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Bill Walker chosen for D-League dunk contest

02.04.10 at 2:46 pm ET
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Celtics forward Bill Walker was selected for the NBA D-League’s slam dunk competition on Feb. 12. The 22-year-old, who has shown an ability to produce highlight-reel dunks, has played in just seven NBA games this season while averaging 0.9 points per game. He has averaged 17.4 points per contest in nine D-League games for the Maine Red Claws.

To take part, he would have be assigned to the D-League team. It’s possible that the Celtics would leave that choice up to him. Walker has family in West Virginia and indicated Thursday he would prefer spending time with them over the break.

Joining Walker on the roster for the D-League’s skills competition is Red Claws teammate Trey Gilder, who is a member of the Memphis Grizzlies organization. Gilder will take part in the Shooting Stars competition.

Here is the press release detailing the skills competition:

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2010 ‘€“ The NBA Development League Dream Factory Friday Night presented by Haier, an innovative skills competition modeled after the popular NBA All-Star Saturday Night, returns for the third consecutive year to Center Court at NBA Jam Session presented by adidas on Friday, Feb. 12, at 10:00 p.m. ET, and will stream live on from 10-11p.m. ET. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Walker, dunk contest, Maine Red Claws, trey gilder

Eddie House on D&H: Rondo, Pierce and 3’s

02.04.10 at 1:46 pm ET
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Celtics guard Eddie House joined the guys on Dale & Holley to talk about the All-Star 3-point contest, the Celtics’ recent struggles and Rajon Rondo’s maturity.

I’€™m hoping you could give us some news ‘€” that you’€™re going to take part in the 3-point contest?

No, I haven’€™t got an invite. I think Paul’€™s actually going to be the one representing the Celtics in the contest, so I hope all’€™s well with that and I hope he gets a win.

You should have been in last year, in your hometown ‘€” could you imagine a final in Phoenix between you and Mike Bibby?

That would have been a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, that’€™s not my main goal, to get in the 3-point contest. Mine is to make sure my 3-point percentage is steadily on the way up, and I’€™m helping the team get wins ‘€” that’€™s what it’€™s about. My job is to do whatever I can to get wins and get a few loose rebounds or make the next pass so somebody else can make the wide open shot, or if it’€™s me to take the shot or hit a 3 or 2, whatever I have to do to get a win, that’€™s what my focus is. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: eddie house, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo,

Ray to Bulls rumor swirls again

02.04.10 at 12:52 pm ET
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The Chicago Sun-Times put out the rumor that the Bulls and Celtics could get together on a deal that would send Ray Allen to Chicago for a package that includes Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James. That’s a deal that has been speculated about before, but it doesn’t seem like it would be a good match for the Celtics.

Thomas and James are both in the final years of their contracts. While James is essentially a non-factor, Thomas does have intriguing ability, but throughout his career he has been more potential than production. Hinrich is a player who has received lots of interest around the league because of his abilities and also because the Bulls would like to move his contract, which has two years left after this one, to create more cap space in the summer.

It has long been speculated that the Bulls will make a run at Chicago native Dwyane Wade. If they can clear Hinrich’s contract, they could have the space to go after two prime free agents.

Hinrich could help the Celtics, certainly. He is a solid playmaker and a good defender who can guard multiple positions. He is having a down shooting season, however, and would not be a viable replacement for Allen in that regard. The Celtics could get creative and try to work out a deal for Hinrich alone involving a combination of their other expiring contracts — Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Eddie House, etc.–but probably not at the cost of Allen.

Doc Rivers had some interesting comments about this Thursday on his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan (click here for a full transcript).

“The thing that’€™s happening right now is everybody’€™s trying to give away their [expiring contracts] to those same teams and those same teams are trying to get a bargain,” Rivers said. “Eventually the trade stuff will end up, I don’€™t think with us, but around the league everybody’€™s trying to take advantage of everybody.”

In other words, the trade market has not yet fully taken shape. Teams are still in the feeling-out process. In regards to Allen, both Rivers and Danny Ainge have stated the team’s position, which is: They will listen to offers for Allen, but it will have to be a great deal for the Celtics for them to pull the trigger.

While the Hinrich rumor makes some sense in the abstract, it doesn’t appear to satisfy those requirements for the Celtics.

Read More: Kirk Hinrich, Ray Allen, Trade rumors,

Rivers on D&C: ‘I’ll take us against anybody’

02.04.10 at 10:38 am ET
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Doc Rivers joined the guys on Dennis & Callahan to talk about Rajon Rondo’s comments, whether he’ll ask Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to sit out the All-Star Game and which team he likes in the Super Bowl.

Compared to Christmas Day when you beat Orlando and now when you’re struggling, give us an overview of where you are?

We didn’t play well in January. We had some pretty special circumstances, and so I don’t take my eye off of that. You lose Paul Pierce going out west and you lose Kevin Garnett out west, it’s tough to win. So I keep that in perspective. I also understand that we’ve lost two games not playing great basketball to two of the best teams in the league by one final shot. So, the way I look at it, I like our team a lot. And, if we can get healthy, which I think we will at some point, I’ll take us against anybody.

Can you project or assume that this team will get healthy?

It is. It’s not like our injuries, minus Kevin … our injuries could happen to anybody playing basketball. [Nineteen-year-old] Brandon Jennings, if someone falls on his ankle the way someone fell on Paul Pierce’s ankle, he’s going to be injured. That’s just part of the game. That has nothing to do with Paul Pierce’s age. That has to do with Paul Pierce getting in the wrong spot at the wrong time. You know, it happens. But I do think we will get healthy and I think we’ll be OK.

What do you make of Rajon Rondo’s assertion that there are too many agendas creeping in?

I think Rondo was repeating, and I said it [Wednesday], basically what I told the team about three weeks ago. It was almost exactly my speech to the team. The agendas that we were talking about was more focus agendas. We are heading into the All-Star break, guys are focused on making the All-Star team. Guys are focused on going on the break, it’s just too much stuff. Not enough thought about basketball.

Did it hurt you on the floor?

I think it bothers every team. I was making a statement that this is the dog days. It happens to every team. You look at all the team during that stretch, you struggle a little bit. When we were going through that, with the injuries that were happening at the same time, my point was we need better focus to get through this. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: D & C, Doc Rivers,

NBA Power Rankings 2/4

02.04.10 at 9:47 am ET
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1. (1): LeBron James won last season’s MVP, and he’s a better player this year. His 23-point first quarter against the Clippers was ridiculous. If he ever develops a turnaround or a 4-man’s post game, there will be no way of guarding him.

2. (2): Is there any LA fan who really believes Kobe is the best Laker ever? Really? He scores more than any Laker in history, and that makes him the best? Wow.

3. (3): The moral of the Chauncey Billups story: patience. By the time he was 25, he already had played for four teams. He’s an All-Star again this year. He always had what it took, he just didn’t have people who were willing to wait for it.

4. (8): Stan Van Gundy drives his players crazy, even after they had a heart-to-heart about him being a kinder, gentler coach. He may be annoying, but he knows what he’s doing. Put this roster in many other coaches’ hands and their win total goes down by five or six.

5. (7): The Jazz have talked about moving Carlos Boozer for as long as the Suns have talked about trading Amar’e Stoudemire. Would they do it now, playing this well?

Read the rest of this entry »

Ray to Rondo: ‘This could be your last shot’

02.04.10 at 12:34 am ET
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Ray Allen had a very simple message for his backcourt teammate before Wednesday’s game against Miami.

“I told [Rajon] Rondo earlier, I said this could be his last shot,” Allen said. “I told him, ‘You’ve got 10, 12-plus years left in the NBA, you’re making great money but this could be yours.

“I told him I went to the Eastern Conference finals in Milwaukee and the next year we just assumed we’re going to get back and we didn’t make the playoffs. So, it’s not guaranteed because you did it once or twice. It’s never guaranteed. So, we have to be very selfish about really wanting to be good now and really taking care of our bodies, making sure we hold each other accountable. And doing it in a good way.”

Allen and Rondo have been the focal point this week of trade rumors and locker room chemistry questions. But Allen made it clear following a 107-102 win over the Heat that he wants to go to battle with Rondo and the rest of the Celtics.

“Believe me, there’s not a better group of guys that I think are capable right now,” Allen said. “I’m not looking at our record (31-16), although our record is not too shabby. We have guys here, a roster than can win it.”

[Click here to hear what Allen had to say about wanting to stay with Rondo and his team]

More to the point, Allen sounded like a man who wants desperately to keep the relationships he’s forged over the last three seasons.

“All of these guys in this locker room are my brothers and I’m going to proceed forward that this could be it for all of us and we have to treat this season very specially and know that what comes out of it is what we want to come out of it, and that’s a championship,” he said.

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen

Fast Break: Celtics vs. Heat

02.03.10 at 10:57 pm ET
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Without Paul Pierce in the lineup, the question facing the Celtics Wednesday night was, “Who will stop Dwyane Wade?” By the end of the game, the biggest question was, “Why couldn’t the Heat stop Rajon Rondo?”

Rondo recorded yet another double-double with 22 points and 14 assists. His efforts, combined with 23 points from Ray Allen, 14 from Kevin Garnett, and 13 from Kendrick Perkins, were enough to overshadow Wade’s 30-point, 13-assist performance.

The Celtics beat the Heat, 107-102, to improve to 31-16.

Player of the Game: With the Celtics without their leading scorer, Eddie House stepped up off the bench to score 16 points. House contributed one of his best overall performances of the season — 5-for-9 from the field, 2-for-4 on threes, 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. This spark helped fill the void left by Pierce.

Turning Point: After the Celtics saw their 1o-point lead shrink to 2, House scored five quick points to reclaim control of the game.

‘€¢With less than 40 seconds to go and the Celtics leading 97-94, Tony Allen stole the ball from Wade and drew a foul on the fast break. This put him at the line to push the Celtics lead up to five points and ice the win.

‘€¢The Celtics improved to 3-3 without Pierce this season.

‘€¢Both teams shot well in this game. The Celtics shot 49 percent while the Heat were consistent for 52 percent.

‘€¢None of the Heat starters grabbed more than five boards. Udonis Haslem lead them with 8 off the bench. The Celtics outrebounded them 41-31. Both teams scored 44 points in the paint.

‘€¢The C’s lead the regular season series with the Heat, 3-1.

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