Archive for February, 2010

Source: Battie has interest in Celtics

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

On Friday, Yahoo! Sports reported Tony Battie is a candidate to be bought out by the Nets before Monday’s deadline.

WEEI.com has learned the Celtics are one of the teams Battie would be interested in signing with if he is bought out. According to a source familiar with the situation, Battie would eye the top three or four teams in each conference, which makes sense for a veteran player who is trying to maximize the years he has left in the NBA.

According to the source, Battie, 34, considers himself to be the in twilight of his career and a serviceable big man who could rebound, play tough defense and give timely fouls. He has not, however, had any conversations with the Celtics organization.

Battie has played in just 15 games for the Nets this season. He played 5-1/2 seasons with the Celtics from 1998-99 until he was traded to Cleveland during the 2003-04 campaign. Prior to being traded to the Nets as part of the Vince Carter deal, he averaged 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds off the bench for the Magic.

Doc: ‘Those are the basketball gods punishing you’

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Doc Rivers has been preaching to the Celtics all season long to avoid taking shortcuts on defense and to play with energy and purpose.

He warned that if they didn’t, eventually it would catch up to them.

Well, on Saturday — in a 104-96 stinker vs. the Nets — it didn’t just catch up to them, it barreled them over in stunning fashion on their home court in the form of a 5-52 team beating them soundly and thoroughly.

Perhaps most troubling from the final box score were the 41 free throws the Nets attempted, compared to a measly 11 for the Celtics.

Afterward, there was no hiding for the Celtics coach.

“Like I said before, I still believe in this team,” Rivers said. “I just know for a fact we’re not playing well. But I do believe in this team. But I don’t think you change just to change. I don’t think we need it. I think we need to change our approach and the way we play.

“And tonight you could see it early, even though [at the] beginning of the game we jumped out and after that you just — you know, we had that sense that ‘we’ll get back into it.’ And you know what happened? They actually did try. I thought our guys gave a great effort in the second half, but then they started making shots, and then we’d have the defensive breakdown with three seconds on the shot clock over and over again. Every time we got it down to six or four, a guy would make a 3, a bobbled ball would go to it. I talk about it a lot with our guys: ‘Those are the basketball gods punishing you; you have no right to get back in this game. I thought all those little breaks went to them, and I thought the basketball gods were saying that they deserve to go to you.’ … If you believe in that.” (more…)

Fast Break: Celtics vs. Nets

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The Celtics suffered their worst loss in recent memory on Saturday and fell to the now six-win New Jersey Nets, 104-96.

The C’s blew an early 10-point lead and got outscored 102-84 after that point.

While the Celtics shot better than the Nets from the field, the Nets got to the line 30 more times and hit 25 more free throws.

Even though the C’s cut the lead to within six with less than two minutes to play, Ray Allen missed a critical three-pointer. Kris Humphries connected on the next possession to push the lead back up to eight with 1:28.

Turning Point: The Celtics started to let the Nets back into the game late in the first quarter. Keyon Dooling gave the Nets a two-point lead heading into the second quarter, where the Nets went on a 17-9 run. The Celtics got down by 10 points and never fought back.

Player of the Game: Brook Lopez led all players with 23 points. The second-year big man battled against Kevin Garnett to score 25 points and get to the line 14 times.

- This was only the Celtics second loss in the Atlantic Division. Prior to the game, they were 10-1 with a loss to the 76ers.

- This loss defied the Celtics statistical history this season. They entered the game 20-5 when shooting 50.0 percent or better and 24-4 when holding their opponents to less than 44.9 percent from the field. On Saturday the C’s shot 50.0 percent while the Nets shot just 44.4 percent.

- Kevin Garnett fell under the basket in the second half and winced when he got up. After taking a breather on the bench, he came back in the fourth quarter. Garnett led all players with 26 points.

- Courtney Lee suffered a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter and did not return. He had scored 21 points in 30 minutes.

Third quarter wrap: Celtics vs. Nets

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The third quarter featured the first energy moment of the game.

With just one second remaining on the shot clock on an inbounds play, Rasheed Wallace caught and fired a three-at the basket that just missed.

Brian Scalabrine rebounded and fired to an open Nate Robinson, who drilled a three of his own with 1:35 remaining and the crowd came to its feet. Moments later on missed shot by New Jersey, Robinson came down and put pack a missed shot and the Celtics were within nine.

But the quarter ended on a sour note as Scalabrine airmailed a three and the Nets led, 74-64. The combination of Courtney Lee and Brook Lopez is killing the Celtics. They have a combined 44 points.

Movie critics

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

There was plenty of hype surrounding the debut of the HBO movie, “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals.” Our own Jess Camerato summarized it.

On Friday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers thought his team could learn something more from that film rather than tape of their meltdown on Thursday against Cleveland.

“I just thought it was a good thing to watch,” Rivers said. “I saw it in L.A. the night before the Laker game and I loved it. I thought there were a lot of great things in it for our team, not just for our team but anyone who plays basketball or anybody who likes sports actually.

“I thought [Friday] was a good day. I didn’t think we needed work. I thought we needed to be together. So instead of watching us play, and I don’t know if anybody wanted to watch that, instead of watching a horror film, I decided to watch a good film.”

It unfortunately did not have the desired impact – at least initially – as the Celtics came out and played one of their flattest games of the season. They allowed the 5-52 Nets to outscore them 44-24 in the first half and take command, leading by as many 14 midway through the third.

“I don’t know if it had any effect short term,” Rivers said. “But I just thought it was a good day for us.

“We’ll see. It’s really good. There’s a lot of team stuff in it and just a lot of good messages in it, and more than just the Magic-Bird thing. I thought Bird was phenomenal because I thought it captured him exactly as he was.”

Second Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Nets

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Doc Rivers kept the starters on the bench for the first five minutes of the second quarter. The Nets pushed the lead up to 37-31 before the Celtics called a timeout to regroup. During that stretch the Celtics shot 2-for-7 while the Nets shot 3-for-6.

Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo checked back in to little avail. The Nets took a 46-36 lead — a 20-point turnaround — and prompted boos from the crowd.

The Celtics picked up some steam once the remaining starters got back on the court, but only cut the deficit to seven-points, 49-42,  at halftime. Perkins picked up a technical along the way.

Kevin Garnett leads the Celtics with 10 points. Brook Lopez scored a team-high 13 for the Nets.

First Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Nets

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

The Celtics stayed true to form racing out to a 12-2 lead. Unfortunately, their second-half form also came out when they allowed the 5-52 Nets to go on a 16-6 run to tie the game at 18.

Like Thursday night, the Celtics were on fire from the floor, shooting a blazing 11-for-16 to start the opening quarter and finishing 12-for-19. Kevin Garnett made all four of his shots and finished with eight points.

Devin Harris, who is second on the Nets in scoring at 16.5 points a game, nearly had that many in the opening period, netting 11, including all six free throws.

Nate Robinson saw his most significant playing time in the first quarter in his third game with the Celtics. He came in for Rajon Rondo and played eight of the 12 minutes and scored four points.

Keyon Dooling drilled a three just before the first-quarter buzzer to give Nets a 29-27 lead.