|NBA Power Rankings, 12/30||12.30.10 at 1:00 pm ET|
1. San Antonio (27-4): At some point, you’ve just got to hand it to the Spurs. Like the Celtics, they did lose to the Magic in Orlando this week, but they just keep winning games — against good opponents, like the Lakers. Like their leader, Tim Duncan, they’ve quietly dominated this NBA season.
2. Dallas (24-6): How in the hell did the same Mavericks team that has beaten the Thunder, Spurs, Jazz, Heat and Magic on the road lose to the Raptors by eight at home? Just for that, they can’t be any higher than No. 2 — even if Dirk Nowitzki is contending for his second MVP honor. Although, Thursday night’s showdown with the Spurs could change all that.
3. Boston (24-6): The Celtics have lost twice since Thanksgiving — on the road, on Christmas and on a back-to-back — so you can’t beat them up too bad. Despite their recent 14-game winning streak, they’re just not the same efficient team without Rajon Rondo mixing the drink offensively and Kevin Garnett stirring it defensively. Their returns could boost them back to No. 1.
4. Miami (25-9): The Heat are on fire. They’ve won 16-of-17 (no thanks to Mike Miller), including six games against .500-plus teams and their Christmas Day win over the Lakers. Yet, they’ve lost 3-of-4 to the only teams they really need to worry about this season: The Celtics and Magic.
5. Oklahoma City (22-11): Over the last month, Kevin Durant has reinserted himself into the MVP conversation (along with teammate Russell Westbrook). In December, Durant has averaged 29.2 points, 6.2 boards, 3.5 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 51.4 percent. Not bad. Read the rest of this entry »
|Shaquille O’Neal fined $35,000 for criticizing officiating||12.27.10 at 3:05 pm ET|
Following the Celts’ loss, O’Neal was quoted as saying, “‘We have two premier big men out there. He is pushing, I’m pushing. Let us play. I guess they [fans] come out to see No. 26 [Delaney] play. He was a great player out there today. They paid all that money to see No. 26 come play. My thing is, if you’re going to call it, call it the same way every time. Don’t pick and choose who you are going to call it against.’
For more Celtics coverage, see the team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Celtics sing ‘Let It Snow’||12.25.10 at 9:00 am ET|
|NBA Power Rankings, 12/23||12.23.10 at 3:00 pm ET|
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.
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.
|Shaq has presidential ambitions for 2010-11 seasons||12.23.10 at 1:00 am ET|
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.
Before we go any further, we must pause for a second to admire the latest in Shaqology. Behold the 1825 theory:
‘Eighteen [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.
|Big Papi talks basketball||12.19.10 at 12:09 pm ET|
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.
|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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