|Today in Celtics History: Bird Three-peat||05.28.09 at 12:08 am ET|
On May 28, 1986, Larry Bird won his third straight NBA MVP Award. He also won the NBA Finals MVP en route to the Celtics 16th world championship over the Houston Rockets. Bird joined Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to receive the award in three consecutive seasons. Since then four players (Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash) have won back-to-back titles, but no one has accomplished the three-peat.
See how this season’s MVP stacked up to Bird’s award-winning performance: (All stats per regular season game; advantage in bold)
Larry Bird (1986)
Boston Celtics: 67-15 (won NBA Finals)
LeBron James (2009)
Cleveland Cavaliers: 66-16 (down 3-1 in Eastern Conference Finals)
Edge: Bird, 6-3
On the same date in 1978 former Celtics guard, the late Dennis Johnson, blocked seven shots in Game 3 of the NBA Finals as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. No other guard has ever blocked as many shots in an NBA Finals game.
|Reports: Marbury interested in Wizards?||05.26.09 at 9:58 pm ET|
Last week former Boston Celtic Sam Cassell was hired as an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. Now there are reports indicating another Celtic PG may be interested in the Wiz.
According to the New York Daily News, Stephon Marbury contacted Wizards head coach Flip Saunders nearly every day during the playoffs. The Daily News reported, Saunders “would strongly considering adding Marbury to the roster if there is a vacancy.” Saunders coached Marbury, as well as Cassell and Kevin Garnett, during his tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Marbury is one of five members of the 2009 Celtics squad who will be exploring free agency this summer.
|KG undergoes successful surgery||at 2:14 pm ET|
On Tuesday the Boston Celtics issued the following statement regarding Kevin Garnett:
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Kevin Garnett underwent successful right knee arthroscopy and removal of posterior knee bone spurs today at the New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Michael Belkin and Dr. John Richmond.
“After this successful surgery, Kevin can now begin to focus on rehabilitating his knee, returning to top physical shape and fully preparing for the 2009-10 season,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge remarked.
Garnett appeared in 57 games this season for the Celtics averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.11 steals and 1.19 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game. Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to have played in 1,000 career games when he played against the Bulls on October 31, 2008 at the age of 32 years and 165 days. Garnett was named to the 2009 NBA All-Defense First Team for the second consecutive season and his 10th consecutive season of being named to either the First or Second Team. The Farragut Academy product was named to his 12th All-Star game this past season and his 12 appearances are second-most among active players behind only Shaquille O’Neal.
“I expect Kevin to return to active duty in full force and be that consummate two-way professional that he has shown all of us throughout his fantastic NBA career,” Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers added.
|Draft prospect compared to Garnett||05.25.09 at 7:57 pm ET|
This summer B.J. Mullens is looking to make a name for himself in the NBA Draft, but he doesn’t mind being compared to certain players along the way.
Very few players would complain when drawing similarities to one of the best in the game.
“I can get compared to Kevin Garnett, his inside game,” Mullens told HOOPSWORLD (Click here for video), “Outside game, Dirk Nowitzki, explosive like Amar’e (Stoudemire). Those three guys I like to compare myself and mix them all together and do a little bit of triple threat.”
Mullens has been working out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, where Garnett has also trained. The 7-foot, 260-pound center averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in his freshman season at Ohio State. He lists his strengths as his footwork, outside jumper, and versatility playing both inside and outside.
Like Garnett, he was named to the Parade Magazine First Team All-American in high school. Mullens plans to work out for 15 teams before the draft, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.
|Nuggets try to follow Celtics lead||at 6:32 pm ET|
Down 2-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Denver Nuggests know beating the Los Angeles Lakers is possible. They look to the Boston Celtics as proof.
The Nuggets are studying gametape of the 2008 NBA Finals to understand how the Celtics defeated the Lakers, according to Sports Illustrated:
“Boston was so much more physical than they were,” Billups said. “They didn’t give up a lot of layups and they didn’t give up a lot in transition. We’re capable of doing those kinds of things. I can’t say that our team is as good defensively as Boston was last year, but we do have a pretty good defensive basketball team.”
The Celtics held Kobe Bryant to 25.7 points per game (40.5% FG, 32.1% 3PG) during the Finals. He is averaging 37.7 points (48.6% FG, 50.0% 3PG) in the first three games against the Nuggets. The Cs also handled Pau Gasol (14.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg), who is averaging 16.7 points and 14.0 rebounds in the Western Conference Finals.
One of the biggest difference in this year’s playoffs is the Lakers edge on offense. Last season the Celtics outshot them 43.0% to 34.7% from long range. They are outshooting the Nuggets 39.9% to 29.9% from behind the arc. The Celtics also outrebounded the Lakers by nearly five boards per game whereas the Lakers are grabbing nearly four more boards than the Nuggets.
|Anniversary of ‘Beat L.A.’||05.23.09 at 7:32 pm ET|
The chant that carried the Boston Celtics through last season’s NBA Finals originated 27 years ago today. On May 23, 1982 the Philadelphia 76ers were on the verge of eliminating the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Rather than cheer against the victors, the Garden crowd bellowed “Beat L.A.” as encouragement for the Sixers to defeat the Lakers in the championship round. The Lakers won the title in six games.
|Sixers aren’t deciding on Thibodeau just yet||05.22.09 at 1:02 pm ET|
Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau interviewed for a head coaching position with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, the Boston Globe reported. He is one of six candidates who have met with the organization.
On Friday, Sixers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski issued a statement saying, “As such, due to the number of candidates still involved in the process, there is no timetable set for when this very important decision regarding the future direction of the franchise will be made.”
The 76ers will continue interviews and conduct further research and background checks on their prospects. Stefanski noted, “As I have said before, the qualities I am looking for in our next head coach include excellent communication and leadership skills, will stress the importance of accountability while also developing our players and will be a strong tactician.”
The Globe also reported the Sacramento Kings have been granted permission to interview Thibodeau.