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Celtics, Nets to face each other twice in preseason 07.25.13 at 5:47 pm ET
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Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

While the Celtics have yet to release their preseason schedule for the 2013-14 NBA season, the Nets revealed that the two teams will each host a game against each other in October (h/t Red’s Army).

Brooklyn will play host to the C’s at the Barclays Center on Oct. 15, but the real event takes place eight days later, when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (oh, and Jason Terry) don black and white for the first time in Boston on Oct. 23.

The regular-season schedule, which commences on Oct. 29, is scheduled to be announced on Friday.

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Paul Pierce can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to Boston and its fans 07.16.13 at 5:15 pm ET
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Paul Pierce was always at the leading edge of social media among Boston athletes in his 15 years in Boston.

He showed again why on Tuesday, taking to Instagram, creating an account [paulpierce] with a similar handle to his Twitter account of @paulpierce34, to say thank you to the city of Boston and its fans for their support over his time with the Celtics.

He created a hastag of #THANKYOUBOSTON for those on Instagram wishing to surface all of the photos he has collected over the years.

His home page features a photo of him with a youngish Tom Brady (circa the 2001-02 season).

Pierce was formally traded on July 12 to Brooklyn along with fellow future hall of famer Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry for Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace and Kris Joseph and three first-round picks. In one of his first acts as a member of his new team, he wanted to show Tuesday that he hadn’t forgotten all that was accomplished with the team that brought him into the NBA.

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Kris Humphries is confident of a ‘good relationship’ with Rajon Rondo at 10:56 am ET
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Kris Humphries (left) fought Rajon Rondo (9) last November. Now they're teammates. (AP)

Kris Humphries (left) fought Rajon Rondo (9) last November. Now they’re teammates. (AP)

WALTHAM — Kris Humphries knew the moment he was traded to Boston he would have to face the question.

How will he get along with Rajon Rondo?

It was Rondo who was so offended with a Humphries hard foul on Kevin Garnett in mid-air that the Celtics point guard went after the 6-foot-10 big man and started a fracas under the Celtics basket.

On Monday, it took just three questions before Humphries was asked if he thinks bygones will be bygones and if he can actually work in harmony know with the Celtics tempestuous point guard.

“I knew it was coming; it just took a few questions to get there,” Humphries joked before offering a serious answer.

“I haven’t talked to him but I think we’ll have a good relationship,” he said. “I think things happen within the game. Looking at it, it really was nothing. The media tends to blow things out of proportion. Obviously I just have to do my part to earn his respect in terms of playing hard and contributing to the team and just go from there.”

Humphries was given two technical fouls and ejected from the game on Nov. 28, 2012, won by Brooklyn, 95-83. Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace was given one technical for joining in, but since it was his second of the game he was also ejected. Garnett was given one technical foul but was not ejected.

The only Celtics player ejected was Rondo, who with only three assists, saw his streak of 37 consecutive games with at least 10 assists end that night due to the ejection. That mark tied him with John Stockton for second-longest in NBA history.

The fracas started when Humphries fouled Garnett, pushing him to the floor as he shot from the right baseline. Rondo shoved Humphries, sending the melee into the stands.

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Danny Ainge: Nets wanted ‘Dream Team’ at ‘any cost’ 07.15.13 at 5:10 pm ET
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Left to right, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries were introduced as new Celtics Monday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Left to right, Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries were introduced as new Celtics Monday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

WALTHAM — The way Danny Ainge looks at it, trading away future hall of famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett along came down to taking advantage of a team desperate to build its own “Dream Team.”

That’s why, according to the Celtics president of basketball operations, he pulled the trigger earlier this month on a deal that sends the two stars to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Humphries.

“Brooklyn showed a great deal of interest in putting the ‘Dream Team’ together, with expense not [a factor], at any cost it seemed like,” Ainge told reporters at an introductory press conference Monday. “And the opportunity to acquire a lot of young assets and get younger and move onto a different phase presented itself. We felt like, where we were as a team, it was going to be very difficult to be a championship contender [had] we kept Paul and KG.

“The opportunity presented itself. It’s a situation we needed to do. It’s a situation that Brooklyn should do and could do, adding Paul and KG to a roster with already three All-Star type players. It’s a pretty special opportunity for them, even though it’s very expensive.”

Jason Terry was also unloaded in the deal that reshapes the Celtics roster for years to come. Was there another team that challenged the Nets in acquiring the trio?

“You don’t really want to trade to a division rival but no, there were no other teams that were even close,” Ainge admitted. “As a matter of fact, it was interesting that the offers we got for Paul and KG were greater than we got for them in years past. It was an opportunity we felt we had to jump at.”

Was it hard for Ainge to pull the trigger in the end?

“Absolutely,” Ainge said when asked. “I think it pretty much goes without saying, and there’ll be many opportunities to talk about their legacies, and I know this is not my decision alone to make, but if it were my decision alone, their numbers will be hanging from the rafters some day. Their legacy has been made here in Boston. They still have basketball left in them but at the same time, we’re going to want to beat them. But those guys were great for the city of Boston, great for the Boston Celtics franchise and great for all of us who were associated with them.

“But this is a good deal for us. We’re excited about the players we’re getting and we’re excited about the opportunity for us to start fresh and start over, not completely over because we have a lot of good players returning and a lot of good players acquired in teh trade but start over in terms of a new coaching staff, new players and a new identity.”

A fifth player the Celtics received in the deal – Kris Joseph – was waived on Monday.

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Celtics issue ‘thank you’ to Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett 07.12.13 at 8:28 am ET
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Thank You

On the day the trade becomes official, the Celtics issued a message to departed superstars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on both the team’s social media accounts and in an ad in The Boston Globe.

“To two of the greatest Celtics legends of all-time: Thank you. You will always be Celtics.”

The statement is accompanied by a photoshopped image of KG hoisting the 2008 NBA championship trophy and Pierce clutching his Finals MVP award in front of the Garden parquet and banner-filled rafters. The caption:

THANK YOU
FOR YOUR HEART
FOR YOUR PASSION
FOR YOUR SACRIFICE
FOR PLAYING THROUGH THE PAIN
FOR BLEEDING GREEN
FOR HONORING TRADITION
FOR AN AMAZING RIDE
FOR RESTORING CELTIC PRIDE
FOR BANNER 17

Apparently, they forgot: “FOR THREE FIRST-ROUND PICKS,” since it was the team’s decision to trade them.

Yup, it’s official, folks. The trade is scheduled to be finalized on Friday, shipping Jason Terry along with the two Celtics greats to Brooklyn in exchange for Nets Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and Kris Joseph as well as Brooklyn’s first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

If you’re a tortured fan who needs more proof Pierce and Garnett’s time in Boston is over: Check out these images of their Nets jerseys and watch Pierce tell TMZ, “Who says it’s the end of my career? I plan on playing 10 more years dude.” Also, read this retrospective on Truth and Ticket.

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Kevin Garnett: ‘I can be better, and I will be’ 04.11.13 at 1:08 am ET
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In his first test since returning from a foot injury that cost him two weeks (he faced the Wizards on Sunday, but c’mon), Kevin Garnett didn’t live up to his own standards in a 101-93 loss to the Nets. If the Celtics have any hope in the playoffs, they need the Kevin Garnett that averaged 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds in 36.9 minutes last postseason, and he doesn’t seem to be available with a week left in the regular season.

“Absolutely, I can be better, and I will be,” said Garnett. “I can be better in every part of my game. It’s not just one decisive thing. Obviously, my timing is off a little bit, and I’ll get that.”

Garnett has precious little time to get that timing down. The Celtics have four games remaining in the regular season, and coach Doc Rivers might elect to rest his aging superstars with the No. 7 seed all but wrapped up. (“Whatever Doc wants me to do,” said KG.) Still, that doesn’t seem to worry Garnett all that much.

“I think we’re focusing too much on the playoffs that aren’t here yet,” said Garnett, whose 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes didn’t reflect his performance. “I think we need to focus and lock in on these games that we have left, and put the energy and the effort behind that. I think we’re stressing too much on the future, and the future’s not here yet. We need to take this one game at a time and then prepare for whatever’s after this.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Net loss: Up and down Celtics left in the dust in loss to Nets 04.10.13 at 10:35 pm ET
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Brandon Bass provided one of the few highlights for the Celtics, a dunk on Brook Lopez in the first quarter. (AP)

Brandon Bass provided one of the few highlights for the Celtics, a dunk on Brook Lopez in the first quarter. (AP)

Deron Williams scored 29 points Brook Lopez added 21 as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Celtics, 101-93, Wednesday night at TD Garden. Paul Pierce had 23 to lead the Celtics, who fell to 40-38 on the season. In his second game back from an inflamed left ankle, Kevin Garnett rebounded from a 1-for-6 first half to finish with 11 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes.

With the loss, the Celtics appear locked in for the seventh-seed and a first-round match up with the Knicks as the sixth-seed Hawks beat the Sixers in Philadelphia to move two games ahead of the Celtics in the loss column. With the Bucks’ loss in Orlando, Boston is still three games up in the loss column on eighth place Milwaukee. The Celtics and Bucks each have four games left.

The Nets improved to 46-32 and are all but locked in at the No. 4 seed heading into the playoffs.

In a game the Celtics showed little defensive intensity, the first quarter started out with great promise. The Celtics shot out to a 17-9 lead, highlighted by a dunk from Brandon Bass over Brook Lopez with six minutes left in the opening quarter. Brandon Bass led the Celtics with eight points in the first quarter but the Nets outscored the Celtics, 13-4, in the last six minutes of the quarter to take a 22-21 lead after 12 minutes. Boston finished the first quarter shooting just 9-of-23 from the field.

Boston’s defense in the second quarter was leaky, as the Nets made two-thirds of their shots from the floor, finishing the period 12-of-18. Williams had 11 of his 27 points in the quarter as the Nets took command of the game with a 53-43 halftime lead.

Another telling sign of how the Celtics were dominated on the inside was the lack of free throws. With Boston’s offensive generated almost exclusively from the perimeter, the Celtics didn’t get to the free throw line until 8:22 left in the third quarter, when Pierce hit a free throw to complete a 3-point play.

There were signs of life in the third quarter as Jeff Green drilled a three with 4:29 left to cut Brooklyn’s lead to 11, 68-57. Then, Shav Randolph drew a charge on Brook Lopez. After two Pierce free throws cut the lead under 10, Lopez hit a five-foot bank shot to stem the Boston tide. Read the rest of this entry »

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