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Daniels could return Sunday vs. Orlando 02.03.10 at 8:17 pm ET
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Marquis Daniels confirmed before Wednesday’s game that he will return to practice on Thursday for the first time since having surgery on his left thumb in early December.

Head coach Doc Rivers said he could possibly return on Sunday against Orlando but the more realistic date is next Wednesday in New Orleans against the Hornets. Rivers said he will not rush Daniels back just because Paul Pierce is questionable and day-to-day with a left mid-foot sprain.

Read More: Celtics, Marquis Daniels, NBA,
Preview: Celtics-Heat at 10:37 am ET
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The great Paul Pierce foot watch of 2010 began not with a Tweet from Shelden Williams, but with a report from respected NBA writer David Aldridge.

Taken on its own a Twitter update that reads: Man when it rains it pours!!! Yall find out what I mean soon!!!! could mean just about anything, besides a comical over-use of exclamation points. Taken with Aldridge’s nebulous report that Pierce “may have a broken foot,” suddenly one little Tweet takes on a whole new signifigance. Attempts to blame Williams in particular, and Twitter in general, for causing a firestorm are off the mark.

No doubt someone told Aldridge something at 4:51 p.m., but the fact that the doctor attending to Pierce had not yet examined the medical records, and the fact that the tests were not even completed, should have given him pause and allowed the process to play out as it should have in the first place. There are still many questions regarding Pierce’s health, but until he speaks on the matter, everything should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

CELTICS (30-16, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.1

Points Allowed: 93.7

Differential: +5.6 (3rd)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.5 (13th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (1st)

Pace: 91.6 (22nd)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (Foot, questionable) Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: Marquis Daniels (Thumb)

HEAT (24-24, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 96.8

Points Allowed: 96.4

Differential: +.4 (15th)

Offensive Efficiency: 106.6 (16th)

Defensive Efficiency: 106.1 (12th)

Pace: 90.7 (28th)

Likely Starters: Rafer Alston, Dwyane Wade, Quentin Richardson, Michael Beasley, Joel Anthony

Injuries: Jermaine O’€™Neal (Back spasms; questionable), Mario Chalmers (Thumb) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Heat, Preview,
Report: Pierce may have broken foot 02.02.10 at 5:32 pm ET
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A league source has told TNT analyst David Aldridge that the Celtics may be without Paul Pierce for an extended period of time. The All-Star forward may have a broken left foot. The C’s do not know for certain if Pierce’s foot is broken after X-rays were taken on Tuesday.

Pierce will undergo additional tests.

Pierce, who injured the foot in the first half of the Celtics’ 99-88 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night, is having one of his best season’s statistically, averaging 18.9 points on 47 percent shooting.

Read More: Celtics, David Aldridge, Paul Pierce,
Preview: Celtics-Wizards 02.01.10 at 10:49 am ET
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There once was a time when the Washington Wizards represented a direct challenge for the Celtics so great that some around the team were relieved when the C’s matched up with the Cavaliers in the second round of the 2008 playoffs rather than the Wiz. Things have changed a little bit since then, and whatever hold the Wizards used to have on the Celtics is long gone.

Of course there was also a time when it was a given that the Celtics would walk into a bad team’s arena and come away with a win whenever it was deemed necessary. This is one of those times. It’s one thing to lose against elite teams on the road. It’s another to lose a one-point heartbreaker against what is probably the best team in the league. But if the Celtics are going to pull themselves out of their funk, it has to start tonight.

CELTICS (29-16, 3-7 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.1

Points Allowed: 93.8

Differential: +5.4 (3rd)

Offensive Efficiency: 107.5 (13th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.7 (1st)

Pace: 91.6 (22nd)

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

Injuries: Marquis Daniels (thumb)

WIZARDS (16-30, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 98.2

Points Allowed: 102.0

Differential: -3.8 (23rd)

Offensive Efficiency: 105.3 (22nd)

Defensive Efficiency: 109.3 (23rd)

Pace: 92.4 (16th)

Likely Starters: Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood

Injuries: None. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Preview, Wizards,
Kobe plays Keyshawn: ‘Give me the damn ball’ 01.31.10 at 8:26 pm ET
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Bad left ankle or not, injured right index finger or not, Kobe Bryant channeled Keyshawn Johnson on Sunday and made the Celtics pay in the end.

“I didn’t say, ‘Give me one more chance.’ I said, ‘Give me the damn ball.’ I didn’t really give [my team] much of a choice,” Bryant said of the moments in the huddle before his game-winner with 7.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

“All we talked about was the execution of [the play], where I was going to catch the ball. That was the only difference. Throughout the course of the game, I was pretty much a decoy because of all the traps they run, but if I catch it at the top of the floor, it’s a different story.”

Then there are Celtics fans, who had a slightly different perspective ‘€” one that had Bryant clearly pushing off of Ray Allen to create space for the game-winner.

“I just tried to create space and get to a spot where I could elevate and knock it down,” Bryant explained.

Speaking of pushing off, Bryant said his left ankle was so sore he couldn’t elevate, leading to this tidy little jab at Allen.

“Oh yeah, I couldn’t push off,” Bryant said. “Ray’s athletic, but my elevator goes to the 12th floor, his stays at the seventh. But I couldn’t get to the 12th floor today, so it was hurting.

“Special for me, personally, because I had opportunity to win the game last year and I didn’t do it. I didn’t get the shot I wanted, so I wanted to make sure I redeemed myself today.”

Mr. Zenmaster himself, Phil Jackson ‘€” who tied Pat Riley for all-time wins by a Lakers coach on Sunday with his 733rd ‘€” said nothing feels better than putting the game in Bryant’s hands.

“He had a couple of looks before that that were good looks in that area and we were mystified he couldn’t put it in. He told me the next one he got out there he would drop it in and so we went with it,” Jackson said.

Read More: Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Lakers,
KG still finding his way at 5:06 pm ET
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BOSTON — It’s pretty obvious Kevin Garnett is not the same player he was two years ago when he was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and the centerpiece of Boston’s run to a 17th NBA title.

Surgery to remove bone spurs behind his right knee last summer and a hyperextended right knee suffered late in December has slowed his return to form.

Doc Rivers still believes Garnett can get back to the top defensively ‘€” hopefully taking the Celtics along for the ride. More than that, he still expects it.

‘€œI can [expect Garnett back to form], but not right now,” Rivers said conditionally. “But really, none of our guys who have come back, you can’€™t hold any of them to their normal standards right now. Our biggest issue with our injuries is that they’€™re healthy but they’€™re not ready to play basketball at this level yet.

Paul [Pierce] had his first big game in Atlanta since he’€™s been back. Kevin is still [getting back]. The key is you still have to play them the minutes. The only way they’€™re going to get back is by keeping them on the floor and let them get their minutes. The tough part is while you’€™re doing that, the team struggles a little bit.’€

[Click here to hear Doc Rivers talk about Garnett's return.]

Rivers has maintained all along that the Celtics need Garnett back to form late in the spring ‘€” when the season truly is on the line. In the meantime, they’ll have to live with the inconsistencies.

‘€œI think he can do it,” Rivers said of Garnett returning to form. “The No. 1 thing is getting them back to that level. I just think it’€™s more timing. When you look at Kevin, it’€™s amazing watching him. The Orlando game, his timing was completely off the entire game. Then the Atlanta game, all of sudden he had good timing.

“I just think it’€™s going to be that way for a while. The guy it’€™s most frustrating to is him because he’€™s knows it. The Orlando game at halftime, I thought he was going to beat himself up if he could, because he knew it. He was trying to talk himself into slowing down. I was just telling him, ‘€˜Just play. It is what it is. It’€™s going to happen for you. You just have to keep playing.’€™ ‘€

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA,
Doc on Lakers: ‘Better than last year’ at 3:51 pm ET
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BOSTON  —  Doc Rivers knows how tough it is to repeat. The Celtics won the title in 2008 and won 66 games.

Last year, the Celtics won 62 but lost in seven games to the Magic in the Eastern Conference semifinals when being without Kevin Garnett proved to be just too much to overcome.

Instead of a repeat, the Lakers won the title. And before Sunday’s game, Rivers sounded just a tad envious because instead of losing two key players like Boston lost in James Posey and P.J. Brown, the Lakers added Ron Artest, Shannon Brown and a healthy Andrew Bynum.

‘€œI think having won the title, having the same title back , adding Artest, that continuity and health I think those have been three pretty good things for them,” Rivers said. “Gasol has been in and out for them, which hurt them early in the year, too. It’€™s rare when you get a championship team that adds to their team and they did. You don’€™t see that very often. People are taking away from championship teams. It’€™s rare that they come back better and they’€™re better than last year.

‘€œI thought we took away from it. Losing Posey hurt us, losing P.J. Brown hurt us. But I think we’€™ve addressed that. Bringing in Marquis this year, bringing in Rasheed this year.”

[Click here to listen to Rivers compare his 2009 Celtics to the 2010 Lakers, teams attempting to defend a title.]

Read More: Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, NBA
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