|04.29.09 at 4:12 pm ET|
In a move that has some impact on the Celtics, the NBA suspended Orlando center Dwight Howard for throwing an elbow at Philadelphia’s Sam Delambert during Game 5 of their playoff series Tuesday night.
Howard was assigned a simple technical foul on the play and the Magic went on to win the game behind a monster effort from young Dwight–24 points and 24 rebounds. They now lead the series, 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday night in Philly and the winner of the series gets the survivor of the Celtics-Bulls in the conference semifinals.
Delambert wasn’t the only victim of Howard’s wayward elbows. Magic rookie guard Courtney Lee also caught one in the chops and is also out of Game 6 with a fractured sinus. (Wasn’t everyone worried that Howard was too nice for the playoffs?)
Obviously the Celtics have their hands full and aren’t looking ahead to anything–except maybe for some Chicago deep dish–but it doesn’t hurt their long-term prospects if Orlando and Philly have to go the seven-game route. Also, if the Celtics are able to close out Chicago Thursday night, and Philly and Orlando go seven games, that would afford the C’s some much-needed rest.
|04.29.09 at 2:44 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Doc Rivers stood by his starting point guard at a brief shootaround this afternoon prior to the team’s departure for Chicago and Game 6 on Thursday.
“I don’t think Rondo fouled to hurt him or anything like that,” Rivers said. “I thought Rondo was clearly trying to go for it and then couldn’t reach hiand then was just trying to grab anything he could grab. But Brad Miller clearly wants to make a big deal of that so we’ll let him.”
|04.29.09 at 2:43 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Paul Pierce admitted on Wednesday before leaving for Chicago that the grueling Game 5 on Tuesday night took a bit of a toll on him. He suffered a bruise when he was kicked in the left calf.
“I’m a little sore but I’ll use today to recover, get a message, rest and I’ll be ready for (Thursday),” Pierce said. “It’s nothing more than a light bruise on the calf muscle so some ice and stuff should be able to take care of it.”
The bruise clearly didn’t affect his late-game performance as he drilled three jumpers in the final 90 seconds of overtime to help lift the Celtics to a 106-104 win over the Bulls, and a 3-2 series lead.
|04.29.09 at 1:36 pm ET|
Rivers made the comments on Monday, one day after the Celtics lost 121-118 in double overtime to the Bulls in Chicago.
The team is leaving this afternoon for Chicago following a brief film session at their Waltham training facility. Game 6 is Thursday night in Chicago, with the Celtics leading the best-of-seven series, 3-2. A win sends them into the second round to face either Orlando or Philadelphia.
|04.29.09 at 12:47 pm ET|
With time winding down in Game 5, Brad Miller caught the Celtics in a frantic switch and drove hard to the basket. Trailing behind the play Rajon Rondo reached forward and made contact with Miller’s face, which did two things. It prevented Miller from dunking to tie the game and it also drew blood.
The Bulls protested after the play that it should have been a flagrant foul since, in their opinion, Rondo didn’t attempt to make play a play on the ball. The Celtics, obviously, contend that it was good hard playoff foul.
Now the question becomes: What, if anything, will the NBA do about this?
Here’s a video with both plays (via True Hoop):
UPDATE: According to a report by ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, the NBA is reviewing both plays.
Here’s the flagrant foul interpretation from Sheridan:
“If Rondo’s foul is upgraded to a flagrant-category 1, he would be assessed one flagrant foul point. Players earn an automatic one-game suspension if they accumulate four flagrant foul points during the postseason. If the foul is upgraded to a flagrant-2, Rondo would be suspended for Game 6 in Chicago on Thursday night.”
|04.29.09 at 8:29 am ET|
He hasn’t played in over a month but Kevin Garnett is still finding a way to make his voice heard during games. On Tuesday night, he made sure Bulls guard Ben Gordon got his message loud and here. Click here for the photo (via HoopsHype).
|04.29.09 at 1:17 am ET|
Now Ray Allen knows what it feels like to sit on the bench as someone else plays the hero.
Allen was again “Johnny On the Spot” when he drained a three on Sunday afternoon in Chicago to force Game 4 to overtime.
But with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, Allen was whistled for his sixth foul, running into a screen set by Brad Miller, of all people. Miller would have his own issues with the refs later.
“There’s been a lot of talk about Perk getting called for that same play but I was just trying to fight through and they called it on me,” said a frustrated Allen, who fouled out for just the second time in 72 playoff games and the first since June 15, 2008, a loss to the Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
And this time it would have to be someone else to the rescue. How ironic since Allen had just drained a long three from the right baseline to bring the Celtics to within three, 83-80, and it looked for all the world he was about to work his magic again.
That is until he got called for his sixth foul.
“I was extremely upset,” Allen said. “I was disappointed. I thought all game the whistle was battling me. But I didn’t want to be that isolated guy that was over on the sideline and pouting and worrying about himself. Of course, I was angry but we had to win the game. Those were the cards we were dealt so we had to figure out the best way, whether it was Tony (Allen) Steph (Marbury) or Eddie (House), who was going to have to come in and do the job.”
It was Pierce who nailed back-to-back jumpers in overtime to put the Celtics up, 104-101, and then Pierce who hit the game-winner with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime.
“I guess now I know what it feels like to sit on the sideline and not be able to do anything and not have control,” Allen said. “For me, it was toughest feeling I’ve had to deal with. But Paul and Rondo came through for us. I figured as mad as I was, it wasn’t going to do us any good trying to figure out what happened in the game.”