|01.14.09 at 9:02 pm ET|
I referenced the Swamp Dragons in the first quarter and now seems like a decent time to tell one of the weirdest stories in the history of what has been a very weird franchise. The year was 1994 and the Nets had just drafted Yinka Dare despite the objections of just about everybody who wanted them to take Wesley Person, the sweet-shooting wing man from Auburn.
The Nets were getting hammered on the radio for the choice when something very odd happened. WFAN’s Mike and the Mad Dog said they had a source who claimed the Nets had filed paperwork with the league to change their name to the Swamp Dragons. For five hours Mike and the Doggy just killed them. It was probably the most they would ever talk about the team until the Jason Kidd run earlier this decade.
By the time the show was over the Nets claimed that they would do no such thing and thus would remain the Nets. And now you know. Back to the game…
THIRD QUARTER WRAP: It looks like the Celtics of old are back. The ones that put the clamps down on the other team’s offense and kill you with ball movement. Rajon Rondo had a big quarter and is now just three boards shy of a triple-double.
The numbers are pretty staggering for the C’s in the third: 37 points 12-for-20 from the floor, 6-for-7 from 3-point range. The rout it on..
Third Quarter Observations
– A few technical difficulties on this end. Apologies. Quick start for the C’s and an even quicker timeout by Lawrence Frank. It goes without saying that a nice 10-15 point win would be just what the Celtics need right now. Looks like they’re going for the knockout punch.
– This is when you know you got it going: Rondo just threw the alley-oop to KG and it went right in the basket. The thought had crossed my mind in the first half that the alley-oop was getting very close to being goaltending. Maybe Rondo should shoot alley-oops?
– If you’re a young big man and you want to learn how to defend the post, just watch tapes of Kevin Garnett. The man is a pure technician down there.
– The Celtics are just shredding the Nets “defense” right now. Good move by Lawrence Frank to bring in Eduardo Najera who will at least put a body on someone who cuts right to the basket.
– So at this point this game can go one of two ways. It can become a total blowout, or the Nets can make it interesting by keeping it within 15 points or so, which would mean a few more minutes for the starters than Doc Rivers would probably like. They’ve got two whole days off before playing New Jersey again on Saturday so a little extra rest would be like a mini-vacation.
– Walter McCarty is here, ladies and gentlemen. Walt-ah!
– KG is out after scoring 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 23 minutes. Is that it for him tonight?
|01.14.09 at 8:14 pm ET|
FIRST HALF NUMBERS: Celtics lead 51-41 at halftime thanks to 52.6% shooting from the field. KG leads all players with 14 points (6/8 FG) and Ray Allen has 10. The Celtics have also attempted 12 treys (4/12 3PG) compared to the Nets four (1/4). They slowed down Devin Harris in the second quarter (5 points) and limited his passing to just two assists.
Second Quarter Notes
- The second quarter gets underway with Ray Allen … Paul Pierce … Big Baby smiling from ear-to-ear after draining a three from way past the arc. That was Davis’ first trey of his NBA career.
- Pierce is in with the second unit (Davis/Powe/House/Pruitt). Vince Carter, who threw himself on to the Nets bench earlier in the game, is on the court. He’s a little hobbled but still aggressive at the hoop.
- Kudos to Big Baby for his effort on the boards. He may not be grabbing every missed shot but he is in the mix each time the ball goes up.
- Back by popular demand (allegedly), Celtics Slow Dance 3. It’s another slo-mo video montage of memorable dance moves from the Garden set to LoneStar’s “Amazed.” I’ll give the prize to my personal favorite, Soulja Boy Junior.
- Brook Lopez is back in with Davis and Powe as the Celtics big men. Doc Rivers, who has been watching Lopez since high school, said the key to guarding him is keeping him off the glass rather than trying to get your own rebounds.
- No look pass from KG to Big Baby for a three-point play. I hope the fans sitting courtside were looking when Davis jumped into them chasing a loose ball. Davis has four fouls in 12 minutes, not including barrelling over spectators.
- Who said Rondo didn’t have a jumper? He drained a 20-footer as the shot clock expired. If only he could do that every night …
- KG ended the second quarter with huge “think about this at halftime” dunk.
- At the half … Celtics 51, Nets 41
|01.14.09 at 7:38 pm ET|
We are live from the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics and the New Jersey Nets. We are at the midway point of the Celtics season and oddly this is the first meeting between the two teams. The Celtics have already played Toronto four times, the Knicks three times and the Sixers twice, but no Swamp Dragons so far. Curious.
We’ll be following the matchup between Rajon Rondo and Devin Harris all night, but there’s also an intriguing situation with 7-foot rookie Brook Lopez and Brian Scalabrine, who is most definitely not 7-feet but is starting in place of Kendrick Perkins.
Away we go… Read the rest of this entry »
|01.14.09 at 7:27 pm ET|
Before Wednesday night’s game against the New Jersey Nets, Kendrick Perkins broke a sweat working on his post moves. He banked shots over Patrick O’Bryant and then sprinted down the court at the orders of Sam Cassell. This would seem like just another night, except Perkins is injured. That isn’t stopping the big man, though, from keeping his rhythm.
‘I’m just trying to stay on top of my conditioning,’ Perkins said prior to the game. ‘I don’t want to lose my rhythm so I’m working on my post moves, doing a lot of shots, I did some jump roping, and a lot of court running, and stuff like that. I don’t want to be too far off.’
Perkins will miss at least a week with a reoccurring shoulder injury. It has plagued him since a Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, and is the explanation behind his recent inconsistency on the glass. As a precaution, Perkins is avoiding physical contact. Other than that, he’s following the same routine.
‘I just [can't] play basketball, contact, that’s it,’ he said. ‘I hit the weights earlier today so it’s getting better by the day … You’ve got to scale back but it never really fell off. I’m pretty much on the same page, I’m just doing different type of exercises now to work different parts of the muscle, so that’s really what I’m concentrating on.’
Perkins hopes to play next Monday against the Phoenix Suns, but said he is not going to rush his return. As for Brian Scalabrine, who has been filling in for Perkins, his return against Shaquille O’Neal would be perfect timing.
‘Wow,’ said a wide-eyed Scalabrine, unaware of the upcoming match up. ‘I’d like the opportunity to start but Perk is the guy who should be on the Diesel.’
|01.14.09 at 9:15 am ET|
It is never easy when a starting center goes down. With Kendrick Perkins out at least a week, Doc Rivers will have to use an undersized rotation of Brian Scalabrine and Leon Powe at the five spot. The Celtics caught a break in the past two games when the Toronto Raptors were without Jermaine O’Neal, but on Wednesday night the New Jersey Nets could pose a sizable challenge ‘¦ a 7′ challenge to be exact.
Brook Lopez, the twin brother of Phoenix Suns center Robin, is emerging as a rookie to watch this season. He is coming off of a career-high 31 point, 13 rebound performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder and is averaging 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the last ten games. Lopez isn’t just beating up on lottery teams either. He posted 17 points, 10 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers and 15 points, 13 boards against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tip-off is at 7:30pm EST. Stay with WEEI’s Celtics Game Day Blog for all the latest from the Garden.
|01.14.09 at 8:34 am ET|
In the latest edition of his Yardbarker.com blog, Rajon Rondo said he is happy to be back on the winning side of things. Back-to-back victories over the Toronto Raptors have the Boston Celtics point guard feeling good again.
I’m glad to say that we have won the last two games (knock on wood). I don’t want to jinx anything, but these past two wins have felt great. It is extremely tough to beat the same team back to back, but I’m glad that we did. Our defense was better and we were able to make shots-two things that we needed. We have another game tomorrow. Hopefully, we will be able to get the W.
Rondo averaged 11.5 points, 9.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in the last two wins. He will be tested tonight against the New Jersey Nets standout PG Devin Harris.
|01.13.09 at 6:42 am ET|
Maybe Kevin Garnett is right. Maybe the Celtics should play the theme from Superman every time Paul Pierce steps on the court. On a bum right knee, or at least very ‘ginger’ as Pierce himself said, the Celtics captain made 13 of his 26 shots and totaled a season-high 39 points to lead the Celtics to a 115-109 overtime win against the Toronto Raptors Monday night at TD Banknorth Garden. With the Celtics already missing starting center Kendrick Perkins with a bad left shoulder and Tony Allen in a protective boot with a sprained right ankle, Pierce picked it up a notch for the entire game, even when Andrea Bargnani hit a three with one second remaining. Pierce did have a supporting cast, as Kevin Garnett scored 20, Ray Allen 12 and Brian Scalabrine, playing for Perkins, chipped in with 11, including three three-pointers.