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KG: ‘Rondo and I have a connection’ 11.12.09 at 4:10 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  Kevin Garnett had a polite warning following Thursday’s practice for all of those who think he might have lost a step and is not as dangerous on his patented alley-oop play with Rajon Rondo.

Just try us.

“Rondo and I have a connection where I don’t think you can really play that play because if you go back it’s a pick and roll and if you go up too far, it’s an oop,” Garnett said of the highlight below that happened with three minutes remaining in the third quarter of Wednesday night’s blowout win over the Jazz.

Paul Millsap was the Utah player caught in defensive no-man’s land, as he pinched up. Garnett gave a shake as if he were cutting in front and went behind.

“Then if the guy on the bottom [post] wants to stick his nose in there, he ends up like that guy last night,” Garnett said. “It’s not even a play. It’s more of a read in playing basketball than anything.”

That guy, by the way, would be Kyrylo Fesenko, the player who came from the weak side and appeared to foul Garnett on the play, but none was called.

“It was a foul,” Garnett said. “You don’t have to say it. I’ll say it for you.”

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Doc on Scott firing: ‘That’s our league’ 11.12.09 at 3:23 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  When he heard the news on Thursday that Byron Scott had been fired after a 3-6 start in New Orleans, Doc Rivers couldn’t help but think he had seen this script before.

It was November 2003 and the Orlando Magic decided to make a coaching change after a 1-10 start. It was Doc Rivers who was shown the door.

“That’s too bad,” Rivers said following Thursday’s practice. “It’s amazing that you can make a decision that quickly on a guy that was Coach of the Year a year-and-a-half ago. So, that’s our league.

“He matched me, basically. I was [11], so I lasted [two] longer, unfortunately. It just gave me [two] more losses,” Rivers added with a hearty laugh.

To be completely accurate, this isn’t even the first time this has happened to Scott.

In Dec. 2003, with his team languishing near .500 at 22-20, the Nets replaced him with assistant Lawrence Frank, who now is the second-longest tenured head coach in the East.

What makes it even more similar is the fact that both Scott and Rivers earned coach of the year honors only to be fired later on.

Rivers was coach of the year in 2000 with Orlando, leading a team that was picked dead last in the Eastern Conference to a near playoff berth. Scott earned his award in 2008, ironically the same season Rivers led his team to 66 wins and the NBA title.

That season, Scott led the Hornets to 56 wins and a berth in the Western Conference semis before bowing out to the Spurs.

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Scal strikes again 11.12.09 at 2:49 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  Paul Pierce was sporting a bandage on the right side of his face after getting hit by an inadvertent elbow from Brian Scalabrine during Thursday’s practice.

“It went great,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “He elbowed one guy in the head and hit another guy so he’s back. Scal’s back.”

Pierce, who sustained only a minor scratch after a struggle for a loose ball, wasn’t the only victim of Scalabrine’s physicality in practice as J.R. Giddens got hit on the top of the head.

None of the injuries are expected to force any players to miss Friday’s game against Atlanta. Scalabrine returned to practice after back spasms forced him to miss two of the last three games.

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Turn up the volume: C’s practice makes perfect 11.12.09 at 1:17 am ET
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So this is why Doc Rivers and his coaching staff were so happy to have two solid days of practice this week.

The Celtics more prepared to take a final exam than the Utah Jazz did to take a pop quiz as the C’s systematically took apart the Jazz, 105-86, at TD Garden.

The Celtics held the Jazz to 37-of-79 shooting for 46.8 percent. But most impressively, they forced Utah, a team that prides itself on execution, to commit 21 turnovers.

Apparently the Celtics were listening when the coaches, starting with defensive guru Tom Thibodeau, preached about staying ready for the pick-and-roll and not letting Utah’s big men of Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur get easy baskets underneath.

Afterward, the Celtics were appreciative of their coaches’ preparation, as was head coach Doc Rivers.

Rivers said his team executed from the very beginning, thanks to the preparation.

Rasheed Wallace said it all about preparation by the coaching staff.

Wallace said the Celtics got back to the basics on Wednesday.

Paul Pierce said there was no doubt that the three days helped.

Pierce said the Celtics looked a lot sharper after their practice.

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Bad back also ailing Williams 11.11.09 at 8:23 pm ET
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While Deron Williams was officially listed as questionable with a bruised left calf in Utah’s pregame notes, it was a sore back, injured on Monday in New York, that forced Williams out of the game early in the second quarter.

Williams went to the hallway behind the Jazz bench to try and keep loose.

Williams started his eighth straight game on Wednesday in Boston.

Meanwhile, Williams had praise for his counterpart, Rajon Rondo.

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No Scal again 11.11.09 at 7:30 pm ET
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For the second time in three games, Brian Scalabrine will not be available to the Celtics because of a bad back.

Scalabrine was one of three inactives for tonight’s game against Utah at the Garden. Tony Allen [right ankle] and Glen Davis [right thumb] are also scratched.

Bill Walker [right knee], who returned this week to practice, is in uniform for the first time this season.

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Williams to play against C’s 11.11.09 at 7:11 pm ET
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Utah’s starting point guard Deron Williams [right calf] will play tonight against the Celtics.

Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan made the announcement 90 minutes before tip-off.

“I’ll let out trainer let me know where he is in the game. That’s what we usually do when a player’s been out, make sure we don’t cause any problems and screw him up in any way,” Sloan explained.

Williams has played in all seven games for the Jazz this season, averaging 21.4 points and 10.7 assists. He suffered the calf strain in Utah’s win on Monday night in New York against the Knicks.

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