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Halftime: Celtics-Wizards

03.07.10 at 9:10 pm ET
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The first half was best summed up by a fan in the next row: “C’mon, it’s the Wizards!”

Once again, the Celtics have their work cut out for them against a bad team as they trail 44-38 at the half. As they did against New Jersey two weeks ago the Celtics came out flat and suddenly a team with no hope and no directions looks like a world beater.

The Celtics problems have been mostly on offense where they shot just 35 percent and tied a season-low for first-half points. The Wizards have also blocked six shots, which contributed to that low total, with three of them coming from Javale McGee. Undeterred, the Celtics continued to try and take it to the basket against McGee and he continued to throw it back in their face.

Al Thornton has 15 points and eight rebounds, which in and of itself in an indictment on how the C’s played.

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First quarter: Celtics-Wizards

03.07.10 at 8:37 pm ET
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The obvious fear when playing a team like the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night is that the Celtics wouldn’t come out with enough energy. That was the story of the first 12 minutes as the C’s, and the crowd, sleepwalked through a 25-19 Wizards lead.

The Celtics dutifully worked the ball inside and got good shots, but they didn’t fall, going 7-for-21 from the floor. With favorable matchups at almost every position, the Celtics couldn’t seem to settle on a plan of attack.

The best idea involved Paul Pierce who had his way with Al Thornton and scored seven points. Washington’s Andray Blatche, who has been a revelation after the Wizards’ housecleaning at the trade deadline, has eight points and five rebounds.

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Allen to play, not 100 percent

03.07.10 at 8:03 pm ET
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Tony Allen will play against the Wizards, although he admits he is not 100 percent after injuring his right hip on Wednesday against the Bobcats. Allen described his rehab as a regimen of “massage, stem, ice, heat, stem, ice, massage.” He has missed a total of 22 games this season due to injuries.

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Finley: Not going to ‘hurt what they already have’

03.07.10 at 7:18 pm ET
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Looking at the big picture, it’s perfectly clear why Michael Finley is in a Celtics uniform today. After all, familiarity is a powerful thing.

Finley and his new head coach both hail from the Windy City, and it was in Chicago where their bond began in the late 1970s while Finley’s sister and Doc Rivers were at Proviso East High School.

‘€œWell, me and Doc go way back,” Finley explained. “My sister was a cheerleader and he was the star basketball player at the high school games, and I used to sit under the basket and watch him play. That’€™s how far our relationship goes back. He’€™s always been a mentor for me, how to be a professional and how to be a man. He’€™s a role model for me and it goes way back, I’€™ve watched his career as a basketball player and as a coach, and it’s definitely an honor for me to play for him.”

Finley said his familiarity with the organization, from general manager Danny Ainge to coach Doc Rivers and players Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, made Boston a good fit for him. He said he had talks with another “championship” caliber team before deciding on the Celtics.

“I’€™ve talked to Doc and Danny, and coach was very honest with me, which I respect that he doesn’€™t know how he is going to use me,” Finley said. “I have to respect that. I am coming to a situation, where the team is already established. They have put in ‘X’ amount of games, so for me to come in and try to establish a role would be crazy for me to even think that. But coach has put me in a situation at ease, where he doesn’€™t know, I don’€™t know, just when my situation comes just go out there and play hard and do what I can to help the team be a better one. I think that I am able to do that.’€

There’s also another practical matter for Finley, who turned 37 on Saturday, the day he landed ‘€” literally ‘€” in Boston.

“It gave me an opportunity to challenge for a title,” Finley said. “All those things combined with the over history of Boston just drew me here.”

Finley, who suffered what he called a severe ankle injury in December, said he’s ready to play and will wear the No. 40. Rivers held him out of Sunday’s game against the Wizards as he just arrived in Boston Saturday night.

Finley was also honest about his less-than-ideal situation in San Antonio, which precipitated his release last week.

‘€œThis all happened within a week, a week or two span,” Finley admitted. “It was something that started as something little and I think it just erupted. I think both sides, myself and the Spurs organization, there was a mutual split. I have no hard feelings with them, it was just something they were willing to do, and I was man enough to be ready to make that move.

‘€œIt was frustrating because of the situation I was in at San Antonio, but I think all players at my age and that have been in the league as long as I have experience that. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’€™t finish something that I had in San Antonio because the role was something that I really didn’€™t agree with. But here, hopefully the situation will be different, but you never know, it may be the same. But I’€™m happy with my situation now and I’€™m definitely going to make the most of it.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

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Marcus Landry assigned to D-League

03.06.10 at 11:39 am ET
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The Celtics assigned Marcus Landry to the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate. Landry has played just two minutes since arriving from the Knicks as part of the Nate Robinson trade.

With the signing of Michael Finley, the Celtics have 14 players on the roster and Landry was certainly going to be inactive as long as they have 12 healthy players. Finley is expected to make his debut Sunday against the Wizards.

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Fast Break: Celtics vs. 76ers

03.05.10 at 9:36 pm ET
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The Celtics defeated the 76ers 96-86 on Friday in Philadelphia. They took the regular season series 3-1 and improved to 38-21.

Rajon Rondo took over the game (see below), but it was Kevin Garnett who led the C’s with 22 points (8-11 FG, 6-6 FT). The Celtics shot better than 50 percent and also outrebounded the 76ers, 41-30.

Player of the Game: Rajon Rondo recorded his 31st double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 assists. He did all of his scoring in the second half to give the Celtics the edge they needed to outlast the 76ers.

Turning Point: Rondo hit his first basket of the game until 3:45 into the third quarter. He then scored 14 points over the next eight minutes. Rondo tied the game at 52 apiece and put the Celtics up 74-67 heading into the fourth.

Ray Allen and Elton Brand kicked off the game with an offensive duel. Brand scored 12 points in the first quarter alone and Allen was right behind him with 11. Brand finished the night with 17 points; Allen scored 16.

– The Celtics committed 12 turnovers in the first half. They were called for just five turnovers in the second.

Kendrick Perkins and Marreese Speights were issued technical fouls in separate incidents. Perkins picked up his 13th T of the season. While talking whistles, Pierce was on the receiving end of a tough foul. He drew a charge against Willie Green, fell to the ground and the paint, and was applauded by Garnett before being helped help (translation: KG slapped his hands repeatedly and yelled in applause).

Tony Allen sat out with a sore hip that he suffered in Wednesday’s game against the Bobcats.

– The Celtics will return home to Boston to face the Wizards on Sunday night.

Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. 76ers

03.05.10 at 8:50 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo was quiet in the first half. But once he finally scored in the third, he didn’t stop. Rondo scored 14 points in just over eight minutes. He and Kevin Garnett combined for all but six of the Celtics points in the quarter.

The Celtics have their largest lead, 74-67, going into the final 12 minutes. They did not commit a single turnover in the third. Garnett and Ray Allen are tied with a game-high 16 points. Elton Brand still leads the 76ers with 15 points.

The C’s are 31-7 this season when leading or tied after three quarters.

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