|Celtics stay loose at practice||01.16.10 at 2:32 pm ET|
WALTHAM — After losing to the Bulls on Thursday night, the Celtics stayed loose during Saturday’s open practice. The uplifting mood was good for the team.
“After losses, sometimes guys can be mad at each other a little bit,” said Kendrick Perkins. “Sometimes we need a little laughter in the gym, stuff like that. I think that helped us.”
First some news before the notes …
– Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot) is expected to play on Monday against the Mavericks. “Definitely, I’m going to go Monday,” he said after practice. “I’ve got one more [practice] to get under my belt. I’ll be fine.” Doc Rivers said the team will make a final decision after observing Wallace in practice on Sunday. Wallace, who has missed the last three games, is eager to shake the injury that has been bothering him for some time. “It happened a while ago,” he said. “I’ve been playing on it for two weeks. The last few minutes in the Toronto game last week, that sort of did it.”
– J.R Giddens and Bill Walker faced off in a slam dunk contest. Marquis Daniels and Wallace were the official judges, holding up their scores on dry-erase boards. Walker started off strong with a windmill dunk but it was Giddens who stole the show. “The between the legs one? A 10,” ranked Perkins. “That was alright, especially in practice.” Just alright? The dunk sent Eddie House running around the court and had Glen Davis rolling backward.
– House and Ray Allen took to the line for a free throw competition. The team’s top two free throw shooters were flawless despite desperate attempts from the Celtics to distract them. Rivers encouraged the crowd to make noise, Paul Pierce leaped under the basket as House and Allen squared up, the buzzer sounded, even Danny Ainge threw up shots to shake the pair. In the end, the duel ended in a tie without either player missing a free throw.
The Celtics will practice — think drills, not contests — on Sunday before taking on the Mavericks Monday night at 8pm in Boston.
|Bulls catch C’s at a ‘good time’||01.15.10 at 12:28 am ET|
Time after time this season, opposing head coaches have complained about their teams not responding to the physical challenge that is the Boston Celtics on the parquet.
Chicago’s Vinny Del Negro, who will always be associated with blowing a 35-point lead at Sacramento earlier this season, didn’t have to worry about his team’s toughness on Thursday night.
They went toe-to-toe with the Celtics, the same team that eliminated them last spring and came away with their first win in Boston in six tries, 96-83.
Whether it was Boston playing its fourth game in five nights, whether it was the Celtics being without Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett again or whether it was just Chicago playing its best road game of the season, the Bulls walked out of TD Garden with a win that will last much longer in their memory banks than the loss will stick with the Green.
Afterward, both sides talked about Da Bulls taking it to Da C’s.
|Doc Rivers on D&C||01.07.10 at 12:24 pm ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning. He discussed Wednesday night’s dramatic victory over the Heat in overtime, the case for Rajon Rondo as an All-Star and the issue of guns in the NBA, which was highlighted by the indefinite suspension of Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas.
A transcript of the interview is below. To listen to the complete interview, click here.
Where would last night’s victory rate?
Because of the way it finished it would rate high. Obviously there was a time where I thought we had it. Then it looked like we had lost it, and then we stole it back. Because of all that it ranks pretty high. Especially with all the guys coming back off of injury and still missing guys. There have been so many disruptions with our team right now, to have enough continuity to win a game has been great for all of our guys.
Was last night’s game all about overcoming human nature or giving into human nature?
I think so. They played hard on that last play. They did everything they were supposed to do. I was just happy with our guys, because when we called the timeout, it took me 15 seconds to get them in the huddle because they were so down. Once we drew up the play you could see them come back. They had the focus and just to execute the play and for it to work. Whenever anything works it looks great, because it takes so many moving parts for that stuff to happen. So, I thought we had good focus.
Have you used that play in the past and did it work?
We ran it once, might have been last year or two years ago, and it didn’t work. It worked to the point that Rondo was open and we threw the pass off the mark. It actually went into overtime. We work on that play occasionally, like once every 10 practices. Paul [Pierce] is the only guy that can make the pass, every time we use someone else it’s a bad pass. But it was good that all those guys were there.
What if there is less time than 0.6 seconds? Does it require all 0.6 seconds to get that up?
We’ve done it with 0.4 because it’s just a tap. Even at 0.3 you have a chance. Rondo is usually the best guy to do it, because he’s the guy that no one thinks you are going to do it with. That’s what we try to choose. Ray [Allen] is the other guy, surprisingly, because no one thinks you are going to throw a lob pass to Ray, either. So, it’s usually one of those two guys.
|Perkins, House have the flu||01.05.10 at 2:56 pm ET|
As of Tuesday afternoon Rivers said that Perkins might be able to make the team’s flight to Miami where the Celtics will play the Heat Wednesday night. House will almost certainly not make it.
“They’re home in bed,” Rivers said. “They’re both sick. Perk has the flu. Eddie has the flu. Right now it sounds like Perk is going to be able to get on the flight and I don’t think Eddie’s going to make the trip. This year especially the league has really impressed upon us that if a guy has a fever he has to stay away from the team. I agree with it, but that’s what we have to do. Perk’s feeling better. They’re not sure if its food poisoning or the flu, whereas with Eddie there’s no doubt that it’s the flu.”
When the curtain rose the Green Team (which constitutes the starters) was Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Brian Scalabrine and Rasheed Wallace. That doesn’t necessarily mean that those five would be the starters but it might be an indication of the way Rivers is leaning.
|The return of Glen Davis||01.04.10 at 4:19 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Since rejoining the Celtics lineup for their Christmas Day game against the Magic, Glen Davis has given the Celtics energy and hustle. Last Saturday against the Raptors, Davis gave them something else. In his longest outing of the season — 20 minutes — Davis scored 15 points to go with five rebounds and helped turn the game in the Celtics favor.
It was his best outing since returning from the broken thumb that cost him the first 27 games of the season, and his first since spraining his ankle against Golden State. Despite the bumps and bruises, Davis has played fearlessly, almost recklessly, even with his thumb still supported by a wrap.”I wouldn’t play if I was limited,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of bumps and bruises here, but I’ll be all right.”
Davis has a lot to prove. He knows that and so do his Celtics teammates, but they are solidly in his corner.
“Baby wants it,” Kendrick Perkins said. “He was anxious to play. He came back from the summer this preseason and he was playing great. Unfortunately he had to go out with the injury he had, but I think he’s ready to play. It’s a great situation for him to get his rhythm back and prove to Doc [Rivers] that he’s ready and he’s going to help us win.”
Davis helped make a name for himself last season when he stepped in for Kevin Garnett and made some memorable shots during the playoffs. His ability to step out and knock down the 18-foot jumper fits right in with the Celtics system, but he also provides a low post player who can, and will, take the ball strong to the basket.
Now that he’s back on the court, the next step for Davis is developing consistency as a 15-20 minute a night performer. That will take some time, but he appears to be on the right track.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time going as hard as possible, making sure I’m doing what I have to do,” Davis said. “I’m not worrying about other things. I’m not worried about things I can’t control.”
|Wallace Makes Unexpected Return to Starting Five||12.22.09 at 11:31 pm ET|
It had been nearly eight months since Rasheed Wallace found himself in this position.
Wallace had not started a game since April 26, when the Pistons were eliminated by the Cavaliers in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Back then, Wallace had hours to prepare. On Tuesday night, he didn’t have the same luxury when he was called upon to start in place of Kevin Garnett, who was suffering from a bruised right thigh.
‘KG’s telling me his leg is a little sore, so I knew it was a 50-50 chance,’ Wallace explained after the game. ‘So its just preparing yourself mentally, and I found out about maybe 10-20 minutes before our meeting started.’
After establishing himself as the leader of the second unit this season, Wallace was thrown into a situation he had never been in before in Boston. He had to quickly shift his mindset to adjust to his new role and new matchups to make his first start as a Celtic.
‘It’s a different preparation,’ he said. ‘You know when you’re coming off the bench, you’re looking more at the guys that they have coming off of the bench. At first I was more focused on [Tyler] Hansborough and what they have coming. But I had to turn that focus to [Roy] Hibbert and [Troy] Murphy and try to do what I can with them.’
Wallace jumped out early in the first quarter. He scored five points (including a three-pointer), grabbed five rebounds, and dished two assists in the first 12 minutes. Hibbert was held scoreless while Murphy posted only three points.
He honed in on defense as the game went on. Wallace nabbed seven boards in the second half to finish the game with nine points and 13 rebounds. He banged his shoulder and was sidelined as Murphy got hot late in the final two quarters. But fortunately for the Celtics, the other starters picked up the pace while their leading rebounder was on the bench.
‘It’s cool. A little sore but nagging injuries, I’m good,’ he said of his shoulder, which was wrapped in ice after the game. ‘Lord knows [how it happened], scuffling around in there with those big guys and came up a little bit sore. But I’m alright though. It’s all normal.’
Although his start was unexpected, the Celtics like what they saw from his impromptu performance. Once the first unit gelled with their new member ‘ Doc Rivers was happy to see them making the extra pass ‘ they clicked with Wallace in the lineup.
‘He’s just got like a totally different focus [as a starter],’ Kendrick Perkins said. ‘He goes out there and rebounds, his defens[ive] energy is up, and he just goes out there and does the little things. He doesn’t worry about scoring the ball or nothing like that.
“He just goes out there and plays his role to the fullest.”
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Timberwolves||12.20.09 at 8:32 pm ET|
BOSTON – Their first meeting was close, but that would not be the case on Sunday. The Celtics reached a season-high in scoring and easily defeated the T’Wolves, 122-104, at the Garden.
Turning Point: In a moment that is sure to appear on SportsCenter, Eddie House stole the ball, passed it behind his back as he stumbled out of bounds near the scorer’s table and dished it to Tony Allen for a dunk over Corey Brewer. That second-quarter play proved the entire Celtics squad ‘ not just their starting five ‘ was going to cause problems for the Timberwolves.
Player of the Game: Paul Pierce hit six 3s (tying a team season-high) and led all players with 29 points. He shot a perfect three-for-three from long range in the second quarter alone. Pierce also chipped in seven rebounds and four assists.
– Tony Allen also had an impressive night ‘ 15 points (5-8 FG, 5-7 FT), six rebounds, three assists. This was Allen’s second consecutive double-digit performance.
– The Celtics scored a season-high 34 points in the first quarter. (The previous high was 31 against the Thunder on December 4.) The Celtics held the Timberwolves to 28 percent shooting in the first quarter (7-25 FG). Just four Minnesota players scored in the first 12 minutes compared to seven on the C’s.
– Kendrick Perkins was whistled for a technical in the third quarter. He did not get to the free throw line the entire night.
– The Celtics improved to 4-0 when scoring more than 30 points in the first quarter. They are also 4-0 on Sundays.
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