|Gordon’s return was expected||04.29.09 at 12:36 am ET|
Doc Rivers has seen this before. Last season he watched Paul Pierce bounce back from a knee injury to save the day in the NBA Finals. So he wasn’t surprised when Ben Gordon, the Bulls most dangerous scorer, played through a problematic hamstring in a critical Game 5.
‘Yeah I wasn’t worried about Ben Gordon being hurt,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen that act before.’
Gordon scored 26 points in 50 minutes during the Bulls overtime loss. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro explained why he left his guard on the court for so long.
‘A few times I said, ‘Ben, how are you? Are you alright?’ and he just said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine’ or ‘Yeah, I’m a little tight,’’ Del Negro said. ‘But he played 50 minutes so it wasn’t like I was going to take him out because once he gets tight it’s hard to get him loose again. So if he was fine then I was fine with him being out there because he’s such a threat.’
Rivers gave Gordon credit for leading the Bulls on the scoreboard. But that’s not to say he overwhelmed by a comeback performance.
‘He was terrific. You know, he made some unbelievable shots and honestly some of them were very well defended. We’ll take some of those shots and if he makes them, he makes them,’ said Rivers. ‘But overall he didn’t look injured to me.’
|Pierce reveals favorite players to watch||04.26.09 at 2:17 pm ET|
During halftime of Game 4 between the Celtics and Bulls, ABC revealed Paul Pierce’s favorite five players to watch growing up:
Click here to see Ray Allen’s favorite five shooters of all-time.
|D-League Season over for Giddens||04.25.09 at 4:50 pm ET|
J.R. Gidden’s postseason is over — with the Utah Flash, at least. The Celtics rookie led the Flash to the NBDL Finals before losing to the Colorado 14ers on Friday night, 123-104. Giddens, who was assigned to the Flash in March, posted 17 points , 15 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss. He averaged 17.2 points (57.8% FG) and 6.3 rebounds during the D-League playoffs. Giddens was selected by the Celtics with the 30th pick in the 2008 Draft.
|NBA Weekend Playoff Guide||04.24.09 at 4:11 pm ET|
Friday, April 24
(4) Portland Trail Blazers @ (5) Houston Rockets
9:30pm EST, ESPN
Saturday, April 25
Sunday, April 26
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers @ (8) Detroit Pistons
3:30pm EST, ABC
(3) Orlando Magic @ (6) Philadelphia 76ers
6:30pm EST, TNT
(4) Portland Trail Blazers @ (5) Houston Rockets
9:00pm EST, TNT
* The Cavaliers (2-0) are the only team eligible to clinch a series victory this weekend.
|Simmons: 12 Celtics-Bulls Subplots||04.23.09 at 2:27 pm ET|
Two games in, Bill Simmons is already dubbing the 2009 Celtics-Bulls matchup as one of the best first round series ever played. In his most recent column he explored the scenario of ‘An aging/injured/exhausted/depleted heavyweight (Boston) fights off a hungry young challenger that’s clearly coming into its own (Chicago).’ Simmons examined 12 subplots of the series, ultimately resting it all in the hands of Ray Allen. (But not before sneaking in a jab against Joakim Noah.) Click here to read the column.
|Bulls mystique gone for Celtics?||at 12:40 am ET|
The Boston Celtics pride themselves on having one of the best home crowds in the league. Each game thousands of fans make sure the opposing team takes notice of the 17 banners hanging in the rafters, while memories of Bird, Parish, and McHale are never far from their minds.
But when the Celtics travel to Chicago for Games 3 and 4 of the playoffs against the Bulls, they will be met by a United Center crowd who wants them to acknowledge their own collection of banners. It has been just over ten years since Michael Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA Championships in eight seasons, and their fans are eager to see a first round upset.
So what do the Celtics expect from the Bulls crowd?
‘It’s really hard to answer that question because I know there was a Jordan era in Chicago and then there’s a post-Jordan era. Those are two different eras,’ said Ray Allen. ‘Playing when he played, it was one atmosphere that was uncomparable. Now people are supportive and there’s a lot of basketball fans in that city, but the mystique when he was there was totally different.’
Like Allen, Stephon Marbury played against Jordan early in his career. While he agrees that Bulls fans still show their support, there is no replacing Jordan’s presence.
‘They have a really good system as far as how they get the crowd into the game. I think after Michael Jordan, they stayed consistent with exactly what they do. So it’s going to be a nice atmosphere,’ Marbury said. ‘They try to continue with that same mystique. But he’s not there.’
Journeyman Mikki Moore has experienced eight different home crowds. Even so, he still ranks the Bulls crowd (one of the few teams he never played for) as one of the best.
‘It’s a pretty good crowd,’ he said. ‘It’s a lot like here (in Boston). It’s one of the top ten arena crowds because of the traditional Bulls. From Scottie (Pippen) and Jordan, it’s a basketball city so they’re going to come out and support their team regardless.’
For those who played against the Bulls during their dynasty, the memories will still linger in the building. However the younger members of the Celtics cannot relate as their veteran teammates do.
‘It’s alright. It’s no different than any other NBA team,’ said Kendrick Perkins. ‘You don’t [notice a mystique]. You really don’t. I’ve never played there in a playoff game but when we go there in the regular season, most people are all about the Celtics.’
The Celtics and Bulls will face off in Chicago on Thursday at 8pm EST for Game 3 and Sunday at 1pm EST for Game 4.
|Official Powe Statement||04.21.09 at 3:41 pm ET|
“The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Leon Powe suffered an ACL tear and a meniscus tear in his left knee during Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls in the First Round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Powe will miss the remainder of the playoffs. A surgery date will be determined at a later date. This injury is unrelated to the right knee injury that he suffered on March 17. Powe is expected to make a full recovery from his surgery.”