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Chris Mannix on Mustard & Johnson: Celtics should do ‘exactly what [Danny Ainge] has been doing’ 05.04.13 at 3:09 pm ET
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With the future of the Celtics now up in the air after the six-game first-round playoff loss to the Knicks, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, in an interview on WEEI’s Mustard & Johnson show, suggested that the team should proceed in precisely the fashion in which president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has operated for some time. Mannix noted that Ainge actively explored the possibility of dealing longtime mainstays Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett leading up to this season’s trade deadline, and suggested that the Celtics should again explore the market for the duo this offseason — while remaining comfortable with the notion of bringing them back if the team is unsatisfied with the return.

“I don’t think it would be [financially] difficult to trade Pierce if you wanted to. Boston was motivated to do it the last couple years. Leading up to the trade deadline, they spoke to Brooklyn, they spoke to Atlanta, they spoke to Dallas. They were actively looking to deal Paul Pierce,” said Mannix. “They had conversations with the Clippers about Kevin Garnett and were trying to figure out a way to get a deal done for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. Look, they were trying to make some moves with these two guys. Boston’s issue wasn’t financial. It was that they wanted a lot in return. I remember talking to some people in the Nets organization about how much Boston wanted in return. It was a combination of draft picks and young talent.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a financial issue for the Celtics to trade either one of those players if they’re motivated to. It’s just how much less they’re willing to take back in return.

“I would do exactly what Danny’s been doing to this point,” added Mannix. “If you can trade one of them and get a lot in return, get something that you know is going to help reboot your franchise, do it. If not, hold onto them and just play this thing out, wait for their contracts to expire and play with the flexibility then.”

Mannix noted that the avenues to upgrading the Celtics roster are limited this offseason, particularly in terms of free agents. Read the rest of this entry »

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Live Blog: Celtics take on Knicks in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden 04.20.13 at 2:17 pm ET
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Celtics/Knicks Game 1

Celtics will open playoff series with Knicks Saturday 04.17.13 at 11:19 pm ET
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The NBA announced Wednesday night that Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the seventh-seeded Celtics and second-seeded Knicks is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

For more Celtics news, check out weei.com/celtics.

Celtics finish off regular season with loss to Raptors 04.17.13 at 10:58 pm ET
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The Celtics are heading into the postseason on a sour note.

The C’€™s dropped their regular-season finale Wednesday night, losing, 114-90, to the Raptors in Toronto. The Celts now look forward to taking on the Knicks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Doc Rivers‘€™ team, which hadn’€™t played since Saturday because of Tuesday night’€™s cancellation due to the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy, played without both Kevin Garnett (left ankle) and Jason Terry (sore leg).

Paul Pierce, who missed Monday’€™s practice due to illness, started but didn’€™t play in the second half, finishing with 11 points in 15 minutes.

The Raptors finish their season with five straight wins, getting 24 points from DeMar DeRozan and 19 out of Rudy Gay. Toronto ends up at 30-29 after starting the season 4-19.

The Celtics conclude their regular season with a 41-40 mark. For a complete recap of the C’s regular-season finale, click here.

Celtics announce refund policy for Tuesday’s canceled game 04.16.13 at 4:51 pm ET
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The Celtics have announced the ticket refund policy for Tuesday’s canceled game against the Pacers:

“Fans that purchased single game tickets through Ticketmaster, or any Ticketmaster affiliates, will be refunded in full within the next two business days.

“All season ticket holders, Premium clients, mini plan holders, group ticket buyers and suite renters will be contacted by the Celtics office within the next 24 hours outlining their refund and credit process.

“For additional questions, please contact the Celtics directly at contactus@celtics.com.”

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce return to help Celtics to rout of Magic 04.13.13 at 9:20 pm ET
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Evidently, even Jason Terry calling the Magic ‘€œterrible’€ couldn’€™t inspire lowly Orlando.

The Celtics guard had said, ‘€œOrlando is a team that, obviously you see them. I don’€™t want to give them any fuel, but they’€™re terrible.’€ He wasn’€™t wrong. Terry’€™s team trounced the Magic, 120-88, Saturday night in Orlando. It was the C’€™s eighth straight win over Orlando.

Helping the Celtics’€™ cause was the return of both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, both of which didn’€™t play the night before in Miami.

The duo got the Celtics off to a fast start, with the visitors never trailing. By the time halftime rolled around the C’€™s carried a 57-37 lead.

Garnett was economical in his return, going 7-of-8 from the floor on the way to scoring 14 points in just 18 minutes. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Pierce would play 26 minutes, scoring 12.

Courtney Lee led the Celtics off the bench, scoring 15 fourth-quarter points, finishing with 20 for the night. Jeff Green also chipped in with 17 points for the C’€™s, who finished shooting 59 percent from the floor.

For a complete recap, click here.

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

Danny Ainge: Walking boot for KG ‘just precautionary’ 04.11.13 at 5:23 pm ET
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Making his weekly appearance on ‘€œSalk & Holley’€ Thursday afternoon, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge discussed a number of topics, including the sight of Kevin Garnett in a walking boot at the end of Wednesday’s night’s loss to the Nets. Ainge was asked if Garnett was indeed at 100 percent, what would the logic be behind him wearing a walking boot:

“Well, you know, so first of all, there’s no such thing as 100 percent for anybody, right now,” Ainge said. “But KG, you can see how well he’s moving on the court. Last night, he didn’t have one of his better games on the court, but he was moving very well. You could see him defense laterally and he was rebounding and he was very active. The walking boot is just precautionary. It’s just … some guys keep ice on their legs after every game — sometimes, their legs are sore, sometimes, they’re not. They do it as a precautionary thing.

“The walking boot … he has some inflammation in his foot, so every time he stops playing, he has the walking boot on. He doesn’t wear it all the time, but he just wears it after games to make sure his foot isn’t moving any more than it needs to. So it’s just precautionary right now.”

Ainge also expressed confidence that based in part what the 2010 team was able to accomplish in the postseason, he feels good about where this team is as the 2013 playoffs loom.

“I know what our guys are made of. I know how they’ve stepped up in the past,” he said. “There’s been year’s where we …. what was in 2010, when we finished the season 27-27 in the last 54 games? I was not real confidence going in, but I was in awe of watching our team play its best basketball it’s played in the KG era in that stretch — against Cleveland who had the leading record in the league and against Orlando who had the second-best record in the East. I was in awe of what they were able to step up and do.

“In order to do that, you have to have guys playing on all cylinders. I think the good news is that our team is getting healthier. Unfortunately, Rondo and Barbosa and Sully aren’t coming back. But I feel like KG is moving well and I think Paul is getting better and moving well. By the time the playoffs roll around, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

Here are some of the other highlights of his Q&A:

Has Pat Riley contacted you lately? Were you surprised at his statement?

“Well, I don’t want to get much into that. It’s old news — boring. Nobody cares.”

Were you surprised he responded at all?

“Yeah, I think so. Just because I don’t think that … we live in a world in the media where sound bytes are used. I think that … you can blow things out of proportion. But yeah. I was a little surprised. But I don’t really care.”

Is the Lakers-Celtics thing still a thing with Pat Riley? The Boston Garden stories, the lack of air conditioning and all that stuff? Is that the reason for the anger?

“I have no idea. I have no idea. It was only speculation.”

Do you still think of the rivalry today?

“Absolutely not. Never. Never once crosses my mind. They were great times and great rivalries with great players. I never had any hatred toward those players. I had a great deal of respect for those teams. I thought the 80s Celtics and the 80s Lakers were two of the best teams in the history of the game. It was a fun time.”

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