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Sounds of the game… Celtics 103, Hawks 102 11.13.08 at 7:09 am ET
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Let’s hope that Wednesday night was just the beginning… the beginning of what could be the best rivalry this year in the Eastern Conference. Anyone attending the Cs encounter with the Atlanta Hawks could tell almost immediately that these Hawks, who nearly dashed the Celtics’ hopes last spring in the first round, are no fluke. And those same Celtics fans who were shocked when Marvin Williams hit a three-pointer with 7.4 seconds were were overjoyed when Paul Pierce’s rainbow fell through with half a second to go, handing Atlanta their first loss in seven games and improving Boston to 8-1.

Paul Pierce describes the winning shot.

Pierce said Atlanta is certainly legit.

Kevin Garnett said make way for Superman on the last play.

Doc Rivers said he kidded with Pierce about the actual execution of the final play.

Rivers said it was a great win.

Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said you have to give it up for Pierce and the Celtics.

Woodson said the Celtics have helped his team grow up a lot.

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Veterans maintain first quarter lead for Hawks 11.12.08 at 6:15 pm ET
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Last season one of the most impressive factors of the Hawks series against the Celtics was their youth and inexperience. This summer, however, they have added veteran leadership to their bench. Mo Evans and Flip Murray pushed their younger teammates during training camp and are one of the reasons why head coach Mike Woodson thinks the Hawks have been so successful. With Murray and Evans on the court, the Hawks stopped a Celtics run to cap off the first quarter with a three-point dagger from Murray.

At the end of the first quarter … Hawks 31, Celtics 24

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Playoffs? Is it the playoffs? at 5:53 pm ET
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Did you hear that?

It’s the boos resonating from the crowd on Mike Bibby’s first possession.

There was a postseason atmosphere before tip-off which was only heightened by Kevin Garnett’s encouragement of the crowd. Only this time, the Hawks have come out swinging first. Joe Johnson is still out to beat the Celtics on the offensive end and is leading his team to an early lead.

Doc Rivers called a timeout down 17-11 with six minutes to go in the first quarter. Yes, another first quarter deficit. This is becoming the norm for the Cs, echoing Rivers comments of inconsistency from the starting five.

So far Monday’s hero Paul Pierce is scoreless. Let’s see if the Celtics can get it going …

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O’Neal Struggling to Achieve Celtics Success 11.11.08 at 9:58 am ET
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When Jermaine O’Neal looks at Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, he can’t help but get frustrated.

Not everyone can do this in just one season.

Very few can do this in just one season.

Garnett and Allen were able to hit the ground running in their first season with the Boston Celtics, starting off 20-2 en route to the first NBA Championships of their career. For O’Neal, his debut season with the Toronto Raptors has anything but a joyride.

“It’s been kind of a roller coaster for me,” he said. “And it’s been hard.”

This summer O’Neal was traded to the Raptors from the Indiana Pacers, a year after Garnett’s blockbuster trade to the Celtics. The move paired O’Neal with dominating big man Chris Bosh and positioned the Raptors as an Eastern Conference contender. Like the Celtics, the Raptors united unfulfilled All-Stars in hopes of winning a title.

“You try not to base your career and your success off of somebody else’s,” O’Neal said. “A lot of people can say, ‘I want it to be like this,’ but it’s not necessarily like that. [The Celtics] definitely have put together a format on how to do it, for sure. Sometimes you’re not able to go that route. You’ve got to take another route and that’s the route that I’m on.”
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Pregame: Celtics vs. Raptors 11.10.08 at 5:17 pm ET
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Greetings from the TD BankNorth Garden where the Boston Celtics are set to take on the Toronto Raptors. Paul and I have you covered tonight so check back regularly for news and updates.

The Raptors wasted no time getting ready for the game as nearly every player except for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh were warming up when I scoped out the court around 5:30. Leon Powe, Kendrick Perkins, and Brian Scalabrine were practicing on the Celtics end.

The Cs were loose in the locker room, with Powe, House, and Rajon Rondo crowded near Perkins’ locker. Perk turns 24 today and the big man is trying to downplay his birthday even though he is receiving some extra attention from his teammates.

Chris Bosh received treatment on the trainers table in the Raptors quarters while a handful of players wandered in and out of the locker room. Jamario Moon said the Raptors are a brand new team with O’Neal’s veteran leadership this season. They are also a better offensive team, ranking second in the league in both three-point shooting and free throws.

Tonight it was the bench who was receiving praise from Doc Rivers. The Celtics head coach said the starters have not been consistent with their offense and defense. He would not go as far to say the bench has exceeded his expectations but they are “playing well.”

The game will get underway shortly. Check back soon for more …

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Sounds of the game… Celtics 101, Bucks 89 11.07.08 at 11:23 pm ET
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Prior to going out and beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at TD Banknorth Garden, Celtics coach Doc Rivers called a meeting of the reserves before Friday night’s game, asking them if the opponent took away their best skill, how could they still help the team. Eddie House, Leon Powe and Glen “Big Baby” Davis had all the answers as the Cs wore down the Bucks in the fourth quarter with a 28-19 run to end the game and improve to 5-1 on the season, with Allen Iverson and the new-look Detroit Pistons on the horizon on Sunday night.

Eddie House said Doc got his message across before the game.

Former UConn star and Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva was disappointed the Bucks couldn’t hold their early 25-12 lead in the first quarter.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics took Milwaukee’s best shot.

Paul Pierce said the Celtics need to solve their problems with slow starts.

Doc Rivers said Pierce working with the second unit was huge.

Kendrick Perkins is looking forward to seeing the Pistons with Allen Iverson on Sunday night.

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Smith to miss game against Celtics? at 9:12 pm ET
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Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith suffered a high ankle sprain on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. Initial reports indicate Smith will miss 2-4 weeks, which would sideline him for next Wednesday’s game against the Celtics.

Last season Smith averaged 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists against the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

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