Archive for August, 2010

Celtics’ preseason schedule

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Wednesday, October 6 – Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena

Thursday, October 7 – New Jersey, 7:00 p.m. at Prudential Center

Sunday, October 10 – Toronto, 6:00 p.m. at TD Garden

Tuesday, October 12 – Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m. at Wachovia Center

Wednesday, October 13 – New York, 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden

Friday, October 15 - Toronto, 7:00 p.m. at Air Canada Centre

Saturday, October 16 – New York, 7:30 p.m. at XL Center

Wednesday, October 20 – New Jersey, 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden

The Greening of ‘Sheed: A look at Wallace’s season in Boston

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
Rasheed Wallace's tenure with the Celtics came to an end on Tuesday, when he was waived. (AP)

Rasheed Wallace's tenure with the Celtics came to an end on Tuesday, when he was waived. (AP)

Thirteen months after signing a three-year deal with the Celtics, Rasheed Wallace’s time with the team — and in the NBA — has come to an end.

On Tuesday night, the Celtics announced that they had waived Wallace after “coming to a mutual agreement following which Wallace plans to retire.”

Wallace, 35, only may have played one year of his contract in Boston, but that was more than enough time for the big man with the big personality to make an impact.

Here is a look back at five (and yes, there are many more than that) of Sheed’s memorable moments with the Celtics:

Welcome to Boston

After a courtship that included a trip to his Michigan home, the Celtics signed Wallace in July of 2009. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen attended his introductory press conference, where Wallace discussed his excitement of being a Celtic, his role off the bench, and his appreciation of his new teammates’ support.

“I just want to thank all the guys sitting up here on stage,” he said. “Because they didn’t have to come up here today and show their team compassion about having me here in the city of Boston and playing with them.”

The good …

Between injuries and inconsistencies, Wallace’s performance during the regular season was shaky. But there were points when he showed glimpses of his former self. Take November 3, 2009, against the 76ers. Wallace scored 20 points in 24 minutes, including six 3-pointers, in front of his hometown crowd.

… the bad …

With the playoffs nearing, the outcome of an April game against the Bulls had an impact on postseason seeding. But a second half mishap by Wallace didn’t help the Celtics’ chances of stealing the third spot. The play drew a reaction from the crowd, but not the one the C’s were looking for that night.

… and the outspoken

Wallace took his outspoken personality with him when he came to Boston. He came close to maxing out on technical fouls and was handed down fines on several occasions. One of his most memorable quotes (which earned him a $30,000 fine for publicly criticizing officials) came following a game against Hedo Turkoglu and the Raptors.

“They gotta know that he’s a damn flopper,” he said of Turkoglu. “That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him.”

The following month, Wallace was ejected for arguing with officials when he felt referee Bill Kennedy was standing too close to the Celtics huddle.

“I’ll still play my game,” Wallace said after the ejection. “I’ll still be me. I ain’t changing my game for nobody. I ain’t changing nothing for nobody.”

The final call

Wallace’s 15-year career came to an end with seconds left in Game 7 of the NBA finals. Wallace, who started in place of an injured Kendrick Perkins while battling backs spasms himself, fouled out of his final NBA game.

According to reports, he attempted to speak to officials following the Celtics’ loss but was not allowed in the officials’ locker room.

That night, Doc Rivers said he expected Wallace to retire.

“You know, I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again,” Rivers said following Game 7. “You know, he’s one of them. I think he took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and the strains, he was just trying to figure out a way of staying on the floor.”

Wallace scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in what looks to be his final game.

He averaged 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds during the regular season for the Celtics. The four-time All-Star has a career average of 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 46.8 percent field goal shooting. He was selected by the Washington Bullets with the fourth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.

Celtics waive Wallace

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

After one frustrating season the Celtics and Rasheed Wallace have agreed to part ways. The team announced Tuesday night that they waived him after coming to a mutual agreement and that Wallace will retire.

“We would like to thank Rasheed for everything that he did for this team and organization last season,” said Danny Ainge in a statement released by the team. “We would like to wish Rasheed and his family the best as they move on into the next phase of their lives. He will always be a member of the Celtics family.”

Wallace signed a three-year deal last offseason for the full mid-level exception, but his play in the regular season was inconsistent at best. Wallace rebounded with a strong postseason but he was battling several injuries including a bad back in the finals against the Lakers.

The Celtics had tried to trade his contract this summer but couldn’t find a deal to their liking. The waiver process is a procedural formality. It’s highly unlikely anyone will put in a claim. Once he clears waivers, he will become a free agent.

Celtics’ official schedule released

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

The 2010-11 NBA schedule was released Tuesday. Highlights for the Celtics include the season-opener vs. the new-look Heat on Oct. 26 at TD Garden and a Christmas Day game at Orlando. The Celtics face off against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 30, in the fourth game of a five-game road trip. The teams have a rematch on Thursday night, Feb. 10.

The Celtics play at Miami on Nov. 11 and April 10, and host the Heat again on Feb. 13. Orlando comes in for a Martin Luther King Day game on Jan. 17 and returns on Feb. 6. The C’s also will be in action on New Year’s Eve, hosting Chris Paul and the Hornets.

Individual game tickets will go on sale Sept. 17, and some season tickets still remain along with premium seating and suite rentals.

CELTICS 2010-11 SCHEDULE

(all times Eastern)

Tues., Oct. 26, vs. Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 27, at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 29, vs. New York, 7:30 p.m.

Tues., Nov. 2, at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 3, vs. Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 5, vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 7, at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 8, at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 11, at Miami, 8 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 13, at Memphis, 8 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 17, vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 19, vs. Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 21, at Toronto, 1 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 22, at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 24, vs. New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 26, vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 30, at Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 1, vs. Portland, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 3, vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 5, at New Jersey, 1 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 8, vs. Denver, 7 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 9, at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 11, at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 15, at New York, 7 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 16, vs. Atlanta, 8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 19, vs. Indiana, 1 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 22, vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 25, at Orlando, 2:30 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 28, at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 29, at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 31, vs. New Orleans, 3 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 2, at Toronto, 6 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 3, vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 5, vs. San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 7, vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 8, at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 10, vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 12, vs. Sacramento, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 14, vs. Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 17, vs. Orlando, 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 19, vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 21, vs. Utah, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 22, at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 25, vs. Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 27, at Portland, 10:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 28, at Phoenix, 11:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 30, at LA Lakers, 3:30 p.m.

Tues., Feb. 1, at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 4, vs. Dallas, 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 6, vs. Orlando, 2:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 7, at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 10, vs. LA Lakers, 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 13, vs. Miami, 1 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 16, vs. New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 22, at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 24, at Denver, 10:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 26, at LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 28, at Utah, 9 p.m.

Wed., March 2, vs. Phoenix., 7:30 p.m.
Fri., March 4, vs. Golden State, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 6, at Milwaukee, 9 p.m.
Wed., March 9, vs. LA Clippers, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., March 11, at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Sun., March 13, vs. Milwaukee, 6 p.m.
Mon., March 14, at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Wed., March 16, vs. Indiana, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., March 18, at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
Sat., March 19, at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Mon., March 21, at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 23, vs. Memphis, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., March 25, vs. Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 27, at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Mon., March 28, at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Thurs., March 31, at San Antonio, 8 p.m.

Fri., April 1, at Atlanta, 8 p.m.
Sun., April 3, vs. Detroit, 6 p.m.
Tues., April 5, vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., April 7, at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Fri., April 8, vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 10, at Miami, 3:30 p.m.
Mon., March 11, at Washington, 7 p.m.
Wed., March 13, vs. New York, 8 p.m.

What about Perk?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Left out in the Celtics big summer moves is Kendrick Perkins who underwent knee surgery and is expected to be about until the All-Star break. With Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal on board, the Celtics are loaded with size at the center spot, so where does that leave Perk?

“Kendrick has a very bright future and obviously he knows that we think very highly of him,” Danny Ainge said. “Were not certain when he is going to be 100 percent and that does us allow to be patient with Kendrick. At the same time I’m sure Kendrick is worried and nervous because we are going to win basketball games with this frontline even when he’s not playing. Hopefully he can just focus on getting healthy and competing for his job back.”

Shaq and the bench question

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

On the day he was introduced as Celtic, Shaquille O’Neal artfully maneuvered around the question of whether or not he will start at center next season.

“There will be an O’Neal on the floor,” Shaq said referring to himself and Jermaine O’Neal, the Celtics other key free agent center acquisition. Shaq went on to say that it didn’t matter to him who started.

In the days leading up to the signing, Doc Rivers was brutally honest with Shaq about his playing time, about his motives and whether he would accept coming off the bench.

“I told him there was not 30 minutes on this team,” Rivers said. “There will be 20-25 minutes. I asked him if that was OK because that’s the only way it will work. We talked about coming off the bench. It’s very important when you get a guy like Shaq to be up front and honest and tell him where you see he’ll be. If he can accept that he’ll fit our mold.”

Rivers would prefer for Shaq to come off the bench because it would give the second-unit a low-post scorer, something it hasn’t had since Leon Powe was healthy. Rivers prefers to set his lineups and stick with them, but this lineup could present some interesting possibilities.

“I think that Shaquille and Jermaine could play together,” Danny Ainge said. “I think Jermaine and [Kevin Garnett] can play together. One of the things I like is there are interchangeable pieces. Glen Davis and Shaq can play together, Glen Davis and Jermaine can play together. Any of those four combinations can play well together.”

The Celtics contacted Shaq’s representatives on July 1, but weren’t sure that he would agree to their terms. They still didn’t know how it would play out until last week when Shaq’s people told Ainge that they were ready to sign and do it on the Celtics terms. That last part is key to making it work in a locker room with more than its share of outsized personalities.

” The reason we’re bringing in these personalities is because we have a pretty solid locker room with KG, Paul and Ray.,” Rivers said. “We did it last year with Rasheed [Wallace] and now we’re trying to do wit with Shaq. There’s no guarantees though. There never is. Chemistry is a delicate thing. This has to be about the Celtics and it has to be winning. If there’s any other motives or agendas… I was very honest with him, that’s why he’s here.”

An older, more mature, Von Wafer

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

For many the enduring image of Von Wafer in an NBA uniform is when Rockets coach Rick Adelman sent him back to the locker room during a playoff game. Wafer apologized the next day, but the damage had been done.

The Rockets didn’t renew his contract, even after a breakout year in which he averaged almost 10 points a game, and he spent a year in exile.

“I just acted out at the wrong time,” Wafer said. “I love Coach Adelman. He’s the first coach who gave me an opportunity to play. I never talked back to him. I just acted out at the wrong moment. It cost me. It cost me a lot. That just can’t happen.”

Wafer signed with a team in Greece, but he bought his way out of his contract and his attempts to return to the NBA were thwarted when it was reported that he failed physicals in Memphis and Houston. The Mavericks eventually did sign him to a 10-day contract but he never saw action.

Wafer said that he’s fine physically and that mentally he’s a much stronger player. He knows he has a lot to prove this season.

“I didn’t want to go out that way,” he said. “A lot of bad things were said about me. That’s why I’m here early trying to get ready. This is a big year for me. I can’t go out like that. I’ve got too much pride. I’m more mature now. I know how this business works. You work hard, keep your mouth shut and stay out of trouble and you’re going to be blessed and fortunate.”

The biggest knock on Wafer is his defense, which he also acknowledged. “Not good,” he said. “I’ve heard bad things about my defense. I think I’m an okay defender. The name of the game is putting more points up on the board than the other team.”

Wafer will find out soon enough that okay doesn’t cut it defensively with the Celtics, but he is more prepared for the challenge.

“I had a lot of ups and downs, mostly downs, but it made me stronger,” Wafer said. “I actually became a better basketball player last year. Most people might not believe it, but mentally, I’m definitely better. Physically, that will come, but the mental, I needed that.”