|Allen continues to burn Bobcats||04.02.09 at 9:44 am ET|
Stopping Dell Curry was never easy for Ray Allen. Dale Ellis and Ricky Pierce were tough match ups too. They were dangerous players, the type who, if let open, always knew how to sting Allen and his teammates.
After Wednesday night’s double-overtime thriller, consider Allen the Charlotte Bobcats’ version of Dell Curry.
His three-pointer with seconds left iced another dramatic victory for the Celtics over the Bobcats. (Click here for a recap of the Celtics 2OT 111-109 win.)
“He’s a pure shooter,” said Bobcats guard Raymond Felton. “He got a good look, he knocked down the shot. It’s not like those were easy shots. Those were contested shots.”
This wasn’t the first time Allen has burned the Bobcats. In November of 2007, he drained a game-winning three after Eddie House picked off Jason Richardson’s inbound attempt with less than five seconds to go. The Celtics won 96-95. The image of Allen being carried away by his teammates in celebration is still a Garden favorite.
But Allen says credit goes to the Bobcats, too. He wouldn’t be in the situation to hit last-second shots if they didn’t test the Celtics. Last season the Bobcats stunned them at home and snapped their attempt to become the fastest team to reach 30 wins. This season they beat the Celtics in overtime.
“It’s not anything that I’m doing. Really it’s the team plays us so tough,” Allen said. “They always have a great match up against us, and in the fourth quarter it’s just an opportunity for us to win games. Every day we drill fourth situations, so whether I get the shot, Paul (Pierce) gets the shot, Eddie (House) has a shot, we all kind of know.”
While it is easy for Allen to get overshadowed by Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Bobcats have learned the hard way cannot be forgotten. He was left wide open to hit the game-winner when they tried to triple-team Pierce.
“You can’t exclude him out because he’s a guy who could come in and give you 40, 30 points any time,” said Felton, adding, “He’s a big time player, big time scorer, he hits some big shots.”
|Take your pic: Marbury or the trophy||04.01.09 at 8:38 pm ET|
Fans who sign up for a Boston Celtics license plate have an opportunity to snag a photo with Stephon Marbury or the Larry O’Brien trophy. Marbury will be at the South Shore Plaza on Saturday, April 4 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. License plates cost $40 and benefit the Children’s Hospital Boston. They will be distributed once 1,500 are ordered. Those who sign up will also receive a Kevin Garnett T-shirt. For more information, visit www.celtics.com.
|Soulja Boy Junior showcased at Garden||at 8:14 pm ET|
Seven-year-old Daylon Trotman (aka: Soulja Boy Junior) was featured after the first quarter of the Celtics-Bobcats game for his recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. His segment, in which he danced and was presented with season tickets, was re-aired on the Jumbotron. After, he hit the aisle to put on another show for the Garden crowd. Trotman gained national attention after being highlighted in Boston Magazine.
|Powe limited in workouts||at 7:18 pm ET|
Looking back, Leon Powe would have done things differently.
“I knew I shouldn’t try to set a pick. I don’t set picks anyways,” he laughed. “I don’t know what I was doing. I was trying to make Doc happy.”
Powe offered another update on his sprained knee prior to the Boston Celtics-Charlotte Bobcats game on Wednesday night. That afternoon he spent 45 minutes exercising in the pool rehabbing from the injury he suffered on March 17 against the Chicago Bulls.
“It felt good afterward. It actually felt better than when I first got in,” he said. “So we’re going to stick with the pool work, of course, just try to take it day by day. If I feel good, we’ll do something else. If I don’t, we’ll keep it the same.”
Powe plans on spending a lot of time in the water. His workout routines are limited by team doctors, who also have cleared him to riding the stationary bike in intervals. Other than shooting free throws, Powe does not expect to be practicing on the court for at least another week to week-and-a-half.
While Powe is anxious to help the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics — “I want to come back for my bigs. I’ve got to get healthy for my bigs,” he said — he knows rushing back too soon could lead to more problems in the future. He has set a goal for his return but will not disclose the date.
“I learn something new every day, but you know me, I just don’t want to come back and not be myself,” he said. “So I’m going to make sure I’m going to be myself before I come back out there. Especially on defense, that’s where I really want to be effective.”
|No NCAA Tourney Regrets for Perkins||03.31.09 at 8:00 am ET|
Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett are the only members of the Boston Celtics to go straight from high school to the NBA. Of their teammates who chose the NCAA, nearly all of them experienced March Madness.
Even though Perkins made an early jump to the pros, the 2003 Clifton J. Ozen High School graduate still gets caught up in the excitement of the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s fun because I’ve been watching a lot of games,” he said. “It’s been very interesting just watching all the buzzer beaters, teams getting upset.”
So while Paul Pierce watched Kansas try to defend its NCAA title and Ray Allen basked in the glory of UConn’s Final Fourth berth, does Perkins ever wish he was part of that?
“No,” he said without hesitation. “I don’t think anything substitutes for being in the NBA. It’s like, I’ve never known what it’s like to be in college so I never have any regrets or anything like that.”
It’s easier for Perkins to have no regrets when he can place his world championship ring next to his high school diploma.
|Celtics teach history lesson||03.29.09 at 10:37 pm ET|
On paper the biggest difference between the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder is their records. The Celtics are atop the Atlantic Division with 60 wins while the Thunder have 40 less. But the Celtics also have an advantage that the Thunder cannot attain in a single season – one of the deepest histories in the NBA.
On Sunday the Thunder made the first trip of their inaugural season the TD BankNorth Garden. (Click here for the recap of the Celtics 103-84 win.) The Celtics legacy was not lost on the Thunder squad.
“Inspirational,” Jeff Green said of playing in the Garden. “That’s the point we want to get at. They won championships and that’s what we want to do. But it takes a lot of focus. You’ve got to play defense. This is our first season. It’s going to take some time. We’ve got to be patient, we’ve got to continue to work hard to get to the point where stuff is working.”
Green was drafted by the Celtics in 2007 and traded to the then-Seattle SuperSonics as part of the Ray Allen deal. He played in Boston last season but this time it was different in a Thunder uniform.
“We have to establish who we want to be,” he said. “As of right now, we’re working on that. But we want to be a defensive-minded team. We want to be able to stop people when it counts. We want to be able to make our opportunities count when we get those stops. And I think right now we’re in the process of forming our identity but we’ve just got to continue to work at it.”
Rookie Russell Westbrook also has his own ties to the Celtics. The Lawndale, California native, and former UCLA Bruin, grew up as a Los Angeles Lakers fan. Even though he rooted against the Celtics, he appreciates their tradition.
“It’s kind of like a dream come true growing up, watching the Celtics and Lakers play,” Westbrook said of his first game in Boston. “I’ve seen the old games and things like that. It’s kind of where you planned on being announced.”
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks hopes his young team will learn a thing or two from the Celtics victory.
“One of things that we will learn is, pick up from this team, is there is a reason why they are a championship team,” he said. “They compete every time they are on the court. They execute throughout the game. They don’t just do it in spurts. It’s something that we have to continue to get better at — play 48 minutes of execution and do a better job of just playing with toughness down the stretch.”
Xs and Os aside, the Thunder can take more than a loss away with them.
“It motivates you to want to get better, to want to be at that championship level,” Green said. “It’s an honor to play in a building where some of the greats, Bill Russell, who have banners hanging up, Larry Bird, Parish, all those guys. They paved the way and made it possible to do what we do today. But we’ve got to build our own type of history. We have to start somewhere. And I think the more that we work, the better and better we get and the closer we wil get to that championship level.”
|Scal growing stir crazy||at 7:08 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine is getting stir crazy.
The Boston Celtics forward has been out of commission with post concussion syndrome since February 19. In an attempt to speed up his recovery, he pushed himself too far. Scalabrine is still suffering from lingering headaches in the morning and evening. However his doctors discourage him from taking Tylenol because the medication could mask his symptoms.
“I was going too hard. I was doing too many things,” he said prior to the Celtics game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I was trying to get back and you’re limited in what you can do. You can ride a bike, you can lift weights, but I was lifting weights really hard, riding the bike really hard. We’re not going to tone that down because they (headaches) could just go away and your body could get used to it. But more so April 1 will be the time that we’ll know from the doctors.”
In the meantime, he is itching to get back on the court. In addition to supporting his teammates, attending Celtics home games is a much needed escape.
“For me it’s about getting out of the house,” Scalabrine, a hunting enthusiast, laughed. “A man can only be home so long before he needs to go hunt and gather … I’ve got to do a lot more than the dishes if I stay home. We’re just not built that way … Men are not built to stay home and do stuff at home … We’re not good like that.”
Scalabrine keeps a journal three times a day to record his progress. He will meet with doctors on April 1.