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Game 6 First Quarter Blog thoughts 05.14.09 at 7:36 pm ET
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ORLANDO – Some early thoughts from Amway Arena. Doc Rivers, who stressed the importance of his big men to play disciplined before the game,  sent an early message to Glen Davis. The hero of Game 4 would not return the rest of the quarter as the Celtics shot out to a 25-22 lead after one, quieting a crowd that was already nervous.

At 10:41, after getting Boston’s first basket on a layup, Davis pulled out after committing first foul and replaced by Brian Scalabrine. At 9:29 Dwight Howard dunked for his first basket. At 9:09, Howard with a put-back dunk. At 8:33 Perkins as shot clock expired. At 7:46 Howard gets easy layup then taunts and gets a technical foul.

Howard started 3-for-4 while the rest of the team started 0-for-9 before Rafer Alston drilled a three-pointer midway through the quarter.

Magic were ice cold in first quarter and shot just 9-for-26.

Read More: Amway Arena, Celtics, Magic, NBA playoffs
Rivers: Why would they change? at 1:26 pm ET
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ORLANDO – Dwight Howard called for more touches following his team’s collapse in Game 5 in Boston. Then he met with his coach to apologize for publicly ripping him.

Now he’s guaranteeing a magical comeback against the Celtics.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Thursday morning that while the story gives everyone covering the series and fans plenty to talk about, there’s something everyone’s forgetting.

Why would the Magic suddenly change a game plan that produced a 28-point lead in a Game 1 win, a 21-point win in Game 3, fourth-quarter leads in Games  4 and 5 only to have the Celtics stun them in both.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Magic, NBA playoffs
Close out special at 1:05 pm ET
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ORLANDO – Doc Rivers could live without suspense for once.

On their way to a 17th title, the Celtics head coach watched nervously on the sideline as his team was pressed to seven games against Atlanta and Cleveland before finally learning the art of closing out a seven-game series in Game 6 in Detroit. They repeated the feat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers.

Fast forward to the present, and the urgency to seal the deal in Game 6 tonight in Orlando is obvious. While courageous, gritty and determined, clearly these Celtics are weary and thin. They had that chance in Game 6 in Chicago before the epic triple-overtime loss spoiled their plans.

Now, a team that is relying on a remarkably thin bench has a chance to rest up for Cleveland. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Magic, NBA playoffs
Starbury to the rescue 05.13.09 at 1:05 am ET
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On Tuesday night, Glen Davis felt like he was back in high school, watching one of his NBA idols tear it up on the floor.

Only this time, Davis had a much better view than on TV. Davis was playing next to Stephon Marbury as the reserve guard came off the bench to re-energize his Celtic teammates at the most crucial point of the playoffs so far, helping deliver a stunning 92-88 come-from-behind win over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 at the Garden.

“I grew up watching Stephon Marbury,” Davis said. “And there’s no doubt, I know he can play this game. Everyone’s seen Stephon Marbury play this game. He’s just got to get into the rhythm and the flow of our team. It’s hard to come from a (place) where he dominated the ball when he played as a star in this league and to come to where there’s a system and you’ve got to pass and create.”

Marbury scored 12 points in 14 minutes and helped the Celtics finally find their groove against an Orlando defense that looked solid, if not dominant, for three quarters. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Magic, NBA playoffs, Starbury
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.”

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Magic
Rondo: I wanted to make a point 05.07.09 at 12:28 am ET
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Rajon Rondo sat in his locker before Game 2 Wednesday night and was asking reporters if he thought he could be more aggressive.

Whether rhetorical or not, the most important answer came from Rondo himself on the court.

Rondo, with 18 assists, 15 points and 11 rebounds, became just the second player in team history to record three triple-doubles in a postseason and the first since Larry Bird in 1986 as the Celtics cruised, 112-94, over the Magic to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal at 1-1.

But still, Rondo wasn’t completely satisfied afterward.

“Probably like a B-plus,” Rondo said when asked to grade his night. “It really wasn’t my ‘A’ game. I really didn’t shoot the ball well. I tried to get guys open. I was trying to do the intangible things on the floor. My offensive game wasn’t flowing for me. Just trying to pick it up defensively and get my guys going early.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Magic, NBA playoffs,
Captain’s Musings 05.05.09 at 9:28 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Paul Pierce, as captain of the defending NBA champions, knows full well that he is the best spokesman for the team after head coach Doc Rivers.

And he didn’t disappoint on Tuesday as the media converged on the Celtics practice facility in search of answers to how and why the wheels fell off on Monday night, at least in the second and third quarters.

“It’s just all about our energy and effort,” Pierce said, repeating what Rivers has been saying since Game 1 went into the books for Orlando. “We went into halftime and we really didn’t change anything. We didn’t alter our gameplan, we just everything we were supposed to do a little bit harder. That’s what got us back in the game.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Magic, NBA playoffs, Paul Pierce
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