|01.01.10 at 6:09 pm ET|
WALTHAM — J.R. Giddens sported a pair of red and green Nikes during practice. It was appropriate for the second-year player who is expected to receive a belated Christmas gift on Saturday.
“That’d be a Christmas present and a Happy New Year,” Giddens said with an uncontrollable smile following practice on Friday.
While Rivers only hinted that one of the younger C’s (Giddens, Lester Hudson, and Bill Walker) would play and Giddens spoke hypothetically, Kendrick Perkins said he expects to see him in the starting lineup. Giddens is preparing himself by coming back to the Celtics training facility to get in some extra shots and cardio until he feels comfortable with his offense and ball handling.
Playing time period is a big deal for Giddens. The 2008 first round draft pick has played a total of 61 minutes in just 15 games this season and looked forward to any opportunities, let alone the chance to start.
But things were different when Giddens showed up for practice on Friday. Rivers called him, Hudson, and Walker into his office to discuss the importance of their roles in the midst of the injuries. Then he worked out with the first unit.
Giddens seemed at a loss for words at points when he talked about the possibility of starting. But after pausing a moment of reflect on his journey since Draft Night, he was filled with emotions.
“Being a first round draft pick and then not getting the chance to play is very humbling,” he said. “Now that I have that opportunity, I know I’m so fortunate and I feel so blessed to get it. I think this made me appreciate ball a lot more and playing. I always say when I played basketball when I was living, you know when I got reps, it would be just like living again, getting out there.”
|01.01.10 at 5:33 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Glen Davis turned 24 years old on Friday. He felt it, too.
“I feel old,” he said after practice. “Old, old, old.”
He had a reason to feel that way. The banged up big man, who broke his right thumb in October, sprained his right ankle this week. But with a depleted lineup (Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Paul Pierce will not play on Saturday), Davis is needed on the court.
“We need some help. You know? We need as many bodies as we can,” he said. “So as long as I’m functioning, I can play with the pain. If I can function, I can play. It’s how it is.”
Davis participated in a two-hour practice on Friday. He is expected to play against the Raptors unless his ankle swells up overnight, said Rivers.
Davis’ thumb is still sore and will receive extra tape on his ankle. He said once he begins playing, though, he becomes too busy to focus on the injuries and forgets about the pain. Whether or not he should be playing becomes inconsequential to him.
“No, I want to play. It doesn’t matter. As long as I can function, I’ll play. I’m good enough to do something out there,” he said. “That’s the beauty about my game. I’m not a high jumper. If I was a high jumper, I’d be kind of concerned because that’s the only thing I can do. But my game is staying on the ground, getting position. It kind of takes away from my jumpshot a little bit, but I’ll make it work.”
As long as Davis feels like he can play, it doesn’t matter how old he feels.
“I’m functioning,” he said. “I can play. I can play hard. I can compete. “
|01.01.10 at 5:14 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett (knee), Paul Pierce (knee), and Rajon Rondo (hamstring) will not play on Saturday against the Raptors, Doc Rivers said following practice on Friday. Here is the injury rundown:
– Rondo: Rivers decided to sideline Rondo after reviewing film from Wednesday’s loss to the Suns. He thought Rondo looked better live than he actually did on tape. Rondo emerged after practice wearing practice gear and sandals. He received treatment at the Celtics training facility.
– Pierce: Pierce also received treatment at the C’s facility. Rivers did not have any new information to offer on his return — “Maybe Miami, maybe later.”
– Garnett: KG was not present at the Celtics facility during practice. His timetable for return is still indefinite. “I don’t think it’s a long indefinite thing, but it is indefinite because you don’t know the date of return,” said Rivers. “It’s not going to be that long. But when I did this, I looked at the schedule and I looked at the days off and I thought this was the time to do it.”
Marquis Daniels (thumb) is also out.
As for those who will be on the court, Glen Davis (ankle) is expected to play unless his ankle swells up overnight, said Rivers. J.R. Giddens is expected to get his first NBA start, according to Kendrick Perkins, in the midst of the injuries.
|01.01.10 at 3:27 pm ET|
The Celtics wrapped up 2009 by spending some extra time in the Boston community. See a few examples of how they ended the year with their fans:
– The Celtics brought cheer to patients from the Boston Medical Center’s Pediatric Hematology Program at Dick’s Last Resort. The C’s posed for pictures and signed autographs for the children, who also received a visit from Santa.
– Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis participated in a Stay in School assembly to honor high-acheiving students at the Thomas Edison Middle School in Brighton. They encouraged students to stay in school by using the acronym PRIDE (perseverance, respect, integrity, decisions, and education). Presented by Arbella Insurance, the Stay in School program is a collaboration of efforts from the Celtics, New England Sports Museum, Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and Boston Public Schools.
– As part of the Read to Acheive program, presented by Kia Motors, Davis, Paul Pierce, and J.R. Giddens read and played board games with children from the GRASP after school program at the Marshall Elementary School in Dorchester and the Orchard Gardens Community Center in Roxbury. Each child received a board game courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation.
– Rondo hosted the “DD Perks Rewards Pick-up on the Parquet” for six lucky Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks Rewards Card holders. The winners received an opportunity to play round robin pick-up games with their five-person teams on the TD Garden parquet. Rondo also participated warm up drills and a shoot-around.
– Ray Allen hosted a giving tree at the Natick Collection and collected hundreds of gifts for children from the Boys and Girls Club of Boston’s Jordan Club in Chelsea and the Boston Centers for Youth and Families. The event was presented by Allen’s organization, the Ray of Hope Foundation.
|12.30.09 at 11:49 pm ET|
You’ve heard the routine list of New Year’s resolutions before ‘ join a gym, clean the house, finish the renovation that was supposed to be completed last year. These vows of self-improvement are a little bit different for the Celtics, though.
WEEI.com asked the C’s, ‘What is your basketball resolution for 2010?’
Tony Allen: ‘Push myself to exhaustion. See, I was a little held back this summer due to the fact that I was walking around in a boot all summer, which kind of hindered me from getting into that gym. Now I can go countless hours. I can go hard.’
Ray Allen: ‘I never wait until New Year’s. On my Facebook page today I said, ‘Don’t wait ’til New Year’s to turn over a new leaf. Do it now.’ It doesn’t have to be New Year’s. Every day I’m thinking about, I can work on my turnovers, work on my defense, work on getting my 3-point field goal percentage up. It’s like my head is spinning because everything is a constant, so I won’t wait until New Year’s.’
Brian Scalabrine: ‘To watch my personnel breakdowns every game. I get a DVD of guys who I would be guarding and it’s like 45 minutes. Probably like 85 to 90 percent, I watch it. Ten percent of the time, sometimes I don’t. [I’d resolve] just to be consistent and watch every single game. It’s just different guys every time. For me, just a little advantage I can get from it is worth it.’
Shelden Williams: ‘I don’t do resolutions. I just don’t. A lot of people make them and then after a few weeks, a month, whatever, they don’t stick to them. So I don’t really do it. I’ve never gotten into it.’
Lester Hudson: ‘[Work on] everything ‘ ball handling, shooting, passing, defense. I’m going to practice 10 times harder than I am now. I practice hard now, but for me right now I’ve got to pick it up another notch, so that’s why I said 10 times harder. Of course, I have to practice outside of scheduled practice. I’m going to go on my free time. I don’t have too much to do [in my free time] so I’m going to try to do as much as I can.’
J.R. Giddens: ‘Do everything I’m doing right now. Working my tail off, that’s all I can do. All I can do is work. Obviously I can’t predict my own end result so I’m going to just keep working.’
Rasheed Wallace: ‘Getting that ‘ship, winning that ‘ship. Plain and simple, to win that championship. That’s the ultimate when you’re a professional athlete, no matter if it’s football, basketball, baseball, whatever, to win that championship.’
|12.30.09 at 11:28 pm ET|
The losing streak is now three games, and while there were extenuating circumstances, this was the worst of the three. Yes the injuries are piling up and yes, the trip was long and tiring, but the Celtics had less pop than day-old champagne and provided decidedly less buzz. The Celtics clearly have bigger issues than one game, and in truth it wasn’t much of a surprise that the Phoenix Suns were able to blow them off the court Wednesday night, 116-98.
The big news came before tip-off as Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis (again) joined Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels on the injured list, and it looks like it will be a little while before Garnett returns. The Celtics are saying that Garnett suffered a hyper-extended knee when he got kicked against the Warriors, which they are saying is different than the thigh bruise that kept him out last week and different than the knee injury that kept him out of the playoffs.
With more than a week between now and a Jan. 6 game at Miami and only one more game in between against the Raptors on Saturday, this seems like an ideal time to give Garnett some rest. That’s how the Celtics are playing it, but there will certainly be questions about Garnett’s injuries, which coincidentally or not, have all affected the same leg.
Despite all that the Celtics did come out with the best of intentions. They went into the post repeatedly in the first quarter in an effort to play from the inside out and they took the ball hard to the basket and lived at the free throw line for most of the second quarter. Those good intentions couldn’t mask a lack of players, energy or hustle, however.
Player of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire. The Suns forward dominated the Celtics in the first quarter, making nine of 10 shots and scoring at will. He was far too quick for Kendrick Perkins, which is just one place the Celtics missed Garnett. If not for persistent foul trouble, Stoudemire might have gone for 40 points. Instead he settled for 26 and seven rebounds.
Turning Point: Unlike most Phoenix runs, the Suns decisive move didn’t happen quickly. But it did happen early. Lasting 1o possessions and carrying on through a timeout, they turned a 12-8 deficit into a 26-14 lead. From that point on, the Celtics were in deep trouble.
* Those waiting for the kids, i.e. Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens and Lester Hudson to get some run will have to continue the vigil. If ever there was a night for them to play it was Wednesday. Instead all three were idle until the fourth quarter when the game was well in Phoenix’s grasp.
* This could have been a night for Rasheed Wallace to pick up some of the slack, but he struggled against the quicker Suns. He failed to take advantage of what should have been a mismatch against Channing Frye and played just 29 minutes. Wallace was 3-for-11 and 0-for-4 from 3-point range.
* Rajon Rondo played despite his sore hamstring and seemed to lack his usual burst to the hoop. Even playing the defensively-challenged Steve Nash, Rondo rarely took it to the rim and was content to settle himself about 20 feet from the basket most of the night. In 31 minutes Rondo scored 13 points and recorded eight assists, which were solid enough numbers but it was clear that Rondo wasn’t at his best.
* Perkins picked up his 10th technical foul, which ties him with Wallace for most in the NBA. He would be subject to a one-game suspension if his count reaches 16 techs.
* The Celtics were able to stay in the game for a time with a small-ball lineup of Rondo, Eddie House, Ray Allen and Brian Scalabrine along with Wallace and Perkins. But every time they inched closer the Suns shot them right back out of the game.
* Shelden Williams had 14 points and five rebounds, which was his most productive outing in weeks.
|12.30.09 at 3:19 pm ET|
The Celtics recalled rookie Lester Hudson from the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, the team announced on Wednesday. Hudson has played in five games for the Red Claws this season, averaging 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
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