Archive for May, 2010

NBA finals set to begin Thursday in LA

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

The Celtics and Lakers will meet for second time in three years in the NBA finals. The two teams each won one game in their two meetings this season. Here is the complete NBA finals schedule. All games be televised on ABC and broadcast on the WEEI Sports Radio Network:

  • Game 1 – Thursday, June 3, Celtics at Lakers, 9 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Sunday, June 6, Celtics at Lakers, 8 p.m.
  • Game 3 – Tuesday, June 8, Lakers at Celtics, 9 p.m.
  • Game 4 – Thursday, June 10, Lakers at Celtics, 9 p.m.
  • Game 5 * Sunday, June 13, Lakers at Celtics, 8 p.m.
  • Game 6 * Tuesday, June 15, Celtics at Lakers, 9 p.m.
  • Game 7 * Thursday, June 17, Celtics at Lakers, 9 p.m.

* if necessary

NBA finals tickets on sale June 2

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Here’s the Celtics’ official press release concerning the sale of NBA finals tickets.

BOSTON ‘€“ The Boston Celtics announced today that a limited number of playoff tickets for Round 4, home games 1, 2 and 3 (Games 3, 4 and 5 of the series) at the TD Garden will go on sale Wednesday, June 2 at 11 a.m. There is a four (4) ticket limit per event on all seating areas and seats start at $40.

Game 3 is scheduled to be played on Tuesday, June 8, at 9 p.m., Game 4 on Thursday, June 10, at 9 p.m. and Game 5 on Sunday, June 13, at 8 p.m. The opponent is yet to be determined. Please visit Celtics.com for all the latest schedule information as it becomes available.

Celtics fans will be able to purchase on June 2 beginning at 11 a.m. by visiting Celtics.com, by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX (800-462-2849) or by visiting the TD Garden Box Office. Acceptable forms of payment for tickets are American Express and all other major credit cards and customers may also pay with cash at the TD Garden Box Office.

In the event that Game 5 (Round 4, home game 3) is not played, refunds will be done at the point of purchase. Fans purchasing online would be automatically refunded through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster will refund the face value of each ticket, facility charge and per ticket service charge. All per order charges (order processing and any delivery charges) will not be refunded.

Fans interested in securing private suites for playoff games may do so by calling the Celtics Sales Office at 866-4CELTIX (866-423-5849). Private suites accommodate 18 fans and catering options are also available. For more information log onto www.celtics.com.

Why Nate Robinson was reason Celtics won

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Paul Pierce is undeniably the leading spokesman of these Celtics.

When he speaks, everyone who cares about the team listens.

In the moments following Boston’s second Eastern Conference title in three years, he gave credit to one player for helping the Celtics to get over the emotional hump of losing two straight games after having a 3-0 lead against the Magic.

“He really won the game for us,” Pierce told ESPN’s Doris Burke in the midst of a parquet celebration following the 96-84 triumph.

Why did the man who scored a game-high 31 points while grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out five assists give so much credit to the man with the new tatoo on his throat? Because without him, the Celtics might have lost their swagger when Rajon Rondo took a hard first-quarter fall to the floor, courtesy Dwight Howard.

‘€œIt was huge, it was big,” Robinson said after scoring all 13 of his points in a furious second-quarter spurt. “I am just speechless right now. My teammates, we got the job done today.

‘€œJust do whatever coach asked. He asked me to play as much defense as I could. The best way that I knew how, and the offense is going to come. That’€™s something that comes naturally, just play the game for what it is and for the love of it. That’€™s what I went out there and did.’€

Robinson, who came to Boston in a much-talked about mid-season trade with the Knicks, didn’t even play in Games 1 and 2 of the series as Rondo was exerting his dominance. Coach Doc Rivers has always told his players to be prepared. Friday’s huge Game 6 stage was Robinson’s chance.

‘€œIt was a great opportunity,” Robinson said. “I thank God, I thank Doc, the fans for giving me so much energy and my teammates for believing. They always told me be ready, be ready you never know. Today was that day.

‘€œI mean just the opportunity to play. I got my chance today. I just showed that I could play the game of basketball.’€

And now Robinson gets his first chance to play on an even bigger stage: the NBA finals.

Five reasons why the Celtics won Game 6

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Boston Celtics are the 2010 Eastern Conference champions, beating the Orlando Magic 96-81 in Game 6 to advance to the NBA finals, where they will play the winner of the Suns-Lakers series, with Game 1 set for Thursday night.

It was a balanced scoring attack by the Celtics in the Friday night clincher, with Paul Pierce’s 31 points leading five players in double figures.

WHAT WENT RIGHT:

POINT GUARD PLAY

Rajon Rondo (12 first-quarter points) returing to his Sports Illustrated cover level of play was far from a shock (and what happened to the SI jinx?), but the stunner of the game — and the series — was the effort offered by Nate Robinson. A virtual non-factor since his arrival in Boston, in Game 6 Robinson was the player that Doc Rivers said would win them a game in this series. Robinson exploded in the second quarter, scoring 13 points. His defense was also a huge factor, as he harassed and frustrated Jameer Nelson.

The two Celtics point guards combined for 25 points, four assists and zero turnovers in the first half.

PAUL PIERCE: MVP OF THE SERIES

Remember the “What’s wrong with Pierce?” talk during the Cleveland series? Turns out it was probably just a matter of getting away from LeBron James. Pierce was terrific in these six games, averaging 24.3 points and dominating Vince Carter on both ends of the floor. The Celtics needed Pierce to be aggressive in Game 6 and he answered the call, hitting an aggression double double with 13 rebounds and 10 free-throw attempts.

WINNING THE BATTLE OF THE 3’S

The Magic rely on the 3-point shot perhaps more than any good team in NBA history. When they shoot it well (see Game 5) they are nearly impossible to beat. Stopping (or at the very least limiting) the triples was a must for the Celtics in Game 6. Mission accomplished, as Orlando converted on just 6-of-22 attempts. But the Celtics own 3-point shooting was superb on Thursday, hitting 45.5 percent (10-of-22) in the win. Ray Allen and Pierce combined to hit 7-of-12, and Robinson hit a trio of 3’s off the bench.

JAMEER NELSON: NON-FACTOR

The key for Orlando in Games 4 and 5, Nelson struggled mightily in his final game of the season, hitting just 5-of-14 shots. He was also unable (and at times, it seemed, unwilling) to penetrate and find open 3-point shooters or Howard for the lob-and-dunk. He simply could not match up with Rondo in the first or Robinson in the second (and was clearly rattled by Robinson’s emotion and trash talk.)

BIG BABY SHAKES IT OFF

No signs of post-concussion problems for Glen Davis, who brought his usual energy in his 17:23 on the court, scoring six points with seven rebounds. Big edge to the Celtics bench (19 points, 13 rebounds) in Game 6.

Halftime: Celtics-Magic

Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Celtics could be just 24 minutes away from a trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Magic 55-42 at halftime of Game 6.

The biggest reason why the Celtics have been able to regain control of this series and play their best half of basketball in nearly a week?

The point guards.

That’s right, plural.

Rajon Rondo was brilliant in the first quarter (12 points, three rebounds, two assists,) but left the game after taking a hard fall late in the opening 12 minutes. In this series, no Rondo has usually meant a Magic run. But Nate Robinson — who had his moments in Game 5 — came off the bench and went absolutely crazy in the second quarter, scoring 13 points and disrupting Jameer Nelson with his defense. A shocking effort and immeasurable bonus for the Celtics, who were using Tony Allen as the backup point guard for most of the playoffs.

The two point guards combined to score 25 points with three assists, two steals and zero turnovers.

Paul Pierce had a solid first half, scoring 10 points.

Dwight Howard was strong again, scoring 13 points with five rounds before leaving with three fouls. Vince Carter resurfaced, chipping in with 13 points, all in the second quarter.

The Celtics led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, but the Magic (led by Carter) finished the half on a 11-5 run to keep within striking distance.

Daniels out ‘for a while’

Friday, May 28th, 2010

While the Celtics got good news on the availability of Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace for Game 6 against Orlando, the news was much more pessimistic on Marquis Daniels, who is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion minutes after Davis sustained his own in Game 5 against the Magic.

“Marquis is out and probably out for a while,” Rivers said. “If they’re putting a uniform on, they’re good [to play].

“[Daniels] had tingling in his feet, his hands and couldn’t feel either one for a while so that gets dangerous. We don’t know how long. He feels good now. Everything’s back. That’s something you have to be careful with. Eddie [Lacerte] said he’s the one, you just can’t take a chance.”

Brian Scalabrine is dressing for Game 6 and is taking Daniels’ spot on the active roster.

Perkins: ‘I might need to smile a few times’

Friday, May 28th, 2010

A day after the NBA rescinded one of Kendrick Perkins technical fouls from Game 5, allowing him to play in Game 6, Perkins said he still has to play physical. The difference is, he may incorporate a new facial expression into his reportoire.

‘€œI go out there and play my game,’€œ he said prior to Game 6 on Friday. ‘€œI can’€™t worry about if I’€™m going to get another tech. I cant play like that. I’€™ve got to go out there and do my job. If they want me to play physical, I’€™m going to play physical. I might need to smile a few times. That might help me. Ive got to go out there and play. I cant worry about nothing else.’€

Perkins still  has six technical fouls on his record in the postseason. He will face an automatic one-game suspension if he is called for his seventh.

Another player who also expects the game to be physical is Marcin Gortat. Based on what he saw in Game 5, the Magic big man thinks Game 6 will be even tougher.

“It’€™s definitely going to be more physical. I’€™m 100 percent sure,” he told WEEI.com. “After the last game, what we did to Boston was definitely tough for them and difficult, so I believe it’€™s going to be harder today. For both teams, the game will be very physical, but hopefully the referees will handle it the right way.”