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Preview: Celtics-Blazers 01.22.10 at 10:21 am ET
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Kevin Garnett’s return, if it happens tonight, couldn’t come at a better time for the Celtics. But for Garnett personally, the timing couldn’t be worse. The Celtics have problems right now ranging from the physical to the mental. Garnett can help fix some of those things but he can’t do it all in one night, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask him to try.

Garnett hasn’t played since the end of 2009, or just over three weeks ago, and during that time he apparently did no conditioning before this week, according to the team. It will take him a week’s worth of action, at least, to get back in rhythm and game-condition. The end game isn’t for the Celtics to get out of their swoon, it’s to be functioning on all cylinders in April, May and June.

All that said, if he does play tonight, his mere presence can have a galvanizing effect on a team that has grown stale. Just don’t expect him to solve all the Celtics problems yet.

TRAIL BLAZERS (26-17, 6-4 last 10)

Points Per Game: 97.7

Points Allowed: 94.2

Differential: +3.5 (Eighth)

Offensive Efficiency: 111.0 (Fifth)

Defensive Efficiency: 107.1 (17th)

Pace: 87.4 (30th)

Likely Starters: Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge, Juwan Howard

Injuries: Brandon Roy (hamstring), Nicolas Batum (shoulder), Greg Oden (knee), Joel Przybilla (knee), Travis Outlaw (foot)

CELTICS (27-13, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.9

Points Allowed: 93.8

Differential: +6.1 (Third)

Offensive Efficiency: 108.2 (11th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (Third)

Pace: 91.8 (21st)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: Kevin Garnett (hyper-extended knee), Marquis Daniels (thumb) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Blazers, Celtics, Preview,
KG named All-Star Starter 01.21.10 at 8:13 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett was voted in by the fans as a starter to the 2010 Eastern Conference All-Star Team, the NBA announced on Thursday night. Garnett received 1,978,116 votes for his 13th All-Star selections. LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Allen Iverson, and Dwyane Wade were also named to the East team. Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash were named starters for the West. The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 14 in Dallas.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett,
Davis Fined $25,000 by NBA 01.21.10 at 5:08 pm ET
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The NBA fined Glen Davis $25,000 for “directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, announced on Thursday.

Davis was heckled by a fan and responded with obscenities during the Celtics 92-86 loss to the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, Doc Rivers commented on the incident on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show, saying: “Yeah, it is a big deal. … That stuff can’t happen. I always say, ‘To the victors go the spoils,’ if you know what I’m saying. If the other team is winning and the fans are on you, that’s part of it. We’ve been taught you have to take it and you have to keep playing. I don’t think it’s a huge step backwards, but it is a step backwards, and Glen Davis has to grow up.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis,
Ray Allen on his future and Big Baby on D&H 01.21.10 at 3:03 pm ET
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Celtics guard Ray Allen check in with the Dale & Holley Show on Thursday afternoon. The Celtics star analyzed his team’s struggles in the third quarter during its recent slump, his thoughts on the exchange between Glen Davis and a fan in Detroit on Thursday, and how Allen is viewing his future given that he is currently in the fifth and final year of his current deal.

A complete transcript is below. To listen to the interview, click here.

What happened in the second half against the Pistons?

We’€™ve been having problems in the third quarter. As a team we talked about it last night, we talked about it previous games ‘€“ third quarter, our energy has to be better than it is. It’€™s something that’€™s been plaguing us as a team, again, we’€™ve talked about it, and everybody’€™s ready to do better. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: all star, Big Baby, Glen Davis, Jim Calhoun
KG on his Celtics: ‘It’s accountability, man’ 01.21.10 at 1:33 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  If Kevin Garnett is indeed cleared to play Friday against Portland by the Celtics‘ medical staff and head coach Doc Rivers, the team might be getting the kick in the pants a lot of observers – including their head coach feel they need.

There’s no reading between the lines necessary when interpreting Garnett’s comments about what’s been missing, especially in a team that has blown double-digit first-half leads on their way to losses to Dallas and Detroit this week.

‘€œSlippage man, some of the hardest games are between 30 and 55 of the season and those are the grind games and at this stage, we have to grind all these out,” Garnett said. “It’€™s a good time for everybody to be coming back and coming back strong.

‘€œIt’€™s accountability, man. I’€™m telling you, our defense is built off grit and effort. You either you can do it or you don’€™t want to do it. The man behind you having your back, that’€™s what it is, nothing more, nothing less than that.’€

[Listen to the Celtics’ world according to KG by clicking here]

While not playing, Garnett sees the second-half defensive breakdowns everyone else watching the Celtics has witnessed during their 4-5 month of January so far.

‘€œOur defense is built off of trust,” he said. “It isn’€™t necessarily an assignment but it is a type of defense in which we hold each other accountable. Whatever the defense the calls for, for one person to do his job, the natural reaction is for his teammate to be there to help him and then so on and so on.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA,
Doc Rivers on Dennis & Callahan 01.21.10 at 10:49 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the guys on Dennis & Callahan to talk about Wednesday night’s loss to the Pistons, chemistry issues and Glen Davisverbal altercation with a fan last night.

Earlier in the year, it might have been tough to find things to work on in practice. It’s probably not so tough now, right?

No, it never really is, even when you’re playing well. It’s not a big difference. When you’re playing well there’s things that you see as a coach and when you’re playing poorly there’s obvious things that everyone sees.

Let’s deal with the obvious ones. What bothers you the most?

The turnovers worry me the most because a lot of them were forced. A lot of them were because of bad execution. Those are things we can fix. The switching and the zones, things you don’t see a lot, we should be able to handle it. We’ve dealt with that all year but we haven’t seen it lately so that’s something we’ll go over as well. That’s something Portland does as well, with their size.

Who’s in charge of getting your guys set when a team switches from man to zone? Is it the point guard?

It’s the point guard but even when he does it if guys don’t go the right spots… I thought [Rajon] Rondo handled it very well. I just thought guys as a group we did. There was a lot of standing around. [Wednesday] was a case a lot like the game before [against Dallas], where we came out in the second half, you could see it, we built a big lead and got comfortable again. Then you turn on a team and it’s tough to turn them off.

What’s the biggest thing for a coach? Is it X’s and O’s or is it chemistry and motivation?

Motivation is always harder. The average person might think you should never have to motivate a person, but it’s not that simple. It’s getting them going that day. The chemistry thing is always a challenge. Every game. Every moment. People forget their roles. People doing different things, trying to do too much at times instead of doing their jobs. X’s and O’s are easy. They’re pretty much black and white. You see what you need to fix and you fix that. It’s all the other things. If you don’t fix the other things the X’s and O’s don’t work because you don’t get guys to function in the right way. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: D+C, Doc Rivers,
Doc: ‘Glen Davis has to grow up’ 01.21.10 at 10:06 am ET
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NOTE: Updated with a Twitter apology apparently from Davis and comments from Ray Allen.

Doc Rivers was a guest on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning and he spoke about a verbal altercation between Glen Davis and a fan in Detroit Wednesday night.

According to published reports, the fan, Scott Zack, heckled Davis about his weight, calling him “fat boy” and “chubs.” Davis responded with profanity that was picked up by microphones and were heard during the broadcast of the game. According to the Boston Herald, the fan placed a complaint with NBA security.

“We’ve been taught you have to take it and you have to keep playing,” Rivers told Dennis & Callahan. “I don’t think it’s a huge step backwards, but it is a step backwards, and Glen Davis has to grow up.”

“I’ve heard some vile things said to me, said to our players, it’s amazing what you hear,” Rivers said. “You should turn around, point to security, and have them deal with it. When you think about it ‘€” and I’m bringing it up because it was two days ago, Martin Luther King’s birthday ‘€” just think what he heard, and how many times he turned his cheek. If he can do that, why can’t we do that, on a basketball court. You’re not going to win that battle. Let somebody else fight it for you.”

Celtics guard Ray Allen, speaking on the Dale & Holley show, said he was not aware of Wednesday night’s incident but echoed his coach’s sentiments about turning a deaf ear.

“Any guy, I think, that yells back at fans during the game, I think, is uncalled for,” Allen said. “When we as players yell back into the crowd I think it makes us look bad and it makes us look unfocused.”

Added Allen: “It’s just one of those things I think for young players in the league, as you get older you just learn certain things. You stay away from certain people in the crowd. You stay away from certain pitfalls during the game. At the end of the day, it makes us as players look bad if you’re not paying attention to the game, worrying about what somebody in the crowd is saying.”

Davis apparently apologized on a Twitter account labeled GlenDavisNBA.

Via the Twitter feed:

“I’€™m a tough competitor and I’€™m proud of the work I’€™ve done to get in shape and be at the top of my game.”

“That said, I shouldn’€™t have said what I did. My apologies to the fans and my teammates.”

It’s worth pointing out that the time stamp has both tweets coming in the hour or so after the game. In other words, Davis expressed his regret long before the incident became front-page news. It’s also worth pointing out that this is a different account then bigbabybball, which media outlets cited when the author voiced frustrations over Davis’ unsettled contract situation last summer. Later updates indicate the account might have been a fake.

Read More: Celtics, detroit, Doc Rivers, Glen Davis
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