|Eastern Conference Preparing for Competition||08.18.09 at 10:20 pm ET|
Two years ago the Boston Celtics traveled to Europe for training camp. That season they won the championship. The close-knit squad credited the trip overseas for their unwavering chemistry on the court.
“The second we got to training camp in September, we all said, hey, let’s meet in September without the coaches and come together and just start playing with each other, starting to get to know one another, and I think all that stuff really helped us,” Paul Pierce said during the 2008 playoffs.
This summer Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson hopes he can have the same effect on his teammates. Nelson is hosting the Magic at his Philadelphia-area home for ‘Building Magic,’ a week-long getaway that combines strength and conditioning drills with team-building activities.
Like the Celtics did in 2007, the Magic traded a handful of core players in exchange for an All-Star (Vince Carter) and added to their bench along the way. After losing Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee, key pieces in their postseason run, and veteran mentor Tony Battie, Nelson understands the importance of this offseason.
He explained to Sports Illustrated in July:
‘We’re trying to piece it together because our team was in transition. For the most part, the big guns have committed — Vince [Carter], Dwight [Howard] and Rashard [Lewis]. After those guys have committed, no one can really back out unless they have some type of serious issue.
This year we’re doing it from the 16th through the 22nd of August. We do it at the same facility every year, same gym at Haverford College. We’ll work out with my trainers — conditioning drills, weightlifting, stuff to get your body right. The basketball stuff we do is later in the afternoon. We do that for about 2-3 hours.
Afterward, we’ll mix up the nightlife. We always do a dinner. Other days we’ll do paintball or bowling, maybe go to the movies.’
|NBDL Tryouts to be Held in Boston||08.14.09 at 5:08 pm ET|
The Maine Red Claws, the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats NBA Development League affiliate, will be holding open tryouts on October 3 at UMass-Boston. As many as three players will be selected to receive an invitation to participate in the Red Claws training camp this November.
Red Claws head coach Austin Ainge and the Red Claws basketball operations and support staff will evaluate the tryouts, where athletes will participate in team drills, individual skills work, and scrimmages.
‘This will be a tremendous opportunity for players to showcase their talent to the Red Claws’ coaching staff and possibly earn a spot at the Red Claws’ training camp in November,’ Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings said in a team-issued statement. ‘By basing the camp in Boston, players from throughout the region will have an opportunity to come to the tryout. New England has an exceptional basketball tradition ‘ our hope is that among those who attend the tryout, we will find a future Maine Red Claws’ player or two.’
Tryouts are limited to the first 125 applicants to complete their registration form and submit their registration fee ($150 in advance or $200 at the door) . Registration forms can be downloaded at www.nba.com/dleague/maine/tryoutsnortheast.html.
The Red Claws will also hold open tryouts on September 12-13 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. Information is available at www.nba.com/dleague/maine/Tryout_Charlotte.html.
All participants must meet the D-League player eligibility requirements stated on the registration form.
|Source: Powe to sign two year deal with Cavs||08.11.09 at 9:43 pm ET|
A source familiar with the negotiations has confirmed to WEEI.com that former Celtics forward Leon Powe is in Cleveland and will sign a two-year deal with the Cavaliers upon the completion of the second part of his physical on Wednesday.
After establishing himself as a reliable contributor on the Celtics bench, Powe’s future was in question following a string of knee injuries last season. After missing 13 games with a right knee injury, Powe tore the ACL in his left knee during Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. He missed the remainder of the postseason.
This summer the Celtics chose not to exercise their option on Powe’s contract, making the injured 25-year-old an unrestricted free agent in a tumultuous economy. According to the source, Powe is expected to return in February. (The Cavaliers will make their first trip to Boston on February 25 for a nationally televised game on TNT.) While he may not have an impact for the first half of the season, a championship contending team like the Cavaliers could benefit from his playoff experience down the stretch.
Powe was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 49th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. The Celtics acquired his draft rights in exchange for a future second round pick. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds during his three-year career in Boston, while posting 5.0 points and 2.8 boards in 25 playoff games.
Powe is the founder of Fresh Start Family Services, a non-profit organization in the Bay Area which provides support and education for children who, like himself, are growing up in the foster care system. He will participate in a series of basketball camps and community events this weekend in California.
|Celtics lock up Davis, Williams||08.10.09 at 9:35 pm ET|
By GREG CAMERON
To paraphrase from a certain restaurant chain’s commercial campaign, the Boston Celtics got their baby back.
The Celtics announced that the club has re-signed forward Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis. Terms of the deal were not announced by the club, but WEEI.com and FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman reports that the two-year deal is worth approximately $6.3 million.
Davis provided the Celtics with much-needed front-court help in the wake of Kevin Garnett‘s season-ending knee injury last year. As a starter for all of the 2009 postseason the Louisiana native averaged 15.8 points per game and 5.6 rebounds.
Davis told reporters that he was frustrated a few times this summer with how free agency had been going for him, despite interest from a handful of teams. However as evidenced by yesterday’s press conference, both Ainge and Davis are elated to have the 6′9′ forward back in the fold with the Celtics.
‘Glen has been a big part of our team’s success over the last two years, and we are very excited to have him back,’ Ainge told reporters. ‘He’s young and energetic and we want him to be a part of our team for years to come.’
‘I’ll be ready to go out and play, do whatever it takes,’ Davis said to reporters.
From looking at Celtics GM Danny Ainge’s other moves this offseason, the lack of bench depth behind Garnett and center Kendrick Perkins was clearly the top priority of the club. To start the team’s search for quality front-court depth, the Celtics signed All-Star forward Rasheed Wallace last month a two-year deal using the team’s mid-level exception.
In addition to announcing that Davis will be back with the Celtics for the 2009-10 season, the Celtics officially announced the signing of forward Shelden Williams to a veteran minimum one-year deal worth close to $1.3 million. Williams was a star collegiate player during a sucessful four-year career at storied Duke University.
After graduating in 2006, Williams made his mark on the illustrious program’s record books as Duke’s leading rebounder and shot-blocker. That collegiate success led Williams to be drafted fifth overall in that June’s draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
Since draft night, Williams has bounced around the league considerably playing for Atlanta, Sacramento, and Minnesota before signing with the Celtics this summer. However, the former collegiate phenom has not seen the same success in the professional ranks that he did playing for Hall-Of-Fame coach Mike Kryzyzewski.
‘Shelden has proven he can defend and rebound,’ Ainge said to reporters. ‘Offensively he hasn’t come around as well, but it’s about getting an opportunity in this league.’
Williams has averaged 4.7 points per game for his career thus far in addition to 4.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers pale in comparison from the 18.8 points and 10.7 rebounds a night he averaged as a Duke senior during the 2005-2006 campaign.
With this summer’s signings, Danny Ainge is very excited about how the shape his team is taking. The Celtic GM even recalled a very formidable front-court lineup from the Celtics’ rich and illustrious history
‘We feel we have a really good front court, maybe the best we’ve had since Bird, Parish, McHale, Wegman and Walton,’ Ainge said to reporters. ‘Probably since that era, it’s the best front line we’ve had.’
It was sort of fitting that both Davis and Williams shared the stage at today’s press conference, after just over three years since both players squared off at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. Williams was a powerhouse for the Blue Devils that night as he put up 23 points and 13 rebounds.
However, Davis’s LSU Tigers got the best of their top-seeded opponents in a low scoring affair on March 23, 2006. LSU defeated Duke that night 62-64, earning them a berth to the tournament’s Elite Eight. Davis and his LSU cohorts also reached the Final Four that March.
|Official Press Release: Celtics Re-Sign Glen Davis||08.10.09 at 1:55 pm ET|
‘Glen has been a big part of our success for the past two years and we are very excited to have him back,’ said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.
Davis, a 6′9′, 289 lbs, forward has spent two seasons with the Celtics and had a breakout 2008-09 season in which he averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. The former LSU Tiger continued his breakout campaign in the 2009 playoffs during which he averaged 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Davis made 16 starts during the 2008-09 regular season and averaged 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 33.0 minutes per game. ‘Big Baby’ scored a career-high 24 points against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 21, 2009. Davis also hit the biggest shot of his career to date when he nailed a game-winning jumper against the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to send the series back to Boston tied 2-2. During the First Round of the 2009 playoffs against the Chicago Bulls, Davis averaged 18.1 points and 6.7 rebounds.
|Sources: Davis deal worth two years, approximately $6 million||08.10.09 at 11:32 am ET|
According to Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com and FoxSports.com, Glen Davis has agreed to a two-year deal that will pay him approximately $6 million. Goodman reports that Davis had fielded some interest from teams in the offseason, but no one put forth an offer to the restricted free agent. Davis, 23, averaged 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in the postseason while playing more than 36 minutes per contest. During the regular season he put up seven points and four boards per game. The Celtics will announce the Davis deal and an agreement with forward Shelden Williams Monday.
|Celtics sign Shelden Williams||08.07.09 at 7:54 pm ET|
On Friday the Boston Celtics announced the signing of forward Shelden Williams. Terms were not disclosed per team policy but had previously been reported to be a guaranteed one-year deal with $1.3 million. Williams was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the fifth pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. He has averaged 4.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game during his career.
The Celtics have yet to reach an agreement with restricted free agent forward Glen Davis. Earlier this week Davis told WEEI.com’s Jeff Goodman, “I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s still too early to tell. We’ve still got a long ways to go as far as negotiating with the Celtics.”