|10.16.08 at 1:05 pm ET|
The Celtics are having a fairly boring training camp, which is good when you’re the defending champs. There are no contract squabbles, no petty animosities and no feuding.
The only actual decision still to be made is who will be the odd man out. With 16 players in camp, and 15 roster spots available, someone has to go. Some were calling for Brian Scalabrine’s head, but Danny Ainge squashed that notion, which was never a realistic possibility anyway considering that Scal has two years and more than $6 million coming to him.
Assuming the rookies are safe, that leaves Darius Miles, Sam Cassell, and Gabe Pruitt fighting for one spot, and Miles is the only one without a guaranteed contract. After the jump, the case for, and against, D-Miles. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.16.08 at 12:30 am ET|
There’s no question that Rajon Rondo and Devin Harris are poised to become two of the league’s best point guards in years to come. The question is, would Rondo get schooled like Harris did?
Check out the video to see Harris, dressed in New Jersey Nets gear, get shown up by UK streetballer Stuart Tanner, who took a page out of KG’s v-neck sweater collection, while the Nets were overseas for preseason basketball.
|10.15.08 at 12:08 pm ET|
Later today, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is going to unveil a plan that will cut 1,000 state jobs and $700 million from the budget. Earlier this week, the NBA announced that they are laying off 80 people in anticipation of the fiscal crisis.
These are tough times, obviously, but the real story to keep an eye on is the groundbreaking on the New Jersey Nets new building in Brooklyn, which could be set back at least six months, “after an appellate court declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by foes of the plan.”
The Nets move was planned to coincide with the 2010 season, which is ground zero for the biggest NBA free agency shopping period ever. The big prize, of course, is LeBron James, and the mere thought of Bron-Bron in New York has pushed the Knicks and Nets into one cost-cutting move after another in an attempt to clear cap space. Both teams have essentially abdicated the next two seasons.
|10.15.08 at 7:18 am ET|
42 years ago today, Bill Russell made history when he became the first African-American head coach in the NBA. Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics on October 15, 1966. The Celtics started the ’66-’67 season 10-1 and finished 60-21 before falling to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Russell coached the Celtics to back-to-back NBA Championships the following two seasons and left his post in Boston with a 162-83 record. He averaged nearly 20 rebounds and 12 points in just over 40 minutes per game as a player-coach.
|10.12.08 at 10:19 pm ET|
Darius Miles was anxious when he moved to Boston last month. He had played here before on opposing teams but it’s a different story when you are representing Beantown. The city’s winning tradition was intimidating at first.
‘The last time I played there it wasn’t really a big deal because the team was losing games,’ Miles said. ‘Like now just walking into the practice facility, it’s like it’s scary to a point because of the history that goes back on this team. Seeing all these pictures of Bill Russell and all these great players that used to play here and seeing those big banners, it’s different now.’
Through his six-year stint in the NBA, Miles already knew many of the veteran Celtics including Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Sam Cassell. Knowing these players also meant knowing the high expectations of winning another championship this season.
‘I’m a basketball fan so I kind of knew a lot about [the Celtics tradition],’ Miles said. ‘Then once they brought a championship back, that kind of brought it all back to the world and everybody else and it kind of brought it back to my memory too. Like I said it got scary where I just don’t want to mess up, don’t want to miss a pass, drop the ball, miss a shot.’
After six weeks Miles has become more comfortable in his new digs. Doc Rivers has praised his hustle and he seems at ease in the Celtics locker room. Off the court, he has already staked claim of his new favorite restaurant, Biagio in Waltham.
‘I like the family restaurants,’ he said. ‘They don’t have too many name brand restaurants. There are a lot of family-owned restaurants around here, so the food tastes better and the people know how to cook.’
What else does Miles like about Boston?
‘My favorite part is I like everybody’s accent,’ he said, adding, ‘My mom came down here when I was sick (tonsillitis) and she was telling me she liked everybody’s accents too.’
So will this Belleville, Illinois native be pahkin the cah any time soon?
‘No, I don’t think I’ll pick one up,’ Miles said with a laugh. ‘I’m too country for that.’
|10.11.08 at 10:33 pm ET|
Leon Powe will undergo X-rays to examine swelling in his left hand. Powe suffered the injury on Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers when his hand became entangled in his opponent’s jersey. The Celtics forward played 23 minutes against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night but wrapped his hand ice after the game. Despite the pain Powe joked he could play without his left hand.
|10.11.08 at 10:27 pm ET|
“That’s Ron,” Pierce said. “He plays like that preseason, summer league, regular season. That’s the way he plays.”
Artest’s hustle was tough enough to send Pierce to the locker room in the first quarter with a stinger.
“It’s a little stiff. I’ve got a crick in my neck but I’m going to be alright,” Pierce said.
The Celtics captain knows Artest is only the beginning of opponents who will be gunning for him this season.
“You’ve got to understand, when you’re the champs people are going to come at you whether it’s preseason, regular season,” he said. “We’ve just got to be ready for it.”