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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.”

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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,
No Celtics Named to All-NBA Teams 05.06.10 at 2:29 pm ET
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A day after Rajon Rondo was named to the NBA’€™s All-Defensive First Team, none of the Celtics were named to First, Second, or Third All-NBA Teams. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade were named to the First Team, the league announced on Thursday.

Last season, Paul Pierce was named to the Second Team and received 330 points, including 27 First Team votes. This season, he received a total of six points. Rondo led the Celtics this season with 47 points, 45 more than last season.

Teams were chosen by position by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Points were awarded on a 5-3-1 scale.

See how the Celtics fared in voting from last season to now:

Paul Pierce: 330 points
Kevin Garnett: 72 points
Ray Allen: 6 points
Rajon Rondo: 2 points

Rajon Rondo: 47 points
Paul Pierce: 6 points
Kevin Garnett: 1 point

Click here for a complete list of First, Second, and Third Team members.

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Ainge fined $25K for towel incident 05.06.10 at 12:37 pm ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was fined $25,000 by the NBA for tossing a towel in the air to distract J.J. Hickson during a free throw attempt in Game 2 of the Celtics-Cavaliers Monday night. The league punished Ainge for “creating an unauthorized distraction and for conduct detrimental to the game.” Ainge talked about the incident during his appearance on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon. “There’s just no excuse,” he said. “It was unprofessional. I regret doing it. The biggest reason I regret it is you guys should be talking about the great play of the Celtics and not talking about a towel incident. I’m shocked that it’s become this big a deal.”

Pitino: Antoine Walker plans comeback 05.06.10 at 11:57 am ET
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University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino said Antoine Walker will work out with some of his players in the next few weeks in hopes of making a comeback to the NBA, according to an Associated Press report. The former Celtic hasn’t played in the NBA since 2008 and has had financial and legal problems since then, including charges of passing bad checks to settle enormous casino debts in Las Vegas.

Pitino coached Walker at the University of Kentucky and with the Celtics. He said Walker will offer advice to his players about staying out of trouble. “He’ll talk to our guys,” Pitino said. “What I told him is it’s not about the past, get ready and get going and move on.”

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