|01.28.09 at 8:12 pm ET|
And, we’re back again. Jess couldn’t make it because of the weather, but a little ice and snow can’t stop the mighty Green Line so I’ll be your spirit guide for the rest of the game. A couple of strange things from the first (actually a lot of strange things from the first). Not only are the Kings shooting 65 percent, but the C’s got up 22 shots. That early 80’s Denver Nuggets pace.
What will we have for the rest of the night? Let’s find out…
FIRST HALF WRAP: Despite everything that went down in the first two quarters–foul trouble for Paul Pierce, the Kings not missing for seven minutes–the Celtics take a 68-49 lead into the break. How are they doing it? By shooting the freaking lights out. Eddie House has 16 points, Rajon Rondo has 14 points and seven assists and Ray Allen has 12 points.
The C’s are shooting 58 percent and have committed just five turnovers.
Second Quarter Observations
— I have detected a pattern with the refs tonight. No, just kidding. I have no idea on some of these calls and I don’t usually make off the cuff statements like that.
— Your five on the floor are Eddie, Ray, Tony Allen, Baby and Leon Powe. That’s a pretty small lineup, but Doc doesn’t have a lot of options with Scalabrine out for a week to 10 days and Pierce on the bench in foul trouble. He didn’t want to play Tony Allen more than 10 minutes or so tonight, but he might go right past that number in the first half.
— That was a sick up-and-under move by Tony Allen, but you can tell: He’s tired. He’s grabbing his shorts and was way behind on that last fast break. He needed that timeout. Still, a really nice start for him.
— Leon Powe was dropped in the rotation last week after Perkins returned from his injury and Scal and Big Baby played so well in his absence. He looks active so far and it should be pointed out that Leon did not say one negative thing about it.
— Good run for Ray Allen. 17 minutes, nine points, four assists.
— Tony Allen is killing it right now. For everybody that complains that he’s not James Posey (blah, blah, blah) remember that he can do things that the other Celtics can not. Like block jump shots, for example.
— At this point I think it would be advisable for other teams to guard Eddie House.
— Remember when the Kings started the game shooting 9-for-10? They are 5-for-18 since then.
— Perkins had a word or two for Brad Miller after his love-tap on Rondo. Something to keep an eye on. Miller is not exactly universally loved around the association.
— That was a 2 by Eddie, by the way.
— I believe the Celtics were running a variation of the picket fence. And no they didn’t get caught watching the paint dry.
|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.
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