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Kobe, A-Rod Sing and Dance into Your Homes 10.26.08 at 10:08 pm ET
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Just in time for Opening Night, Kobe Bryant is now singing and dancing his way into your homes through your TV sets. And he’s bringing a friend along, too. His name is A-Rod.

Bryant and Rodriguez, along with Michael Phelps and Tony Hawk, are featured in a new commercial for Guitar Hero. The ad is a throwback to “Risky Business” with the four men donning pink button down shirts and white boxers. Click here to check it out!

Notice how Kobe’s shorts are longer. He’s probably sensitive to the idea of anything above the knee after this incident.

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Notes from practice: Pierce jams index finger 10.25.08 at 11:27 am ET
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Notes from Saturday’s practice:

  • After practicing with his right hand wrapped in tape, Paul Pierce revealed that he jammed his right index finger during Friday’s practice. The medical tape was a preventative measure and Doc Rivers is not concerned. Aside from some soreness, Pierce isn’t anticipating any problems.
  • Rivers was pleased with his team’s high energy today after a less-than-impressive practice yesterday. He is ready to leave last season behind him and has everything in place to kick off the new season on Tuesday.
  • Age knows no boundaries with Sam Cassell. The 38-year-old vet challenged Rivers’ teenage son Austin to a competitive one-on-one battle after practice. Adam Jones, who Rivers recently gained legal guardianship of, was next on Cassell’s radar — “You next, red shorts, you next!”
  • Leon Powe was the last to leave the court, working on his free throws. Kendrick Perkins and Patrick O’Bryant also spent a while at the basket together working on 10′ jumpers.
  • Stephen A. Smith is in Waltham to interview the Big Three for ESPN.
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Celtics Entertain at Shamrock Foundation Gala 10.25.08 at 10:46 am ET
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Winning an NBA title is cause for celebration and on Friday night the Boston Celtics shared their excitement at the Shamrock Foundation’s World Championship Gala. Members of the team held little back as they entertained the crowd with anecdotes, jokes, and even an operatic performance when emcee Glenn Ordway passed the mic to Paul Pierce. Highlights included:

  • Eddie House gave his best Ray Allen impersonation while explaining the definition of “Ubuntu.” Word is House doesn’t need to practice that anymore … he does it so often it’s like second nature by now.
  • Big Baby shimmied across the stage doing his best take on KG’s dance moves. If Davis’ impression is any indication of the real thing, let’s just say “Dancing With the Stars” won’t be calling Garnett any time soon.
  • Pierce invited rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker to the stage for a public display of rookie initiation. The two sang an off-key rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” which sounded more like Sanjaya than R. Kelly when Giddens tried to hit a high note.

When all was said and done, the gala raised $1.5 million to benefit the Celtics Shamrock Foundation, which provides education and support for charities in and around the Boston area.

The ornate 2008 World Championship rings were revealed and featured a diamond encrusted emerald shamrock. The big ticket auction item was a personalized championship ring, which went for $15,000.

Other auction items featured autographed memorabilia from the Boston Celtics and around the NBA, including celebratory photographs of the Big Three, an oversized cover of the Sporting News with Paul Pierce and David Ortiz, a basketball signed by members of the 2007-08 Celtics and Lakers squads, and a pair of sneakers worn by Dwight Howard. Guests were also able to bid on the opportunity to dine with the 2008 Championship trophy for the evening.

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NBA Approves Expanded Use of Instant Replay 10.23.08 at 12:44 pm ET
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Today the NBA Board of Governors voted to allow the expanded use of instant replay by game officials. The new sanction will begin this season and can be enacted in the following situations, as explained in an official league release:

  • To determine at any point during a game whether a field goal was correctly scored as a two- or three-point field goal, and, for the purposes of awarding the correct number of free throws, whether a shooter was fouled while taking a two- or three-point attempt.*
  • When the game clock malfunctions during a play concluding with no time remaining on the clock (0:00) at the end of any quarter or overtime period.^

*With respect to the first scenario, review would occur at the discretion of the game officials, and would be based on a conclusion by the crew that they cannot be reasonably certain whether the shot was a two- or three-pointer.

^In the second scenario, game officials are currently required to reconstruct the timing of a play occurring during a clock malfunction; the use of replay would enable them to do so with substantially greater accuracy.

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GMs Predict Lakers to Beat Celtics in NBA Finals 10.22.08 at 11:37 am ET
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On Wednesday NBA.com revealed the results of the 2008-09 GM Survey. There were some expected predictions based on last season’s performances – a second straight Celtics/Lakers Finals, the Miami Heat will be the most improved team, and Chris Paul is the fastest player with the ball. But there were also a few notable results worth taking another look at:

Predictions

Will the Celtics lose their hold on the Lakers?

Will the Celtics lose their hold on the Lakers?

Which team will win NBA Finals 2009?

1. L.A. Lakers — 46.2%
2. Boston — 19.2%
3. New Orleans — 11.5%
4. Houston — 7.7%
San Antonio — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Detroit, Orlando

The departure of James Posey caused many to doubt the Celtics chances to repeat, but this landslide victory was still surprising. Most of the hoopla surrounding the Lakers this season is the return of Andrew Bynum. Yes, he will make them better by giving them an inside presence and allowing Pau Gasol to move back to the power forward position (where he won’t get beat up by Kendrick Perkins). But can Bynum hold up for three postseason rounds? The Lakers starting five (including the hobbled Kobe Bryant) has not proven they can win it all as a unit whereas the Celtics are returning their entire starting lineup. While experience isn’t accounted for on the box score, it can affect the final outcome.

Rookies

Who will win the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year?
1. Michael Beasley — 48.1%
2. Greg Oden — 29.6%

Which rookie will be the best player in five years?
1. Greg Oden — 30.8%
2. Michael Beasley — 23.1%

A year ago the race for Rookie of the Year was neck-and-neck between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. One knee injury later, Oden has been edged out by Michael Beasley for the honors. But you’ve got to feel good if you’re Portland Trail Blazer GM Kevin Pritchard. His long-term vision for young talent will make his team a contender for several years down the road.

Coaches

Who is the best head coach in the NBA?

GMs are all for Pop

GMs are all for Pop

1. Gregg Popovich — 53.8%
2. Phil Jackson — 23.1%
3. Jerry Sloan — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Rick Carlisle, Nate McMillan,
Stan Van Gundy

Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?

1. Phil Jackson — 44.0%
2. Gregg Popovich — 28.0%
3. Doc Rivers — 12.0%
4. Nate McMillan — 8.0%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Jerry Sloan

Did you check that list twice? After winning an NBA Championship, Doc Rivers was left off the list of best head coaches. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still reigns supreme in the eyes of GMs, also taking first place over Rivers for coach with the best defensive schemes. You would assume that Rivers would get at least one nod after transforming the Celtics from worst to first, but fortunately for Rivers the title of 2008 NBA Champions holds more clout than any preseason predictions.

Defense

Who is the best on-the-ball defender in the NBA?
1. Kobe Bryant — 26.9%
2. Ron Artest — 19.2%
Bruce Bowen — 19.2%
Rajon Rondo — 19.2%

As far as defense goes, Kevin Garnett was predicted to be the league’s best defensive player, best interior defender, and best leader. Rajon Rondo’s inclusion on the best on-the-ball defender list speaks volumes to the influences of Garnett and Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who was also predicted best in the NBA. To put things into perspective, Rondo was 10 years old when Bruce Bowen made his professional debut. Talk about a quick learner.

So how much stock should you put into these results? It’s up to you.

Which team will win NBA Finals 2008?
1. San Antonio Spurs 37.0%
2. Phoenix Suns 25.9%
3. Dallas Mavericks 14.8%
4. Detroit Pistons 7.4%
Others receiving votes: Boston, Houston, Miami, Orlando

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Tables Still Available for 2008 World Championship Celebration Gala 10.21.08 at 6:46 am ET
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Tables are still available for the 2008 World Championship Celebration Gala to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. The annual gala will be held this Friday, October 24 beginning at 6:00pm at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

This fundraising event raises money for an exceptional cause – providing education and support for children in our community. All proceeds will go to benefit the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.

This year’s gala will feature the unveiling of the 2008 championship rings as well as a roundtable panel discussion with last season’s starting five, moderated by WEEI’s Glen Ordway.

Members of the Boston Celtics organization in attendance will include All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, members of the 2008-2009 Celtics team and coaching staff, Head Coach Doc Rivers, Executive Director of Basketball Operations and GM Danny Ainge, and Co-owners Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca and Robert Epstein.

The gala will also feature once-in-a-lifetime auction items, including a 2008 World Championship Executive Level Ring, Two Gold Level Seats to the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, a “Travel with the Team,” and more.

To purchase a table contact Rebekah Splaine at 617-854-8090.

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How to Make an NBA Schedule 10.20.08 at 9:12 am ET
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Ever feel like the same teams roll through Boston year after year? Or wonder why the Celtics had such a demanding West Coast road trip last season? Mike Zarren, the Boston Celtics Assistant Executive Director of Basketball Operations, explains the thought process behind an NBA schedule on Celtics.com.

You can see this guy at least two times this season at the Garden

You can see this guy at least two times this season at the Garden

There are basic requirements for the Celtics, such as a home and away game against every Western Conference team. They also have to play two home and two away games against each team in the Atlantic Division. Then there are other factors, including coordinating their schedule with the Boston Bruins as well as boosting those ratings on national TV.

Zarren does a great job of breaking it all down here so you’ll never have to question why you catch the New Jersey Nets every time you go to the Garden.

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