|Pierce, Ray get the night off||04.15.09 at 8:58 pm ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was true to his word that Paul Pierce and Ray Allen would sit out tonight’s season finale against the Washington Wizards at TD Banknorth Garden.
Pierce was officially designated “inactive” while Ray Allen was active as each team is only allowed to deactivate three players a game. Allen was also in a suit next to Pierce on the bench.
Rivers added that Rajon Rondo will start the game but play only limited minutes, “definitely the first (quarter) and maybe the third (quarter)” as the team gets ready to take on either Philadelphia or Chicago in the first round of the playoffs this weekend.
Rivers threw out a starting lineup of Rondo, Marbury, Perkins, Powe and Tony Allen, who started at the three spot.
|Time to step it up||at 8:18 pm ET|
Wearing a tan suit with a orange shirt, tie and handkerchief, Paul Pierce address the crowd on Fan Appreciation Night at TD Banknorth Garden prior to the regular season finale with the Washington Wizards.
Pierce thanked the crowd for making the arena a true home court advantage and “one of the toughest” buildings for opponents to come away with a victory.
But he also had another message for the crowd, which came to its feet as he took the mic on Lucky the Leprechaun at midcourt.
“This is the time of year you expect us to step it up,” Pierce said. “We also need you fans to step up”
Pierce was inactive for the season finale.
|Sounds of the game… Big time Big Baby||04.10.09 at 11:53 pm ET|
Friday night, the Miami Heat learned what the Boston Celtics already knew, Glen Davis is a big man who can make a big difference in a game.
Sure Paul Pierce turned it on in the second half and scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half in Boston’s 105-98 win at TD Banknorth Garden. But you expect such offense from the Celtics captain who could wind up in the Hall of Fame someday.
But when second-year big man Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis goes off for 22 and takes a team-high 17 shots (making eight), you’re left with few options but to just shake your head. After all, Davis is the guy replacing All-World Kevin Garnett in the Green’s lineup.
“We want KG back, most definitely,” Davis said. “But, it’s all how you look at it. It gives me an opportunity to get the experience, get the minute under my belt so when I’m in playoff situations that, I know, I’ve been through this before and I know how this feels to hit a shot, to put us up. I know how it feels to make a defensive play, I know how it feels to execute when your supposed to execute. Read the rest of this entry »
|Replacing Russell||at 6:59 pm ET|
There was a warm reunion during dinner in the Will McDonough Press Room, about 45 mintues before tip-off Friday at TD Banknorth Garden.
Hank Finkel, the seven-foot center who replaced Bill Russell the year after Russell won his 11th and final NBA title, ducked as he came into the press room. He was greeted by the man who coached him beginning in 1969, Tommy Heinsohn.
Dave Cowens eventually replaced Finkel in 1972 and finished his career in 1975, winning one NBA championship in 1974 as Cowens’ back-up.
One bit of trivia, Finkel and Heinsohn both grew up in the Union City, New Jersey area.
|KG, Powe close to games||at 12:19 pm ET|
When are regular season games more like practice?
When you’re trying to get two important pieces of your puzzle in order before the playoffs start.
Such is the case for Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said at Friday morning’s shootaround that he still hopes to get Kevin Garnett (right knee) back in game action on Tuesday in Philadelphia and on Wednesday in the season finale against Washington.
“If we can play him 10 or 15 minutes, we will, if that’s what we think will give him better rhythm,” Rivers said. “But for us, we’ll use it as practice, and that may be the same for Leon.”
Leon Powe (right knee) went through some plays with the team on Friday morning, but not at full speed. He then worked with coach Clifford Ray on a rebounding drill where he caught the ball atop his ahead and then jumped back up immediately and shot the ball without bringing the ball below his shoulders.
“He was just trying to do drills to see how the leg responds,” Powe said. “So far, it responded real well to the drills we were doing.”
But don’t look for Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion) to return to action in the final two games of the season. Rivers said he would still rather be safe than sorry.
“The Scal thing, I’m not so sure,” Rivers said. “Even though I think he’s improving, I don’t know if we want to take the chance in a regular season game with him. Ball hits him on the head and he goes down, we literally don’t want to take that chance.”
The Celtics play Miami tonight and then at Cleveland on Sunday before wrapping up the season with a game on Tuesday in Philadelphia and at home against Washington on Sunday.
|Garden scheduling madness||at 11:41 am ET|
It’s a good problem to have but it’s still a problem that needs solving.
How to schedule two teams and two Springsteen concerts all in one building over four days.
The Celtics are almost certain to play Saturday the 18th with Game 2 of the first round to be played on Monday, the 20th. The reason is as follows:
The NBA playoffs begin on Saturday, Apr. 18. The NHL playoffs for the Boston Bruins begin at home at the Garden on Thursday, the 16th since the Celtics finish up their regular season on Wednesday, the 15th against Washington. It should be pointed out, of course, that the Bruins and owner Jeremy Jacobs own TD Banknorth Garden.
If the Bruins play Montreal in the first round, it’s very likely that Hockey Night in Canada will want the Bruins-Habs on Saturday night and the Bruins would acquiesce to that request. If that scenario takes place, then you’re likely looking at a Celtics playoff opener at 12:30 on ESPN in the afternoon and a Bruins-Canadiens nightcap.
If the Bruins play the New York Rangers in the opening round, it’s more likely, the Bruins would play on Sunday afternoon on NBC and the Celtics could move to a Saturday night game on TNT.
In any event, the NBA wants to avoid having the Celtics or any team for that matter, play on back-to-back days if at all possible.
Bruce Springsteen takes over the building on April 21 and 22 and there’s no moving The Boss. Once again, a great time to be a Boston sports fan.
|Rondo… The new Pearl Washington||04.08.09 at 11:49 pm ET|
Stephon Marbury knows old-school point guard play. And he sees it every time he watches Rajon Rondo play.
On Wednesday night during a 106-104 nail-biter over the New Jersey Nets at TD Banknorth Garden, Rondo scored a team high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor, while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out five assists.
It seemed from Marbury’s standpoint, every time Rondo drove to the basket, he scored.
“The guy had [31 ]points and I think he shot all layups,” Marbury said. “He reminds me of Pearl Washington from what they said, back in the days. A guy who didn’t really shoot the jump shots, but just continued to get to the basket and dominated.”
There are cases around the NBA when the point guard looks to score, their team is usually in trouble. Such is not the case with Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. As a matter of fact, it may be just the opposite.
For the third straight game, Rondo scored at least 20 points in leading his team to victory, their fifth straight overall.
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