|Celts Win||04.08.09 at 9:55 pm ET|
It’s over at the Garden with the Celtics holding on to a 106-104 victory over the Nets. Things got a little tighter than they might have wanted as New Jersey got a pair of 3-point looks in the final seconds that could have won the game, but both Vince Carter and Devin Harris’ shots were off the mark.
Rajon Rondo led the way with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists. With the win the C’s stayed a game ahead of Orlando in the race for second place (The Magic held off Memphis) and kept Cleveland from clinching the top overall seed for at least one more day. One Cavalier win, or Celtics loss, will give Cleveland the No. 1 seed.
|Hey there, Tony Allen||04.08.09 at 9:20 pm ET|
With about two minutes left in the third quarter, Tony Allen announced his return to the Celtics (officially) with your standard-variety alley-oop reverse jam. Allen took the pass from Ray Allen on the break and brought the Garden crowd to its feet with one of the best Celtic dunks of the season. (Personally, I’d still take Bill Walker’s tomahawk over Darrell Arthur).
Tony Allen has put together a nice night so far with four points and three rebounds in 12 minutes of action. It’s the most time he’s seen since his return to the lineup.
|Rondo vs. Harris||04.08.09 at 8:09 pm ET|
If point guard play is your thing it doesn’t get much better in the East than Rajon Rondo and Devin Harris. In the first quarter of Wednesday’s game, both players put on a show. Showing no ill effects from his most recent bout with a sprained ankle, Rondo scored 10 points to go with two rebounds and two assists. Harris, meanwhile, was just as effective with seven points and four assists.
|Injury updates||04.08.09 at 7:47 pm ET|
Pay not attention to the presence of Brian Scalabrine in uniform and on the Celtics bench tonight. There is no way he will play tonight. “He can not play,” Doc Rivers said. “If everybody fouled out he still wouldn’t play. We’d just take the techs.”
But the news is slightly more optimistic on the other injured Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe will travel with the team to Cleveland, although neither will play against the Cavs, and Rivers hopes both can practice on Monday and then possibly play Tuesday at Philly. The key word there is possibly.
Powe reported that he was able to run at full speed and cut and do agility drills, which had him in high spirits in the Celtics locker room Wednesday night. “So far it’s been good,” Powe said. “We just want to make sure it’s right for the playoffs.”
Garnett was also in the locker room although he didn’t talk to the press (as per usual). Rivers was asked if he would be comfortable playing Garnett without practice time if it comes to that. “That would bother me,” Rivers said. “It wouldn’t bother me enough to sit him.”
Rivers was also asked if he would rest Paul Pierce and Ray Allen next week if the seeding with Orlando was still an issue. The Celtics entered play Wednesday night with one-game lead on the Magic and control of the tiebreaker if they finish tied. “Absolutely not,” Rivers said. “If you can get homecourt, you’ve got to go get it.”
|NBA Playoffs hit Facebook, Twitter||04.08.09 at 1:02 pm ET|
In promotion of TNT’s “40 Games in 40 Nights,” Turner Sports is rolling out a multiplatform marketing campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Just as Paul Pierce and Stephon Marbury have already done, TNT and NBA TV personalities including Craig Sager, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Steve Smith, Eric Snow, Gary Payton, and Rick Kamla will regularly update Twitter pages starting on April 14.
Beginning on April 19, sponsored ads will run on Facebook inviting users to ‘Become a Fan’ of the TNT Facebook page. That same day TNT will also run ads on Yahoo! Sports to promote their playoff coverage. On April 20, YouTube will run videos from NBA players promoting that night’s games.
|Preview: Boston Celtics vs. New Jersey Nets||04.08.09 at 12:03 am ET|
Boston Celtics (58-19) vs. New Jersey Nets (32-45)
TD BankNorth Garden
Season Series: Celtics 3-0
Last time they met: March 4, 2009
Playing without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics gave up a 13-point fourth quarter lead and found themselves down by three with just over a minutes to go. But Ray Allen kicked the Cs into high gear, scoring five points during a 7-0 run. Ultimately it was Paul Pierce’s jumper with 20 seconds left that iced the Celtics 115-111 victory. Pierce (12-14 FG) led the Celtics with 31 points. Vince Carter led all scorers with 34 points (13-21 FG).
Celtics Team Leaders
Scoring: Paul Pierce (20.5 points)
Rebounding: Kevin Garnett* (8.5 points)
Assists: Rajon Rondo (8.4 assists)
Hawks Team Leaders
Scoring: Devin Harris (21.8 points)
Rebounding: Brook Lopez (7.9 rebounds)
Assists: Devin Harris (7.0 assists)
Follow the latest news and updates from the Garden on Green Street.
|Doc: DJ ‘absolutely’ deserves HOF||04.06.09 at 4:34 pm ET|
It came as a surprise to exactly no one that Michael Jordan was a first ballot inductee to the Basketball Hall of Fame in the voting announced Monday morning at the Final Four in Detroit. And names like John Stockton, Utah coach Jerry Sloan, David Robinson and women’s coach C. Vivian Stringer were hardly stunning either.
“That’s awesome,” Celtics coach and former NBA all-star guard Doc Rivers said following his team’s practice on Monday.
“I had a lot to do with that. I guarded Michael, I guarded Stockton, they looked a lot better. I can tell you that. Clearly, first ballot all of them. It’s terrific. Michael may be the greatest player, definitely of our generation, and maybe of all time. Stockton may be the greatest point guard in some arguments,” Rivers said.
But the late Dennis Johnson did not make it.
“That surprises me, I thought he would make it,” Rivers said. “Well, I’m disappointed in that part. I absolutely think he deserves it.”
And a look at the numbers Johnson put up over his 14-year career detail Rivers’ argument. He played in exactly 1,100 games, averaging 14.1 points and 5.0 assists. His numbers were even better in the playoffs. He averaged 17.3 points and 5.6 assists in 180 games, while playing on three NBA championship teams.
Everyone recalls how DJ was brought to Boston in the 1983-84 season, in part, to answer Philadelphia’s Andrew Toney and Maurice Cheeks, and give the Celtics a powerful backcourt influence and provide great defense on Magic Johnson. The Celtics won titles in 1984 and 1986.
But ask Rivers, and he will tell you voters forget what DJ did in Seattle, like leading his team to the 1979 NBA title, earning Finals MVP honors.
“I really believe this, they (voters) only look at him just with the Celtics,” Rivers said. “They forget how great he was with the Sonics. He was unbelievable. He came to the Celtics and they asked him to do what we ask Ray Allen to do, what we ask Paul (Pierce) to do and that is play a role and I actually think he’s being penalized for it.”
NBA.com has a complete bio of Dennis Johnson, who passed away on Feb. 22, 2007 in Austin, TX of a heart attack while coaching the Austin Toros of the NBDL.