|Eastern Conference Preparing for Competition||08.18.09 at 10:20 pm ET|
Two years ago the Boston Celtics traveled to Europe for training camp. That season they won the championship. The close-knit squad credited the trip overseas for their unwavering chemistry on the court.
“The second we got to training camp in September, we all said, hey, let’s meet in September without the coaches and come together and just start playing with each other, starting to get to know one another, and I think all that stuff really helped us,” Paul Pierce said during the 2008 playoffs.
This summer Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson hopes he can have the same effect on his teammates. Nelson is hosting the Magic at his Philadelphia-area home for ‘Building Magic,’ a week-long getaway that combines strength and conditioning drills with team-building activities.
Like the Celtics did in 2007, the Magic traded a handful of core players in exchange for an All-Star (Vince Carter) and added to their bench along the way. After losing Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee, key pieces in their postseason run, and veteran mentor Tony Battie, Nelson understands the importance of this offseason.
He explained to Sports Illustrated in July:
‘We’re trying to piece it together because our team was in transition. For the most part, the big guns have committed — Vince [Carter], Dwight [Howard] and Rashard [Lewis]. After those guys have committed, no one can really back out unless they have some type of serious issue.
This year we’re doing it from the 16th through the 22nd of August. We do it at the same facility every year, same gym at Haverford College. We’ll work out with my trainers — conditioning drills, weightlifting, stuff to get your body right. The basketball stuff we do is later in the afternoon. We do that for about 2-3 hours.
Afterward, we’ll mix up the nightlife. We always do a dinner. Other days we’ll do paintball or bowling, maybe go to the movies.’
|Familiar Faces at Vegas Summer League||07.20.09 at 1:35 pm ET|
Even though the Boston Celtics already participated in the Orlando Summer League earlier this month, there were still plenty of familiar faces on hand at the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League last week:
– A relaxed Paul Pierce, who has a home in Vegas, donned a backwards Red Sox hat and sunglasses to a few games last Wednesday. Later that afternoon he was joined in the stands by Celtics GM Danny Ainge during the Milwaukee Bucks/Chicago Bulls match up.
– Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck traveled to Las Vegas for the NBA’s Board of Governor’s Meeting. Grousbeck was appointed to the league’s Labor Relations Committee. While in Vegas he emphasized the Celtics commitment to winning next season to WEEI.com.
– Sam Cassell looked like the Mayor of Summer League when he made his first appearance, being swarmed by friends before sitting courtside with Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who spent the week eyeing talent. Cassell, of course, was sporting a huge smile but this time he had traded in his uniform for a polo and khaki shorts as assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. He was at the helm on Sunday when he led the Wiz to a victory over the New York Knicks.
– Ryan Gomes and Sebastian Telfair were in town training at Joe Abunassar’s Impact Basketball facility. Both players spent their mornings working out before checking out some Minnesota Timberwolves‘ action from the bench. Click here to read more on Gomes’ role reversal.
– Patrick O’Bryant chatted with a reporter as he was late chasing a loose ball out of bounds with the Toronto Raptors. O’Bryant averaged 11.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots.
– Brandon Wallace returned to Vegas, the same place where the Celtics signed him to his first NBA contract two years ago. Wallace suited up for the Wizards after spending last season in Poland. He posted 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game under assistant coach Cassell.
– Kevinn Pinkney is giving the NBA another shot after playing in Italy the past two seasons. Pinkney, who had a brief stint with the Celtics during the 2006-07 season, averaged 2.4 points and 2.6 boards for the Clippers.
– Orien Greene came to Vegas as a spectator hoping to catch on with an NBA team next season. He recently returned home from playing in Amsterdam.
For more on the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League check out the five things we learned, including why the league is talking Sheed.
|Report: Daniels commits to Celtics||07.17.09 at 8:22 pm ET|
The Boston Herald has reported small forward Marquis Daniels has committed to the Boston Celtics. According to the Herald, Daniels will either sign a $1.9 million biannual exception or be dealt to the Celtics in a sign-and-trade with the Indiana Pacers.
Daniels averaged a career-high 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 54 games last season.
After Grant Hill re-signed with the Phoenix Suns, several sources indicated the Celtics were still pursuing a back up for Paul Pierce. The Celtics captain averaged nearly 38 minutes per game last season.
|Role reversal for Gomes||07.13.09 at 7:49 pm ET|
LAS VEGAS — It’s a case of role reversal for Ryan Gomes.
Now it is Gomes’ turn to play the role of mentor. This week, he’s offering his knowledge to the Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League team in Las Vegas.
‘Even though I know time is flying and it’s going to be my fifth year, when you’ve got a lot of young guys on the team, you want to share some knowledge,’ Gomes said. ‘I don’t know it all and I don’t think there are a lot of people who do, but when you watch the games you want to help them to get better. As players, you’re always trying to help each other out.’
When Gomes isn’t helping the Timberwolves, he is improving his own game at Joe Abunassar’s Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, along with former Celtic Sebastian Telfair. The shortage of wing players on the Timberwolves means Gomes may have to play in the backcourt as well, and he is focusing on his game away from the basket to increase his shooting percentage.
Last season he averaged 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, shooting 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range.
‘We’ve just got to be prepared,’ he said. ‘We’ve got to be on our Ps and Qs because you just never know what can happen. It’s our job over the summertime when you’re not around the coaches and you can’t play in Summer League to work on your game and be ready for next year, and that’s what I’ve been doing.’
Gomes is not the only ex-Celtic looking to help the Timberwolves have a successful season. He noted Al Jefferson has been diligently rehabbing from ACL surgery to get back in the game as their leading scorer and rebounder.
‘He’s doing good. He’s way ahead of schedule,’ Gomes said. ‘He’s training hard and he’s on the court a little bit. We need him back, of course. He’s our All-Star, he’s the motor that goes, so hopefully next year we’ll have a good year.’
While he is focused on helping the Timberwolves win next season, the Celtics are still on his mind — even two years after being traded.
‘I’m still learning from Paul and I’ll still learn from Ray (Allen) and all those other guys because of the fact that they have knowledge of the game,’ he said. ‘Doc Rivers was great to me, Danny Ainge and those guys gave me an opportunity by drafting me, so I stay in touch with them and I still watch a lot of their games because when they made the trade, I knew what it was for. It was to win it.’
And that’s a good example to follow.
|Pierce sees great things in Wallace, Celtics||07.09.09 at 8:58 pm ET|
Pierce couldn’t help but think back two summers ago when coming off a 24-win season, the Celtics went out and acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, leading to a 66-win, NBA Championship campaign 11 months later.
Pierce was up on the dais with Allen and Garnett and had similar thoughts dancing through his head.
“It started two years with Ray and Kevin and I just think with getting Rasheed, it just gives you an extra boost of energy,” Pierce said. “Even the last few weeks, it’s hard for me to stay out of the gym. I’ve been coming in, working out, picking up the ball here and there. Just making sure that I’m ready for the upcoming season because I’m excited with the moves that we made.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Pierce knew Rondo would not be traded||07.01.09 at 9:25 am ET|
Celtics GM Danny Ainge told Paul Pierce that Rajon Rondo would not be traded, Pierce told Jeff Goodman of WEEI.com and FoxSports.com. “Danny [Ainge] told me and told Kevin [Garnett],” Pierce said. “We knew he wasn’t going to be traded.”
Rondo had been mentioned in several trade rumors before the NBA Draft. Speculation of the Celtics moving the point guard were further fueled by talks of Rondo’s attitude. Ainge revealed on WEEI that the Celtics had fined Rondo for tardiness during the season and did not consider him a max contract player right now. He later reaffirmed the Celtics interest in Rondo, telling WEEI, “I think we value Rondo more than anybody else in the league values him and we know everything about him ‘ all the good and the bad that comes with a 23-year-old kid who’s been put in a pressure kicker.”
|Pierce: ‘Rottweiler’ Celtics will be back||06.17.09 at 11:07 pm ET|
In the last few weeks there have been rumors of the Boston Celtics trading nearly the entire team, from starters Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins, to role players Tony Allen and J.R. Giddens. In spite of these talks, Paul Pierce let everyone know on Twitter that expects the Cs to return in full force next season.
@paulpierce34: Lakers vs orlando. Looked like a german sherperd vs a poodle that’s ok the rotwieler celtics will b back in 2o10
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