Archive for January, 2010

Ray on tough week: ‘It an us project right now’

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

WALTHAM  –  Whether it’s Doc Rivers, Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett, everyone associated with the Celtics is capable of understanding the challenge of them in the next 10 days.

The Celtics host the Clippers on Monday night, a team that beat them in late December. They have two days off and then play at Orlando and Atlanta on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Then they welcome the defending champion Lakers on Sunday the 31st to the Garden, followed the next day by a game in Washington.

The tough stretch ends with a game at home against Miami a week from Wednesday.

“From a schedule prospective, it looks daunting because we’re playing some of the better teams in the league,” Allen said. “Right now, it’s an ‘us’ project, just focusing on the small, little things that we’ve done to be successful, the things we’ve done to build this team to where it is right now.”

Rivers did acknowledge that his only concern with playing Garnett in the next two weeks are in the second game of back-to-back contests.

“The games that I’m concerned with Kevin will be the Atlanta game because it comes off a tough back-to-back with Orlando and then the Washington game because it comes off a tough Laker game,” Rivers said. “Those the only two games in the next eight or nine days I have concern.

Rivers repeated on Sunday following practice that Garnett looks strong in practice and he has no concern about the health of Garnett’s right knee. Rivers said his only concern is Garnett’s conditioning.

The Celtics are comfortably ahead in the Atlantic Division with a mark of 28-13. They have nine games before the All-Star break.

“We look forward to the whole week,” Allen said. “We know we’re winding down to the All-Star break.”

Doc ‘has no problem’ with All-Star Iverson

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

WALTHAM — Celtics coach Doc Rivers is all for Rajon Rondo making the All-Star team. But he made it clear on Sunday that he has no beef with the fans who voted Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson one of the starting guards along with Miami’s Dwayne Wade for the upcoming All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas.

“The fans voted him,” Rivers said. “I have no problem with it. I disagree with the people who say that he should not play. I think he should play. I think the fans have said they want to see him play. It may be because of this year. It may be because of his career. He’s earned that through his career. If the fans want to see him, they want to see him.

“They don’t get a lot of them wrong when you think about it. Maybe every two or three years, one guy is on there that you think maybe shouldn’t be out of the 10 they put on. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

Does Rivers think Rondo could be distracted by the fact that All-Star reserves are announced on Thursday?

“The good news is that there will only be one game in that time frame,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make it. That’s human nature, as long as you keep playing and doing your job. Like I’ve found and I’ve told him this and all of them this: When you do make it, it’s an honor, but the games don’t stop. You still have to prove yourself the next day and then you’re more of a target.”

That one game is Monday night when the Celtics try to make it two in a row at the TD Garden against the Los Angeles Clippers, the same team that beat them, 92-90, on Dec. 27 at Staples Center.

Rivers doesn’t plan to limit Garnett’s minutes

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

WALTHAM — After Kevin Garnett played 30 minutes in his return from a knee injury, Doc Rivers said he will not limit his playing time. Garnett practiced with the Celtics on Saturday and Rivers will continue to keep him on the court.

“Someone asked me before the game if there was a minute restriction, and there wasn’t,” Rivers said. “Again, this was something totally different from last year’s injury. That’s why we were really not concerned about the minutes. Our whole concern with him minute-wise was more conditioning. It had nothing to do with the knee.”

Garnett scored 13 points (4-9 FG, 5-5 FT) and grabbed four rebounds in his first game back on Friday against the Trail Blazers since hyperextending his knee in December.

Ray Allen: ‘The ball needed to go in’

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Ray Allen said the key to overcome his sluggish night from the field and the free throw line was keeping mentally focused.

And that seemed a might tall order considering he had missed 11-of-13 shots before the biggest shot he took of the night. It came with 41.3 seconds remaining in overtime and the Trail Blazers leading, 95-93.

“I knew I was close,” Allen said. “There wasn’t anything wrong with my form or my mechanics. It was just the ball needed to go in. I had a shot where I hit the glass [on bank shot] and it just kinda hit the glass and rolled off and it was like, ‘Geez.’ It just wasn’t working for me.

“Mentally, I had to whatever I could to help this team win and just be prepared because you never know when that ball drifts in your direction and you’ve got to be ready to shoot.”

The fact that the shot found the bottom of the basket surprised no one. After all, he was due. And less than a minute earlier, he nearly had a shot rattle home but it ‘toilet bowled’ out as Allen himself described it.

To hear Allen talk about his night, click here.

Paul Pierce said everyone should realize Ray Allen is one of the best shooters ever, second only to Pierce himself.

KG speaks: ‘Old 76 Pinto got banged up’

Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Garnett said he had more in common with this '76 Pinto than just the green.

Old School: Garnett and a '76 Pinto.

Kevin Garnett was in a jovial mood following his first game since Dec. 28.

And for good reason. He just passed the first significant test of his right knee, which was hyperextended during the ill-fated West Coast road trip.

He had 13 points, two rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.

After the Celtics finally found a way to dispatch of the short-handed Trail Blazers, 98-95, in overtime, Garnett spoke about how he felt.

To hear Garnett, who was born in May 1976, compare himself to a ’76 Pinto and talk about how he felt, click here.

Scalabrine out with shoulder injury

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

BOSTON – Brian Scalabrine expects to miss nearly a week with a separated right shoulder, he told WEEI.com following the Celtics – Trail Blazers game. He did not play on Friday night and aims to return next Thursday against the Magic in Orlando.

Scalabrine initially suffered the injury on January 6 against the Heat while trailing Michael Beasley on a pick. However, he wanted to maximize his opportunity in Kevin Garnett’s absence and played the next seven games with the injury.

“The only thing that was hard was when I play defense, I used my forearms to create space so the guy can’t feel my body.  I couldn’t do it with this side so it was just a minor disadvantage,” he explained. “You have to learn to play with your feet a little more instead of using your body, your spacing, stuff like that. But I think hopefully these next couple of days it’ll get better.”

It wasn’t until the pain became unbearable during Wednesday’s game against the Pistons that he decided to undergo an MRI. On Thursday, Scalabrine learned he had a Grade 2 AC joint injury, which he says, “is not a major separation.”

“The best way to describe it is it feels like a sprained ankle in your shoulder,” he said. “So it doesn’t hurt all the time, but it hurts when it’s in certain positions.”

This is the first shoulder injury Scalabrine has suffered during his career. He will ice his shoulder for treatment and anticipates being able to practice in the next three days.

Scalabrine averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds as a starter in three games this season.

Fast Break: Celtics vs. Trail Blazers

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

BOSTON – Kevin Garnett’s return was nothing short of dramatic.

The Celtics expected energy from their big man and this game had plenty of it.

On paper, the combination of KG’s comeback plus homecourt advantage gave the Celtics a clear edge over the Brandon Roy-less Trail Blazers. But nothing has been a sure bet for the C’s as of late and they struggled yet again in the second half to put together four solid quarters of basketball.

The Celtics blundered an 11-point lead, trailed down the stretch, but eventually forced overtime. All they needed was five more minutes to put away the Trail Blazers, 98-85, to snap their three-game losing streak and reclaim control at home.

Player of the Game: Credit Paul Pierce (24 points) for carrying through regulation before fouling out in the final seconds, and then give kudos to Ray Allen in overtime. It is unusual when a player who shoots 3-for-14 from the field is named Player of the Game, but in this instance it was the one who struggled the most that had the biggest impact when it mattered. He drained a three-pointer late in overtime to put the Celtics up by one … and they never looked back.

Turning Point: Let’s start with regulation. Martell Webster hit a long jumper to tie the game at 91 apiece with less than a minute in the fourth. Rondo fought through a cluster of Trail Blazers to snag the rebound at top of the key.  Pierce drove the lane on an attempted game-winning layin and instead was whistled for his sixth foul. The Trail Blazers failed to connect and the game headed to overtime.

In OT, Ray Allen made up for a poor offensive performance and hit a critical 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 96-95. Tony Allen beat out LaMarcus Alridge on a steal, sending Aldridge tumbling into the broadcasters table. Tony Allen slammed it home and gave the Celtics a final three-point lead.

- Garnett played 30 minutes in his first game back since December 28. He posted 13 points (4-for-9 FG, 5-5 FG), four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He was also whistled for five fouls.

- In spite of hitting the the key go-ahead bucket, Allen scored less than 10 points for the third time in the past four games.

- The Celtics were outscored on second chance points (22-8) for the third time in four games. They were outscored 12-0 by the Pistons on Wednesday and 16-2 by the Bulls last week.

- The Trail Blazers bench did not score until just over three minutes left in the second half. Their reserves were outscored 29-11 by the Celtics.