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Pierce, Daniels miss practice 02.24.10 at 4:04 pm ET
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WALTHAM — The Celtics will likely be without Paul Pierce when they take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden on Thursday night, according to Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

Pierce was kept out of practice on Wednesday to protect his injured right thumb while Marquis Daniels was sent home with flu-like symptoms.

“I’m not going to say definitely but most likely not [Thursday],” Rivers said. “We’ll just evaluate it day-to-day. I didn’t want him to take a chance of getting his thumb hit at all in practice so that if he did feel good [Thursday] but if not, we’ll just wait. We’re just going to go a game at a time with him.”

Asked if he were concerned that Pierce’s thumb was anything more than a sprain, Rivers said likely not. “I would know if it’s something else and it’s not,” he said.

Also missing practice on Wednesday was Daniels. “We sent Marquis home. He looked awful so we’ll see [Thursday] and if not I have no idea right now so we’ll figure it out,” Rivers said.

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Marquis Daniels, NBA
House: I still love Boston 02.23.10 at 11:36 pm ET
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The emotion ran both ways for Eddie House in his return to the same parquet floor where just last month he was raining down 3′s on opponents and bringing fans to their feet.

On Tuesday night, a very appreciative House thanked the fans at TD Garden following Boston’s 110-106 win over his New York Knicks.

House received a standing ovation from the fans following a video tribute during a first-quarter timeout.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “I love the fans for the way they showed their love me and I have just as much back for them. I loved playing here. It was a great place. What a great run I had, winning a championship and having a chance again last year.”

[Click here to hear from House and his reaction to his return to Boston.]

On going from team with goal to win championship to a team building: ‘€œIt’€™s hard, just losing.  That’€™s the hard thing, I’€™m not used to losing. I haven’€™t been on a losing team in quite a long time. That’€™s the toughest thing about it is taking these L’€™s. Keep competing man, as long as you’€™re playing hard and trying to do the right thing.  You can never be upset with yourself or your teammates. Everybody is trying to do the right thing and playing hard but for whatever reason we’€™re falling short.’€

On whether he was glad he returned to Boston was so quick after trade: ‘€œIt was no big deal. I didn’€™t put any more weight on this game than I did my first game in Madison Square. Just play the game of basketball. It’€™s the same thing just different opponent and just happens to be guys I played with before about a week ago.  Just no strain on this game at all. I didn’€™t try to come in and just automatically try getting my shots like it was something. I just played the game and let the game come to me. Just play the right way that’€™s all I’€™m trying to do all the time.’€

On what can he bring to this Knicks team: ‘€œI’€™m just going to try to bring as much leadership that I can. As far as playing the right way. That’€™s all it’€™s about is playing the right way and competing. I’€™m not saying I’€™m the best defensive player, but we’€™re going to try to do the best we can to put ourselves in position to be successful and keep helping if you get beat, and help him if he goes, and help someone else. We just got to continue to compete and it’€™s about leading by example, not just talking about it.’€

Read More: Celtics, eddie house, Knicks, NBA
Doc on Nate: ‘You take your chance’ at 8:16 pm ET
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Doc Rivers wasn’t pulling any punches or setting expectations too high before Nate Robinson’s debut in a Celtics uniform.

“You absolutely look and watch on a guy’s past history,” Rivers said of Robinson’s troublesome reputation with the Knicks. “It’s a great indicator of what’s going to be next. And yeah, we look at all that. I also look at his ability and what he can do on the floor. You try to make a decision on what overrides what and then you take your chance. We’ve taken chances on guys and some have paid off and some haven’t but I’m willing to do that. I’ve always been willing to do that.

“I want him to be him on the court and that’s one of the things I said. We didn’t grab you, we didn’t want you for the things you haven’t done. We grabbed you for all the things you do on the court. As far as the other stuff, we’ll see. We’ll see how it plays out.”

The coach said things were so rushed at the practice facility in Waltham on Monday – the only day the coaching staff has had to work with him – they had to have coaches come in to run the offense sets with no defense.

“One practice was [Monday] with no players,” Rivers said of Monday’s workout with Robinson running the point. “We ran our offense with Thibs [defensive coach Tom Thibodeau] at the two and Armond [Hill] at the three and it looked crazy. It looked awful, and it should have.”

Rivers said it would be way too much to expect Robinson to pick everything up on the fly.

“Well, I don’t know what he can grasp,” Rivers said. “That’s something we’ll find out as the year goes on. We gave him way too much stuff [Monday] and we knew that doing it and then afterward, [Tuesday] we’re just going to roll the ball out and just play. I think with a point guard, it’s very difficult to integrate a point guard in your system like this on the fly like this so we’ll do one set at a time for him.

“When he comes on the floor, basically we’ll be a one-set team and it will involve him, trying to create. It’s no secret to play basketball. We’ll figure it out.”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Knicks, NBA
Pierce out with right thumb, flu at 6:57 pm ET
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Paul Pierce will miss the game with the Knicks with an injured right thumb and didn’t make the trip into the Garden as he is also suffering from the flu. Marquis Daniels will start in his place.

“It’s just a hurt hand so we’re just going to go one day at a time,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s not even in the building tonight. He has the flu, too. He would’ve played if he didn’t have the hand injury. With the flu, we just told him to stay home.”

Rivers said he was not aware if tests have been performed on Pierce’s right thumb.

“If we have, I don’t know. I’m assuming we have but I actually don’t know the answer,” Rivers added.

Read More: Celtics, flu, Knicks, NBA
Nate: Willing to help ‘by any means’ at 6:11 pm ET
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Nate Robinson promised his new teammates and fans that they are going to see a determined player as he begins his Celtics career in Boston. “It’s a brand new start,” said Robinson, who was seated next to Marcus Landry, the other player acquired in the trade with the Knicks.

“I’m just looking to keep my mind free and no detours. I’m on track and not looking for any detours. I’m just going to have my mind focused on the prize and that’s to win games in the playoffs and win a championship and help this team to that by any means, whether I play one minute or 30 minutes, I’m going to be here whenever my number is called, I’ll be ready to play.”

[Click here to hear some audio highlights of Nate Robinson's press conference before Tuesday's game.]

Robinson, after missing his first two games with an illness, will make his debut against his former Knicks team at TD Garden.

[Click here to hear Nate Robinson's opening remarks followed by Marcus Landry's remarks.]

Here are the highlights of Robinson’s press conference before members of the New York and Boston media. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Knicks, marcus landry, Nate Robinson
Cavs land Jamison 02.17.10 at 11:20 pm ET
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While the Celtics worked to acquire Nate Robinson, the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off a major deal Wednesday, landing Antawn Jamison from the Wizards in a three-team trade that also involved the Clippers.

The cost for acquiring the two-time All-Star was relatively light as Cleveland surrendered just a first round pick, center Zydrunas Ilgauskus and the rights to 2009 second round pick Emir Preldzic. It is widely believed that Ilgauskus will be bought out by the Wizards and then re-sign with the Cavs after 30 days.

Cleveland also got one-time Celtic Sebastian Telfair, although his role is expected to be limited. The Wizards received Al Thornton and the Clippers took back Drew Gooden, who was just traded to the Wizards over the weekend by the Mavericks.

The upshot of all that is that the Cavs finally acquired their long-desired big man who can shoot from the outside, without having to give up young forward J.J. Hickson.

There had been rumblings over the All-Star break that the Cavs were interested in Phoenix’s Amar’e Stoudemire, but that rumor went from white hot to ice cold in the span of 72 hours. Reports late Wednesday night indicated that Phoenix would likely keep Stoudemire for the rest of the season. (He has a player option this summer).

The stage is now set for the Cavs and LeBron James. They have the best record, the best player, and the prized late-season addition to bring it all home before James hits free agency. The pressure, however, will be enormous on them in the playoffs.

The Celtics play the Cavs next Thursday in a TNT game at the Garden. The two teams haven’t met since opening day when the Celtics won 95-89 in Cleveland. The other main contenders in the East–Atlanta and Orlando–are not expected to do much with their rosters before the deadline.

Read More: Antawn Jamison, NBA, Trades,
Doc: C’s ‘lean back too far on what they’ve done’ 02.08.10 at 5:31 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Like everyone else, Doc Rivers has had his fill of his players saying they’re better than what they’ve been showing on the court of late.

‘€œI think when you have a veteran team, there are several pitfalls,” Rivers said following practice Monday. “One, you’€™re a veteran team. Two, we’€™ll turn it on. I don’€™t buy into that, never have. Three, leaning back on your past success. Your past success is no guarantee to future success. I think this team leans back too far on what they’€™ve done and we have to get to work on what we’€™re going to do and I think that’€™s what we have to do a better job of.’€

[Click here to hear Doc talk about his team.]

In the words of a famous football coach who coached the Patriots in the 1990s, ‘You are what your record says you are.’  For the Celtics, a 32-17 mark is good for third in the East behind Cleveland and Orlando.

He paraphrased Bill Parcells for his players on Monday before, during and after a practice.

‘€œEnough with the talk,” Rivers said. “That’€™s basically it. I had a Conga line in my office today. That’€™s great, though. Guys want to do the right thing. I don’€™t think we have bad guys on our team, I know we don’€™t. But we have to do [right things]. All we keep talking, ‘€˜You’€™re right and we’€™re going to do it,’€™ but we’€™re not doing it. That’€™s what we have to do.’€

Monday was a good first step in a process that figures more like a grind as the team faces road games in the next two weeks against the Hornets, Lakers, Trail Blazers and Nuggets.

‘€œThey responded with a great practice so that’€™s good,” Rivers said. “But we have to, we have to get back to work, that workman’€™s mentality. We have to get back to wanting to be the best defensive team in the NBA. We have to get back to executing better. We can’€™t just rely on guys coming back off injury. That has thrown us off a little bit because of lack of practice time and all that, but I think that’€™s becoming an excuse around here. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA
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