|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.
|Scalabrine out with shoulder injury||01.22.10 at 11:46 pm ET|
BOSTON ‘ Brian Scalabrine expects to miss nearly a week with a separated right shoulder, he told WEEI.com following the Celtics ‘ Trail Blazers game. He did not play on Friday night and aims to return next Thursday against the Magic in Orlando.
Scalabrine initially suffered the injury on January 6 against the Heat while trailing Michael Beasley on a pick. However, he wanted to maximize his opportunity in Kevin Garnett’s absence and played the next seven games with the injury.
‘The only thing that was hard was when I play defense, I used my forearms to create space so the guy can’t feel my body. I couldn’t do it with this side so it was just a minor disadvantage,’ he explained. ‘You have to learn to play with your feet a little more instead of using your body, your spacing, stuff like that. But I think hopefully these next couple of days it’ll get better.’
It wasn’t until the pain became unbearable during Wednesday’s game against the Pistons that he decided to undergo an MRI. On Thursday, Scalabrine learned he had a Grade 2 AC joint injury, which he says, ‘is not a major separation.’
‘The best way to describe it is it feels like a sprained ankle in your shoulder,’ he said. ‘So it doesn’t hurt all the time, but it hurts when it’s in certain positions.’
This is the first shoulder injury Scalabrine has suffered during his career. He will ice his shoulder for treatment and anticipates being able to practice in the next three days.
Scalabrine averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds as a starter in three games this season.
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Trail Blazers||at 10:30 pm ET|
BOSTON ‘ Kevin Garnett’s return was nothing short of dramatic.
The Celtics expected energy from their big man and this game had plenty of it.
On paper, the combination of KG’s comeback plus homecourt advantage gave the Celtics a clear edge over the Brandon Roy-less Trail Blazers. But nothing has been a sure bet for the C’s as of late and they struggled yet again in the second half to put together four solid quarters of basketball.
The Celtics blundered an 11-point lead, trailed down the stretch, but eventually forced overtime. All they needed was five more minutes to put away the Trail Blazers, 98-85, to snap their three-game losing streak and reclaim control at home.
Player of the Game: Credit Paul Pierce (24 points) for carrying through regulation before fouling out in the final seconds, and then give kudos to Ray Allen in overtime. It is unusual when a player who shoots 3-for-14 from the field is named Player of the Game, but in this instance it was the one who struggled the most that had the biggest impact when it mattered. He drained a three-pointer late in overtime to put the Celtics up by one … and they never looked back.
Turning Point: Let’s start with regulation. Martell Webster hit a long jumper to tie the game at 91 apiece with less than a minute in the fourth. Rondo fought through a cluster of Trail Blazers to snag the rebound at top of the key. Pierce drove the lane on an attempted game-winning layin and instead was whistled for his sixth foul. The Trail Blazers failed to connect and the game headed to overtime.
In OT, Ray Allen made up for a poor offensive performance and hit a critical 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 96-95. Tony Allen beat out LaMarcus Alridge on a steal, sending Aldridge tumbling into the broadcasters table. Tony Allen slammed it home and gave the Celtics a final three-point lead.
- Garnett played 30 minutes in his first game back since December 28. He posted 13 points (4-for-9 FG, 5-5 FG), four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He was also whistled for five fouls.
- In spite of hitting the the key go-ahead bucket, Allen scored less than 10 points for the third time in the past four games.
- The Celtics were outscored on second chance points (22-8) for the third time in four games. They were outscored 12-0 by the Pistons on Wednesday and 16-2 by the Bulls last week.
- The Trail Blazers bench did not score until just over three minutes left in the second half. Their reserves were outscored 29-11 by the Celtics.
|Daniels hopes to return before All-Star||at 7:24 pm ET|
BOSTON — Marquis Daniels has not been told a definitive date, but he hopes to return to action prior to the All-Star Break.
Daniels has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb in December. He had the hard cast removed on Thursday and will wear a soft cast while he continues his rehab.
His return depends on when he can regain a full range of motion in his thumb.
“Right now it’s not really painful, it’s just stiff,” he said before the Celtics – Trail Blazers game, adding, “[My return] could be earlier. It just depends on how my body reacts to it.”
Daniels expects to practice in a week or so. In the meantime, he is just happy to see the hard cast gone.
“It’s very relieving,” he said. “No more tying my hand up to take a shower, tying my shoe, all the small things. “
|Daniels tweets cast removed||at 11:37 am ET|
Marquis Daniels tweeted Friday morning that he had the hard cast taken off of his left hand. He will receive a soft cast to continue his rehab.
@lambo6: ‘Thanks to my higher power my good LORD n Saviour on that note Got my cast off one step closer to gettn back, so excited.’
Daniels underwent surgery in December to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to return around the All-Star Break in February.
|KG named All-Star Starter||01.21.10 at 8:13 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett was voted in by the fans as a starter to the 2010 Eastern Conference All-Star Team, the NBA announced on Thursday night. Garnett received 1,978,116 votes for his 13th All-Star selections. LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Allen Iverson, and Dwyane Wade were also named to the East team. Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash were named starters for the West. The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 14 in Dallas.
|Davis Fined $25,000 by NBA||at 5:08 pm ET|
The NBA fined Glen Davis $25,000 for “directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, announced on Thursday.
Davis was heckled by a fan and responded with obscenities during the Celtics 92-86 loss to the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, Doc Rivers commented on the incident on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show, saying: “Yeah, it is a big deal. … That stuff can’t happen. I always say, ‘To the victors go the spoils,’ if you know what I’m saying. If the other team is winning and the fans are on you, that’s part of it. We’ve been taught you have to take it and you have to keep playing. I don’t think it’s a huge step backwards, but it is a step backwards, and Glen Davis has to grow up.”