’t want him to take a chance of getting his thumb hit at all in practice so that if he did feel good [Thursday] but if not, we’ll just wait. We’re just going to go a game at a time with him.”
Asked if he were concerned that Pierce’s thumb was anything more than a sprain, Rivers said likely not. “I would know if it’s something else and it’s not,” he said.
Also missing practice on Wednesday was Daniels. “We sent Marquis home. He looked awful so we’ll see [Thursday] and if not I have no idea right now so we’ll figure it out,” Rivers said.
|02.24.10 at 12:53 am ET|
On Tuesday night, Ray Allen returned to TD Garden for the first time since the trade deadline.
He didn’t expect to be anywhere else.
‘I had my whole West Coast bag packed already, so it was going on the plane to Sacramento on that Monday morning [for the Celtics four-game road trip]. So I wasn’t thinking about anything anyways,’ he said prior to the Celtics-Knicks game. ‘I think there was more made up than honestly I knew because people were tweeting me, hoping I stayed here. But it wasn’t a question for me whether or not I thought I was going anywhere.’
Allen repeatedly vocalized his desire to retire as a Celtic. There was no questioning his interest in finishing his career in green.
However, an expiring contract combined with the Celtics’ inconsistencies had landed his name is trade rumors for weeks. Many thought Allen had played his last game as a Celtic when the C’s blew a late lead to the Magic on Feb. 7, their final home game before the deadline. And when he sat out the next game in New Orleans with back spasms, even more speculation buzzed.
But as Celtics fans waited anxiously for the trade deadline to pass last Thursday, Allen was unaware of the time frame. He actually thought the deadline was Feb. 20, not the 18th.
Besides, one deadline did not dictate his 14-year career.
‘Not that I was ever worried about it because at worst you go somewhere else and you still play. Just you start somewhere else,’ he said. ‘So that was my mindset. But I think obviously there were people that either wanted me to stay or wanted me to go, one way or the other, it didn’t make a difference. I was still going to play.’
Just as leaving the Garden before the trade deadline didn’t trigger any emotions for Allen, neither did his return. For him, it was just another game in Boston, the city he always intended to return to.
‘I never expected not to be [here],’ he said. ‘If they traded me, then I’m gone. But I was never worried about it so I never thought otherwise, like I’m going to be somewhere else. This is where I planned to be and I didn’t think about anything else.’
|02.23.10 at 11:36 pm ET|
The emotion ran both ways for Eddie House in his return to the same parquet floor where just last month he was raining down 3’s on opponents and bringing fans to their feet.
On Tuesday night, a very appreciative House thanked the fans at TD Garden following Boston’s 110-106 win over his New York Knicks.
House received a standing ovation from the fans following a video tribute during a first-quarter timeout.
“It was beautiful,” he said. “I love the fans for the way they showed their love me and I have just as much back for them. I loved playing here. It was a great place. What a great run I had, winning a championship and having a chance again last year.”
[Click here to hear from House and his reaction to his return to Boston.]
On going from team with goal to win championship to a team building: ‘It’s hard, just losing. That’s the hard thing, I’m not used to losing. I haven’t been on a losing team in quite a long time. That’s the toughest thing about it is taking these L’s. Keep competing man, as long as you’re playing hard and trying to do the right thing. You can never be upset with yourself or your teammates. Everybody is trying to do the right thing and playing hard but for whatever reason we’re falling short.’
On whether he was glad he returned to Boston was so quick after trade: ‘It was no big deal. I didn’t put any more weight on this game than I did my first game in Madison Square. Just play the game of basketball. It’s the same thing just different opponent and just happens to be guys I played with before about a week ago. Just no strain on this game at all. I didn’t try to come in and just automatically try getting my shots like it was something. I just played the game and let the game come to me. Just play the right way that’s all I’m trying to do all the time.’
On what can he bring to this Knicks team: ‘I’m just going to try to bring as much leadership that I can. As far as playing the right way. That’s all it’s about is playing the right way and competing. I’m not saying I’m the best defensive player, but we’re going to try to do the best we can to put ourselves in position to be successful and keep helping if you get beat, and help him if he goes, and help someone else. We just got to continue to compete and it’s about leading by example, not just talking about it.’
|02.23.10 at 9:53 pm ET|
The Celtics returned home after two weeks away and a reunion broke out. With Eddie House, Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens back at the Garden but in the colors of the New York Knicks, the pregame atmosphere had an almost surreal quality to it with House poking his head into the Celtics locker room saying, “Yeah, I know it’s the wrong one.”
The game between the Celtics and Knicks wasn’t any less bizarre. The Celtics built a double-digit lead only to see it collapse in the second quarter when the starting five came back into the game. They dominated in the paint, held the Knicks in check on the boards and turned it over only 13 times.
And they still needed a fourth quarter push to pull out a 110-106 victory.
Part of that was the game’s pace, which was strongly in New York’s favor, and part of that was the 27 3-point attempts the Knicks lobbed at the basket. But a win is a win, and the Celtics will take all of them that they can get, no matter how strange the circumstances.
Turning Point: In a game that featured 159 shots, the biggest play came on a possession that didn’t result in a field goal attempt. With the Celtics clinging to a 109-106 lead and less than a minute to play, Ray Allen appeared from out of nowhere and cleanly swatted Wilson Chandler’s drive to the basket resulting in a 24-second violation and a much-needed stop.
Player of the Game: Rajon Rondo. A couple of different options here, but Rondo’s 15 points and 16 assists get the nod over Kevin Garnett’s overall game, which was also strong. Rondo also had an emphatic slam when the Knicks backed off guarding him and gave him an open lane to the basket.
* All five Celtic starters had double figures in points before the end of the third quarter.
* Garnett got up for a vicious alley-oop dunk off a pass from Rondo in the first quarter. Garnett got loose for a number of backdoor cuts, but that was the only one they connected on for a dunk.
* The Celtics scored 38 points and shot 61 percent from the floor in the first quarter.
* Eddie House who received a stirring video tribute during a timeout. The crowd rose for a standing ovation and broke into a spontaneous ‘Ed-die, Ed-die’ chant. House acknowledged the crowd, in turn.
* Nate Robinson also received a rousing welcome from the Garden crowd when he checked in late in the quarter. As promised by Doc Rivers he did see time with Rondo in the backcourt. Robinson had just four points, one rebound and one assist on 2-for-7 shooting.
* Bill Walker scored seven points and seems to have already made a strong impression on his new team. There’s a good chance Walker will get an opportunity to earn a roster spot with the Knicks next season.
|02.23.10 at 9:31 pm ET|
Up 64-60 at the half, the Celtics came out of the break and did what they’ve done so many times this season ‘ let their opponents back in the game. The Knicks outscored the C’s 14-10 in the first five minutes of the third quarter to tie the game at 74.
The Celtics responded with an 11-5 run of their own and pushed the lead back up to six. The second unit helped maintain the edge, as the Celtics led 94-91 at the end of three quarters.
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