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Danny Ainge on the Big Show: C’s hope Shaq is ‘not a statue’ on court 10.26.10 at 5:50 pm ET
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Celtics general manger Danny Ainge joined the Big Show Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Celtics season opener and his thoughts about the roster heading into the season.

Ainge said that his biggest concern about the roster is the risk of injury at the center position and that he expects the team to rely more on their bench depth. He also emphasized how important keeping Doc Rivers on the bench was.

“I can’€™t say how excited I am to have Doc back,” Ainge said. “I’€™m not sure our roster but our team there would be a lot of differences. I think the continuity is huge.”

Ainge also talked about the  fact that the model the Miami Heat used to build their team this offseason would continue to be a possibility.

“The door is open just with free agency and I don’€™t know what’€™s going to happen as we move forward in collective bargaining,” Ainge said. “I think the door is open by us bringing in the Big Three and Miami doing a Big Three.”

Below are the highlights from the interview. To listen to the full audio visit the Big Show on demand audio page.

On his fears about this roster:

I think that I’€™m a little concerned with the health of our guys. But I feel I probably will be all year. But I’€™m excited about our team.

Is the idea to use deeper bench to get through the regular season?

Yeah, I think that is our objective to play more people. I’€™m not as concerned about Ray [Allen], Paul [Pierce] and KG [Kevin Garnett] and [Rajon] Rondo, the guys who are coming back. But our center position just because of [Kendrick] Perk [Perkins], Shaq [Shaquille O’€™Neal] and his age, and Jermaine [O’€™Neal] has got a lot of mileage there. That’€™s probably my biggest concern with the health.

On Marquis Daniels this year:

Marquis played, as you guys remember last year, played really well for us early on in the year. Then he got hurt and never really got in a rhythm. Although, in February he shot like 70% from the field. He had two or three road games out west that were spectacular. When we had Michael Finley come back and Nate Robinson come back and Tony [Allen] was coming back off an injury, there was just a logjam there. And Tony actually won that job back with his great defense. But Marquis has had a good training camp. When he’€™s gotten an opportunity to play and get in a rhythm off the bench and starting one of the preseason games, I think that he played really well and he’€™s had a good week of practice.

Ever seen anything like this opening night before?

I never have. Opening day is always a special day. Most places will sell out opening night. I think with some of the excitement that we have with our own team but obviously with Miami and maybe the most significant offseason in the history of any team. I get a kick out of those people who want to criticize Miami for doing something wrong. I think they had a pretty spectacular offseason. You can land some of the guys that they did in the free agent market, not just LeBron [James] and [Chris] Bosh who are very special players but some of the other players, they got some good guys too.

What are you expecting out of Shaquille O’€™Neal this year?

I hope he’€™s not a statue tonight. I hope he actually gets off the bench and moves a little bit and talks on defense. Shaq has been great so far, he’€™s been good in practice, he makes it out on the court almost every day and he’€™s fun in the locker room. So far he’€™s been good.

What was behind the decision to bring Delonte West back?

Well you know first of all I think Delonte was a favorite of a lot of people in Boston. He was a fun guy to watch, a lot of people embraced Delonte when he was here as a player. I think a lot of people, including our players, respect Delonte. Not only the guys that played with Delonte like Paul and Rajon and Perk but [they guys who] have been playing against him the last few years as an opponent, they have a great respect for him on the court. So yah I think everybody is aware that Delonte has had challenges off the court. We are trying to give him the support that he needs. The players that were with him before, our coach that was with him before and myself and ownership I think we were aware of that risk and I think we were comfortable with that risk.

On familiarity with West factoring into decision to bring him back:

Not only familiar but actually like him, find him enjoyable, at the same time troubled. What’€™s happened to Delonte over the past couple years is not shocking to any of us. We know that he has challenges of the court but we love what he brings to the court.

What would have been the difference in the roster if Doc Rivers had left?

It would be different. I’€™m not so sure if the face of our team would be different, I mean the roster. Paul really wanted to come back, he has his reasons to want to come back and Ray has his reasons to want to come back. So I’€™m not so sure if those things would have been different. But obviously our team would be different, the personality of the team would be different, the leadership of the team would be different. Doc is a great coach to lead these guys. I can’€™t say how excited I am to have Doc back. I’€™m not sure our roster but our team there would be a lot of differences. I think the continuity is huge.

On shelf life of this Celtics’€™ roster:

I think that none of us have the answer to that. I think that these guys based on how they played last year, they put together a seven to eight game streak in the Orlando [and] Cleveland series last year that was as good of seven or eight games stretch that any Celtic team has ever played, including the ‘€˜08 team, that was two years younger and went on to win a championship. Last year’€™s team in the middle of that stretch was better than that 2008 team. I think that this team kind of earned the right to try it again.

How important is this game to you?

I think it’€™s important in that it gives you a real test of where you are, you will be able to tell that. I think that you both teams will show signs of greatness and teams will show signs of it being the first game, who makes the fewest mistakes. This is a team that you don’€™t want to make mistakes on because LeBron and Dwyane Wade are arguably two of the greatest open court players I’€™ve ever seen. Turnovers turn into automatic baskets in the other direction, so we have to take care of the ball.

What does this game really mean?

It is good theater. It is a real test. These are two of the top teams, not a lot of people talk about Orlando, Orlando is legit. Orlando is a really good basketball team. So they [Orlando] belong in the same conversation in my opinion. I guess they are getting away from getting all the hype on opening night. I think Miami and Boston are sure aware of Orlando as well.

On whether there is a different view on this season after last year’€™s results:

I don’€™t think so. Going into last season before the season started, our motto was win playoff games. With KG’€™s health starting the year last year and things that happened to Paul during the course of last season, we weren’€™t right. I do take a little offense to this turning on and turning off thing, I don’€™t think it works, I don’€™t think it worked last year. What people fail to realize is that we had number one or number two in the league in blowing fourth quarter, double-figure leads last year. To get a double-figure lead in L.A. against the Lakers at home, against Orlando, you got to show up to play, your just not finishing games for whatever reason. I don’€™t think that we had the resolve last year but we saw what the team is capable of in the playoffs. I hope this year we don’€™t have the health issues, or as many and I think we’€™ll be a better team because we’€™re deeper.

On whether other teams and players will emulate what Miami did in franchise:

The door is open just with free agency and I don’€™t know what’€™s going to happen as we move forward in collective bargaining. I think the door is open by us bringing in the Big Three and Miami doing a big three. New York for three years we heard about how they were creating space and nobody really talked about Miami till last year and Chicago. Teams can create space and opportunities fairly quickly, by trading away players and getting rid of assets to try to free up cap space. But there was only one Miami this year that came away with what everyone was seeking, it couldn’€™t be New Jersey, New York and Chicago.

Read More: Danny Ainge, Delonte West, LeBron James, Marquis Daniels
Irish Coffee: Top 5 Celtics Rappers 10.15.10 at 10:43 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Other than the player’s union’ s legal action against the NBA over all the hullabaloo about technical fouls, it’s a slow Celtics Friday. Inspired by Marquis Daniels‘ new hip hop track “Something to Talk About,” I thought we’d do a little Celtics Idol with C’s turned rappers. Submit your vote in the comments section below. (Drum roll please) And the nominees are …

MARQUIS DANIELS (AKA Q6)

Song: “Something to Talk About” feat. Kevin Cossom
Lyric: “I plan to raise the game until my bank account impregnate.
The haters say I regulate. Cheese on that beefsteak.”
Simon Cowell: “Not everybody is perfect, and I don’t think we should be looking for perfect people.”

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL (AKA Shaq Diesel)

Song: “(I Know I Got) Skillz” feat. Def Jef
Lyrics: “I got a hand that’ll rock ya cradle,
cream you like cheese, spread you on my bagel,
my Ford Explorer boomin’ with the clumped-up funk,
all you jealous punks can’t stop my dunks.”
Simon Cowell: “You’ve got quite a good voice, the problem I have is this looks to me like 10 years ago.”

DANA BARROS

Song: “Check It”
Lyric: “I’m about to snap, so you better give me room.
I’m blowing up on the hit when it go boom.
Mad dough’s what I made when I played.”
Simon Cowell: “A natural. A total natural. And I like you.”

GARY PAYTON

Song: “Livin’ Legal and Large”
Lyrics: “On my way to practice to work on my shot
’cause you can’t stop even you reach the top.
Check it, a lot of folks hate the fact that I’m the man
Got the mic to the left and the ball in my right hand.”
Simon Cowell: “Not in a billion years. There are only so many words I can drag out of my vocabulary to say how awful that was.”

BRIAN SHAW

Song: “Anything Can Happen”
Lyrics: “So, what I do, I keeps a lo-pro composure,
developing my skills without no exposure
Born in Oakland, California, raised in Richmond,
class of 1983, smacking opponents coming in my kitchen.”
Simon Cowell: “It was dreadful. No, no, really dreadful. I’m telling you to be kind, because you will never, ever, ever have a career in singing.”

AND THE WINNER IS … My vote is clearly for Dana Barros. Dude can rhyme. His song’s got a little old school feel to it, like a Naughty by Nature production.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach on Twitter.)

Read More: Brian Shaw, Dana Barros, Gary Payton, Marquis Daniels
Fast Break: Celtics tame Raptors 10.10.10 at 8:42 pm ET
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Led by Nate Robinson‘s 13 points and the rest of the bench (again), the Celtics held off the Raptors, 91-87, to improve to 3-0 this preseason. Delonte West and Marquis Daniels also contributed 11 points apiece off the bench.

THREE THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT

1. Gutsy second-unit minutes: Playing the majority of minutes in the second half of a close game, the Celtics bench responded each time the Raptors starters tried to make a run. A monster dunk by Stephane Lasme, a corner 3-pointer from Daniels and a nifty double-clutch layup over a defender by Robinson all proved key moments down the stretch. If you’re Doc Rivers, you love knowing the bench guys can contribute important minutes if necessary.

2. Quick transition: The Celtics hauled down 36 defensive rebounds — as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Luke Harangody and Semih Erden each grabbed at least five — and did a good job of looking for Rajon Rondo, West or Robinson running the floor. Some nice outlet passes (by Shaquille O’Neal in particular) led to a number of easy baskets offensively. The C’s did a nice job of passing all the way around, amassing 23 assists as a group (led by Rondo’s 7).

3. Setting the defensive tone early: In two of the Celtics three preseason games, they’ve held opponents to fewer than 20 points in the first quarter and 40 points in the half — building an early lead and dictating the tone from the tip. I’m sure Doc enjoyed Jermaine O’Neal fitting quickly in the team’s defensive mindset, blocking three shots in his first six minutes in a Celtics uniform.

THREE THINGS THAT WENT WRONG

2. Shaq’s foul trouble: In just 16:37 on the floor, Shaq picked up five fouls. While he has whistled for one of them for standing still as Jarrett Jack charged into him (kinda like a fly smacking into a windshield), that still spells trouble. With Kendrick Perkins sidelined, the C’s can’t afford to have one of the O’Neals consistently in foul trouble.

3. Too many turnovers: After committing 20 and 18 turnovers, respectively, against the 76ers and Nets in their first two preseason games, the Celtics again got careless with the ball, committing 22 turnovers. Rondo led the way with five giveaways, but the bigger crime was the nine turnovers from post players (Semih Erden 4, KG 3, J. O’Neal 2).

1. Guard the 3-pointer: The Raptors knocked down 5-of-11 3-pointers on the night, led by Leandro Barbosa, who knocked down a pair on fairly open looks as the Raptors took a brief second-half lead. While it may not have hurt them against the Raptors, giving open looks to teams like the Magic is only gonna hurt their chances. Guys rotating defensively need to push that extra mile to get out to the wings on those looks.

Read More: Delonte West, Jermaine O'Neal, Marquis Daniels, Nate Robinson
Ainge: We like our talent 09.23.10 at 1:14 pm ET
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QUINCY — Speaking to reporters before the Celtics annual golf fundraiser to support The Shamrock Foundation, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge noted: “I think this is the most talented team we’ve had in quite a while. Now it’s just a matter of it all coming together.”

Never one to tip his hand, Ainge acknowledged that the team has been bringing in players such as Rashad McCants and Adam Morrison (who just agreed to a training camp deal with the Wizards), but said, “We may be all done, and we may not.”

Where the Celtics are thin is at the backup wing position behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Ainge brought in Delonte West and Von Wafer, and re-signed Marquis Daniels to primarily fill those roles. West and Daniels, in particular, seem to have the inside track.

“Had we not had the [Kendrick Perkins] injury, maybe our focus would have been on backup wings for Paul and Ray,” Ainge said. “It was still a priority. After we got our center positions filled, bringing in Delonte and Nate [Robinson], I think were huge just to take minutes off of [Rajon] Rondo and Paul and Ray. I think we have great depth now in bringing Marquis back.”

On the subject of Daniels, it hardly seemed a given that he would return to Boston after falling out of favor, and the rotation, following a mid-season thumb injury. Ainge, however, sounded an optimistic note about his contributions.

“It didn’t work out for him [last year],” Ainge said. “Tony [Allen] earned the minutes, but coming out of training camp Marquis won those minutes. Marquis outplayed all of our bench players throughout October, November and December until he had the [thumb] injury. We know what Marquis is capable of doing.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Danny Ainge, Delonte West, Kevin Garnett, Marquis Daniels
Agent: Celtics still considering House 07.27.10 at 6:30 am ET
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It was reported earlier this month that the Celtics had interest in bringing back sharpshooting guard Eddie House. On Monday, House’s agent told The Boston Globe that he has spoken with the team, although he didn’t sound too optimistic.

“It’s something Danny [Ainge] and I have discussed,” agent Mark Bartelstein said. “But nothing’s imminent.”

House, who made $2.5 million last season between the Celtics and Knicks, could be offered only $1.35 million by the C’s.

Other reports have indicated the Bulls and Heat might consider making an offer to the 10-year veteran who shot 38 percent from the floor and 34.8 from 3-point range last season.

Also Monday, the Celtics officially announced the re-signing of Marquis Daniels.

Read More: eddie house, Marquis Daniels,
Report: Daniels re-signs with Celtics 07.22.10 at 10:10 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, Marquis Daniels has agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with the Celtics.

On Thursday night Daniels (@marquis_daniels) tweeted, “Let’s try this again #celticnation I’m happy to be back.”

Daniels averaged 5.6 points and 1.9 rebounds last season. He was sidelined for 27 games by a thumb injury and appeared in just 51 games during the regular season. Daniels also suffered a concussion during the Eastern Conference finals.

A healthy Daniels fills the Celtics need for a perimeter defender. The C’€™s were left with a hole in their second unit after Tony Allen signed with the Grizzlies and Daniels was still on the market.

In spite of his limited role on the Celtics, Daniels had expressed an interest in returning to Boston last season.

‘€œThe locker room is great, it’€™s a great atmosphere, the coaching staff, everything is good,’€ he previously told WEEI.com. ‘€œSo it’€™s something that I’€™d like to be part of. Hopefully it will work out. If not, then I have to deal with everything that happens.’€

Click here to read what else Daniels does during the offseason when he’s not playing basketball.

Read More: Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Tony Allen,
Celtics say they are healthy 06.03.10 at 8:39 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers said just prior to Game 1 of the NBA finals that, “Everybody is good. Everybody is healthy, feels good, rested and ready to play. So, there’s no issues on our end.”

Rivers was talking about Rasheed Wallace (back) and Rajon Rondo (muscle spasms) who both missed practice time this week while they were healing their injuries. There is, however, one issue. Marquis Daniels (concussion) is not available for the start of the series, although he told WEEI.com when he arrived at the arena that he is “feeling much better.”

Brian Scalabrine will be active in his place, although Rivers did say that Daniels could be available by the end of the playoffs. “[Daniels] did drills, has feeling again,” Rivers said. “Before the series is over I think Marquis will be playing.”

As for Wallace, Rivers’ primary concern is not his back, but his conditioning. Wallace seemed to be in good spirits before the game, warning reporters to stay back of his locker, which is generally a good sign for him.

Read More: Marquis Daniels, Rajon Rondo, Rasheed Wallace,
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