|Pruitt Shows Growth in Win||10.11.08 at 10:18 pm ET|
It’s a rare occasion when the media flocks to Gabe Pruitt before Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, or Ray Allen after a game. But tonight Pruitt who stole the show, clinching an 90-89 victory over the Houston Rockets with six seconds to go.
“There wasn’t [any hesitation],” Pruitt said. “[Doc] told me that he’s going to put it in my hands and he wanted me to attack early and that’s what I did.”
In just three preseason games Pruitt has already shown signs of improvement from his rookie season. The second-year guard chipped in eight points and four steals in 20 minutes on Saturday night.
“This time [Doc's] giving me more opportunities,” he said, “And even though it’s early, I feel like I need to show coach that he can be confident in me. He gave me that opportunity tonight in the second half and I just wanted to build off of that.”
The veteran Celtics showed their enthusiasm for Pruitt’s heroics after the game.
“Hold on G. Wipe your face, man,” Kevin Garnett yelled as Pruitt addressed reporters. “You can’t be sweating on TV.”
|Sounds of the game… Celtics-Rockets postgame||at 10:18 pm ET|
The Celtics beat the Houston Rockets, 90-89, when Gabe Pruitt banked in a jumper with 6.6 seconds remaining to improve to 2-1 in the preseason. But that was hardly the story of a game that featured Ron Artest driving Paul Pierce the floor on a drive to the basket in the first quarter, a Tracy McGrady elbow to the ribs of rookie Bill Walker and McGrady and Eddie House almost going at it after exchanging words in the second quarter.
Here’s what some of the Celtics had to say about not backing down afterward.
|Pierce Eager to Play against Artest||at 4:49 pm ET|
At some point tonight Paul Pierce was led to believe that he wasn’t going to play against the Houston
Rockets. He had just worked up a sweat shooting around and was ready to go. Pierce muttered his frustrations as he hit the floor for push ups.
He didn’t just want to play basketball – he wanted to take on Ron Artest.
“I always want to play against Ron Artest,” Pierce said. “I think we both bring out the best in each other. I think he’s the best perimeter defender in the league.”
Turns out Pierce will play tonight, and more than he did on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Doc Rivers expects the Big Three to play solid minutes in both halves, given that the team has the day off tomorrow.
|Don’t adjust your set…||10.08.08 at 3:54 pm ET|
Believe it or not, the Celtics are NOT the home team in their preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Mullins Center, despite playing this game just about 100 miles from Boston and in their home state.
That’s because the Celtics already have four other pre-designated ‘home’ preseason games, including two at the TD Banknorth Garden (Oct. 17 vs. NY, Oct. 19 vs. NJ), this Friday in Providence vs. Cleveland and Saturday night in Manchester, NH vs. Houston.
The Mullins Center is owned by the Comcast-Spectacor group, the same company that owns the 76ers and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
And besides, how appropriate that the Sixers have a home game against the Celtics on the same campus where Julius Erving made a name for himself before Dr. J did with the ABA’s New York Nets and the NBA’s Sixers.
The Celtics begin the preseason without head coach Doc Rivers on the sidelines due to personal reasons while Sam Cassell is not with the team, tending to his grandfather who suffered a heart attack this week. The 76ers are without Kareem Rush, out with a left ankle sprain.
Keep on WEEI.com for updates from yours truly and colleague Paul Flannery throughout the night.
|Glen Davis vs. Leon Powe||10.05.08 at 9:57 pm ET|
Who will get the call first for the Boston Celtics – Glen Davis or Leon Powe?
This question is bound to surface several times throughout the season. Both players proved last season that they can make an impact in the paint. Big Baby is unexpectedly light on his feet and showed early signs of maturity in his rookie campaign. Powe displayed a quiet intensity while stealing the show in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
So what separates the two young big men? Who better to answer that than Davis and Powe themselves.
There were plenty of comparisons between the two of you last season and there will be even more now that you have another year of experience. What makes your game different from each other’s?
GD: I think I’m more of a finesse player than Leon. Leon is a finesse player but I think I’m more of a finesse player as far as popping, shooting a jumper. Leon is an aggressive rebounder, aggressive in the post, so he does some great things for our team. He adds a lot of muscle.
LP: I think I’m different than him because he attacks. I attack, I dunk on people, too. I play a little bit more above the rim than he does. But we both have a similarity in hustle and getting to the line and guarding people.
How does he challenge you in practice?
GD: Just by going hard every day. Two competitors, we’re going to compete.
LP: You know me, when I’m in practice I’m going to war so I’ll see him as an enemy in practice. He’s a good defender and if you’re able to score over him then that’s great for me because that shows that I’m getting better and improving my game for the regular season.
On the flip side, how do you compliment each other on the court?
GD: If he doesn’t have the ball, I have the ball and rebound. He gives you a lot of motivation to play hard, not verbally but through his actions so that’s a great thing.
LP: I think we work well together. If you look at the times we’ve been on the court, we either sustained the lead or pushed the lead up. We didn’t have any trouble guarding the other teams’ big men and keeping them under control, and we were doing a little bit of scoring of our own.
What did you learn from one another last season that will help you this season?
GD: I saw that every opportunity that he had, he seized the moment and that’s a good thing. On the bench you don’t get a lot of time and him coming in his second year, he understood that and he did it. So hopefully me coming into my second year, I’ll understand that and capitalize off some things.
LP: Me and him, he brought out the competitiveness in me. (Pauses) I do not want him to score. He does not want me to score. And so when we play and we get on the practice court, we go 150%. Actually, (head) coach (Doc Rivers) had to calm us down a few times. We’re always getting into it and he had to calm us down a couple of times because me, I take stuff out of hand and I know he does too because we’re all competing out there.
What do you expect from Glen/Leon this season?
GD: Him going into this third year now, he should be a little bit more comfortable and be the player that he wants to be.
LP: He’s going to be that much better, that much smarter, and he’s going to calm down on the fouling a lot. He’s just going to have an overall feel for the game and he’s going to be more relaxed out there. He’s going to have a good year.
Enough about other people. What can we expect from you this season?
GD: Me? A lot more. I don’t know yet but it’s going to be a lot more. [I worked on] being consistent. Coming into the league as a rookie, it’s tough. It’s tough. There are some ups and downs but that’s what makes you a professional, when you can come in every day and be consistent. That’s what I’ve been trying to learn this summer and hopefully it’ll pay off this season.
LP: You might see a couple more coast-to-coasts, you know, just a couple. I’m not going to be reluctant so don’t trap my team when I’m in the game. (Laughs)
Davis got the nod 13 more times than Powe during the last regular season, but Powe’s experience and versatility to play the center position prevailed in the playoffs. Powe averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in less than nine minutes per game during the NBA Finals. Davis appeared in just one postseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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