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Kevin Garnett: President Obama is ‘a cool dude’ 03.12.11 at 11:22 am ET
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Celtics forward Kevin Garnett posted to his blog on shoe company Anta’s website and touched on a few topics from what he called a “crazy busy” couple days. Here’s what he had to say about meeting President Barack Obama, the loss to the Clippers and signing a deal with Zico coconut water …

On Obama: “On Tuesday, we went to an event and met the No. 1 man. The president of the United States.  It was cool to take a couple of minutes to talk with the leader of our country. He’s a cool dude.  Not all the guys made it, but hopefully we’ll meet him again (we get to if we win the championship).”

On Clippers: “It just seemed like things were off all day. Not sure what happened, but we didn’t play together and were not on the same page. I guess that has to happen every now and then. Still sucks to lose. We were down 20 points at one point and we cut it down, but mental errors hurt us. We lost by five, but cut it to three at one point.”

On endorsement: “Big news. Just signed a deal with Zico ‘coconut water.’ Excited, to work with them, as I’m a huge coconut water guy. I drink some after my massages, practice and any time I feel like my body needs refreshing. Helps with dehydration and recovery. … Be on the look out for a contest or something. Planning on signing my game sneakers! Stay tuned.”

If Garnett’s commercials are anything like the one embedded in this blog, they should be wonderfully terrible.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, President Barack Obama,
Irish Coffee: Pat Riley longs for Doc Rivers 03.11.11 at 9:51 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Four months ago, when rumors started swirling that Pat Riley wants Doc Rivers to replace Erik Spoelstra as head coach of the Heat in 2011-12 (if there is a 2011-12 season), the current Celtics head  coach told WEEI: “As far as I’€™m concerned, I’€™m a Celtic and I plan on being that for a long time, as long as I’€™m coaching.”

Yet, Riley still pines for his former point guard when the two were Knicks, like Rick Blaine longed for Ilsa Lund in “Casablanca.”  Unfortunately for the Heat president, Rivers chose Celtics orchestrator Danny Ainge as his Victor Laszlo.

We’ll let Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski explain

Yes, Riles has long been intrigued with Doc Rivers, his old point guard with the New York Knicks. In his mind, Doc’€™s an extension of his own coaching tree. He must love to hear Rivers tell the story about how Riles told him that he would one day be a coach, about how Doc told him that he was crazy. The Celtics have a contract extension waiting for Rivers, sources say, but so far he’€™s wanted to wait until the season’€™s end to deal with it. For him, it would be difficult to make a direct leap from an aging Celtics roster to the Heat. Rivers is too entrenched, too woven into the franchise’€™s fabric now. What would happen to his relationships with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, with that city, those fans who adore him?

Nevertheless, he’€™s perfect for Miami. He’€™s a championship coach. He has a blueprint for making a Big Three work, for holding difficult stars accountable and together. Yet Rivers has a relationship with his GM that Riley has never had with a coach. He isn’€™t afraid to tell GM Danny Ainge that he’€™s completely wrong, that he’€™s going to do it his way and that that’€™s just way it has to be. Rivers and Ainge can argue, debate and sometimes even rage, but ultimately Ainge lets Rivers coach the Celtics. It’€™s hard to imagine a scenario where Riley, or Rivers, could have the autonomy that they would need to co-exist. Go down the list of strong-minded, successful coaches, and ask yourself how many could come from the outside and fit into that insular Heat world.

Do you think every time the Celtics visit American Airlines Arena, Riley quotes the words written by Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein‘s grandfather and great uncle: “Of all the arenas, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine”?

Celtics fans can revel in the fact that the Heat essentially want to be the Celtics, from the president right on down to the players. And to throw another log on the fire, read Jessica Camerato’s discussion with former Heat starter and current C’s backup point guard Carlos Arroyo — conducted in Spanish and translated by Miami blog Hot Hot Hoops – during which Arroyo explains the difference between the two teams:

“I think it starts with the players. Not every player has incredible team chemistry. [Boston] already has a lot of time together, and they know each other very well on the court. I think that’€™s what Miami is missing. Boston always has a very complete team and I hope it happens this year.”

For everybody’s sake, let’s jut hope Riley doesn’t start crying in the front office.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Irish Coffee: Celtics a slam dunk 03.10.11 at 12:38 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Between Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, the Clippers own four of the top 10 throwdowns on NBA.com’s Dunk Ladder. Not to mention the fact that DeAndre Jordan had more than twice as many dunks (7) during the Clips’ 108-103 victory against the Celtics on Wednesday night as Rajon Rondo has had all season (3).

So, I figured now is as good a time as any to check out the dunk statistics for the Celtics, especially in comparison to their performance during the 2007-08 season. Thanks to CBS Sports’ Dunk-O-Meter and Roto Evil’s Slam Dunk Stats, we can do that.

If an aging NBA veteran has almost twice as many dunks through 62 games this season than he did during a year in which he captured the NBA Finals MVP, that seems to say a lot about the kind of lift and athleticism that’s still in his legs, right?

Of course, I’m talking about Paul Pierce, who according to CBS Sports has slammed 28 dunks already this season — including the highlight-reel one last night that can be seen in the video that accompanies this blog (thanks to @MrTripleDouble10). By comparison, Pierce recorded just 16 dunks in the 2007-08 regular season.

Count Ray Allen in the same category, as his 11 dunks so far this year are two more than he produced during the entire season three years ago. Glen Davis has already more than doubled his dunking output (11 in 2010-11, compared to 5 in 2007-08), but that can be credited to his increased role as the Sixth Man on this year’s squad.

If we can draw conclusions about how much more lift or aggressiveness Pierce has this year compared to three seasons ago based on his increased number of dunks, is the same true for those going in reverse? That means you, Kevin Garnett.

The naked eye test suggests Garnett has been more active and aggressive around the basket than he’s ever been in a Celtics uniform, but could it be that we’re simply remembering the guy who’s been hobbled by knee problems the last two years?

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, nenad krstic, Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce speaks for starters: ‘No excuse to way we started out’ at 12:50 am ET
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It would seem after his bench was outscored, 26-12, in a 108-103 loss to the Clippers Wednesday night at TD Garden, Doc Rivers would have laid blame for the defeat at the hands of his reserves.

But Rivers also realizes that the Celtics dressed just five players Wednesday who were with the team before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, and one of those five was Avery Bradley.

It’s a lot to ask any second unit to make up a 15-to-20 deficit in a game, let alone one that was making its debut. So, the way Rivers saw it, this loss really was at the feet of his “Big 4″ – namely Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

“I was concerned because in the first quarter, our four starters put us in a hole and then you needed to sub, and you knew nothing good was going to happen,” Rivers said, as his team fell behind by as much as 15 in the first quarter and 23 early in the third.

“It actually [wasn't bad]. They held their ground,” Rivers said of his reserves, led by Carlos Arroyo and new starting center Nenad Krstic. “The problem was it was a 20-point ground [deficit] they were holding and that’s very difficult.

“We sub anyway. We sit guys down regardless of score. Obviously, we were down 20 and we’re subbing. It’s not something you want to do but you have to.”

Pierce couldn’t argue.

‘€œIt’€™s tough when you get out to bad starts and a lot of that has to do with the starters. How we come out at the beginning of the games, we’€™ve got to come out with a better focus,” Pierce said. “Once you get a team confidence like the Clippers then they feed off that for the rest of the game and were able to get the win.’€

Pierce did point to the defensive struggles of the second unit but only as far as they had to pick up the pieces from the starters not playing defense, either.

‘€œI think some of it is the second unit, but a lot of that was at the start of the game with the first five so no excuses on that point,” Pierce said. “They came out and shot 70 percent and a lot of that was against the guys that know what we are doing night in and night out.

“You give some leeway to the newer guys, but there is no excuse to the way we started out giving them the big lead and then having to fight all the way to get back into the game.’€

The reserves did a very respectable job on Blake Griffin, who had just 12 points in 37 minutes. Down 23, the Celtics slowly started to chip away, outscoring the Clippers, 24-16 in the third to cut the lead to 10.

Then the starters finally did their thing. Allen drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing on a bullet pass from Rondo with 7:36 left to draw the Celtics within six, 86-80. Garnett’s jumper with just under six minutes left capped a 15-2 run to draw the Celtics within three.

But Mo Williams drained three free throws with 5:23 left to restore the lead to six. Jeff Green drilled a trey with 47.4 seconds left to get within four, 104-100. Allen’s three with 10.5 seconds left turned out to be too little, too late.

The Celtics will try to regroup and start a new winning streak on Friday against the upstart 76ers in Philadelphia. The Sixers are making a late-season push to finish in the middle of the playoff pack in the Eastern Conference and are one of the hottest teams in the NBA since the All-Star break.

Friday would be a great time for a new start for the “Big 4.”

Read More: blake griffin, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Clippers
Irish Coffee: The Shaqtionary 03.08.11 at 11:04 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The oldest player in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal celebrated his 39th birthday where most almost over-the-hill men celebrate their birthdays — at Boston Children’s Museum.

The Celtics center who hasn’t played since Feb. 1 — and has already missed 25 games this season — told reporters he was 85 percent and would not return until he’s fully healthy, which could be as soon as next week. Here are the quotes from his birthday celebration, courtesy of The Globe:

  • ‘€œHopefully, in the next week [I'€™ll be back]. They want me back at 100 percent. I tried to run on it the other day, and it felt pretty good, but I took a step back and I’€™m going to get back out there in a few days. I don’€™t really feel like I’€™m 39.’€™’€™
  • ‘€œIf I can walk, I can play, and I asked many times to shoot it up, and you know, they refuse. And the Big Three said they want me at 100 percent healthy, so I’€™m getting there.’€™’€™
  • ‘€œI have a little Achilles soreness. It gets better, it comes back, it gets better, it comes back. It’€™s better. Dr. [Brian] McKeon is doing a great job. I’€™ve been working out twice a day, getting treatment. It’€™ll be right.’€™’€™
  • ‘€œ[Kendrick] Perkins has meant a lot to this city, and he really helped them get No. 17 and we’€™re going to miss him. He was my main man. Everybody loves Perk. I love him. We became real good friends, and I congratulated him on his new deal. But this is a business. He’€™s going to be missed. We had a great time this year being on the same team.’€™’€™

So, there you have it. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, trainer Ed Lacerte, Dr. Brian McKeon and the Big Three all want Shaq to wait until he’s 100 percent before he returns to the court. He could play right now, but he’s won’t. The Celtics don’t need him now; they need him in the playoffs, so why rush him back? It’s a smart move by the Celtics, so can we just take it easy on the Shaq Watch?

Which brings me to a much more important topic. In honor of Shaq’s 39th birthday – which he called ShaqDay, which makes almost no sense — we scoured UrbanDictionary.com for the ultimate Shaqtionary, described as “the book that will be used to document all of the words that Shaquille O’Neal manages to create during his scrabble games.”

Of course, we eliminated the dirtiest definitions — like Shaq Off and Shaq’s Arm (use your imagination) – and came up with the following list …

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Irish Coffee: What to expect from Celtics’ buyouts 03.03.11 at 10:40 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The buyout additions of Troy Murphy and (reportedly) Sasha Pavlovic are designed to give the Celtics depth, and surely they will. But every move is made to win basketball games, right?

So, can Murphy and Pavlovic help the C’s win enough games to hold off the Heat or Bulls for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed — and then contribute to victories as the team chases Banner No. 18?

Throughout the new Big Three era, the Celtics have made similar buyout acquisitions in addition to luring P.J. Brown out of retirement before the 2008 title run. Here’s what they gave you over the past three seasons …

  • Sam Cassell averaged 7.6 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 17.6 minutes during 17 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2008. He then averaged 4.5 points, 1.2 assists and 0.7 rebounds in 12.6 minutes over 21 playoff games. Cassell scored in double figures five times in the regular season and another four in the postseason — and the Celtics won all nine games.
  • P.J. Brown averaged 2.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 11.6 minutes during 18 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2008. He then averaged 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 13.6 minutes over 25 playoff games. Brown scored in double figures just once — but it came in a 97-92 win over the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
  • Mikki Moore averaged 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 19.0 minutes during 24 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2009. He then averaged 1.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 6.6 minutes over 10 playoff games. Moore reached double figures twice in the regular season — a win over the Thunder and a blowout loss to the Cavaliers.
  • Stephon Marbury averaged 3.8 points, 3.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 18.0 minutes during 23 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2009. He then averaged 3.7 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 11.9 minutes over 14 playoff games. Marbury scored in double figures once in the regular season and twice in the playoffs — all victories.
  • Michael Finley averaged 5.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.0 minutes during 21 regular-season games for the Celtics in 2010. He then averaged 0.8 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 6.0 minutes over 18 playoff games. The C’s finished 2-1 in the regular season when Finley reached double figures — the lone defeat coming in a blowout loss to the Grizzlies.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett, sasha pavlovic
Things end better for Kevin Garnett, Celtics vs. Suns this time around 03.02.11 at 11:52 pm ET
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Things didn’t end so pretty for Kevin Garnett the last time the Celtics faced the Suns. Think a shot to Channing Frye‘s groin, a pair of technical fouls, an early shower and weeks of media criticism for his style of play. It was probably those things, and not his 18 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes, that served as the lasting memory of the C’s 88-71 loss in Phoenix on Jan. 28.

Just over one month later, Garnett got his long-awaited revenge. He dropped a season-high 28 points on the Suns — often on Frye himself — on the night, all of which came in the first three quarters of play. Frye would leave the game with an eye contusion after a collision with Vince Carter, but regardless of his presence, Garnett made his presence felt.

“We were ready for this game,” Glen Davis said. “I know KG was.”

Indeed he was. Garnett didn’t take kindly to the way things played out in late January, so it wasn’t a major shock that he took it upon himself to change his personal fortune, as well as his team’s results.

“I just didn’t like the way I played last time I played the Suns, and I made it a point this time to play better,” Garnett said. “That’s what I did.”

Given the preexisting tension between the two sides, the game proved to be interesting even as the Celtics opened up a 29-point lead. The Suns crawled back to make it a nine-point contest in the fourth quarter, and didn’t relent right down to the last-second technical foul from Jared Dudley on Rajon Rondo. The foul came amidst a spat between Garnett and Suns coach Alvin Gentry, with Rondo launching a three-pointer despite a 10-point lead.

“We knew coming in to expect a little trash talk. It was an intense game but it wasn’€™t,” Rondo said. “They made a run at it, but we had it under control the whole game.”

With the victory, the Celtics grabbed their six win in their last seven games. Just as importantly, it seems, they countered their ugly January loss and got the last laugh.

“Yeah, it was serious,” Davis said. “We owed them.”

Read More: Alvin Gentry, Channing Frye, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo
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