|Troy Murphy active vs. Suns, says ‘I fit in better with the way Boston plays’||03.02.11 at 7:12 pm ET|
Newly signed Celtics forward/center Troy Murphy will be active for Wednesday night’s game against the Suns. Prior to the game, he discussed his decision to sign with Boston.
After being bought out by the Warriors, Murphy, who began the season with New Jersey, narrowed his choices of potential suitors to the Celtics and the Heat before ultimately signing with the C’s.
“I think it’s the way they play,” Murphy said of choosing the Celtics over the Heat. “I think watching both teams, I think I fit in better with the way Boston plays, the way they spread the floor, and I just like the way they play.”
Murphy, who averaged has averaged 11.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game since entering the league in 2001, has never played in the postseason. He said he weighed the Celtics’ chances of prolonged playoff success before making his choice.
“That was the most important factor,” he said. “Going to a team that was not only going to be in the playoffs, but getting ready for a long playoff run. In looking at the teams, I feel like the Celtics have all the potential to do that.”
Asked what his role will be with the Celtics, Murphy said “I think just the ability to stretch the floor and help on the defensive glass. I think spread things out and let [Rajon] Rondo drive, pretty much.”
The 30-year-old will wear No. 30 for the Celtics.
“There aren’t too many numbers that you can pick here,” he said with a grin, “so that was really it.
|Danny Ainge on Big Show: Trades being discussed, coaches ‘wish’ their players were like Kevin Garnett||02.10.11 at 6:14 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Thursday, discussing the team’s potential activity in the the trade market, Ray Allen‘s forthcoming record, and Kendrick Perkins‘ future with the team.
With Marquis Daniels having gone down with a bruised spinal cord in Sunday’s game after a collision with Gilbert Arenas, Ainge admitted that the team is more likely to make calls than simply field them.
“We’re having conversations,” Ainge said. “I think the Marquis incident makes us a little bit more proactive rather than just receiving calls and seeing what else might be a possibility to back up Paul [Pierce] or Ray [Allen] in the playoffs.”
With recent focus being placed on whether Kevin Garnett is a dirty player, Ainge suggested that teams and players throughout the league — including the ones Garnett has robbed the right way — would be happy to have him.
“Alvin Gentry wishes that Channing Frye played like Kevin Garnett, would give anything if Channing Frye played with the passion and the heart and the intensity and the work ethic of Kevin Garnett,” Ainge said.
“I think that John Kuester wishes that Charlie Villanueva played with the passion and the intensity and had the work ethic and character of Kevin Garnett. That’s all I’ll say about that.”
Ainge said his words aren’t a shot at the players, but more a statement regarding what Garnett brings to a team.
“I’m not dissing on Charlie for any other the players,” Ainge noted. “I’m saying that Kevin Garnett is one of the most coachable, hard-woking players that I’ve ever been around in the NBA, especially as a star.”
Ainge cited more of attention being paid on the part of the media as a reason as to why many have questioned Garnett this year.
“Everything’s blown out of proportion,” Ainge said. “Kevin Garnett’s a great player on a great team. He talks and he plays hard. There’s nothing else to it than that.”
Allen could break Reggie Miller‘s record of 2,560 career 3-pointers with a pair of treys Thursday against the Lakers.
“I think this record of Ray’s is significant because I think it will last a long, long time,” Ainge said.
“I think he’s going to set a record of over 3,000 3-pointers and I think that’s just unbelievable.”
Perkins has told media outlets recently that he has declined a contract extension offered to him by the team. Ainge shed light on the situation.
“Perk was offered a contract that we can offer,” Ainge said. “Under the collective bargaining agreement there’s only a certain about of money we can offer Perk, and we offered him that contract. Understandably, Perk’s not interested in that contract.
Ainge noted that the team “can’t offer him a nickel more than we’ve offered him” and that the situation has “been explained to him” by both Ainge and Perkins’ agent.
|O’Neal still has ‘hunger’||08.10.10 at 10:59 am ET|
WALTHAM — A bow tie-wearing Shaquille O’Neal sported an ear-to-ear grin as he sat beside Celtics coach Doc Rivers for his introductory press conference on Tuesday. As forward and new teammate Kevin Garnett overlooked the event from a higher level at the Celtics’ practice facility, the center fielded questions and held up his No. 36 jersey as he is set to become the first player in franchise history to wear the number.
• Why No. 36?
“I’m in my 30s and this is my sixth team,” Shaq said with the smile. He also added he plans to have a clam chowder-eating contest with fellow big man Glen Davis.
• “I’m not sure what they’ll call him yet — the Leprechaun, the Green Monster — I’ve heard all these different things,” Rivers said. “The bottom line is we’re looking at Shaq as another piece of the puzzle.”
• Knowing that he won’t be expected to be as big of a presence as he’s had to be in other stops throughout his 18-year career, O’Neal seems fine with being more of a role player on the Celtics.
“Sometimes in order to win, you have to sacrifice,” said Shaq, who added that at the age of 38, he still has “hunger for the game.”
• The Celtics signed O’Neal last week to a two-year contract worth approximately $3 million. In an offseason in which the team looked to add big men with the signing of Jermaine O’Neal and hoped to make up for the MCL and PCL tears suffered by starting center Kendrick Perkins, Rivers was glad to bring Shaq into the fold.
“We wanted to address an area that we thought was a weekness last year,” said Rivers, who added the Celtics “struggled through Game 7 on the glass.”
• O’Neal, a 15-time All-Star, has totaled 28,555 points and 12,921 rebounds over his 18-year career between the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, and Cavaliers. His numbers put him fifth and 14th on the all-time lists for points and rebounds, respectively.
• O’Neil has struggled throughout his career as a free throw shooter, posting a .527 career percentage from the foul line. If the hack-a-Shaq method ends up being a big part of the opponents’ game plans, Rivers is fine with it.
“I think Shaq has the ability to draw fouls,” Rivers said. “If we can get teams in penalty situations … we can take advantage of that. … You need size to win.”
Though the signing of O’Neal in Boston has gotten plenty of attention, the biggest story line has been two of O’Neal’s teammates in Dwyane Wade and Lebron James teaming with Chris Bosh to form a superteam in Miami. For now, Shaq is focused on one team: the Celtics.
“I don’t say anything to that,” O’Neal said of the attention James has gotten this offseason.
O’Neal has won four NBA titles, three of which came with the Lakers and the most recent of which came as a member of the Heat in 2006. He played in 53 games last season for the Cavaliers, scoring 636 points and adding 355 rebounds. His point total was the lowest of his career (for inquiring minds, he had two seasons in which he played less than 53 games prior to 2009-10).
|Rondo makes first cut for Team USA||07.28.10 at 3:40 pm ET|
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was among 15 players to make the cut for Team USA’s squad on Wednesday. Here is the roster:
Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Asked whether he felt Rondo was an unconventional choice for international play, coach Mike Krzyzewski defended his selection.
“He’s unconventionally become an NBA champion and a triple double guy in this league. I think he’s an adequate shooter for us,” Krzyzewski said. “He did well shooting the ball in the camp. The thing that Rondo does is he plays with a will to win and he just finds ways to have a positive impact on the game. I really like that about him.”
|Ainge: Tony Allen leaving ‘not a financial decision’||07.14.10 at 10:10 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had plenty to talk about on Wednesday as he introduced center Jermaine O’Neal to the Boston media, but perhaps the most the most interesting topic touched on was swingman Tony Allen‘s defection to the Memphis Grizzlies for a three-year deal worth a reported $9.7 million.
In discussing the situation with reporters, Ainge indicated that the Celtics had hoped to bring Allen, one of their three 2004 first-round draft choices, back. He said that money was not a driving factor in Allen’s decision to leave.
“Things did work out for Tony, we had a good six years with Tony,” Ainge said when asked what didn’t work out in negotiations. “We wanted Tony back and we tried to get him. It wasn’t a financial decision, there were other decisions, so I think that’s a question you’ll have to ask Tony.”
In his six seasons with the Celtics, Allen averaged 7.2 points, 1.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 18.4 minutes and was a plus defender, often guarding the opposing team’s biggest offensive threat.
Asked to evaluate the offseason, Ainge likened making any comment now to saying how a game went while just at halftime. The C’s are looking to add five more players to give them a 14-man squad, but much of time in the near future will consist of waiting to see which players are still available after the big contracts are done being handed out. He also said he does not expect Rasheed Wallace to change his mind regarding retirement.
Ainge said that the Celtics still have needs at multiple positions, noting they are looking for help at center/power forward, backup point guard, as well as wings. He did say that he likes “unproven rookies” Semih Erden (a Turkish center) and Avery Bradley (the team’s first-round draft choice, a point guard), and that the team is in negotiations with Nate Robinson to hopefully continue to back up Rajon Rondo. Asked about Robinson, Ainge said he is a “guy we’re talking with, along with a slew of other free agents as well.”
Josh Howard was a name brought up in the session and Ainge did not deny the team’s interest, saying he would “rather not get into the people who we are pursuing” and that “there’s a long list of them, but he’s on that list.”
The 29th overall pick by the Mavericks in the 2003 draft, Howard has averaged 16.3 points, 1.7 assists, 6.0 rebounds in seven seasons. The small forward had spent his entire career in Dallas before being traded to the Wizards in February. He played in only four games for Washington before tearing his ACL, an injury he is still recovering from.
|Now healthy, winning the priority for O’Neal||07.14.10 at 5:57 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Jermaine O’Neal came clean on why he struggled so mightily against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs this past season. The new C’s center said he was kicked in the left ankle in a March 11 contest against the Knicks, which led to it being “extremely swollen.” He tried toughing it out in the playoffs, but the results weren’t pretty, as he average just 4.2 points and 5.6 rebounds and saw the Heat fall in five games.
“You go out there, you’re telling your team, you’re telling your followers that you’re ready to play, and whatever excuse you have should be kept in the locker room, so I chose not to talk about it because it didn’t really matter,” O’Neal said. “I still felt like I could go out there and help the team. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do it. It was just one of those things.”
Both he and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that he is healthy, and O’Neal now looks forward to embracing a new environment in Boston as he enters his 15th season in the league.
“One thing I admired about the Boston Celtics team was the coaching and also the way the players played together, it was very selfless on the court,” O’Neal said. “They compete at a very high level on both ends of the floor. They don’t really care who gets the credit for scoring or rebounding or whatever it may be, they just kind of play together and play to win.”
O’Neal said he looked at the way Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett united in Boston for a chance at a first ring, and that his decision was strongly based on their line of thinking, saying, “I thought those guys [were] at a position in their career where I’m kind of at that same position.”
With starting center Kendrick Perkins out for the time being with torn MCL and PCL ligaments, the popular line of thinking has been that O’Neal will be the starting center until whenever Perkins returns (sometime in early 2011, whether it be January of February) and that he will then spell both Perkins and Garnett in a reserve role with Glen Davis.
Given what O’Neal has been able to accomplish in his career statistically, it might be hard to imagine a six-time All-Star turning down other offers for a potential job off the bench. Still, despite coming close to averaging a double-double from 2000 to 2007, O’Neal is extremely content with his new role.
“It’s not about options, it’s about winning,” O’Neal said. “That’s what it really boils down to. I’m not at a point in my career where I need to worry about that. I’ve been on an Olympic team, I’ve had Nike campaigns, I’ve had All-Star games, All-NBA’s and I don’t have an NBA finals appearance, which is the most important thing to me and that’s what I really value the most right now.
“Sometimes as players we kind of take for granted that it’s going to keep happening. All those great years in Indiana, you couldn’t have told me that I would go five straight years of basically talking about – going into camp – talking about just making the playoffs. It’s a big difference when you come into camp talking about a championship run and talking about trying to make the first round.”
There could be a string of factors that could make the road bumpier than some would hope, whether it be keeping everyone happy, fighting off injuries, or dealing with O’Neal’s old team, now fully equipped with Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, but it’s quite clear the center is all smiles and glad to be in Boston.
|O’Neal says he was part of Heat’s plan||07.14.10 at 4:59 pm ET|
WALTHAM — In meeting with the media on Wednesday, new Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal spoke about his former team, the Miami Heat, saying that he was aware that the plan was to reel in star free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh while also retaining Dwyane Wade. The Heat also wanted O’Neal back to team with the trio, but he instead took a two-year deal with the Celtics.
“I knew what the were trying to do, and I could have re-signed back with those guys, but it comes down to fit,” O’Neal said. “It comes down to personalities and style of play, and Boston has all that for me. It was the most important choice that I’ve made in my career.
“It was the first time I actually had the opportunity to even be a free agent in about 14 years, so it was very difficult, but I just felt like over the next two years I needed to be somewhere where the focus is strictly about winning now, not worrying about chemistry, not worrying about anything, just about coming in and helping the team win and doing my part of being involved in something good.”
As for having to worry about matching up against the Heat, O’Neal doesn’t seem overly concerned regarding who the top team in the Eastern Conference is.
“I don’t really look at it as an individual matchup,” O’Neal said. “Obviously they have a great tandem down there, but I feel like this team has the best team. … I had a great time down in Miami, I had an opportunity to re-sign back with them, but I just thought that this is where I’m meant to be.”
O’Neal said that he liked the Celtics’ powerhouse over the potential one Miami would eventually form based on the way Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo have proven their ability to work together.
“Those guys, they have a ring already, but they want another one,” O’Neal said. “I don’t have a ring and I want one, so I felt like their hunger and their focus is at a different level. There were some other good teams out there that i really looked at that i thought could compete for the championship, but threes guys just came off an NBA finals appearance and obviously they’ve won one, so they know what it takes to get there.”
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge applauded the Heat for the job they’ve done, saying that though they still might make some more moves, the big pieces they’ve put in place already are substantial.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Ainge said. “They’ve put a terrific team together, but it doesn’t even matter what they do. Obviously [additional moves] could make a little bit of a difference, but the three guys that they’ve put together down there with Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem, that’s a pretty solid team.”
Asked about the chemistry element that O’Neal previously referred to and how it might apply to the Heat, Ainge said: “Wining does amazing things to team chemistry.”
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