|Ray on tough week: ‘It an us project right now’||01.24.10 at 5:03 pm ET|
The Celtics host the Clippers on Monday night, a team that beat them in late December. They have two days off and then play at Orlando and Atlanta on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Then they welcome the defending champion Lakers on Sunday the 31st to the Garden, followed the next day by a game in Washington.
The tough stretch ends with a game at home against Miami a week from Wednesday.
“From a schedule prospective, it looks daunting because we’re playing some of the better teams in the league,” Allen said. “Right now, it’s an ‘us’ project, just focusing on the small, little things that we’ve done to be successful, the things we’ve done to build this team to where it is right now.”
Rivers did acknowledge that his only concern with playing Garnett in the next two weeks are in the second game of back-to-back contests.
“The games that I’m concerned with Kevin will be the Atlanta game because it comes off a tough back-to-back with Orlando and then the Washington game because it comes off a tough Laker game,” Rivers said. “Those the only two games in the next eight or nine days I have concern.
Rivers repeated on Sunday following practice that Garnett looks strong in practice and he has no concern about the health of Garnett’s right knee. Rivers said his only concern is Garnett’s conditioning.
The Celtics are comfortably ahead in the Atlantic Division with a mark of 28-13. They have nine games before the All-Star break.
“We look forward to the whole week,” Allen said. “We know we’re winding down to the All-Star break.”
|Doc ‘has no problem’ with All-Star Iverson||at 2:05 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Celtics coach Doc Rivers is all for Rajon Rondo making the All-Star team. But he made it clear on Sunday that he has no beef with the fans who voted Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson one of the starting guards along with Miami’s Dwayne Wade for the upcoming All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas.
“The fans voted him,” Rivers said. “I have no problem with it. I disagree with the people who say that he should not play. I think he should play. I think the fans have said they want to see him play. It may be because of this year. It may be because of his career. He’s earned that through his career. If the fans want to see him, they want to see him.
“They don’t get a lot of them wrong when you think about it. Maybe every two or three years, one guy is on there that you think maybe shouldn’t be out of the 10 they put on. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
Does Rivers think Rondo could be distracted by the fact that All-Star reserves are announced on Thursday?
“The good news is that there will only be one game in that time frame,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make it. That’s human nature, as long as you keep playing and doing your job. Like I’ve found and I’ve told him this and all of them this: When you do make it, it’s an honor, but the games don’t stop. You still have to prove yourself the next day and then you’re more of a target.”
|Ray Allen: ‘The ball needed to go in’||01.23.10 at 12:27 am ET|
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.
|KG speaks: ‘Old 76 Pinto got banged up’||01.22.10 at 11:55 pm ET|
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.
|Doc on Baby’s fine: ‘I thought it was extreme’||at 9:09 pm ET|
“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 »
|KG cleared for takeoff||at 7:11 pm ET|
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.
|Preview: Celtics-Blazers||at 10:21 am ET|
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)
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)
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