Archive for November, 2008

Jackson: Celtics Earned My Respect

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Last season on the night before Thanksgiving, Stephen Jackson scoffed at the hype surrounding the Boston Celtics. They were 9-1 at the time, including a 23-point blowout over the Golden State Warriors, but Jackson could care less.

“They won nine games. If you all want to hype up nine games so be it. I’m not,” he said at the time. “Like I said, they are just another NBA team just like everybody else. They’ll get praise when they win a championship.”

Exactly one year later, the now-defending champions came from behind the defeat the Warriors 119-111 in Boston. Jackson posted 30 points, six assists, and five rebounds, and looked like he was out for redemption.

So was he playing with a vengeance? His answer may surprise you.

“They definitely have my respect,” he said. “They have three great players and a great leader in (Rajon) Rondo. He definitely is a key to them winning games. Like I said, they have my respect now. If I said that year, I take it back. They’ve definitely earned it.”

The trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have achieved the goal Jackson is working toward with Corey Maggette and the newly acquired Jamal Crawford. Now he is in the same situation and can appreciate what the Celtics accomplished last season.

“It’s hard to not respect them after the season they had,” Jackson said. “When you’re a team that signs three big guys and you haven’t won a championship, you have to earn the respect. And they’ve earned it.”

Celtics-Warriors Game Blog: Fourth Quarter

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Thanks to Rajon Rondo the Celtics are back on top 86-83. Let’s see what happens in the final 12 …

– And just like that the Celtics have all but locked in a victory. The Warriors faltered offensively and the Celtics got hot at the basket. KG just attempted a three. I’d say this one’s in the bag.

– This is where team chemistry could come into play. The Celtics can read each other like a book and are pulling away with cohesive play. The Warriors, on the other hand, have two first year players on the court in Maggette and Crawford.

– Jackson thinks this is hilarious. Ray Allen got called for the foul on Jackson’s three-point attempt and Jackson couldn’t contain his jubilation. He made two of three free throws.

– Who wants it more? KG or Captain Jack? It’s about to play out in the final five.

– The officials just told Celtics superfan Marty Joyce to take a seat. Something tells me they can’t stop him, they can only hope to contain him … And he’s back on his feet celebrating a Warriors foul.

– Pierce entered the game with seven minutes to go and the Celtics down by one. He just picked up his fourth foul but Doc needs him on the court for his late-game heroics.

– Jackson wanted to make sure the Celtics saw that shot. After draining a three over a pair of defenders, he pranced in front of the Cs bench. Someone’s in it to win it.

Eddie House is off tonight. He isn’t simply missing his shots, he just threw up a brick from long range. He and Scal are the only scoreless Celtics with 9:35 to go.

– Scal just got called for his 10th personal foul of the season. Pierce leads the Celtics with 41.

– It will be interesting to see how Watson performs down the stretch. He was a Vegas Summer League standout (19 points, 5 assists, 3.5 rebounds per game) but those impressive performances can often be a fluke.

– Celtics start the fourth quarter with Pierce, Davis, Tony Allen, Scal, and House. Crawford, Azubuike, Turiaf, Watson, and Maggette are on the court for the Warriors.

Celtics Warriors Game Blog: Third Quarter

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I’ll be honest: After that first quarter, I figured the Celtics defense would tighten up and we’d be looking at a 10-15 point game the rest of the way. Which is reason 337 why I don’t gamble. The good news for the Celtics is that a 13-point spread against a team like Golden State can disappear pretty quickly. But, as noted in the intro I have no feel for this game at all.

Onward…

(more…)

Celtics-Warriors Game Blog: Second Quarter

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

At the half … Warriors 67 , Celtics 54

SECOND HALF WRAP: So how did this happen?

  • To start, the Celtics only hit 5 field goals in the entire second quarter compared to the Warriors 12.
  • Garnett was scoreless in the second, Ray Allen scored three, and Pierce had two.
  • Maggette scored 11 while Jackson added six.
  • The Warriors hit two free throws in the first quarter and 14 in the second.
  • The Celtics, on the other hand, made 7 in the first and just 8 in the second.
  • 67 first half points is the most given up by the Celtics since March 14, 2005 against the Charlotte Bobcats. They won the game 119-110.

– Another T, this time for Doc Rivers. The Celtics are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the league in  technicals … and Doc’s still heated.

– Maggette is flat out ignoring Ray Allen and seeing only the basket in this quarter. He scored 11 second quarter points before getting a rest with 3:30 to go in the half. There’s no let up for the Celtics, though. Stephen Jackson has 18 points so far and is attacking the hoop possession after possession.

– At the timeout, the Warriors have outscored the Celtics 15-8 six minutes into the second quarter. The game is tied 43-43, led by six points in as many minutes from Maggette. The Warriors have also forced three turnovers while committing none.

– KG vs. Ronny Turiaf … I feel like I’m at the NBA Finals again.

– If Eddie House and Corey Maggette were to get tangled on the court, who do you think would come up on the winning end? Surprisingly, it was House who dealt a hard blow to Maggette under the Warriors basket. (No hard feelings, he checked to make sure Maggette was ok.) The Warriors won’t underestimate the size of EHouse.

– Rather than leave a starter on the court, Doc’s going with Scal again in the second unit. He’s on the court with Leon Powe, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, and Eddie House. The Warriors have Corey Maggette, Andris Biedrins, Kelenna Azubuike, C.J. Watson, and Ronny Turiaf.

– One thing that jumped out in the first quarter was how undersized the Warriors looked next to the Celtics. Kendrick Perkins vs. Brandan Wright? Perk’s got 75 pounds on him. So I crunched the numbers to compare the starting lineups … Celtics: 6’7, 230.2 lbs, Warriors: 6’8, 215.6 lbs. May not seem like a big difference but it sure translates into the Celtics big men doing a lot of banging around in the paint.

– The Golden State Warriors allow the second most points in the league (106 ppg), and tonight it’s easy to see why. The Celtics are on pace to score 70 points in the first half alone after aggressively attacking the paint in the first quarter. Let’s see if they run up the scoreboard in the second quarter …

Celtics-Warriors Game Blog: First Quarter

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

We are live from the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics and the Warriors. It’s always a little strange when teams like Golden State come to town for their annual visit. Except for that magical mini-run the Warriors enjoyed a few years ago when they beat Dallas in the playoffs there hasn’t been a whole lot to talk about or get excited about with the Warriors. What was the last memorable Golden State team? The Run-TMC crew? They kind of exist in this strange nether-world.

Anyway, Golden State suffered a huge loss when Monta Ellis hurt himself in the offseason. The recent addition of Jamal Crawford may help in that regard, but it will also probably take time for him to absorb Nellie-ball in all its glory.

If you’re not up on Andrinis Bierdrins you should be. He is second in the league in rebounding behind Dwight Howard and averaging better than 16 points and 13 boards. He’ll be a handful tonight. On with the show, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone. (more…)

Pregame: Celtics vs. Warriors

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Greetings from the TD BankNorth Garden where Paul and I have you covered as the Boston Celtics take on the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors (5-9) are sporting a new look tonight with former Knick Jamal Crawford in the backcourt. Doc Rivers said Crawford will fit right in with Don Nelson’s system and the veteran guard makes the Warriors much better than before.

One player who didn’t fit in with Nelson’s system was Patrick O’Bryant. Rivers noted that O’Bryant has spent more time with assistant coach Clifford Ray than he probably wanted to, but Ray has a proven track record of bringing out the best in big men (Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins). O’Bryant also worked out with Ray this summer at Ray and Robert Parish’s camp at IMG Academies.

Two days after the passing of his wife Helen, Tommy Heinsohn is at the Garden as a spectator. Donny Marshall will be working alongside Mike Gorman tonight. Helen will be honored before the game with a moment of silence.

Paul will bring you all the action from the first quarter on the Celtics Game Day Blog.

Celtics Holiday Weekend Lineup

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

If you want to avoid the holiday traffic or aren’t one for Black Friday shopping, there is plenty of NBA action to keep you occupied.

Celtics on Comcast SportsNet

Wednesday, November 26
Celtics vs. Warriors
7:30 pm

Friday, November 28
Celtics vs. 76ers
7:30 pm

Saturday, November 29
Celtics at Bobcats
7:00 pm

Celtics Now
Today at 6:00 pm and after the game
Friday at 6:00 pm

Hosted by WEEI’s Michael Holley, this week’s Celtics Now features a panel discussion with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, Sports Illustrated’€™s Chris Mannix, and super fan Marty Joyce, as well as features on Ray Allen‘€™s turkey donations and the Celtics Dancers auditions. Segments include Court Vision breakdown on the ‘€œgive and go’€ and ‘€œHolleyWould,’€ where Holley tells Celtics fans what he would have done in the NBA this week.

Tommy Heinsohn will return on Monday night when the Celtics take on the Magic at 7:30.