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KG: ‘It doesn’t help when the crowd boos’ 04.09.10 at 11:54 pm ET
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A frustrated Kevin Garnett took exception with the boos that rained down on the parquet during Boston’s 106-96 loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

“It’s just hard, especially when we get to the end of the first quarter and we are down, 30-17, and everybody starts to hit – not the panic button – but tries to pick it up in different ways and when it doesn’€™t come together or you miss some shots, and it doesn’€™t help when the crowd boos and all these other things then you have to grow tighter together,” Garnett said. “It’€™s not easy. We know this journey and duration in which we are traveling is not going to be an easy one, and tonight was a difficult one. I wouldn’€™t say we hang our heads but every individual is trying to figure out what to do and what they can do individually to try to pick it up.’€

The Celtics heard it from the TD Garden crowd as the Celtics fell behind by 28 in the second quarter.

“Well, I mean we are at home, we look for our fans to give energy, to give us a spark when the times are tough,” Garnett said. “It doesn’t help when the boos happen but we are a group of veterans and we are a group that is a real team. We aren’t fair weather.”

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Paul Pierce
Preview: Celtics-Wizards at 10:49 am ET
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It is now open season on Rasheed Wallace after Bill Simmons ripped him apart in an ESPN column. It’s convenient to blame all the Celtics woes on Wallace, who has not played well at all this season, and most of Simmon’s critique was completely fair.

The subtext to everything is that Wallace has somehow infected the Celtics with his own unique blend of overconfidence and laissez-faire attitude. That’s both impossible to prove and equally as difficult to disprove.

Wallace isn’t responsible for Ray Allen’s inconsistent shooting in the first half of the season, Kevin Garnett’s limited mobility or Paul Pierce’s long list of injuries. There are many reasons for the Celtics lackluster play and Wallace has certainly contributed to a lot of it with his beyond-awful 3-point shooting, shoddy rebounding and wayward attention to help-side defense

What we do know is that Wallace hasn’t left himself any wiggle room. The only way he escapes this season without any further damage to his reputation is if he plays lights out in the playoffs. The same could be said for the rest of the Celtics.

WIZARDS (24-54, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 96.0

Points Allowed: 100.9

Differential: -4.9 (26th)

Offensive Efficiency: 104.0 (25th)

Defensive Efficiency: 109.3 (18th)

Pace: 91.6 (21st)

Likely Starters: Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, Nick Young, Fabricio Oberto, Andray Blatche

Injuries: Randy Foye (Wrist), Josh Howard (Knee), Quinton Ross (Back)

CELTICS (49-29, 5-5 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.3

Points Allowed: 95.3

Differential: +4.0 (10th)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.7 (15th)

Defensive Efficiency: 103.3 (4th)

Pace: 91.8 (20th)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: None. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Preview, Wizards,
Fast Break: C’s right ship 04.07.10 at 9:30 pm ET
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No matter how much they insist that the regular season is meaningless from here on out, the Celtics needed a win Wednesday night against the Raptors. They needed one because of the way they played against the Knicks on Tuesday and they needed one because if they are going to go into the playoffs with any kind of momentum it has to start somewhere.

They might have needed a win, but that doesn’t mean they played like it. For two and a half quarters it was the same Celtics team we’ve seen over the last few weeks. They were fine offensively, but the defense lacked the ability or focus to get stops. That all changed late in the third quarter and the C’s were able to ride a strong effort from their reserves to a 115-104 win over Toronto.

They did it despite sitting Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins for major stretches of the second half. Michael Finley scored 14 points and had six rebounds in 23 minutes of action and Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis also checked in with 20+ minute evenings.

The Celtics had five players score in double figures, led by Rajon Rondo with 21 points and Kevin Garnett had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting. They shot 56 percent and held the Raptors to under 50 percent shooting on the defensive end. It was a good win for the Celtics, and maybe even a necessary win.

Player of the Game: Rajon Rondo’s night started poorly but ended spectacularly. He had four turnovers in the first half, but didn’t commit another in the second. That was as big a factor in the win as his 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Turning Point: The Celtics were nursing a two-point lead midway through the third quarter when Doc Rivers went to his bench. The reserves pushed the lead to double-digits

* Sonny Weems had a career half for Toronto with 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the first 24 minutes, but he scored just four points the rest of the way.

* Ray Allen had 18 points, including a gorgeous behind the back move for a layup.

* Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson both did not play rotation minutes again and Tony Allen was the nominal backup point guard.

* As expected, Chris Bosh did not play for the Raptors. He had surgery to repair a facial fracture after he caught an elbow from Cleveland’€™s Antawn Jamison in their game Tuesday. It is unlikely that Bosh will play again during the regular season. He will be a free agent this summer.

* It got worse for the Raptors as Hedo Turkoglu was inadvertently hit in the face by Tony Allen late in the first quarter and had to leave the game. He did not return and is listed as questionable with a nasal contusion.

Read More: Celtics, Fast Break, Raptors,
Preview: Celtics-Raptors at 10:41 am ET
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The Celtics are like the kid that doesn’t do their homework, and then is surprised when they fail the test. But failing the test does little to chasten them because — they seem to have reasoned collectively — if they had studied they would have done just fine.

Kendrick Perkins told reporters after Tuesday’s loss to the Knicks that they were making up defenses on the fly. Doc Rivers continues to insist that he’s not holding open tryouts for bench spots even though the rotation seems to change on a nightly basis. Kevin Garnett said the gods were punishing them.

Whatever. The Celtics, frankly, are a mess and what’s most disturbing about it is that they can’t seem to get it right even when they want to. They play the Raptors tonight, a team that is without Chris Bosh who broke his face Tuesday against the Cavs, and who have their own internal problems.

If you were a betting person you would take this game off your board because with these two teams, who knows which one will show up to play.

CELTICS (48-29, 5-5 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.1

Points Allowed: 95.2

Differential: +3.9 (9th)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.4 (15th)

Defensive Efficiency: 103.1 (4th)

Pace: 91.8 (20th)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: None.

RAPTORS (38-39, 5-5 last 10)

Points Per Game: 103.9

Points Allowed: 105.8

Differential: -1.9 (18th)

Offensive Efficiency: 110.9 (7th)

Defensive Efficiency: 112.9 (30th)

Pace: 93.2 (11th)

Likely Starters: Jose Calderon, Sonny Weems, Hedo Turkoglu, Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani

Injuries: Chris Bosh (Face fracture), Antoine Wright (Ankle) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Preview, Raptors,
Preview: Celtics-Knicks 04.06.10 at 10:42 am ET
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The Celtics went 3-3 on their homestand and there was some good mixed with the continuation of a disturbing pattern.

First, the good. They registered an impressive win over Denver and beat the Cavs, no matter how hard it got in the fourth quarter.

And the bad. They have been absolutely terrible in the second half. Even in two of their wins the Celtics melted down in the fourth quarter, barely beating the Kings and Cleveland. They also collapsed in the second half against San Antonio and didn’t execute at the end of losses to Houston and Oklahoma City.

Paul Pierce called them learning experiences, but why should a veteran team at this stage of the season have to go through them? With six games left in the regular season we either know everything there is to know about the Celtics, or we know nothing at all, because based on their regular-season performance this is not a team that is capable of winning a championship.

CELTICS (48-28, 6-4 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.1

Points Allowed: 95.1

Differential: +4.0 (9th)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.4 (15th)

Defensive Efficiency: 103.0 (2nd)

Pace: 91.8 (20th)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: None.

KNICKS (27-49, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 101.8

Points Allowed: 105.4

Differential: -3.6 (22nd)

Offensive Efficiency: 106.9 (18th)

Defensive Efficiency: 110.7 (24th)

Pace: 94.2 (6th)

Likely Starters: Sergio Rodriguez, Tracy McGrady, Bill Walker, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee

Injuries: Wilson Chandler (Groin), Eddy Curry (Calf, knee), McGrady (Knee, Questionable) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Knicks, Preview,
Showing Sheed some love 04.05.10 at 6:38 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers has been around the NBA as a player and coach long enough to know when and where to pick your battles.

With the season winding down and the playoffs approaching, the last thing he need is for his back-up veteran post player to be unhappy and feel unwanted by his team.

This is why Rivers spoke with Rasheed Wallace on Monday about his outburst in the second half of their game against Cleveland, with much of Wallace’s fury pointed in Rivers’ direction following a technical foul.

River said he worked things out with Wallace following their on-court dispute during a talk before the team’s trip to New York for Tuesday’s game with the Knicks.

“Rasheed’s emotional, he’s been emotional and some of that won’t change. I can accept that,” Rivers said. “As a coach, when an emotional hijack happens, your job is to get your team to function. You can’t focus on the one at that point.”

Rivers said following Sunday’s game that he did not plan to publicly punish Wallace, after the veteran picked up a technical foul and then argued with Rivers as the coach took him out of the game.

“Yeah, he apologized. They all do,” Rivers said. “It’s not personal. Rasheed and I get along great. Rasheed gets along great with his teammates. But when you have an emotional hijack, you don’t get along well with anyone at that moment. We just had a great talk. He always apologizes. All of them do the next day about techs but I didn’t seek his apology. He just said, ‘Hey, I should’ve controlled myself some.'”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Rasheed Wallace
Doc on the Cavs: ‘I like the hatred’ at 4:55 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers believes LeBron James has it right when it comes to attitudes of opposing players on the court.

No friends allowed.

Rivers reacted Monday and said he embraces the bitter feelings between the Celtics and Cavaliers. He just added that he doesn’t want to see it spill over to the officials.

“I like the hatred,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œI think that’s good. I do think the two teams don’t like each other, for whatever reason. I don’t ever think that’s a bad thing, personally. I think that’s a good thing. I just don’t want to see that officiated. I think going into games, people know that. Just line them up and let them play.”

When told that James endorses a more fierce mentality between teams, Rivers said that’€™s good for the league.

Rivers has maintained for years that the dynamic between NBA players has changed forever with the evolution of basketball camps such as Nike and AAU, where players get to know each other at a young age – usually in high school.

“I’m all for it,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œI love it. He’s the new leader. I think we should all listen to LeBron, if that’s what he’s saying. I really believe that. I said many times, the AAU thing has changed the game in that way. Everyone knows each other. I don’t understand how everybody is still friends. It drives me nuts. That’s just the way it is.

“I used to fight that my first couple of years here and in Orlando. Even in Orlando, I went so far as if you shake a guy’s hand before a game, I was going to fine you. Then I realized they know each other, they’re friends, so I gave in.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, LeBron James
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