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Irish Coffee: Celtics a slam dunk 03.10.11 at 12:38 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Between Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, the Clippers own four of the top 10 throwdowns on NBA.com’s Dunk Ladder. Not to mention the fact that DeAndre Jordan had more than twice as many dunks (7) during the Clips’ 108-103 victory against the Celtics on Wednesday night as Rajon Rondo has had all season (3).

So, I figured now is as good a time as any to check out the dunk statistics for the Celtics, especially in comparison to their performance during the 2007-08 season. Thanks to CBS Sports’ Dunk-O-Meter and Roto Evil’s Slam Dunk Stats, we can do that.

If an aging NBA veteran has almost twice as many dunks through 62 games this season than he did during a year in which he captured the NBA Finals MVP, that seems to say a lot about the kind of lift and athleticism that’s still in his legs, right?

Of course, I’m talking about Paul Pierce, who according to CBS Sports has slammed 28 dunks already this season — including the highlight-reel one last night that can be seen in the video that accompanies this blog (thanks to @MrTripleDouble10). By comparison, Pierce recorded just 16 dunks in the 2007-08 regular season.

Count Ray Allen in the same category, as his 11 dunks so far this year are two more than he produced during the entire season three years ago. Glen Davis has already more than doubled his dunking output (11 in 2010-11, compared to 5 in 2007-08), but that can be credited to his increased role as the Sixth Man on this year’s squad.

If we can draw conclusions about how much more lift or aggressiveness Pierce has this year compared to three seasons ago based on his increased number of dunks, is the same true for those going in reverse? That means you, Kevin Garnett.

The naked eye test suggests Garnett has been more active and aggressive around the basket than he’s ever been in a Celtics uniform, but could it be that we’re simply remembering the guy who’s been hobbled by knee problems the last two years?

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Irish Coffee: Reggaeton, President Obama & the Celtics 03.09.11 at 11:40 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

I’ve got to tip my hat to Celtics Hub for reminding everybody that new Celtics backup point guard Carlos Arroyo is also a Reggaeton (think Akon, in Spanish) star in his native country of Puerto Rico. He’s released two singles: “Oculto Secreto” and the more popular “Se Va Conmigo” with a dude named Yomo.

Thanks to AllTheLyrics.com, we now have a (very) loose translation of the “Se Va Conmigo” (“Go Away With Me”) remix performed with Ivy Queen, and it’s obviously pretty amazing …

To me, it’s enough to look for an affair.
I told you, I go with you.
If you tell me, I continue,
And without telling me, I follow you.
If you know it, I’m a hired killer.
I catch you when you get in my area.

What you like is that I have fury,
That I speak to you clearly
And that I don’t go on with you with sweet talk.
I don’t mind nothing, I leave.
Speaking clearly, you know well what I give.

That’s enough games, and bring me down the ego.
I’m not made of ice, and you like that.
We go without detour that I’m shrewder
Pa, pa, papi.

What’s what?
Do you want it in English or in Portuguese?
He’s looking for that I catch him, he asks it.
I warn him, and he continues.

Truly, she has me with the slow note.
She don’t mind nothing, she leaves.
She leaves with me without fear of to fail,
Because her wish is that I put her to sweat.
She excels with her skirt.

Mini mami, I know you are a hired killer.
Whatever I say, I know you die in my area.
Nice, sexy, exotic.

Obviously, my favorite parts are, “Her wish is that I put her to sweat,” and, “She excels with her skirt.” And, yes, I’m going to use those lines all the time now.

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Irish Coffee: The Shaqtionary 03.08.11 at 11:04 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

The oldest player in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal celebrated his 39th birthday where most almost over-the-hill men celebrate their birthdays — at Boston Children’s Museum.

The Celtics center who hasn’t played since Feb. 1 — and has already missed 25 games this season — told reporters he was 85 percent and would not return until he’s fully healthy, which could be as soon as next week. Here are the quotes from his birthday celebration, courtesy of The Globe:

  • “Hopefully, in the next week [I’ll be back]. They want me back at 100 percent. I tried to run on it the other day, and it felt pretty good, but I took a step back and I’m going to get back out there in a few days. I don’t really feel like I’m 39.’’
  • “If I can walk, I can play, and I asked many times to shoot it up, and you know, they refuse. And the Big Three said they want me at 100 percent healthy, so I’m getting there.’’
  • “I have a little Achilles soreness. It gets better, it comes back, it gets better, it comes back. It’s better. Dr. [Brian] McKeon is doing a great job. I’ve been working out twice a day, getting treatment. It’ll be right.’’
  • “[Kendrick] Perkins has meant a lot to this city, and he really helped them get No. 17 and we’re going to miss him. He was my main man. Everybody loves Perk. I love him. We became real good friends, and I congratulated him on his new deal. But this is a business. He’s going to be missed. We had a great time this year being on the same team.’’

So, there you have it. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, trainer Ed Lacerte, Dr. Brian McKeon and the Big Three all want Shaq to wait until he’s 100 percent before he returns to the court. He could play right now, but he’s won’t. The Celtics don’t need him now; they need him in the playoffs, so why rush him back? It’s a smart move by the Celtics, so can we just take it easy on the Shaq Watch?

Let's hope Shaquille O'Neal didn't eat his entire birthday cake. That would be Shaqnasty.

Which brings me to a much more important topic. In honor of Shaq’s 39th birthday – which he called ShaqDay, which makes almost no sense — we scoured UrbanDictionary.com for the ultimate Shaqtionary, described as “the book that will be used to document all of the words that Shaquille O’Neal manages to create during his scrabble games.”

Of course, we eliminated the dirtiest definitions — like Shaq Off and Shaq’s Arm (use your imagination) – and came up with the following list …

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Irish Coffee: One wild Celtics weekend 03.07.11 at 3:04 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Ok, so let me get this straight: I’m out of touch for one weekend, and we learn Shaquille O’Neal might’ve saved Notorious BIG, Marcus Banks wanted to be a male model more than a Celtic, Kendrick Perkins is (obviously) no Dennis Johnson, a reality TV star painted herself in green to honor the Celtics, Doc Rivers’ family has already won a title this year and the Heat cry more than Dick Vermeil.

Let’s sort through a weekend of wild stories that revolved around the Celtics …

In an interview for ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Shaq revealed why — even 14 years later — he believes he could’ve saved his friend Christopher Wallace (aka, Notorious BIG or Biggie Smalls).

On his 25th birthday, Shaq met up with the legendary rapper, who invited the then-Lakers center to an after party following the Soul Train Music Awards two days later. On March 8, 1997, Shaq dressed in a white suit and waited for his security officer to pick him up and take him to the party. But he fell asleep.

“I woke up about 4 o’clock from a call from my mother,” Shaq told OTL. “She said, ‘Did you go to the party?’ I’m like, ‘No, what are you talking about?’ She said, ‘You know, your friend was shot and killed.’”

Wallace and his entourage left the after party around 12:30 a.m. in two Suburbans. A black Chevrolet Impala pulled up alongside one of the SUVs, the driver rolled down his window and he fired four bullets into Wallace’s chest. By 1:15 a.m., Wallace had been pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

“If Shaq would’ve said, ‘You know what, I’m going to come with y’all,’ I’m sure him and BIG would’ve ridden together,” added Lil’ Cease, a member of the rap group Junior MAFIA. “That’s the type of person BIG was. … And I’m sure Shaq would’ve had security, and I’m sure BIG would’ve had another security come with him that day just to make sure Shaq would’ve been all right. So, I definitely think if Shaq would’ve been there, it definitely would’ve changed. It definitely would’ve changed.”

Um, way to make Shaq feel better, Lil’ Cease. Definitely would’ve changed? A little strong, don’t you think? Just as easily, somebody could’ve opened fire on Biggie’s car, killing both him and Shaq. The moral of the story kids, as always, is that falling asleep on the couch is never a bad thing.

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Irish Coffee: What to expect from Celtics’ buyouts 03.03.11 at 10:40 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

The buyout additions of Troy Murphy and (reportedly) Sasha Pavlovic are designed to give the Celtics depth, and surely they will. But every move is made to win basketball games, right?

So, can Murphy and Pavlovic help the C’s win enough games to hold off the Heat or Bulls for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed — and then contribute to victories as the team chases Banner No. 18?

Throughout the new Big Three era, the Celtics have made similar buyout acquisitions in addition to luring P.J. Brown out of retirement before the 2008 title run. Here’s what they gave you over the past three seasons …

  • Sam Cassell averaged 7.6 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 17.6 minutes during 17 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2008. He then averaged 4.5 points, 1.2 assists and 0.7 rebounds in 12.6 minutes over 21 playoff games. Cassell scored in double figures five times in the regular season and another four in the postseason — and the Celtics won all nine games.
  • P.J. Brown averaged 2.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 11.6 minutes during 18 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2008. He then averaged 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 13.6 minutes over 25 playoff games. Brown scored in double figures just once — but it came in a 97-92 win over the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
  • Mikki Moore averaged 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 19.0 minutes during 24 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2009. He then averaged 1.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 6.6 minutes over 10 playoff games. Moore reached double figures twice in the regular season — a win over the Thunder and a blowout loss to the Cavaliers.
  • Stephon Marbury averaged 3.8 points, 3.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 18.0 minutes during 23 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2009. He then averaged 3.7 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 11.9 minutes over 14 playoff games. Marbury scored in double figures once in the regular season and twice in the playoffs — all victories.
  • Michael Finley averaged 5.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.0 minutes during 21 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2010. He then averaged 0.8 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 6.0 minutes over 18 playoff games. The C’s finished 2-1 in the regular season when Finley reached double figures — the lone defeat coming in a blowout loss to the Grizzlies.

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Irish Coffee: New Celtics, by the numbers 03.02.11 at 11:17 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Not that the following numbers definitively prove anything, but I figured it would be interesting to see the career production of the Celtics’ recent acquisitions compared to the departing C’s.

Here are the  combined per-game averages of Troy Murphy, Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic over the course of 1,327 career games …

  • Points: 36.1
  • Rebounds: 19.6
  • Assists: 4.2
  • Steals: 2.0
  • Blocks: 1.7
  • Turnovers: 4.4
  • Personal fouls: 8.3
  • Field-goal percentage: .457
  • 3-point field-goal percentage: .370
  • Free-throw percentage: .767

And here are the  combined per-game averages of Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Marquis DanielsSemih Erden and Luke Harangody over the course of 1,363 career games …

  • Points: 32.7
  • Rebounds: 16.6
  • Assists: 6.4
  • Steals: 2.7
  • Blocks: 2.7
  • Turnovers: 5.5
  • Personal fouls: 10.8
  • Field-goal percentage: .471
  • 3-point field-goal percentage: .327
  • Free-throw percentage: .703

With three players coming to Boston and five guys leaving town, the Celtics are acquiring more points, rebounds and assists in addition to fewer turnovers and personal fouls. Although, cynics could argue that those same numbers favor the former Celtics’s defensive toughness – as that group recorded more steals, blocks and personal fouls.

Should the Celtics add either Corey Brewer, Rasual Butler or Player X, those stats would push the numbers even further in the current Celtics’ favor. Speaking of which …

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Irish Coffee: Get over the Kendrick Perkins trade 03.01.11 at 11:51 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Five days after being traded from the Celtics, Kendrick Perkins and the Thunder brass have already agreed to terms on a contract extenion. Wait a second … WHAT?!?!

If you’ll recall, Perkins turned down a four-year, $22 million deal from the Celtics, and after trading the championship-winning center Celtics president Danny Ainge told us Perkins “really wanted to test the market and see what his value was.”

Apparently not. He just wanted a better offer, and the Celtics couldn’t give it to him. Their $22 million offer was the maximum they could allocate to him. They couldn’t have offered him four years and $34.8 million, which is what the Thunder did, according to Yahoo! Sports. A difference of $3.2 million per season is a big deal. Literally.

And it’s exactly why I’m an even bigger advocate of the Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic acquisitions than I already was. Is Perkins an $8.7 million a year player? Heck no.

As for the remaining Celtics, let’s all hope the veterans get over this “Whoa is me, Perk is gone” mentality that’s been fairly evident on and off the court. As CBS Sports columnist Ken Berger pointed out last week, it’s the Big Four’s $57 million worth of contracts next season that limited the Celtics’ offer to $22 million.

If they wanted Perkins for the remainder of this season and beyond, why didn’t Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen offer up a total of $800,000 apiece per year over the next four seasons so Perkins could get his $35 million wish?

Never mind the fact that the Celtics got the best player in the deal (Green) and another guy (Krstic) who gives you comparable numbers to Perkins for a player who was obviously never going to sign in Boston this summer.

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