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Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: Third Quarter

12.23.08 at 7:00 pm ET
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You get the feeling the Celtics are just toying with Philly tonight? They had a nice little nine-point lead, the Sixers came back and tied it and now it’s back up to 14 points. Know this: Getting on a cross-country flight on Christmas Eve would be a king-hell bummer for the C’s, to quote Hunter S. Thompson.

Onward… Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: Second Quarter

12.23.08 at 6:12 pm ET
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At the start of the second quarter … Celtics 29, Sixers 25

- Junior Seau is here. No one has tackled him … yet. Ben Watson is also in the building.

- Early minutes for Gabe Pruitt. He checked in at 10:48. Makes sense to use Pruitt’s speed and explosiveness against the 76ers, who have been able to get out and run without Brand. The second unit’s getting an early look: Pruitt, Leon Powe, Tony Allen, Scal, and Eddie House.

- The 76ers are cringing at every blow of the whistle. First Andre Miller looked stunned when called for fouling Rondo, then Reggie Evans and Lou Williams looked perplexed by a offensive foul call on Evans. The Celtics are 8/8 from the line.

- Airball on a Reggie Evans free throw and it’s not the first time it happened here either. From November 28: The Celtics came out swinging with a 10-0 lead to kick off the quarter. Reggie Evans only added fuel to their fire by airballing a free throw.

- During a timeout Celtics President Rich Gotham and legend JoJo White presented former Celtics ball boy James Tolland with his 2008 championship ring. Tolland, who worked for the Celtics during their title run, will be deployed to Iraq in the coming months.

- Is this the Slam Dunk Contest? Iguodala is showing off his stuff with two emphatic jams in the quarter.

- The dunks didn’t look so impressive after Rondo drove through the Sixers for two reverse lay-ins.

- Paging Samuel Dalembert: Doing something, anything, in the paint. Dalembert is scoreless and has only four rebounds. He let Rondo, who is at least a foot shorter than him, make his way to the hoop without putting up a fight.

- At the half … Celtics 58, Sixers 44

Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: First Quarter

12.23.08 at 5:28 pm ET
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We are live from the Garden where the word for tonight is “distractions.” Several of the Celtics were late arriving to the building, although they are all present and accounted for. Immediately after tonight’s game the team will head to the airport for a cross-country flight for a Christmas Day game with the Lakers you may be aware of.

Distractions? This team? “It’s tough,” Doc Rivers said. “Let’s be honest. That game has been built up since the season started.” Wow. A bit of candor from the coach.

But the Sixers had their own issues. Their bus from their downtown hotel took well over an hour to arrive and by 6:30 there were a sizable portion of ballers somewhere on the streets of Boston (Should have taken the MBTA, guys). But arrive they did.

So, what will it be tonight? Will it be 19 in a row? Will the Sixers continue their improved play under Tony DiLeo? Will people start booing Mark Teixeira, just because? Those answers and more tonight… Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

12.22.08 at 10:50 pm ET
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On Tuesday night the Boston Celtics (26-2) will take on the Philadelphia 76ers (12-15) at the TD BankNorth Garden. The Celtics enter the game on an 18-game winning streak and could break the franchise mark for consecutive wins with a victory over the Sixers. They also have the chance to set a new NBA record for best start with two losses.

The Big Three + Two
The impressive play by Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins is making headlines nationwide, from ESPN.com features on Rondo to CBS Sports plugs for Perk as a fantasy basketball must-have. So just how well have these two young starters been playing as of late? Let’s take a look at the last five games …

Perkins
17 blocked shots (T-4 NBA): ahead of Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, and Yao Ming
13.8 PPG: ahead of centers Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, and Andrew Bogut
11.4 RPG: ahead of Chris Bosh, Shaquille O’Neal, and Zach Randolph, tied fourth among all centers with Al Jefferson

Rondo
16.0 PPG: ahead of Andre Iguodala, Baron Davis, and Manu Ginobili
7.4 APG: ahead of Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd, and Tony Parker
6.4 RPG: ahead of Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, and Dwyane Wade

Injury Update
The Celtics bench will be one-man short for the second game in a row. Glen “Big Baby” Davis will sit out with a concussion and cervical strain sustained in a car accident on Sunday. Davis is listed as day-to-day. The 76ers will be without starting forward Elton Brand, who is sidelined at least a month with a dislocated shoulder. Last season, before acquiring Brand, the Sixers stifled the Celtics with their running game. Their post-game failed miserably this season against the Cs but the absence of Brand may allow them to get out and go, which could pose a challenge. Sixers guard Willie Green (ankle) is also day-to-day.

Making Enemies Early
Marreese Speights made a rookie mistake by losing his poise late in the Celtics 102-78 win back in November. The big man was ejected with 43 seconds left for committing a flagrant foul against Brian Scalabrine. Don’t be surprised if Speights is booed for messing with Scal.

In the Last Five Games …
Celtics: 106.4 PPG, +12.2 differential, 53.5% FG, 41.8% 3PG, 71.2% FT, 24.2 APG, 45.0 RPG, 8.4 SPG
76ers: 94.4 PPG, +1.8 differential, 46.8% FG, 26.2% 3PG, 76.3% FT, 20.6 APG, 42.0 RPG, 7.6 SPG

Check back with WEEI’s Celtics Game Day Blog for all the action from the TD BankNorth Garden.

Big Baby Injury Update

12.22.08 at 1:00 pm ET
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After seeing Boston Celtics team physician, Dr. Brian McKeon, it was determined that Glen Davis will not play on Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Davis sustained a concussion and cervical strain in a car accident on Sunday en route to the Celtics/New York Knicks game. He is listed as day-to-day.

The Beginning of a Celtics Legend

12.21.08 at 11:23 pm ET
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On December 19, 1956, Bill Russell signed his first contract with the Boston Celtics.

On December 19, 2008, I went back to where he made history.

It's impossible to fit Russell's acheivements in just one place

It's impossible to fit Russell's achievements in just one place

In the 1950s Bill Russell transformed the University of San Francisco from a small school in California into a collegiate basketball powerhouse. Russell, and future Celtic teammate K.C. Jones, led the Dons on a 55-game winning streak and back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1955 and 1956, shattering racial barriers along the way.

Despite their success, the men’s basketball team was forced to practice in various high school gyms and played “home games” on random courts in the Bay Area. It wasn’t until two years after Russell left for the NBA that the Dons were granted their own gymnasium on campus.

Today, tucked away in the hills of San Francisco, there is not only a basketball court but a tribute to the man who put USF basketball on the map as one of the most notable collegiate programs in NCAA history. See more pictures of Russell’s legacy at USF after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Baby Hospitalized after Car Accident

12.21.08 at 4:45 pm ET
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Glen “Big Baby” Davis was hospitalized on Sunday after suffering a concussion and whiplash on his way to the Boston Celtics game against the New York Knicks. Davis will spend the night in the hospital and there is no word when he will rejoin the team. As Rajon Rondo blogged on Yardbarker, many of the Celtics checked into hotel rooms to lessen their commutes to the Garden this weekend.

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