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Playoffs? Is it the playoffs? 11.12.08 at 5:53 pm ET
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Did you hear that?

It’s the boos resonating from the crowd on Mike Bibby’s first possession.

There was a postseason atmosphere before tip-off which was only heightened by Kevin Garnett’s encouragement of the crowd. Only this time, the Hawks have come out swinging first. Joe Johnson is still out to beat the Celtics on the offensive end and is leading his team to an early lead.

Doc Rivers called a timeout down 17-11 with six minutes to go in the first quarter. Yes, another first quarter deficit. This is becoming the norm for the Cs, echoing Rivers comments of inconsistency from the starting five.

So far Monday’s hero Paul Pierce is scoreless. Let’s see if the Celtics can get it going …

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Celtics Starting Lineup Named to All-Star Ballot 11.11.08 at 1:24 pm ET
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All five members of the Boston Celtics starting lineup will be named to the 2009 All-Star ballot today, presented by T-Mobile. The ballot will be unveiled today during a special kick-off ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins are all up for spots on the Eastern Conference team. The Big Three participated in last year’s game (Allen was a replacement for Caron Butler) while Rondo and Perkins have never been named to the team.

The All-Star Game will be held February 15 at the US Airways Center. Voting will begin on Thursday, November 13 and run through mid-January. This season fans will be able to cast their votes in every NBA arena, online at NBA.com in several different languages, and via cell phone.

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O’Neal Struggling to Achieve Celtics Success at 9:58 am ET
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When Jermaine O’Neal looks at Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, he can’t help but get frustrated.

Not everyone can do this in just one season.

Very few can do this in just one season.

Garnett and Allen were able to hit the ground running in their first season with the Boston Celtics, starting off 20-2 en route to the first NBA Championships of their career. For O’Neal, his debut season with the Toronto Raptors has anything but a joyride.

“It’s been kind of a roller coaster for me,” he said. “And it’s been hard.”

This summer O’Neal was traded to the Raptors from the Indiana Pacers, a year after Garnett’s blockbuster trade to the Celtics. The move paired O’Neal with dominating big man Chris Bosh and positioned the Raptors as an Eastern Conference contender. Like the Celtics, the Raptors united unfulfilled All-Stars in hopes of winning a title.

“You try not to base your career and your success off of somebody else’s,” O’Neal said. “A lot of people can say, ‘I want it to be like this,’ but it’s not necessarily like that. [The Celtics] definitely have put together a format on how to do it, for sure. Sometimes you’re not able to go that route. You’ve got to take another route and that’s the route that I’m on.”
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Read More: Andrea Bargnani, Boston Celtics, Chris Bosh, Doc Rivers Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Sounds of the game… Celtics 94, Raptors 87 11.10.08 at 9:34 pm ET
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Monday night had all the makings of a back-to-back letdown. And for all the world in the first half, it looked like an emotional and dominant win in Detroit 24 hours earlier had taken its toll, as the C’s trailed by as many as 16 in the second quarter and 48-36 at halftime. Then the Celtics woke up in the third before Paul Pierce took over in the final 15 minutes, scoring 25 of his game-high 36, including 22 in the final quarter to match the ENTIRE Raptors team.

The end result was a stunning win for the Green and a demoralizing, head-scratcher for Toronto.

Paul Pierce said he was feeling it in the fourth.

Pierce had an ice pack on his sore right hand in the postgame presser.

Kevin Garnett said Pierce was Superman.

Doc Rivers realizes what kind of player Pierce is.

Leon Powe could see a special look in Pierce’s eyes.

What they said about it…

Jason Kapono: “We felt we could have had them down a tad bit further, especially at the end of the second quarter. They made a couple of shots there and they got to the free throw line. It’s our job to keep it going and build a lead, but obviously they are a quality team, a world championship team, and you know that their best run (of the game) is still coming.”

Jermaine O’Neal: “Those guys in the third quarter shot a lot of free throws. In the fourth quarter, they did a good job of making shots. Ray (Allen), Paul and the others have an incredible comfort level with each other. We’ve got to figure a way to keep those guys down, especially  when we’re up 15 or 16 points in a game, especially in the second half.”

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Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Second Quarter at 6:15 pm ET
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Ok so that wasn’t pretty. The Celtics are down 48-36 at the end of the first half and are basically getting beat by one player … Jermaine O’Neal. JO has 19 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes. Next in line is Joey Graham with eight points and Chris Bosh has six. The Celtics have not had an answer for JO on either end of the court. Kevin Garnett has 11 points and 4 defensive rebounds while Perk is scoreless with one board. If the Celtics are going to get back into this game, they are going to have to step up their low post game to counter JO’s assault. Adding insult to injury, the Celtics are shooting 32%.

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Sounds of the game… Celtics 101, Bucks 89 11.07.08 at 11:23 pm ET
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Prior to going out and beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at TD Banknorth Garden, Celtics coach Doc Rivers called a meeting of the reserves before Friday night’s game, asking them if the opponent took away their best skill, how could they still help the team. Eddie House, Leon Powe and Glen “Big Baby” Davis had all the answers as the Cs wore down the Bucks in the fourth quarter with a 28-19 run to end the game and improve to 5-1 on the season, with Allen Iverson and the new-look Detroit Pistons on the horizon on Sunday night.

Eddie House said Doc got his message across before the game.

Former UConn star and Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva was disappointed the Bucks couldn’t hold their early 25-12 lead in the first quarter.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics took Milwaukee’s best shot.

Paul Pierce said the Celtics need to solve their problems with slow starts.

Doc Rivers said Pierce working with the second unit was huge.

Kendrick Perkins is looking forward to seeing the Pistons with Allen Iverson on Sunday night.

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Sounds of the game… Celtics 96, Bulls 80 11.01.08 at 12:00 pm ET
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As the Celtics sit in Indianapolis standing 2-0 on the infantile season, let’s take a look back a defensive shutdown performance that had every fan of the Green seeing visions of last year’s title run dancing in their heads more than Gino on Halloween. (Great call, Jessica!)

Paul Pierce said the Celtics just took the heart out of the young Bulls early on.

Kevin Garnett told his teammates that this one was on him after going 5-for-15 in the opener.

Doc Rivers loved his team’s energy from the get-go.

Doc Rivers on playing with momentum going on the road.

Kendrick Perkins said it’s important to get the roadtrip off to a good start.

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