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Destination: Enemy Territory 11.01.08 at 2:46 pm ET
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Before even winning a championship last season, the Boston Celtics were targets every time they hit the road. The hype surrounding the Big Three was enough to make every game significant for their opponent and one in which they amped up their intensity.

After spending last week in the comforts of the TD BankNorth Garden, the Celtics are shipping out for their first road trip of the regular season. The three-stop tour will take them from Indiana to Houston and end in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

The defending champs don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms and explain why:

Kendrick Perkins: ‘€œThis first game (of road trip) is key. I think we need to go out there and establish ourselves early and don’€™t give a chance for the fans to get involved and just go out there and play Celtics ball and we’€™ll be alright.’€

Glen Davis: “My guess is that we’re the champs. We’re last year’s champs. We have a reputation to hold on to and the odds are going to be against us but hey, what do you expect?”

Leon Powe: ‘€œWe’€™re just going to go out and play well and set the tone early. We are just going to stay within our rules and hopefully we can pull the game out. But we’€™ll come out with the same intensity we came out with tonight (Friday against the Chicago Bulls) and get the win.’€

Eddie House: “I expect the same thing we’ve been expecting since last year. Everybody was gunning for us last year because people pretty much crowned us the champions before we actually went out and did it. People were gunning for us because we had the Big Three and stuff like that so I think that by us winning it, people are going to come out a little bit harder and I think we’re ready for that. One thing about that is they’re going to come harder but we’re going to come even harder.”

Tony Allen: “I ain’t really worried about that. We’ve got to go out there any play any how. They were tough last year, they were gunning for us last year so it’s going to be times two.’€

Head Coach Doc Rivers: ‘€œNot very well, I would say (of the expected reception). But that’s fine. That makes the games better. I didn’t think we were received well last year in retrospect. Teams wanted to beat you and they should. That’s what it’s all about and that’ll be nice, that’ll be fun. It’ll be a new experience for our guys and it’ll be a challenging experience for our guys.”

Read More: Big Three, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, eddie house
The Initiation of Derrick Rose 10.31.08 at 11:41 pm ET
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Derrick Rose, welcome to the NBA.

In just the second regular season game of his career, Rose had to run the floor in the Garden against the defending world champion Boston Celtics. It was a tall order for the rookie point guard and he was up for the challenge.

Rose made his presence known by driving on Kendrick Perkins early in the first quarter and drawing the foul. Perkins has more than seven inches and 90 pounds on Rose and still the rook attacked the hoop as if he had a clear lane.

‘€œI’m kind of used to it now,’€ Rose, 20, said after the game. ‘€œI’m the type of guard where I’m kind of athletic, so when I go to the hole I’m used to getting body contact and I’m used to finishing on people. He’s big but I’m practicing those shots all the time.’€

Battling the bigs wasn’t Rose’s only concern. He also had to defend the fiesty Rajon Rondo.

‘€œRondo was good,’€ he said. ‘€œHe knows his role on the team. He’s a good, improving point guard. He’s just going to make you better.’€

Rose was one of the few highlights in the Bulls 96-80 loss. He tied Kevin Garnett for most points with 18 and scored all of his field goals in the paint. This was a completely different player than the one who raised red flags during an injury-ridden summer league showing.

‘€œI didn’t want to lose,’€ Rose said of his improved performance. ‘€œI was steady driving, trying to get people open, shooting. I just know now that I can’t waste my time when we get out there. The Celtics, they mean business when they get out there. They try to get the game over with quick and we’ve just got to learn that and we’ll be fine.’€

Just one game against the Celtics was all it took for a crash course in NBA competition.

‘€œIt’s just going to help me,’€ Rose said. ‘€œI’m happy that I had the opportunity to have this game early in the season so that later on in the season I can get better.’€

Expect him to do just that.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Kevin Garnett
Gino’s Back at 7:39 pm ET
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It’s the moment Celtics fans have been waiting for …

Gino returned to the Jumbotron tonight.

KG waved his fist in the air as the Celtics eagerly looked up at the screen for their beloved dancer. Later he raised two hands, one shaking his sneaker over his head. Not sure if rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker understood what the fuss was all about but when KG is actully loose during a game, you go with it.

Read More: Bill Walker, Boston Celtics, Gino, J.R. Giddens
KG Youngest to Play 1,000 Games at 7:04 pm ET
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Near the end of the third quarter the PA announcer told the crowd Kevin Garnett, 32, is the youngest player to play 1,000 NBA Games. He has started in all but 37 of them.

The previous record was held by Shawn Kemp, who broke the mark in December of 2002. Paul Pierce was the first Celtic to stand up and cheer and KG received a standing O from the crowd.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Shawn Kemp
Halftime Notes and Numbers at 6:17 pm ET
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At the half … Celtics 49, Bulls 31

  • Kevin Garnett leads all scorers with 16 points. Derrick Rose leads the Bulls with 10.
  • The Celtics outscored the Bulls 30-12 in the paint.
  • The Celtics also outrebounded the Bulls 27-23. KG pulled down seven boards.
  • Tyrus Thomas and Luol Deng shot a combined 2-for-17.
  • Leon Powe scored seven points in seven minutes off the bench. Ben Gordon was scoreless in nearly 12 minutes as a reserve.
Read More: Ben Gordon, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose
Pierce and the Second Unit at 6:04 pm ET
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Paul Pierce spent some quality time with the second unit tonight. The captain played alongside Eddie House, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe for 3:30 in the second quarter. It was Powe, not Pierce, who led this unit with four points. They outscored the Bulls 7-6 and pushed the lead up to 31-19 before every starter but Ray Allen subbed back in with seven minutes left. Pierce had also been scrimmaging with the second unit in practice.

Read More: Boston Celtics, eddie house, Glen Davis, Leon Powe
Del Negro Taking On Old Friends at 5:48 pm ET
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Vinny Del Negro’s return to Boston is more than just a homecoming for the Springfield, Massachusetts native. Tonight the newly appointed head coach of the Chicago Bulls is going up against his former teammates in all levels of the Celtics organization.

“I played with Doc, I played with Danny, I played with Ray Allen,” Del Negro said before the game.  “So to come back and see those guys is great. I’m just happy with their success last year and for all those guys.”

Here’s how it breaks down:

1988-90: Teammates with Danny Ainge on the Sacramento Kings

1994-96: Teammates with Doc Rivers on the San Antonio Spurs

1998-2000: Teammates with Ray Allen on the Milwaukee Bucks

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers
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