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Ray to Bulls rumor swirls again 02.04.10 at 12:52 pm ET
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The Chicago Sun-Times put out the rumor that the Bulls and Celtics could get together on a deal that would send Ray Allen to Chicago for a package that includes Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James. That’s a deal that has been speculated about before, but it doesn’t seem like it would be a good match for the Celtics.

Thomas and James are both in the final years of their contracts. While James is essentially a non-factor, Thomas does have intriguing ability, but throughout his career he has been more potential than production. Hinrich is a player who has received lots of interest around the league because of his abilities and also because the Bulls would like to move his contract, which has two years left after this one, to create more cap space in the summer.

It has long been speculated that the Bulls will make a run at Chicago native Dwyane Wade. If they can clear Hinrich’s contract, they could have the space to go after two prime free agents.

Hinrich could help the Celtics, certainly. He is a solid playmaker and a good defender who can guard multiple positions. He is having a down shooting season, however, and would not be a viable replacement for Allen in that regard. The Celtics could get creative and try to work out a deal for Hinrich alone involving a combination of their other expiring contracts — Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Eddie House, etc.–but probably not at the cost of Allen.

Doc Rivers had some interesting comments about this Thursday on his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan (click here for a full transcript).

“The thing that’s happening right now is everybody’s trying to give away their [expiring contracts] to those same teams and those same teams are trying to get a bargain,” Rivers said. “Eventually the trade stuff will end up, I don’t think with us, but around the league everybody’s trying to take advantage of everybody.”

In other words, the trade market has not yet fully taken shape. Teams are still in the feeling-out process. In regards to Allen, both Rivers and Danny Ainge have stated the team’s position, which is: They will listen to offers for Allen, but it will have to be a great deal for the Celtics for them to pull the trigger.

While the Hinrich rumor makes some sense in the abstract, it doesn’t appear to satisfy those requirements for the Celtics.

Read More: Kirk Hinrich, Ray Allen, Trade rumors,
Rivers on D&C: ‘I’ll take us against anybody’ 02.04.10 at 10:38 am ET
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Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers joined the guys on Dennis & Callahan to talk about Rajon Rondo’s comments, whether he’ll ask Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to sit out the All-Star Game and which team he likes in the Super Bowl.

Compared to Christmas Day when you beat Orlando and now when you’re struggling, give us an overview of where you are?

We didn’t play well in January. We had some pretty special circumstances, and so I don’t take my eye off of that. You lose Paul Pierce going out west and you lose Kevin Garnett out west, it’s tough to win. So I keep that in perspective. I also understand that we’ve lost two games not playing great basketball to two of the best teams in the league by one final shot. So, the way I look at it, I like our team a lot. And, if we can get healthy, which I think we will at some point, I’ll take us against anybody.

Can you project or assume that this team will get healthy?

It is. It’s not like our injuries, minus Kevin … our injuries could happen to anybody playing basketball. [Nineteen-year-old] Brandon Jennings, if someone falls on his ankle the way someone fell on Paul Pierce’s ankle, he’s going to be injured. That’s just part of the game. That has nothing to do with Paul Pierce’s age. That has to do with Paul Pierce getting in the wrong spot at the wrong time. You know, it happens. But I do think we will get healthy and I think we’ll be OK.

What do you make of Rajon Rondo’s assertion that there are too many agendas creeping in?

I think Rondo was repeating, and I said it [Wednesday], basically what I told the team about three weeks ago. It was almost exactly my speech to the team. The agendas that we were talking about was more focus agendas. We are heading into the All-Star break, guys are focused on making the All-Star team. Guys are focused on going on the break, it’s just too much stuff. Not enough thought about basketball.

Did it hurt you on the floor?

I think it bothers every team. I was making a statement that this is the dog days. It happens to every team. You look at all the team during that stretch, you struggle a little bit. When we were going through that, with the injuries that were happening at the same time, my point was we need better focus to get through this. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: D & C, Doc Rivers,
Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Heat 02.03.10 at 10:07 pm ET
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The Celtics led by as many as seven points in the quarter, but every time they began to put some distance between them and Miami, the Heat came right back. With the score tied at 74-74, this game looks like it will go right down to the wire.

Rajon Rondo scored eight of his team-high 20 points in the quarter, while Dwyane Wade matched Rondo with eight of his own.

The action came midway through the quarter after Wade got knocked the floor on a long rebound. The Heat players felt that Kendrick Perkins had fouled Wade and Jermaine O’Neal and Rafer Alston got called for technicals.

Turnovers have once again been a problem for the Celtics. They have 14 after three quarters.

Read More: Celtics, Heat,
Pierce out against Miami 02.03.10 at 7:32 pm ET
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Paul Pierce will not play against Miami and will be replaced in the starting lineup by Tony Allen. Doc Rivers also said that he didn’t think Pierce would be able to play Friday against the Nets. The Celtics are considering the foot injury to Pierce to be a day-to-day situation.

Rivers said there is a chance that Marquis Daniels could be ready to return Sunday against the Magic, but he stressed that the team wouldn’t make a decision on Daniels based on Pierce’s availability.

Read More: Marquis Daniels, Paul Pierce,
Preview: Celtics-Heat 02.03.10 at 10:37 am ET
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The great Paul Pierce foot watch of 2010 began not with a Tweet from Shelden Williams, but with a report from respected NBA writer David Aldridge.

Taken on its own a Twitter update that reads: Man when it rains it pours!!! Yall find out what I mean soon!!!! could mean just about anything, besides a comical over-use of exclamation points. Taken with Aldridge’s nebulous report that Pierce “may have a broken foot,” suddenly one little Tweet takes on a whole new signifigance. Attempts to blame Williams in particular, and Twitter in general, for causing a firestorm are off the mark.

No doubt someone told Aldridge something at 4:51 p.m., but the fact that the doctor attending to Pierce had not yet examined the medical records, and the fact that the tests were not even completed, should have given him pause and allowed the process to play out as it should have in the first place. There are still many questions regarding Pierce’s health, but until he speaks on the matter, everything should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

CELTICS (30-16, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.1

Points Allowed: 93.7

Differential: +5.6 (3rd)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.5 (13th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (1st)

Pace: 91.6 (22nd)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (Foot, questionable) Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: Marquis Daniels (Thumb)

HEAT (24-24, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 96.8

Points Allowed: 96.4

Differential: +.4 (15th)

Offensive Efficiency: 106.6 (16th)

Defensive Efficiency: 106.1 (12th)

Pace: 90.7 (28th)

Likely Starters: Rafer Alston, Dwyane Wade, Quentin Richardson, Michael Beasley, Joel Anthony

Injuries: Jermaine O’Neal (Back spasms; questionable), Mario Chalmers (Thumb) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Heat, Preview,
Pierce day-to-day 02.02.10 at 9:41 pm ET
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After a day of wild speculation, the Celtics released a statement late Tuesday evening which said:

“Paul Pierce suffered a strained left mid-foot during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards on February 1. He is currently listed as day-to-day.”

Earlier in the day, TNT’s David Aldridge put out a report that had an unidentified source telling him that Pierce may have broken his foot. The Celtics countered that by saying the report was premature. The team was expected to make an announcement Wednesday.

The full extent of Pierce’s injury is still unclear, as is a possible timeline for his return. If he is out for a significant amount of time it will test the Celtics depth. Marquis Daniels is not expected to rejoin the team until the All-Star break. That leaves Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine as the likely replacements for Pierce, with Bill Walker waiting in the wings.

The injury could also affect Pierce’s participation in the All-Star game, although that is the least of the Celtics concerns right now. They play four games before the break with the last one coming next Wednesday in New Orleans. They then have six days before they head out West to play the Kings. That long stretch of time could prove beneficial not only to Pierce, but also to their other injured star, Kevin Garnett.

Read More: Paul Pierce,
Preview: Celtics-Wizards 02.01.10 at 10:49 am ET
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Brendan Haywood is a force on the boards for the Wizards. (AP)

Brendan Haywood is a force on the boards for the Wizards. (AP)

There once was a time when the Washington Wizards represented a direct challenge for the Celtics so great that some around the team were relieved when the C’s matched up with the Cavaliers in the second round of the 2008 playoffs rather than the Wiz. Things have changed a little bit since then, and whatever hold the Wizards used to have on the Celtics is long gone.

Of course there was also a time when it was a given that the Celtics would walk into a bad team’s arena and come away with a win whenever it was deemed necessary. This is one of those times. It’s one thing to lose against elite teams on the road. It’s another to lose a one-point heartbreaker against what is probably the best team in the league. But if the Celtics are going to pull themselves out of their funk, it has to start tonight.

CELTICS (29-16, 3-7 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.1

Points Allowed: 93.8

Differential: +5.4 (3rd)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.5 (13th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.7 (1st)

Pace: 91.6 (22nd)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: Marquis Daniels (thumb)

WIZARDS (16-30, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 98.2

Points Allowed: 102.0

Differential: -3.8 (23rd)

Offensive Efficiency: 105.3 (22nd)

Defensive Efficiency: 109.3 (23rd)

Pace: 92.4 (16th)

Likely Starters: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Injuries: None. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Preview, Wizards,
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