|Fast break: Celtics-Bobcats||12.01.09 at 9:34 pm ET|
Coming into Tuesday night’s action, the two hottest teams in the Eastern Conference were Boston and Charlotte. Despite their inconsistent play the Celtics had reeled off four straight wins. Despite being the Bobcats, Larry Brown’s crew had also won four straight, including a decisive victory over the Cavs.
Additionally the Celtics came in with the best road record in the league, while the Bobcats owned a 6-1 mark at home. But what looked like an intriguing matchup quickly turned into a rout as the Celtics played their best game since the first week of the season in a 108-90 win. Ray Allen broke out with 27 points, while Kevin Garnett continued his hot shooting, scoring 16 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists
Player of the Game: Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics center has very quietly put together a strong season, but he may not remain a secret for much longer after scoring 21 points to go with 12 rebounds. It was Perk’s second double-double in as many games and his third in the last six. He scored easily and efficiently against Tyson Chandler, showing a nice variety of low-post moves.
Turning point: Midway through the second quarter the Bobcats had cut the Celtics lead to 12, 42-30, when the starting five came back on the floor. They proceeded to go on an 11-1 run, highlighted by deft passing and great defensive work. The Bobcats never got back in the game.
* The Celtics were 17-for-17 from the free throw line in the first half. Among the encouraging signs: Garnett had six free throws and Rajon Rondo and Perkins were a combined 5-for-5.
* The Bobcats racked up 13 offensive rebounds but that number is a little deceiving. Most of them came on just a handful of possessions so it wasn’t like the C’s were getting beat on the boards all night and a few of them were, shall we say, generously awarded.
* Hard to say that the Celtics played “great” defense because the Bobcats looked so disorganized offensively, but they held Charlotte to 41 percent shooting.
* Once again things got testy between these two teams. Garnett and Nazr Mohammed had to be separated and Rondo and Chandler picked up double fouls away from the ball.
|Celtics looking for bonding on trip||11.28.09 at 3:36 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Doc Rivers laughed when asked to characterize the upcoming road trip through Miami, Charlotte, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
“It’s an important trip because it’s four good teams, unfortunately all four teams are playing well,” Rivers said. “But that’s what you have to expect when you go out on the road.
Indeed, the four teams have a collective record of 32-28, with only Charlotte (6-9) under .500.
“This is a time where where you have to concentrate more,” Pierce said. “We understand what being a successful road team is about in the past. It will give us more focus time. I think we understand being on the road, we have to focus a lot more. You can’t play the way we’ve been playing at home on the road because you won’t get those wins.”
|Ray Allen rejoins team||at 3:11 pm ET|
WALTHAM — After spending time with his ill son on Friday night at a local hospital, Ray Allen re-joined the Celtics for their plane trip to Miami and should be available for Sunday night’s game in Miami in the opener of the team’s four-game road trip, according to the team.
Allen was not at Celtics practice on Saturday. Walker Allen, 2, was diagnosed with diabetes during the 2008 NBA Finals and Allen spent the night with him on Friday night after getting word after the game that he was not feeling well.
“There really is no update,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after Saturday’s practice. “It’s more his son. He’s [caring for] Walker, obviously. That’s why he’s not around.”
|Ray Allen misses practice to be with ill son||at 1:55 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Ray Allen is spending time with his ill son and may not be available for Sunday night’s game in Miami in the opener of the team’s four-game road trip. Allen was not at Celtics practice on Saturday.
Walker Allen was diagnosed with diabetes during the 2008 NBA Finals and Allen spent the night with him on Friday night after getting word after the game that he was not feeling well.
“There really is no update,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following practice. “It’s more his son. He’s [caring for] Walker, obviously. That’s why he’s not around.”
Rivers then was asked if he’d be available for Sunday in Miami.
“We don’t know yet,” Rivers said.
The team left for Miami following their Saturday practice at the Sports Authority complex in Waltham.
|Baby to have hard cast removed||11.27.09 at 6:23 pm ET|
BOSTON — Glen Davis will have the hard cast on his right hand removed on Tuesday and receive a soft cast, the next step in his rehab from a fractured right thumb.
“It’s going to be soft so I can be able to move, be able to shoot, and rehab and get some flexibility back in my hand,’ he told WEEI.com on Friday prior to the Celtics-Raptors game. ‘That’s about it. Then after that, it depends on how I feel.’
Davis injured the thumb two days before the Celtics‘ season opener and had surgery to repair it. Since then his mobility has been limited. He has been grabbing putting and squeezing it with his fingers to prevent losing muscle in his fingers. Davis will continue touching one finger to the other to increase his strength.
‘It feels great to get out of this cast,’ he said. ‘Then I can at least work to something else. It’s like I’ve been in this cast for so long I haven’t been able to work on anything. But now it’s like upgrading it and it depends on how I feel.’
Davis anticipates it will be a few weeks before he can begin shooting with his right hand and has not been given a timetable for his return to the court. In the meantime he will continue improving his left-hand skills, something he believes will help his game in the long run. Davis has already seen the benefits as Rasheed Wallace shoots with both hands.
‘Oh most definitely, most definitely, most definitely. Now I know how important my left hand is, you know? I always realized it was important but when you don’t have your right hand, you understand how important your other hand is,’ he said. ‘It’s going to help me a lot, especially on both sides of the floor, using your hands, hand-eye coordination, and things like that.”
He added, ‘It’s just been really weird. Every time I’ve used my left hand it just feels so natural now. Like you know sometimes you use your left hand and it’s like ugh. Now I’ve been using it so much and been working on that, it feels natural.’
Davis has been working out with the team and staying in condition for when he is ready to resume basketball activities. He says he is not worried about finding his way back into the Celtics’ system and believes being mentally prepared will help him ease back into playing with his teammates, many of whom joined the Cs this offseason.
‘You know, I’m not even worried about that. As long as I’m in shape and mentally I’m ready to play, I think I’ll be fine,’ he said. ‘But one thing is it’s different when you’re on the court. Like you know, different conditioning. So when I get a couple of practices in with the coaches, with the team, probably travel with them, get some more conditioning and hopefully be back again soon.’
|Turn up the volume: Pierce imposes his will||11.26.09 at 12:14 am ET|
|Fast Break: Celtics-Sixers||11.25.09 at 10:15 pm ET|
Doc Rivers was asked before Wednesday’s game if his team should be worried about a letdown against a Sixers team that was without two starters, and whom they had throttled by 29 points in Philly earlier this month. Doc’s Response? Um, yeah. Didn’t Golden State beat Dallas the other night with just six players, the coach asked.
The Celtics haven’t been able to take very much for granted since that first Sixers game and it became obvious very early that Philly had come to play, even after a wrenching loss to the Wizards the night before and even without Lou Williams and Elton Brand.
In the end the Celtics took every punch and landed a few more of their own in a 113-110 victory. The win continued their recent trend of playing down-to-the-wire games against sub-500 teams, but they’ll take it. Again.
Player of the Game: Paul Pierce. For everything that is going wrong with the Celtics, Pierce continues to play out of his head. It wasn’t just the 27 points, five rebounds and six assists either. With the Celtics clinging to a 107-105 lead, Andre Iguodala came steamrolling down the floor and Pierce stood his ground and took the charge.
Turning point: Rajon Rondo raised a few eyebrows through the first three quarters by continuing to pass up layups in favor of making an extra pass. One time he caught Kevin Garnett underneath the basket on a give-and-go-and-give leaving Garnett no choice but to fling the ball toward the hoop while he was already underneath it.
But in the fourth quarter Rondo finally came alive, taking the ball aggressively to the hoop and looking to score. The Celtics used a small lineup during this stretch and Rondo took advantage of the space available on the floor. Things become so much easier for the Celtics when Rondo has the mindset to finish once he breaks down the defense.
* Once again the Celtics were beaten on the offensive glass. The Sixers had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, which led to 18 second-chance points.
* Philly is in the bottom third in the league in 3-point shooting at a tick over 32 percent. Naturally the Sixers shot 13-for-20 from 3-point range.
*One area the Celtics did excel in was getting to the free throw line, making 30-of-39. Garnett was 9-for-12.
* Rasheed Wallace didn’t exactly “break out” of his shooting slump, but he did make two of six from beyond the arc.
* Kendrick Perkins, Ray Allen and Garnett all spent considerable portions of the fourth quarter on the bench. The Celtics and Sixers were both using small lineups, which left Perk out even though he had 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes. Garnett was spelled by Wallace as part of his regular rotation, while Allen gave way to Marquis Daniels. After 15 games the only thing that’s obvious about the rotations and lineups is that Rivers is still looking for the right combinations.
* Great coaching move and execution in the final seconds as the Celtics were able to foul Iguodala, and then Jason Kapono with a three-point lead instead of letting either of them get off a chance at a tying shot. While it’s clearly the right strategy, very few teams actually carry through with the play or execute it correctly.
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