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Pregame: Celtics vs. Raptors

11.10.08 at 5:17 pm ET
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Greetings from the TD BankNorth Garden where the Boston Celtics are set to take on the Toronto Raptors. Paul and I have you covered tonight so check back regularly for news and updates.

The Raptors wasted no time getting ready for the game as nearly every player except for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh were warming up when I scoped out the court around 5:30. Leon Powe, Kendrick Perkins, and Brian Scalabrine were practicing on the Celtics end.

The Cs were loose in the locker room, with Powe, House, and Rajon Rondo crowded near Perkins’ locker. Perk turns 24 today and the big man is trying to downplay his birthday even though he is receiving some extra attention from his teammates.

Chris Bosh received treatment on the trainers table in the Raptors quarters while a handful of players wandered in and out of the locker room. Jamario Moon said the Raptors are a brand new team with O’Neal’s veteran leadership this season. They are also a better offensive team, ranking second in the league in both three-point shooting and free throws.

Tonight it was the bench who was receiving praise from Doc Rivers. The Celtics head coach said the starters have not been consistent with their offense and defense. He would not go as far to say the bench has exceeded his expectations but they are “playing well.”

The game will get underway shortly. Check back soon for more …

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, Doc Rivers, eddie house

Celtics to Raffle Authentic Championship Ring

11.10.08 at 10:11 am ET
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The Boston Celtics will raffle off an authentic 2008 NBA Championship Ring to raise money for the Shamrock Foundation. Raffle tickets will be available between today and February 3, 2009. Each ticket costs $2.00 and there is a five-ticket minimum.

The winner will be presented with the ring on February 5 at the TD BankNorth Garden, where they will be given four loge tickets for that night’€™s game. The winner will also receive a cash prize to cover the tax expenses from the ring.

In addition to being engraved with the winner’€™s name, the 14-karat white gold championship ring features a total of 83 diamonds and emeralds (3.30 carats combined).

Information on purchasing tickets is available online at www.celtics.com.

Notes from Celtics Practice

11.08.08 at 3:14 pm ET
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On Saturday the Boston Celtics held an open practice for the New England Baptist Hospital. Specific plays are kept behind closed doors so today’s focus was more on drills and conditioning than strategies and game plans.

  • Doc Rivers stressed the importance of rebounding to the Cs and pointed out that their next opponent, the Detroit Pistons, are known for crashing the boards.
  • Strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo put the players through several exercises, many honing in on lower body strength and agility.
  • Kendrick Perkins was one of the first to complete full court running drills. At 6’10 just one of his strides looks like two or three steps for Rajon Rondo and Eddie House.
  • The players ran through drills wherein they had to move the ball without dribbling. The first team to score three baskets won. On the first possession, Leon Powe suffocated Kevin Garnett at the top of the key and forced a turnover. Paul Pierce, Eddie House, and J.R. Giddens each knocked down multiple shots.
  • Ray Allen, Tony Allen, and Gabe Pruitt stuck around after practice to get in some extra long range shots.

The Celtics left at 3pm for a flight to Detroit. They will play Allen Iverson and the Pistons on Sunday at 6pm on NBA TV.

Sounds of the game… Celtics 101, Bucks 89

11.07.08 at 11:23 pm ET
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Prior to going out and beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at TD Banknorth Garden, Celtics coach Doc Rivers called a meeting of the reserves before Friday night’€™s game, asking them if the opponent took away their best skill, how could they still help the team. Eddie House, Leon Powe and Glen “Big Baby” Davis had all the answers as the Cs wore down the Bucks in the fourth quarter with a 28-19 run to end the game and improve to 5-1 on the season, with Allen Iverson and the new-look Detroit Pistons on the horizon on Sunday night.

Eddie House said Doc got his message across before the game.

Former UConn star and Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva was disappointed the Bucks couldn’t hold their early 25-12 lead in the first quarter.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics took Milwaukee’s best shot.

Paul Pierce said the Celtics need to solve their problems with slow starts.

Doc Rivers said Pierce working with the second unit was huge.

Kendrick Perkins is looking forward to seeing the Pistons with Allen Iverson on Sunday night.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

Bucks-Celtics Review: Of Slow Starts and Blocked Shots

11.07.08 at 9:14 pm ET
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Doc Rivers had a feeling the Celtics were going to start slowly Friday night. It’s not something he planned on, necessarily, but let’s just say after the team got back after 4 in the morning from beautiful Oklahoma City, he wasn’t surprised that it took his team a little while to get going.

That was why, despite getting down by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, Rivers resisted the urge to call a timeout. “I just tried to burn minutes,” Rivers said. “I didn’t want to sub any of them out. Just thought it was a good way of getting them running.”

Rivers hunch paid off as the Celtics slowly took control, and with the aid of an energetic bench effort, knocked off the Bucks, 101-89. But what of this emerging pattern of early deficits? Read the rest of this entry »

Smith to miss game against Celtics?

11.07.08 at 9:12 pm ET
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Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith suffered a high ankle sprain on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. Initial reports indicate Smith will miss 2-4 weeks, which would sideline him for next Wednesday’s game against the Celtics.

Last season Smith averaged 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Josh Smith,

Notes from Across the Hall: Celtics vs. Bucks

11.07.08 at 9:04 pm ET
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Despite a slow start the Boston Celtics kicked it in gear in the second half to score a  101-89 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. After the game there was music blaring from the Celtics locker room. Across the hall in the visitors locker room, the Bucks were shaking their head in disappointment of letting this upset slip away.

  • The Celtics outscored the Bucks 60-36 in the paint. “They pretty much owned us [in the paint] from the beginning to end,” said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. “Early in the game out weak side defense was very poor and they didn’t hurt as much with it. They missed some shots but then as the game went on, they just kept taking advantage.”
  • The Bucks seemed to forget everything they did correctly in the first quarter and crumbled 32-17 in the second. “The first quarter we played great,” said Charlie Villanueva. “We played great defense and the offense was going great. When they made their run, we started getting away from what we had been doing. Instead of spacing, we were in tight and our spacing was wrong. We stopped moving the ball correctly, stopped penetrating, and they took advantage of that.”
  • Richard Jefferson (20 points) soaked his feet after the game and studied the stat sheet with Michael Redd. The two vets poured over the box score for at least five minutes. It’s nice to see Redd finally have some veteran support.
  • Even though the Bucks are the league leaders in assists, they committed 22 turnovers and only dished off 17 dimes. “[We've] just got to get better at taking care of the ball,” said guard Charlie Bell. “We’re trying to make the extra pass and we’ve got to stay aggressive and know that they’re going to defend the passing lanes. They’re going to jump out. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”

Many of the Bucks were quick to point out a grueling upcoming schedule. In the next five days they will face the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and San Antonio Spurs. Things are going to get harder before they get easier for the 3-3 Bucks.

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