Archive for February, 2013

Celtics continue road sputter in Portland with loss to Blazers

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

The Celtics lost for the third time in four games since the All-Star break, falling to Portland, 92-86. Though Boston erased an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit with a 12-4 run that resulted in a Kevin Garnett game-tying layup with 1:46 to go, Damian Lillard responded with a three-point play on a layup just 14 seconds later that put the Blazers ahead for good, as Portland went on to snap its seven-game losing streak.

Guard Wesley Matthews  posted 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Blazers, though Portland’s dominance on the boards proved a difference-maker. Portland grabbed 47 rebounds, 11 more than the Celtics corralled.

In defeat, the Celtics were led by Paul Pierce (23 points) and Garnett (20 points), but the team lacked offensive production from the rest of its rotation. Celtics newcomer Jordan Crawford was held scoreless in 12 minutes, missing all four of his shots.

The Celtics fell to 1-3 on their current Western Conference swing, and now face a need to bounce back on Monday in Utah before heading back home. The Celtics are 9-18 on the road this year.

For a complete recap, click here.

Getting the start for Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green leads Celtics past Suns

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
Jeff Green (AP Photo)

Jeff Green (AP Photo)

Getting his first start in nearly two years, Jeff Green helped lead the Celtics to a 113-88 win over the Suns in Phoenix Friday night.

Green scored 31 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the floor, with Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley and Jason Terry each chipping in which 13 points. Newly-acquired Jordan Crawford netted 10 points in in his Celtics debut.

“Jeff was phenomenal,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “We started the game running a set we had never run in our lives. We literally drew it up right before the game. They just had the basketball IQ to keep working and they actually showed us options we didn’t know we had.”

Green was starting in place of Kevin Garnett, who was getting the night off with the Celtics playing their third game in four nights. The forward’s performance also helped make up for Paul Pierce’s night, with the Celtics’ captain scoring just eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.

The Celtics, who held a 53-41 advantage at halftime, led by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter.

To read a complete recap, click here.

For more Celtics news, go to the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Ainge on Big Show: ‘I didn’t want to move’ Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge didn’t want to trade Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett at the NBA trade deadline — not for pennies on the dollar, he told the Big Show.

“We really like those guys,” said Ainge on Friday evening. “I like Kevin and I like Paul a lot, and I didn’t want to move them.”

Ainge wouldn’t discuss how close he ever came to trading Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan — other than to say, “I never talked to Kevin” — or dealing Pierce to the Nets for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a pick.

“You don’t just give them away,” he said. “There is great value in those guys.”

So, Ainge apparently wasn’t offered a deal that matched the value he places on either Garnett or Pierce, so he never had the opportunity that Red Auerbach had. For some background, here’s what Ainge told The Boston Globe two years ago (h/t @trubygreen):

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Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: If Celtics wanted Kevin Garnett to waive no-trade clause, ‘they would have just traded Paul Pierce out from under him’

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about what the Celtics did at the trade deadline and whether or not they missed an opportunity to trade Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett and get something of value in return.

“I don’t know what opportunity really was there,” Wojnarowski said of potential Pierce and Garnett trades. “You could trade them and you could get something for them, but I think the deal Boston really would have liked to have done was with the Clippers. To get Eric Bledsoe, 22-year-old point guard, and DeAndre Jordan, who’s a 23-year-old center who’s developing. That’s a deal I believe Boston would have went to ownership with and said, ‘We’d like to do this, let’s see if we can get KG to lift his no-trade clause.’

“The Clippers coaching staff wanted to do it, and a lot of executives and coaches among the elite in the Western Conference, and some of the elite in the East, they were terrified of KG going to the Clippers. They thought that made the Clippers the team to beat out there. But ownership was reluctant to this deal, and … they never agreed in principle to that package. I think that’s one [Boston] may have pulled the trigger on.”

Reports of another proposed Celtics deal, which would have sent Pierce to Brooklyn for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and the Nets’ first-round draft pick,  also surfaced. That didn’t happen, and Wojnarowski said he doesn’t think it was urgent for the Celtics to make a deal like that.

“I think that Boston can revisit it in deals around draft time,” he said. “Brooklyn’s draft pick is not going to have a great value. They’re a playoff team, you’re getting a pick that’s not going to be really high, in a pretty bad draft. And you’ve got to try and get one good player back. Humphries and Brooks, you’re not really getting either. Humphries is fine, he has a purpose, but not if you’re trying to get younger and rebuild. I have no problem with the Celtics not doing that Brooklyn deal.”

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Straight out of China: D.J. White in Celtics’ sights

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

The Celtics are interested in the services of former Bobcats big D.J. White, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Playing alongside Gilbert Arenas on the Shanghai Sharks, White averaged 21.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 assists in 33.0 minutes a night over 32 games in the Chinese Basketball Association this season. The Sharks finished their season on Sunday. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per 36 minutes in 124 games over four NBA seasons with the Thunder and Bobcats. He’s 26 years old.

Irish Coffee: The day Kevin Garnett both slapped Jordan Crawford, barked at Ricky Rubio

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
This Jordan Crawford gem of a photo comes courtesy of The Washington Post. What's that saying about pictures being worth words?

This Jordan Crawford gem comes via The Washington Post. What’s that saying about pictures being worth words?

Remember the NBA lockout? Fun times. All those Rajon Rondo corn hole tosses, Ray Allen golf foursomes and Jeff Green exhibition games (thankfully not just corn hole, foursomes and exhibition). We cared about workouts, too, like those involving Kevin Garnett in Los Angeles. Newest Celtics guard Jordan Crawford was there as well, and they apparently didn’t get along so well.

Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski (who else?) wrote this in a feature about Ricky Rubio on Nov. 19, 2011 (h/t @DDuggan21):

On this day, everyone was still buzzing over Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford’s mistake of talking too much to Garnett a day earlier. When Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce tried to do Crawford a favor and push him away, Crawford urged Pierce to let K.G. go.

“I thought they were just kidding,” Rubio says, and maybe Crawford did too.

There are hard lessons to be learned in this league, lockout or not lockout. Eventually, Garnett reminded Crawford about that with a smack upside his head, a reminder to Crawford, Rubio and the rest of them: Elders will be respected.

Garnett has a history of initiating European players in the NBA, and one witness in the gym had recently watched him respond to a Rubio move with the ball by barking, “That’s a traveling here. We don’t do that [expletive] here.” And on and on.

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Report: Kevin Garnett refused offer from Chris Paul to make trade happen

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett said all along he wanted to remain a Celtic, and apparently he said the same thing to Chris Paul after the All-Star guard called to gauge KG’s interest in joining the Clippers.

According to the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy, Paul contacted Garnett and said if the veteran big man was open to making the move to Los Angeles, Paul would make it happen. Garnett said no.

The oft-rumored trade would have landed the Celtics center DeAndre Jordan and guard Eric Bledsoe.

The Celtics ended up making one move before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, acquiring Jordan Crawford from the Wizards for center Jason Collins and injured guard Leandro Barbosa.