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Sounds of the game… Celtics 101, Bucks 89 11.07.08 at 11:23 pm ET
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Prior to going out and beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at TD Banknorth Garden, Celtics coach Doc Rivers called a meeting of the reserves before Friday night’€™s game, asking them if the opponent took away their best skill, how could they still help the team. Eddie House, Leon Powe and Glen “Big Baby” Davis had all the answers as the Cs wore down the Bucks in the fourth quarter with a 28-19 run to end the game and improve to 5-1 on the season, with Allen Iverson and the new-look Detroit Pistons on the horizon on Sunday night.

Eddie House said Doc got his message across before the game.

Former UConn star and Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva was disappointed the Bucks couldn’t hold their early 25-12 lead in the first quarter.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics took Milwaukee’s best shot.

Paul Pierce said the Celtics need to solve their problems with slow starts.

Doc Rivers said Pierce working with the second unit was huge.

Kendrick Perkins is looking forward to seeing the Pistons with Allen Iverson on Sunday night.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Celtics-Bucks Game Blog Second Quarter at 6:20 pm ET
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The Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to a surprising first quarter lead and the Celtics are battling back to claim this game which they are favored to win.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Big Baby, Boston Celtics, Charlie Villanueva
Destination: Enemy Territory 11.01.08 at 2:46 pm ET
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Before even winning a championship last season, the Boston Celtics were targets every time they hit the road. The hype surrounding the Big Three was enough to make every game significant for their opponent and one in which they amped up their intensity.

After spending last week in the comforts of the TD BankNorth Garden, the Celtics are shipping out for their first road trip of the regular season. The three-stop tour will take them from Indiana to Houston and end in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

The defending champs don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms and explain why:

Kendrick Perkins: ‘€œThis first game (of road trip) is key. I think we need to go out there and establish ourselves early and don’€™t give a chance for the fans to get involved and just go out there and play Celtics ball and we’€™ll be alright.’€

Glen Davis: “My guess is that we’re the champs. We’re last year’s champs. We have a reputation to hold on to and the odds are going to be against us but hey, what do you expect?”

Leon Powe: ‘€œWe’€™re just going to go out and play well and set the tone early. We are just going to stay within our rules and hopefully we can pull the game out. But we’€™ll come out with the same intensity we came out with tonight (Friday against the Chicago Bulls) and get the win.’€

Eddie House: “I expect the same thing we’ve been expecting since last year. Everybody was gunning for us last year because people pretty much crowned us the champions before we actually went out and did it. People were gunning for us because we had the Big Three and stuff like that so I think that by us winning it, people are going to come out a little bit harder and I think we’re ready for that. One thing about that is they’re going to come harder but we’re going to come even harder.”

Tony Allen: “I ain’t really worried about that. We’ve got to go out there any play any how. They were tough last year, they were gunning for us last year so it’s going to be times two.’€

Head Coach Doc Rivers: ‘€œNot very well, I would say (of the expected reception). But that’s fine. That makes the games better. I didn’t think we were received well last year in retrospect. Teams wanted to beat you and they should. That’s what it’s all about and that’ll be nice, that’ll be fun. It’ll be a new experience for our guys and it’ll be a challenging experience for our guys.”

Read More: Big Three, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, eddie house
Sounds of the game… Celtics 96, Bulls 80 at 12:00 pm ET
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As the Celtics sit in Indianapolis standing 2-0 on the infantile season, let’s take a look back a defensive shutdown performance that had every fan of the Green seeing visions of last year’s title run dancing in their heads more than Gino on Halloween. (Great call, Jessica!)

Paul Pierce said the Celtics just took the heart out of the young Bulls early on.

Kevin Garnett told his teammates that this one was on him after going 5-for-15 in the opener.

Doc Rivers loved his team’s energy from the get-go.

Doc Rivers on playing with momentum going on the road.

Kendrick Perkins said it’s important to get the roadtrip off to a good start.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins
Del Negro Taking On Old Friends 10.31.08 at 5:48 pm ET
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Vinny Del Negro’s return to Boston is more than just a homecoming for the Springfield, Massachusetts native. Tonight the newly appointed head coach of the Chicago Bulls is going up against his former teammates in all levels of the Celtics organization.

“I played with Doc, I played with Danny, I played with Ray Allen,” Del Negro said before the game.  “So to come back and see those guys is great. I’m just happy with their success last year and for all those guys.”

Here’s how it breaks down:

1988-90: Teammates with Danny Ainge on the Sacramento Kings

1994-96: Teammates with Doc Rivers on the San Antonio Spurs

1998-2000: Teammates with Ray Allen on the Milwaukee Bucks

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers
The Admiral Salutes the Celtics 10.28.08 at 9:09 pm ET
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12 years ago David Robinson and Doc Rivers sat next to each other in the San Antonio Spurs locker room, sharing dreams of becoming NBA champions. Three seasons after Rivers retired, Robinson realized his ultimate goal and won it all. On Tuesday night, Rivers finally realized his.

Robinson was on hand to watch Rivers receive his championship ring as the head coach of the Boston Celtics. The Admiral, coincidentally, had already planned to be in Boston and it couldn’t have been better timing.

‘€œI love Doc,’€ Robinson said after the Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-85 on Opening Night. ‘€œHe’s a great guy. I was watching him through the playoffs and this is really the first chance I’ve really had to talk with him and congratulate him. It was really good to be able to get up here tonight.’€

Just as many of the Celtics were overcome with emotion, Robinson felt it too. Like Pierce, it took him 10 years to win his first NBA title. He felt a sense of relief for both Rivers and the players.

‘€œI know it was an emotional time for [Doc],’€ he sad. ‘€œHe has a great family and they went through a couple of really hard years and that kind of redemption is super. Tonight was even kind of an emotional time just watching him and knowing what it felt like for those three guys to get their first ring. Pretty nice, pretty good.’€

Robinson stepped away from the game in 2003 after winning his second championship in five years with the Spurs. He knows firsthand just how hard it is to repeat.

‘€œObviously we weren’t able to do it,’€ he said. ‘€œYou’ve got to have a lot of luck along with being ready. Mentally they’ve crossed the line. They’re ready mentally. But I remember one year Tim Duncan got hurt and that changes your whole picture. If they lose Kevin Garnett, if they lose Paul Pierce, that’s stuff that you can’t control. They have the right mentality now; they know they can win games; they’re going to figure out how to get themselves ready for the playoff time; Doc is great, so I think they’re in as good of a position as you could ask.’€

Health, Robinson points out, is the key to success both in a season and a career. He spent 14 years in the league and offered advice to the young Celtics big men.

‘€œWork on your body. Make sure you’re strong, you’re healthy,’€ he suggested. ‘€œYou get so many bumps and bruises and if you don’t spend the time to be strong, if you don’t spend the time in the weight room outside of practice and outside of the locker room, you’re going to struggle. I don’t have a huge body, I’m not a 280-pound guy, so it’s even more important to keep your joints strong. So that’s what I would encourage these guys, just work on your body all the time. Be strong, be ready, be prepared to play and hopefully that’ll keep you from injuries.’€

For all the sweat and tears that go into defending a title, there are also perks to being the champs. There is that special feeling they will be reminded of for 82 games.

‘€œOne of the things that I remember the most is before every game coming out there and you’re sitting on the bench getting ready to be called up and they say, ‘And now you’re Worrrrld Champion San Antonio Spurs!”€ Robinson said. ‘€œThat’ the best thing and you get to enjoy it all year long.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, David Robinson, Doc Rivers, San Antonio Spurs
GMs Predict Lakers to Beat Celtics in NBA Finals 10.22.08 at 11:37 am ET
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On Wednesday NBA.com revealed the results of the 2008-09 GM Survey. There were some expected predictions based on last season’€™s performances ‘€“ a second straight Celtics/Lakers Finals, the Miami Heat will be the most improved team, and Chris Paul is the fastest player with the ball. But there were also a few notable results worth taking another look at:

Predictions

Which team will win NBA Finals 2009?

1. L.A. Lakers — 46.2%
2. Boston — 19.2%
3. New Orleans — 11.5%
4. Houston — 7.7%
San Antonio — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Detroit, Orlando

The departure of James Posey caused many to doubt the Celtics chances to repeat, but this landslide victory was still surprising. Most of the hoopla surrounding the Lakers this season is the return of Andrew Bynum. Yes, he will make them better by giving them an inside presence and allowing Pau Gasol to move back to the power forward position (where he won’€™t get beat up by Kendrick Perkins). But can Bynum hold up for three postseason rounds? The Lakers starting five (including the hobbled Kobe Bryant) has not proven they can win it all as a unit whereas the Celtics are returning their entire starting lineup. While experience isn’€™t accounted for on the box score, it can affect the final outcome.

Rookies

Who will win the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year?
1. Michael Beasley — 48.1%
2. Greg Oden — 29.6%

Which rookie will be the best player in five years?
1. Greg Oden — 30.8%
2. Michael Beasley — 23.1%

A year ago the race for Rookie of the Year was neck-and-neck between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. One knee injury later, Oden has been edged out by Michael Beasley for the honors. But you’€™ve got to feel good if you’€™re Portland Trail Blazer GM Kevin Pritchard. His long-term vision for young talent will make his team a contender for several years down the road.

Coaches

Who is the best head coach in the NBA?

1. Gregg Popovich — 53.8%
2. Phil Jackson — 23.1%
3. Jerry Sloan — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Rick Carlisle, Nate McMillan,
Stan Van Gundy

Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?

1. Phil Jackson — 44.0%
2. Gregg Popovich — 28.0%
3. Doc Rivers — 12.0%
4. Nate McMillan — 8.0%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Jerry Sloan

Did you check that list twice? After winning an NBA Championship, Doc Rivers was left off the list of best head coaches. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still reigns supreme in the eyes of GMs, also taking first place over Rivers for coach with the best defensive schemes. You would assume that Rivers would get at least one nod after transforming the Celtics from worst to first, but fortunately for Rivers the title of 2008 NBA Champions holds more clout than any preseason predictions.

Defense

Who is the best on-the-ball defender in the NBA?
1. Kobe Bryant — 26.9%
2. Ron Artest — 19.2%
Bruce Bowen — 19.2%
Rajon Rondo — 19.2%

As far as defense goes, Kevin Garnett was predicted to be the league’€™s best defensive player, best interior defender, and best leader. Rajon Rondo’€™s inclusion on the best on-the-ball defender list speaks volumes to the influences of Garnett and Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who was also predicted best in the NBA. To put things into perspective, Rondo was 10 years old when Bruce Bowen made his professional debut. Talk about a quick learner.

So how much stock should you put into these results? It’€™s up to you.

Which team will win NBA Finals 2008?
1. San Antonio Spurs 37.0%
2. Phoenix Suns 25.9%
3. Dallas Mavericks 14.8%
4. Detroit Pistons 7.4%
Others receiving votes: Boston, Houston, Miami, Orlando

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, Kevin Garnett
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