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Celtics on message 05.20.10 at 1:58 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Say this for the Celtics, they are on point with their message.

This was Doc Rivers speaking to reporters before the team conducted practice Thursday:

“Each game is a single game. That’€™s what we talk about. That’€™s been our speech through the playoffs. We’€™ve yet to beat Orlando on our home floor this year and that’€™s something we have to focus on.”

This was Kendrick Perkins about two minutes later:

“We’€™ve got to come home and take care of home They’re undefeated when they play us at home. They beat us both times in the regular season. This first game is going to be the most important game.”

Rivers has been pushing all the right buttons with his team during the playoffs, both in terms of on-court maneuvering and off-court messaging and in this case the message is crystal clear: Orlando beat us two times at home during the regular season and we haven’t done anything yet.

Read More: Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins,
Pierce’s daughter has his back 05.20.10 at 1:29 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Whenever the stuff hits the fan for an athlete, he can always turn to family for support.

And it’s no different if you’re a superstar captain of the 17-time world champion Boston Celtics. Paul Pierce was asked before practice on Thursday if he had heard any grief from teammates, coaches or anyone else for that matter, for telling ESPN after Boston’s Game 2 victory that the Celtics were coming home to ‘close it out’ against the Magic and Celtics fans wouldn’t let the home team not get the job done on their home court.

“Did I get any feedback? Haven’t gotten any feedback,” Pierce said. “Yesterday I was pretty much home with my daughter all day and she didn’t say anything.”

Two-year-old Prianna Lee Pierce and the Celtics are just hoping the Magic stay just as quiet as Game 3 is set for Saturday night at TD Garden, with C’s just two wins from their second trip to the NBA Finals in three seasons.

Before heading out to practice on Thursday for Game 3 of their series against the Magic, Paul Pierce denied disrespecting the Orlando Magic with a tweet following Boston’s Game 2 win on Tuesday.

“I think you guys [media] know more than me on that. I guess somebody said I said, ‘Break out the brooms.’ I’m not going to say that on the tweet,” Pierce said. “I think that’s pretty unprofessional. That’s not something I would say like that. I’ll probably talk some trash and say some things on the court I wouldn’t say here [to media] but I definitely didn’t say that.”

After a twitter post of ‘Anyone got a BROOM?’ from Pierce’s account, the Celtics captain denied it and said his account was hacked. Game 3 is set for Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston, with the Celtics leading the Eastern Conference finals, 2-0.

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Paul Pierce,
Rivers on D&C: ‘We have done nothing’ 05.20.10 at 12:47 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about closing out the series against Orlando and raising the intensity level on defense.

‘€œThere’€™s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, but having said that, we still have a lot of work to do, guys,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œOur goal was not to win two games in the series, our goal was to try to win the series.’€

Rivers also touched on LeBron James‘€™ pending decision on where to play in the offseason.

‘€œI just think if you’€™re going to go somewhere, go where it’€™s the best fit for you to win as quickly as possible, and there are some interesting situations,’€ Rivers said.

Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

You gave your guys the day off yesterday and I’€™m sure before you parted company you had some words of advice for them. What was the advice you gave them?

Well, not yesterday, but the day before was humility. And we have done nothing, we’€™ve won two games. We just have to keep working and keep playing.

But you know what human nature is right and you know what they’€™re hearing from all their friends and family?

Yea, that’€™s why when you go home and hear how great you are. There’€™s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, but having said that, we still have a lot of work to do, guys. Our goal was not to win two games in the series, our goal was to try to win the series. We just have a lot of work to do, Orlando won both games at our place this year.

Do you think it will be Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen], or Tony [Allen] covering Kobe [Bryant]?

I’€™m so far off of [the Lakers] because again, I know how good Orlando is and how good they were going into this series. We played two exceptional games. I was happier with Game 2 than Game 1 because I felt we took one of their better shots. We’€™re going to take a big one in Game 3 as well. They’€™re thinking that they’€™ve been up here twice and won, you can say they’€™ve won the last three times they’€™ve been in our building, so they’€™re probably feeling pretty comfortable. Read the rest of this entry »

NBA draft: What they’re saying about the C’s pick 05.20.10 at 12:20 pm ET
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The playoffs are in full swing, but after the ping pong balls were dropped Tuesday night in the NBA draft lottery, many teams now turn their focus to prospective players who can help them get to the next level. This year’s draft does not have a prototypical superstar, but there are more than a few potential stars to pick from.

The Celtics, although battling with Orlando right now for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals, pick 19th overall in the June 24 draft. With an aging roster, the Celtics hope to land a player who can be productive for years to come.

On Wednesday, we gave you 10 candidates for selection by the Celtics. We’ve also bounced around the web to find out what other sites are predicting for the C’s. What we found is a variety of predictions, with Butler standout Gordon Hayward the only one to be budgeted to Boston by a few prognosticators.

NBADraft.net has the C’s grabbing Luke Babbit, a 6-foot-8 small forward/power forward hybrid from Nevada. Touted as a highly skilled big man, Babbit possesses a strong 3-point touch as well as an impressive mid-range game. He averaged 21.9 points per game last season as a sophomore while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. He is described as a tweener, however, and will have a difficult time defending small forwards in the NBA.

The same site is predicting the C’s will draft Sherron Collins, a 5-11 point guard from Kansas, with their second selection, 52nd overall. Collins, who had a very successful career at Kansas ‘€” winning a title his sophomore year ‘€” will come into the league a bit raw. He is quick and elusive and has proven he can handle the ball when the game is on the line. Ultimately, he could be a good backup for Rondo, but cannot play any other positions. His size does not allow him to play 2 guard, so he would serve as a spark off the bench.

Yahoo!Sports has the Celtics taking Elliot Williams, a 6-5 shooting guard from Memphis who transferred from Duke. Even if they re-sign free agent Ray Allen, the C’s could stand to shore up their depth at guard. Although Yahoo! explains that Williams’ outside game needs some work, he could be a good addition to an already impressive backcourt.

MyNBADraft.com and TheHoopDoctors.com have the Celtics taking Hayward, the NCAA tournament standout from underdog Butler. Hayward averaged 15 points and eight rebounds a game last season while shooting 46 percent from the floor. HoopsWorld.com also has the C’s taking Hayward in the first round, then 6-5 SF/PF Marquis Blakely from Vermont in the second round. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, NBA Draft,
Ainge on The Big Show: Sheed lives for big games 05.20.10 at 6:53 am ET
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A day after the Celtics went up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals against Orlando, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly call to The Big Show on Wednesday afternoon to talk about Doc Rivers‘€™ strategy against the Magic, Rajon Rondo‘€™s emergence, Rasheed Wallace‘€™s strong postseason play, and the team’€™s recent dominance over the top two seeds in the East.

‘€œWith each of these individuals on our team, I know what they are capable of doing and it’€™s taken a great performance out of each guy,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œWe’€™re getting a lot of contributions out of a lot of people right now and they’€™re all playing their best basketball of the year together. We’€™ll see what they’€™re capable of doing.’€

A transcript of the interview follows. To hear the full interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

How are you feeling right now?

I’€™m doing well. That was an exciting game last night.

Celtics analyst Cedric Maxwell said that the things going on in the stands reminded him of Philadelphia in the ‘€˜80s. Was it that bad?

I heard of some incidents, but I didn’€™t see anything. Maxwell had a better view of that than I did.

There’€™s a story out that Marquis Daniels‘€™ father was tased during the game. Does the team have anything to say on that?

No, we won’€™t comment on that. I talked to Marquis after the game and I’€™m aware of the situation, but don’€™t know all the details.

It seems like playing single coverage has really tripped up Orlando and it’€™s allowed the Celtics to cover out on the perimeter.

Well, I didn’€™t think we did such a good job last night. We got the win, but Dwight [Howard] had his way inside. He was out of the game for a short period of time with foul trouble, and we made a little bit of a run. He’€™s still a very dominant force. The first game, I thought that he struggled, and the second game, I thought he dominated. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, The Big Show,
Daniels’ stepfather arrested, tasered at Game 2 05.19.10 at 8:44 pm ET
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The stepfather of Celtics guard Marquis Daniels was subdued by a Taser gun and arrested during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at Amway Arena on Tuesday.

Willie L. Buie, 55, was charged with resisting arrest with violence.

Police reports indicate that officers responded to a disturbance in Section 106-107 around 10:55 p.m. The officers tried to remove Buie from his seat, but Buie refused. With the help of several more officers Buie was finally removed from the arena and into a security area.

Buie, however, continued to resist arrest, keeping his hands under his body and refusing to be handcuffed. At that point an officer took his Taser and shot Buie in the back, a hit of electricity that lasted five seconds, according to reports. Following the Taser shot Buie put his hands behind his back and was handcuffed.

Buie reportedly has a long criminal history, including an arrest for second-degree murder. He served 11 years in prison and was released in 1989.

Celtics first-round draft prospects 05.19.10 at 8:16 pm ET
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Prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night, 14 teams watched the ping pong balls determine their draft location in the NBA draft lottery, with the Wizards, 76ers and Nets grabbing the top three spots, respectively. Though the Celtics weren’€™t one of those teams, they will have their own pivotal decisions to make on June 24, regardless of the outcome of their playoff run.

Celtics president Danny Ainge has done fairly well in past drafts. When Ainge has had high picks to work with, he’€™s turned Al Jefferson and Jeff Green into Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and helped bring Boston a 17th banner. The Celtics also have had success with later picks such as Glen Davis (35th in 2007), Rajon Rondo (21st in 2006), Leon Powe (49th in 2006) and Tony Allen (25th in 2004). All of those picks (the first three of which technically were chosen by other teams but were part of draft-day trades) have been of some service to Boston and have worked out well compared to other late fliers.

Picking at No. 19 this year, Boston will need to rejuvenate its veteran roster and continue to find late steals. Here’€™s a list of 10 players the Celtics potentially could draft in the first round. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, NBA Draft,
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