|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.
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Wizards||12.10.09 at 11:18 pm ET|
A 7-12 record can be deceiving when the team that carries it features Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. The Wizards came to play on Thursday night, but ultimately it was the Celtics‘ chemistry and experience that prevailed, 104-102, in Washington.
The Celtics went up 14 at halftime but came out cold in the third quarter. The Wizards went on a 22-6 run to start the second half before the Celtics fought back, 13-2, to end the quarter. With both teams swapping buckets in the fourth, this game could have gone either way. It came down to clutch shots and free throws, with the Celtics ultimately claiming the two-point edge.
Player of the game: After being benched in the first quarter with two personal fouls, Rajon Rondo carried the Celtics to the win. Rondo posted 21 points (10-20 FG), 11 assists, and three rebounds. Six points and three assists came in the final nine minutes of the game. He recorded his ninth double-double of the season. Segue into …
Turning point of the game: With just over a minute to go and the game tied at 98 apiece, Kevin Garnett set a pick that opened up the baseline for Rondo. Rondo got up for a one-handed slam that made a statement and put the Celtics back on top.
– Ray Allen scored his 20,000th career point in the third quarter. He now ranks 33rd in career points all-time and fifth among current players behind Garnett (21,601). Click here for more on the milestone.
– The Celtics outrebounded the Wizards, the league’s third-best rebounding team, 40-34.
– The C’s improved to 10-2 both when leading at halftime and scoring 50+ points in the first half.
– All of the Celtics starters scored in double digits. Kendrick Perkins (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Rondo posted double-doubles.
– Tony Allen posted eight points and three rebounds in his second game back (ankle).
|C’s want to see improvement starting now||11.24.09 at 3:30 pm ET|
“I know Doc said starting from the last game that we want to try to make a run all the way up until our Christmas game,” Kendrick Perkins said.
Perkins had 16 points and 13 rebounds on Sunday in New York. He is second on the team in rebounding behind Kevin Garnett and is averaging 10.5 points a game.
“We want to be on the right track. I know guys are locked in and focused right now. We’ve just got to stick together. It’s not always going to be great times through the season all the time so we just have to stick together.”
The Celtics improved to 10-4 by surviving an overtime scare on Sunday in New York to beat the Knicks, 107-105, on Garnett’s jumper at the buzzer. They play Philadelphia on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
|Perkins: Inside the mind of a shot-blocker||11.23.09 at 11:27 pm ET|
Kendrick Perkins leads the Celtics in blocked shots this season and also is one of the top swatters in the NBA. His 29 blocks through 14 games ranks him seventh overall in the league in blocks per game (2.07) and blocks per 48 minutes (3.73). He ranks third in total blocks among all NBA centers and second in the Eastern Conference.
Perkins gave WEEI.com a glimpse into the mind of a shot-blocker:
Good block, bad block: ‘A good block is when you can block a shot and keep it in play. A block, rebound, keep it in play where you get the possession. A bad block is when you block it and block it out of bounds and you’ve got to play defense all over again.’
Timing is everything: ‘Timing, you’ve got to read. I think you’ve got to read, see what’s going on. Sometimes you’ve got to judge whether or not you can actually block the shot. Is it worth trying to go and block it? So it’s all timing and decision making.’
Judgment call: ‘Well, you can tell if a guy’s out of position as far as just how he goes up, if he’s kind of capable of making the shot. If a guy goes up out of control, you kind of want to fall back and just wait for a rebound.’
Making the move: ‘When it leaves his hands, then you jump up.’
Perkins has used his judgment to make cautious decisions on defense. He leads all Eastern Conference centers in blocks per personal foul (.74). Perkins shows no signs of letting up this season, either. He is averaging a season-best 2.5 blocks per game on zero days’ rest.
|Celtics generous in win over Jazz||11.11.09 at 11:00 pm ET|
There is a reason why the Celtics entered Wednesday’s game leading the league in assists. It isn’t only because of Rajon Rondo — point guards Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams are all ahead of him in dimes per game. It’s because the Celtics as a team look to pass, and that ball movement and selflessness were determining factors in their win over the Jazz.
‘Doc [Rivers] and Coach [Armond] Hill were just saying move the ball,’ Rondo said after the Celtics 105-86 victory. ‘It started in practice. We kept getting each other involved and we made plays for each other.’
The Celtics dished out 30 assists to the Jazz 18. Rondo accounted for 11, which totals more than Jazz starting guard Deron Williams and Ronnie Brewer combined.
They looked for not just one or two extra passes on Wednesday. One of the most significant possessions of the game involved four in the third quarter — Rondo to Ray Allen, Allen to Kendrick Perkins, Perkins behind the back to Kevin Garnett, Garnett back to Rondo for the lay in.
That sequence was memorable to many, but Rondo is so accustomed to sharing the ball that it was just another trip down the floor for him.
‘I don’t even remember the play,’ he said. ‘I think it was like five passes maybe, but I don’t remember how I got there.’
If the Celtics continue to see each other on the court like they did against the Jazz, they will remember how they ended up in the win column throughout the season.
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