|01.11.10 at 10:08 pm ET|
BOSTON ‘ Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace didn’t have to be playing for fans to get their money’s worth. This game lived up to the hype and intensity that has become customary between the Celtics and Hawks since the 2008 playoffs. After leading by as many as 14, the Celtics were upset 102-96. But that wasn’t without comebacks, hard fouls, and ejections.
Player of the Game: Jamal Crawford went scoreless in the first half before scoring 17 points in the final two quarters. Even though Joe Johnson led all scorers with 36 points, Crawford hit clutch free throws and buckets to propel the Hawks down the stretch.
Turning Point: The Celtics led 67-57 with 6:16 left in the third before the chaos broke out. Here’s how it all went down ‘ Glen Davis got called for a flagrant foul on Marvin Williams (Zaza Pachulia had previously been called for a flagrant). Doc Rivers emphatically argued the ruling and got hit with two consecutive technicals, resulting in an ejection. As he walked off the court, he handed his notes over to assistant coach Armond Hill, who also got T’ed up before the clock even started again. Crawford hit three free throws and Williams knocked one down during the technical spree, cutting the Celtics lead to four. The Hawks then went on a 14-8 run to tie the game up at 75 apiece off of a Crawford trey. The Celtics never regained momentum and were outscored 25-16 in the fourth quarter.
– In a game of whistles, the Hawks made 33 trips to the free throw line (23-for-33) while the Celtics shot 14-for-18.
– Athleticsm came into play again tonight ‘ the Celtics were outscored 15-9 on fastbreak points. They were outscored 22-15 by the Hawks last Friday night.
– Brian Scalabrine got his first start since February 23, 2009 in place of Rasheed Wallace. He posted nine points, five rebounds, and four fouls in 21 minutes.
– Mike Bibby continues to be booed by Celtics fans on every possession. He played just 18 minutes (5 points, 2-for-3 FG) and did not play the entire fourth quarter.
– The Celtics will play the Hawks again on January 29 in Atlanta.
|01.11.10 at 9:58 pm ET|
Doc Rivers was ejected from Monday’s game against Atlanta when he was assessed two consecutive technicals by veteran official Bennett Salvatore midway through the third quarter after officials whistled Glen Davis for a flagrant foul on Marvin Williams.
|01.11.10 at 7:27 pm ET|
Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said it wasn’t immediately known when he injured the foot and the team decided to hold him out when it was determined he couldn’t push off. The team was made aware of it shortly after Wallace came off the court following pregame warmups.
|01.11.10 at 7:11 pm ET|
Rivers had indicated around New Year’s Day that Garnett would be ready by the second week in January before revising his timetable a few days later after Garnett was unable to train with the injury.
“I’m hoping in the next 10 days, that area,” Rivers said. “Now, I actually am pretty sure it is in the next 10 days or so. He got to start working out today for the first time.
Now it’s just a conditioning thing. We want to make sure he gets strong and back in shape because he literally hasn’t done anything. We figure 10 days to two weeks, that’s what it’ll take. I think more like 10 days for him because trying to hold him down for those extra four will be very difficult.”
Garnett has been out since Dec. 22 with soreness in his right knee. Since then, Rivers said, Garnett has not been able to do anything more than shooting during practice.
“He literally has not done a thing and for him that’s a minor miracle for him, probably, but it’s been great for him and he feels good,” Rivers said.
|01.11.10 at 10:23 am ET|
The focus around town has been understandably elsewhere during these early days of 2010, but as you woke up this morning to the reality of a Pats-free January and a simmering Red Sox hot stove (down from a full boil) the Celtics have got what you might call a big one tonight. That’s relative of course. There are no true Big Games in January, but the Celtics have faced the Hawks twice this season and they have been beaten pretty badly in both encounters.
After the latest defeat Friday night, Doc Rivers conceded to the press that the Hawks had been both, “the better team” and “more physical.” There’s little chance that the coach actually believes those two statements to be true in totality, but those have been the facts this season in regards to the Hawks.
The Celtics have a chance to make up for that tonight, which also kicks off a stretch of 10 games where they will play six times against quality teams. If you haven’t been paying rapt attention to the C’s lately, tonight would be a good time to start.
CELTICS (26-9, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 100.8
Points Allowed: 93.5
Differential: +7.3 (First)
Offensive Efficiency: 109.0 (10th)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.2 (Second)
Pace: 91.0 (21st)
HAWKS (23-13, 4-6 last 10)
Points Per Game: 103.4
Points Allowed: 97.8
Differential: +5.6 (Fifth)
Offensive Efficiency: 111. (Third)
Defensive Efficiency: 105.8 (12th)
Pace: 91.7 (23rd)
Injuries: None Read the rest of this entry »
|01.10.10 at 3:52 pm ET|
The Celtics continued to dominate the Raptors with a 114-107 win on Sunday in Toronto. The C’s have won seven straight over the Raptors and have not lost to them since January 23, 2008.
Player of the Game: Two Celtics deserve recognition for this accolade. Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists. Rasheed Wallace contributed 29 points (9-12 FG, 5-7 3PG, 6-6 FT), the most he has scored in a Celtics uniform. Wallace also came up with a critical steal with a minute to go as the Raptors closed in by six.
Turning Point: The Celtics established their control early on in the game. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 1:41 and got the entire team involved. Wallace, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kendrick Perkins all scored baskets; Pierce, Perkins, and Rondo grabbed a rebound, and Rondo dished four assists. Even though the Raptors went on runs late in the game to threaten the Celtics lead, this early advantage gave the C’s a cushion throughout the afternoon.
– All of the Celtics starters scored in double digits eight minutes into the third quarter. Pierce added 16 points in his second game back from a right knee infection.
– The Celtics held Hedo Turkoglu scoreless until 6:24 in the third. He finished the game with just five points (2-for-9 FG).
– Chris Bosh fouled out with ten seconds left in the game. He led all scorers with 31 points.
|01.10.10 at 1:22 am ET|
Consider it an accelerated learning program.
In less than seven months, Lester Hudson received a hands-on education from one of the most talented basketball organizations in the NBA. He practiced against future Hall of Famers, received coaching from former pros, and learned the ropes behind an emerging All-Star.
The rookie gained more knowledge in a few short months than some players do in an entire season.
Now Hudson, who was waived by the Celtics last Wednesday, looks forward to applying what he learned from the C’s on to the court for the Grizzlies. The Memphis native was claimed off of waivers by his hometown team on Friday.
‘I was very sad, very sad when the Celtics let me go,’ he told WEEI.com in a telephone interview. ‘But I’m very happy to play back in my hometown.’
Hudson looks forward to sharing his experiences with the young Grizzlies squad, whose average age is 24 years old. Not only did he learn from veterans such as Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, he also formed a close bond with one of the hottest young point guards in the league today.
‘I learned a lot from (Rajon) Rondo,’ he said. ‘He’s my best friend on the team I’d say, so I learned a lot. He’s a great point guard. I think he’ll be an All-Star this year, so it was great playing behind him, learning how he ran the floor, ran the offense, and got everyone in position. That was my biggest thing coming in as a point guard, learning how to run an NBA team, and he helped me out with that.’
Hudson also received proven advice from the Celtics coaching staff. Both head coach Doc Rivers and director of basketball development Tyronn Lue are former NBA point guards. Hudson worked closely with Lue during practice.
‘It was great having Ty Lue there,’ he said. ‘He was a great point guard in the NBA and he taught me how to be aggressive, coming off the pick-and-roll, stuff like that, just trying to make the plays for the other guys. He helped me out a lot.’
Many of the Celtics have reached out to Hudson since he was waived, including Rondo and Marquis Daniels. Lue and assistant coach Mike Longabardi have contacted him as well.
Hudson does not harbor any ill will toward the team that selected him with the 58th pick in the 2009 NBA draft. He averaged just 4.4 minutes in 16 games for the Celtics and had also spent time in the D-League. Hudson understood the Celtics decision to waive him before they would have had to guarantee his contract.
‘They said it was a hard decision,’ he said. ‘They didn’t want to do that, but they were trying to get some room for the team if they needed a veteran point guard to come in for the playoffs, and I understood that. They said I was going to be in the NBA and just keep working hard.’
Hudson’s career in Boston may have been cut short, but he didn’t need long with the Celtics to gain invaluable lessons that he can share with his new teammates in Memphis.
‘I can tell them just to work hard,’ he said. ‘Because that’s why [the Celtics are] one of the best in the NBA right now.’
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