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NBA Power Rankings, 12/23 12.23.10 at 3:00 pm ET
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Obviously, we’re going to release a Christmas version of the NBA Power Rankings, taking a look at what teams should hope for from Santa Claus this holiday season. So, without further ado, here they are:

1. Boston (23-4): The Celtics need a medicine man to hasten the rehabilitations of Rajon Rondo (ankle), Kendrick Perkins (knee) and Delonte West (wrist). He could stick around and hang out with Lucky the Leprachaun, too, to help out if and when something happens to the O’Neal “brothers.”

2. Dallas (23-5): The Mavericks need Bill Russell‘s guide to playoff basketball success. They’re on pace for an 11th straight 50-win season, yet they’ve only reached the NBA Finals once and got pounced in the first round last year.

3. San Antonio (25-3): The Spurs need a Portuguese-to-English translator to remind Tiago Splitter that he averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds during an MVP season in the Spanish League last season. Imagine how good San Antonio would be if Splitter lived up to his Rookie of the Year candidate projection.

4. Miami (21-9): Let’s see, the Heat need a starting point guard, a starting center and an overhaul of the entire bench. That’s pretty much it.

5. LA Lakers (21-8): The Lakers needed help backing up Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol, so they signed Steve Blake and traded for Joe Smith — neither of whom are very good. So, yeah, they still need a backup point guard and big man.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
Shaq has presidential ambitions for 2010-11 seasons 12.23.10 at 1:00 am ET
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In his short time as a member of the Celtics, Shaquille O’Neal has invested himself fully in the history and culture of Boston. He continued that pattern following his team’s 84-80 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

In a declaration that is likely unprecedented in Celtics history, O’Neal summoned the sixth President of the United States in order to explain his goal for the season.

From the Three-Pointer:

Before we go any further, we must pause for a second to admire the latest in Shaqology. Behold the 1825 theory:

‘€œEighteen [championships] for the people of Boston, two for Doc [Rivers] and the Big Three and five for myself. If you know anything about 1825, John Quincy Adams, who lived outside of Boston, was also inaugurated as the sixth president in 1825.’€

So, there you go. He poses as a statue, he dresses up in drag for Halloween and as Santa for Christmas. He conducts the Pops and he also reads David McCullough, apparently.

Of course, O’Neal is likely also aware that Adams was inaugurated only after winning the presidency through a fractious process, in which none of the four candidates (Adams, Andrew Jackson, William Crawford or Henry Clay) received a majority of electoral votes. Jackson had the most, followed by Adams, Crawford and Clay.

In the absence of a majority winner in the electoral college, the race was decided between the top three candidates by a vote in the House of Representatives. That eliminated Clay from the running, but he used his influence as Speaker of the House to swing the vote in Adams’ favor, much to the disgust of Jackson and his followers. And so, Adams won and was inaugurated in 1825, but his victory was deemed by detractors as a “Corrupt Bargain.”

Is Shaq’s celebration of Adams’ ascendancy in 1825, then, a harbinger of some ill-begotten marriage of the Celtics to praetorian elements in pursuit of glory in the 2010-11 season? Time will tell.

But on Wednesday, O’Neal scored 13 while hauling in nine rebounds, blocking a pair of shots and making one of his most notable fourth-quarter contributions since joining the Celtics.

Read More: andrew jackson, henry clay, john quincy adams, Shaquille O'Neal
Big Papi talks basketball 12.19.10 at 12:09 pm ET
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David Ortiz sat down with Scoop Jackson to talk basketball for a Jim Beam promotion. Wrap your head around that. Among other things, Big Papi said, “If you can play basketball, every other sport is easy.” There are a ton of other short videos, including more on Papi in addition to Larry Izzo and Kevin Faulk on football. NBA players Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Danny Granger, Kevin Love and Jordan Farmar also took part in the ad campaign.

Read More: Boston Celtics, David Ortiz, NBA,
Shaq calls Rajon Rondo ‘One of the best point guards of all-time’ … again 11.26.10 at 11:22 pm ET
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He also said that Rondo was a cross between Nick Van Exel and Scott Skiles, so …

Here is that, and some other Shaquille O’Neal post-game goodness following the Celtics‘ 110-101 win over Toronto Friday night:

Danny Ainge on Delonte West injury: ‘We’ll stay with our roster’ 11.25.10 at 9:59 am ET
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Celtics GM Danny Ainge told the Boston Globe that he had no plans to make a trade to replace point guard Delonte West, who suffered a broken right wrist on Wednesday and could be out for months.

‘€œWe like our guys, and Avery [Bradley] is starting to get healthy and Avery and [Von Wafer] are going to have to step up and play,’€™’€™ Ainge told the Globe. ‘€œIn order to make a move we’€™d have to let someone go and we like our guys. It’€™s tragic for Delonte. Basketball is a very important part of his life. I hate to see this happen. But Delonte will be able to return late in the season to help us.’€™’€™

West missed the first 10 games of the season, during which the Celtics went 8-2. However, the team’s depth at point guard has been further depleted by the absence of Rajon Rondo, who missed his third straight game on Wednesday and, according to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, could miss Friday’s contest as well.

Still, the Celtics have Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels to play the position in addition to Rondo and Bradley.

“We like those guys when the season started and I like them even more now with the work they are putting in and this league is a league of opportunity,” Ainge said. “So we’ll stay with our roster for now and see what we got.”

Read More: Avery Bradley, broken wrist, Danny Ainge, Delonte West
Big Baby’s book release 11.13.10 at 1:58 pm ET
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Glen Davis will be signing copies of his new children’s book, Basketball with Big Baby, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at the Lowell Beer Works. Here is the release detailing the event:

On Tuesday November 16th, come join Celtics star Glen ‘€œBig Baby’€ Davis at Lowell Beer Works as he introduces and signs his new children’€™s book, Basketball with Big Baby.

Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the C2 Mission, which is a charitable foundation to benefit children and families affected by Cerebral Palsy and Cystic Fibrosis. Written by Lowell Spinners Vice President Jon Goode, and illustrated by current Boston College student Rachel Gregorio, Basketball with Big Baby stars the power forward as himself as he spells out the word ‘€œBASKETBALL’€ with different adjectives he believes in when playing the game he loves.

Beginning at 6 p.m., with a $25 Donation you will receive admission into this private event as well as a copy of Basketball with Big Baby book for him to personally autograph. Complementary appetizers will be served. Other entertainment includes a silent auction, raffle and a Boston Celtics Trivia Challenge.

‘€œI am honored to have had the opportunity to write a second children’€™s book with ‘€œBig Baby’€ Davis of the Celtics,’€ said Goode, who previously authored ‘€œPitching with the Papelbons’€ with Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. ‘€œBig Baby has been great to work with and we are both extremely excited to share this with parents and kids who are Celtics fans.’€

Space is limited and to reserve a spot on the guest list and a copy of the book please RSVP Jon Goode at (978) 805-5106 or by emailing jgoode@lowellspinners.com.

Lowell Beer Works is located at 201 Cabot Street in Lowell, just steps from the Lowell Spinner’€™s LeLacheur Park.

Read More: Glen Big Baby Davis,
Boxscore Breakdown: The Unbeatable Heat are 0-1 10.27.10 at 3:35 pm ET
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Below are some statistical observations that you might not have seen yet from the C’s opener last night (big thanks to HOOPDATA):

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* – Miami shot just .365 from the floor. Only six times last regular season did an opponent shoot .365 or worse and the Celtics went 6-0 in those games. In fact, they’ve won each of the last 17 times that an opponent has shot that poorly at Boston, dating back to November, 2007.

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* – Boston was much more effective on the offensive boards as the Celtics were credited with eight offensive rebounds and 11 “second chance” points (1.4 per offensive board). Miami actually had more offensive rebounds than Boston (11) but managed just five second chance points (0.5 points per).

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* – Boston got to the rim more often, taking 38 percent of their shots from point blank, compared to Miami’s 30 percent. What’s more, Boston converted on 61 percent of those chances while Miami came in at just 55 percent. For the Celtics, Davis and Daniels combined for a 7-for-7 performance at the rim. The rest of the team combined to hit 9-for-19 (47 percent).

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* – Miami was a collective 1-for-12 on jumpers from 15 feet and in, while Boston wasn’t a whole lot better (5-for-16, 31 percent).  Note that it’s jumpers, outside of “at rim”.

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* – If we look at all shots taken from more than 10 feet out, it’s probably best to compare the teams and players using “points per shot taken”, since three-pointers are more valuable when made (thanks, Captain Obvious).

Anyway, Boston took 33 of their 69 total shots from outside 10 feet (48 percent) and averaged a solid 1.03 points per shot. Meanwhile, a whopping 62 percent of Miami’s shots were from outside and their points per shot was a much less-solid 0.83. That comes out to 0.54 pps on two pointers outside of 10 feet and 1.20 pps on threes.

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* – Boston drained 8-of-16 threes, the 32nd time (including playoffs) that they’ve hit 50 percent or better while attempting 15 or more treys since the start of the 2008-09 season. They’re 29-3 in those games. It was just the 10th time since the start of last season (including playoffs) that the Celtics and their opponent each made at least eight three-pointers. The C’s went 5-4 in those last season.

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* – The 69 shots taken by the Celtics was quite a low total. Last season (again, including playoffs) they managed 69 or fewer shots at the Garden just twice. It was Boston’s lowest shooting percentage (.464) in a game where they took 69 or fewer shots since May 6, 2008, when they shot .426 on 68 shots in a 76-72 playoff win against… Lebron James and the Cavaliers.

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Finally, I thought I’d pass along this tidbit that I saw on twitter (via @JonCouture): The over/under for the Heat’s lowest single game point total of the season was set at 81.5 points. So if you took the under, you’ve already won your bet after just one game!

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