|Fourth Quarter Reserved for Reserves||10.19.08 at 2:50 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said he wanted to learn more about “3-4″ guys before he made cuts and today he’s taking a look at everyone but Sam Cassell. With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Gabe Pruitt, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, Darius Miles, and Brian Scalabrine are on the court. This lineup is without a true center so they are pressuring on the perimeter to prevent a mismatch at the hoop. And just in case you thought anything has changed since last season, the fans are still chanting “Scal-a-bri-ne” every 30 seconds.
|Sounds of the game… Best of Doc||at 2:17 pm ET|
Too bad Doc Rivers doesn’t like to talk and chat up other sports in town. Ask anyone who covers the Celtics, including our very own Jessica Camerato and Paul Flannery, they don’t come much better than Rivers when it comes to conversation.
Here’s just some of what he had to say before Sunday’s preseason game with New Jersey…
The Celtics close out the preseason on Tuesday night in New York against the Knicks before raising Banner 17 in the season opener against Cleveland at TD Banknorth Garden on the Tuesday, the 28th.
|Celtics Lose, Cuts Loom||10.17.08 at 7:47 pm ET|
Final Score: Knicks 104 – Celtics 97
Eddie House rained threes but that wasn’t enough to fend off the Knicks in the Celtics seven-point loss. House shot 7-for-11 from long range and finished the game with 27 points. Nate Robinson carried the Knicks with 19. A few postgame notes:
- According to Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo (sprained ankle) could have returned to tonight’s game. He left the young PG out, though, since “he knows how to play.” Rondo is still uncertain for Sunday.
- Cuts are coming, and maybe sooner than expected. Doc Rivers said he wants to cut down his roster sooner rather than later to give player(s) a shot at being picked up being another team. He wants to learn more about three or four players before making his decision.
- Who does Kevin Garnett have the best chemistry with? It’s not Paul Pierce. It’s not Ray Allen either. KG said he has “the best chemistry by far” with Kendrick Perkins. Even though Perk missed the beginning of preseason play with a shoulder injury, Garnett claims the two bigs never missed a beat when he returned and were in constant communication tonight.
The Celtics will hold an open practice for a select group of ticket holders tomorrow in Lowell before taking on the New Jersey Nets on Sunday afternoon in the Garden.
|Miles Settling Into Boston||10.12.08 at 10:19 pm ET|
Darius Miles was anxious when he moved to Boston last month. He had played here before on opposing teams but it’s a different story when you are representing Beantown. The city’s winning tradition was intimidating at first.
‘The last time I played there it wasn’t really a big deal because the team was losing games,’ Miles said. ‘Like now just walking into the practice facility, it’s like it’s scary to a point because of the history that goes back on this team. Seeing all these pictures of Bill Russell and all these great players that used to play here and seeing those big banners, it’s different now.’
Through his six-year stint in the NBA, Miles already knew many of the veteran Celtics including Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Sam Cassell. Knowing these players also meant knowing the high expectations of winning another championship this season.
‘I’m a basketball fan so I kind of knew a lot about [the Celtics tradition],’ Miles said. ‘Then once they brought a championship back, that kind of brought it all back to the world and everybody else and it kind of brought it back to my memory too. Like I said it got scary where I just don’t want to mess up, don’t want to miss a pass, drop the ball, miss a shot.’
After six weeks Miles has become more comfortable in his new digs. Doc Rivers has praised his hustle and he seems at ease in the Celtics locker room. Off the court, he has already staked claim of his new favorite restaurant, Biagio in Waltham.
‘I like the family restaurants,’ he said. ‘They don’t have too many name brand restaurants. There are a lot of family-owned restaurants around here, so the food tastes better and the people know how to cook.’
What else does Miles like about Boston?
‘My favorite part is I like everybody’s accent,’ he said, adding, ‘My mom came down here when I was sick (tonsillitis) and she was telling me she liked everybody’s accents too.’
So will this Belleville, Illinois native be pahkin the cah any time soon?
‘No, I don’t think I’ll pick one up,’ Miles said with a laugh. ‘I’m too country for that.’
|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|
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.
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