|12.01.08 at 6:16 pm ET|
At the half … Celtics 48, Magic 46
Despite their injuries the Magic played fully loaded in the second quarter. Rashard Lewis has 18 points in the half while Dwight Howard and Tony Battie have combined for 13 rebounds. The Celtics are making it hard on themselves by sending the Magic to the free throw line. Take a look:
Celtics: 5/5 FT
Magic: 11/17 FT
Pierce is on the bench with three fouls, Perkins and Powe both have two. More after halftime …
– The Celtics have a game on their hands and aren’t doing themselves any favors by fouling the Magic. Lewis had the hot hand and now his teammates are picking up the pace as well. The excitement has slowly been evaporating from the air at the Garden. Even the “Let’s go Celtics” cheers are barely audible.
– There’s that dunk from Howard.
– Sam Cassell was ejected from the bench for arguing a foul called on Kendrick Perkins. He still has yet to play a minute this season.
– Tony Allen returns to the game with five minutes to go. Just in time to sub in for Pierce, who has picked up three quick fouls.
– During a timeout Dwight Howard jumped him and grabbed the rim. We haven’t seen much of that tonight and it’s basically inevitable that he’ll throw one down before the game is over.
– The Magic are finally getting the idea and attacking the hoop. They’ve scored six points in the paint in four minutes, doubling their total from the first 15 minutes.
– Tony Allen left the game with a right ankle sprain. He is expected to return.
– Scal checked into the game at the eight minute mark. Ten seconds have gone by and so far no “Scal-a-bri-ne” chants. I don’t want to jinx it but this is astonishing.
– The Magic have Dwight Howard (6’11), Tony Battie (6’11), and Hedo Turkoglu (6’10) on the court and yet they’ve only scored six points in the paint three minutes into the second quarter. Both Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins are on the bench but the Magic still aren’t attacking the paint.
– Redick nails a three and Eddie drains one right after. Redick may have been the man in college but House isn’t letting him steal the spotlight in the Garden.
– J.J. Redick just clocked his tenth minute of the game. This is the most time I’ve seen him play since he was a Blue Devil. The difference is he’s met with boos here whereas he gets a hero’s welcome in Orlando.
– As Paul pointed out in the first quarter, tensions are running high in this game. The undermanned Magic are trying to compensate for the absence of three players by being pesky under the basket in an effort to get under the Celtics skin.
At the start of the second quarter … Celtics 28, Magic 18
|12.01.08 at 5:41 pm ET|
We are live from the Garden for tonight’s big game between the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics. The Magic are 13-4, but a little shorthanded, having to play without their starting backcourt of Jameer Nelson and Mickael Pietrus, as well as backup swing man Keith Bogans.
Ageless veteran Anthony Johnson has been starting in Jameer’s place, and has played well, but can he stick with Rajon Rondo for 36 minutes? Can Kendrick Perkins keep the league’s leading rebounder, Dwight Howard, off the glass? Will JJ Redick get booed? Will answer those questions, and more, tonight. Read the rest of this entry »
|12.01.08 at 2:44 pm ET|
This is Rivers’ third consecutive selection and fourth of his career. He is the third coach in the history of the award (dating back to 1981) to be named three straight months. Flip Saunders and Larry Brown are the only other coaches to do so.
|11.30.08 at 10:01 pm ET|
On Monday night the Boston Celtics (16-2) will take on the Orlando Magic (13-4) at the TD BankNorth Garden. The presence of Dwight Howard makes the Magic an Eastern Conference contender but, despite successful regular season records, Superman hasn’t been able to carry his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. After last season, the road to the championship goes through Boston and the Magic surely know it. Monday’s game could be a preview of a future postseason battle.
In the Last Five Games ‘¦
The Celtics enter this game on an eight-game winning streak while the Magic have won their last four. Both teams have been running up the scoreboard in the last five games. The Celtics have averaged 104.6 points while winning by an average 13.8 points; the Magic have averaging 102.8 ppg while winning by a less impressive 6.6 ppg. They have been nearly identical on the glass. Even though Howard leads the league in blocks, the Celtics have the slight advantage as of late. The Cs have also held their opponents to less than 18 assists per game, a troubling stat for the Magic who have been playing without point guard Jameer Nelson.
Dwight Howard looks to bring his show-stopping antics to Boston and dominate his way through the paint. Howard (21.8 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 3.9 bpg) will be a challenging match up for the foul-prone Kendrick Perkins. The only silver lining for the Celtics is Howard’s inconsistency at the free throw line (57.3% FT). He shot 21-42 in three games against the Cs last season.
All Banged Up
While this game could be a playoff preview, it will be without a handful of key players. The Magic’s Jameer Nelson (hip), Mickael Pietrus (thumb), and Keith Bogans (thumb) suffered early-season injuries. This leaves holes at the point guard spot, on the wing, and on the bench. The Celtics should expect to see more of shooting guards J.J. Redick and Courtney Lee. Veteran PG Anthony Johnson has been starting in place of Nelson and will try to contain the streaking Rajon Rondo. These injuries are depleting the Magic reserves and creating a daunting task to stop the Celtics deep bench.
In the past five games the Magic have held their opponents to a staggering 28% from three-point range. Their biggest challenge will be stopping Ray Allen, who is shooting 56% from downtown during that same stretch. On the contrary, Paul Pierce is shooting just 15.4%. Ironically Allen’s former teammate, forward Rashard Lewis, has the hot hand for the Magic (47.2% 3PG last five games). There’s also no telling if one time NCAA-phenom J.J. Redick will find his groove.
Check in with the WEEI Celtics Game Day Blog for all the latest from the Celtics-Magic match up.
|11.28.08 at 11:48 pm ET|
When Paul Pierce scores a season-low six points on 1-of-6 shooting and you still build a 30-point fourth quarter lead, you know you’re a pretty good team. The Boston Celtics, however, may be much, much more than just a pretty good team. They may be in the middle of a season that could better last season’s 66-win world championship run. The Celtics toyed with a Philadelphia 76ers team that showed off six-year, $80 million free agent Elton Brand for the first time. He was of little use to the Sixers since Philly showed it was completely incapable of solving Boston’s swarming defense. The final result, Boston won, 102-78, improving to 15-2 and expanding their lead to an amazing six games in the Atlantic Division.
|11.28.08 at 11:39 pm ET|
The Boston Celtics were honored by GQ Magazine as Men of the Year: The Athletes, Actors, and Newsmakers who Blew our Minds in ’08. The issue, which is on newsstands now, features a photo of Doc Rivers and the starting five at HealthPoint training facility in Waltham. Four of the 17 championship banners hang behind them.
Celtics great JoJo White writes for the magazine:
‘It had been twenty-two years since we last reached that pinnacle. Twenty-two long, long years between NBA Championships … So when we got Ray Allen to pair with Paul Pierce in the off-season, you thought, Well, that’s good. He’s always been a heck of a shooter. But when we got Garnett on top of Paul and Ray? You knew something special could happen. But it had to happen because of defense. The truth of the matter is that the Celtics always won because of defense. You don’t get seventeen championships by accident.
‘As for beating the Lakers in the finals? That’s sweet. That’s always sweet. But really, this was for Red Auerbach … There was a beauty to it ending on our home court with Red looking down on us. And he got the last laugh. He always did.’
|11.28.08 at 8:48 pm ET|
Last season the Boston Celtics added two All-Stars and got out to one of the hottest starts in basketball. This season the Philadelphia 76ers added one All-Star and still haven’t figured out how to win with him. On Friday night Elton Brand posed no problem for the Celtics as they dismantled the 76ers 102-78. This loss wasn’t Brand’s fault, though. The 76ers as a whole failed to help and the Celtics took advantage of this struggling team.
- Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined for 38 points (16-27 FG). Paul Pierce added just six (1-6 FG). “We ran a few plays for Ray, noticed he had the hot hand and that’s what we try to do,” Pierce said. “Ray is really shooting lights out as of late so the guys around him were doing a good job of getting him open and he’s knocking shots down.”
- The 76ers are looking to learn from the Celtics cohesiveness. “They’re a very good team, well coached team,” said Andre Miller. “They play well together. You have to tip your hats to them. We should take something from this and move onto the next game.”
- Last season Miller flustered Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. Tonight Rondo got the best of the veteran PG, posting 6 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds to Miller’s 12 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. Rondo’s ball handling kept his teammates on point and his 12 dimes proved to be more valuable than Miller’s 12 points.
The Celtics (15-2) are leaving tonight for Charlotte, where they will take on the Bobcats on Saturday night. The 76ers (7-9) play the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night.