|Fast break: A quick take on Celtics-Cavs||10.27.09 at 10:20 pm ET|
CLEVELAND – More than anything Tuesday night, the Celtics showed they can take the best an opponent has to offer and respond strong.
Not just any opponent on any court. The Celtics beat the Cavaliers, 95-89, on the home floor of one of the teams that’s expected to challenge Boston for Eastern Conference supremacy.
‘¢ Player of the game: Paul Pierce. His jumper in the final minute cemented a 23-point virtuoso performance for the captain and Boston’s first win of the season. He added 11 rebounds for good measure. Runner up: Rajon Rondo ‘ On a night when Danny Ainge said he continues to talk with Rondo’s agent on a new deal, Rondo set the tempo. With chaos swirling around the team in the wake of the Glen Davis debacle and a double-digit deficit early, Rondo restored order on the court.
‘¢ Turning point of the game: LeBron James gave the Celtics a gift when a Boston turnover with 4.7 seconds left in the third put the ball in his hands. He drove past Rasheed Wallace and had an easy lay-up, but the ball rimmed out and that seemed to give the Celtics a big reprieve. It also kept the crowd from exploding. Runner-up ‘ With 5:32 to go in the fourth. James hit one of two free throws to cut the C’s lead to four, 80-76, but Kendrick Perkins converts a three-point play to answer.
‘¢ The Celtics fell behind early by 14 twice, 19-5 and 21-7, but they closed the gap to 28-21 after one. Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams, filling in for Glen Davis, all played significant minutes in the first quarter as the Celtics found their legs.
‘¢ The Celtics turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter. The team preached in the preseason that they will go only as far as their defense takes them, and it showed in the second, where they went from a seven-point deficit to a six-point lead, 51-45. They held the Cavs to 5-of-16 shooting from the floor. More impressive than the 31 percent they held the Cavs to from the field was the fact that Cleveland could only manage five field goals on their home court.
‘¢ Thanks in large part to the above, the C’s completely took the raucous Q crowd out of the game until a LeBron James three with two minutes remaining in the third.
‘¢ Bench belief. With the Celtics holding onto a seven-point lead heading into the fourth, the Celtics took the court with Wallace, Daniels, Eddie House and Shelden Williams. Those four joined Ray Allen as Doc Rivers was able to rest his big guns. Wallace hit a big jumper from the right wing to extend the lead to nine with 11:25 remaining. Daniels drilled a three moments later and the lead was an even 10.
‘¢ The Celtics took advantage of Cavalier play. Twice in the final two minutes, the Cavaliers turned the ball over and twice they forced up quick three-pointers trailing by just six when a two-pointer would have been the better play. Isn’t this why they got Shaq?
‘¢ James got his. LeBron finished with 38 points and eight assists but just four rebounds.
|Celtics confirm injury, apology from Davis||at 5:32 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — The Celtics released their official statement on Tuesday regarding the injury to forward Glen Davis.
The team confirmed the injury and subsequent surgery on his right thumb. The statement, included below, also included an apology from Davis, who did not travel to Cleveland for tonight’s season opener.
The statement from the Celtics:
The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Glen Davis underwent successful surgery to reduce and fix a right thumb fracture. The surgery was performed by Celtics Team Physician, Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Hervey Kimball and Dr. Drew Terrono at New England Baptist Hospital. Davis is expected to miss the next six weeks.
‘I would first like to apologize to my fans, teammates, coaches and the entire Celtics organization,” Davis said. “I am extremely disappointed that this incident occurred and that it will prevent me from starting the season with the rest of my teammates. My teammates and the entire Celtics organization are extremely important to me and I will do my best to expedite the healing process and be back on the court as soon as possible.”
|Turn up the volume: C’s not living in past||10.23.09 at 5:25 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Before this season ever starts, nearly everyone in a Celtics uniform wants to make one thing clear. This is NOT 2008.
On Friday, the Celtics held a two-hour practice before going home to get clean and ready for their team dinner Friday night in Boston.
Here’s what a number of them had to say about this year, comparisons to two seasons ago and other miscellaneous items.
|KG on knee questions: ‘That [stuff] is getting old’||at 3:57 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Kevin Garnett reached his breaking point on Friday afternoon with questions about whether he is physically ready and back to 100 percent following surgery last May to remove bone spurs behind his right knee.
“Next question,” he answered when asked.
But the question was asked moments later, in a different way.
“I just told you. That [stuff] is getting old, now. That [stuff] getting real old. You’re going to have to sit in your offices and come up with some new questions. Drink a little more beer now or whatever gets you going to come up with your questions.”
Told that he’s likely going to hear that same question all season long, Garnett replied, “You’re going to get the same answer, alright?”
Eddie House drew a comparison to another famous New England athlete returning from a knee injury.
“I’m very happy he’s back, he’s moving well,” House said. “He’s even taken a few blows to the spot where he had the surgery and he bounced back up. It’s kind of like the Tom Brady effect. At first, he’s kind of ginger. He doesn’t really know until he gets hit a couple of times. ‘I can plant, I can throw.’ Like Kevin, now he can catch lobs, can plant, step-backs. He’s doing everything Kevin Garnett does.”
|Doc: ‘We’re ready’||at 3:26 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers put his team through a spirited workout on Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility, four days before the team opens the season on Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Rivers said following the practice that he senses his team is geared up and ready.
“I like where we’re at,” Rivers said. “I’m very happy where we’re at. We’re going to add things all year. We’re ready to play. Even if I didn’t add anything else all year, I think we’re ready to play an NBA game.”
|Celtics hire Lue to their coaching staff||at 2:51 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics hired NBA former point guard Tyronn Lue as their Director of Basketball Development on Friday. He will assist the coaching staff and observe practices.
The 32-year-old Lue made his debut on Friday in Waltham as the Celtics prepare for their season opener on Tuesday in Cleveland. Lue played 11 seasons with seven different teams, including last year with Orlando. He won NBA titles in 2000 and ’01 with the Lakers.
|NBA tells players to take a seat||10.02.09 at 2:31 pm ET|
Mixed in with the news of the NBA’s social media guidelines was a new policy on sideline behavior. According to a memo obtained by ESPN.com, the league is restricting players from standing on while they are on the bench. This comes in response to complaints received last season.
Marc Stein reported, ‘Starting this season, league rules dictate that players will be required to remain seated on the bench while the ball is live except to ‘spontaneously react to a notable play [and] immediately sitting down on the bench afterward’ or ‘to approach the scorer’s table to report into the game.’ The memo states that ‘players will not be permitted to stand [in front of] the bench at any other time while the ball is in play, including standing for the last minute of a game or standing until the team scores its first point in game.’’
According to the memo, teams may be fined for not following the rule.