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Pregame: Celtics vs. Pistons

11.20.08 at 5:38 pm ET
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Welcome to the TD BankNorth Garden where Paul and I are bringing you all the sights and sounds from the Celtics-Pistons battle. Tonight’s game is on TNT with postgame coverage later on Comcast SportsNet.

The hot topic tonight is how the Pistons will play after getting acclimated with Allen Iverson. Doc Rivers called Iverson “a freak of nature” considering just how good he still is at his age and size. Rivers explained that many people wondered when A.I. would slow down, and so far, he hasn’t.

Ray Allen expects to see the Pistons at some point in the playoffs, noting that over the last few years they have been the team to beat to get to the NBA Finals. Allen ranks the Pistons and Cavs at the top of his Eastern Conference lists.

Both locker rooms were noticeably quiet. With the exception of Bill Walker, it was a ghost town for a while in the Celtics room. Across the hall, the Pistons locker room was void of Rasheed Wallace’s typically blaring music. Maybe Club Sheed will be open after the game.

Brian Scalabrine is moving back to the bench tonight with Kevin Garnett returning from his one-game suspension.

… Congratulations to the Celtics game day staff who received their very own championship rings tonight. From printing box scores to running stats in between quarters, they help make our jobs easier every night.

Allen to Provide Thanksgiving Dinners for 275 Families

11.20.08 at 11:41 am ET
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The Boston Celtics will begin spreading holiday cheer next Monday, November 24 when Ray Allen provides Thanksgiving meals for 275 families at the Vine Street Community Center as part of his Ray of Hope Foundation. Each family was selected by the Boston Center for Youth and Families. Allen teamed up with Costco Wholesale and Vitamin Water to provide non-cooked meals including a turkey, gravy, stuffing, dessert, and more. Mayor Thomas Menino will also join Allen as part of his Food & Fuel Campaign.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen, Ray of Hope,

Posey Hoping for Celtics-Hornets Finals

11.20.08 at 8:46 am ET
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James Posey has been watching the Boston Celtics from afar this season but hopes to see them up close in June. In a recent interview with HOOPSWORLD, Posey admits to keeping tabs on his former teammates now that he is playing for the New Orleans Hornets.

“Yeah, I check them out. They are the defending champs. They are the champs until someone beats them,” Posey said, adding, “That’s what I told them ‘€“ me versus them in the Finals. That would be a nice ending to the season.”

The veteran sixth man is averaging 9.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in nearly 30 minutes a game for the Hornets. His shooting has also jumped to 48.5% from the field and 44.7% from long-range.

The Hornets are 5-5 and will take on the Celtics December 12 in Boston and February 11 in New Orleans. Safe to say there’ll be no hugs before those games.

Read More: Boston Celtics, James Posey, New Orleans Hornets,

Lil Wayne: KG is Best Trash Talker

11.19.08 at 7:29 am ET
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After hitting the charts, rap megastar Lil Wayne is now hitting the internet in his own ESPN the Magazine blog. Turns out he has a little bit of Spike Lee in him and has spent plenty of time talking trash from his courtside seats, including getting into the head of Houston Rocket Rafer Alston. As much as he likes talking trash, he claims no one does it better than Kevin Garnett:

“Back when I had those courtside seats I would hear everything those guys ever said, and KG was by far the best trash talker. That dude was creative. Even though he was on a terrible team in Minnesota all those years, he came in and was talking every night, intimidating people. He could get away with it because even though his team would usually lose, everyone knew KG’s game was at a different level. Most people would back down because it was KG. But then once in a while you’d have a guy who’d go back at him. I remember one game he got into it with Kareem Rush and he didn’t back down.”

Those also mentioned in Lil Wayne’s blog include:

LeBron James: “When you watch the Cavaliers games please be sure not to get up during the commercials ’cause you will see me on the Nike LeBron commercial. Yes. It’s kind of funny because he does that little thing where he throws the dust up and it gets on me and my new shoes so I’m upset about it.”

T-Mac: “Tracy McGrady? Come on. This is the same guy who said he wasn’t coming to New Orleans if the All-Star game was there. That guy? Come on. So then when the All-Star game came around who all of a sudden gets an injury? Tracy McGrady. Yeah.”

Dwyane Wade: “We live on the beach, but the funny thing is some guys in his entourage have a place in another building and my entourage lives directly across from them. So my entourage and his entourage are always out playing basketball together. D-Wade’s a cool guy, but I’ve never really been invited to his games. I guess I need tickets.”

… and even Manny Ramirez: “There are only a few teams that can afford to pay the man, and I would be heartbroken if he ends up in pinstripes. Manny as a Yankee would upset a whole lot of people, so I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

Read More: Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, Lil Wayne, Manny Ramirez

Sounds of the game… Celtics 110, Knicks 101

11.18.08 at 9:28 pm ET
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And let it begin. Quentin Richardson against the world, or at least the world champion Boston Celtics.

He didn’t hold back following Tuesday’s loss in Boston. He accused the Celtics of throwing their title, their rings and everything else in his face in the form of trash talk.

What could turn out to be a facsinating storyline if the Knicks remain relevant throughout the season evolved Tuesday night into a backyard brawl. Just listen to ‘Q’ explain his side of the story.

Richardson said the Celtics were trash talking.

Tensions flared in the second quarter when Richardson actually played peace-maker, separating his teammate Zach Randolph from Leon Powe under the Knicks basket as the two began to get into it.

Richardson said if this weren’t a basketball court, things would be different.

Paul Pierce on all the trash talk going on.

Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said ‘Q’ has it all wrong.

One thing is for sure, our Jessica Camerato doesn’t have it wrong. She has as terrific look back at last year, showing that this isn’t the first time Richardson has popped off in Boston’s direction. Check out that and more on the Celtics Game Day Blog.

Oh by the way, the stars of the game did have something to say about how the Celtics managed to win without Kevin Garnett.

Perkins said there was no replacing Kevin Garnett on Tuesday.

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said he takes comfort in outplaying Celtics in the fourth quarter.

Doc Rivers on the win without KG.

Paul Pierce said they didn’t feel extra pressure without the Big Ticket.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, New York Knicks

Scal-a-bri-ne The P-R-O

11.18.08 at 9:24 pm ET
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It was late in the game and the ball swung to Brian Scalabrine in the corner. As they have every time the ball has found him in those situations, the crowd at the Garden began to rise. At times this year this reaction has seemed to un-nerve Scalabrine and made him think just an extra second, long enough for the shot to not be available to him any more.

This time, however, it wasn’t the closing seconds of a blowout win. It was a close game against a division rival and the outcome was still very much in doubt. In other words, there was no time to think. “What we’re trying to get Scal to do is just keep the game simple,” his coach, Doc Rivers was saying after the game. “When you’re open, shoot it. If not, pass it.”

Scal was open. He shot it. And it went down. It was his third 3-pointer of the game and it was critical in the Celtics, 110-101 win over the Knicks Tuesday night.

And so, the evolution of Brian Scalabrine from scapegoat to curiosity to folk hero took another twist as everyone’s favorite reserve stepped into the starting lineup for a suspended Kevin Garnett and not only helped the Celtics win a game against the Knicks, he also made perhaps the biggest shot of the night. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Malcolm Gladwell,

Richardson Still Unimpressed by Celtics

11.18.08 at 8:56 pm ET
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This time last year Quentin Richardson wasn’t buying into the hype surrounding the Big Three. To him, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett were just another handful of players who hadn’t won a championship. Despite their hot start to the 2008 season, Richardson wasn’t in awe.

“It’s not that big a deal to us,” the New York Knicks forward told the New York Post last year. “It’s like the media makes more of The Big Three and all of them. We’re not in awe of them. They ain’t won no championships. They have a good record right now, but that don’t matter.”

At the time, Pierce shrugged it off.

“You know what? I really don’t get caught up in all that talk,” Pierce said. “He’s going to say what he’s going to say to try to motivate his team. We don’t need to be motivated. We’re a self-motivated team and we’re going to go out there and take care of business.”

Fast forward 12 months. The Knicks faced off against the Celtics on Tuesday night in Boston for a heated battle that included plenty of trash-talking and technical fouls to go around. This time the Knicks were playing the defending NBA champions. This time … was no different than the last for Richardson.

‘€œI think a few of those guys know they can’€™t just say anything to us,” he said following the Celtics tension-filled 110-101 victory. “I’€™m just real curious to see what those guys will be saying if we weren’€™t in a basketball league and didn’€™t have referees. I mean it wouldn’€™t be the same story. I mean they are the World Champions and rah-rah-rah, but the tough part I don’€™t factor. I come from a neighborhood where you can say what you want to say, but til you do something, it don’€™t mean nothing. Some of those guys are happy to get a ring, but you ain’€™t been in the league long enough to talk to people like that. I don’€™t have a lot of respect for that. Like I said, I’€™d be curious to hear what they have to say in a different setting, I’€™d be very curious to see that.’€

A year later, Pierce is still shrugging off Richardson’s rants.

‘€œWe just have to keep our composure,” the Celtics captain said. “The Knicks try to get you to play their game with the talking and the small ball. We can’€™t get caught up in the way they’€™re playing. We have to play our game and take advantage of what we do out there well.’€

Don’t expect this to be the last heard from Richardson. The Celtics and Knicks will see each other again three times this season. Next up, December 21 at the Garden.

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Knicks, Paul Pierce
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