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Returning Celtics hit the court in preseason opener 10.07.09 at 11:37 pm ET
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On Wednesday night, all eyes were on Kevin Garnett as he returned to the court for the first time in more than six months during the Celtics’ preseason opener against the Rockets in Hidalgo, Texas. Although Garnett’s playing time was limited, his knee injury looked out of mind when he drained the first shot of the game.

But Garnett was not the only player who returned to the Celtics looking to improve upon last season. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis lost weight, Rajon Rondo bulked up, and Ray Allen claims to be in the best shape of his career. See how the members of the 2008-09 team fared as they began the 2009-10 season.

Kevin Garnett
Last game: March 25 vs. Orlando Magic
17 minutes, 4 points (2-5 FG), 8 rebounds, 1 assist
Preseason opener: 13 minutes, 6 points (2-6 FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist

Paul Pierce
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
39 minutes, 16 points (4-13 FG), 7-10 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Preseason opener: 16 minutes, 8 points (2-6 FG), 4-4 FT, 1 rebound, 0 assist

Ray Allen
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
41 minutes, 23 points (9-18 FG), 3-6 3PG, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Preseason opener: 17 minutes, 8 points (3-6 FG), 0-2 3PG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist

Rajon Rondo
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
37 minutes, 10 points (4-10 FG), 2-2 FT, 6 rebounds, 10 assists
Preseason opener: 17 minutes, 7 points (1-4 FG), 5-8 FT, 1 rebound, 3 assists

Kendrick Perkins
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
39 minutes, 8 points (3-11 FG), 15 rebounds, 2 blocks
Preseason opener: 14 minutes, 3 points (1-2 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 blocks

Glen Davis
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
31 minutes, 13 points (4-7 FG), 4 rebounds
Preseason opener: 23 minutes, 9 points (3-6 FG), 4 rebounds

Eddie House
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
17 minutes, 2 points (1-3 FG), 0-1 3PG, 0 assists
Preseason opener: 21 minutes, 9 points (3-6 FG), 1-2 3PG, 0 assists

Brian Scalabrine
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
13 minutes, 2 points (1-5 FG), 1 rebound, 2 assists
Preaseason opener: 18 minutes, 4 points (1-2 FG), 2 rebounds, 0 assists

J.R. Giddens
Last game: March 6 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
1 minute, 0 points (0-0 FG), 1 rebound, 1 steal
Preseason opener: 13 minutes, 1 point (0-1 FG), 1 rebound, 0 steals

Tony Allen (ankle) did not play against the Rockets. Visit WEEI.com’s Green Street for live coverage from the TD Garden on Friday night as the Celtics take on the Knicks in their preseason home-opener.

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Celtics Media Day Wrap Up 09.28.09 at 11:34 pm ET
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The return of Kevin Garnett may have been the hot topic at Celtics media day on Monday, but there were plenty of other news and notes from the C’s …

(Click on the links for more Media Day reaction from Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers.)

Rajon Rondo will become a restricted free agent next summer if the Celtics do not sign him to a contract extension by October. On Monday he was tight-lipped when it came to business, suggesting any questions could be answered by his agent, Bill Duffy. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really think about it,” Rondo said. “I try to just focus on camp. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. If not, I’ll play it out.” He reiterated that he will play wherever he is wanted and that his main focus is getting another ring. … Rondo, 23, gained 11 pounds this summer “because I’m growing up.” He trained with a new weight-lifting routine, ate three meals a day, and cut fast food from his diet. He also plans on hiring a chef.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would like to keep Rondo around as the team’s point guard for the next 10 years and has had early talks with his agent about future plans. He has not, however, had discussions with Ray Allen about his expiring contract and will not address that issue publicly. … Ainge has high expectations for the upcoming season. He believes the offseason moves and returning talent will be successful. “We’ve added some great depth, our young players are improving, and Rondo, Perk and Glen Davis, they made great strides last year and I think they’re even going to better this year as their games are maturing. I think that Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis [Daniels] give us two more starters, proven starters, that are coming off the bench for us that should give us a lot of depth,” Ainge said.

Paul Pierce is making his confidence in the Celtics perfectly clear. He believes they are the best team in the league when healthy, pointing out they were on a record-breaking pace last season prior to injuries. “People are going to say what they want to say about my comments or whatever, but I have total confidence in this ball club,” he said. … Even though Doc Rivers would prefer to cut back on the veterans’ minutes this season, Pierce refuses to sacrifice playing time for wins. “I’m not willing to lose nothing. Next question. I don’t understand that, losing. No.” … He compared seeing Kevin Garnett back on the court for 5-on-5 drills as a “breath of fresh air.”

Ray Allen kicked off media day with some humor while waiting for Pierce to join him and Garnett at the podium. Allen grabbed the microphone to locate his teammate: “Paul Pierce. Paul Pierce. Your food is ready.” … The Celtics’ window of opportunity to win a championship has been mentioned since they acquired veterans Allen and Garnett. Allen, though, is more focused on the here-and-now than two or three years down the road. “We don’t look at a window. We’re not looking past this year. We can’t look past this year,” he said. … Allen is not concerned with adding a player like Rasheed Wallace to the mix. He pointed out many of them have known Wallace since high school and the Celtics have already learned each other’s game.

Kendrick Perkins is heading into training camp 15 pounds lighter than last season and is down to 270 pounds, his lightest total in three years. Perkins did not have a weight-loss regimen but rather trimmed down during his workouts. … His shoulder, which he has dislocated in the past, feels better than it has “in a while.” Perkins noted he is not worried about suffering another injury and is feeling strong. … The big man has been impressed by Wallace on and off the court. Even though he did not know what to expect at first — “I didn’t know. I was just waiting to see. It was kind of like scary for a moment,” he said — Perkins praised Wallace’s versatile game and pointed out he is a great addition to the locker room.

Click here to listen to audio clips from media day.

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Perkins, Rondo will not work out with Team USA 05.27.09 at 8:39 am ET
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Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo will not work out with Team USA at their minicamp in Las Vegas this July due to Perkins’ wedding in Houston, the Boston Globe reported. Rondo is one of the groomsmen. Perkins originally indicated he would be attending the minicamp, which will be held July 22-25, but thought the workouts were actually scheduled for June. Glen Davis also received invitations from Team USA and Perkins. He will be joining Team USA.

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Perk: We just didn’t show up 05.17.09 at 11:59 pm ET
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Kendrick Perkins gave his frank assessment of what happened in the aftermath of Boston’s 101-82 loss to the Orlando Magic in Game 7 on Sunday night.

“They took the crowd out early,” Perkins said. “Their three-point shooting was phenomenal. We looked tired, sluggish. I know guys’ hearts were there but we just didn’t really show up on the court tonight. It’s very disappointing, just for the simple fact that you don’t get opportunities to play  on teams this talented.

“Nobody expected us to win (anything) anyway,” he added. “We had belief in this locker room. It looked like fatigue set in at the end of the day but they came out with all the right effort.”

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Perk: We cool at 7:58 pm ET
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Speaking just 90 minutes before tipoff Sunday night at TD Banknorth Garden, Kendrick Perkins wants all who bleed green and white to know this much, the Celtics are not nervous about a fourth Game 7 in the last two years.

He also wants those same people who will be spending the night biting their nails to know they’re not exhausted either.

“Yeah, we cool. I don’t think it’s a problem,” Perkins said of the team’s stamina. “I think guys have a lot of energy. Our bench has been playing well for us of late, Scal has come in and gave us some productive minutes, Steph has come in and played well. I think guys are alright. It’s the playoffs so you’ve got to find some type of energy somewhere.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Perk: Howard has a ‘point to prove’ 05.14.09 at 12:14 pm ET
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ORLANDO – The man assigned with covering Dwight Howard expects a Superman effort from the outspoken Orlando center.

“Yeah, he’ll probably come out with a point to prove,” Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said at Thursday’s shoot around at Amway Arena. “I know he wants to be the best player on the court, so yeah he is going to come out with a point to prove.”

Following Tuesday night’s game, Howard criticized his head coach Stan Van Gundy for not calling plays for him to get the ball during the last five minutes as the Magic watched a 10-point lead evaporate as the Celtics prevailed 92-88, giving Boston a 3-2 series lead.

But Perkins, who is responsible for defending the Orlando big man, feels Howard has been getting plenty of touches. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scal misses practice with flu 05.12.09 at 12:28 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Already down Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, the Celtics are dealing with two more health concerns to their front court.

Brian Scalabrine missed this morning’s shoot-around/practice in Waltham with flu-like symptoms and was told to stay home and get ready for tonight. Meanwhile, Kendrick Perkins did practice but is nursing a sore left shoulder. Perkins will start tonight and Rivers expects to have Scalabrine available off the bench.

“Perk’s shoulder’s pretty good,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday morning. “Obviously, it’s not 100 percent but it’s good enough to play. He’s doing alright. Scal’s not here. He’s got the flu. We’re hoping he can make it to the game tonight.”

Perkins said he would prefer holding off until the off-season before going in and intensively examining the shoulder, which has been chronically sore for the last two seasons. No MRI was ordered to look at the shoulder.

“He didn’t need it,” Rivers said. “They know what it is. He’s got shoulder problems. No need to look at it. They might find something. That’s why we didn’t do it. We didn’t want to find anything, smarter that way.”

If Scalabrine weren’t available, it would have serious and unpleasant ramifications.

“If Scal’s not available, it puts us in a bind, obviously,” Rivers said. “It would force us to go small, at times with Paul (Pierce) at the ’4′, and that’s absolutely not what we want to do. We would play Mikki (Moore) a little bit more, might even play Billy (Walker) some and Tony (Allen) at the four, clearly those are the things we don’t want to get to but if Scal is injured, someone else has to step up.”

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