|Celtics and Hawks Set for Rematch||11.12.08 at 4:57 pm ET|
The last time the Atlanta Hawks left the Garden, they had just been steamrolled in a dramatic Game 7 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Tonight a more mature team is back in the building in hopes of keeping their undefeated season alive. It’s role reversal, with the Celtics looking to play the spoiler.
Hawks head coach Mike Woodson said the series left a “nice taste in their mouth” and his team is hungry for a win. He admits that the Hawks would not be 6-0 if it weren’t for that battle, but Ray Allen isn’t taking responsibility for their early success. Allen knew the team was talented last season before the Celtics faced them.
Keep an eye on Al Horford, who is riding the momentum of last night’s 27-point, 17-rebound performance against former Florida teammate Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls. Horford knows the Celtics fans still remember his tiffs with the Celtics and feeds off the energy of a high-pressure game.
I’ll be bringing you all the action from the TD BankNorth Garden so check back regularly for updates.
|Celtics Starting Lineup Named to All-Star Ballot||11.11.08 at 1:24 pm ET|
All five members of the Boston Celtics starting lineup will be named to the 2009 All-Star ballot today, presented by T-Mobile. The ballot will be unveiled today during a special kick-off ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins are all up for spots on the Eastern Conference team. The Big Three participated in last year’s game (Allen was a replacement for Caron Butler) while Rondo and Perkins have never been named to the team.
The All-Star Game will be held February 15 at the US Airways Center. Voting will begin on Thursday, November 13 and run through mid-January. This season fans will be able to cast their votes in every NBA arena, online at NBA.com in several different languages, and via cell phone.
|O’Neal Struggling to Achieve Celtics Success||11.11.08 at 9:58 am ET|
Garnett and Allen were able to hit the ground running in their first season with the Boston Celtics, starting off 20-2 en route to the first NBA Championships of their career. For O’Neal, his debut season with the Toronto Raptors has anything but a joyride.
‘It’s been kind of a roller coaster for me,’ he said. ‘And it’s been hard.’
This summer O’Neal was traded to the Raptors from the Indiana Pacers, a year after Garnett’s blockbuster trade to the Celtics. The move paired O’Neal with dominating big man Chris Bosh and positioned the Raptors as an Eastern Conference contender. Like the Celtics, the Raptors united unfulfilled All-Stars in hopes of winning a title.
‘You try not to base your career and your success off of somebody else’s,’ O’Neal said. ‘A lot of people can say, ‘I want it to be like this,’ but it’s not necessarily like that. [The Celtics] definitely have put together a format on how to do it, for sure. Sometimes you’re not able to go that route. You’ve got to take another route and that’s the route that I’m on.’
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|Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Fourth Quarter||11.10.08 at 7:31 pm ET|
Once down by as many as 16 points, the Boston Celtics staged a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Toronto Raptors 94-87 on Monday night at the TD BankNorth Garden. Paul Pierce scored 22 points in the final 12 minutes alone and finished the night with 36 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Kevin Garnett added 21 points and 10 boards. Jermaine O’Neal posted 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors.
|Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Second Quarter||11.10.08 at 6:15 pm ET|
Ok so that wasn’t pretty. The Celtics are down 48-36 at the end of the first half and are basically getting beat by one player … Jermaine O’Neal. JO has 19 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes. Next in line is Joey Graham with eight points and Chris Bosh has six. The Celtics have not had an answer for JO on either end of the court. Kevin Garnett has 11 points and 4 defensive rebounds while Perk is scoreless with one board. If the Celtics are going to get back into this game, they are going to have to step up their low post game to counter JO’s assault. Adding insult to injury, the Celtics are shooting 32%.
|Pregame: Celtics vs. Raptors||11.10.08 at 5:17 pm ET|
The Raptors wasted no time getting ready for the game as nearly every player except for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh were warming up when I scoped out the court around 5:30. Leon Powe, Kendrick Perkins, and Brian Scalabrine were practicing on the Celtics end.
The Cs were loose in the locker room, with Powe, House, and Rajon Rondo crowded near Perkins’ locker. Perk turns 24 today and the big man is trying to downplay his birthday even though he is receiving some extra attention from his teammates.
Chris Bosh received treatment on the trainers table in the Raptors quarters while a handful of players wandered in and out of the locker room. Jamario Moon said the Raptors are a brand new team with O’Neal’s veteran leadership this season. They are also a better offensive team, ranking second in the league in both three-point shooting and free throws.
Tonight it was the bench who was receiving praise from Doc Rivers. The Celtics head coach said the starters have not been consistent with their offense and defense. He would not go as far to say the bench has exceeded his expectations but they are “playing well.”
The game will get underway shortly. Check back soon for more …
|Celtics to Raffle Authentic Championship Ring||11.10.08 at 10:11 am ET|
The Boston Celtics will raffle off an authentic 2008 NBA Championship Ring to raise money for the Shamrock Foundation. Raffle tickets will be available between today and February 3, 2009. Each ticket costs $2.00 and there is a five-ticket minimum.
The winner will be presented with the ring on February 5 at the TD BankNorth Garden, where they will be given four loge tickets for that night’s game. The winner will also receive a cash prize to cover the tax expenses from the ring.
In addition to being engraved with the winner’s name, the 14-karat white gold championship ring features a total of 83 diamonds and emeralds (3.30 carats combined).
Information on purchasing tickets is available online at www.celtics.com.