|Fast Break: Celtics-Bucks||12.08.09 at 10:01 pm ET|
It’s apparently not going to be easy for the Celtics at home, where their inexplicable trend of playing sub-.500 teams close on the Garden floor continued Tuesday night against the Bucks. At various points, it looked like the Celtics would run away with the game, only to have the Bucks close the gap.
A fourth-quarter surge finally put some distance between them on the scoreboard and the Celtics were able to prevail with a 98-89 win, their eighth straight. The Bucks have now dropped eight of their last nine. Kevin Garnett scored 25 points and added nine rebounds to lead the scoring. Bucks center Andrew Bogut had a huge game with 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Player of the Game: Rajon Rondo. In a game where all five Celtics starters (and Rasheed Wallace) scored in double figures, credit must go to the distributor. Rondo recorded a near triple-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and 13 assists. Rondo also harassed super-rookie Brandon Jennings into an uneven 17-point performance. If Jennings wants to lay claim to the point guard throne he has a long way to go to match Rondo.
Turning Point: It wasn’t so much a turning “point” as it was a slow change in play. With the score tied at 86-86, the Celtics slowly began to put some distance between themselves and the Bucks outscoring them 12-3 down the stretch.
‘¢Garnett continued his string of strong outings with 25 points and nine rebounds. He took the ball aggressively to the basket early in the game, which helped set the tone and made a huge basket late in the game. He also forced Ersan Ilyasova into a 6-for-17 shooting night.
‘¢Milwaukee guard Luke Ridnour appeared to injure his wrist late in the third quarter. He has had problems with the wrist before. He didn’t return to the game.
‘¢Tony Allen made his debut and played five rather eventful minutes. He made a number of hustle plays and also threw the ball out of bounds and barreled into a Buck defender on his way to the basket for an obvious charging call. The Celtics went 10 deep even without Marquis Daniels. Brian Scalabrine saw the majority of minutes ahead of Shelden Williams.
‘¢Wallace had a superb shooting night making five of eight shots and hitting three of four from 3-point range. His shooting was a big reason the Celtics were able to scratch out a lead to start the fourth quarter.
|Pagliuca falls short in Senate bid||12.08.09 at 9:44 pm ET|
Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca’s bid to secure the Democratic nod for the open U.S. Senate seat came to an apparent end on Tuesday night when Martha Coakley won in a runaway.
Pagliuca and Alan Khazei were neck-and-neck for third behind Coakley and Democratic runner-up Michael Capuano.
On the Republican side, Scott Brown, whose daughter Ayla is a senior on the Boston College women’s basketball team, cruised to victory in his primary.
Coakley will square off against Brown on Jan. 19 to fill the seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy.
|Daniels to get MRI||12.08.09 at 8:06 pm ET|
“It’s been hurting for a good three weeks but that [Oklahoma City] game someone re-hit it and that’s just the way it is,” Rivers said.
“We’re not sure yet,” Rivers said. “We’re going to wait till [Wednesday]. I don’t think he’s going to play in the next couple of games for sure.
“A lot of things. I don’t think he’s been able to hold onto the ball. I think it’s affected Eddie [House] because early in the year, especially in preseason, Eddie was getting great shots off Marquis’ passes. He hasn’t had the ability to pass and I think that’s affected Eddie a lot.”
Rivers noticed something in practice on Sunday when Daniels was told to take a seat.
“The other day in practice, I blew the whistle and told him to sit down and let’s do something else because we could see it just wasn’t working,” Rivers said. “Honestly, I’ve been watching him in practice. He tried to get a rebound with one hand when he needed both and you could see him protect it. He wouldn’t say anything, which is why he probably kept going. He kept saying it’s a little pain, it’s nothing big. So, we’ll find out. Hopefully, he’s right.”
|Davis: ‘I’ll be back soon’||12.08.09 at 8:03 pm ET|
BOSTON – Glen Davis doesn’t know exactly when he’ll return from a hand injury, other than it’s soon.
“Soon, soon, soon,” he called out in the locker room before the Celtics-Bucks game.
Davis broke his right hand before the start of the season and was recently fitted for a new cast. He is focused on strengthening the ligament and will have the cast removed once the bone is healed.
He hasn’t been able to do much with his shooting hand — “It feels weird a little bit. I haven’t used it in a while,” he said — but predicts he could hit three out of five shots with his left hand after using it so much.
As for the rest of his body, he has been staying conditioned by running and avoiding fatty foods during the holidays.
“Everything’s fine man,” he said. “I’m just coming back as soon as possible, soon.”
|Take that Tim Donaghy||12.08.09 at 7:56 pm ET|
Rivers was asked for his reaction to Donaghy’s claims on Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday that Rivers tried to intimidate younger NBA officials.
“I’ve been trying to get on younger players for a long time to persuade them to do things as well so I don’t know,” Rivers joked at first, before adding, “I’m so sick of that guy right now, I really am, for our league. I love our league and I hate what’s going on, that we’re giving a guy like that credibility.”
Donaghy ejected Rivers from a game back in April 2005. Rivers then lodged a complaint with the league, accusing Donaghy with personal bias against the Celtics coach.
|Baby could be trippin’||12.08.09 at 7:52 pm ET|
“I don’t know,” Doc Rivers said when asked what his expectations are for the defensive backcourt specialist. “Tony hasn’t played in so long. I’m looking for him not to do too much. Defensively is where we need help and need his help.”
Meanwhile, Rivers said Glen Davis is making progress in healing his right thumb, adding that Davis will “probably be on the trip,” referring to the team’s West Coast trip at the end of the month.
Rivers did not speculate as to his availability and whether he would be activated.
|Allen calls for accountability, communication with refs||12.08.09 at 7:30 pm ET|
Ray Allen isn’t looking for the star treatment.
Regardless of how long he has been in the league and how many milestones he has reached, he wants to be judged on the same level as everyone else. He believes the same should go for the rest of the NBA.
In the wake of former referee Tim Donaghy’s interview in which he said certain players were intentionally whistled more often than others, Allen believes the NBA needs to eliminate any biases among athletes, coaches, and officials.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because you play a game and sometimes you get a bad whistle, you’re trying to play defense, you’re trying to play offense, it’s unfortunate,” Allen said before the Celtics-Bucks game. “I think as a league we have to do whatever we can to make sure there aren’t any biases. Regardless of who’s on the floor, I know I’ve been in the league a long time but if I foul somebody, call it. If I don’t, it’s not a foul. So it’s a tough job the referees have because refereeing is perspective so having three referees out there, they have to make sure they see it and sometimes they don’t, and not give them the benefit of the doubt all the time.”
Just as players are called for fouls, Allen believes officials should be held accountable for their infractions. The refs, he says, can impact a game just like the players themselves.
“I think more so that the referees should be held more accountable so you know at least if a referee makes a bad call or does something to decide a game or has a player sitting on the bench and it’s a bad call, just the same as us. We play bad, we get benched or you get fined for technical fouls, I think the same because the referees are part of the game very much,” he said. “There are a lot of great referees out there that make great livings. This is not a game about us as players. As much as people want to see the players, the referees are in the game and we always say let’s not do anything to allow them to affect the game by making the call that could go either way. But referees, they’re part of the game and I think if they make a call to affect it, they should be held accountable.
But Allen is not claiming the situation lies solely on the referees. He points to better communication as the first step in eliminating biases. While he says the refs don’t always want to consider to his reaction to a call, he realizes there is more players can do to help the situation.
“It’s tough at time when the referees, they don’t want to listen to you, they don’t want to hear you so the game I don’t think can get better when we’re out there on the floor and we can’t speak to the referees,” he said. “Honestly as players, we have to do a better job of approaching them and making a good working relationship. But that’s all I ask. Again, as players we’ve got to do a better job because if a referee misses a call, I hope he doesn’t mean to do it on purpose, but we’ve got to make sure we hold him accountable as we are held accountable as well.”
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