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First Quarter Wrap: Celtics – Cavs 05.07.10 at 7:40 pm ET
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First Quarter: Cavaliers 36, Celtics 17

LeBron James scored 21 points in the first quarter, four more than the entire Celtics team combined, to give the Cavs a 19-point lead.

But James isn’t the only problem for the Celtics. The C’s are being outrebounded, 15-5. None of the starters grabbed more than one board, while Antawn Jamison nabbed six of his own.

Paul Pierce played just nine minutes after shooting 0-for-5 from the field. James scored 14 points with Pierce on the court. Kendrick Perkins was also sidelined early, picking up two fouls including a flagrant committed on a James fast break.


Celtics focus on starting small 05.07.10 at 7:11 pm ET
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The Celtics believe if they can end up with big results by starting small.

Their game plan is to focus on the little things that, when executed properly, can result in an advantage in the long run. They are also the things that could wind up hurting them if ignored.

‘€œI think it just boils down to small things,’€ Ray Allen said before Game 3. ‘€œJust building the small things in the game. Don’€™t worry about whether the ball goes in, but more importantly moving the ball, keeping turnovers to a minimum, and then getting back on defense.’€

The Celtics have paid attention to those details so far. They are outrebounding the Cavs, 226-197, picked off 10 more steals, and committed two less turnovers in the first two games of the series.

‘€œAll those that things, they ultimately add up to getting buckets,’€ said Allen. ‘€œBut those habits, if we keep those habits, you start small and as the game goes, the game is being played the right way on both ends.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Ray Allen,
Thomsen: Celtics considered Perkins trade 05.07.10 at 1:52 pm ET
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According to SI’s Ian Thomsen, Ray Allen wasn’t the only Celtic shopped around at the trade deadline. Thomsen said there were discussions of a Kendrick Perkins for Carlos Boozer deal, which would have changed the landscape of the Celtics roster.

“Everybody had heard they were looking to deal Ray Allen for Caron Butler,” Thomsen said. “It turned out that was never going to happen. The Wizards were going to send Caron Butler to Dallas. But if the Celtics would have been able to make that deal they would have taken some of what they got from Washington and turned that around with Kendrick Perkins and made a deal for Carlos Boozer with Utah. That’s what they were looking to do. I’m not sure if it ever would have gone through, but they were seriously pursuing that end.”

That would have left the Celtics with a starting five of Kevin Garnett, Boozer, Paul Pierce, Butler and Rajon Rondo. Thomsen said it would have been a good move, but one that would have been pricey.

“It would have made them younger and it would allow them to contend for years going forward,” he said. “But it also would have made them even more expensive than ever. I think it just says a lot about the ambition of the franchise and the willingness to spend money if they think it’s going to pay off. That goes against the trend of other teams we’ve seen in the NBA right now.”

To listen to the interview, CLICK HERE.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, NBA,
Thibodeau interviews with Hornets 05.07.10 at 9:36 am ET
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Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau and former NBA player/current national NBA analyst Mark Jackson interviewed with Hornets executives for the team’s coaching vacancy Thursday in Boston.

Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman said general manager Jeff Bower and team president Hugh Weber met with the two candidates along with with Gary Chouest, who has agreed to a deal with George Shin to become the majority owner of the team.

The Hornets now have interviewed five candidates, including former Mavericks coach Avery Johnson,  current Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and former NBA coach Mike Fratello.

Read More: Celtics, Hornets, Tom Thibodeau,
Jokes continue at Ainge’s expense 05.06.10 at 4:45 pm ET
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WALTHAM — The NBA fined Danny Ainge $25,000 for “creating an unauthorized distraction” during Game 2 on the Celtics-Cavs series. In other words, he threw a towel up in the air while J.J. Hickson was shooting free throws.

The Celtics have been amused by this episode and Doc Rivers got in a few more one-liners at his boss’ expense Thursday.

“I was surprised, actually, at the fine,” Rivers said. “I know a lot of people were not. I was because he’€™s just an employee. What’€™s the difference between that and the mascots do it all the time. I was just wondering if Danny had worn Lucky’€™s outfit he would have gotten away with it.”

“I laughed because I know Danny,” Rivers continued. “Danny is as competitive of a person as I’€™ve ever met in my life. They were making a run, you could see them getting back into the game, and he couldn’€™t do anything about it. It was funny to me. The $25,000? That’€™s not so funny. Joke’€™s over now.”

And, hopefully, so is this story.

Read More: Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, towel,
Perk unplugged 05.06.10 at 4:35 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Kendrick Perkins always looks like a man who gets no respect. He wears the same scowl on his face whether he’s happy or mad. That scowl is what makes opposing fans dislike him and probably doesn’t help his cause with the referees either, to whom he is also constantly showing that same sour puss.

Perkins was left off the NBA’s All-Defensive Team for the second straight season and Doc Rivers joked that maybe that look turned some voters off.

“Well, I guess it’s going to continue to happen,” Perkins said. “Because I ain’t changing the way I look.”

That was a joke in case you needed context and Perkins had a few ready Thursday after he returned to practice with a hyperextended right knee.

His reaction to getting six stitches in his lip courtesy of Shaquille O’Neal?

“Man, I look at it like I’m already ugly,” he said. “I can’t add nothing else to that, man.”

Perkins defense on Shaq has been no laughing matter. After holding Jermaine O’Neal to 9-for-44 shooting in the first round against Miami, Perkins has kept Shaq in check (8-for-22, 20 points in two games). His one-on-one defense in the post is vital because the Celtics feel like they can’t afford to offer help on the Cavs post players.

It’s that ability play imposing post players without help that has begun to make Perkins’ reputation.

“I don’t see why he doesn’t get enough votes for the All-Defensive Team,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if there’s a better on-man defender in the league than Perk at the 5-spot.”

High praise, especially for a player who came into the league with all of the physical tools, but who had to learn from scratch the basics of footwork and positioning. Perkins said that he’s learned from his veteran teammates and included a surprising former mentor.

“I take bits and piece from a lot of guys,” he said. “I watch how [Kevin Garnett] guards some guys. I take a little bit from him. Little bit from Rasheed. I learned some things from Mark Blount too, believe it or not.”

Still, whether he gets respect or not, Perkins is fully confident in his abilities.

“It’s disappointing a little bit because you feel like you can defend better than half of those guys that made it,” Perkins said. “But at the same time, give credit to them for making it.”

Read More: Kendrick Perkins,
Garnett practices, feels good 05.06.10 at 2:29 pm ET
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WALTHAM —Kevin Garnett returned to Celtics practice Thursday and by all accounts, enjoyed a quick recovery from what the team called a right mid-foot strain.

“I’m feeling really good,” Garnett said. “Went through practice today. It was pretty hard. Good day. I’m not injured. I just banged my foot, got on the plane and it blew up on me. Nothing more, nothing less than that.”

Garnett added that, “I’ll definitely be ready to go [in Game 3, Friday].”

Garnett appeared to injure his foot when Kendrick Perkins landed on his foot in the first half. He sort of verified that version of events.

“Little bit,” Garnett said. “The good thing is I was able to finish the game strongly.”

Garnett, and Perkins (hyperextended knee) were both held out of practice Wednesday. Perkins was deemed precautionary and no one was surprised that he returned Thursday. Garnett’s was a little trickier. He apparently wanted to practice Wednesday, but was shut down by Doc Rivers.

“We live on the planet of Doc Rivers,” Garnett said. “And on that planet sometimes you have to sit out a day”

Rivers expressed his doubt yesterday that Garnett would have been able to practice, but he was pleasantly surprised by his recovery.

“He’s good,” Rivers said. “He went most of the practice and moved pretty well. I was surprised he went, yeah. Eddie [Lacerte, the team’s trainer] and I, but the swelling went down a lot yesterday and none today. He said he didn’t feel any pain, so that was good. We expected Perk, but Kevin was a surprise. Perk looks fine. He moved pretty well. For Perk. He moved well for Perk.”

One way to tell that Garnett was feeling good was he was in a joking mood with the media. Someone asked him, how he “woke up Rasheed Wallace.” Garnett replied, “I slapped his [butt].” He was kidding. We think.

Read More: Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett,
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