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Running on fumes: Celtics sputter against Pistons 01.20.13 at 10:14 pm ET
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Despite the return of guard Avery Bradley to the starting lineup, the Celtics lost their third straight game as the starting lineup endured a dreadful performance, falling in Detroit to the Pistons, 103-88. The quintet of Bradley, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass shot a woeful 17-of-48 from the field while combining to score just 40 points.

Rondo had just eight points on 4-of-16 shooting, and though he had nine rebounds and 15 assists, he also matched a career high by turning over the ball nine times. Garnett and Courtney Lee led the Celtics with 16 points each.

The Pistons featured a balanced attack with six players scoring at least 13 points, with Andre Drummond leading the way with 16 points off the bunch. Center Greg Monroe added 15 points and 11 rebounds in 38 minutes.

With the loss, the Celtics dropped back to 20-20, including a 7-12 road record. They will now travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers on Tuesday.

For a game recap, click here. For more Celtics coverage, visit weei.com/celtics.

Avery Bradley gets an unexpected start for Celtics 01.20.13 at 8:40 pm ET
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Celtics guard Avery Bradley, who missed Friday’s game against the Bulls with a rib injury, was back in the Celtics lineup on Sunday night in Detroit against the Pistons. His presence among the starting five came as something of a surprise, given that coach Doc Rivers had suggested that the third-year player was doubtful for Sunday.

Entering Sunday, Bradley was averaging 8.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The Celtics are 6-2 in his first eight games.

Doc Rivers: Rajon Rondo ‘really’ wants spot on All-Star Team 01.17.13 at 10:30 am ET
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Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan Show, the morning after the Celtics had their season-best six-game winning streak snapped at TD Garden in a 90-78 loss to the Hornets, who entered the game with a 12-26 record on the season.

“I thought we dropped our guard with the way we practiced the day before,” Rivers said when asked if he thought the Celtics were overconfident against the struggling Hornets. “I thought we were very relaxed, just a lot of those things. I thought the Austin [Rivers] thing had an impact on some of our guys, because they know him. It was one of those nights when we couldn’t make a shot but we never took a shot in the paint, everything was a jump shot and we took the easy way out the entire night.”

Rivers coached against the son, Austin, for the first time on Wednesday night, and the rookie played well, scoring eight points in 22 minutes. Rivers was asked to describe his feelings during the game as he watched his son for the first time in an NBA game.

“You’re competing against your son and it’s just a different dynamic,” Rivers said. “You always want your son to do well, but I never go into a game wanting any player on the other team to do well. That’s the dynamic that’s just so different, it was difficult but after that it was a game and we didn’t play very well and that was disappointing.”

Austin Rivers was the 10th pick of the 2012 draft, 11 picks before the Celtics made their first selection. If Rivers had somehow slipped to the 21st spot, would the Celtics have selected him?

“We would have taken him,” Rivers said. “Danny [Ainge] wanted him from the beginning, so that would not have been hard for us. After watching him play this year, I don’t think that would have been that hard. I think he’s going to be a really good player, I just think it’s going to take some time to get comfortable and to play at his speed. But he’s a guy, as you saw last night, that can get his shot and get to the basket and that’s something we need so we would have taken him.”

The starting lineups for the NBA All-Star Game will be announced on Thursday, and both Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have a good chance of landing spots in that lineup for the Eastern Conference. Rivers was asked if making the All-Star team was a source of motivation for Rondo (who has played in the last three All-Star Games but has never started) or Garnett (a 13-time All-Star).

“I think Rondo really wants it, young players really want to be on the All-Star team,” Rivers said. “Kevin, I would say, he enjoyed the break last year, he went home to Malibu and had a great time and he would enjoy doing that again. But I think it would be an honor for him, at this age to make the All-Star team is amazing.”

To hear the interview click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Celtics news visit weei.com/celtics.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge on The Big Show: ‘We haven’t really figured out’ Jeff Green 11.09.12 at 6:19 am ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, in his weekly interview on WEEI’s “Big Show,” acknowledged that his team’s play has been uneven in the early going of the season en route to a 2-2 record. However, Ainge also noted that it is not unusual for a team that’s gone through considerable offseason changes to endure some growing pains at the start of the year during which the team’s talent isn’t necessarily reflected in the quality of its play or record.

“I hope it doesn’t take a while. I feel like we’re playing very good in stretches, but we’re just having some ugly stretches. I think that all the guys playing together has not been pretty at times, but we’ve had some good stretches. We’ve got to hang on to those, hope those outlast the bad stretches for now as we continue to improve into the season,” said Ainge. “The other guys, the new guys, really have to find their way and earn the trust of the team.

“Generally it takes a while to figure out who your team is. This year’s not different than any other year. Last year, we started 0-3. As time went by, I think a month and a half into the season no one thought the team was going to be good,” he continued. “We’re not playing as well as we’re capable of, but I do think you see good things out of each player, and I also see how difficult it is to get each of the players involved. That’s always a challenge.”

Ainge did acknowledge that Jeff Green, averaging 7.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game, is still searching for his fit on the Celtics roster.

“We haven’t really figured out Jeff and when to use Jeff or felt an urgency to go to Jeff,” said Ainge. “I think that Jeff has had some favorable matchups through the course of the game, but at the same time our main offensive sets that go through [Rajon] Rondo and Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett] are working. There’s not really a need to change what we’re doing to go there.

“I think Jeff has been inconsistent in his production and just trying to find his way. I think him more than any other player, is just trying to find where he contributes. What we need from Jeff, is we need him to play that great defense, rebound every night. There’s going to be nights where he can get that 20 points off the bench, and some nights where his number isn’t called that much,” he added. “He’s been fairly productive when we’ve called his number, but he hasn’t been a productive playing off the ball and playing off of our stars.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Danny Ainge, Jason Kidd, Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo
Celtics-Wizards Live Blog 11.07.12 at 7:40 pm ET
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Celtics-Wizards Live Blog

Live Blog: Celtics take on Bucks in TD Garden home opener 11.02.12 at 6:59 pm ET
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Celtics/Bucks live blog

Doc Rivers goes on D&C to talk Ray Allen, state of Celtics and his failed pursuit of Tim Duncan 11.01.12 at 10:29 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis and Callahan Show Thursday morning to discuss his relationship with Ray Allen, the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Heat, how he viewed his team going forward. (To listen to the entire interview, click here.)

STATE OF THE TEAM

I’m a little disappointed in it because we’re behind. They’re working. We’re going to get it right, it’s just going to take a little time.

With defense, you first have to have the buy-in, which I think we have, and then the trust. Then the execution. I think we’re in the execution faze. When you have so many different guys and new guys, when things don’t go right, their first thought is to do another coverage and when you do that on your own you’re team defense breaks down.

HOW IS THE TEAM WITHOUT RAY ALLEN

We replaced Ray nicely, but having said that they’re going to make a big deal about it because Ray is a good player. He’s probably going to be a Hall-of-Famer, one of the greatest shooters who ever played the game and won a title with us. When a guy leaves and goes to the team that knocked you out the last two years, I think people make a big deal of it. I get that part of it. But we’ve moved on, and I’ve moved on the minute Ray said he wanted to go play for Miami.

I think we’re potentially better, but I don’t think we are right now. The continuity of our team has to settle in. On paper it looks great, but the key for us is everyone buying into their roles and understanding their roles. I think before the season starts everyone is happy, and then the season starts and you start figuring out, ‘Wait, I’m not going to get as many shots or as many minutes.’ Then you have what kind of character you have with your team.

You just don’t know guys until you coach guys. I will say this, I think we’ve got a great group of guys. I don’t anticipate that being a problem, but you never know.

VIEWING THE NEW BACKCOURT ROTATION

Lee is a terrific defender, makes open shots, has a nice in-between game. You don’t need to run offense for him to score, he’ll score through the offense. And when you have Rondo, who I’ll need to be more aggressive, with Kevin and Paul, that’s a pretty good role in that lineup. It’s really the same thing Avery gave for us last year, the same kind of fit. Jason Terry is a shot-maker. He’s a guy who can create his own shot, he can create his shot through offense, and that’s great. The same thing with Barbosa, he just has tremendous feet. I think Barbosa will be used as a change-of-pace guy. When he comes in, I told him before the Miami game, because there was no way he knew half our sets, ‘Just go try and score. Just be as aggressive as possible, and I will call you back if you go over the line if I think you’re over the line.’ And I think he did a pretty good job of that.

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