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Still Living on a Prayer

11.12.08 at 6:26 pm ET
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On Monday night I mentioned the Garden’s newest karaoke star, a lip-synching-inclined fan who put on quite the show to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” during the Pacers game.

Today his performance was re-aired on the Jumbotron during a second quarter timeout. This time the Celtics enjoyed the show. Ray Allen, Patrick O’Bryant, Bill Walker, Sam Cassell, and J.R. Giddens looked on … probably in confusion.

Veterans maintain first quarter lead for Hawks

11.12.08 at 6:15 pm ET
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Last season one of the most impressive factors of the Hawks series against the Celtics was their youth and inexperience. This summer, however, they have added veteran leadership to their bench. Mo Evans and Flip Murray pushed their younger teammates during training camp and are one of the reasons why head coach Mike Woodson thinks the Hawks have been so successful. With Murray and Evans on the court, the Hawks stopped a Celtics run to cap off the first quarter with a three-point dagger from Murray.

At the end of the first quarter … Hawks 31, Celtics 24

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Flip Murray, Mo Evans

Playoffs? Is it the playoffs?

11.12.08 at 5:53 pm ET
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Did you hear that?

It’s the boos resonating from the crowd on Mike Bibby’s first possession.

There was a postseason atmosphere before tip-off which was only heightened by Kevin Garnett’s encouragement of the crowd. Only this time, the Hawks have come out swinging first. Joe Johnson is still out to beat the Celtics on the offensive end and is leading his team to an early lead.

Doc Rivers called a timeout down 17-11 with six minutes to go in the first quarter. Yes, another first quarter deficit. This is becoming the norm for the Cs, echoing Rivers comments of inconsistency from the starting five.

So far Monday’s hero Paul Pierce is scoreless. Let’s see if the Celtics can get it going …

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Joe Johnson

Celtics and Hawks Set for Rematch

11.12.08 at 4:57 pm ET
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The last time the Atlanta Hawks left the Garden, they had just been steamrolled in a dramatic Game 7 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Tonight a more mature team is back in the building in hopes of keeping their undefeated season alive. It’s role reversal, with the Celtics looking to play the spoiler.

Hawks head coach Mike Woodson said the series left a “nice taste in their mouth” and his team is hungry for a win. He admits that the Hawks would not be 6-0 if it weren’t for that battle, but Ray Allen isn’t taking responsibility for their early success. Allen knew the team was talented last season before the Celtics faced them.

Keep an eye on Al Horford, who is riding the momentum of last night’s 27-point, 17-rebound performance against former Florida teammate Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls. Horford knows the Celtics fans still remember his tiffs with the Celtics and feeds off the energy of a high-pressure game.

I’ll be bringing you all the action from the TD BankNorth Garden so check back regularly for updates.

Celtics Starting Lineup Named to All-Star Ballot

11.11.08 at 1:24 pm ET
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All five members of the Boston Celtics starting lineup will be named to the 2009 All-Star ballot today, presented by T-Mobile. The ballot will be unveiled today during a special kick-off ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins are all up for spots on the Eastern Conference team. The Big Three participated in last year’s game (Allen was a replacement for Caron Butler) while Rondo and Perkins have never been named to the team.

The All-Star Game will be held February 15 at the US Airways Center. Voting will begin on Thursday, November 13 and run through mid-January. This season fans will be able to cast their votes in every NBA arena, online at NBA.com in several different languages, and via cell phone.

Read More: Big Three, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett

O’Neal Struggling to Achieve Celtics Success

11.11.08 at 9:58 am ET
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When Jermaine O’Neal looks at Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, he can’t help but get frustrated.

Garnett and Allen were able to hit the ground running in their first season with the Boston Celtics, starting off 20-2 en route to the first NBA Championships of their career. For O’Neal, his debut season with the Toronto Raptors has anything but a joyride.

‘€œIt’s been kind of a roller coaster for me,’€ he said. ‘€œAnd it’s been hard.’€

This summer O’Neal was traded to the Raptors from the Indiana Pacers, a year after Garnett’s blockbuster trade to the Celtics. The move paired O’Neal with dominating big man Chris Bosh and positioned the Raptors as an Eastern Conference contender. Like the Celtics, the Raptors united unfulfilled All-Stars in hopes of winning a title.

‘€œYou try not to base your career and your success off of somebody else’s,’€ O’Neal said. ‘€œA lot of people can say, ‘I want it to be like this,’ but it’s not necessarily like that. [The Celtics] definitely have put together a format on how to do it, for sure. Sometimes you’re not able to go that route. You’ve got to take another route and that’s the route that I’m on.’€
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Read More: Andrea Bargnani, Boston Celtics, Chris Bosh, Doc Rivers

Sounds of the game… Celtics 94, Raptors 87

11.10.08 at 9:34 pm ET
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Monday night had all the makings of a back-to-back letdown. And for all the world in the first half, it looked like an emotional and dominant win in Detroit 24 hours earlier had taken its toll, as the C’s trailed by as many as 16 in the second quarter and 48-36 at halftime. Then the Celtics woke up in the third before Paul Pierce took over in the final 15 minutes, scoring 25 of his game-high 36, including 22 in the final quarter to match the ENTIRE Raptors team.

The end result was a stunning win for the Green and a demoralizing, head-scratcher for Toronto.

Paul Pierce said he was feeling it in the fourth.

Pierce had an ice pack on his sore right hand in the postgame presser.

Kevin Garnett said Pierce was Superman.

Doc Rivers realizes what kind of player Pierce is.

Leon Powe could see a special look in Pierce’s eyes.

What they said about it…

Jason Kapono: ‘€œWe felt we could have had them down a tad bit further, especially at the end of the second quarter. They made a couple of shots there and they got to the free throw line. It’€™s our job to keep it going and build a lead, but obviously they are a quality team, a world championship team, and you know that their best run (of the game) is still coming.’€

Jermaine O’€™Neal: ‘€œThose guys in the third quarter shot a lot of free throws. In the fourth quarter, they did a good job of making shots. Ray (Allen), Paul and the others have an incredible comfort level with each other. We’€™ve got to figure a way to keep those guys down, especially  when we’€™re up 15 or 16 points in a game, especially in the second half.’€

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, Paul Pierce
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