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Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: Third Quarter

12.15.08 at 6:54 pm ET
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The Celtics strange run of poor second quarters continues as a double-digit lead is now a tie as we head to the second half.

The good: Kendrick Perkins with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The bad: 14 turnovers.

On we go… Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: Second Quarter

12.15.08 at 6:12 pm ET
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Before the start of the second quarter Kevin Garnett pulled Rajon Rondo … and a ball boy … aside to demonstrate an offensive scheme. KG ran over the move three times while the ball boy had a quiet smile on his face.

– There’s a man two rows from the court wearing a Sebastian Telfair jersey. Either he’s a diehard fan or he scored on the sale rack.

– Talk about a true second unit: Gabe Pruitt, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe. I’m waiting for Patrick O’Bryant to check-in and then it’d feel like a real fourth quarter blow out.

– The Scal experiment has been short-lived tonight. Ray Allen’s back on the court with 8:30 left in the game, looking to push the Celtics lead back up to double-digits. Here comes KG … and Rondo. Doc’s going for defense with Ray and Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Garnett, and Rondo.

– With the Celtics starters on the court the Jazz have tied it up at 37. Doc Rivers said it would be difficult to control the ball tonight and the Jazz have the Celtics playing sloppy.

– Here’s the problem: the Celtics aren’t hitting their shots and the Jazz are having their way in the paint. The Celtics shot 6-for-18 from the field and scored just six points in the paint in the second quarter. The Jazz, on the other hand, scored 10 points in the paint. It’s tied 43-43 at the half and still anyone’s game.

Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: First Quarter

12.15.08 at 5:34 pm ET
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We are live at the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics and the Utah Jazz. Some pregame drama surrounded the C’s as traffic delayed several players arrival. At last check Rajon Rondo was the last one to to make it in, but he is here and on the court warming up. That’s good news for the C’s because Eddie House is not here. He is with his family after his aunt died, and is expected to be back on Wednesday in Atlanta.

That means Gabe Pruitt will be first off the bench behind Rondo and Tony Allen may see some time as well. Sam Cassell is also in uniform and according to Doc Rivers “might play.” Might being a particularly strong word.

Regardless, we’re ready to go. Will it be 15 in a row for the C’s? Will the Jazz repeat last year’s blowout? Will another coach get fired between now and then? Let’s find out… Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics Battle Traffic, Then Jazz

12.15.08 at 5:30 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics had to battle a different kind of opponent before their game against the Utah Jazz: Traffic. A mid-afternoon accident caused major delays on 93 North in Boston, a popular route to the TD BankNorth Garden. Twenty minute rides turned into hour-long endeavors as many of the players sat in gridlock traffic. Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, and Brian Scalabrine showed up after 6pm and hurried to get in their pregame shots. Rajon Rondo arrived around 6:45.

This is a game where Rondo would probably appreciate extra practice time. Even though Deron Williams is recovering from an ankle injury, he still poses a oversized challenge for the Celtics point guard. Rondo will look to use his speed and length to outplay Williams, who is second in the league in assists. Williams couldn’t quantify just how fast Rondo is but noted that rookies Russell Westbrook and Mario Chalmers are already showing the most similarities to Rondo’s game.

Another NBA Coach Fired

12.15.08 at 12:38 pm ET
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The Sacramento Kings will have a new head coach when they take on the Boston Celtics at the end of the month. On Monday the Kings fired head coach Reggie Theus, the sixth NBA head coach to be let go this season. The team is 6-18 without their leading scorer Kevin Martin (ankle) and 1-9 over the last ten games. Theus was hired at the start of last season and recorded 44 wins and 62 losses (.415) during his tenure. He attended the same high school as Paul Pierce, Inglewood High School in California. Assistant coach Kenny Natt will serve as interim head coach. The Celtics play the Kings on December 28 in California.

Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz

12.15.08 at 10:27 am ET
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On Monday night the Boston Celtics (22-2) will take on the Utah Jazz (15-10) at the TD BankNorth Garden. The Celtics are off to a franchise-best start and enter tonight on a 14-game winning streak. The Jazz, who are 6-4 in their last 10 games, have been trying to find consistency without Carlos Boozer (left quad).

Celtics Out for Revenge
There were few teams last season who beat the Celtics, let alone blew them out. Of their 16 regular season losses, the 110-92 embarrassment at the Garden was the worst they suffered. Doc Rivers pointed out Deron Williams‘ 18 free-throw attempts in that game. It didn’t matter how many he made (17, for the record), 18 trips to the line was the problem in itself. Also that night, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 2-for-9 from the field and the Celtics shot 3-for-15 from long range.

“That was the one game that I can remember that they really, really beat us,” Paul Pierce said. “A lot of losses we had, it was like we had a chance to win. But we just had no chance versus Utah. They outplayed us, they out-hustled us, they out-executed us, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. They’re a very good team and well coached with some great players.”

Match Up to Watch: Rondo vs. Williams
Prior to last Friday’s game against the New Orleans Hornets, Rajon Rondo was unaware he would be going up against Chris Paul and Deron Williams in back-to-back games. Williams is averaging 10.3 assists, second in the league only to Paul, and 12.3 points. Nonetheless, Rondo does not use these match ups to measure his own progress.

‘€œI don’€™t look at it like that,’€ Rondo said. ‘€œEvery night I feel like at the point guard position is pretty tough no matter who we’€™re against. I didn’€™t know we played Utah next but last night I had Juan Dixon and tonight (Friday) I have Chris Paul, so that’€™s just part of the NBA. I think the point guard is the hardest position to guard each night.’€

In the Last Five Games …

Boston: 109.0 PPG, +16.8 margin of victory, 50.0% FG, 41.8% 3PG, 74.7% FT, 23.8 APG, 46.0 RPG, 8.4 SPG
Utah: 101.6 PPG, +5.6 margin of victory, 47.2% FG, 36.5% 3PG, 74.5% FT, 25.8 APG, 42.4 RPG, 10.4 SPG

Stay with WEEI’s Live Celtics Game Day Blog for all the latest from the TD BankNorth Garden.

Hold the Fries for Pierce

12.14.08 at 9:33 pm ET
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‘€œI got a rotisserie, so you can pretty much throw anything in that and just sit it and forget it,’€ Paul Pierce said with a laugh.

If only his weight loss program was that simple. This summer Pierce estimates he dropped between eight to ten pounds, a step he took to enhance the quality of his career. Pierce, 31, had seen plenty of players gain weight around the same age and he couldn’t afford to do the same. Not when there is a championship to defend.

‘€œYou always want to improve. I’m at the stage and the age where I’m not getting any younger and it’s going to be more difficult to keep off weight,’€ he said. ‘€œBut it’s just making a conscious effort, especially as my career winds down for the last four or five years, to just be in the best shape possible.’€

Pierce became his own personal chef and said goodbye to many of the foods he had grown accustomed to.

‘€œI just cut back on a lot of meats, like red meats. I don’t eat a lot of steak as much as I did before, hamburgers, stuff like that,’€ he explained. ‘€œIt’s more chicken and fish, salads, pasta. Not as much pasta either, but you gotta sneak it in there sometimes. There are some great Italian places out here in Boston.’€

The NBA season keeps Pierce out of his kitchen so he has to be extra cautious on the road. The combination of eating in the locker room after games, late-night meals, and dining out are red flags he has to avoid, or pay the price the following day.

‘€œIt’s hard, especially when you go to Dallas and Mark Cuban puts all that food in [our locker room],’€ he said. ‘€œI’m not saying I don’t cheat though. I just know I’ve got to get some extra work in the next morning.’€

While Pierce decided to lose the weight on his own, he was impressed by how much shedding pounds transformed his teammate’s career. Kendrick Perkins lost 16 pounds heading into last season.

‘€œJust seeing him where he was day one,’€ Pierce said. ‘€œI watched him from a kid to now and if you look at his pictures from his rookie year, you’d be like, ‘Man, who was that?”€

So now that Pierce has traded in fried food for fresh fruit, what guilty pleasure does he miss the most?

‘€œMan, Mexican food,’€ he said. ‘€œGrowing up in Los Angeles you’ve got all the good Mexican places. I’m a taco guy, burritos, stuff like that. I cut back on those but I kind of sneak those in here and there. My mom makes the best chicken enchiladas. (Pauses) Man!”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Kendrick Perkins, Mark Cuban
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