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Allen always expected return to Boston 02.24.10 at 12:53 am ET
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On Tuesday night, Ray Allen returned to TD Garden for the first time since the trade deadline.

He didn’€™t expect to be anywhere else.

‘€œI had my whole West Coast bag packed already, so it was going on the plane to Sacramento on that Monday morning [for the Celtics four-game road trip]. So I wasn’€™t thinking about anything anyways,’€œ he said prior to the Celtics-Knicks game. ‘€œI think there was more made up than honestly I knew because people were tweeting me, hoping I stayed here. But it wasn’€™t a question for me whether or not I thought I was going anywhere.’€

Allen repeatedly vocalized his desire to retire as a Celtic. There was no questioning his interest in finishing his career in green.

However, an expiring contract combined with the Celtics’€™ inconsistencies had landed his name is trade rumors for weeks. Many thought Allen had played his last game as a Celtic when the C’€™s blew a late lead to the Magic on Feb. 7, their final home game before the deadline. And when he sat out the next game in New Orleans with back spasms, even more speculation buzzed.

But as Celtics fans waited anxiously for the trade deadline to pass last Thursday, Allen was unaware of the time frame. He actually thought the deadline was Feb. 20, not the 18th.

Besides, one deadline did not dictate his 14-year career.

‘€œNot that I was ever worried about it because at worst you go somewhere else and you still play. Just you start somewhere else,’€ he said. ‘€œSo that was my mindset. But I think obviously there were people that either wanted me to stay or wanted me to go, one way or the other, it didn’€™t make a difference. I was still going to play.’€

Just as leaving the Garden before the trade deadline didn’€™t trigger any emotions for Allen, neither did his return. For him, it was just another game in Boston, the city he always intended to return to.

‘€œI never expected not to be [here],’€ he said. ‘€œIf they traded me, then I’€™m gone. But I was never worried about it so I never thought otherwise, like I’€™m going to be somewhere else. This is where I planned to be and I didn’€™t think about anything else.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,
Bird and Magic documentary to debut at TD Garden 02.21.10 at 10:59 pm ET
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The Celtics, HBO and Comcast have partnered to premier the HBO Sports documentary, ‘€œMagic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,’€ in an invitation-only event on Monday at the TD Garden.

Paul Pierce and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck will join Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, for the screening on the parquet floor.

‘€œMagic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals’€ explores 30 years of competition between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, dating back to their collegiate careers in the 1970s. The film also features Bird and Johnson’€™s personal lives and their unlikely friendship.

The film will debut on HBO on Saturday, March 6.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce,
Giddens reacts to trade 02.18.10 at 8:43 pm ET
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On Thursday, WEEI.com spoke with J.R. Giddens in an exclusive telephone interview after he was traded to the New York Knicks as part of the Nate Robinson deal.

Giddens averaged 1.0 points and 0.9 rebounds in 3.9 minutes per game for the Celtics over the last two seasons. He recently got his first NBA career start in place of an injured Paul Pierce.

Giddens, who turned 25 last week, has been in Boston rehabbing his left knee (meniscus surgery) and predicts he could play in the next three-to-four weeks, depending on the Knicks’€™ assessment. He expects to leave for New York on Friday morning, and shared his thoughts on his past and present teams:

What was your reaction when you heard you were being traded to New York?

Well I was excited, but it was bittersweet just because I really wanted to do well and show the city of Boston what I could do. But hopefully the Knicks will give me the opportunity.

Why do you think you will be a good fit for Mike D’€™Antoni’€™s system?

As a ballplayer, I’€™ve got to think that I’€™m a good fit in any system. I’€™ve had three different college coaches. Then me being athletic in this system because he likes to run-and-gun and get up and down, I’€™m athletic and I’€™m best in transition. I could really use my athleticism to help them.

How did playing in Boston in under such a big spotlight prepare you for playing in Madison Square Garden?

Well New York is the mecca of basketball and Boston is a championship town and it’€™s so traditional. Both of them are obviously so rich with basketball tradition. Being out here and seeing how people appreciate basketball, it gives you that love for the game, and I’€™ll carry that over to New York if I’€™m given the right opportunity.

Can you sum up your time in Boston — what you learned and what it meant to play for the Celtics?

I learned a lot from a lot of the veterans and just being under the tutelage of Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers. You get to see great leaders and how they prepare themselves every day and just how they approach life. Just seeing Kevin (Garnett), Paul (Pierce), and Ray (Allen), and even guys like (Rajon) Rondo that are coming into their own, I can see how they conduct business every day, prepare their bodies, the preparation they go into every game with. Just as far as the physical and mental aspect of the game, they taught me a lot. And sitting on the bench with guys like Rasheed (Wallace) and (Brian) Scalabrine, Scal talked to me so much and helped educate me on situations in the game and just how to have my mental.

I think that I was like the little brother to everybody out there, so everybody kind of passed on a little bit of knowledge to me. From the head of the organization down, I’€™ve had so many heartfelt conversations with even trainers, ball boys, doctors, some of the veterans, some of the young guys, everybody. When you’€™re a young guy on the team, everybody has some wisdom to give you. So I’€™ve learned so much that I just feel blessed to be in that position. Now hopefully if the situation’€™s different, I can apply that on court in New York or wherever I get my chance.

You must be excited that both Eddie House and Bill Walker will be going with you to New York.

Yeah, I’€™ll still be with those guys and familiar with them, being them for two years now.

What are you most looking forward to about being a Knick?

I’€™m just looking forward to starting fresh and hopefully getting the opportunity to show coach and players that I can help them win games and that I’€™m a good player and somebody that they’€™d like to have on their team.

You have that shamrock tattooed behind your ear. What’€™s next?

With the shamrock, it took me 22 years to get drafted to the NBA and the Celtics were the first team that gave me the opportunity to go on and play professional and follow my dreams and my heart. Every one of my tattoos means something so that’€™s always going to be my first, so the shamrock stays.

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Giddens, Nate Robinson, New York Knicks
Celtics vs. Lakers: Just Another Game? 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
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