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Meet Michael Finley 03.04.10 at 10:46 pm ET
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Proven veterans have become the norm on the Celtics, and Michael Finley looks to become the next one to add his playoff experience to the team. “It’s official now,” Finley told ESPN.com. “I’m soon to be a Celtic.” Finley has never played for an Eastern Conference team, but he comes to Boston with several links to the C’s. Here are a few quick facts to know about Finley:

Position: Guard-Forward
Height/Weight: 6-7, 225 pounds
Birthdate: March 6, 1973
NBA Experience: 15th season

Class of ’95: The Suns selected Finley with the 21st overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. That year Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett were chosen with the fourth and fifth picks, respectively.

Before Beantown: Boston will be Finley’s first stint in the Eastern Conference. He played over a season for the Suns before being traded to the Mavericks as part of the Jason Kidd deal in 1996. He spent over eight years in Dallas, then signed with the Spurs as a free agent in 2005.

Most Recently: This season Finley played 25 games, including two starts, for the Spurs before being bought out on Monday. He averaged 3.7 points (38.1% FG, 31.7% 3PG) and 1.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game.

Title Run: In 2007, Finley won a championship with the Spurs. That postseason he posted 11.3 points in 26.9 minutes over 20 games. He also led the Spurs in three-point field goals and attempts (44-for-105). Finley has a career postseason average of 13.6 points (39.1% 3PG), 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 111 games.

Long-Range Momentum: Finley is averaging 37.4% from long range over his career. He currently ranks ninth among all active players in three-point field goals, trailing Paul Pierce by ten treys. He ranks eighth among all active players in three-point attempts. (Ray Allen is the leader in both categories.)

Major Minutes: He led the league in minutes in 1998, 2000, and 2001, averaging more than 41 per game in each of those seasons. He currently ranks fourth among all active players in total minutes played (37,683), behind only Jason Kidd, Shaquille O’€™Neal, and Kevin Garnett.

All-Star Accolades: Finley is a two-time NBA All-Star. He played on the Western Conference team in 2001 and 2002 with Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace.

Dunking Duel: Finley faced off against Ray Allen and former Celtic Chris Carr in the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. He finished third in the finals that year. The previous year, Finley came in second place to Brent Barry.

School Ties: Finley attended the same high school as Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Proviso East HS in Maywood, Illinois. He played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin, the same school as recently acquired Marcus Landry.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Michael Finley, Ray Allen
Source: Battie has interest in Celtics 02.28.10 at 1:53 pm ET
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On Friday, Yahoo! Sports reported Tony Battie is a candidate to be bought out by the Nets before Monday’€™s deadline.

WEEI.com has learned the Celtics are one of the teams Battie would be interested in signing with if he is bought out. According to a source familiar with the situation, Battie would eye the top three or four teams in each conference, which makes sense for a veteran player who is trying to maximize the years he has left in the NBA.

According to the source, Battie, 34, considers himself to be the in twilight of his career and a serviceable big man who could rebound, play tough defense and give timely fouls. He has not, however, had any conversations with the Celtics organization.

Battie has played in just 15 games for the Nets this season. He played 5-1/2 seasons with the Celtics from 1998-99 until he was traded to Cleveland during the 2003-04 campaign. Prior to being traded to the Nets as part of the Vince Carter deal, he averaged 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds off the bench for the Magic.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Tony Battie,
Daniels dedication contagious 02.26.10 at 1:06 am ET
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Marquis Daniels is sick.

Not sniffly nose sick, but that stay-in-bed-all-day kind of sick where you can’€™t help but feel bad for him when you see that pained look on his face.

Daniels has been battling the flu the entire week, but he still played on Thursday night against the Cavaliers. He started, in fact, in place of Paul Pierce.

He fought through picks, defenders, and illness. Daniels hustled for 31 minutes, defended LeBron James, grabbed three rebounds, and picked off a steal along the way.

‘€œHe did a great job,’€ said Glen Davis. ‘€œBeing sick is tough. He’€™s a competitor and he plays hard. But he went out there and did what he had to do.’€

After the game Daniels looked exhausted as he slouched at his locker. His voice was faint and he  simply shook his head when asked how he felt.

The Celtics will not practice on Friday. Daniels will wait until then to talk to the doctors about what he kind of activity he should or should not do.

But even though he is sick, it’€™s his dedication that’€™s most contagious.

‘€œI commend him because the last day or so he’€™s been somewhat shaky and not strong,’€œ said Ray Allen. ‘€œYou could tell that his energy was very low. So for him to be out there, I definitely commend him.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, Marquis Daniels, Ray Allen
Third Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. Cavaliers 02.25.10 at 10:14 pm ET
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Third quarters have been causes for concern for the Celtics this season. The good news for the C’s is they didn’t blow the lead. The not-so-good news for the Celtics is the Cavs got back within one.

The C’s entered the third quarter up eight, 56-48. But the more LeBron James got to the basket, the smaller their edge got. The Cavs trailed just 74-73 heading into the fourth.

James scored 12 points in the quarter and got to the line seven times. (He made four attempts.) Ray Allen led the Celtics with seven points in the quarter, but Rajon Rondo added just one to his total (15 points).

The Celtics have contained James’ teammates so far, but no lead is ever guaranteed with a clutch player on the court late in the game.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers,
Celtics wish the best for Powe 02.24.10 at 11:59 pm ET
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Thursday night will be Leon Powe‘€™s first return to Boston since signing with the Cavaliers last summer.

It could also be the first time he plays in over 10 months.

Powe tore the ACL in his left knee during Game 2 of the Celtics first round playoff series against the Bulls last season. That was April 20, 2009. He has not played in an NBA game since.

On Tuesday, after months of rehab, Powe was activated into the Cavaliers lineup. While he did  not get on the court, it presented the possibility for him to make his regular season debut against his former team.

Even though he is in a different uniform this time around, those who spent seasons around him expressed their best wishes for his return:

Ray Allen: ‘€œI’€™d be happy for him. I’€™d definitely be happy for him. I’€™m just wishing him well because how he injured himself and how everything went, I was so distraught. We all felt bad so I’€™d be glad to see him just lace them back up.’€

Kendrick Perkins: ‘€œI’€™d be excited for him. Just for him to bounce back after the injury, it could have been a career-ending injury. But for him to come back and get a chance to play, I’€™d be happy for Leon. He’€™s a great guy. ‘€¦ He works hard. Leon’€™s a hard worker. He’€™s all basketball. He doesn’€™t drink, he doesn’€™t do any of the club stuff. He’€™s strictly basketball.’€

Tony Allen: ‘€œThat’€™s my man. I’€™m happy for him. If anybody could come off injuries and play, hey, I’€™m all for it. I hope he gets back to where he wants to get back. That’€™s my man. We’€™ve got a friendship that’€™s going to last forever. He’€™s a championship teammate, we won it together, we threw champagne together, he understands me.’€

Glen Davis: ‘€œIt means a lot. He’€™s a great guy, and for him to have an opportunity to play and do some big things, come back from a tough knee injury, I know it means a lot to him. It’€™s a joy to see a guy bounce back and fight adversity and come back and be able to play. ‘€¦ We won a championship together. We won it together so he’€™s always going to be a part of that.’€

Head coach Doc Rivers: ‘€œIt’€™d be nice to see him playing basketball. I’€™m looking forward to it. I don’€™t know, except for having gone through the knee injury myself, and he’€™s gone through it a couple times, what he has had to go through. So I’€™m really looking forward to him just playing basketball again. It’€™ll be great. To me, it’€™ll be a success story  in a lot of ways because a lot of people didn’€™t think he could ever play again. When he got hurt, I heard that the first time. I said, ‘€˜You clearly don’€™t know who Leon Powe is. That kid will always be a success story.’€™’€

Powe averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds over three seasons for the Celtics. Last season he stepped into the starting role in place of an injured Kevin Garnett and Davis. He scored a career-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds against the Grizzlies last March.

Powe’€™s troubled childhood has also been chronicled as a testament to his dedication to succeed in the NBA. Click here to read more.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe
Allen always expected return to Boston 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,
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