|Irish Coffee: Delonte West ecstatic about Jeff Green||03.18.11 at 2:21 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
While the Big Four of Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen probably looked at the Celtics-Thunder deadline deal as “The Kendrick Perkins Trade,” at least one member of the C’s saw it from a different perspective.
That’s because Delonte West knew better than his teammates what Jeff Green was capable of contributing, because — as West puts it — everybody who grows up playing basketball in the Washington D.C. greater metropolitan area knows each other. Not to mention the two played together on the SuperSonics for half the 2007-08 season.
“I played with Jeff in a few rec leagues before up at Georgetown, and I played with him in Seattle,” said West. “I know what he can do. I know what he’s capable of. In Oklahoma, you had a few guys taking all the shine over there, but when I heard we were getting Jeff Green, I was automatic ecstatic. I’ve been in the gym with him before in Seattle. The guy can play.”
Green could play then, and West believes his former teammate is even better now that he’s added a few weapons to his repertoire of skills. Green has averaged 11.1 points on 48.8 percent shooting in 23.1 minutes a night in 10 games for the Celtics.
“Of course he’s matured a little bit,” added West. “He’s a few years in now, and he’s only getting better. I see him shooting that 3 ball real comfortably. I already knew he could run the floor and how easy he can get points for us. That’s important.”
|Irish Coffee: Bill Walton’s St. Patrick’s Day||03.17.11 at 11:56 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year as a member of the 1985-86 Celtics that finished 67-15 during the regular season — and 41-1 at home in the Boston Garden — on their way to winning 15-of-18 playoff games and the franchise’s 16th NBA title, Bill Walton can wish you a St. Patrick’s Day far better than I can.
So, without further ado, I give you Walton uncensored, about five or six Guinesses deep most likely (from his appearance on the Big Show):
“Go Green. Go Guinness. I’m popping one right now. Ten million pints poured every day around this great globe of ours — the globe, the most perfect orb, just like the basketball. The basketball by itself does nothing, but when you make it an extension of your mind the way that [Rajon] Rondo does, the way that Danny Ainge did and DJ [Dennis Johnson] and Larry [Bird] and Kevin [McHale] and Chief [Robert Parish] and Jerry [Sichting] and Rick [Carlisle] and Scotty [Wedman] and all the guys did — but when you’re able to make an extension of your mind, of what it is you’re doing in life, whether it’s drinking a Guinness responsibly, whether you’re bouncing that magic basketball for the Celtic Green, you can make a difference, and that’s what we’re calling everybody to do on St. Patrick’s Day, the start of the college tournament, the most perfect harmonic convergence ever. Be bold, stand tall, quit your job and chase your dreams. …
“I only drink Guinness, the holy water falling from the sky, delivering spiritual guidance. We’re blessed. We’re so blessed. We’re on record pace, and we’re having the time of our life. …
“When this morning started, and it started more than 24 hours ago, the call to action was to take the day off. Who wants to lead a watered down life? C’mon. Let’s get up and be bold. Forget just taking the day off, just quit your job. Make your dream your job, and that’s what I was able to do. My parents ask me to this very day, ‘So, Billy, did you ever get a job?’ I’m closer than ever to being able to say yes. It’s so special. The remarkable thing about Guinness in our world is that in the mother country, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. In Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. Somewhere, we got lost along the path, along the golden road to unlimited devotion. …
|Carlos Arroyo ‘truly honored’ to be a Celtic||03.17.11 at 10:54 am ET|
A Heat team that has struggled to surround its All-Star trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the supporting cast to win as expected jettisoned Carlos Arroyo, but somehow a deeper Celtics team that has enjoyed more success found a role for the veteran point guard.
For Arroyo, that juxtaposition is perplexing. So, what happened in Miami?
“If I knew, I’d be there right now,” he said, and later added, “You can’t just throw 15 guys together and expect to win. It takes time. That’s what they have here in Boston, and that’s what every other team in the NBA is trying to achieve.”
Adjusting to a new team with fewer than 20 games until the start of the playoffs has been a whirlwind process for Arroyo, but nothing a guy who’s played for seven teams since 2001 hasn’t been through before.
“I’ve been talking a lot with my friends, and I compare this team to the team I was on in Detroit,” said Arroyo. “We went all the way to the Finals. I got there midseason, and it was similar types of players – veterans mixed with young guys – a similar city – not taking anything away from Boston – similar weather. Just the same atmosphere. I’m kind of enjoying that, and that brings memories.”
|Kevin Garnett: Rajon Rondo’s playing hurt||03.17.11 at 12:41 am ET|
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo‘s recent struggles have been well documented. While he appeared more explosive on the parquet, he still went scoreless and rebound-less while recording eight assists against the Pacers on Wednesday night.
That (lack of) production led to this question posed to teammate Kevin Garnett: What’s wrong with Rajon Rondo?
“Rondo’s playing hurt,” said Garnett. “He’s hurting. He’s giving us everything he has. He’s grinding. He’s playing countless minutes for us, and he’s not playing like a washed-up guy.”
Asked if he thought it was Rondo’s tweaked ankle that was giving the C’s floor general problems lately, Garnett responded curtly, “I don’t know. You’d have to talk to him.”
On a less serious note, Garnett made a fantastic comparison between the Celtics and the “Ocean’s Eleven” cast, especially upon the inevitable returns of Shaquille O’Neal and (hopefully) Jermaine O’Neal.
“You know what’s crazy?” said Garnett. ”This is like a good movie. As a matter of fact, I’m going to use ‘Ocean’s Eleven.’ You haven’t seen Matt Damon. You haven’t seen Brad Pitt. You haven’t seen Bernie Mac. You’ve just seen [George] Clooney and a couple other guys.”
So, which character is Garnett? “I’m Saul,” he said. Saul Bloom, of course, is the old pro who comes out of retirement to play a valuable role in the casino heist.
Garnett also touched on a few other hot-button topics from the Celtics’ victory …
- On Delonte West’s return: “He’s a seasoned vet. He’s been in the thick of it. He’s been in countless playoff games. He has the experience. You kind of expect that from him. Whatever the perception is of Delonte isn’t the reality of what we deal with every day. He’s a very, very vocal guy – very smart. He definitely knows X’s and O’s, and he’s tough as nails. To get a guy like that back in your lineup, it makes your team better overnight.”
- On Jeff Green’s 19-point effort: “Jeff Green is so versatile. If you put a three on him, he’s too small. If you put a four on him, he’s too big. He’s too quick. He has so much he can go to, and I think he’s going to pick up from some of the vets and the personal parts of the game where he can make himself better. He’s an unfinished product. When he puts that all together, he’s going to be something special.”
- On the surging Bulls: “I don’t really care about Chicago.”
|Fast Break: Celtics slow down the Pacers||03.16.11 at 10:05 pm ET|
Paul Pierce and Jeff Green combined for 39 points, and the Celtics’ defense held the Pacers to 37.5 percent shooting in a 92-80 victory Wednesday night at the TD Garden. The Celtics (48-18), who had lost three out of four entering Wednesday night’s game, pulled even with the idle Bulls atop the Eastern Conference.
The ACC combo of Josh McRoberts and Tyler Hansbrough combined for 24 points and 22 rebounds in defeat for the Pacers (29-39), who dropped to a tie – for the time being – with the Bobcats for the eighth playoff spot.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Defense: As Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe noted, with the exception of holding the Bucks to a record-low 56 points, the Celtics’ defense hasn’t exactly been the shutdown brand the team’s made their bones on since The Trade.
Well, Wednesday may have been a step in the right direction, as the Celtics held the Pacers to 20 points in each of the four quarters. Through the first nine minutes of the second quarter — when they started a lineup of Green, Glen Davis, Troy Murphy, Delonte West and Carlos Arroyo – the Celtics held the Pacers to just nine points and established the lead.
Green, in particular, did a nice job on Danny Granger.
Beyond the Arc: While the Celtics shot just 15-of-35 (42.9 percent) in the first half, their 3-point shooting (5-of-8 for 62.5 percent) saved them a bit in the opening 24 minutes. Specifically, two Ray Allen treys sandwiched around a Pierce triple helped the C’s turn a 33-29 lead into a 42-31 advantage in the span of 58 seconds. They finished 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
The Thunder, up and under: Green and Nenad Krstic combined for 30 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, through the first 20 minutes of the game, Green had more points than the rest of his C’s teammates combined. At halftime, Green led the Celtics in scoring, and Krstic led them in rebounding.
Even Troy Murphy got in on the action, scoring six points on perfect shooting from the field (2-for-2) and free-throw line (2-for-2). Perhaps it was the St. Patrick’s Day luck of the Irish.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Attacking the glass: Celtics head coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Shaquille O’Neal had been doing some shooting — a sign that his return could be imminent — and the news couldn’t come at a better time. The C’s got outworked on the glass by the Pacers, who owned a 49-36 rebounding advantage (including a 19-7 edge in offensive boards).
Offensive flow: The Celtics’ offensive sets looked ugly in the first quarter, almost as if the C’s had gotten a headstart on the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Allen didn’t even attempt a shot in the opening 12 minutes, and the Celtics scored just 15 points on 7-of-17 shooting in an ugly start to the game.
The curious case of Rajon Rondo: He looked as if he’d risen from the slump that’s plagued him over the last couple weeks, but his production still was perplexing for a player who’s capable of so much more. Here’s his line: 0 points, 0 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals 2 turnovers and 1 block.
And while Delonte West made his re-re-re-debut with the Celtics, he and Carlos Arroyo did little to help Rondo on the point guard front.
|Irish Coffee: Nate Dogg, the Celtics & the legend of Brian Scalabrine||03.16.11 at 2:56 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Hip-hop lost one of its best when Nate Dogg died at age 41 on Tuesday. In memoriam, I figured I’d share one of the great scenes in basketball movie history — which, of course, featured the Warren G track “Regulate” (feat. Nate Dogg) at the crescendo (and, yes, I just used the word crescendo).
For those of you who might need the back story behind this “Above the Rim” scene, it’s not too complicated …
A former high school basketball star turned janitor named Shep stopped playing when his best friend died after dunking so hard on the top of a roof that he went through the hoop and fell off the top of the building. Just your every day, typical high school stuff.
So, the janitor — clearly the city’s most eligible bachelor — starts dating the mother of the school’s next great superstar, Kyle Lee Watson. The kid gets pissed, but eventually they all make up when Shep dominates a team coached by Tupac in a blacktop tournament while wearing corduroys.
Then, Avon Barksdale from ”The Wire” tries to shoot Watson and Shep only to get shot himself. Eventually, Watson wins the Big East championship for Georgetown with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer while Shep and his mom decide to watch the game on TV in a bar rather than see the game in person. Got it? Good.
Nate Dogg had plenty of NBA ties, including one with the Celtics. He appeared on the Lloyd Banks song “Warrior,” also featuring 50 Cent and Eminem. The tune included the lyric: “‘Cause he remembers when they wouldn’t lend a helping hand ’til he was sitting on green like a Celtics fan.”
|Instant Replay: Top 5 Tommy Heinsohn moments||03.16.11 at 1:06 pm ET|
In honor of their 30th season calling games together, Celtics broadcasters Tommy Heinsohn and Mike Gorman will be honored prior to tonight’s C’s game against the Pacers at the TD Garden. We figured we’d go back into the Green Street archives and re-unveil the top five greatest moments of Tommy’s announcing career caught on tape. Without further ado …
5. “Wait a minute. That’s a terrible call. That is a TERRIBLE call.”
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