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Notes from Celtics Practice 11.08.08 at 3:14 pm ET
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On Saturday the Boston Celtics held an open practice for the New England Baptist Hospital. Specific plays are kept behind closed doors so today’s focus was more on drills and conditioning than strategies and game plans.

  • Doc Rivers stressed the importance of rebounding to the Cs and pointed out that their next opponent, the Detroit Pistons, are known for crashing the boards.
  • Strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo put the players through several exercises, many honing in on lower body strength and agility.
  • Kendrick Perkins was one of the first to complete full court running drills. At 6’10 just one of his strides looks like two or three steps for Rajon Rondo and Eddie House.
  • The players ran through drills wherein they had to move the ball without dribbling. The first team to score three baskets won. On the first possession, Leon Powe suffocated Kevin Garnett at the top of the key and forced a turnover. Paul Pierce, Eddie House, and J.R. Giddens each knocked down multiple shots.
  • Ray Allen, Tony Allen, and Gabe Pruitt stuck around after practice to get in some extra long range shots.

The Celtics left at 3pm for a flight to Detroit. They will play Allen Iverson and the Pistons on Sunday at 6pm on NBA TV.

Smith to miss game against Celtics? 11.07.08 at 9:12 pm ET
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Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith suffered a high ankle sprain on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. Initial reports indicate Smith will miss 2-4 weeks, which would sideline him for next Wednesday’s game against the Celtics.

Last season Smith averaged 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Josh Smith,
Notes from Across the Hall: Celtics vs. Bucks 11.07.08 at 9:04 pm ET
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Despite a slow start the Boston Celtics kicked it in gear in the second half to score a  101-89 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. After the game there was music blaring from the Celtics locker room. Across the hall in the visitors locker room, the Bucks were shaking their head in disappointment of letting this upset slip away.

  • The Celtics outscored the Bucks 60-36 in the paint. “They pretty much owned us [in the paint] from the beginning to end,” said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. “Early in the game out weak side defense was very poor and they didn’t hurt as much with it. They missed some shots but then as the game went on, they just kept taking advantage.”
  • The Bucks seemed to forget everything they did correctly in the first quarter and crumbled 32-17 in the second. “The first quarter we played great,” said Charlie Villanueva. “We played great defense and the offense was going great. When they made their run, we started getting away from what we had been doing. Instead of spacing, we were in tight and our spacing was wrong. We stopped moving the ball correctly, stopped penetrating, and they took advantage of that.”
  • Richard Jefferson (20 points) soaked his feet after the game and studied the stat sheet with Michael Redd. The two vets poured over the box score for at least five minutes. It’s nice to see Redd finally have some veteran support.
  • Even though the Bucks are the league leaders in assists, they committed 22 turnovers and only dished off 17 dimes. “[We've] just got to get better at taking care of the ball,” said guard Charlie Bell. “We’re trying to make the extra pass and we’ve got to stay aggressive and know that they’re going to defend the passing lanes. They’re going to jump out. We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”

Many of the Bucks were quick to point out a grueling upcoming schedule. In the next five days they will face the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and San Antonio Spurs. Things are going to get harder before they get easier for the 3-3 Bucks.

Celtics-Bucks Game Blog Fourth Quarter 11.07.08 at 7:34 pm ET
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Once down 19-8 in the first quarter, the Celtics have fought their way back to pull away from the Bucks. Here is how they’re getting it done to close it out … Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Boston Celtics, Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee Bucks
Take a mental picture of the Bucks 11.07.08 at 7:15 pm ET
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Take a good look at the Milwaukee Bucks because there are very few chances to see them during the regular season. The team doesn’t come back to Boston again (the Celtics go to Milwaukee twice) and, as Andrew Bogut pointed out, they don’t get much national coverage either. The Bucks are ok with that, though.

‘€œGoing under the radar a little bit is something we’re obviously used to,’€ Bogut said. ‘€œWe never really get attention, even when we had winning seasons back in the early 2000s. Milwaukee isn’t a big city and we don’t get that much attention nationally. I think we only have one ESPN game this year. But regardless of that I think it’s better for us.”

Charlie Villanueva, who played college ball in the spotlight at UConn, doesn’t thrive on the attention either.

‘€œThat’s the way we want it. We want to be under the radar,’€ he said. ‘€œNot a lot of people are talking about the Bucks or us acquiring (Richard) Jefferson and Luke Ridnour. But that’s the way we want it. We want to be under the radar and at the end of the season we’ll see where we stand and I think we’ll be in a good position.’€

Considering the way the Bucks are keeping it close with the Celtics tonight, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see them back in Boston for the early rounds of the playoffs.

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Boston Celtics, Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee Bucks
Halftime News and Notes 11.07.08 at 6:46 pm ET
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At the half … Celtics 55, Bucks 47

  • The Celtics have regained control of this game in the paint. They have outscored the Bucks 38-12 and held Andrew Bogut to just five points.
  • Richard Jefferson is leading all scorers with 16 points, but only scored four in the second quarter. KG leads the Celtics with 12.
  • The Celtics are struggling from behind the arc (2-for-8) while the Bucks have hit five of nine

Check back with Paul for the latest in the third quarter.

Celtics-Bucks Game Blog Second Quarter 11.07.08 at 6:20 pm ET
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The Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to a surprising first quarter lead and the Celtics are battling back to claim this game which they are favored to win.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Big Baby, Boston Celtics, Charlie Villanueva
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