|01.28.09 at 7:33 pm ET|
The Kings come into this one losers of six straight and seven of their last eight, which has led to reports of just about everyone getting traded. Everyone but Kevin Martin, the awkward-looking, but oh-so-effective shooting guard who might be the most underappreciated star in the league. But that’s what happens when you play in Sac-Town.
A lot of people don’t give the Kings a snowball’s chance in California of winning tonight, but they’ll play it anyway, and besides where else would you rather be on such a dreary night?
FIRST QUARTER WRAP: Well that was a weird 12 minutes. Paul Pierce has three fouls, Pierce and Big Baby have technicals and the Kings are shooting 65 percent. Oh and Rajon Rondo has 10 points. Other than that, a normal state of affairs.
After one: 30-28.
First Quarter Observations
— So, in case you haven’t heard Brian Scalabrine is out seven to 10 days after suffering his second concussion. Before the game there was a lot of talk about what teams can do to try to prevent such things from happening. Doc, and remember it’s just a nickname, is in a no-win spot there but he said the right things: i.e. he listens to trainer Eddie Lacerte and doesn’t questions his judgment.
Short of that it’s hard to tell what anyone can do in that situation. It’s not like football where they have all kinds of charming euphemisms for concussions and there are horror-stories galore from the gridiron of coaches making players go back on the field when they really shouldn’t be out there.
Tony Allen is back tonight, however.
— Interesting that the C’s have Kendrick Perkins on rookie Jason Thompson and Kevin Garnett on Brad Miller.
The veteran Miller is obviously the more experienced player, and the bigger player, but he plays so much on the outside that it makes sense that KG got the assignment. Thompson went to Rider in central New Jersey, by the way, where a certain blogger used to attend basketball camp. And now you know.
— Slightly better start for the Kings tonight than the one they had back Sacramento. And by slightly, I mean 100 percent completely better in every respect.
— And that’s why they play the games, or so I’ve heard. The Kings are 9-for-10 with seven assists on their nine makes. It’s probably not sustainable since everything is outside. In fact, I will go out on a limb right now and say the Kings will not shoot 90 percent for the rest of the game.
— Well, now Pierce and Perkins have two fouls. This game just went from intriguing to interesting.
— Great helpside D by Big Baby there. John Salmons drove right on Pierce who didn’t want to get his third foul and thought he had a lay-up but Baby got there in time, and now it’s a four-point game.
— Three fouls and technical for Pierce.
— Welcome back Tony Allen. How about a nice kick in the back? TA might have to play more than 10 minutes tonight.
— Garnett is really giving the refs the business. He might have helped steal that continuation call on Rondo though.
— Announcer: Bobby Brown for 3.
Jeff Howe (Metro): New Edition, man.
|01.28.09 at 2:42 pm ET|
On Wednesday the rosters for the All-Star Weekend T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam (more commonly known as the Sophomore-Rookie Game) were announced. Neither Celtics rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker nor sophomores Glen Davis and Gabe Pruitt were selected this season.
Rookie Team: Michael Beasley (Miami Heat), Rudy Fernandez (Portland Trail Blazers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Eric Gordon (LA Clippers), Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets), O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies), Greg Oden (Portland Trail Blazers), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Sophomore Team: Aaron Brooks (Houston Rockets), Wilson Chandler (New York Knicks), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder), Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Luis Scola (Houston Rockets), Al Thornton (LA Clippers), Rodney Stuckey (Detroit Pistons), Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia 76ers)
Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade will serve as assistant coaches. The game will be played on Friday, February 13 at 9pm EST and aired on TNT. Last season Rajon Rondo participated in the game, which his sophomore team won 136-109. All-Star Game reserves will be announced on Thursday.
|01.28.09 at 9:13 am ET|
On Wednesday night the Boston Celtics (37-9) will take on the Sacramento Kings (10-37) at the TD BankNorth Garden. In December the Celtics took the frustrations of a 1-4 road trip out on the Kings in a 45-point blowout. Since then the Cs are back on track, riding an eight game winning streak. The Kings, on the other hand, have lost eight of their last ten contests.
Rocking the House
Eddie House has shot 7-for-11 from three-point range twice in the last three games. His 17 treys over the last five games rank him third in the league, behind only Mo Williams and Peja Stojakovic. House shot 3-for-9 from downtown against his last meeting against the Kings.
Cracking Down on D
The Celtics have outscored their opponents by more than 16 points per game during their winning streak. They have also held their competition to a league-low 41.6% FG and 14.8 assists over the last five games. The Celtics have won by double-digits in every game since January 14’s 32-point victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Brian Scalabrine will not play after suffering a concussion in Tuesday’s practice at the hands of Patrick O’Bryant. It was his second blow to the head in three days. Scalabrine absorbed Dirk Notwizki’s elbow on Sunday and did not practice on Monday. Tony Allen (ankle) is expected to return against the Kings. He has not played since January 4.
Tip-off is at 7:30pm EST. Stay with WEEI’s Celtics Game Day Blog for all the latest from the Garden.
|01.27.09 at 3:14 pm ET|
The Celtics had a longer than normal practice on Tuesday at their training facility in Waltham.
Here are some nuggets from the day.
Brian Scalabrine, who already was dinged up from a mild concussion on Sunday during the win against Dallas, took a serious shot to the head from Patrick O’Bryant and had to be taken off the court and given medical treatment. He was having pain from the light and has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against Sacramento by head coach Doc Rivers, who added they might have to check with the Patriots for advice.
Tony Allen looked “great” to Rivers and with Scalabrine being out, will likely return for the first time since spraining his right ankle on Jan. 4 in New York against the Knicks.
Rivers said he will remind his team that they embarrassed the Kings by 45 points on Dec. 28 in Sacramento (their lone win on the West Coast swing) because “every team in the league has pride” and they will be “out to show that that game was a fluke.”
Here is the audio version of the above.
|01.26.09 at 8:38 am ET|
The New York Post has reported that the Boston Celtics have made a verbal commitment to Stephon Marbury. Marbury, who is still under contract with the New York Knicks, said the Celtics are one of two teams who have expressed interest in him.
The banished Stephon Marbury acknowledged for the first time yesterday he has a verbal commitment from the Celtics – and accused the Knicks of not accepting his latest buyout offer because they don’t want him winning a championship in Boston.
WEEI.com first reported in December that the Celtics were interested in Marbury.
UPDATE: Citing a source close to the situation, the Boston Herald has reported the Celtics have not made a guarantee to Marbury.
The source went on to say the two sides have spoken (the Knicks gave Marbury permission to talk with other clubs) and that the Celts would definitely like to add him under the right circumstances.
Celtic director of basketball operations Danny Ainge had no comment on the Marbury situation, but the club is not prepared to give him major playing time.
|01.25.09 at 8:09 pm ET|
Another Western Conference team makes the trip to Boston and wonders why it even bothered.
Lakers Game 6, 2008 NBA Finals. Portland on Dec. 5. Phoenix last Monday. The Dallas Mavericks were the latest team on Sunday to quit in the middle of a game, knowing they were hopelessly out of it. It’s pretty sad to watch, actually.
The Celtics should get all the credit in the world for taking all of the heart out of the competition early and that’s what Ray Allen, Eddie House and every player in green and white was talking about afterward. That, and the fact that the team is passing so well right now that they are playing at a level even HIGHER than during the 19-game winning streak. Wow.
The Celtics shots 66 percent in the first quarter, 65 percent for the first half, led by 32 points in the second quarter and 35 in the third quarter. They could’ve played Gino on the big screen at the end of one. It was THAT bad.
Now, the Sacramento Kings head to Boston for a match-up on Wednesday. You remember them, don’t you? The Western Conference team that kept it close in the pre-game warmups before losing by 45, 108-63, in Sacramento on Dec. 28. One can only hope for a competitive, if not close game this time around. But forgive me if my expectations aren’t very high.
|01.25.09 at 5:32 pm ET|
No matter how much he fights it, it is difficult for Gerald Green to shake the perception that he is just a dunker. He can shoot, he’ll tell you. He’s working on his defense, he’ll say. So Green is passing on the Slam Dunk Contest that he once dominated. This season isn’t about being a high-flyer. It’s about being a Dallas Maverick.
‘It’s not really important,’ Green said following the Mavericks-Celtics game in Boston (RECAP HERE). ‘It’s just something that really my friends and family want for me. They wanted me to get into it this year. I said no.’
Dunking may have been one of the skills that got Green in the NBA, but it couldn’t keep him there. In eight months he had been traded twice and eventually waived by his hometown Houston Rockets. He had been out of the league for nearly four months when the Mavericks signed him to a one-year deal last summer. Now Green wants to repay the Mavs for taking a chance on an unemployed 22-year-old.
‘I just really wanted to stay focused on basketball,’ he said. ‘I didn’t want the misconception that everybody thinks I’m just trying to dunk. Dunking is fun. That’s not my skill. So that’s one thing I was trying to do, just stay focused on basketball and not really worry about it.’
Green’s focus has been challenged by inconsistent playing time. He averaged 14 minutes per night in November, then appeared in just four games in December. He was on the court for just a minute in two of those contests. This month he has started twice but has not played in eight other games. On Sunday, he was in street clothes against his former team.
‘It’s tough for me right now but I’ve just got to still think positive,’ he said. ‘I love the situation, I love the organization, I love the team. I’ve just got to wait my chance. Right now it’s up and down, start, inactive. It’s tough, I’m not going to lie. But it’s a situation I’m dealing with.’
The Mavericks appreciate Green’s commitment despite the sporadic minutes. He asks his veteran teammates for advice ‘all the time,’ according to guard Jason Terry. What they see in his dedication goes beyond the box scores.
‘Oh man, the kid has a tremendous upside,’ said Terry. ‘When I watch him play, I think he could be an All-Star in this league. He just has to get on the right team and in the right system. When he has played, he’s helped us tremendously just because his athleticism. He can score with the best of them.
‘Like I said, he’s still young though. 22-years-old in his fourth year in the league, he’s going to have a long career ahead of him if he just stays humble and continues to work hard. He’s always in the gym shooting late nights, so his hard work is going to pay off eventually.’
Nothing is guaranteed for Green, so he hits the court hard every time. Not only does it improve his game, it also challenges his teammates to be better.
‘He’s just one of those guys who sticks with it, and you know if you’re guarding him in practice he’s going to come at you,’ said Antoine Wright, adding, ‘He comes into practice every day and treats it like it’s his game, and that’s something that you have to do when you’re not playing. And being a young guy, it gives him an advantage because it shows the coaches that he’s still in tune to what’s going on.’
Even though Green is focused on the Mavericks this season, he isn’t hanging up his dunking shoes just yet. He has plenty of family in Texas who wants to see him in the 2010 contest in Dallas.
‘Next year will be a totally different year,’ he said. ‘If things go well I think I’ll probably do it in Dallas. I missed the one that was in Houston, but I’ve got a lot of family in Dallas and hopefully if I’m still in Dallas next year ‘ I’m a free agent so I don’t know how it’ll go ‘ I can’t predict the future but I know I want to get into the one that’s in Dallas.’
Ask the Mavericks and they’ll tell you there will be plenty of chances to Green to dunk again.
‘He’s a tough young player,’ said Wright. ‘I think he’s going to be in the league a long time.’
During his two seasons in Boston, Green played with six members of the Celtics 2008 championship team. He was happy to see his former teammates win the title, and even happier for those off the court.
‘They deserve it. Those guys deserve it,’ he said. ‘I was happy for them, but I think the most I was happy for was those people in sitting in the yellow and black seats out there. Those people, when we were losing 18 in a row when I was here, those seats were still sold out. So I really enjoyed it for my ex-teammates because I know where we came from, but those fans deserved it. They stuck with it, through winters and snowstorms.’
And how about that championship bling? Tony Allen was the first to show it off, and Green was so impressed he placed a Blackberry on his fingers to demonstrate the size of the 92-diamond ring.
‘I started to steal it,’ he joked, ‘But it said a big ‘Tony Allen’ on it.’
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