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First Quarter Notes 10.19.08 at 1:09 pm ET
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Paul Pierce and Gabe Pruitt played all 12 minutes and the C’s built a 30-18 lead. The subs were: Leon Powe (for Kendrick Perkins), Tony Allen (for Ray Allen) and Baby Davis for Kevin Garnett.

Garnett had the best run getting eight points and five rebounds. He worked over Yi Jianlin on defense and dealt with massive rookie Brook Lopez on defense. Pierce also played quality minutes, going for five points, three boards and three assists.
Jessica’s going to take you through the second quarter, so check out her stuff right here.

Pruitt Watch 10.19.08 at 12:58 pm ET
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So far young Gabe Pruitt has been doing exactly what Doc Rivers wanted him to do. He knocked down two 3-pointers and left a nice dish for a KG slam.

Of all the intriguing guys the Celtics have down their bench Pruitt might be the most worth watching. It’s no secret that Eddie House is a not a pure backup point guard. Eddie’s better at it than people give him credit for, and his unique ability to knock down perimeter jump shots is perfect for the Celtics second unit. But if Pruitt can develop into a legit backup point that would allow Doc to play the two of them together in spots, and that would obviously allow House to do what he does best.

There’s no question that Pruitt can play in this league. The question is whether he can play for a team with championship aspirations.

In an unrelated note: Perk is a beast.

Perkins in Foul Trouble 10.19.08 at 12:51 pm ET
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It took a little more than four minutes for Kendrick Perkins to get two fouls. The other night, Mike and Donny were talking about how winning a championship might help guys like Perk avoid ticky-tack fouls. So far in preseason that has not been the case. He got his second the way he usually gets his second: by stepping out to set a screen.

Somewhat interestingly, Kevin Garnett stepped out a bit on the previous possession, and… no call.

Rondo Knows How to Work a Crowd 10.19.08 at 12:42 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo got to do the honors of thanking the crowd for showing up and he offered a “Let’s go Red Sox” much to the crowd’s delight. It was noted in the locker room before the game that Rondo has added a little playfully sarcastic edge when he talks to reporters.

There is nothing the press likes better than sarcasm, since we’re such bitter humans. What I’m trying to say is, the kid is really finding his comfort zone.

Live From the Garden 10.19.08 at 12:30 pm ET
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Because that’s just the kind of aggressive media start-up that we are, we’re tag teaming this afternoon’s huge preseason game. Be sure to check out my colleague Jessica Camerato’s blog.

After today there is only one more exhibition game left before the season starts next Tuesday. That means time is running out for some of the youngsters to make an impression on Doc Rivers and the staff. We’ll be keeping an eye on Gabe Pruitt, specifically, who is starting for Rajon Rondo.

We’ll also be watching the Nets with a bit of interest today. They’ve assembled a bit of a quirky roster with some youth but also some solid veteran role-players like Eduardo Najera and Bobby Simmons. Those are the kind of players rebuilding teams forget to include sometimes. They are the kind of players who can dole out life lessons, and more importantly, show the proper way to make a defensive rotation.

Doc expects the Nets to be a pain in the ass kind of team this year, and while he didn’t say it, the parallels to his old Orlando team seem pretty strong: A star scorer, plus promising youth, plus veterans who don’t put up with any crap and you might have a team that sneaks into the playoffs.

Tip-off is coming soon. Thanks for spending part of your Sunday with us.

The 15th Man: The Case for Darius Miles 10.16.08 at 1:05 pm ET
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The Celtics are having a fairly boring training camp, which is good when you’re the defending champs. There are no contract squabbles, no petty animosities and no feuding.

The only actual decision still to be made is who will be the odd man out. With 16 players in camp, and 15 roster spots available, someone has to go. Some were calling for Brian Scalabrine’s head, but Danny Ainge squashed that notion, which was never a realistic possibility anyway considering that Scal has two years and more than $6 million coming to him.

Assuming the rookies are safe, that leaves Darius Miles, Sam Cassell, and Gabe Pruitt fighting for one spot, and Miles is the only one without a guaranteed contract. After the jump, the case for, and against, D-Miles. Read the rest of this entry »

The NBA and the Financial Crisis 10.15.08 at 12:08 pm ET
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Later today, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is going to unveil a plan that will cut 1,000 state jobs and $700 million from the budget. Earlier this week, the NBA announced that they are laying off 80 people in anticipation of the fiscal crisis.

These are tough times, obviously, but the real story to keep an eye on is the groundbreaking on the New Jersey Nets new building in Brooklyn, which could be set back at least six months, “after an appellate court declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by foes of the plan.”

The Nets move was planned to coincide with the 2010 season, which is ground zero for the biggest NBA free agency shopping period ever. The big prize, of course, is LeBron James, and the mere thought of Bron-Bron in New York has pushed the Knicks and Nets into one cost-cutting move after another in an attempt to clear cap space. Both teams have essentially abdicated the next two seasons.

How does the looming financial mess affect the Celtics beyond having 40 percent of their division sell off its assets? It doesn’t. Yet. Read the rest of this entry »

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