|Game 5: First quarter update||04.28.09 at 7:38 pm ET|
After one at the Garden, the Celtics have a 23-21 lead. Paul Pierce is the leading scorer with seven points, but it’s been the Kendrick Perkins show so far. Perkins has four points, seven rebounds and has made numerous great rotations to blow up would-be Bulls dunks and layups.
Chicago is shooting just 30 percent from the floor and if not for Ben Gordon (who does not look like his injured hamstring is giving him any trouble) and Kirk Hinrich hitting a couple of contested 3-pointers, they’d be shooting a whole lot worse.
A couple of other observations:
— After so much talk about the officials, they have not been a factor so far. Perkins did not pick up a foul and there were only six personals handed out in the first 12 minutes.
— In the moments before tipoff Kevin Garnett was engaged in some heated trash talk with the Bulls bench. It was a good show, if nothing else.
— Both teams turned the ball over four times. Play was ragged at times and one wonders if the series has already exacted a toll both mentally and physically.
— The C’s tried to get Pierce off early and while those attempts failed he did manage find his offense.
— Stephon Marbury and Brian Scalabrine both checked into the game at the end of the quarter. Scal received a big ovation as it’s his first game back in Boston since his head injuries. Those two in particular are going to have to give the Celtics quality minutes.
|Game 5: Early update||04.28.09 at 7:22 pm ET|
Any questions about the health of Bulls guard Ben Gordon seem to have been answered. Gordon started the game by aggressively attacking the basket and he drained a couple of jumpers. He looks fine, in other words.
Like the first two games in Boston this one has been off to a sluggish start. The Bulls started the game 2-for-9 from the floor and there were numerous sloppy mistakes on both sides. But the Celtics interior defense has tightened up. Kendrick Perkins has been a monster with five rebounds and he blew up several layup attempts.
With 4:35 to go in the first quarter, the C’s have a 13-12 lead.
|Del Negro: Gordon will start||04.28.09 at 6:35 pm ET|
Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro just told the media that Chicago’s Ben Gordon, who is suffering from a torn hamstring, will start in Tuesday night’s Game 5 between the Celtics and Bulls. “He’s going to try to play,” Del Negro said. “He’s loosened up a little bit. It’s still pretty tight, but he’s going to try.”
|Gordon on point in warm ups||04.28.09 at 5:53 pm ET|
Bulls guard Ben Gordon, who is questionable for tonight’s Game 5, hit 18 of his first 20 jumpers in warms up. Gordon received treatment on his left leg before shooting. He suffered a torn hamstring in Game 4. Head coach Vinny Del Negro has not addressed the media yet to give an official decision.
|Rondo to fans: We need you tonight||04.28.09 at 12:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Rajon Rondo is looking for a little help from some of the most loyal fans in the NBA.
Tonight, as the Celtics prepare to battle the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference series at TD Banknorth Garden, Rondo and his mates will look to put that grueling double-overtime loss in Game 4 in Chicago behind them.
When you spend 3 hours, 33 minutes battling, only to lose and have to hop on a plane and play 48 hours later in playoff intensity, it’s understandable that you would look for a pick-me-up wherever you can find it.
“I think it’s important for us, to get the crowd in early,” Rondo said. “I think it’s very key. I think it’s one of the most important things besides us playing well tonight is for the crowd to be into it.”
The man who has averaged a triple-double in this series, with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, will be called upon to get the Celtics offense into high gear at the start.
“We look at it as a game we have to win,” Rondo said Tuesday morning. “We looked at Game 4 the same way. We could have separated the series if we had won Game 4 but we have to move on.”
Rondo has two triple-doubles in this series, in the Game 2 win, and the Game 4 loss. Celtics coach Doc Rivers would welcome another triple double but what he’s really looking for is just a steady court presence.
“That would be great,” Rivers said of another triple-double. “His numbers are almost gaudy at times. We don’t expect those numbers, we just expect his solid play. Sometimes, even when he plays and has a great, solid numbers it doesn’t translate into number. But so far this series it has.”
|Doc on Garnett: There’s a chance, not a very good one||04.28.09 at 11:35 am ET|
WALTHAM – Responding to a radio report by Reggie Miller to Dan Patrick that Kevin Garnett could return if the Celtics made it to the second round, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this morning that Garnett is still out indefinitely with his sore right knee, adding, “Like I’ve said before, yeah, there’s a chance, it’s not a very good one,” Rivers said. “I guess you could report that and it’s correct but it’d be incorrect.”
Garnett has been reduced to a role of cheerleader during the series, spending most of his time on the Celtics bench while Leon Powe tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 2 and is lost for the playoffs.
Garnett will need surgery on bone spurs in his right knee that are not related to his tendinitis in the back of the same knee. Garnett is holding off on the procedure in the remote hope that he could return if the Celtics advance past the first round.
Meanwhile, no decision has been made on when to proceed with surgery on Powe’s knee.
The Celtics will once again be without Garnett and Leon Powe (left knee) tonight when they battle the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the first round Eastern Conference series, with the series tied, 2-2. Gametime is 7 p.m. at TD Banknorth Garden. For more, visit the Green Street blog.
|Miller: KG could return||04.28.09 at 8:31 am ET|
TNT analyst Reggie Miller told the Dan Patrick Show that he believes Kevin Garnett will return if the Celtics advance to the next round of the playoffs. While Miller did not confirm that Garnett told him this, the two are neighbors in Malibu, California. Garnett injured his knee in February against the Utah Jazz. He recently decided to postpone surgery.
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