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Defense Ready

10.19.08 at 2:05 pm ET
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Snapshot: Devin Harris gets into the lane where he is surrounded by three Celtics. Against any other team there should be someone wide open weakside cutting through the lane. So Harris shovels a pass in that general direction, but Paul Pierce busted back to recover and intercepted it.

After a Celtics miss, Harris again races downcourt. This time Pierce breaks him down and forces him into a pull-up jump shot, which he missed. The defense, at least from the starters, is just about ready for the season.

Halftime Notes and Numbers

10.19.08 at 2:00 pm ET
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Brook Lopez capped off the first half with a one-handed dunk to bring the Nets within eight, 48-40. A few notes from the first two quarters:

  • Gabe Pruitt is getting a workout today. He has played 20 out of 24 minutes, leading all players.
  • Darius Miles, who has been hungry for minutes, got the call in the second quarter. Miles is a pass-first player so his contributions won’t resonate on the box score, but he knocked down one basket and blocked a shot in six minutes.
  • Yi Jianlian is showcasing his jumper, leading the Nets with 10 points. His range his impressive but it’s safe to say passing on him in the draft worked out just fine for the Celtics.
  • Neither time is hot from behind the arc — the Celtics are 2-for-9 (22%) while the Nets are 0-for-4.

Check out Paul’s blog for third quarter action.

Sweet Caroline

10.19.08 at 1:28 pm ET
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Thoughts of the Boston Red Sox are never far from the minds of fans at the Garden. During a second quarter timeout, “Sweet Caroline” blared through the speakers as a message reading “Game 7’s have become a tradition in Boston” appeared on the Jumbotron. Celtics jerseys will always reign supreme in this building but there are a noticeable number of Red Sox Nation members showing their support for the defending World Series champions today.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox,

Celtics Go Small to Start Second Quarter

10.19.08 at 1:23 pm ET
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Up 30-18, the Celtics started the second quarter with an undersized lineup of Gabe Pruitt, Eddie House, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe. Powe, playing the five spot,  quickly earned his share of bruises by single-handedly taking on the Nets under the basket on two consecutive possessions.

Rivers subbed Bill Walker in for Pruitt around the seven-minute mark. The PG got his first rest after playing 16 minutes (6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists). House shifted to the one and and Allen to the two, giving the Celtics more size on the perimeter.

Read More: Bill Walker, Boston Celtics, eddie house, Gabe Pruitt

First Quarter Notes

10.19.08 at 1:09 pm ET
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Paul Pierce and Gabe Pruitt played all 12 minutes and the C’s built a 30-18 lead. The subs were: Leon Powe (for Kendrick Perkins), Tony Allen (for Ray Allen) and Baby Davis for Kevin Garnett.

Garnett had the best run getting eight points and five rebounds. He worked over Yi Jianlin on defense and dealt with massive rookie Brook Lopez on defense. Pierce also played quality minutes, going for five points, three boards and three assists.
Jessica’s going to take you through the second quarter, so check out her stuff right here.

Pruitt Watch

10.19.08 at 12:58 pm ET
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So far young Gabe Pruitt has been doing exactly what Doc Rivers wanted him to do. He knocked down two 3-pointers and left a nice dish for a KG slam.

Of all the intriguing guys the Celtics have down their bench Pruitt might be the most worth watching. It’s no secret that Eddie House is a not a pure backup point guard. Eddie’s better at it than people give him credit for, and his unique ability to knock down perimeter jump shots is perfect for the Celtics second unit. But if Pruitt can develop into a legit backup point that would allow Doc to play the two of them together in spots, and that would obviously allow House to do what he does best.

There’s no question that Pruitt can play in this league. The question is whether he can play for a team with championship aspirations.

In an unrelated note: Perk is a beast.

Perkins in Foul Trouble

10.19.08 at 12:51 pm ET
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It took a little more than four minutes for Kendrick Perkins to get two fouls. The other night, Mike and Donny were talking about how winning a championship might help guys like Perk avoid ticky-tack fouls. So far in preseason that has not been the case. He got his second the way he usually gets his second: by stepping out to set a screen.

Somewhat interestingly, Kevin Garnett stepped out a bit on the previous possession, and… no call.

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