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Celtics don’t see a big point to setting a new team record 03.14.11 at 7:41 am ET
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When Keyon Dooling missed a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left, the Celtics had themselves a brand new franchise record for fewest points allowed in a game.

No team in the shot clock era had ever scored a few as the 56 points the Bucks managed Sunday night in an 87-56 Celtics’ win.

But the Celtics weren’t exactly popping champagne corks afterward.

Asked if he were aware of the new record his team just set, Paul Pierce quipped, ‘€œNo, I didn’€™t have my NBA record book on the bench with me tonight so I didn’€™t realize.’€

To Pierce and the rest of the Celtics, Sunday night was more about getting back to 48 minutes of quality defensive basketball and not suffering breakdowns and let downs in communication following losses to the Clippers and Sixers.

‘€œIt was definitely encouraging just to put together a four-quarter game of defense,” Pierce said. “I definitely thought we did that tonight. Especially when we are integrating a lot of new players, coming back home after coming off of two losses, it was just to get back comfortable in our building and play the type of defense that we like to play.’€

Doc Rivers looked at it a different way. He saw the schedule and took into consideration the hour lost due to daylight savings time and the travel the Bucks went through to get to Boston to play a 6 p.m. game less than 24 hours after beating the Sixers at home.

‘€œNo, honestly, did we set a record? I didn’€™t know that,” Rivers said. “I really thought this was one of those schedule losses for Milwaukee. I just thought this was very similar to the game we had against Phoenix where you play a game and you lose an hour going backwards and then they lost another hour with the time change, and then we started the game at 6:00.

“So, I just thought ‘€“ you looked at the schedule ‘€“ I was concerned early in the game because we were up 10 and we were blowing layups; we were missing a lot of shots. You could see they were tired. So, we took advantage of that and that was great, but a lot of it had to do with their schedule.’€

So, to be honest about it, Rivers said it’s great to win a game by 31 but he’s not about to draw any long-range conclusions about the quality of his team or how well his team got the message of toughening up in the fourth quarter.

‘€œOur defense was good, but we don’€™t know how good our defense was tonight, even though ‘€“ I would say our effort was phenomenal. And that’€™s all we talked about, we’€™re trying to sustain effort loner defensively and get back to doing that. Now that we’€™re starting to get ‘€“ we have one body back. Hopefully Delonte (West) is back, not tomorrow but the game after that. So you know, it’€™s what we need to do.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA
Nenad Krstic: I’m lost a little because ‘Oklahoma is still in my head’ 03.10.11 at 12:43 pm ET
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Nenad Krstic had a season-high 20 points in 38 minutes but he admitted afterward he wasn’t satisfied with his defense in a 108-103 loss to the Clippers at TD Garden.

Krstic and the Celtics had tremendous difficulty early on stopping DeAndre Jordan and the rest of the Clippers front court, which scored early and often en route to shooting 68 percent in the first half and building a 60-42 halftime lead.

Krstic came to Boston on deadline day, Feb. 24 with Jeff Green in exchange for the defensive-minded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. Krstic is still trying to get accustomed to thinking the Celtics’ way – which begins and ends with defense.

“I just need to get better, need to be more focused,” Krstic said. “Sometimes, I’m a lost a little bit because of a different style of playing. Oklahoma is still in my head. I’m just really trying to get adjusted. It just takes time, especially when you play games. It’s different in practice but in games you just have to react.

“It’s going to come. I just need to get used to more of the guys. Sometimes, I’m trying to do too much, over help and have a couple of stupid fouls, too. I know I scored 20 points but I need to focus on my defense and help the team.”

Doc Rivers still has confidence in his new starting center.

“Krstic overall is playing pretty well,” Rivers said. “He’s got to hold his ground a little bit. The problem we had going into the game, and I’m kind of kicking myself, is I told our bigs — the two bigs that we have right now due to all the injuries — you can’t get in foul trouble. “So if it comes down to you getting out of the way, you almost had to. Because we couldn’t afford Kevin [Garnett] or Nenad in foul trouble.

“And it actually happened anyway.”

Krstic said he’s confident the defensive part of his game will come but it will take time.

“Just not having been on the court at the same time together is the problem,” Krstic said of the chemistry with his new teammates. “Sometimes, especially in the first half, our second unit is almost all new guys, and we’re not used to each other. I think that was a problem tonight, we just haven’t spent too much time together playing. It’s going to take some time, but obviously with this team, we pick it up really quickly.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jeff Green, Kendrick Perkins
Paul Pierce speaks for starters: ‘No excuse to way we started out’ at 12:50 am ET
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It would seem after his bench was outscored, 26-12, in a 108-103 loss to the Clippers Wednesday night at TD Garden, Doc Rivers would have laid blame for the defeat at the hands of his reserves.

But Rivers also realizes that the Celtics dressed just five players Wednesday who were with the team before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, and one of those five was Avery Bradley.

It’s a lot to ask any second unit to make up a 15-to-20 deficit in a game, let alone one that was making its debut. So, the way Rivers saw it, this loss really was at the feet of his “Big 4″ – namely Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

“I was concerned because in the first quarter, our four starters put us in a hole and then you needed to sub, and you knew nothing good was going to happen,” Rivers said, as his team fell behind by as much as 15 in the first quarter and 23 early in the third.

“It actually [wasn’t bad]. They held their ground,” Rivers said of his reserves, led by Carlos Arroyo and new starting center Nenad Krstic. “The problem was it was a 20-point ground [deficit] they were holding and that’s very difficult.

“We sub anyway. We sit guys down regardless of score. Obviously, we were down 20 and we’re subbing. It’s not something you want to do but you have to.”

Pierce couldn’t argue.

‘€œIt’€™s tough when you get out to bad starts and a lot of that has to do with the starters. How we come out at the beginning of the games, we’€™ve got to come out with a better focus,” Pierce said. “Once you get a team confidence like the Clippers then they feed off that for the rest of the game and were able to get the win.’€

Pierce did point to the defensive struggles of the second unit but only as far as they had to pick up the pieces from the starters not playing defense, either.

‘€œI think some of it is the second unit, but a lot of that was at the start of the game with the first five so no excuses on that point,” Pierce said. “They came out and shot 70 percent and a lot of that was against the guys that know what we are doing night in and night out.

“You give some leeway to the newer guys, but there is no excuse to the way we started out giving them the big lead and then having to fight all the way to get back into the game.’€

The reserves did a very respectable job on Blake Griffin, who had just 12 points in 37 minutes. Down 23, the Celtics slowly started to chip away, outscoring the Clippers, 24-16 in the third to cut the lead to 10.

Then the starters finally did their thing. Allen drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing on a bullet pass from Rondo with 7:36 left to draw the Celtics within six, 86-80. Garnett’s jumper with just under six minutes left capped a 15-2 run to draw the Celtics within three.

But Mo Williams drained three free throws with 5:23 left to restore the lead to six. Jeff Green drilled a trey with 47.4 seconds left to get within four, 104-100. Allen’s three with 10.5 seconds left turned out to be too little, too late.

The Celtics will try to regroup and start a new winning streak on Friday against the upstart 76ers in Philadelphia. The Sixers are making a late-season push to finish in the middle of the playoff pack in the Eastern Conference and are one of the hottest teams in the NBA since the All-Star break.

Friday would be a great time for a new start for the “Big 4.”

Read More: blake griffin, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Clippers
Glen Davis on the new guys: ‘They’ve got to adjust to the Celtics way’ 03.08.11 at 6:24 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Turns out there’s a method to Glen Davis‘ apparent madness – or at least his sometimes goofy behavior.

He just wants to let all the new players acquired in the last two weeks know that they’re part of the family now. And talking and playing around with them in practice is just his way of getting to know them.

“Basketball is basketball,” Davis began. “I play the Celtics way. They’ve got to adjust to the Celtics way. I don’t have any worries or anything like that but just getting the feel for each player. I’m going to have to do that. That’s why I try to interact with everybody, see who they are as people and hope that when I get back on the court have that translate into basketball terminology on the court.”

As for that problematic left knee, Davis said the patellar tendinitis is getting better and better but he’s still limited.

“Just watching a lot of film, trying to drop some lbs before the playoffs start so I can be out there jumping like a jack rabbit,” Davis quipped.

While he can watch film and shadow box with Paul Pierce – as he did after practice Tuesday, what is he not allowed to do while he’s waiting to get cleared for practice?

“Just a lot of up and down, a lot of jumping, things like that,” Davis said. “I’m not doing any jumping or any shooting or anything like that. I’ll try to do that in the next couple of days.

“I’m going to practice soon, I don’t know when but soon, whenever they let me.”

Davis was then asked the classic, ‘Would this injury keep you out of the playoffs?’ question.

“Oh, no way,” he answered without hesitation. “It’s the playoffs. I could play with that. It’s only for a couple of weeks, right? I’ve been playing with this for the whole season so far, half the year. A couple of weeks isn’t going to hurt. As long as I don’t get to the point where I can’t walk, perform or play.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carlos Arroyo, Glen Davis, NBA
Good news on Glen Davis, not so much Delonte West and Von Wafer at 2:27 pm ET
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WALTHAM — After sounding hopeful on Saturday that Delonte West would return Wednesday against the Clippers, Doc Rivers ruled that possiblity out following practice on Tuesday. West has missed the last four games with a sprained right ankle and was limited to working out on an exercise bicycle Tuesday while the team held an open practice.

“He’s not going to play [Wednesday],” “I think he’s doubtful for Friday, as well. We’re hoping Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Von Wafer is also battling leg issues and Rivers said his back-up guard, injured against Golden State last Friday, is out indefinitely. “Von is going to miss a while. He’s nowhere close to coming back,” Rivers said.

There was some good news as Rivers sounded much more hopeful with regard to Glen Davis, who is battling left knee soreness. The power forward has missed the last two games with patellar tendinitis.

“Baby said he felt great today but we’re going to hold him out for the next two games, for sure,” Rivers said.

The Celtics play the Clippers at TD Garden Wednesday night before traveling to Philadelphia for a Friday night game with the 76ers. They host Milwaukee on Sunday night.

Also, Carlos Arroyo participated in his first practice Tuesday with the Celtics after being signed to a veteran minimum pro-rated contract for the remainder of the season over the weekend. Arroyo is expected to be available on Wednesday night when the Celtics play the Clippers.

‘€œHe played against us in two playoff series. He should know some of our stuff. That’€™s the way we look at it. But he’€™s a point guard, been a point guard all his life. So I think some of the stuff, he’€™ll pick up pretty quickly. All the nuances of things, that’€™ll just take time,’€ Rivers said.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carlos Arroyo, Delonte West, Glen Davis
Welcome to town, Carlos Arroyo at 12:41 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Sporting a bandage on his left [non-shooting] middle finger, Carlos Arroyo showed up for his first official practice with his new team on Tuesday at the Boston Celtics training facility.

He was given time at the point guard, opposite Rajon Rondo, while Delonte West [sprained right ankle] continued to watch from the sideline and go through stretching exercises.

If cleared West could join Arroyo in time for Wednesday’s game against Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.

After celebrating his 39th birthday on Sunday, Shaquille O’Neal, meanwhile, was not at practice and has not been cleared yet from a strained right Achilles.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carlos Arroyo, Delonte West, Los Angeles Clippers
Irish Coffee: One wild Celtics weekend 03.07.11 at 3:04 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Ok, so let me get this straight: I’€™m out of touch for one weekend, and we learn Shaquille O’€™Neal might’€™ve saved Notorious BIG, Marcus Banks wanted to be a male model more than a Celtic, Kendrick Perkins is (obviously) no Dennis Johnson, a reality TV star painted herself in green to honor the Celtics, Doc Rivers‘€™ family has already won a title this year and the Heat cry more than Dick Vermeil.

Let’€™s sort through a weekend of wild stories that revolved around the Celtics ‘€¦

In an interview for ESPN’€™s Outside the Lines, Shaq revealed why — even 14 years later — he believes he could’€™ve saved his friend Christopher Wallace (aka, Notorious BIG or Biggie Smalls).

On his 25th birthday, Shaq met up with the legendary rapper, who invited the then-Lakers center to an after party following the Soul Train Music Awards two days later. On March 8, 1997, Shaq dressed in a white suit and waited for his security officer to pick him up and take him to the party. But he fell asleep.

‘€œI woke up about 4 o’€™clock from a call from my mother,’€ Shaq told OTL. ‘€œShe said, ‘€˜Did you go to the party?’€™ I’€™m like, ‘€˜No, what are you talking about?’€™ She said, ‘€˜You know, your friend was shot and killed.’€™’€

Wallace and his entourage left the after party around 12:30 a.m. in two Suburbans. A black Chevrolet Impala pulled up alongside one of the SUVs, the driver rolled down his window and he fired four bullets into Wallace’€™s chest. By 1:15 a.m., Wallace had been pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

‘€œIf Shaq would’€™ve said, ‘€˜You know what, I’€™m going to come with y’€™all,’€™ I’€™m sure him and BIG would’€™ve ridden together,’€ added Lil’€™ Cease, a member of the rap group Junior MAFIA. ‘€œThat’€™s the type of person BIG was. ‘€¦ And I’€™m sure Shaq would’€™ve had security, and I’€™m sure BIG would’€™ve had another security come with him that day just to make sure Shaq would’€™ve been all right. So, I definitely think if Shaq would’€™ve been there, it definitely would’€™ve changed. It definitely would’€™ve changed.’€

Um, way to make Shaq feel better, Lil’€™ Cease. Definitely would’€™ve changed? A little strong, don’€™t you think? Just as easily, somebody could’€™ve opened fire on Biggie’€™s car, killing both him and Shaq. The moral of the story kids, as always, is that falling asleep on the couch is never a bad thing.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Notorious BIG
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