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Celtics vs. Hornets: Third quarter wrap 02.10.10 at 9:57 pm ET
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The Celtics starters came out with better energy to start the second half, but worse execution. The Hornets began to chip away at the lead as Morris Peterson and Peja Stojakovic heated up from 3-point range, giving this game the familiar feel of the Orlando nightmare from over the weekend.

Doc Rivers went to his bench earlier than usual in an attempt to change the flow of the game, but the Hornets kept making shots. The Celtics also missed six straight free throws, which didn’t help the cause. When it was over, New Orleans had outscored the Celtics, 29-12 and taken a 72-67 lead.

They have 12 minutes to turn this thing around, or face a host of uncomfortable questions over the next week.

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Celtics vs. Hornets: Halftime wrap 02.10.10 at 9:12 pm ET
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After an opening quarter in which the Celtics turned the ball over nine times, the second unit rode to the rescue with an inspired effort. With all five starters on the bench, the reserves opened up a nine-point lead, which became a 55-43 edge at the break.

The Celtics did much of their damage down low as Glen Davis (nine points) and Rasheed Wallace (eight points) took advantage of mismatches against the Hornets reserve big men. Eddie House and Marquis Daniels also played the entire quarter ahead of Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen. Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 13 points.

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Celtics vs. Hornets: First quarter wrap 02.10.10 at 8:41 pm ET
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The Celtics started off hot, but the Hornets got hotter making eight of their first 10 shots in a back-and-forth first quarter that ended with New Orleans holding a 29-27 lead. Playing without Ray Allen, who was sent back to the team hotel with bask spasms, the Celtics turned the ball over nine times.

Paul Pierce did play, however, and he led the Celtics with nine points. Rookie Darren Collison and big man David West each scored eight points for the Hornets. New Orleans coach Jeff Bower picked up a technical foul in the opening minutes.

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Danny Ainge on The Big Show: We’re going to try to do something 02.10.10 at 5:24 pm ET
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Danny Ainge joined Glenn Ordway and The Big Show to talk about trade rumors, Kevin Garnett’s health, what he thought about while watching the Magic go on a 19-0 run and more trade rumors.

There have been new trade rumors since the last time we talked. What about this Glen Davis to Charlotte rumor? Any truth?

Any truth to what? That he’s going to Charlotte? No.

Any truth to it?

None. I haven’t had any discussions with Charlotte.

You have had zero conversations with Charlotte?

Right, I haven’t had any conversation with Charlotte. There was speculation that they were looking for 4 and we were looking for a backup [point guard]. People try to put things together, but I have not had conversations. I like the player mentioned in the trade rumor [D.J. Augustin] but we like Glen Davis a lot, too.

The fact that rumors get out there, do you get more calls from other teams when rumors get out there?

Well, there’s so much media people so there’s so many distractions. People from the media try to verify every rumor.

No, that’s not what I meant. Other teams?

No, it does not instigate more calls. Maybe something bigger might, but no. It has not.

What was your feeling watching the Magic go on a 19-0 run? Did it disturb you?

Yeah, it’s frustrating to watch because it didn’t feel like we wanted to fight through it. The NBA is a game of runs. When a team is hot that’s one thing. But when you’re giving up easy baskets and then not doing what it takes to execute. You’re not paying the price. We all go through offensive droughts during the course of game but I just didn’t feel like there was any fight in getting back in the game. I think our guys are resting on their past experiences and think they can turn it on and win games. I’m not saying they’re making conscious decisions to do that, but that’s just the way it appears. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Big Show, Danny Ainge, Rumors,
Perkins could provide all-world defense for Team USA 02.10.10 at 2:39 pm ET
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When Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski were forming the potential pool of players for Team USA, they were looking for a ‘€œtrue center’€ who could guard potential big men all around the world.

They may have found that man in Kendrick Perkins.

On Wednesday, Perkins was named to the 27-man roster that is eligible to compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey and, if the team qualifies, in the 2012 London Olympics. The 27 players will be invited to a July mini-camp in Las Vegas, where the roster will be trimmed down going forward.

Perkins’ selection was one which which Krzyzewski – who led the 2008 team to a gold medal – was comfortable because of the center’s ability to play with Hall of Fame talent and his most glaring strength’€¦defense.

‘€œHe plays on a team that’€™s a championship level team and he knows how to play with great players,’€ Krzyzewski said during a teleconference on Wednesday. ‘€œI think he is one of the better defensive players in the league and that really appealed to us about Kendrick.’€

Perkins will be competing with Dwight Howard, Brooke Lopez, Ama’€™re Stoudemire and former Celtic Al Jefferson for one of the center spots on the 2012 Olympic team. Colangelo said Perkins could fit in and be the perfect role player on a team that will highlight some of the best talent in the NBA.

‘€œWe are not talking about the top 27 or 28 best all-around basketball players necessarily. Perkins can guard the bigs,’€ said Colangelo. ‘€œHe should be able to perform very well competitively very well in the international game.

‘€œAs we look at our roster there is also a need for how are you going to defend against the bigs that we see on a number of European teams, South American teams and he has the ability to do that. He has a significant opportunity.’€

Perkins is averaging a career-high 11.4 points per game this season, while grabbing 8.1 rebounds a night. He is also averaging just under two blocks a game, and has been one of the most consistent and healthy players for a banged-up Celtics squad this season.

Perkins was the only Celtics player selected to the pool of 27, a list that didn’€™t include first year All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.

‘€œRondo was not responsive to the inquiries regarding his interest,’€ said Colangelo, who said along with Andrew Bynum, three or four unnamed players declined the invite. ‘€œSo we just assumed that was the case.’€

The US team is loaded at the point guard position, with Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups all being selected to the pool. Jason Kidd declined the invite, as he retired from international competition after the 2008 Beijing Games with a gold medal.

Nine players and the entire coaching staff return from the 2008 gold medal team, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. To see the entire list click here.

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Perkins on Team USA 02.10.10 at 11:19 am ET
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Kendrick Perkins is one of 27 players named to USA Basketball’s national roster who will compete in the FIBA World Championships in Turkey this summer and the 2012 London Olympics. Perkins joins eight holdovers from the 2008 gold-medal winning team. Conspicuously absent from the list, which is not yet final: Rajon Rondo.

Click here for the full roster.

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New rumors: Glen Davis and DJ Augustin 02.10.10 at 10:52 am ET
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The latest Celtics trade rumor involves the Charlotte Bobcats and point guard D.J. Augustin. You may remember Augustin as the rookie point guard who suggested last season that the C’s try to intimidate people and if that doesn’t work, they fold. The kid gives good quote if nothing else.

The initial rumor from Chris Broussard on ESPN involved Augustin and Glen Davis, but as others have already noted, that wouldn’t work straight up because Davis is what is known as a base-year compensation player. The short version is that Davis’ $3 million contracts counts half in trade scenarios, but counts for real against another team’s cap.

Charlotte Observer beat man Rick Bonnell checks in to suggest that Davis may not be the object of the Bobcats interest and that maybe, Larry Brown would like to be reunited with Rasheed Wallace. There has been nothing to suggest that the Celtics are interested in moving Sheed, despite his less-than-stellar play this season.

That’s a lot of smoke, but not exactly a fire, and as Zach Lowe from Celtics Hub suggests perhaps all of this is a small part of a much larger move. It certainly has that feel.

So, who is D.J. Augustin? He’s a shortish point guard with a scorer’s mentality who has fallen out of favor after a strong rookie season. This is a pattern for Brown who falls in and out of love with young players, particularly point guards, all the time. From the Celtics perspective, Augustin could be a younger version of Eddie House with better ball-handling skills, so he is an intriguing player.

Read More: DJ Augustin, Glen Davis, Rumors,
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