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Danny Ainge is still counting on Jermaine O’Neal 01.20.11 at 12:19 am ET
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Danny Ainge made this much clear after meeting with Jermaine O’Neal at halftime Wednesday night – he’s not giving up on the center to make an important contribution this season.

Ainge said the 32-year-old O’Neal and the team met and decided not to have the chronic left knee scoped to be “cleaned out.”

Instead, O’Neal will put off having knee surgery and will undergo four weeks of rehab to strengthen the area around the knee.

“We haven’€™t really known what we are going to do,” Ainge said. “We had a discussion at halftime, Jermaine, and myself, and our medical staff, and have decided that we are not doing surgery. The surgery that we were considering by the way, was just a cleaning out.

Surgery could have kept him out for two months but Ainge said surgery or not, O’Neal would’ve been back this season or in time for the playoffs.

‘€œThat’€™s always a guess, but probably closer to eight weeks. And you know again, Jermaine had a lot to do with the decision. And Dr. [Brian] McKeon was fine with it, and it’€™s not an easy decision, and I think that Jermaine feels like he overdid it a little bit. He’€™s got some bruising from the bone on bone that he has in his knee. He just needs to let that calm down, and build up the strength in it.’€

The reason the Celtics and O’Neal are hopeful for a return is the fact that he isn’t dealing with serious ligament or cartilage tears.

“There’€™s not ligament or cartilage damage that was going to be prepared, it was a cleaning out process,” Ainge said. “We decided against that, we’€™ll take the next four weeks to do nothing, but work to build up his glutes and quads, with the sole purpose of that. So he’€™ll be rehabbing to build strength in his leg to get ready for the end of the season.’€

The ailing left knee has limited O’Neal to 17 games and 18 minutes per contest this season, during which he is averaging just over five points and 3.8 rebounds.

“This is a good option,” Ainge added. “I mean, we felt ‘€“ either way we thought he might be back for the playoffs. If he had it cleaned out or if he didn’€™t. You know, again, it’€™s just he’€™s got a lot of wear-and-tear on the knee. But this is a good option. I think he feels like if he gets himself in better shape and the strength then he’€™ll be ready to give us an effort that we haven’€™t seen this year out of him.

“I would say the purpose is to get him ready to play in late-season and postseason play, with no restrictions. I mean his first night there might be, but the purpose is to get him back 100 percent.’€

The Celtics signed O’Neal last July to a two-year, $12 million deal, with O’Neal being paid the full midlevel exception of about $5.76 million this season.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Jermaine O'Neal, NBA
Doc Rivers thanks Danny Ainge for the chance to make Celtics coaching history 01.12.11 at 11:34 pm ET
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Doc Rivers remembers the 2006-07 season vividly, and for all the wrong reasons.

The Celtics had just completed the second-worst season of their existence, losing 58 times and Rivers would have totally understood if his boss decided that – in addition to changing the roster – it was time to change the coach.

But GM Danny Ainge saw something in Rivers and convinced Celtics ownership to stick with Rivers since he felt he was the right coach to handle the egos and personalities of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. One championship and one near-miss later over a span of four years, Ainge has been greatly rewarded for his loyalty.

On Wednesday night, following a 119-95 win over the Kings at TD Garden, Rivers passed K.C. Jones for third on the franchise’s regular season all-time coaching wins list with 309. And it was Ainge whom Rivers thanked for giving him the chance.

‘€œYeah, you know, I don’€™t know what that means, honestly,” Rivers said. “It’€™s awesome, I guess. I mean, I just don’€™t know what that means, yet, because I’€™m not thinking about it much, I’€™m not done. But it’€™s nice. And, listen, it’€™s Danny Ainge at the end of the day. I’€™m full-aware of that. We were bad for two years and he stuck with me. And believed in me. And so, at the end of the day it’€™s Danny Ainge more than me.’€

Rivers, whose record stands at 309-221, trails only Tommy Heinsohn (427) and all-time leader Red Auerbach (795) on the franchise’s all-time list. Rivers guaranteed one thing Wednesday, he won’t be shooting for first. ‘€œNo. That ain’€™t gonna happen. I can guarantee you that!’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, K.C. Jones
Danny Ainge on The Big Show: ‘One of best games Rondo’s ever played’ 01.06.11 at 5:06 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge joined The Big Show to talk about Wednesday’s night victory over the Spurs, the importance of Jermaine O’Neal and who among the big four is the most irreplaceable. Ainge called Rajon Rondo’s performance, “one of the best games Rondo’s ever played,” but Ainge was more impressed by his defense against Tony Parker, than his triple-double stat line.

“Not only did he control the game offensively — he had a lot of assists last night because Ray [Allen] was shooting the ball so well. His numbers can be deceiving. His defense against Tony Parker, he was fighting through the screens. I think the two games he played prior to that he was just out there. I don’t think he was playing 100 percent. I don’t think he could. He was just out there just to get us in our offense. It was helpful but he wasn’t playing the defense like he did.”

Ainge also noted Allen’s night, in which the veteran sharpshooter made 13-of-16 shots with many coming off the same play. “I don’t know who else in the league can do what Ray did last night. Just catching and shooting going away from the basket off down screens, other than guys like Reggie Miller and Dale Ellis, there really aren’t that many guys that are proficient at it.”

Here are more highlights from the interview: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo,
Glen Davis: I love Doc Rivers but wish he would ‘pipe it down sometimes’ 01.05.11 at 11:42 pm ET
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After the Celtics survived the NBA-best San Antonio Spurs by two points on Wednesday night, Glen Davis wanted to share a different kind of family story – the one involving his head coach.

Following his most productive night of the season in the scoring column, Davis said coach Doc Rivers continues to give him plenty of tough love this season. But Davis added that Rivers is working with him this season harder than ever to get the most out of him.

‘€œHe has, he has worked with me,” Davis said after scoring a season-best 23 on 10-of-18 shooting from the field. “He’s given me the opportunity to show what I got. He is still hard on me. He’€™s still hard. It’€™s like a love hate thing. It’s like you love it but pipe it down sometimes.”

Asked to describe their relationship, Davis – who detailed his new role as father in December -said it’s a very complicated, but effective one.

‘€œFor sure father son, like step-son,” Davis said of Rivers. “He loves me. But it’€™s like I still love you, but I’€™m hard on you. It is what it is.”

Davis and Rivers got into a heated argument on New Year’s Eve when the Celtics lost to the Hornets at the Garden, with Davis missing an ill-advised three-pointer to tie it late. Rivers afterward said Davis was guilty of playing too much “hero-ball.”

But then there was the loving part of their relationship, which Rivers clearly showed after Wednesday’s dramatic win, not possible, according to Rivers, without him.

“I’ve been saying it all year, he’s been terrific,” Rivers said. “Baby has his days but overall, he’s had very few of them. He’s been terrific all year. He’s had a tremendous team attitude in a contract year, which is very difficult. I don’t think he gets enough credit for that part of it. The only time he gets himself in trouble is when he forgets he’s Glen Davis, and I don’t know how you can forget something that big, personally.”

Rivers didn’t stop there, maintaining the team’s 27-7 mark wouldn’t be possible without Davis.

“He’s just been fantastic,” said the Celtics coach. “Our record is where it’s at because Glen Davis is on our basketball team. The minutes, playing him at four, playing him at five, he’s just turned into a terrific player for us.”

Speaking of contract, Davis is in the final year of a two-year, $6.3 million deal, a situation Davis said he’s not worried about – for now. When owner Wyc Grousbeck and GM Danny Ainge are ready, Davis will be ready to listen.

“Contract? You know what, I’m going to be honest with you,” Davis began. “Do you think about your job? You do, right. Man, I hope I get that next bonus or that next check. You have to think about it but you try to stay within yourself and the team and know that it’s going to happen. You have to control yourself. You can’t control what Danny or Wyc might put on the table. You just have to control yourself. That’s what I’ve come to realize. You have to keep wishing and don’t worry about that kind of stuff.”

Paul Pierce is no father figure to Davis. Instead, the big brother can appreciate what Davis has done in Kevin Garnett‘s absence.

‘€œHe’€™s given us a big spark for us playing for Kevin, the things he’€™s given us off the bench as a sixth man, probably the best sixth man in basketball right now if you ask me,” Pierce said. “He’€™s doing a lovely job at that, we’€™re asking him to do so many jobs, things that Kevin does, asking him to duplicate what Kevin does, but defensively he’€™s really given us a spark, offensively the way he spreads the floor. I just get on him a little bit, when it comes to rebounding but he’€™s playing great’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Glen Davis
Danny Ainge on The Big Show: Kevin Garnett has a strained calf 12.30.10 at 5:12 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge told The Big Show Thursday that after an MRI and a thorough examination, Kevin Garnett would likely be out a couple of weeks with a strained calf muscle.

“It’s a muscle injury, a strained calf,” Ainge said. “It’s actually the softer side of the leg below the knee. It’s not anything to do with his knee, which is great news, and it’s one of those injuries that he may be out for a couple of weeks at the most. That’s my guess. It’s always a guess. I’ll just say two weeks. I think that’s on the conservative side.”

Ainge said that when he saw Garnett go down and grimace in pain that he was hoping it wasn’t serious, but he did flashback to the Utah game in 2009. “That was a specific injury that he had and had been playing with,” Ainge said. “KG had been playing with a sore leg for weeks before that Utah injury and it wasn’t something that just happened. he had that bone spur on there for much longer than before that Utah game.”

Ainge also had an update on Rajon Rondo who has missed six games with an ankle sprain. “Rajon is getting better,” Ainge said. “It was a pretty severe sprain. Rajon is in a situation where he could play, but he’s in pain still. He has pain on both sides of the ankle and we just don’t want to get him back on to the court until he can play hard.”

Here are more highlights from the interview: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett injury, Rajon Rondo, Rasheed Wallace
Danny Ainge on Big Show: ‘I like this team much better’ 12.23.10 at 5:11 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge joined The Big Show for his weekly Thursday appearance and noted that he doesn’t think this season’s Celtics team will have the same kind of letdown as last season’s squad.

“I think this just a better team,” Ainge said. “I like this team much better. I like the depth better. I feel more more confident in this team and what we’re capable of doing. Last year we came very close. I feel like us at all positions. We’re playing now without Delonte [West] and Rajon [Rondo], which makes it very difficult, and we’re still finding ways to win.”

The key for Ainge is that injuries haven’t affected Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett as they did last season.

“I think last year’s regular season, we didn’t play with a lot of resolve, but we also had more injuries to more key players,” Ainge said. “Paul and KG weren’t near the same and both of those guys are having great years.”

To hear the whole interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Here are more highlights from the interview:  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Big Show, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat
Ainge: Rajon Rondo will miss a couple of weeks 12.16.10 at 4:30 pm ET
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Speaking to WEEI’s Big Show, Celtics president Danny Ainge said that he thinks Rajon Rondo will be out for “a couple of weeks” following a sprained ankle he suffered in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 118-116 win over the Knicks Wednesday night.

(To hear the whole interview, click here.)

Rondo had to be helped back to the locker room, but he did return after the game.

“I think that the adrenaline was still flowing,” Ainge said. “I think that Rajon is young, and he feels fast and he loves to play, to his credit. I couldn’t believe he was back on the court last night. He wasn’t moving very well, even when he got back out on the court. You could tell he was still in a lot of pain, and certainly after the game it started puffing up. This morning there was a lot of swelling, and he definitely needs some time off.”

There is obviously no definitive timeline yet as to how long Rondo will be out, but he has been visibly bothered by a growing number of injuries, including plantar fasciitis and a hamstring injury that has caused him to miss four games.

Rondo has steadfastly maintained that he is fine, and his teammates have noted, and appreciated, his toughness. But Wednesday night, even Rondo seemed resigned. “It’€™s a little bit of everything,” he said with a sigh. “Something new every game. It’€™s just part of it.”

After the Knicks game, reporters were ushered into the team’s training room in the visiting locker room at Madison Square Garden, a place that is normally off-limits to the press, to talk with Rondo who was sitting on a bench with his left shoe off. “It hurts,” he said. “But all ankle sprains hurt.”

CSNNE’s Greg Dickerson reported that Rondo was on crutches as he made his way to the team bus.

While he expressed his desire to continue playing, few among the Celtics believed that would be possible. Without knowing the extent of the injury, Paul Pierce noted that it didn’t look good.

“He’€™s been banged up over the last month.,” Pierce said. “There’€™s probably a slim chance we’€™ll have him [Thursday]. So, we’€™ve played a few games without him. We’€™ve got to make adjustments, that happens. But hey, what’€™s new for us? We got a lot of guys going down right now, and we keep finding ways.”

In his absence, Nate Robinson has played some of his best games this season. He scored 22 points in a loss against Toronto (the last game the Celtics have lost) and followed that up with a 16-point, 10-assist performance against the Hawks. In a win over New Jersey on Dec. 5, Robinson scored 21 points to go with six assists and six rebounds.

All told, Robinson is shooting 25-for-40 and 11-for-19 from 3-point range in his four starts.

“Nate has been playing very well for us,” Ainge said, “And now he’s going to have to step it up and play more minutes.”

Read More: Danny Ainge, injuries, Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo
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