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No TA quite yet 11.25.09 at 7:45 pm ET
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After indicating that guard Tony Allen could be ready to face the Philadelphia 76ers, head coach Doc Rivers said on Wednesday that his defensive specialist still wasn’t quite ready to make his 2009 debut after injuring his left ankle in the preseason.

“I don’t have a clue when,” Rivers said. ‘No relapse. I really don’t Just not ready to play yet. It’s getting closer.”

Allen played in just one preseason game – on Oct. 9 against the Knicks – and hasn’t played in game action since.

Read More: Celtics, Tony Allen,
Tony Allen could return vs. Sixers 11.24.09 at 4:35 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Tony Allen might finally be given the go-ahead to make his 2009-10 debut.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following Tuesday’s practice that Allen, a 27-year-old defensive specialist, might finally have enough confidence in his healed left ankle that he can play at full game speed.

“I think he’s very close, as close that he may play [Wednesday],” Rivers said. “But I don’t know the answer yet. Wait till [Wednesday] and see how he feels.

“Tony looked good today,” Rivers said. “I think with him, it’s going to be a confidence thing. [Monday], I didn’t think he looked good. Today, I thought he looked terrific. He was exploding to the basket.”

The Celtics could use his athleticism off the bench to match that of the young 76ers, pressuring their backcourt of Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala. Tony Allen played in just one preseason game, playing eight minutes against the Knicks on Oct. 9. He missed both shots from the floor and was held scoreless.

Read More: Celtics, Tony Allen,
Meet Marquis Daniels: Hockey Player at 4:08 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Marquis Daniels knows the tough reputation of hockey players. They are the types who get 20 stitches after taking a puck to the face and miss one shift and are back on the ice.

So, when he was spotted again on Tuesday with heavy tape around his left [non-shooting] wrist, he made an appropriate cross-sport reference.

“It’s okay,” Daniels said with a smile. “I’m hockey player. I’m alright.”

Somewhere, Cam Neely is smiling. Or in Daniels’ case, Mario Lemieux. He knows who No. 66 was and what he did for hockey.

But ask him how he injured the wrist and Daniels struggles to remember.

“I don’t even know,” Daniels said after Tuesday’s practice. “I just realized it after the Indiana game. I was like something doesn’t feel right. You’re going to get it hit out here. That’s why I keep tape on it, to keep it protected. I can’t skate. I’m not going to try. I’m from Florida, I don’t even like ice.”

“I actually don’t know the answer,” his coach Doc Rivers added. “He hurt it, I think, all the way back in preseason if I’m not mistaken. He does bandage it more in practice than in the games. But lately, he’s going to that more in the games.  I don’t think it’s anything where he needs surgery or anything like that. But it must be bothering him some or he wouldn’t be wearing it.”

Daniels said he’s not worried that the wrist could limit his offensive punch.

“I shoot layups anyway so I’m okay,” he said, all the while smiling. “It’s nothing. I’m okay. I can play, I can run. I still have my legs. I can move. I’m alright.”

Daniels, who is averaging 6.3 points in 13 games, said it won’t keep him from fulfilling his role as one of the first players off the bench when the team takes on Philadelphia on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
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C’s want to see improvement starting now at 3:30 pm ET
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WALTHAM — One of the most consistent players on the Celtics so far says coach Doc Rivers wants to see more consistency as a team.

“I know Doc said starting from the last game that we want to try to make a run all the way up until our Christmas game,” Kendrick Perkins said.

Perkins had 16 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday in New York. He is second on the team in rebounding behind Kevin Garnett and is averaging 10.5 points a game.

“We want to be on the right track. I know guys are locked in and focused right now. We’ve just got to stick together. It’s not always going to be great times through the season all the time so we just have to stick together.”

The Celtics improved to 10-4 by surviving an overtime scare on Sunday in New York to beat the Knicks, 107-105, on Garnett’s jumper at the buzzer. They play Philadelphia on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

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Fast break: Celtics-Knicks 11.22.09 at 4:12 pm ET
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Depending on your point of view, the Celtics 107-105 victory over the Knicks in overtime Sunday at Madison Square Garden was either a gritty gut-check, or a further sign that things are not right with the C’s.

Kevin Garnett hit the winning shot, but was 4-for-15 for the game. Ray Allen made a huge 3-pointer late in regulation, but was 3-for-13. Rasheed Wallace continued his slump missing all six shots. And on the defensive end, the Celtics held the Knicks to 43 percent shooting, but allowed Al Harrington to drop 30 points on them off the bench, which contributed to the C’s blowing a 14-point lead in the second half.

Either way, it’s a win the Celtics will take after losing three of their last four.

Player of the game: Paul Pierce. The Celtics captain had been content to play distributor at times this season, but with the memory of so many slow starts in his head, Pierce elected to take over early and often. He scored 17 of his 33 points in the first half and lived at the free throw line, all while helping handle some of the point guard duties. There are lot of things that are “off” with the Celtics right now, but Pierce is not one of them.

Turning point: There were so many ebbs and flows that it’s hard to pick one moment as the turning point, but as big shots go it was hard to top Allen’s corner 3-pointer in transition that gave the Celtics a 96-94 lead late in regulation. New York came back to tie the game on a couple of occasions, but never regained the lead.

* It’s still too early to judge Garnett on his comeback, but the judgments will start to come after yet another lackluster performance, despite his game-winning shot. Doc Rivers has acknowledged that Garnett is still a work in progress but he continues to insist that KG is 100 percent healthy.

* Kendrick Perkins played the role of unsung hero with 16 points and 13 rebounds in what might have been his best game of the season. He also refused to get into anything extra with Eddy Curry who has returned to the Knicks a far more feisty player than when they banished him. Curry was sent to the bench, and assessed a flagrant foul, after whacking Rajon Rondo in the back of the head. That came after Perkins stymied him on the block.

* Where was Nate Robinson down the stretch? Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni did the Celtics a favor by keeping Robinson on the bench in favor of Chris Duhon, who is neither a good shooter nor a good creator with the ball in his hands.

Read More: Celtics, Fast Break, Knicks,
Sheed trying to keep Superman from lifting off 11.20.09 at 1:27 pm ET
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Rasheed Wallace makes no bones about his game plan heading into tonight’s match-up with Dwight Howard the defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic.

Don’t let Superman take off.

“Step on his launch pad,” Wallace said of his strategy. “He’s a big fella, he can jump. If you step on his launch pad before he can take off and make it a hard shot for him, it’s a 50-50 chance. He going to come with the hook and little jumper, just take that 50-50 chance.”

But just because he wants to make life miserable on Howard’s big feet, don’t get the impression he doesn’t try and help Howard when the two aren’t combatants in the low post.

Wallace actually gives Howard advice on how to become even more of a force than he is now.

“He doesn’t try to brush me off,” Wallace said. “He listens. That’s coming from him being raised well by his mom and dad. I don’t think he’s arroagant. He’s still trying to learn. I think he’s just tipping the iceberg because all we’re seeing right now is him dunking and catching the alley-oops. If he decides to go into the gym and get that little 12-to-15 footer down and they establish a good pick-and-roll with the three guys they’ve got, him and Jameer or him and Rashard, I think they’ll be pretty good.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Magic, Rasheed Wallace
Celtics savor shot at Magical redemption 11.19.09 at 10:26 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  When last the Celtics saw the Orlando Magic, Kevin Garnett walked out of TD Garden one ticke- off man.

He had to watch from the bench as his teammates lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“I was [ticked] off. Really just [ticked] off,” Garnett admitted following Thursday’s practice.

“I’m not a miserable person,” Garnett continued. “I’m just looking forward to playing them. Obviously, they’re considered one of the best teams. I’m sure we’re going to rate ourselves and grade ourselves on that and try to play better. We’re a team that’s trying to get better so it should be a fun game.”

The Magic are tied with the Celtics with a 9-3, just behind Atlanta for early-season supremacy in the East.

“It’ll be nice to get to play them,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “They’re the team everyone is chasing in the East. They won the championship of the East last year. As far as we’re concerned, they’re the favorite, Cleveland’s the second favorite and we’re the third, based on the results of last year. It’ll be good to see where we’re at.” Read the rest of this entry »

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