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LeBron to announce decision in Thursday TV special 07.07.10 at 6:47 am ET
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LeBron James will announce his plans for the future during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night at 9. ESPN reported that James’ representatives contacted the network and suggested the idea. James’ group reportedly plans to sell sponsorship and donate the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

James did not speak to reporters when he made an appearance at his elite basketball camp Tuesday in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Which team will LeBron James play for next season?

  • Cavaliers (49%, 174 Votes)
  • Knicks (19%, 66 Votes)
  • Heat (13%, 45 Votes)
  • Bulls (9%, 32 Votes)
  • Nets (5%, 17 Votes)
  • Other (4%, 14 Votes)
  • Clippers (1%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 353

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Read More: Cavaliers, LeBron James, NBA Rumor Mill 2010,
Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: Magic’s Carter the key 05.17.10 at 9:32 am ET
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Jeff Van Gundy, who provides analysis for NBA games on ESPN and ABC, joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Celtics‘ victory over the Magic on Sunday in the opening game of the Eastern Conference finals. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Van Gundy was asked how the Celtics are able to limit Dwight Howard and the Magic offense while other teams struggle against Orlando. “Different personnel, different intensity and different plan ‘€” I just think it’s that simple,” said Van Gundy, whose brother Stan coaches the Magic. “From a personnel standpoint, they’re big and they’re strong. They stay one-on-one, from a plan standpoint. And the Celtics’ intensity is just at a different level defensively than most teams in this league.”

Howard is the marquee player in this series, but his inability to score on post moves showed he still has a way to go. “He’s improved some offensively, but I just don’t think he’s ever going to be the guy that you can play through and win a championship,” Van Gundy said. “And that’s why Vince Carter, to me, is the most important player in this series. Because if he doesn’t have a big series for Orlando, I don’t think they can win not only the series, I don’t think it will be a competitive series.”

Van Gundy also talked about the Celtics’ win over Cavaliers. “The only thing that shocked me about the Cleveland series was the margin of defeat,” he said. “I was shocked in Cleveland that they were able to win by such big amounts.”

Added Van Gundy: “What impressed me the most was they got absolutely hammered at home in Game 3 against Cleveland. To me, you don’t really know about a team’s chemistry until you withstand losing in a beatdown. And they got beaten down in that game. But instead of pointing the fingers at strategy of coaches or this or that, what you saw in Game 4 was Celtic intensity, Celtic defensive pride, and Rondo’s great game. And then from there, they’ve been off and running again. When you get your character and your chemistry tested like that and you respond, you have the opportunity to win it all.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Dennis & Callahan, Jeff Van Gundy
Ray Allen on respect: Who cares? 05.16.10 at 3:06 pm ET
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ORLANDO — There’s been a lot of talk about respect lately. The Magic feel like they don’t get any, and the Celtics could claim a gripe in that their win over the Cavaliers has been overshadowed by LeBron-mania.

Ray Allen, like the rest of the Celtics veterans, isn’t worried about it.

“That’s the bottom line, it’s like, who cares?” Allen said before Game 1 of the Conference Finals. ” At the end of the day, you win that fourth game in the Finals and you’re in the back of the building until 4 a.m. that’s when all the talk is in your direction. Again, we have one goal. It’s not for people to talk about us, it’s to be the last team standing.”

Allen is old enough, and mature enough, to also understand that of course LeBron James is going to get the lion’s share of the media attention since his pending free agency has been the talk of the basketball world since he signed his last contract.

“In the NBA it’s probably one of the biggest storylines of the year and will be on into the summer,” Allen said. “We’re still here playing so everyone has to watch us and talk about us. I don’t need to force somebody to watch me and tell me I’m great or this team is great. It will take care of itself.”

As for the Magic, the Celtics don’t need to be told that they are the defending conference championships. Doc Rivers alluded to it before the Cavs series even started and he made the point again Sunday.

“Our goal was not to beat Cleveland,” Rivers said. “Our goal was to try to get to the Finals. We’ve stated from Day One that the team you have to beat to get to the Finals is Orlando. Everyone else crowned Cleveland. We didn’t. Orlando was the best team in the East last year. I don’t know why everyone forgets that.”

Respect will be paid one way or another in this series and for these two teams it will be earned on the court.

Read More: Cavaliers, Magic, Ray Allen,
Report: Cavs fire head coach Brown 05.14.10 at 1:53 pm ET
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired head coach Mike Brown a day after being eliminated the by Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, according to SI.com. Brown’€™s management of the team was criticized throughout the six-game series. Yahoo! Sports reported there are talks of University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari being named the Cavs next coach, but Calipari tweeted that he would not be leaving the school next year. Si.com also reported Danny Ferry will remain general manager of the Cavs ‘€œfor the forseeable future.’€

Read More: Cavaliers, Mike Brown, NBA,
Thanks to T.A., C’s where they want to be at 1:06 pm ET
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One man’s misfortune often is another’s opportunity. Such was the case for Tony Allen in the recent series against the NBA’s MVP and the team with the best record in the NBA this regular season.

With Paul Pierce once again saddled with two fouls early in Game 6, it was up to Allen to step up and help on LeBron James.

And help he did, as he held James to single figures in the first quarter and applied pressure throughout the second half in key spurts. The superstar wound up with a triple-double but he hardly was able to dictate the pace and tempo of the game with his trademark rocket cross-court passes as the Celtics prevailed, 94-85, to advance to Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference finals in Orlando.

‘€œThat’€™s my role on this team,” Allen said. “I’ve got to be aggressive, just as aggressive as he is. For the most part I took that challenge. He still had a great night offensively all around. My whole thing is just to contain him, and listen to my bigs in transition.’€

Whether it’s Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins or Rasheed Wallace shouting out, Allen proved he can be all ears and arms on the court.

As the Cavaliers were in the midst of a big run, cutting the lead to four on back-to-back 3’s by James, Allen recalled a key turning point.

‘€œI remember while being in the game, I just missed getting to [LeBron] and then got encouraged from my bigs ‘€“ I didn’€™t hear them and they cut into the lead. For the most part we stuck together, we grinded it out. We were able to get back to the lead up.’€

From that point on, the Celtics re-established their double-digit lead.

Paul Pierce had a couple of huge baskets including a 3-pointer and felt like he had more energy toward the end of the game, thanks in part to T.A.

‘€œIt wasn’€™t really that grueling for me because I was in foul trouble, Pierce said. “I think it was more grueling for Ray and Tony because he’€™s a special talent, obviously he’s the best player in the NBA, tough to guard one-on-one, but you have to give a lot of credit to the other guys. He did his job, got me in foul trouble, but I’€™m a lot fresher in this series because of the foul trouble than I was when I played against him two years ago when he just completely wore me down.

“But those other guys, they played their hearts out on defense, it wasn’€™t just me, it was Ray [Allen], Tony, Kevin, Rasheed, Baby [Glen Davis], it was a number of guys. There is no person that can guard the guy so lets just leave it at that, it was nothing that one person did, it was a collective group, it was a team defense that was surrounded around stopping him.’€

Ultimately, the Cavs learned that a team of reserves like Tony Allen can help shut down a team led by the two-time reigning MVP.

‘€œMost definitely, at the end of the day everybody has their role,” Allen said. “Like Doc said before the game, ‘€˜Do your role, do your role 100 percent.’ Everybody took that challenge, and we were fortunate enough to get that win.

‘€œIt was big, but I think guys came in focused. They meant what they said, they didn’€™t want to go back to Cleveland. At the end of the day we prepared for this, and we were where we wanted to be.’€

Read More: Cavaliers, Cavs, Celtics, LeBron James
No Magic lessons in last year 05.13.10 at 8:43 pm ET
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Last year, the Celtics were in the same round with the same advantage.

They were up, 3-2, having two chances to get one win and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics blew a double-digit lead in Game 6 before getting blown out in the second half of Game 7 at home against Orlando.

Fast forward 12 months, and these Celtics entered Game 6 Thursday with a 3-2 series lead and a chance to advance to the Eastern Conference finals with a win over LeBron and the Cavaliers. Any lesson to be learned?

“No, different team,” Rivers answered before Thursday’s contest. “We’re playing a different team. Orlando outplayed us so all we learned there is you have to play better. You have to try to seize the moment when you have the home court but at the end of the day, you have to perform.

“If Cleveland comes out and makes more shots and does their game plan better than ours, we won’t win. If we do ours, we’ll win. Last year won’t help you.”

And Rivers was totally in agreement with Kevin Garnett’s sentiments following the Game 5 blowout win in Cleveland. The Celtics want no part of Game 7 in Cleveland and look at Game 6 as a must win.

“We are, we are,” Rivers said. “We’ve won in Cleveland twice. We don’t want to press our luck. We have to view it the same way they are. It’s a big game for both teams.”

Rivers – an Orlando resident – knows the Magic await the winner and responded with humor when asked what he thought Orlando was thinking watching this series.

“Orlando is a terrific city and so, yes, it’s warm, it’s 80 degrees most likely,” Rivers said tongue-in-cheek. “They’re having a ball. They love it.”

Then he took a more serious approach, pointing out the Magic have earned their rest this round after sweeping through eight playoff games so far.

“They want it to go eight, if it can,” Rivers said of Orlando’s preference in watching the Celtics and Cavs. “There’s no doubt about it. If we were in the position they are in, they would want the same thing. They’ve earned it. They did it quick. They’ve only played eight games when you think about it. That’s pretty remarkable.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, LeBron
Ainge on The Big Show: Both teams ‘desperate’ at 7:48 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge joined The Big Show Thursday evening to talk about Boston’€™s success against Cleveland and the importance of closing out the series in Game 6 at TD Garden.

‘€œBoth teams are very desperate to win this game tonight, for obvious reasons,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œI think that’€™s why it will be a good game.’€

Ainge also touched on the amount of criticism LeBron James received after the Cavaliers‘ lopsided loss in Game 5.

Below is a transcript. Visit The Big Show audio on demand page to hear the interview.

It’€™s been a bizarre series, do you have any idea what to expect tonight?

I have no idea. I would be shocked if it was going to be any sort of blowout like we’€™ve had in a couple of games in the series. I expect both teams to be ready, they know what they’€™re doing, they kind of know the strengths and weaknesses, and I’€™d be shocked if it wasn’€™t a close game.

Kevin Garnett spoke about the sense of urgency after the last game about treating this is as a Game 7 and not as a Game 6. Do you like that approach?

Yeah, I think so. Both teams are very desperate to win this game tonight, for obvious reasons. I think that’€™s why it will be a good game.

You guys have really played great defense from the initial point of attack.

I think the identity of this team is defense. I think we’€™ve gotten back to that in the playoffs. We’€™ve had a few bad spells, we let our guard down in Game 3 of course, but overall our defense has really stepped up, improved, and I think the effort each possession is better than the regular season. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett
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