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Ainge suffers heart attack 04.16.09 at 6:23 pm ET
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Austin Ainge, the son of Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge, has confirmed to WEEI.com’s Jeff Goodman that his father did suffer a heart attack early Thursday morning and was taken to the hospital. Austin Ainge says that his father is expected to be released from the hospital in the next couple of days. WCVB was the first to report this story, stating Ainge woke up Thursday morning with chest pains and taken to a hospital, where it was discovered that he had an artery which was 100 percent clogged, forcing a stent to be inserted. Ainge was originally scheduled to appear on WEEI’s The Big Show Thursday afternoon, but was not available due to sickness.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, WEEI,
Bench support at 2:46 pm ET
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WALTHAM – After dealing with the stunning news delivered by their head coach that Kevin Garnett has probably played his final game this season, Celtics players are making one final demand of their best defensive player and emotional leader.

“That’s where I need him to be I need him to be on the bench because if he can’t be on the floor, he can be valuable to us on the bench,” Ray Allen said. “In a lot of instances it’s like he is on the floor. I will push as hard as I possibly can because his voice over there on the bench will be just like he is in the game.”

And just before Thursday’s practice, head coach Doc Rivers assured Allen and the rest of the Celtics that Garnett will indeed be there starting Saturday afternoon at 12:30 when they open a first-round series with Chicago.

“Yeah, he will be, he will be,” Rivers said. “That’s the one thing I told him. During the playoffs, we need everybody in there, out on the floor, in the locker room and on the bench. We just hope he doesn’t get a technical.”

Garnett has often said that he’s afraid how he’ll handle himself when he can only watch. But they are all asking KG to make an exception this time because of the lift it could give during the passion-driven playoffs.

The team’s captain also feels strongly about Garnett’s value to the bench.

“It’s very important because of the way guys look at Kevin,” said Paul Pierce. “He’s an unquestioned leader of this ball club and he can help us just by being on the bench, seeing some of the things he sees out there and giving his knowledge of the game, especially to the other big guys. So I think it’ll be huge.”

Whether it’s Allen or Pierce or even coach Doc Rivers, everyone around Garnett is well aware of his dislike for being on the bench during games.

And don’t think for a second that Allen doesn’t feel for his fallen teammate who will be reduced to cheerleader.

“I’m devastated for him,” Allen said. “This is the time of year we all wait for. The excitement is in the air. This is where players are made, teams are made and legacies are cemented and for him not to be a part of this, I hurt for him.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, kg injury, NBA,
Rivers: Garnett out first round, likely playoffs at 9:56 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this morning that Kevin Garnett has been ruled out of the first round and likely will be out for the playoffs with lingering soreness and pain in his right knee.

Rivers made the decision after watching Garnett limp during running exercises this morning at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.

“He’s not going to be ready,” Rivers told Dennis and Callahan. “After watching him run, there’s no way. So, we’re going to move without him. And the way I saw him move today, I don’t know if he’ll be ready.

“He’s just limping. He just can’t run. This was an honest run today. You couldn’t fake your way through it. The guy’s a warrior, you could see him trying to mask it but after 20 minutes of running, there’s just no way.”

This news comes just over 12 hours after Rivers told reporters he expected Garnett to be ready for Saturday’s playoff opener.

“I flipped completely because I was watching him move and he looked great,” Rivers said. “And then after today, there’s just no way.”

Garnett has played just four games since injuring the right knee on Feb. 19 at Utah. He has been working with head trainer Ed Lacerte trying to get the knee ready for the rigors of the playoffs.

Asked if ruling Garnett out for the first round means the star forward is likely done for the entire playoffs, Rivers didn’t hesitate.

“I think it is,” Rivers added. “I don’t know that as a fact yet. Eddie is doing everything he can to get him on the court and Kevin is going beyond that. But at this point, after going through all the rehab and looking so good last week, and he was running last week and it looked like he was running pretty well, to where he’s at today, if he can’t get through biking and working out without swelling and stiffness and his leg locking, I just don’t know how you can play in the playoffs.”

The No. 2 seed Celtics open the Eastern Conference playoffs this Saturday afternoon at 12:30 against the No. 7 seed Chicago Bulls at TD Banknorth Garden.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA,
Allen to file grievance for suspension 04.15.09 at 7:22 pm ET
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Celtics guard Ray Allen will file a grievance with the NBA in response to his suspension for elbowing Cleveland Cavaliers big man Anderson Varejao in the groin on Sunday. He sat out Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“I talked to Stu Jackson (Executive Vice President, NBA Basketball Operations) and he really didn’t give me a great explanation, or one that I thought rationalized why I was suspended out of the game and there was no infraction on the other guy,” he said prior to Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards. “I felt as though it was unjust but I can’t do anything about it.”

Allen’s strict pregame routine was interrupted around 12:30pm on Tuesday afternoon by the news of his suspension. He had just finished ironing his suit and was getting ready to order room service when he got the word that he could not play. The explanation — and interruption — did not sit well with him.

“He (Jackson) said that it looked like I hit him in the groin and that hitting a player in the groin is an automatic suspension,” Allen said. “And I told him I wasn’t, if you could tell by my body language — and I didn’t see the play until the game last night — but from what I was told, I didn’t land where you said I landed because if the guy didn’t cringe or he didn’t bowl over, obviously I didn’t hit him. It was just my reaction being thrown to the ground. And I told him, I said that if somebody’s on you for a rebound, the first thing you do is throw your elbows up. That’s just how you protect yourself. It wasn’t intentional.”

The suspension comes a week after being presented with the Red Auerbach Award, which exemplifies what it means to be a Boston Celtic.

Allen pointed out, “I said, ‘My track record is of one that hasn’t been intentional to do anything of that nature, so I thought all of those things should have been taken into account and obviously they weren’t.”

Read More: Anderson Varejao, Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,
Seventh seed watch: Pistons out 04.14.09 at 12:21 am ET
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The Boston Celtics still don’t know who they will face in the first round of the playoffs, but one thing they do know is it will not be the Detroit Pistons. On Monday night the Pistons got locked into the eighth spot with a 91-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls. They will play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. So with two days left in the regular season, the battle for the sixth and seventh seeds is still up for grabs between the Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls have a half-game lead over the Sixers heading into Tuesday.

6. Chicago Bulls (41-40)
Wednesday, April 15 vs. Toronto Raptors

7.  Philadelphia 76ers (40-40)
Tuesday, April 14 vs. (2) Boston Celtics
Wednesday, April 15 @ (1) Cleveland Cavaliers

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers,
First round still up for grabs 04.12.09 at 11:00 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics locked up the second seed in the Eastern Conference on Saturday, but their first round opponent is still uncertain. This weekend the Chicago Bulls rose to the occasion, the Detroit Pistons continued to be mediocre, and the Philadelphia 76ers came up short. With only three days left in the regular season, the sixth, seventh, and eighth seeds are still up for grabs.

6. Philadelphia 76ers (40-40)
The Sixers are slipping on a five-game losing streak. This weekend they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, putting their hold on the sixth spot in jeopardy as they gear up to face the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

Rest of the season:
Tuesday, April 14 vs. (2) Boston Celtics
Wednesday, April 15 @ (1) Cleveland Cavaliers

7. Chicago Bulls (40-40)
The Bulls enter the final week of the regular season on a four-game winning streak, including Saturday’s victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. They will wrap up the season at home where they are 28-12.

Rest of the season:
Monday, April 13 @ (8) Detroit Pistons
Wednesday, April 15 vs. Toronto Raptors

8. Detroit Pistons (39-41)
Despite beating the New Jersey Nets on Friday, a loss on Saturday to the Indiana Pacers landed the Pistons one game behind the Chicago Bulls in the eighth spot. They are 1-2 this season against both of their upcoming opponents.

Rest of the season:
Monday, April 13 vs. (7) Chicago Bulls
Wednesday, April 15 @ (5) Miami Heat

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers,
Allen reveals favorite five shooters at 4:59 pm ET
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ABC revealed Ray Allen’s five favorite all-time shooters during Sunday’s game against Cleveland:

Reggie Miller
Dell Curry
Dale Ellis
Craig Hodges
Michael Cooper

No Celtics? Allen’s list includes players who have burned him in the past, just as he has done to so many other teams during his career.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,
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