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Celtics-Heat game draws 5.6 rating on TNT 10.27.10 at 11:27 am ET
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Tuesday night’s Celtics-Heat game scored a 5.6 overnight rating for TNT, a 75 percent improvement from last season’s opening game between the Celtics and Cavaliers. The second half of the TNT doubleheader featuring the Lakers and Rockets also had a solid boost from 2009, drawing 40 percent more viewers to register a 3.5. Overall, TNT averaged a 4.5 for the doubleheader, making it by far the most-watched NBA opening night in TNT history.

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Tim Legler on D&C: ‘It became the Cavaliers of South Beach’ 10.27.10 at 9:10 am ET
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Tim Legler

Tim Legler

ESPN’s Tim Legler joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to dissect the Celtics’ season-opening victory over the Heat on Tuesday night at TD Garden. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Legler said the debut of the Heat’s Big Three was a clear failure.

“The Miami Heat, I just think they’re a team that’s probably 20 percent maybe of what they can be,” he said. “Because offensively last night, that wasn’t just bad for an opening night game, that was inept, period, for an NBA team offensively, the way they played, especially the in the first half. I think that Erik Spoelstra‘s got a very challenging task to try to figure out a way to get ball movement on a team with a lot of guys that want to catch the ball and break you down individually.”

While the Cavaliers completed each other and fit into well-defined roles with LeBron James leading the way, the Heat look out of sync in James’ debut for his new team.

“I saw a bunch of guys that didn’t look like they fit well together,” Legler said. “I saw LeBron James go back into the mode in the second half where he basically said, ‘I have to become a scorer now to win this game.’ And that’s exactly what he was in Cleveland night in and night out. And it’s a big reason why he went to Miami, to avoid that situation, to let other guys make plays, to let him be more of a facilitator in that situation.”

As for James’ comments after the game that the team was too unselfish, Legler said he charted the game, and the stats don’t back up that claim.

“I thought that last night saying that we were too unselfish was a complete cop-out,” Legler said. “I didn’t see that at all. … Seventy percent of what they got offensively was someone basically saying, ‘I’m going to go one-on-one right now.’ That’s not an unselfish approach, that’s a selfish approach. The lack of ball movement makes them look selfish, but the problem is No. 1, they don’t have enough guys on the floor that can spread the floor and be consistent 3-point shooters.”

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Chris Broussard on D&H: ‘Long time’ before Cleveland forgives LeBron James 10.26.10 at 2:33 pm ET
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ESPN’s Chris Broussard joined the Dale & Holley show Tuesday afternoon to talk about Tuesday’s Celtics-Heat season-opener at TD Garden. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Broussard talked about the fallout from the LeBron James decision and how the people of Cleveland remain angry at their former hero.

“The people, they’re not forgiving LeBron, and I don’t know when they will,” Broussard said. “I think, especially if the Cavaliers struggle, it’s going to be a long time before they’re ready to forgive LeBron. … Most people are heartbroken, and that heartbrokenness has turned into anger and depression. They really are still very angry.”

Broussard said this is not a racial issue. “It’s across racial lines,” he said, adding: “In Cleveland, it’s universal that they are down on him. In the ‘hood, in the suburbs, everywhere, black, white, Hispanic, whatever. They’re down on LeBron all throughout Cleveland.”

Asked if James could have not been prepared for the reaction, Broussard said the player doesn’t understand the degree of anger. “I think he’s more surprised at nationally, the beating that he’s taking,” Broussard said. “And he is surprised. But I think it’s nationally. Maybe a little bit of the the vitriol, the intensity it from Cleveland may be surprising. I think he was a little bit taken aback when he saw his jersey burned. I don’t know if the thought of that had ever crossed his mind.

“You got the sense on TV, and even some people in Cleveland that said, “Oh, it was just one or two guys doing it in front of the cameras.’ But we found out in neighborhoods people were burning LeBron James jerseys, cutting up LeBron James jerseys. In our piece, one guy talked about how a guy had been beaten up in the basketball courts because he had on a LeBron James jersey. So, the anger was just very intense. I think that LeBron was more surprised nationally by how negative the reaction has been to what he did.”

Broussard said the questions about the Heat’s Big Three should remind Celtics fans of their Big Three debut three years ago. “A lot of the criticism or the doubts are really similar to what I heard with the Celtics in [2007-08],” Broussard said. “There were serious doubts about that supporting cast. And also about whether or not those three players would mesh.

“I had coaches tell me, ‘Oh, Paul Pierce, he doesn’t care about winning. He’s just wants to get his. He’s going to clash with these guys. He’s not going to get as many shots.’ Things like that. And you saw, they came together. They were older, yes. But these guys in Miami are veterans as well. I mean, seven years they’ve played. They’ve all won — at least LeBron and [Dwyane] Wade have won individual awards. And [Chris] Bosh has been an All-NBA player and a five-time All-Star.”

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Report: Former Celtic Charles Smith in critical condition after being shot 10.22.10 at 8:37 am ET
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According to multiple reports, former Celtics guard Charles Smith was shot Thursday afternoon at a house in Bowie, Md., and was in critical but stable condition following surgery. Authorities were searching for a man seen fleeing the home with a handgun.

Smith, an All-American and the Big East Player of the Year at Georgetown in 1989, played 65 games for the Celtics in the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons. In 1992, he was convicted of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crime in the hit-and-run deaths of two Boston University students a year earlier. Smith served 28 months of a 4 1/2-year sentence and then returned to basketball, making a brief stop in the NBA with the Timberwolves in 1995-96 and playing in the minors and in foreign leagues until 2001.

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Paul Pierce on D&C: ‘I don’t think you ever forget’ Game 7 loss 10.13.10 at 9:40 am ET
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Paul Pierce found a way around Lamar Odom and the Lakers Sunday night. (AP)

Paul Pierce said the Game 7 loss to the Lakers will stick with him for some time to come. (AP)

Celtics captain Paul Pierce sat down with Dennis & Callahan at C’s media day for an interview that aired Wednesday morning. Pierce said he’s still working on getting past the loss to the Lakers. “I still haven’t gotten over it,” he said. “You think about the what ifs and all of that. I don’t think you ever forget it.”

Pierce also talked about the upcoming season, the acquisition of Shaquille O’Neal, and LeBron James and the new-look Heat.

Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

How long does it take a competitive person like you to get over a seventh-game loss in the NBA [finals]? A week? A month? Ever?

I still haven’t gotten over it. It’s tough. Because you envision back, and saying, “If we could have done this different, that different in the game, it would have been a different outcome.” So, it’s hard. You think about the what ifs and all of that. I don’t think you ever forget it.

What’s the process? Do you go in your bedroom for a couple of days and sleep, and then don’t shave for a while, or don’t bathe, and then finally come out of the shell?

I didn’t talk to people for a long time. I didn’t watch any basketball for a long time. I sort of kind of did go into a shell. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t even want to go out and eat for a while, because you just felt that bad about the loss. But then as I got back into the gym and working out, I just used it for motivation and just sort of loosened up from there.

Did you feel like last season was the final run this team was going to have? And are you surprised to look around and see the same crew back together, indeed with more big, old guys like Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal?

No, I wasn’t surprised at the run. We struggled a bit during the regular season at home. When I looked at our team from the beginning, I told people that we were more built for the playoffs that the regular season, because we didn’t have the up-and-down athletes, high-flyers that a lot of teams in the NBA have that can beat you in one game, on any given night. But when you have to break down a team and really scout them and put us in the playoffs, then I knew that we could be successful.

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Report: Brian Scalabrine signs with Bulls 09.22.10 at 9:59 am ET
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After five seasons with the Celtics, Brian Scalabrine has agreed to a contract with the Bulls, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports. In Chicago, Scalabrine would be reunited with Tom Thibodeau, the former C’s assistant who is now the Bulls head coach.

Scalabrine, 32, has averaged 3.3 points per game in nine NBA seasons (his first four in New Jersey). His best season with Boston was 2006-07, when he averaged 4.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He averaged just nine minutes in 52 games last season, scoring 1.5 points.

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Lawsuit accuses Shaq of hacking, destroying evidence 09.15.10 at 12:13 pm ET
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A lawsuit filed recently in Florida accuses new Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal of hacking into a former girlfriend’s phone system, attempting to frame a former employee for another crime, and destroying evidence of his misdeeds.

According to RadarOnline.com, which obtained a copy of the lawsuit, Shawn Darling, a former personal IT representative for O’Neal who has an extensive criminal background, made a variety of accusations against the player as part of his suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and civil RICO (racketeering). Among the charges:

• Shaq hacked into the voicemails of Darling and Vanessa Lopez, a mistress who is suing O’Neal for harassment.

• Shaq used his law enforcement contacts to obtain restricted information about another mistress, hip-hop singer Alexis Miller, while involved in a legal dispute with her.

• Shaq disposed of a personal computer with much of the evidence in a lake behind his Phoenix-area house.

• Shaq contacted current and former law enforcement officials in an attempt to frame Darling for possession of child pornography.

Shaq recently became engaged to reality show star Nicki Alexander, one year after splitting from his wife, Shaunie, and starting protracted divorce proceedings.

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