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Scal-a-bri-ne The P-R-O 11.18.08 at 9:24 pm ET
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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 »

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Malcolm Gladwell,
Richardson Still Unimpressed by Celtics at 8:56 pm ET
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This time last year Quentin Richardson wasn’t buying into the hype surrounding the Big Three. To him, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett were just another handful of players who hadn’t won a championship. Despite their hot start to the 2008 season, Richardson wasn’t in awe.

“It’s not that big a deal to us,” the New York Knicks forward told the New York Post last year. “It’s like the media makes more of The Big Three and all of them. We’re not in awe of them. They ain’t won no championships. They have a good record right now, but that don’t matter.”

At the time, Pierce shrugged it off.

“You know what? I really don’t get caught up in all that talk,” Pierce said. “He’s going to say what he’s going to say to try to motivate his team. We don’t need to be motivated. We’re a self-motivated team and we’re going to go out there and take care of business.”

Fast forward 12 months. The Knicks faced off against the Celtics on Tuesday night in Boston for a heated battle that included plenty of trash-talking and technical fouls to go around. This time the Knicks were playing the defending NBA champions. This time … was no different than the last for Richardson.

“I think a few of those guys know they can’t just say anything to us,” he said following the Celtics tension-filled 110-101 victory. “I’m just real curious to see what those guys will be saying if we weren’t in a basketball league and didn’t have referees. I mean it wouldn’t be the same story. I mean they are the World Champions and rah-rah-rah, but the tough part I don’t factor. I come from a neighborhood where you can say what you want to say, but til you do something, it don’t mean nothing. Some of those guys are happy to get a ring, but you ain’t been in the league long enough to talk to people like that. I don’t have a lot of respect for that. Like I said, I’d be curious to hear what they have to say in a different setting, I’d be very curious to see that.”

A year later, Pierce is still shrugging off Richardson’s rants.

“We just have to keep our composure,” the Celtics captain said. “The Knicks try to get you to play their game with the talking and the small ball. We can’t get caught up in the way they’re playing. We have to play our game and take advantage of what we do out there well.”

Don’t expect this to be the last heard from Richardson. The Celtics and Knicks will see each other again three times this season. Next up, December 21 at the Garden.

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Knicks, Paul Pierce
Celtics Know How to Beat Knicks without Garnett 11.17.08 at 7:11 pm ET
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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.

Pierce and Allen got it done without KG before

Pierce and Allen got it done without KG before

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.

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, James Posey
Sounds of the game… Nuggets 94, Celtics 85 11.15.08 at 2:49 pm ET
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Call it fatigue. Call it sluggishness, or being outplayed or a combination all three. But the Denver Nuggets showed the Celtics Friday night that they are human on their home court. They hadn’t lost at home in the regular season since last March 26 to Philadelphia, a string of 11 straight wins on the parquet. But that changed when the Nuggets closed the game with a 10-1 run. Now the focus is on the Bucks in Milwaukee, where the Celtics are right now, trying to make sure one bad night doesn’t turn into two.

Denver coach George Karl said his team played with the eye of the tiger.

Chauncey Billups said the Nuggets didn’t panic when the Celtics when they made their runs or made big plays like when Kevin Garnett slammed one home to tie the game at 82-82 with three minutes left.

Ray Allen, who scored 18 of his game-high 26 in the first quarter, said the Green has to do a better job with the little details to make sure losses like Friday don’t happen again.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics were just a step slow.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers really doesn’t want to use fatigue as an excuse.

Rivers said falling behind finally burned Celtics.

Read More: Bucks, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Celtics Starting Lineup Named to All-Star Ballot 11.11.08 at 1:24 pm ET
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All five members of the Boston Celtics starting lineup will be named to the 2009 All-Star ballot today, presented by T-Mobile. The ballot will be unveiled today during a special kick-off ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins are all up for spots on the Eastern Conference team. The Big Three participated in last year’s game (Allen was a replacement for Caron Butler) while Rondo and Perkins have never been named to the team.

The All-Star Game will be held February 15 at the US Airways Center. Voting will begin on Thursday, November 13 and run through mid-January. This season fans will be able to cast their votes in every NBA arena, online at NBA.com in several different languages, and via cell phone.

Read More: Big Three, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett
Sounds of the game… Celtics 94, Raptors 87 11.10.08 at 9:34 pm ET
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Monday night had all the makings of a back-to-back letdown. And for all the world in the first half, it looked like an emotional and dominant win in Detroit 24 hours earlier had taken its toll, as the C’s trailed by as many as 16 in the second quarter and 48-36 at halftime. Then the Celtics woke up in the third before Paul Pierce took over in the final 15 minutes, scoring 25 of his game-high 36, including 22 in the final quarter to match the ENTIRE Raptors team.

The end result was a stunning win for the Green and a demoralizing, head-scratcher for Toronto.

Paul Pierce said he was feeling it in the fourth.

Pierce had an ice pack on his sore right hand in the postgame presser.

Kevin Garnett said Pierce was Superman.

Doc Rivers realizes what kind of player Pierce is.

Leon Powe could see a special look in Pierce’s eyes.

What they said about it…

Jason Kapono: “We felt we could have had them down a tad bit further, especially at the end of the second quarter. They made a couple of shots there and they got to the free throw line. It’s our job to keep it going and build a lead, but obviously they are a quality team, a world championship team, and you know that their best run (of the game) is still coming.”

Jermaine O’Neal: “Those guys in the third quarter shot a lot of free throws. In the fourth quarter, they did a good job of making shots. Ray (Allen), Paul and the others have an incredible comfort level with each other. We’ve got to figure a way to keep those guys down, especially  when we’re up 15 or 16 points in a game, especially in the second half.”

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, Paul Pierce
Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Fourth Quarter at 7:31 pm ET
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Once down by as many as 16 points, the Boston Celtics staged a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Toronto Raptors 94-87 on Monday night at the TD BankNorth Garden. Paul Pierce scored 22 points in the final 12 minutes alone and finished the night with 36 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Kevin Garnett added 21 points and 10 boards. Jermaine O’Neal posted 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors.

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Read More: Celtics, eddie house, Kevin Garnett, Raptors
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