|Alston wanted to play for Celtics||02.05.10 at 12:44 am ET|
Earlier this season, there was speculation that the Celtics could make a move to acquire Rafer Alston after he was bought out by the Nets. The theory was that he could be a veteran backup to Rajon Rondo, the same role the Celtics had filled with Sam Cassell and Stephon Marbury the previous two seasons.
Turns out, it was actually the other way around. Rather than the Celtics going after Alston, Alston told his camp after the buyout that he would like to play in Boston. He is ‘pretty sure’ the Celtics knew of his interest, but he never had a conversation with the organization.
‘I think it was my interest,’ he told WEEI.com. ‘But I don’t think Doc [Rivers] would have opposed it knowing that you can grab a guy that can give you minutes at backup point for this team, and who’s a willing passer and just a natural point guard. Then understand, I played for [assistant coach Tom] Thibodeau before in Houston. So I’d always had them on my mind before I came here.’
The 33-year-old didn’t lose any time holding out for the C’s, though. The Heat scooped him up almost immediately after he cleared waivers in early January. Alston could not turn down the opportunity to start for a playoff contender, nor could he stress enough how happy he is on his new team: ‘I got blown away by coming here with the immediate option to play instead of waiting it out.’
There is an element of surprise in Alston’s interest in the Celtics, though. He has been involved in some heated moments at TD Garden. Last season he slapped Eddie House in the head during the Eastern Conference semifinals as a member of the Magic. Just Wednesday night, he was issued a technical foul in the Celtics-Heat game.
But Alston says that has nothing to do with ill will. It’s about the competition.
‘I enjoy watching them on League Pass,’ he admitted. ‘Playing against them, I know it’s going to be a competitive game. We always chat at each other, but deep down I always care about each of the players in this league. So even if I did come, I hope they wouldn’t have taken the chatter back and forth that we all do against each other personally. Again, I have a great respect for the level of competition that they bring.’
Alston also has a good understanding of the Celtics. He has faced them enough times over his career to see where he could have fit in. While he believes Rondo is more than qualified to run the floor himself ‘ ‘He’s an All-Star,’ Alston said. ‘He’s having a wonderful career.’ ‘ Alston thinks having a true point guard on the bench could have had its benefits, too.
‘Not back up but just complement, maybe get him [Rondo] some much-needed rest,’ he explained. ‘Sometimes there are nights that he’s out there giving 40 minutes, and get him some rest. And also, you’d help the second-unit guys. You can keep some guys in their natural positions. You can keep [Eddie] House in his natural position; you can keep [Marquis] Daniels in his natural position, guys that are flirting between playing shooting guard.
“That’s one thing that I learned in this game. If you can keep everyone at their natural and most comfortable position, them succeeding is a better percentage.’
|Ray Allen: ‘Anything Can Happen’||02.03.10 at 10:32 pm ET|
Ray Allen has been around long enough to know anything is possible.
When Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge called a meeting with Allen, the veteran was appreciative of the organization’s efforts to keep him in the loop with the trading deadline approaching.
Even though Allen had disciplined himself to ignore the rumors, they are hard to avoid when an expiring contract has made him the focal point of rumors floating around the NBA circuit. The most talked-about report had Golden State interested in sending Monta Ellis to Boston in exchange for Allen.
Because of this, Ainge wanted to clear the air. He met with Allen and his family for half-an-hour at the Celtics training facility on Tuesday in Waltham.
‘We talked yesterday and he just wanted me to know that he hasn’t done anything or tried anything to seek out a trade,’ Allen told WEEI.com prior to Wednesday’s Celtics-Heat game. ‘He just, based off of what he feels that we’ve done for the organization on and off the floor, he was like I just owe it to you so that you know there’s nothing that’s been done on my behalf. It’s just teams inquiring, natural NBA business.’
[Click here to hear what Ray Allen said about all of the rumors swirling and his meeting with Ainge.]
Ainge reiterated to WEEI’s Big Show on Wednesday that he has not had any conversations regarding a trade that would move Allen. He felt it was unlikely that the Celtics would find a deal that would help them with a title both this season and in the future. Their priority, Ainge said, is winning now.
And besides, they like having Allen on the court.
‘We want Ray,’ Ainge said. ‘We think Ray is a huge part of our winning a championship this year.’
Allen does not doubt the Celtics appreciation of his game and contributions to the Boston community. In addition to his Ray of Hope Foundation, the Allens became heavily involved with the Joslin Diabetes Center after their son Walker was diagnosed in 2008.
At the same time, there is a reality of the game. While Ainge said the Celtics have not actively sought out a trade nor have they been ‘anywhere near or had any discussion,’ that does not mean they wouldn’t entertain talks either.
After 14 years in the league, Allen understands how it works.
‘I really understand that this is a business and I got traded when I was the least one to be traded when I was in Milwaukee. So anything can happen. Anything can happen,’ Allen said. ‘There’s nobody that’s really untouchable in this league, so I appreciated his candidness, letting me know and letting my wife know, and my boys were in the office running around. You always hate to see people do business behind your back and kind of not keep you alert, so it just spoke volumes of who he is and as a GM doing his job.
‘But, you know, he still could. I don’t know. It depends on what is thrown out there. So it’s not that I worry about it. It’s a business. My job still has to be done the same.’
|Daniels wants to re-sign with C’s||at 8:43 pm ET|
Marquis Daniels has seen enough to know that he likes where he is.
In spite of spending the majority of his one-year contract on the sidelines with a thumb injury, Daniels already knows he would like to re-sign with the Celtics this summer.
‘The locker room is great, it’s a great atmosphere, the coaching staff, everything is good,’ he told WEEI.com prior to the Celtics ‘ Heat game, despite a recent claim from Rajon Rondo that the team was having chemistry issues. ‘So it’s something that I’d like to be part of. Hopefully it will work out. If not, then I have to deal with everything that happens.’
Daniels likes the winning mentality of the Celtics community, from his teammates to the coaching staff, front office to the fans. The city’s winning tradition is something he would like to remain a part of.
At the same time, he has a very realistic outlook on his current situation. He knows what he can control and what is out of his hands. While he is eager to get back on the court (he has missed 27 games and hopes play before the All-Star break), he isn’t dwelling on the fact that he hasn’t been able to.
‘There’s no frustrations. It’s part of the game,’ he said. ‘I just go out there and play. I can’t worry about trying to do more than what you’re supposed to because that’s when you start playing bad and making things worse for yourself. I’ve just got to go out there and do what I do, and that’s playing defense, getting guys open, and doing my job. That’s the only thing I have to worry about.’
Daniels won’t get caught up in the length of future contracts, either. So whether he is offered another one-year deal or something longer than that, he’ll stick with doing his job and let everyone else do their own.
‘I don’t think about stuff like that,’ he said. ‘I worry about things that I can control, and that’s not one of them. I just go out there and play. I can control how I play when I get out there. As far as what someone wants to do, as far as deal-wise, I let my agent and the front office talk about that.’
|First Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Heat||at 8:35 pm ET|
First Quarter: Celtics 27 – Heat 26
Rondo leads all players with 8 points and four assists. Wade is right behind him with 7 points and 4 dimes. But the C’s are getting a big boost from Kevin Garnett, who has added 7 points and four assists of his own.
The key for the Celtics in the second quarter will be tough defense. The Heat are shooting 65 percent from the field.
|Pierce to have X-rays on foot||02.01.10 at 10:59 pm ET|
Paul Pierce will have X-rays taken on his left foot on Tuesday, he told the media following Monday night’s game against the Wizards. Pierce injured his foot during the first quarter when he fell to the ground fighting for a loose ball against Caron Butler. He left the game but later returned. Pierce scored 12 points in 28 minutes.
“The foot is sore, so sit on it tonight, get some X-rays tomorrow, come back, see how I feel,” Pierce said. “But I think it’s not going to be too bad. I mean, I would have known by now. I have a really good sense of my body and usually how I feel and injuries. So I think it’ll be all right, but we’re going to go get the X-rays tomorrow.”
The Celtics‘ next game is Wednesday against the Heat in Boston.
|Celtics recall Giddens from Red Claws||01.29.10 at 6:54 pm ET|
The Celtics recalled J.R. Giddens from the Maine Red Claws, their NBA D-League affiliate, the team announced on Friday.
The recall is procedural, according to multiple reports. Giddens recently injured the meniscus in his left knee and is scheduled for surgery.
Giddens played in four games for the Red Claws during his recent assignment, averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. He is averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 21 games for the Celtics this season.
|Celtics react to Grizzlies unexpected streak||01.26.10 at 12:51 pm ET|
If you were told at the start of the season that among the Celtics and Grizzlies, one team would win 11 straight at home while the other would lose three consecutive games on their own turf, chances are you would pick the Celtics to be streaking.
That’d be the wrong answer.
The Grizzlies have not lost at home since falling to the Celtics on December 14, 2009. After winning just 16 games in Memphis last season, they have put together a string of victories that includes wins over the playoff contending Nuggets, Jazz, Suns, and Spurs.
On Monday, they extended the streak to 11 with a win over the Magic, the Celtics’ next opponent, tying the previous mark set by the Cavaliers and Lakers this season.
‘It’s pretty tough,’ Rasheed Wallace said when told of the Grizzlies achievement. ‘You have good teams coming in night in and night out, some top-notched teams and some teams that are lower than you that are not playing on your level. That’s what makes it harder because you want to try to get your ball club to stay on that high level and not stoop down.’
Even though the Celtics have won their last two games at home, they can appreciate the Grizzlies accomplishments. This season they learned how vulnerable they can be on their own court. After posting 35-6 records at the TD Garden the previous two seasons, the Celtics uncharacteristically dropped three in a row this month. The C’s understand what goes into a streak like the Grizzlies.
‘It’s very hard, but I think they’re focused,’ said Kendrick Perkins. ‘They’re playing with a lot of confidence, they’ve got a pretty good coach over there, good young talent, and they’re just sticking together, grinding out games.’
Perkins knows firsthand the obstacles faced by a young team, making the Grizzlies streak that much more notable. He was a member of the 2007 Celtics squad that lost 18 straight during a rocky youth movement.
‘They’re young but their basketball IQ’s a little bit better than how we were,’ he said. ‘They’re playing team ball and tough defense. They’ve got a lot of smart guys.’
The Grizzlies will look to extend their home streak to 12 on Saturday against the Hornets, while the Celtics will try to make it three in a row in Boston on Sunday against the Lakers. The Grizzlies will test the C’s at the TD Garden on March 10.