|Game Preview: Celtics vs. Pacers||02.27.09 at 1:24 am ET|
On Friday the Boston Celtics (46-13) will return to the TD BankNorth Garden to take on the Indiana Pacers (25-35). It has been nearly three weeks since the Celtics played on their home court, and since then a lot has changed:
- February 13-15: Big Three participate in All-Star Weekend
- February 17: Sam Cassell traded to the Sacramento Kings
- February 19 (day): Patrick O’Bryant traded to the Toronto Raptors
- February 19 (night): Kevin Garnett strains right knee; Celtics lose 90-85 to Utah Jazz
- February 22: Rajon Rondo celebrates 23rd birthday with 32 points in 128-108 win over Phoenix Suns
- February 23: Brian Scalabrine suffers cervical strain; Celtics beat Denver Nuggets 114-76
- February: 24: Stephon Marbury is bought out by the New York Knicks; Mikki Moore signs with the Celtics
- February 25: Moore debuts; Paul Pierce dislocates right thumb; Celtics lose 93-91 to Los Angeles Clippers
- February 26: Gabe Pruitt is arrested in LA for suspicion of DUI; Marbury tells New York Times he will sign with Celtics and be in uniform on February 27
The actual game between the Celtics and Pacers is overshadowed by the question of whether or not Marbury will be a Celtic prior to tip off. While the Celtics may make an addition, both teams are shorthanded. Garnett (knee), Tony Allen (thumb), and Brian Scalabrine (neck) are unavailable for the Celtics. Danny Granger (foot) and Mike Dunleavy (knee) will not play for the Pacers. The Celtics are 2-1 since losing Garnett. The Pacers are 3-1 without Granger.
Tip-off is at 7:30 EST.
|Cavs Wallace breaks leg||at 12:37 am ET|
Kevin Garnett’s injury could have created a window of opportunity for the Cleveland Cavaliers to pull ahead in the Eastern Conference. But now they too are down a starter. On Thursday night forward Ben Wallace broke his right leg during a 19-point loss the Houston Rockets. TNT’s David Aldridge reported Wallace will miss 8-10 weeks.
This injury is a blow to the Cavaliers front court. Wallace, 34, is one of the most experienced players on the team. Instead of having his veteran leadership down the stretch, the Cavaliers will have to rely on J.J. Hickson to step up in his rookie season. Wallace was averaging 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 points, and 24.3 minutes per game this season. Hickson is averaging 4.5 points and 2.9 boards in 12.2 minutes per game.
The Celtics will play the Cavaliers next Friday, March 6 in Boston.
|NY Times: Marbury to Boston on Friday||02.26.09 at 3:35 pm ET|
Stephon Marbury has told the New York Times he will sign with the Boston Celtics and be in uniform for Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. Marbury also said that he has already spoken with members of the Celtics.
“The great thing is that they want me to play with them,” Marbury told the Times from his home in Purchase, New York.
The Times also reports that Marbury is scheduled to meet with the media on Friday morning in Boston.
|A look back at Marbury||02.25.09 at 8:54 am ET|
“I don’t feel I’m totally ready. The NBA and college are two totally different games. The NBA is just pick-and-roll, and if the pick-and-roll’s not there, throw it to Hakeem and he scores. How hard can that be? It’s just physical strength. Being ready means adjusting to being around older players. Right now I don’t have anything in common with those guys.”
It is hard to imagine those sentiments were once expressed by Stephon Marbury.
Before the accounts of banishment, betrayal, and buyouts, there was a different story being told of the teenage phenom. In January of 1996, Sports Illustrated printed the article, “Caught In The Middle.” At the center was a basketball wiz from Brooklyn who tried to find a sense of normalcy in a downtown Atlanta barber shop. The story offers a look back at a young Georgia Tech point guard who drove a Suzuki 4×4, senselessly blew games, and grappled with the high expectations of success.
The NBA does not make lottery picks of floor leaders whose teams lose to Mount St. Mary’s at home. With Tech up a point and a minute and a half to play, Marbury threw away a blind wraparound pass. “We don’t need to be forcing it in a close game like that,” says Drew Barry, Marbury’s fifth-year senior backcourt mate. “Stephon’s a great talent. He’s going to be a great player. But right now he has a lot to learn.”
With Barry and forwards Michael Maddox and Matt Harpring, Yellow Jacket coach Bobby Cremins has the nucleus of a pretty good team, and he wants to let Marbury, who was averaging 19.3 points and 4.4 assists at week’s end, grow naturally into the role of leading it. “Why is he not there yet?” Cremins says. “He’s stubborn. And there’s the pressure to perform. The expectations are ridiculous. All this pressure. All this hype. It really pisses me off. He’s had his mind on other things.”
Thirteen years after the Sports Illustrated article was published, WEEI.com has reported Marbury is expected to sign with the world champion Boston Celtics. At this point in his career, one can only hope the only thing on his mind is winning.
|Who is Mikki Moore?||02.24.09 at 7:31 pm ET|
On Tuesday the Boston Celtics signed free agent big man Mikki Moore. In just a matter of days since being waived by the Sacramento Kings, he had become one of the hottest players on the market. But it wasn’t that long ago that Moore was known for being a journeyman rather than a contributor on a championship-defending team. So who is Mikki Moore?
Full name: Clinton Renard Moore
Born: November 4, 1975
Hometown: Orangeburg, South Carolina
High School: Blacksburg HS, Blacksburg, SC
(Fast Fact: Celtics guard Ray Allen attended Hillcrest HS in Dalzell, SC. Moore and Allen are two of six players currently in the NBA to attend high school in that state.)
College: University of Nebraska (1997)
What’s in a name? The nickname Mikki (pronounced “Mikey”) was given to Moore as a kid because he liked to eat Life cereal. He also goes by “Snake” for his love of reptiles.
(Fast fact: Former Celtic James Posey goes by the nickname “Mike” to his friends and family)
He looks familiar: Moore signed a 10-day contract with the Celtics in 2003. He picked up six fouls in three games, but never scored a basket.
League leader: In 2007, Moore led the league in field goal percentage (.609). The following season he led the league in personal fouls (310).
(Fast fact: Former Celtics center Robert Parish was called for 310 fouls in the 1981 season. He only ranked 10th in the NBA.)
Lucky # 7: Moore will be the first player to wear number seven since Al Jefferson. Tom Gugliotta wore it prior to Big Al in 2005.
Lending a helping hand: Moore’s goal is to touch every community he plays in. He founded the Moore Love Foundation in his home state of South Carolina and bussed 600 children to a Charlotte Bobcats game. As a member of the Detroit Pistons, Moore helped knock down and rebuild homes in drug-infested neighborhoods. He also distributed Thanksgiving turkeys with the Utah Jazz, among other initiatives.
Moore’s Road (Back) to Boston
- June, 1997: Undrafted in NBA Draft
- September 30, 1997: Signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Timberwolves
- October 28, 1997: Waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves
- 1998-99: Played nine games for Papagou of the Greek League
- 1998-99: Played remainder of the season for the Fort Wayne Fury of the Continental Basketball Association
- January 21, 1999: Signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Timberwolves
- January 27, 1999: Waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves
- January 29, 1999: Signed as a free agent by the Detroit Pistons
- February 18, 1999: Waived by the Detroit Pistons
- October 5, 1999: Signed as a free agent by the Detroit Pistons
- August 5, 2002: Waived by the Detroit Pistons
- October 3, 2002: Signed as a free agent by the San Antonio Spurs
- October 24, 2002: Waived by the San Antonio Spurs
- 2002-03, 2003-04: Played for the Roanoke Dazzle of the NBA Development League
- January 6, 2003: Signed by the Boston Celtics to a 10-day contract
- April 14, 2003: Signed by the Atlanta Hawks for the remainder of the season
- September 27, 2003: Signed as a free agent by the Seattle SuperSonics
- October 21, 2003: Waived by the Seattle SuperSonics
- December 22, 2003: Signed as a free agent by the New Jersey Nets
- January 7, 2004: Waived by the New Jersey Nets
- January 28, 2004: Signed by the Utah Jazz to the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts
- March 4, 2004: Signed by the Utah Jazz for the remainder of the season
- August 20, 2004: Signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Clippers
- August 31, 2005: Signed as a free agent by the Seattle SuperSonics
- July 7, 2006: Traded by the Seattle SuperSonics to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft
- July 13, 2007: Signed as a free agent by the Sacramento Kings
- February 19, 2009: Waived by Sacramento Kings
- February 24, 2009: Signed as a free agent by the Boston Celtics
|Report: Moore and the Celtics||02.23.09 at 4:05 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed, through a league source, the Boston Herald‘s report that free agent Mikki Moore is expected to sign with the Boston Celtics once he clears waivers on Tuesday morning. Moore was placed on waivers by the Sacramento Kings last Thursday. According to the Herald, Celtics President Danny Ainge has denied making a formal offer. However their source insisted Moore will pick the Celtics.
|Backcourt steps up||02.22.09 at 6:57 pm ET|
Shaquille O’Neal was supposed to be a problem for the Boston Celtics. He was supposed to push around their little big men and have the Celtics counting down the days until Kevin Garnett returned from his knee injury. But it was one of the smallest guys on the court who caused the biggest problems. Led by Rajon Rondo, the Celtics backcourt dominated the Phoenix Suns. (RECAP HERE)
32 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 13-18 FG, 1-1 3PG, 5-9 FT, 3 STL
On his 23rd birthday, Rondo made 35-year-old Steve Nash look about ten years older. The Suns had no way of stopping Rondo, not even O’Neal’s presence made a difference — Rondo scored however and from wherever he pleased. The absence of Garnett creates more opportunities for him to take his jumpshot, and judging by his shot chart, there is little need to question whether or not he has developed one.
31 points, 4 rebounds, 10-15 FG, 4-8 3PG, 7-8 FT
It’s no secret that Allen can’t be left alone on the arc. On Sunday he couldn’t be left alone, period. Allen spread the Suns defense with a balanced attack of long and mid-range shots. Allen was on his mark, hitting 10 field goals and scoring 30 points for the first time since January 11 against the Toronto Raptors. He also set a new franchise record with 72 consecutive free throws made, passing Larry Bird’s previous mark of 71.
26 points, 6 rebounds, 8-17 FG, 10-10 FT
The Celtics couldn’t score 128 points without Pierce making an impact. Pierce struggled in the first half (1-8 FG), so when his shot didn’t fall he got to the line (6-6 FT). Then he turned it on in the second half to score 18 points in 22 minutes. The captain played a team-high 44 minutes and by the end of the game had gone to the line 10 times. The Celtics improved to 12-3 when Pierce attempts at least 10 free throws.
The Celtics will travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Monday night.