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Celtics vs. Lakers: Just Another Game? 02.18.10 at 12:18 am ET
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To Rajon Rondo, a trip to the Staples Center in the middle of February feels the same as a stop at any other arena.

He sees a basketball court, not the banners hanging above it. And regardless of the rivalry against the home team, he is simply focused on leaving with a win.

‘€œIt’€™s not like a championship game,’€ he explained. ‘€œIt’€™s not a series. It’€™s one game. It helps our record or hurts our record, one way or the other. It’€™s another game.’€

On Thursday, the Celtics will take on the Lakers in their final match up of the regular season. The last time the teams met on Jan. 31, the C’€™s blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead and watched Kobe Bryant sink a game-winner with 7.3 seconds left.

In spite of the desire to avenge their loss, Rondo’€™s right. This isn’€™t a championship game. In fact, at this point in the season it is more about the Celtics vs. themselves rather than the Celtics vs. the Lakers.

The C’€™s have been their own worst enemy lately, surrendering leads and making mistakes down the stretch. This game against Los Angeles, the second stop on a four-game West Coast road trip, will be a test for them to get back to Celtics basketball after a recent departure.

‘€œIt’€™s important,’€œ Paul Pierce said of the entire road trip. ‘€œWe want to go out there and start playing better, start playing more consistent basketball. We know it’€™s a tough trip, and maybe this is a chance for us to get out on the road and get ourselves back together because we really struggled over the last month-and-a-half.’€

The loss to the Lakers capped off a three-game losing streak and a month of January in which the Celtics went 6-8. They entered the All-Star Break on a two-game skid, still struggling to put together 48 minutes of basketball.

A win over the Lakers would give them momentum to jumpstart the second half of the season. They narrowly edged the 18-win Kings on Tuesday night and will face the playoff contending Trail Blazers, Nuggets, and Cavaliers over the course of the next week.

‘€œNext is down to business,’€ said Kevin Garnett. ‘€œObviously trying to play better, consistent basketball for the Celtics and being productive. So that’€™s what’€™s next for us.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo
Scal’s All-Star Scrapbook 02.16.10 at 12:22 pm ET
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As the NBA gathered in Dallas for All-Star Weekend, Brian Scalabrine spent the break with his family and shared his photos with WEEI.com. Click on the photo below to launch the slide show.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, NBA All-Star Break,
Doc: C’s ‘lean back too far on what they’ve done’ 02.08.10 at 5:31 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Like everyone else, Doc Rivers has had his fill of his players saying they’re better than what they’ve been showing on the court of late.

‘€œI think when you have a veteran team, there are several pitfalls,” Rivers said following practice Monday. “One, you’€™re a veteran team. Two, we’€™ll turn it on. I don’€™t buy into that, never have. Three, leaning back on your past success. Your past success is no guarantee to future success. I think this team leans back too far on what they’€™ve done and we have to get to work on what we’€™re going to do and I think that’€™s what we have to do a better job of.’€

[Click here to hear Doc talk about his team.]

In the words of a famous football coach who coached the Patriots in the 1990s, ‘You are what your record says you are.’  For the Celtics, a 32-17 mark is good for third in the East behind Cleveland and Orlando.

He paraphrased Bill Parcells for his players on Monday before, during and after a practice.

‘€œEnough with the talk,” Rivers said. “That’€™s basically it. I had a Conga line in my office today. That’€™s great, though. Guys want to do the right thing. I don’€™t think we have bad guys on our team, I know we don’€™t. But we have to do [right things]. All we keep talking, ‘€˜You’€™re right and we’€™re going to do it,’€™ but we’€™re not doing it. That’€™s what we have to do.’€

Monday was a good first step in a process that figures more like a grind as the team faces road games in the next two weeks against the Hornets, Lakers, Trail Blazers and Nuggets.

‘€œThey responded with a great practice so that’€™s good,” Rivers said. “But we have to, we have to get back to work, that workman’€™s mentality. We have to get back to wanting to be the best defensive team in the NBA. We have to get back to executing better. We can’€™t just rely on guys coming back off injury. That has thrown us off a little bit because of lack of practice time and all that, but I think that’€™s becoming an excuse around here. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA
Doc on Pierce for Weds: ‘Wait and see’ at 3:39 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics captain Paul Pierce was pulled out of practice early on Monday after coach Doc Rivers felt his star didn’t look smooth on his strained left foot.

“Paul didn’t do a lot today,” Rivers said. “We actually pulled him out early. He was practicing and wasn’t moving very well so just took him out. He’s questionable. I think he’s going to play but right now we’ll wait and see.”

Marquis Daniels, meanwhile, looked good in practice after his first game back on Sunday following left thumb surgery. The team was forced to move up their departure to Tuesday morning in order to get into New Orleans ahead of the parade Tuesday afternoon for the Super Bowl winners.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, New Orleans Hornets, Paul Pierce
Daniels fueled by adrenaline in return 02.07.10 at 6:58 pm ET
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All along, Marquis Daniels has said he didn’€™t want to play with any fear when he returned from his thumb injury.

More than two months have passed since Daniels underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. On Sunday against the Magic, he stayed true to his word.

Daniels was greeted by a standing ovation when he made his debut with 4.3 seconds left in the first quarter ‘€” ‘€œI appreciate that,’€ he said. ‘€œThank ya’€™ll. Thank you everybody.’€

Doc Rivers told Daniels he was looking for him to be aggressive, and Daniels listened. He shook off a careless foul he committed as Mickael Pietrus shot a 3, and had confidence in his own shot. He knocked down his first attempt (a turnaround jumper) just 46 seconds into the second quarter.

‘€œIt’€™s always a good feeling to make your first shot,’€ he said with a laugh. ‘€œThe basket started looking wider, so it was just a good feeling just to make the first one.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Rajon Rondo,
Doc: ‘We played like crap’ at 6:52 pm ET
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Doc Rivers says in his postgame address that his team is not as good as it might think it is. The Celtics were outscored 36-11 in the third quarter and blew an 11-point halftime lead in a 96-89 loss to the Magic, dropping them to third in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are have lost all seven home games this year against opponents with at least 30 wins.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Orlando Magic
Giddens cautious with return from surgery at 4:12 pm ET
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J.R. Giddens recovery is ahead of schedule, but he isn’t rushing himself back on the court.

Giddens underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus he suffered while assigned to the Maine Red Claws. Even though he predicts he could return earlier if needed, he is planning on taking the full six weeks before he is cleared to play.

“I’m actually having a speedy recovery,” he said before the Celtics-Magic game. “I think if I was one of the major players on the roster, I could probably be back playing within a week-and-a-half. But I’m probably just going to take six weeks off, so probably another five weeks [from now]. I’ll start weight training next week, but everything’s good. I’ll probably start jogging, shooting free throws now.”

After having 25 percent of his meniscus removed, he doesn’t feel any soreness in his knee except for the two spots where he received what he called “baby stitches,” which he expects to have removed today. He has been lifting weights and doing exercises to improve his range of motion and strength.

Giddens will continue his rehab during the All-Star Break. He originally planned to attend the festivities in Dallas with his family to celebrate his February 13th birthday. (They live a few hours away near Oklahoma City.) Now he will stay back to get healthy.

“I’m trying to stay focused and make sure that my body’s right,” he said. “So I’m just going to stay up here in Boston, kept it very low-key, and make sure I’m rehabbing, trying to get back as soon as I can because I’m already ahead of schedule. I wouldn’t want to do anything like put myself back a week or so. You never know with injuries, people getting hurt, so I just want to try to stay fresh and get stronger day by day.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Giddens,
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