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A ‘completely extraordinary’ series 05.03.09 at 1:32 am ET
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Ray Allen has a way with words, even after it seemed every superlative had been used to describe the seven-game marathon struggle that finally ended Saturday night with a 109-99 Celtics win over the Bulls in Game 7 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

“Completely extraordinary,” Allen said. “I’ve had friends all over the world watch this series and people just commenting on how nerve-wracking this series was, how entertained they were, how excited they were to watch us play and how devastated they were in the losses.”

Before the game, Allen was asked how either team could summon the energy for a Game 7 after a record four of the seven games went to overtime.

“I just think the people watching it are more fatigued than we are playing it,” Allen said. “I’m looking up at people in the stands in Chicago and they’re tired and ready to go home. For anybody watching at home, you can’t take your eyes off the TV, people are up late at night.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, eddie house, NBA playoffs
No suspension for Rondo, Hinrich 05.01.09 at 8:24 pm ET
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NBA spokesman Tim Frank announced Friday night that neither Rajon Rondo nor Kirk Hinrich will be suspended for Game 7 on Saturday night at TD Banknorth Garden.

The two got entangled in the closing moments of the first quarter of Thursday’s night’s Game 6 at the United Center in Chicago, with Rondo throwing Hinrich off his elbow. Hinrich lost his balance and went into the sideline signage next to the Celtics bench.

Hinrich shoved Rondo and both head coaches came onto the floor to restore order. Rondo was assessed a flagrant 1 foul while Hinrich was assessed a technical for shoving Rondo.

Both players remained in the game.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Hinrich, NBA playoffs
Doc: We’ll let Brad Miller make a big deal of it 04.29.09 at 2:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Doc Rivers stood by his starting point guard at a brief shootaround this afternoon prior to the team’s departure for Chicago and Game 6 on Thursday.

Rivers reiterated that he didn’t think that Rajon Rondo was trying to hurt Brad Miller when he committed a hard foul on him with 2.0 seconds remaining in overtime.

“I don’t think Rondo fouled to hurt him or anything like that,” Rivers said. “I thought Rondo was clearly trying to go for it and then couldn’t reach hiand then was just trying to grab anything he could grab. But Brad Miller clearly wants to make a big deal of that so we’ll let him.”

Read More: Brad Miller, Celtics, NBA playoffs, Rajon Rondo
Pierce: I’ll be ready for Game 6 at 2:43 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Paul Pierce admitted on Wednesday before leaving for Chicago that the grueling Game 5 on Tuesday night took a bit of a toll on him. He suffered a bruise when he was kicked in the left calf.

“I’m a little sore but I’ll use today to recover, get a message, rest and I’ll be ready for (Thursday),” Pierce said. “It’s nothing more than a light bruise on the calf muscle so some ice and stuff should be able to take care of it.”

The bruise clearly didn’t affect his late-game performance as he drilled three jumpers in the final 90 seconds of overtime to help lift the Celtics to a 106-104 win over the Bulls, and a 3-2 series lead.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, NBA playoffs, Paul Pierce
Ray: All game the whistle was battling me at 1:17 am ET
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Now Ray Allen knows what it feels like to sit on the bench as someone else plays the hero.

Allen had — of course — been the hero in Game 2, nailing the game-winning three-pointer with 2.0 seconds left in regulation to lift the Celtics to a 1-1 series tie with the Bulls.

Allen was again “Johnny On the Spot” when he drained a three on Sunday afternoon in Chicago to force Game 4 to overtime.

But with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, Allen was whistled for his sixth foul, running into a screen set by Brad Miller, of all people. Miller would have his own issues with the refs later.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Perk getting called for that same play but I was just trying to fight through and they called it on me,” said a frustrated Allen, who fouled out for just the second time in 72 playoff games and the first since June 15, 2008, a loss to the Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

And this time it would have to be someone else to the rescue. How ironic since Allen had just drained a long three from the right baseline to bring the Celtics to within three, 83-80, and it looked for all the world he was about to work his magic again.

That is until he got called for his sixth foul.

“I was extremely upset,” Allen said. “I was disappointed. I thought all game the whistle was battling me. But I didn’t want to be that isolated guy that was over on the sideline and pouting and worrying about himself. Of course, I was angry but we had to win the game. Those were the cards we were dealt so we had to figure out the best way, whether it was  Tony (Allen) Steph (Marbury) or Eddie (House), who was going to have to come in and do the job.”

It was Pierce who nailed back-to-back jumpers in overtime to put the Celtics up, 104-101, and then Pierce who hit the game-winner with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime.

“I guess now I know what it feels like to sit on the sideline and not be able to do anything and not have control,” Allen said. “For me, it was toughest feeling I’ve had to deal with. But Paul and Rondo came through for us. I figured as mad as I was, it wasn’t going to do us any good trying to figure out what happened in the game.”

Read More: Celtics, NBA playoffs, Ray Allen,
All beat up and nothing to show for it at 12:46 am ET
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Brad Miller stood in front of his locker following Game 5 much the same way he stood at the free throw line with 2.0 seconds remaining in overtime-dazed and confused.

He had just been raked across the face by Rajon Rondo, who tried desperately to keep Miller from making the game-tying layup after Miller found a wide-0pen seam in the middle of the Celtics defense. From the top of the key to the basket, there was only green paint in the lane — until Rondo showed up at the last moment.

There were two things that had the Bulls livid. No flagrant foul on Rondo and no goaltending on Kendrick Perkins, who clearly hit the rim in attempting to block the shot but no call was made.

“It’s a play we’ve run,” Miller said. “Two or three guys went to bed and I understand why. It just left an opening just a tad.”

The fact that a flagrant wasn’t called was hardly shocking to Miller.

“We’ve got a lot of guys getting head shots this series, I mean a whole lot of them and it hasn’t been a flagrant,” Miller said. “We’ve had to shake off a lot of these high hits they’ve been putting on us.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Miller Rajon Rondo, Bulls, Celtics, NBA playoffs
Doc: Jacoby’s steal gave me something to smile about 04.27.09 at 2:42 pm ET
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WALTHAM – When you go through what Doc Rivers went through on Sunday in Chicago, you’ll look for any good reason to smile.

While watching the fifth inning of Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game on TV, he got that reason.

Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury took off for home on a straight steal with the bases loaded and just barely made it under the tag of Jorge Posada, sparking the Red Sox to their 10th straight win.

“That was cool,” said Rivers, who has cheered hard for the Red Sox since coming to town in 2004. “That actually put a smile on my face. One of the few smiles I had on my face was that play. Thank gosh that happened.”

And after coming back from Chicago and getting back to his Boston apartment following his team’s 121-118 double-overtime loss in Game 4, he was in the mood to put on something to just take him away.

And with the Red Sox winning their 10th straight, Rivers was also looking for a little Boston sports karma.

“I’m happy with the way they’re playing,” Rivers said. “I want some of that. I want us to do that, too.”

Following Sunday’s 3-hour, 33-minute marathon, the team did not practice today. Instead they watched film and held a very light shootaround. The Celtics play the Bulls in Game 5 Tuesday night at the Garden, with the series tied, 2-2.

“We may not have even needed the film, to be honest,” Rivers said. “But sometimes when you lose the way you lost (Sunday) and execution is not perfect, I think it’s just better to get the guys together and put them in the same locker room. Hell, I should’ve just sat in there and sang songs or whatever. Kumbaya or whatever.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA playoffs,
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