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Celtics get ready for ‘different’ challenge 05.04.09 at 1:07 pm ET
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WALTHAM -Everyone knows this will be a different challenge for the Boston Celtics.

From the style of play to the expectations, this series with the Orlando Magic figures to be a different set of circumstances altogether for the defending NBA champs.

Another thing that will be different right out of the gate will be the intensity level, at least for Game 1 tonight at the Garden. Just ask Kendrick Perkins.

“It’s hard because you try to keep the same focus or you try to approach the game like you did in Game 7,” said the Celtics center in charge of managing Dwight Howard when he’s in the game. “I don’t care what you say, Game 7 is way different from a Game 1 because you know you have another day. With a Game 7, you know if you lose, you go home. The approach to the game is different, the intensity level is different so you just try to keep the same focus.”

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Magic, NBA playoffs
Celtics cram for Magic at 12:40 pm ET
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WALTHAM – The Celtics have all the excuses working for them tonight but their coach wants to make sure they don’t need them.

After a seven-game series against Chicago that left them tired and exhausted, they had exactly one day of rest (Sunday) before opening their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Orlando Magic tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.

The satisfaction of surviving the Bulls had not yet dissipated on Saturday night when the players got in their vehicles and found the scouting report book on the Magic waiting for them, courtesy head coach Doc Rivers and the coaching staff. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Magic, NBA playoffs,
Perk on Howard: He’s the only guy that rebounds at 12:24 pm ET
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WALTHAM –Kendrick Perkins knows the mission before him as the Celtics get ready to take on the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight at TD Banknorth Garden.

Make life tough on NBA Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. And don’t get caught up in the stat sheet if Howard is putting up video game numbers, especially in the rebounding column.

“He has to work for it, 20 and 20,” Perkins said at this morning’s shootaround at the team’s practice facility. “You know one thing, he’s going to grab every (rebound). He’s the only guy that rebounds on their team. So, he’s going to grab all the defensive rebounds. He may grab 15 to 17 defensive rebounds so you can’t get caught up in that. If you can make 20 points on 20 attempts, that’s pretty good.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Magic
A ‘completely extraordinary’ series 05.03.09 at 1:32 am ET
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Ray Allen has a way with words, even after it seemed every superlative had been used to describe the seven-game marathon struggle that finally ended Saturday night with a 109-99 Celtics win over the Bulls in Game 7 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

“Completely extraordinary,” Allen said. “I’ve had friends all over the world watch this series and people just commenting on how nerve-wracking this series was, how entertained they were, how excited they were to watch us play and how devastated they were in the losses.”

Before the game, Allen was asked how either team could summon the energy for a Game 7 after a record four of the seven games went to overtime.

“I just think the people watching it are more fatigued than we are playing it,” Allen said. “I’m looking up at people in the stands in Chicago and they’re tired and ready to go home. For anybody watching at home, you can’t take your eyes off the TV, people are up late at night.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, eddie house, NBA playoffs
Game 7: Third quarter update 05.02.09 at 10:12 pm ET
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After the Celtics rolled at the end of the first half, you knew the Bulls would come out with everything they had in the third. The Celtics were able to absorb the Bulls charge for the most part and take a 78-71 lead into the third quarter.

Things got a little heated as Rajon Rondo was fouled hard twice. First by Joakim Noah and then by Brad Miller who topped it off with a little shove. Neither play was ruled a Flagrant foul. For his part, Rondo picked up a technical foul after a timeout.

The Bulls are shooting just 41 percent but are staying in the game at the free throw line where they made all 10 of their free throws in the quarter and are 23-for-27 for the game.

Heading into the fourth quarter, Kendrick Perkins has four fouls. Rondo, Big Baby Davis and Brian Scalabrine have three fouls. For the Bulls, Miller has four fouls. John Salmons and Derrick Rose each have three.

The question we have before us is simple. Will this be the last 12 minutes of this series or will be go to overtime for the fifth time?

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Game 7,
Game 7: The return of the bench at 9:30 pm ET
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So, who had the Celtics bench in the X-factor pool? In the first half the much-maligned reserve unit shot 6-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-5 from 3-point range to score 18 points and completely turn the game around with their defensive energy, particularly from Stephon Marbury and Eddie House.

House picked up three steals and Marbury dogged Derrick Rose into having a scoreless quarter. The Bulls bench, namely Brad Miller and Kirk Hinrich missed all five of their shots from the floor and have not been a factor.

Even Mikki Moore contributed with a timely charge, four points and two rebounds. The Bulls were 3-for-14 from the floor in the second quarter and that had a lot to do with the defensive effort from the second unit.

Read More: Bench, Bulls, Celtics,
Game 7: First quarter update at 8:39 pm ET
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As Game 7 began to get under way the crowd was rocking and the Garden was electric. Not that it bothered the Bulls at all. Chicago came out strong building an 11-4 lead and taking a 27-23 lead after one quarter.

Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose combined for 20 points, while Joakim Noah grabbed seven rebounds. The Celtics, meanwhile, struggled at the outset and shot just 35 percent from the floor. Also of concern is the fact that Big Baby Davis and Brian Scalabrine each have two fouls.

But it wasn’t all bad news for the C’s, Paul Pierce got off to a decent start scoring seven points, while Kendrick Perkins continued his strong play inside with four points and five rebounds and did not commit a foul. Scalabrine also gave the Celtics a huge lift with five points. The pace is fast–the Celtics got up 26 shots–but they only had one turnover.

All things considered, the Celtics did well to get the margin down to four points, which is something Ray Allen talked about before the game. “(We need) to get good starts and finishes to each quarter,” he said. “That builds momentum.” Consider that task half completed.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Game 7,
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