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Ray Allen: ‘The ball needed to go in’ 01.23.10 at 12:27 am ET
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Ray Allen said the key to overcome his sluggish night from the field and the free throw line was keeping mentally focused.

And that seemed a might tall order considering he had missed 11-of-13 shots before the biggest shot he took of the night. It came with 41.3 seconds remaining in overtime and the Trail Blazers leading, 95-93.

“I knew I was close,” Allen said. “There wasn’t anything wrong with my form or my mechanics. It was just the ball needed to go in. I had a shot where I hit the glass [on bank shot] and it just kinda hit the glass and rolled off and it was like, ‘Geez.’ It just wasn’t working for me.

“Mentally, I had to whatever I could to help this team win and just be prepared because you never know when that ball drifts in your direction and you’ve got to be ready to shoot.”

The fact that the shot found the bottom of the basket surprised no one. After all, he was due. And less than a minute earlier, he nearly had a shot rattle home but it ‘toilet bowled’ out as Allen himself described it.

To hear Allen talk about his night, click here.

Paul Pierce said everyone should realize Ray Allen is one of the best shooters ever, second only to Pierce himself.

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KG speaks: ‘Old 76 Pinto got banged up’ 01.22.10 at 11:55 pm ET
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Garnett said he had more in common with this '76 Pinto than just the green.

Old School: Garnett and a '76 Pinto.

Kevin Garnett was in a jovial mood following his first game since Dec. 28.

And for good reason. He just passed the first significant test of his right knee, which was hyperextended during the ill-fated West Coast road trip.

He had 13 points, two rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.

After the Celtics finally found a way to dispatch of the short-handed Trail Blazers, 98-95, in overtime, Garnett spoke about how he felt.

To hear Garnett, who was born in May 1976, compare himself to a ’76 Pinto and talk about how he felt, click here.

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Doc on Baby’s fine: ‘I thought it was extreme’ at 9:09 pm ET
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Doc Rivers was asked for his reaction before Friday’s game to the $25,000 fine doled out to Glen Davis for his obscenity-laced response to a fan in Detroit on Wednesday night.

“I have no reaction,” Rivers answered initially.

But then, as he always does, Rivers offered more perspective.

“It was high,” he added. “I thought it was extreme but I do understand, I get it,” Rivers said.

Rivers then gave a more light-hearted view on the matter.

“You just can’t do what he did and get caught. That’s my last joke on that.”

[Listen to Doc Rivers talk about Baby's fine in detail by clicking here.]

“It’s very difficult,” Rivers said. “Some of the things we hear in the  crowd is just absolutely amazing. There are times I stare up at the guy and hopefully, that menacing look will stop him and it usually doesn’t. Usually, the beer wins out. But it is tough but you have to [control yourself]. It’s not like it’s something new. It’s been going on for quite a long time, for years.”

Davis was fined heavily but not suspended and played on Friday night against Portland. Read the rest of this entry »

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KG cleared for takeoff at 7:11 pm ET
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Doc Rivers announced before the game that Kevin Garnett will make his return tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing 10 games with a hyperextended right knee. The Celtics were 4-6 in his absence.

Listen to Rivers announce KG’s return and explain his approach to using him against Portland.

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Preview: Celtics-Blazers at 10:21 am ET
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Kevin Garnett’s return, if it happens tonight, couldn’t come at a better time for the Celtics. But for Garnett personally, the timing couldn’t be worse. The Celtics have problems right now ranging from the physical to the mental. Garnett can help fix some of those things but he can’t do it all in one night, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask him to try.

Garnett hasn’t played since the end of 2009, or just over three weeks ago, and during that time he apparently did no conditioning before this week, according to the team. It will take him a week’s worth of action, at least, to get back in rhythm and game-condition. The end game isn’t for the Celtics to get out of their swoon, it’s to be functioning on all cylinders in April, May and June.

All that said, if he does play tonight, his mere presence can have a galvanizing effect on a team that has grown stale. Just don’t expect him to solve all the Celtics problems yet.

TRAIL BLAZERS (26-17, 6-4 last 10)

Points Per Game: 97.7

Points Allowed: 94.2

Differential: +3.5 (Eighth)

Offensive Efficiency: 111.0 (Fifth)

Defensive Efficiency: 107.1 (17th)

Pace: 87.4 (30th)

Likely Starters: Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless, Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge, Juwan Howard

Injuries: Brandon Roy (hamstring), Nicolas Batum (shoulder), Greg Oden (knee), Joel Przybilla (knee), Travis Outlaw (foot)

CELTICS (27-13, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 99.9

Points Allowed: 93.8

Differential: +6.1 (Third)

Offensive Efficiency: 108.2 (11th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (Third)

Pace: 91.8 (21st)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: Kevin Garnett (hyper-extended knee), Marquis Daniels (thumb) Read the rest of this entry »

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KG on his Celtics: ‘It’s accountability, man’ 01.21.10 at 1:33 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  If Kevin Garnett is indeed cleared to play Friday against Portland by the Celtics’ medical staff and head coach Doc Rivers, the team might be getting the kick in the pants a lot of observers – including their head coach feel they need.

There’s no reading between the lines necessary when interpreting Garnett’s comments about what’s been missing, especially in a team that has blown double-digit first-half leads on their way to losses to Dallas and Detroit this week.

“Slippage man, some of the hardest games are between 30 and 55 of the season and those are the grind games and at this stage, we have to grind all these out,” Garnett said. “It’s a good time for everybody to be coming back and coming back strong.

“It’s accountability, man. I’m telling you, our defense is built off grit and effort. You either you can do it or you don’t want to do it. The man behind you having your back, that’s what it is, nothing more, nothing less than that.”

[Listen to the Celtics' world according to KG by clicking here]

While not playing, Garnett sees the second-half defensive breakdowns everyone else watching the Celtics has witnessed during their 4-5 month of January so far.

“Our defense is built off of trust,” he said. “It isn’t necessarily an assignment but it is a type of defense in which we hold each other accountable. Whatever the defense the calls for, for one person to do his job, the natural reaction is for his teammate to be there to help him and then so on and so on.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Doc: ‘Glen Davis has to grow up’ at 10:06 am ET
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NOTE: Updated with a Twitter apology apparently from Davis and comments from Ray Allen.

Doc Rivers was a guest on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning and he spoke about a verbal altercation between Glen Davis and a fan in Detroit Wednesday night.

According to published reports, the fan, Scott Zack, heckled Davis about his weight, calling him “fat boy” and “chubs.” Davis responded with profanity that was picked up by microphones and were heard during the broadcast of the game. According to the Boston Herald, the fan placed a complaint with NBA security.

“We’ve been taught you have to take it and you have to keep playing,” Rivers told Dennis & Callahan. “I don’t think it’s a huge step backwards, but it is a step backwards, and Glen Davis has to grow up.”

“I’ve heard some vile things said to me, said to our players, it’s amazing what you hear,” Rivers said. “You should turn around, point to security, and have them deal with it. When you think about it — and I’m bringing it up because it was two days ago, Martin Luther King’s birthday — just think what he heard, and how many times he turned his cheek. If he can do that, why can’t we do that, on a basketball court. You’re not going to win that battle. Let somebody else fight it for you.”

Celtics guard Ray Allen, speaking on the Dale & Holley show, said he was not aware of Wednesday night’s incident but echoed his coach’s sentiments about turning a deaf ear.

“Any guy, I think, that yells back at fans during the game, I think, is uncalled for,” Allen said. “When we as players yell back into the crowd I think it makes us look bad and it makes us look unfocused.”

Added Allen: “It’s just one of those things I think for young players in the league, as you get older you just learn certain things. You stay away from certain people in the crowd. You stay away from certain pitfalls during the game. At the end of the day, it makes us as players look bad if you’re not paying attention to the game, worrying about what somebody in the crowd is saying.”

Davis apparently apologized on a Twitter account labeled GlenDavisNBA.

Via the Twitter feed:

“I’m a tough competitor and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get in shape and be at the top of my game.”

“That said, I shouldn’t have said what I did. My apologies to the fans and my teammates.”

It’s worth pointing out that the time stamp has both tweets coming in the hour or so after the game. In other words, Davis expressed his regret long before the incident became front-page news. It’s also worth pointing out that this is a different account then bigbabybball, which media outlets cited when the author voiced frustrations over Davis’ unsettled contract situation last summer. Later updates indicate the account might have been a fake.

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