|Open practice, open questions||11.16.09 at 3:49 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics conducted an open practice session for one of their sponsors Monday, which allowed the media a window into their mostly closed off world. NBA teams have been conducting practices in private for several years now, usually allowing the last 20-30 minutes to be open for viewing for the press.
That tends to mean a whole lot of watching guys take free throws, but with the open session we were able to see how hard they work on defense, and how loud and vocal the practices tend to be. The Celtics worked a lot on halfcourt situations and it had the same intensity as a regular game.
Paul Pierce (bruised left knee) sat out the session. Doc Rivers said that he shouldn’t have let Pierce play on Saturday against Indiana, but that he let Pierce talk him into it. Pierce tried to sneak on to the court Monday, but Rivers shut him down.
“He’s not going to practice today or tomorrow,”Rivers said. “I told him that after the game. He tried to get on the floor at the beginning, I told him no. he doesn’t miss practices. The only way you can get him to miss is to force him.”
Tony Allen did take part in his first practice since training camp, but he’s unlikely to see game action, unless as Rivers said, “We need him.”
After the session there was ample talk about what’s been going wrong the last two games, and it starts with the pick and roll defense.
“Our pick and roll coverage is the main thread,” Rivers said. “It’s been inconsistent. It’s two guys not just the guy on the ball. It’s the guy guarding the ball who sets the pick. And then dribble penetration. Some of our defensive sets have been very good and then with five seconds left on the clock the guy dribbling the ball gets all the way to the basket and that’s not just the guy guarding the ball.”
Rivers also said that he thought fatigue was a factor. He blamed himself for working his team too hard during practice last Thursday before a set of back-to-back games. “I made a mistake on Thursday,” Rivers said. “We went way too hard in practice. I thought it carried over to our back to back on Thursday and Friday. I thought we could get away with it, and I was wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Pierce to strike again for charity||11.15.09 at 11:19 pm ET|
On Monday evening Paul Pierce will trade his basketball sneakers for bowling shoes at ‘The Truth Strikes Again,’ a celebrity bowling tournament to raise funds for the Truth on Health Campaign and FitClub 34 by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Pierce is scheduled to be joined by his teammates, including Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Rasheed Wallace, Glen Davis, Eddie House, Marquis Daniels, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Lester Hudson, and Bill Walker. The event will take place at Kings Lanes in Dedham. For more information on Pierce’s initiatives, visit www.paulpierce.net.
|Pierce will ‘wait’ on tender left knee||11.14.09 at 12:15 am ET|
Paul Pierce bruised his left knee in the third quarter of Friday night’s loss to Atlanta. Pierce said afterward that he will see how it responds before making a decision on whether to play on Saturday night at Indiana.
‘It’s a little tender, I’m just going to wait to see how it feels when it cools down,” he said. “On the play I was falling down and my foot got stepped on, sort of turned it so it was a light sprain in the knee. You know I’m just gonna ice it right now and see how it feels a little bit later.’
Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points, and returned with a soft brace on his knee with just under 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics flew out to Indianapolis following their 97-86 loss to the Hawks at the Garden.
|Horford Admires Ortiz’s Work Ethic||11.13.09 at 11:15 pm ET|
BOSTON — Amid a growing rivalry between the Celtics and Hawks, Al Horford formed a close relationship with a Boston sports icon.
Horford, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, has been a fan of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz for years. The feeling was mutual. Ortiz watched Horford’s father, Tito, play in the NBA and was excited for the younger ball player to make it to the NBA.
After the two were told of each other’s mutual admiration, they met during Horford’s rookie season at TD Garden. They have developed a friendship over the past two years, and Horford even visits with Ortiz whenever the Hawks come to Boston.
‘I know that since I’ve been there, the last two days he’s been at Fenway working out, that’s all I can say,’ Horford told WEEI.com on Friday.
Horford always respected Ortiz’s game, and this week he saw his work ethic firsthand.
‘It looks like the season just got over and he’s already getting back to work,’ Horford said. ‘So that speaks a lot about him.’
|Fast Break: Celtics – Hawks||11.13.09 at 10:43 pm ET|
Player of the game: Joe Johnson dropped 14 points in the second half to push the Hawks to a win. He fought to get open the entire night and attempted 21 shots. But it would be unfair to name Johnson based on his offensive performance in a game that was won by defense. Al Horford added 11 rebounds for the Hawks.
Turning point: The Hawks held the Celtics to two points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to take control of the game. They outscored the Celtics 25-16 in the final 12 minutes to keep a Cs win out of reach.
– Paul Pierce suffered a bruised left knee and left the game with 3:15 left in the third quarter. He fell to the ground during a play at the basket earlier in the quarter and limped to the bench during a timeout. He returned to the game two minutes into the fourth quarter. Pierce led all Celtics with 24 points.
– The Hawks dominated the boards from the very start of the game and outrebounded the Celtics 47-29. A breakdown by quarter ‘ first: Hawks 12-4, second: 13-9, third: 11-10, fourth: 11-6.
– The Celtics failed to connect on key free throws down the stretch. Rajon Rondo missed two, down nine with 3:24 to go. Pierce only hit one of two when the Celtics were down seven with 2:21 left in the game. The Celtics finished the night 17-for-23 from the line.
– It was an ugly three-point shooting night for the second game in a row. On Wednesday night the Celtics shot 7-for-19 and held the Jazz to 0-for-10. On Friday it was the Celtics who struggled, shooting 1-15 while the Hawks were 4-15.
|Pierce suffers bruised left knee||11.13.09 at 9:57 pm ET|
With three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Paul Pierce left the game with a bruised left knee and limped to the locker room with trainer Ed Lacerte.
Pierce appeared to injury his knee earlier in the third quarter, when he was slow to come off the court at midcourt during a TV timeout.
Pierce returned to the game with 10:29 remaining in the fourth, with a wrap on his left knee. He was checked out by team doctor Alan Curtis.
|Doc: ‘I think No. 6 should be retired’||11.13.09 at 7:57 pm ET|
One thing NOT on his mind is whether the No. 23 should be retired throughout the NBA, as suggested by superstar LeBron James.
“I don’t know if there’s a right answer on that,” Rivers said. “Something I’ve been asked far more than I’d like to be asked, going into a game. He said he was going to wear No. 6. That number should be retired. I don’t know what the right answer to that question is. I think it’s good either way.”
James offered to give up his No. 23 and wear his Olympic No. 6 instead. Then, Rivers had some fun with reporters pregame Friday.
“You know who No. 6 is, right?” Rivers said, referring to Bill Russell.
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