|Game 4: A strategic shift||05.10.09 at 9:49 pm ET|
The Celtics came out for what might be the most important half of their season intent on putting the game in the hands of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They have been running high isolation pick and rolls with Pierce at the point and Allen setting the screen.
Pierce, who scored 18 points in the first half, kept it going in the early minutes of the third quarter making a pair of jumpers and getting to the line. Allen, who was held to just four points on four shots also made a couple of pull-up jumpers. It’s a pretty radical shift in strategy but so far it’s paid dividends.
|Doc on Manny: That’s shocking and disappointing||05.07.09 at 2:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers is not just an NBA head coach, he is a huge sports fan. And when news broke Thursday that Manny Ramirez had been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enchancing substance, he reacted just like a sports fan.
“It’s disappointing, it really is,” Rivers said before his team’s film session. “It’s the baseball whole thing and that’s obviously a part of it right now. I don’t know. That’s shocking and disappointing.”
But Rivers didn’t stop there. He battles with the issue much like every sports fan does, trying to weigh what matters to fans and what’s in the best interest of the sport. Read the rest of this entry »
|Game 2: Second Quarter Update||05.06.09 at 9:14 pm ET|
The Magic wanted to play this game from outside … and paid the price. The Celtics have built a 15-point halftime lead thanks to aggressive play at the basket, outscoring the Magic 32-14 in the paint. They have also outshot the Magic 56% to 41% from the field.
Kendrick Perkins leads all scorers with 14 points (6/7 FG) and has been called for just one foul. Ray Allen, who had a quiet night in Game 1, has added 13 points. J.J. Redick is the high scorer for the Magic with 11 points.
|Pierce: Two matches for Jasmina||at 11:36 am ET|
Earlier this year Paul Pierce joined the fight to find a life-saving bone marrow donor for Jasmina Anema, a six-year-old leukemia patient. Since Anema is adopted, finding a donor match to combat the rare and deadly form of the disease was difficult. Pierce campaigned for blood drives in the Boston area and pleaded for help on his website, PaulPierce.net. Other athletes and celebrities, including Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, and New York Knick Chris Wilcox, also reached out to help. Nearly five months after she was hospitalized, two near-perfect matches have been found for Jasmina. Click here to read a message on Pierce’s site.
|Captain’s Musings||05.05.09 at 9:28 pm ET|
And he didn’t disappoint on Tuesday as the media converged on the Celtics practice facility in search of answers to how and why the wheels fell off on Monday night, at least in the second and third quarters.
“It’s just all about our energy and effort,” Pierce said, repeating what Rivers has been saying since Game 1 went into the books for Orlando. “We went into halftime and we really didn’t change anything. We didn’t alter our gameplan, we just everything we were supposed to do a little bit harder. That’s what got us back in the game.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Game 1: Final Wrap||05.04.09 at 10:34 pm ET|
Despite fighting back from an 18-point halftime deficit, the Celtics efforts fell short. The Magic took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, 95-90. Paul Pierce led all scorers with 23 points. Dwight Howard (16 points, 22 rebounds) scored just seven points in the second half. More postgame reaction on Green Street from the locker rooms …
|The Road to Game 7||05.02.09 at 3:22 pm ET|
The combination of an injured Celtics team and an athletic Bulls squad ruled out expectations of a sweep in the first round in the playoffs for the defending champs. Even a Game 7 wasn’t that unrealistic considering the Celtics struggles with the Hawks last season. But the road the Celtics took to this deciding game was nearly impossible to predict.
Game 1: Bulls 105, Celtics 103 (OT)
The Bulls stunned the Celtics on their own court with an overtime victory that set the tone for the intensity and unpredictability of the series. Paul Pierce missed a potential game-winning free-throw with 2.6 seconds left in regulation and Ray Allen (1-12 FG) failed to connect on the last shot of overtime for the Celtics. Point guards Rajon Rondo (29 points, 7 assists, 9 rebounds) and Derrick Rose (36 points, 11 assists, 12-12 FT) established a rivalry that will play out in seasons to come.
Game 2: Celtics 118, Bulls 115
Game 2 was a showcase of UConn’s finest. Ray Allen redeemed himself from Game 1 by hitting a game-winning three-pointer with two seconds left on the clock. Ben Gordon scored 42 points, including a go-ahead shot with 12 seconds left, in the Bulls loss. Rajon Rondo (19 points, 16 assists, 12 rebounds) recorded a triple-double. But the Celtics celebration was cut short ‘ Leon Powe suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the second quarter.
Game 3: Celtics 107, Bulls 86
The Celtics got payback for their Game 1 loss by blowing out the Bulls in Chicago. They held Derrick Rose to just nine points while shooting nearly 50% from the field. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined for 7-for-12 from long range. Glen Davis posted 14 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals.
Game 4: Bulls 121, Celtics 118 (2 OT)
Ray Allen and Ben Gordon were back at it in Game 4. Allen knocked down a game-tying three with ten seconds left in regulation before Gordon hit a contested trey to force overtime. Game 4 was one by a battle of the benches. Kirk Hinrich and Brad Miller combined for 30 points while five Celtics reserves added just 11. Rajon Rondo (25 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) posted another triple-double in the loss.
Game 5: Celtics 106, Bulls 104 (OT)
Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo proved there is more to the Celtics than just the Big Three in Game 5. Perkins (16 points, 19 rebounds, 7 blocks) played 48 minutes of foul-free basketball. Rondo (28 points, 11 assists, 8 points) delivered the most memorable moment of the series to date by bloodying Brad Miller’s mouth as the big man drove to the basket for an attempted game-tying basket. Ben Gordon, who was questionable with a strained hamstring, scored 26 points for the Bulls.
Game 6: Bulls 128, Celtics 127 (3 OT)
Emotions ran strong from Game 5 as Rajon Rondo and Kirk Hinrich got involved in an altercation early on. The foul trouble continued for the Celtics and they found themselves without Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins, and Glen Davis at the final buzzer. Ray Allen’s 51 points (18-32 FG, 9-18 3PG) were overshadowed by the Bulls triple-overtime win, which was iced with Derrick Rose’s block against Rajon Rondo’s attempted go-ahead shot. John Salmons scored 35 points for the Bulls in the win.