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Today in Celtics History: Bird Three-peat 05.28.09 at 12:08 am ET
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On May 28, 1986, Larry Bird won his third straight NBA MVP Award. He also won the NBA Finals MVP en route to the Celtics 16th world championship over the Houston Rockets. Bird joined Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to receive the award in three consecutive seasons. Since then four players (Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash) have won back-to-back titles, but no one has accomplished the three-peat.

See how this season’s MVP stacked up to Bird’s award-winning performance: (All stats per regular season game; advantage in bold)

Larry Bird (1986)
Boston Celtics: 67-15 (won NBA Finals)
Points: 25.8
Rebounds: 9.8
Assists: 6.8
FG: 49.6%
3PG: 42.3%
FT: 89.6%
Steals: 2.0
Blocks: 0.6

LeBron James (2009)
Cleveland Cavaliers: 66-16 (down 3-1 in Eastern Conference Finals)
Points: 28.4
Rebounds: 7.6
Assists: 7.2
FG: 48.9%
3PG: 34.4%
FT: 78.0%
Steals: 1.7
Blocks: 1.1

Edge: Bird, 6-3

On the same date in 1978 former Celtics guard, the late Dennis Johnson, blocked seven shots in Game 3 of the NBA Finals as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. No other guard has ever blocked as many shots in an NBA Finals game.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dennis Johnson, Larry Bird
LeBron wants to face Celtics? 05.13.09 at 3:13 pm ET
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When the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals this week, LeBron James said he looks forward to playing either the Boston Celtics or the Orlando Magic in the next round.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer believes otherwise:

But the more he talked, the more it became obvious that if James and the rest of the Cavs had their choice, they would choose a rematch with the defending champion Celtics and not the Orlando Magic.

He said he’d seen every one of the Magic’s playoff games and talked about how difficult they are to defend with Dwight Howard and his strong shooters. But there was an edge when James discussed the Celtics.

“We know everything about Boston; we have a history with them,” James said.

James considers last season Game 7 one of the most challenging he has ever played. Then the NBA’€™s MVP left his desire for a rematch up to interpretation.

“I’m a competitor; I thrive on going against the best,” James said. “I love playing against the best. You make your answer out of that.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James,
LeBron: Celtics still tough 05.11.09 at 10:11 pm ET
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Following the Cleveland Cavaliers series-clinching victory over the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James looked ahead to potential Eastern Conference Finals match ups. Even though the Boston Celtics are shorthanded, he told TNT there is no discounting their experience in the postseason.

“It’s a championship team and they have a lot of things going, even with KG out,” James said to Cheryl Miller. “Big Baby has done an unbelievable job for that team. So we look forward to meeting whoever and it’s going to be really good in the next series.”

The Cavaliers will wait for the winner of the Celtics and Magic series, which is tied at two apiece. Game 5 will be played Tuesday night in Boston.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James,
Reports: LeBron to be named MVP 05.04.09 at 10:54 am ET
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LeBron James will be named NBA MVP today, according to Brian Windhorst of Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. Citing league sources, Windhorst reported the announcement will be made this afternoon at the St. Vincent – St. Mary High School in Akron, the same gym where James announced his decision to enter the NBA. James averaged 28.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.6 assists this season. He will be the first Cavalier in franchise history to win the award, which will be presented prior to Game 1 of the Cavs-Hawks series on Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Read More: LeBron James,
No avoiding Kobe vs. LeBron 04.24.09 at 5:21 pm ET
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Even though NBA Commissioner David Stern spoke out against the NBA’s inclination toward a Cleveland Cavaliers-Los Angeles Lakers Finals, there is no ignoring the Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James chatter during the playoffs. This weekend vitaminwater is launching an ad on ESPN hypothesizing about a match up between the two All-Stars. Fans can weigh in on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vitaminwater.

Read More: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, NBA,
Sounds of the game… Celtics 105, Cavaliers 94 03.07.09 at 12:30 am ET
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Before Friday’s game, Celtics assistant coach Armond Hill showed an inspirational video to the team, aimed specifically at young big men Leon Powe and Glen Davis.

No, it wasn’t Rocky or even Hoosiers. It was a film of the Celtics scoring basket after basket with their big men executing great interior passes. The result – the undermanned Celtics outscored the Cleveland Cavaliers 58-22 in the paint and rolled to a stunning 11-point win, 105-94, over the Eastern Conference leaders.

The Celtics didn’t have Kevin Garnett but they did have Leon Powe. The Celtics didn’t have Brian Scalabrine but they did have Glen Davis, at least for 17 minutes before he was ejected for a flagrant Type 2 foul with 9:09 remaining in the third quarter.

But Doc Rivers, who said at the shootaround in the morning that this would be a phenomenal win, had one of his best games of the season as head coach of the defending NBA champions. Just ask Mike Brown, his counterpart on the Cleveland bench.

Brown said the Celtics deserved all the credit for pulling together and pulling off the upset, even if it was on their home parquet.

For his part, Doc Rivers gave credit to Armond Hill for showing the video and his players for taking the lead.

Paul Pierce said Powe (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Davis (10 points) showed the depth the Celtics have.

Pierce said Davis’ ejection in the third quarter fired up the Green.

Leon Powe said he knew he was going to have to pick it up when Big Baby was thrown out.

Glen Davis said his foul of Anderson Varejao was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

LeBron James said, with or without Garnett, the Celtics are a great team.

King James said it’s hard to believe home team has won 15 straight in the series.

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Glen Baby Davis, LeBron James
‘We see them as a real threat’… 03.06.09 at 1:22 pm ET
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As the Celtics shot around at their training facility in Waltham, everyone wanted to know what the Celtics needed to do to beat King James and the Cavaliers without last season’s defensive player of the year and the team’s heart and emotional soul in a suit for at least another week.

Coach Doc Rivers said that Kevin Garnett ran on a treadmill on Thursday for the first time since injuring his right knee on Feb. 19 and reported no problems.

“He ran yesterday, he told me, on the treadmill, which I’m sure was supervised,” Rivers said. “And he said he felt great so he’s feeling a lot better. That’s the first day he’s been able to run so we’ll take it day-to-day from that point on.”

“It’s the whole knee thing. We’re just going to take our time. I would say at least a week out and most likely, longer.”

As for tonight’s battle to end all battles, at least for the next 24 hours, Rivers, possibly looking back on last year’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semis, pointed out what it really means, especially if they could pull it off without Garnett, Brian Scalabrine and Tony Allen.

“It’s a big game,” Rivers said. “Obviously, home court is at stake here. And it would be a great win for us, to beat them at their full strength and us not having Kevin, Scal and Tony, I think it would be a phenomenal win for us. We’ll be ready.”

The Celtics have allowed their last two opponents to score over 100 points while a third, Indiana scored 99 last Friday.

“We want to win, really, and we have to find a way to do that,” Rivers said. “We’ve got to improve defensively. Over the last couple of games, we have not played our defense, especially transition-wise. And if we don’t get back tonight, it’s going to be a long night. That’s what we have to improve.

“We’ve won games and we’ve lost to a couple of good teams, which I can always live with even though you never want to lose, but our defense hasn’t been consistent and for us to be a good offensive team, we have to have multiple stops and we have to get back to that.”

But maybe it was Leon Powe who provided the best perspective of all on Friday morning, a mere nine hours before tip.

“It’s real good for us because we’ve been looking forward to this game,” Powe said of the test. “If you want to be the best you’ve got to beat the best. I know the road to the championship means you’ve got to knock us off. We see them as a real threat. We’ve got to go out there and play our best and hopefully both teams put on a good show and hopefully we come out on top.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Eastern Conference, Kevin Garnett
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