|Sounds of the game… Celtics 115, Raptors 109 OT||01.13.09 at 6:42 am ET|
Maybe Kevin Garnett is right. Maybe the Celtics should play the theme from Superman every time Paul Pierce steps on the court. On a bum right knee, or at least very ‘ginger’ as Pierce himself said, the Celtics captain made 13 of his 26 shots and totaled a season-high 39 points to lead the Celtics to a 115-109 overtime win against the Toronto Raptors Monday night at TD Banknorth Garden. With the Celtics already missing starting center Kendrick Perkins with a bad left shoulder and Tony Allen in a protective boot with a sprained right ankle, Pierce picked it up a notch for the entire game, even when Andrea Bargnani hit a three with one second remaining. Pierce did have a supporting cast, as Kevin Garnett scored 20, Ray Allen 12 and Brian Scalabrine, playing for Perkins, chipped in with 11, including three three-pointers.
|Cs to be challenged by one of their own||01.08.09 at 11:42 pm ET|
Before Rajon Rondo was taking hard spills on the court, it was Delonte West who was sacrificing his body for the Boston Celtics. Two years after leaving the Cs as part of the Ray Allen deal, West has brought his hustle to the Cleveland where it has sparked LeBron James and the streaking Cavaliers. Those who played with West early in his career are not surprised by his success.
‘There’s no doubt that I thought before Delonte even went there, I thought Delonte was a perfect fit for LeBron James,’ said Brian Scalabrine, a teammate of two seasons. ‘When he got traded to Seattle and he wasn’t playing for whatever, it’s just all about the place you go and where you fit in.’
West has fit in perfectly since being dealt from the Seattle SuperSonics last season. The addition of West, along with Mo Williams, is an upgrade to the Cavaliers backcourt that once relied heavily on James’ long-range game. Rather than compensating for the inconsistencies of Daniel Gibson and Sasha Pavlovic, James can play closer to the basket without worrying about their guards.
West’s gritty defense is also a factor in the Cavs’ NBA-low 89.1 points allowed per game (down from 96.7 last season). His intensity will be challenging for the Celtics to contain when they take on the Cavaliers on Friday night.
‘D-West has helped them a lot,’ said Kendrick Perkins, who played three seasons with West. ‘He puts another shooter out there on the court for LeBron to pass it to when he drives and penetrates. D-West can make plays. He’s a defender, he’s very feisty, and D-West helps their team a lot. We’ve just got to make sure we go out there and try to keep him under control, keep him off the offensive rebounding, try to get in his aspects a little bit, and just go from there.’
After losing for three years in Boston and inexplicably riding the bench in Seattle, West inked a multi-year deal last summer to stay in Cleveland. Even though his tough play could burn the Celtics this season, his former teammates know he’s in the right place.
Said Scalabrine, ‘I told him when he came here (with the Cavs), ‘Listen, you’re in a place where you can be, as long as LeBron is there, you can be there for the rest of your career and you can thrive in that situation.”
|Scal-a-bri-ne The P-R-O||11.18.08 at 9:24 pm ET|
It was late in the game and the ball swung to Brian Scalabrine in the corner. As they have every time the ball has found him in those situations, the crowd at the Garden began to rise. At times this year this reaction has seemed to un-nerve Scalabrine and made him think just an extra second, long enough for the shot to not be available to him any more.
This time, however, it wasn’t the closing seconds of a blowout win. It was a close game against a division rival and the outcome was still very much in doubt. In other words, there was no time to think. “What we’re trying to get Scal to do is just keep the game simple,” his coach, Doc Rivers was saying after the game. “When you’re open, shoot it. If not, pass it.”
Scal was open. He shot it. And it went down. It was his third 3-pointer of the game and it was critical in the Celtics, 110-101 win over the Knicks Tuesday night.
And so, the evolution of Brian Scalabrine from scapegoat to curiosity to folk hero took another twist as everyone’s favorite reserve stepped into the starting lineup for a suspended Kevin Garnett and not only helped the Celtics win a game against the Knicks, he also made perhaps the biggest shot of the night. Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics Know How to Beat Knicks without Garnett||11.17.08 at 7:11 pm ET|
On Tuesday night the Boston Celtics will take on the New York Knicks without Kevin Garnett as he serves a one-game suspension for his conduct on Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Garnett was penalized without pay for striking Andrew Bogut in the face in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 102-97 overtime win. Bogut’s foul on Garnett was also upgraded to a Flagrant Foul Penalty One on Monday.
This isn’t the first time the team has been without KG since acquiring him nearly 16 months ago. Last season Garnett sat out nine games with an abdominal strain that he suffered on a game-saving play against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics went 7-2 during that stretch.
This isn’t the first time the team will take on the Knicks without KG either. Last February 13 the Celtics defeated them 111-103 at Madison Square Garden.
So how did the Celtics get it done without Garnett?
(I know, I know, beating the Knicks isn’t earth shattering but the Celtics still have to make adjustments.)
That night Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 45 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. The duo hit 17-of-18 from the free throw line (Allen missed one). Rajon Rondo also shot 64% from the field to score 18 points. Garnett wasn’t the only starter out of the lineup that night. Kendrick Perkins was sidelined as well, so Leon Powe and Brian Scalabrine got the starts in their place. Powe chipped in 18 points while Scal lasted just under three minutes before James Posey took over.
On the defensive end, they limited the Knicks to 29% three-point shooting and held them to 20 assists (the Celtics dished 29). The Cs also blocked six shots to the Knicks zero.
The Celtics turned to their bench to get it done last time and Tuesday night will be no different.
|Pregame: Celtics vs. Raptors||11.10.08 at 5:17 pm ET|
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 …
|Scalabrine Makes Season Debut||10.31.08 at 5:36 pm ET|
Celtics fans rose to their feet as Brian Scalabrine made his regular season debut with 1:07 to go in the first quarter. He subbed in for Ray Allen. The “Scal-a-bri-ne” chants started immediately, as imagined. Scal showed a new side to his game at the end of the quarter. Rather than settle for outside jumpers, he attacked the lane before dishing it off to Leon Powe who drew the foul.
|Fourth Quarter Reserved for Reserves||10.19.08 at 2:50 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said he wanted to learn more about “3-4″ guys before he made cuts and today he’s taking a look at everyone but Sam Cassell. With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Gabe Pruitt, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, Darius Miles, and Brian Scalabrine are on the court. This lineup is without a true center so they are pressuring on the perimeter to prevent a mismatch at the hoop. And just in case you thought anything has changed since last season, the fans are still chanting “Scal-a-bri-ne” every 30 seconds.