|Getting spoiled||04.02.09 at 12:21 am ET|
Does life get any better for Boston basketball fans?
Their NBA franchise is the defending world champion and bearing down on another high seed in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs.
TD Banknorth Garden just hosted one of the most memorable college basketball games in history, as Villanova edged Pittsburgh, 78-76, in the East Regional championship last Saturday.
And then there was Wednesday night. Celtics 111, Bobcats 109. Double-overtime. Best Celtics game of the season. Best game of the NBA season. Want proof?
Trailing by 12 with 6:01 to go, Eddie House drains the first of back-to-back threes to make it a six-point game. Trailing by eight with two minutes to go, the Celtics rally as Rajon Rondo hits a pair of free throws to force OT.
Ray Allen drains a three with 12.4 seconds to tie the game, 101-101, and force overtime No. 2, foreshadowing what was to come.
Allen makes a three late in double overtime for the lead. Former UConn star Emeka Okefor converts a layup to put Charlotte back on top. Allen airballs a three. All hope appears lost. But the Bobcats fail to get a shot off.
Then, with the Celtics needing just two to win and down 109-108, Paul Pierce drives into traffic and then dishes to a wide-open Allen on the right baseline. Allen launches another three and this time the ball finds nothing but net and the clock reads 2.1 seconds. 111-109 Boston. Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics win 2OT thriller||04.01.09 at 10:29 pm ET|
Ray Allen’s three-pointer from the right baseline was the game-winner as the Celtics prevailed in double-overtime, 111-109, over the Charlotte Bobcats. Paul Pierce finished with a game-high 32 points as the Celtics won their 57th game.
|Time out||at 9:22 pm ET|
10:34 to 36.7. No, that’s not a remake of Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4.
That’s the time that elapsed on the third quarter clock between Celtic field goals. From a Ray Allen three pointer to a Paul Pierce three-pointer. In between, the Celtics couldn’t even hit a two-pointer.
During that near-10 minute span, Boston was outscored 24-5. Paul Pierce has scored 28 of his team’s 71 points through three quarters. But the Green trails 77-71 heading into the fourth.
|The Celtics are not alone||at 9:10 pm ET|
When news broke this week that the Celtics were shutting down star Kevin Garnett until his sore right knee feels strong enough to take the punishment of practices and games, many thought their ‘ticket’ to a return to the NBA Finals was in jeopardy.
And while that certainly may be the case, another story came out Wednesday about an injury to a team that the Green might face in the first round.
HoopsWorld reported that Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young could miss 2-3 weeks after spraining and bruising his left ankle last night in Philly’s win over Atlanta. That would keep him out the rest of the regular season and possibly the first game of the playoffs, which open on April 18.
The sprain and bruise were diagnosed after an MRI today and Young will be using crutches and an air cast on the ankle for a bit.
Why should Celtics fans care? Because Young, along with superstar Andre Iguodala, gives Philly the type of size in the front court to match up with Boston.
The 6-8 Young has started 68 games for Philly this season and has greatly improved his statistics in every category over his rookie numbers, averaging 15.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 assists on 49% shooting from the floor.
In March, Young scored 20.5 points a game and averaged 5.5 rebounds, scoring 20 or more points in 10 of 15 games. The Sixers would likely replace Young with bruiser Reggie Evans (a Celtics killer on the glass) and Marreese Speights. They do have depth but losing Young hurts.
Now, Philly’s hold on sixth in the East doesn’t look so sure with Detroit trying to make a move. No. 7 Detroit would play No. 2 Orlando right now and No. 8 Chicago would take on top-seeded Cleveland.
|Ray Ray turns into Super Ray||at 8:25 pm ET|
Ray Allen executed one of the best moves of the season midway through the second quarter and brought the sellout crowd at the Garden to its collective feet.
Starting at the left wing about 15 feet from the basket, he went behind his back on the dribble, undressing Juwan Howard and then with DeSagana Diop waiting to eat him up, Allen lofted a high-arcing shot off the glass and in. That was followed moments later by a slam dunk Mikki Moore as the Celtics went ahead 43-42 after trailing by as many as nine just minutes earlier.
|Just to clarify||at 7:13 pm ET|
At first, Doc Rivers thought he was being asked whether the Celtics can win an 18th title with Kevin Garnett not at full strength.
“Yeah, we can,” Rivers said. “I believe that. Defensively, is where we need him, offensively, too, with his shot and all that and his leadership on the floor. I really believe we can. And I think he will be 100 percent or close to it. I don’t know if he’ll be 100 percent. Yeah, I do, though, that is the answer.”
Then told that the question was can you win without Garnett, PERIOD, that generated a slightly different response.
“No, that would be difficult,” Rivers added. “That would be very difficult. But let’s hope that is something we don’t have to find out.”
|Celtics playoff tickets on sale Friday||at 4:44 pm ET|
The Celtics announced on Wednesday that a limited amount of playoff tickets for Round 1, home games 1 and 2 at the TD Banknorth Garden will go on sale Friday, April 3 at 10 a.m. There is a four (4) ticket limit per customer and seats start at just $12 in the Rite Aid Family Section.
Dates and times of home playoff games will be announced following the conclusion of the 2008-09 NBA regular season, and will be posted on www.celtics.com.
Celtics fans will be able to purchase on April 3 beginning at 10 a.m. by visiting Celtics.com, by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX (800-462-2849) or by visiting the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office. Acceptable forms of payment for tickets are American Express and all other major credit cards and customers may also pay by cash at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office.
Fans interested in securing private suites for playoff games may do so by calling the Celtics Sales Office at 866-4CELTIX (866-423-5849). Private suites accommodate 18 fans and catering options are also available. For more information log on to www.celtics.com.
The 2009 Celtics Playoffs are presented by The Lottery. Celtics fans that played the Lottery’s Boston Celtics Limited Edition 2008 NBA Champions ticket can enter a second chance drawing that will give one lucky fan the chance to win $1,000,000 on the parquet floor during a home playoff game in the Mass Lottery Parquet Floor Challenge. The fan participating in the Parquet Floor Challenge is guaranteed to win at least $200,000. To enter the Second Chance Bonus Drawings and for entry instructions visit www.masslottery.com.