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Returning Celtics hit the court in preseason opener 10.07.09 at 11:37 pm ET
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On Wednesday night, all eyes were on Kevin Garnett as he returned to the court for the first time in more than six months during the Celticspreseason opener against the Rockets in Hidalgo, Texas. Although Garnett’s playing time was limited, his knee injury looked out of mind when he drained the first shot of the game.

But Garnett was not the only player who returned to the Celtics looking to improve upon last season. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis lost weight, Rajon Rondo bulked up, and Ray Allen claims to be in the best shape of his career. See how the members of the 2008-09 team fared as they began the 2009-10 season.

Kevin Garnett
Last game: March 25 vs. Orlando Magic
17 minutes, 4 points (2-5 FG), 8 rebounds, 1 assist
Preseason opener: 13 minutes, 6 points (2-6 FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist

Paul Pierce
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
39 minutes, 16 points (4-13 FG), 7-10 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Preseason opener: 16 minutes, 8 points (2-6 FG), 4-4 FT, 1 rebound, 0 assist

Ray Allen
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
41 minutes, 23 points (9-18 FG), 3-6 3PG, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Preseason opener: 17 minutes, 8 points (3-6 FG), 0-2 3PG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist

Rajon Rondo
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
37 minutes, 10 points (4-10 FG), 2-2 FT, 6 rebounds, 10 assists
Preseason opener: 17 minutes, 7 points (1-4 FG), 5-8 FT, 1 rebound, 3 assists

Kendrick Perkins
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
39 minutes, 8 points (3-11 FG), 15 rebounds, 2 blocks
Preseason opener: 14 minutes, 3 points (1-2 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 blocks

Glen Davis
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
31 minutes, 13 points (4-7 FG), 4 rebounds
Preseason opener: 23 minutes, 9 points (3-6 FG), 4 rebounds

Eddie House
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
17 minutes, 2 points (1-3 FG), 0-1 3PG, 0 assists
Preseason opener: 21 minutes, 9 points (3-6 FG), 1-2 3PG, 0 assists

Brian Scalabrine
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
13 minutes, 2 points (1-5 FG), 1 rebound, 2 assists
Preaseason opener: 18 minutes, 4 points (1-2 FG), 2 rebounds, 0 assists

J.R. Giddens
Last game: March 6 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
1 minute, 0 points (0-0 FG), 1 rebound, 1 steal
Preseason opener: 13 minutes, 1 point (0-1 FG), 1 rebound, 0 steals

Tony Allen (ankle) did not play against the Rockets. Visit WEEI.com’s Green Street for live coverage from the TD Garden on Friday night as the Celtics take on the Knicks in their preseason home-opener.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, eddie house, Glen Davis
NBA GMs Pick Celtics as Best Defensive Team at 11:29 am ET
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A survey of NBA General Managers on NBA.com revealed the more than 60 percent of the execs believe the Los Angeles Lakers will win it all again this season. That doesn’t mean, though, the Boston Celtics were not recognized.

The Cs were predicted to win the Eastern Conference, earning 50 percent of the votes. They also received 100 percent of votes to win the Atlantic Division.

Which team will win the Eastern Conference?
Boston Celtics     50.0%
Cleveland Cavaliers     42.9%
Orlando Magic     7.1%

Over 60 percent of GMs selected the Celtics as the best defensive team in the 2009-10 season. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each received votes for individual defensive categories. Rondo tied Kobe Bryant with the most votes for best ball-on-ball defender.

Best defensive team:
Boston     60.7%
San Antonio     32.1%
L.A. Lakers     7.1%

Best defensive player:
Dwight Howard, Orlando     46.4%
Kevin Garnett, Boston     17.9%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers 17.9%

Best on-the-ball defender:
Rajon Rondo, Boston     25.0%
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers     25.0%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers     17.9%

Best interior defender:
Dwight Howard, Orlando     64.3%
Kevin Garnett, Boston     32.1%

Best perimeter defender:
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers     34.5%
Shane Battier, Houston     24.1%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers     20.7%
Rajon Rondo, Boston     6.9%

On an individual basis, Garnett received the second-most votes (20.7%) for best power forward behind Tim Duncan. Ray Allen also received votes for best shooting guard.

Click here for complete results on NBA.com. General Managers were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen
Rivers: “I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic” 10.06.09 at 11:25 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics have until the end of the month to decide whether to extend Rajon Rondo‘s contract or let the point guard become a restricted free agent next summer. Doc Rivers, however, has a strong feeling Rondo will be back … for a while.

On Tuesday he told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show:

“I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic. I really do. I think this process he’€™s gone through is the process all players go through at times. The maturity process is another thing that all players go through. I don’€™t think he’€™s behind in that department at all. I just think he’€™s young and he’€™s growing. So, I never had a black mark against him. For maturity issues, that’€™s part of his process of growing up, and he’€™s doing that. He’€™s been as good as anyone. In camp thus far he’€™s doing everything we ask him to do ‘€” and he usually does. I would be very surprised if he’€™s not a lifetime Celtic.”

Click here for a complete transcript of Rivers’ interview.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo,
Garnett clarifies knee injury 10.04.09 at 11:05 pm ET
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A week into the Celtics Training Camp, Kevin Garnett cleared the air about his knee injury which had kept him off the court since last season.

“I don’t have any knee problems. I don’t have any knee problems,” the Boston Globe quoted Garnett saying on Saturday. “I’m not trying to get in depth with my injury and all that but the things are bothering me are secondary and not even primary. So I’m excited about that because it’s nothing be strengthening the knee and playing again. You gotta remember, I have been out since what, March? I haven’t done anything since then. I have just been rehabbing, strengthening. Nothing simulates basketball play. The pounding, the churning, the reactions, the stuff you have to react to in games you can’t get that in trying to that with the rehab and the trainers and all that other stuff.”

Garnett admitted last week during Media Day that he was still struggling with his energy level and is working toward reaching the condition he was in prior to his injury. That being said, he is still optimistic about his recovery.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I wouldn’t (BS) you guys if I was hurting, I would tell you. I’m pretty straight up with everything that’s going on with me. I feel good. I’m excited about how we are and I’m just trying to get my part together to make sure I’m ready for when we need to be like we need to be.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett,
NBA tells players to take a seat 10.02.09 at 2:31 pm ET
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For anyone who has had their view of the game blocked by a towering Kevin Garnett or a towel-waving Tony Allen, they won’€™t have to worry about that again this season.

Mixed in with the news of the NBA’€™s social media guidelines was a new policy on sideline behavior. According to a memo obtained by ESPN.com, the league is restricting players from standing on while they are on the bench. This comes in response to complaints received last season.

Marc Stein reported, ‘€œStarting this season, league rules dictate that players will be required to remain seated on the bench while the ball is live except to ‘€˜spontaneously react to a notable play [and] immediately sitting down on the bench afterward’€™ or ‘€˜to approach the scorer’s table to report into the game.’€™ The memo states that ‘€˜players will not be permitted to stand [in front of] the bench at any other time while the ball is in play, including standing for the last minute of a game or standing until the team scores its first point in game.’€™’€

According to the memo, teams may be fined for not following the rule.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA,
Report: Walker out 6-8 Weeks 10.01.09 at 3:56 pm ET
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Bill Walker will miss 6-8 weeks with a torn meniscus in his right knee, according to multiple media outlets from Celtics Training Camp. Celtics.com reported he will have surgery on Friday morning at New England Baptist Hospital.

‘€œBilly did have an MRI and it’€™s not good news,’€ the Boston Herald quoted Doc Rivers. ‘€œIt’€™s a meniscus tear, so he’€™s going to have surgery on Friday it looks like, and he’€™ll be out six to eight weeks. For him you feel bad because he’€™s had, what, three or four or five surgeries. It’€™s just a bum break for him. It really is. But that’€™s part of all this stuff, I guess, and he’€™s becoming an expert at handling it. He’€™s obviously down about it.’€

Walker left Training Camp in Newport, RI on Wednesday with a sore knee and returned to Boston for an MRI. The second-year forward has already undergone procedures on both knees.

Read More: Bill Walker, Boston Celtics,
NBA sets social media guidelines 09.30.09 at 11:57 pm ET
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Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva brought  social media to the forefront in the NBA last season when he tweeted from the locker room during halftime as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. Within a period of months countless players around the league, including Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Marquis Daniels, have adopted this trend. Some have even used sites like Twitter as an outlet to break their own news. In response, the NBA has released a set of guidelines heading into the 2009-10 season.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein explained:

The NBA formally announced its new social media guidelines Wednesday, informing teams through a league memorandum that the use of cell phones, PDAs and other electronic communications devices — and thus accessing Twitter, Facebook and similar social media sites — is now prohibited during games for players, coaches and other team personnel involved in the game.

The league has defined “during games” as the period of time beginning 45 minutes before the opening tip and ending “after the postgame locker room is open to the media and coaches and players have first fulfilled their obligation to be available to media attending the game.”

“During games” also encompasses halftime, according to the memo, but the new guidelines do allow players to engage in social networking during the pregame media ccess period that starts 90 minutes before tipoff and lasts for 45 minutes.

Coaches and team executives are expected to largely welcome the league’s edict, as they generally frown upon mobile-phone use in the locker room and on team buses, although the severity of restrictions generally vary from team to team given the rise in recent years in texting and e-mailing from handheld devices.

The league’s announcement also included the expected caveat that teams “are free to adopt their own rules relating to the use of electronic communication devices and social media sites and services during practices, meetings and other team events.”

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers addressed the issue of social media earlier this week and said he does not plan to implement further restrictions than those enforced by the NBA.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen,
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