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One year later: The tweet that impacted the NBA 03.15.10 at 11:22 pm ET
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One year ago Monday, then-Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva entered the locker room during halftime of the Bucks-Celtics game. He logged into Twitter and posted the following tweet:

@CV31: In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.

Those hundred-something characters opened the virtual book on social networking in the NBA. His midgame tweet was frowned upon, and it created a ripple effect: Before the start of this season, a league-wide policy was enacted. Among its guidelines included the restriction of cell phones and other communication devices 45 minutes before the game and prohibited it during halftime.

A year later, Villanueva, now a member of the Pistons, is still surprised by the impact.

‘€œIt’€™s funny, because Twitter wasn’€™t really that big of a deal, like nobody really knew too much about it,’€œ he told WEEI.com following Monday’s Pistons-Celtics game. ‘€œI didn’€™t know it was going to get that much attention. I just did it, fun for the fans and whatnot, and the next day it just blew up. The media just took it and ran with it.

“Obviously I didn’€™t mean for it to get that much attention, but hey, it put my name out there even more,’€ he added with a laugh.

As of Monday night, Villanueva had 73,685 followers. It is a huge jump from his following a year ago. In an instant, he went from a Twitter novice to one of the early faces of social media in the NBA.

‘€œIt was crazy because I had just started, too,’€ he said. ‘€œI probably had like 2,000 followers at first. It was probably a couple of months old, two or three months old, my account. After that, it rose to like 13,000 in two or three days. It was ridiculous. Ever since, it’€™s just been picking up.’€

Villanueva has turned a potential negative into a positive by taking advantage of the benefits of social networking. He has raised awareness for charitable organizations, held contests for his followers to win game tickets, and spread well wishes to friends and fans alike.

‘€œThere are a lot of opportunities,’€ he explained. ‘€œYou get to meet a lot of people. It’€™s very important for networking, just opportunities come abound, appearances, they can just work directly with you instead of going through a third party.’€

Twitter has become the norm for many NBA players. On the Celtics, Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) has over 1.5 million followers, Ray Allen (@greenRAYn20) has nearly 25,000, and Shelden Williams (@SheldenWilliams) is a frequent tweeter with over 10,000 followers.

Now a seasoned vet, Villanueva has some advice for his fellow NBA athletes who are starting out in the world of social networking.

‘€œWhat the fans want to see is you being straight up and interacting with them as well,’€œ he suggested. ‘€œShowing pictures as well, they want to see what’€™s going on, what an NBA player does on a day-to-day basis.’€

Tweeting has become something Villanueva does on a day-to-day basis. Except during halftime, of course.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons, Paul Pierce
Fast Break: Celtics – Pistons at 9:42 pm ET
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No one on the Celtics scored more than 15 points yet they beat the Pistons by 26, 119-93, on Monday in Boston.

The victory was a total team effort, the kind of win the Celtics needed after their leadership had been critiqued. Ray Allen said the team has “a bunch of leaders,” and showed up on Monday. Every player on the C’s scored.

Allen, Michael Finley, and Paul Pierce scored 15 points apiece; Kevin Garnett scored 14; Glen Davis contributed 13; and Kendrick Perkins and Marquis Daniels each added 11. (Rajon Rondo scored just three points and dished six assists.) The Celtics shot 62.2 percent from the field, 0.1 percent away from their season high.

Player of the Game: Finley was the spark plug off the bench the Celtics have needed. He started off shooting a perfect 3-for-3 and finished the game 6-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Finley’s 15 was the most he has scored since October 20, 2009 when he posted 20 against the Thunder in preseason action.

Turning Point: After being tied 6-6 five minutes into the game, the Celtics went on a 14-3 run early in the first quarter. They got up by as many as 18 early on and never gave up their lead.

Tayshaun Prince left the game with 4:53 remaining in the third after hitting his lower back against Jason Maxiell’s knee while fighting for a rebound. A timeout was called as Prince lay on the court and received medical attention. He was eventually helped off by the Pistons staff and did not return to the game.

– Before the game, Doc Rivers affirmed that he is not giving up on the Celtics. ‘€œI don’€™t care how frustrating it gets for me,’€ he said. ‘€œI see it, and if you see it or not, I see it and I’€™m going to get it out of you. And that’€™s what I told them after the game [Sunday]. I don’€™t know how but I will get it out of you.’€ Rivers also pointed out Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels and said both players could be more productive. Wallace posted 8 points and 4 rebounds; Daniels contributed 11 points and 5 boards.

Tony Allen set Nate Robinson up for an alley-oop dunk off the backboard with 43.5 seconds left. Despite drawing a standing O from the crowd, Robinson was called for a technical for hanging on the rim.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons,
Third Quarter: Celtics – Pistons at 9:08 pm ET
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The Pistons outscored the Celtics, 33-25, in the third quarter, but the C’s are still holding on a commanding lead heading into the fourth. They are up 89-70 after three.

The Celtics are shooting an impressive 55.9 percent from the field. However, they let the Pistons shoot 12-for-17 in the quarter. Jonas Jerebko was on a mission to get his back in the game. He scored all of his 10 points in the third, many coming at the basket. Kevin Garnett scored eight for the Celtics.

Kendrick Perkins was called for a technical foul. It was his 14th of the season and second of the month.

Read More: Add new tag, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons,
Scal can’t rush back 03.01.09 at 9:37 pm ET
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Life has been put on hold for Brian Scalabrine since suffering what he believes to be his fifth concussion — the third in a matter of weeks — on February 19 against the Utah Jazz.

‘€œYou can’€™t do anything,’€ he said prior to Sunday’€™s game against the Detroit Pistons. ‘€œYou can’€™t watch TV for more than like 30 minutes, can’€™t read a book, can’€™t get on the Internet.’€

It’s forced a change in lifestyle for Scal and his family. What does he do now for fun?

‘€œLike what we did back in the day, we conversate. My wife’€™s getting tired of me talking to her though,’€ he said with a laugh. ‘€œMy daughter, she gets bored after 20 minutes. So like I said, you really can’€™t do anything. You really, really, really can’€™t do anything.’€

Scalabrine was initially diagnosed with a cervical strain in his neck. However he now believes that “99 percent” of his injury was caused by a concussion. He also suffered two concussions in January. After being deemed asymptomatic by doctors, he will undergo an MRI on Monday morning.

“I can’t worry about that until we get to the real deal,” he said. “Am I deep, deep down inside concerned a little bit about it? You know, it’s your career, it’s your life, yeah. But hopefully it all works out and I have no problems.”

Even though concussions are more common in the NFL than the NBA, one player can relate to Scalabrine’s setback. Indiana Pacers guard T.J. Ford has suffered three severe spinal injuries dating back to the 2005 season. His most recent injury occurred last season — caused by a flagrant foul by the Atlanta Hawks‘ Al Horford — and left him motionless on the court.

Ford bruised the same area of his spinal cord so many times that he eventually has his vertebrae fused together. He understands the importance of properly healing any injury in that part of the body.

“You want to be cautious any time you’re dealing with your neck, head, or spinal injuries because it eventually could affect how the rest of your life is,” Ford said. “So he has to be very cautious. The best thing to do is seek out information and get as much advice as possible about the injury and ways that you can get better so that you can live a good, healthy life and still be able to do the things you love to do.”

As Scalabrine awaits a diagnosis, the Celtics are struggling without him. The loss of Scalabrine, Kevin Garnett (knee), and Tony Allen (thumb) has depleted the Celtics bench, forcing Paul Pierce to play 48 minutes against the Pistons. (RECAP HERE) Glen Davis also aggravated his left foot and walked with a slight limp after the game. Scalabrine is itching to help his team.

“It’s different,” said Scalabrine. “The athlete and the common person, you cannot treat them the same way. Like a common person gets the flu and he’s supposed to relax for two weeks. An athlete, you can’t do it. Like they were talking to me about three months with no activity. I mean, that just doesn’t work for us. Everyone knows this. We have to deal with what it is. And you have to deal with, if you tweak an ankle they tell you take six to eight weeks off, you’ll be fine. Well six to eight weeks for us, that’s two months. You can’t do that. That’s 30 games. I just believe that you have to treat them separately.”

But Scalabrine can’t rush back, says Ford. In fact Scalabrine can’t even read a book at this point in time without the words blending together.

“It’s preparation. It’s preparation, it’s hard work, just building that confidence back,” Ford said. “And I think it starts off the court, just with conditioning yourself while you’re working out so when you get back to this level you’re not thinking twice about it.”

Doctors will determine the timetable for Scalabrine’s return. In the meantime, all he can do is stay optimistic.

“You can’t worry about it one way,” he said. “In my mind, I’m like, I’m not discouraged. I’m like thinking that I’ll be back in a week. That’s what my mind is.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers
Celtics-Pistons Game Blog: Second Quarter at 1:32 pm ET
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At the start of the second quarter … Celtics 22, Pistons 20

– The last time Kendrick Perkins and Jason Maxiell met Perk wound up with a flagrant foul and a $10,000 fine. But Perkins has put the January 30th incident behind him. “I don’t really think about that. You just brought it to my mind. I didn’t even think about it, so just go out there and do whatever I’ve got to do and play hard,” Perkins told WEEI.com before Sunday’s game. “I just block it out. I’ve moved on since then.”

Tony Allen is in taking in the game in street clothes from the Celtics bench. Allen (thumb) will wear a cast on his left hand for another two weeks and hopes to return to action four games before the end of the regular season.

– Looks like the novelty has already worn off. As soon as Stephon Marbury committed a turnover, an angry fan began berating him from the stands.

– Georgia Tech is being represented today. Both Marbury and Pistons guard Will Bynum are former Yellow Jackets.

– Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau spent some one-on-one time with Mikki Moore during a timeout. Moore has picked up three fouls in five minutes, but Doc is leaving him on the court to get acclimated with the Celtics system.

Leon Powe received a loud ovation when he headed to the bench with nine points and five rebounds in eight minutes.

Rajon Rondo got tripped up on Rasheed Wallace and fell to the ground while driving to the basket. He got back up, though, and attacked the hoop on the next possession.

– Soulja Boy Jr. was recognized during a timeout for his recent feature in Boston Magazine. Seven-year-old Daylon Trotman was named a Person of Interest in the February issue. Trotman has been entertaining Celtics fans to the tune of Soulja Boy’s “Superman” anthem.

- At halftime … Pistons 55, Celtics 47

Read More: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Mikki Moore, Stephon Marbury
Perkins ‘cool’ with call 02.02.09 at 12:24 am ET
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It’s only the first half of the season and Kendrick Perkins has already been whistled for nine technical fouls and a  Flagrant 2. His latest call against Jason Maxiell during Friday’s game against the Detroit Pistons earned him a $10,000 fine. But Perkins isn’t worried about developing a bad reputation around the league. If anything, he says, his early technicals helped the officials understand his game.

‘€œI think it’s mostly gaining the respect from the referees, having a better relationship,’€ he said prior to the Boston Celtics game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. ‘€œSo now when I get mad at a call they’re not just quick to jump on me. It’s more of a respect thing.’€

Perkins has noticed the referees have eased up since he got called for his ninth T in early December.

‘€œThey let me get physical on the block as far as defending people,’€ he said. ‘€œSo I think since I’ve calmed down ‘€“ I haven’t got a technical in about 25 games ‘€“ so I’ve been pretty cool.’€

As for the Flagrant 2 against Maxiell, Perkins attests he was not aiming for his neck. He’ll accept the consequences, though, knowing it comes with the territory of going hard on the court.

‘€œI think I’ve just got to keep going out there playing my game, being physical and just being smart at the same time,’€ he said. ‘€œThere are a lot of hard fouls that I’ve given that aren’t flagrant, so it’s cool.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Jason Maxiell, Kendrick Perkins
Sounds of the game… Celtics 98, Pistons 80 11.21.08 at 12:03 am ET
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The Celtics showed no mercy on the weary Detroit Pistons on Thursday night at TD Banknorth Garden, demolishing them, 98-80. The first quarter was a wake-up call as the Green fell behind 13-2 in the first three and a half minutes. But for the final three quarters, this one belonged entirely to the defending champs. Rajon Rondo looked better than he has all season, scoring 18 and controlling Allen Iverson and the tempo all night. This was the second time this season the 11-2 Celtics have owned Detroit, beating them 88-76 back on Nov. 9. There are 69 games remaining but it’s hard to imagine anyone in the East knocking the Celtics out of the top perch. Next up tonight, Kevin Garnett gets to actually play in his return to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves. Last year, he had to sit on the sidelines because of an injury.

Rajon Rondo on handling the Pistons.

Rondo said Garnett will be excited about his return to Minnesota.

Garnett on his return to Minnesota on Friday night.

Paul Pierce said Rondo was dominant Thursday night.

Doc Rivers explained why this was a great win.

Pistons coach Michael Curry said the Celtics showed why they’re a great team.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
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