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Irish Coffee: Why Celtics should earn No. 1 seed 02.14.11 at 1:21 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Rest up, Celtics, because it doesn’t get any easier than this. The C’s are midway through their most relaxing regular-season stretch of the New Big Three Era in terms of travel.

And never have they needed it more. Seven members of the team’s 15-man roster are battling known injuries as the All-Star break looms, and that doesn’t include Glen Davis‘ bruised noggin, Kevin Garnett‘s rehabbed knee or Rajon Rondo‘s feet.

The good news: The Celtics are in the midst of a 15-day stretch between road games. They played in Charlotte on Feb. 7 and travel to Oakland on Feb. 22. In between, they’ll have played just three home games, all three days apart. Sure, there’s an All-Star Game in between (in Los Angeles) but that’s hardly heavy lifting for Garnett, Rondo, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce (depending on Pierce’s MRI results), especially since Doc Rivers is manning their minutes.

In the previous three seasons, the Celtics’ longest stretch between road games around the All-Star break was seven days. And in the last two seasons, the NBA has sandwiched a pair of road games for the C’s around the All-Star Game — hardly the mini vacation players desire.

The bad news: Since 2007, the Celtics have had three stretches of 15 days or more between road games. This current span is one. The other two have come at an even more ideal time — days before season’s end. Two years ago, the C’ss played five straight home games from March 27 to April 12. Last season, they had six consecutive home contests from March 22 to April 6.

This season, they’ll have no such luck. Starting with a four-game West Coast road trip after the All-Star Game, the Celtics play 17 of their final 28 games on the road, including 10-of-16 to close out the season. However, only 10 of those 28 games come against teams above .500.

With a half-game lead for first place, the Celtics are battling the Heat — and perhaps the Bulls — for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. In all likelihood, nobody will catch the Spurs (45-9) for the league’s best overall record, so we’ll only include the Lakers out West as we take a look at how many of these teams’ post-All-Star break games are against teams above .500:

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Read More: Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett
Danny Ainge on Big Show: Trades being discussed, coaches ‘wish’ their players were like Kevin Garnett 02.10.11 at 6:14 pm ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Thursday, discussing the team’s potential activity in the the trade market, Ray Allen‘s forthcoming record, and Kendrick Perkins‘ future with the team.

With Marquis Daniels having gone down with a bruised spinal cord in Sunday’s game after a collision with Gilbert Arenas, Ainge admitted that the team is more likely to make calls than simply field them.

“We’re having conversations,” Ainge said. “I think the Marquis incident makes us a little bit more proactive rather than just receiving calls and seeing what else might be a possibility to back up Paul [Pierce] or Ray [Allen] in the playoffs.”

With recent focus being placed on whether Kevin Garnett is a dirty player, Ainge suggested that teams and players throughout the league ‘€” including the ones Garnett has robbed the right way ‘€” would be happy to have him.

Alvin Gentry wishes that Channing Frye played like Kevin Garnett, would give anything if Channing Frye played with the passion and the heart and the intensity and the work ethic of Kevin Garnett,” Ainge said.

“I think that John Kuester wishes that Charlie Villanueva played with the passion and the intensity and had the work ethic and character of Kevin Garnett. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

Ainge said his words aren’t a shot at the players, but more a statement regarding what Garnett brings to a team.

“I’m not dissing on Charlie for any other the players,” Ainge noted. “I’m saying that Kevin Garnett is one of the most coachable, hard-woking players that I’ve ever been around in the NBA, especially as a star.”

Ainge cited more of attention being paid on the part of the media as a reason as to why many have questioned Garnett this year.

“Everything’s blown out of proportion,” Ainge said. “Kevin Garnett’s a great player on a great team. He talks and he plays hard. There’s nothing else to it than that.”

Allen could break Reggie Miller‘s record of 2,560 career 3-pointers with a pair of treys Thursday against the Lakers.

“I think this record of Ray’s is significant because I think it will last a long, long time,” Ainge said.

“I think he’s going to set a record of over 3,000 3-pointers and I think that’s just unbelievable.”

Perkins has told media outlets recently that he has declined a contract extension offered to him by the team. Ainge shed light on the situation.

“Perk was offered a contract that we can offer,” Ainge said. “Under the collective bargaining agreement there’s only a certain about of money we can offer Perk, and we offered him that contract. Understandably, Perk’s not interested in that contract.

Ainge noted that the team “can’t offer him a nickel more than we’ve offered him” and that the situation has “been explained to him” by both Ainge and Perkins’ agent.

Read More: Alvin Gentry, Channing Frye, Charlie Villanueva, Danny Ainge
Irish Coffee: Jim Calhoun and Ray Allen team up again 02.09.11 at 12:15 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

So, Webster Bank’s new spokesman is naturally Ray Allen, because when you think money you think Ray Allen, right? Anywho, this is the new commercial. It’s pretty funny — much better than the Dunkin’ Donuts ad he does — so I figured I’d share it.

The chest bump and paper swat outtakes at the end are especially hilarious. And so is this from UConn head coach Jim Calhoun: “Everybody talked about this Ray, Roy, Rip Allen. I didn’t know his name, but boy could he play.”

A couple other interesting promotions from the Celtics: Shaquille O’Neal donated a pair of shoes to the Boston Children’s Museum’s Big & Little exhibit; adidas is giving fans a chance to design shoes inspired by Celtics history; and Marvel created Hulk-inspired Celtics gear.

REGGIE MILLER ‘EXCITED TO BE A PART OF HISTORY’

In case you haven’t heard yet, Allen is one 3-pointer away from tying Reggie Miller‘s all-time career record of 2,560 3-pointers and two away from breaking it. And Miller is making every attempt to bask in Allen’s limelight. Of course, the fact that he’ll be a part of Thursday night’s TNT broadcasting crew makes that easier for him.

In a conference call about TNT’s NBA All-Star Game coverage, Miller discussed the potential of Allen breaking the record in his presence against the Lakers:

“We had this game on the schedule for Steve [Kerr] and I to call months ago. Now who would’ve thought that it would come down to Ray Allen being able to tie and break the record in our presence? To me, there is such a thing as a ‘basketball God.'” …

“I am excited. This is going to be wonderful. It’s not very often that you get to see history being made. We all know Ray very well. He’s a very humble guy, a family man. I’m excited to be a part of history being made.”

If you’ll remember, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers told Dennis & Callahan last week that he was buying Miller’s claim that he doesn’t mind Allen breaking his record:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Marquis Daniels, Ray Allen
Irish Coffee: Phil Jackson, Eduardo Najera diss Kevin Garnett 02.08.11 at 11:45 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Who knew when we put together the “Kevin Garnett Controversy Timeline” on Monday, we’d be here a day later adding four more items in a 24-hour span?

In addition to Spike Lee‘s hypocritical comments that Garnett “needs to calm the f#%$ down” — which we detailed at length Monday afternoon — the names Phil Jackson, Gerald Henderson and Eduardo Najera can be scratched from the Kevin Garnett Fan Club.

Discussing the need for increased intensity from Pau Gasol with the Los Angeles media, Lakers coach Phil Jackson took a jab at Garnett for his low blow against Channing Frye:

“Pau knows who he is. He’s tenacious. I like him to be aggressive offensively. He’s always a willing passer. The one thing I’m on him about is getting that first rebound. Don’t let them knock it out of your hands. Don’t let them knock it away.

“Otherwise, all this talk about how aggressive he is or how aggressive he isn’t falls on deaf ears. He totally gets it. He is who he is. We’re not going to make him into Garnett. He’s not going to go around and punch guys in the balls. He’s too nice of a guy.”

Prior to Monday night’s 94-89 loss to the Bobcats, Celtics coach Doc Rivers defended Garnett against Lee, Jackson and the growing list of critics who suggest Garnett’s intensity has crossed the line from healthy to dirty play (the low blow to Frye, in particular):

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Eduardo Najera, Kevin Garnett, Marquis Daniels
Spike Lee: Kevin Garnett needs to ‘calm the f#%$ down’ 02.07.11 at 5:29 pm ET
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If Kevin Garnett didn’t already have March 21 circled on his calendar, you can bet he will very soon.

Because that’s when the Celtics next visit the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, where director and noted Knicks fan Spike Lee will no doubt be sitting in the front row.

In an interview with ESPN.com, Spike Lee claimed Garnett cursed him out “for no reason” and suggested the All-Star Celtics forward should “calm the f#%$ down” …

“When I go to the games, it’s to have fun. I’m respectful. If I say a player missed a shot, that’s not talking about your mother, your family; it’s all good nature. The players enjoy talking to me and I enjoy talking to them. 

“But this last time against Boston — you know that game where they disallowed [Amare] Stoudemire‘€™s 3? — Kevin Garnett lost it. He was cursing me out for no reason. Maybe because Stoudemire gave him 39 points, but take that vulgarity to Stoudemire. I’m not holding you, and I did not even say s#!@ to Garnett the whole game. That really surprised me. He lost it. He was cursing at me the whole game. He needs to calm the f#%$ down.”

And Lee didn’t stop there. Here’s the rest of his exchange with blogger Jared Zwerling:

  • JZ: “Well, you know what? It came back to bite him in the butt, because STAT [Stoudemire] is starting for the East in the All-Star Game, and KG is not.”
  • SL: “Next time they come is on March 21. So, look, I don’t like the Celtics, but I respect Doc [Rivers]. Doc’s a good friend. You know I love Ray Allen. I hate the Celtics, but look, they’ve got good guys on that team. I’ve got friends on that team. Nate [Robinson]‘€™s on the team. But Garnett needs to calm the f#%$ down. There’s no reason he should be cursing at me the way he did the last game. So you can put that in the article. It was disrespectful and I would never do nothing like that to him.”
  • JZ: “That’s crazy. Garnett has definitely had his share of temper tantrums — no question about that.”
  • SL: “I’m not even playing, and I didn’t say nothing to him the whole game anyway. So, if you’re mad, start cursing out STAT, Stoudemire. But you’re not going to do that s#!@ because Stoudemire’€™s not going to take it. So he cursed at me and I’€™m 5-foot-6 ½, 150 pounds. What he was saying was worse than Reggie Miller. It was uncalled for.”
  • JZ: “We’ll all be ready for that next game.”
  • SL: “I’m going to get him that time.”

So, to summarize Lee’s conversation: 1) he sat angelically on the sideline as Garnett unleashed an unprovoked verbal assault on him; 2) there’s no reason to use vulgarity, but Garnett should calm the f#%$ down; and 3) Garnett should turn his trash talk to Stoudemire, but Lee’s going to “get him” next time. Gotcha, Spike. Appreciate the unbiased analysis.

Now that Miller is retired — and about to be eclipsed by Ray Allen for the NBA’s all-time 3-point record — Lee needs a new feud to stay relevant. Because recent movies like “She Hate Me” and “Bamboozled” aren’t doing the job.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, New York Knicks, Spike Lee
Irish Coffee: The Kevin Garnett controversy timeline at 1:19 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The first time I can remember controversy around Kevin Garnett was in 2004, when as a member of the Timberwolves he said he was going to break out grenades, missile launchers and M16’s to take down the Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Also in Minnesota, Garnett had confrontations against such immortal NBA legends as Mark Pope, Anthony Peeler, Rick Rickert, Francisco Elson and Tyrone Nesby. Those issues haven’t subsided in Boston, where his latest dust-up came Friday against the Mavericks — and nearly again Sunday when Hedo Turkoglu knocked Garnett to the ground.

As a result, I figured it was time we sorted these incidents out in a timeline of his indiscretions:

  • April 28, 2008: In Game 4 of a first-round series, Hawks center Zaza Pachulia headbutted Garnett after a hard foul. In Game 7, Garnett exacted revenge, executing a backcourt pick.
  • Nov. 7, 2008: After throwing a blow at Bucks center Andrew Bogut‘s face, Garnett was suspended for one game.
  • Nov. 10, 2008: Defending Jose Calderon, Garnett wagged his finger at the Raptors point guard Dikembe Mutombo-style.
  • Dec. 5, 2008: Getting on all fours and barking like a dog in the backcourt, Garnett taunted Portland rookie guard Jerryd Bayless. Oh, and he made Glen Davis cry.
  • Oct. 11, 2009: In a preseason game against the Nets, Garnett shoved then New Jersey forward Yi Jianlian‘s arms aside and bumped bodies with him during a dead ball.
  • April 17, 2010: In an attempt to clear Quentin Richardson away from Paul Pierce, Garnett elbowed the Heat forward and was subsequently suspended for Game 2 of a first-round playoff series.
  • Nov. 2, 2010: Following a Celtics win over the Pistons, Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva Tweeted that Garnett called him “a cancer patient.” Garnett fired back, claiming he said, “You are cancerous to your team and our league.”
  • Nov. 10, 2010: A handful of days after a Celtics win over the Bulls, Chicago center Joakim Noah told a local radio station, “[Garnett]‘s a very mean guy. Where’s the love? None at all. Ugly, too.” After the Richardson incident, Noah had already called Garnett “a dirty player.”
  • Jan. 28, 2011: In a Celtics loss to the Suns, Garnett issued a low blow on Phoenix forward Channing Frye‘s groin during a 3-point attempt. Garnett was ejected. And Suns coach Alvin Gentry later said, “I lost a little respect for him.” Garnett refused to apologize.
  • Feb. 4, 2011: Following a fast-break foul by Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, Garnett grabbed the referee’s arm during the dust-up and got hit with a technical.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Marquis Daniels
Celtics show they are a band of ‘brothers,’ like in 2008 02.06.11 at 11:58 pm ET
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These Celtics have already shown they’re talented enough to return to the NBA finals for a third time in four seasons this spring. On Sunday, they showed they have the heart to get there, too.

When Marquis Daniels went down early in the second quarter, it was like a vacuum sucked up every bit of noise and energy in the Garden. Players, coaches and fans all stood silent as Daniels was being tended to on the court as he lay motionless.

‘€œHonestly I didn’€™t really know what was up,” Celtics captain Paul Pierce said. “Obviously when you see guy lay down there for a sense of time you get worried and you pray and hope that he’€™s alright. When we came back to the locker room at half time I asked how he was doing and they said he was moving and doing pretty good. I guess he has some type of condition in his neck or spine that I don’€™t know about. Hopefully, you know, he can take some time off, hopefully if he can get back on the court but most importantly we’€™re more worried about his health.”

Daniels will be out for at least a month as doctors perform tests on his bruised spinal cord, a condition that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and team doctor Brian McKeon said afterward was preexisting before Daniels became a Celtic.

As for the current day Celtics, they turned a 24-17 deficit at the time of Daniels’ injury into a 91-80 demolition of the Magic.

‘€œI don’€™t know if it’€™s a coincidence that after Marquis went hurt that we kinda rallied together,” Pierce said. “I guess it seemed that way but I’€™m just glad that usually when you see a guy get injured that teams use that as an excuse and have a letdown and you know kind of go through the motions for the rest of the game worried about the guy that went down because your worried about him.”

Just like on Nov. 24, when the Celtics watched helplessly as Delonte West went down with an ugly fracture of his right wrist. The Celtics were down 40-36 after West’s lay-up with 2:48 left in the second quarter. Ironically, that night it was none other than Daniels who came into replace West.

The Celtics would win that game 89-83. On Sunday, it was Ray Allen‘s turn to take the place of a fallen teammate, as he came in with 11:01 left in the second quarter.

‘€œI was trying to process what just happened, and when I saw the way he hit the ground it was I just started thinking about any time I watched a football game, and I saw a guy on the ground, how their body just kind of didn’€™t respond to anything,” Allen said. “It looked like he got hit in the wrong spot where whatever happened to his body he just couldn’€™t move. And when I saw his face, it was the scariest feeling because it was almost like he couldn’€™t do anything. It’€™s the risk we always run, but for that moment it just seemed like ‘€œlet me go to the hospital and let me do what I need to do to see that he’€™s all right’€, cause basketball is the last thing on my mind.’€

But once the game re-started, the Celtics were all business.

“it seemed like the complete opposite and I think we kind of fed off of it and it was kind of like let’€™s do this for Quis kinda, Pierce added. ” I mean that’€™s what I saw you know it just seemed like our energy went up because I was on the bench at the time and I was watching and it just seemed like that’€™s what started the run so we’€™re happy that he’€™s okay and unfortunately he probably gave us the spark. Thanks Quis, hope you’€™re doing good buddy.’€

‘€œWell this is a very close knit team. I mean, this is one of the closer teams, it kind of reminds me of the team in 08. It’€™s like when Marquis goes down it’€™s like your brother, when Delonte goes down it’€™s like your brother,” Pierce said. “If you ever have a family member and something ever happens to them you don’€™t feel right. And we’€™re around each other so much; plane, bus, we even go to each other’€™s houses so it’€™s like we created this bond with one another and when something bad happens to him we all feel for him but the rest of us try and rally together and that’€™s what you kind of saw in those two injuries.’€

Of course, everyone remembers how 2008 ended. As long as Daniels is healthy, the Celtics wouldn’t mind history repeating itself.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Marquis Daniels, NBA
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