|Miles Settling Into Boston||10.12.08 at 10:19 pm ET|
Darius Miles was anxious when he moved to Boston last month. He had played here before on opposing teams but it’s a different story when you are representing Beantown. The city’s winning tradition was intimidating at first.
“The last time I played there it wasn’t really a big deal because the team was losing games,” Miles said. “Like now just walking into the practice facility, it’s like it’s scary to a point because of the history that goes back on this team. Seeing all these pictures of Bill Russell and all these great players that used to play here and seeing those big banners, it’s different now.”
Through his six-year stint in the NBA, Miles already knew many of the veteran Celtics including Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Sam Cassell. Knowing these players also meant knowing the high expectations of winning another championship this season.
“I’m a basketball fan so I kind of knew a lot about [the Celtics tradition],” Miles said. “Then once they brought a championship back, that kind of brought it all back to the world and everybody else and it kind of brought it back to my memory too. Like I said it got scary where I just don’t want to mess up, don’t want to miss a pass, drop the ball, miss a shot.”
After six weeks Miles has become more comfortable in his new digs. Doc Rivers has praised his hustle and he seems at ease in the Celtics locker room. Off the court, he has already staked claim of his new favorite restaurant, Biagio in Waltham.
“I like the family restaurants,” he said. “They don’t have too many name brand restaurants. There are a lot of family-owned restaurants around here, so the food tastes better and the people know how to cook.”
What else does Miles like about Boston?
“My favorite part is I like everybody’s accent,” he said, adding, “My mom came down here when I was sick (tonsillitis) and she was telling me she liked everybody’s accents too.”
So will this Belleville, Illinois native be pahkin the cah any time soon?
“No, I don’t think I’ll pick one up,” Miles said with a laugh. “I’m too country for that.”
|Pierce Stiff But OK||10.11.08 at 10:27 pm ET|
Paul Pierce knows he’s in for a battle whenever he goes up against Ron Artest. So while Artest’s tough play seemed uncharacteristic for most preseason games, Pierce was not surprised at all.
“That’s Ron,” Pierce said. “He plays like that preseason, summer league, regular season. That’s the way he plays.”
Artest’s hustle was tough enough to send Pierce to the locker room in the first quarter with a stinger.
“It’s a little stiff. I’ve got a crick in my neck but I’m going to be alright,” Pierce said.
The Celtics captain knows Artest is only the beginning of opponents who will be gunning for him this season.
“You’ve got to understand, when you’re the champs people are going to come at you whether it’s preseason, regular season,” he said. “We’ve just got to be ready for it.”
|Sounds of the game… Celtics-Rockets postgame||at 10:18 pm ET|
The Celtics beat the Houston Rockets, 90-89, when Gabe Pruitt banked in a jumper with 6.6 seconds remaining to improve to 2-1 in the preseason. But that was hardly the story of a game that featured Ron Artest driving Paul Pierce the floor on a drive to the basket in the first quarter, a Tracy McGrady elbow to the ribs of rookie Bill Walker and McGrady and Eddie House almost going at it after exchanging words in the second quarter.
Here’s what some of the Celtics had to say about not backing down afterward.
|McGrady Riles Up Celtics||at 5:17 pm ET|
There is still a minute to go in the first quarter and more tension is ensuing.
As Bill Walker drove on Tracy McGrady, T-Mac appeared to push off on the rookie. Down at the basket, words were exchanged between Walker, McGrady, and Rafer Alston after McGrady gave Walker a one-handed shove that sent him to the ground. The players were separated and order seemed to be restored. Seconds later, McGrady and Eddie House became engaged in a heated conversation. Just as Pierce, who had recently returned to the game, separated the players, Walker came back to get in a few last words, only to be held back by Luis Scola. McGrady and House were charged with technical fouls.
Looks like J.R. Giddens was right when he said there are two sides to Bill Walker.
|Battle Brewing in Manchester||at 4:57 pm ET|
Paul Pierce asked for the match up and he got it.
With just under 7:30 to go in the first quarter, Pierce drove the lane against Ron Artest. Artest welcomed him at the basket with a blow to the shoulder. No foul was called and the Rockets scored on the fastbreak. Artest pumped his chest as Eddie House and Kendrick Perkins rose to their feet on the Celtics bench to vocalize their disagreement with the no-call.
Moments later, Garnett blocked a Rockets shot that sent the crowd into a frenzy. The noise escalated when Artest dealt a hard foul to Ray Allen that sent the Celtics guard sliding into the front row.
Pierce has left the game with a bruised right shoulder but is expected to return.
All this tension and there is still five minutes to go in the first quarter.
|Pierce Eager to Play against Artest||at 4:49 pm ET|
At some point tonight Paul Pierce was led to believe that he wasn’t going to play against the Houston
Rockets. He had just worked up a sweat shooting around and was ready to go. Pierce muttered his frustrations as he hit the floor for push ups.
He didn’t just want to play basketball – he wanted to take on Ron Artest.
“I always want to play against Ron Artest,” Pierce said. “I think we both bring out the best in each other. I think he’s the best perimeter defender in the league.”
Turns out Pierce will play tonight, and more than he did on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Doc Rivers expects the Big Three to play solid minutes in both halves, given that the team has the day off tomorrow.
|Sounds of the game… Celtics-Sixers post||10.09.08 at 12:34 am ET|
The Celtics opened their eight-game preseason slate with a road game in, of all places, UMass on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Cs lost the game, 98-92, despite leading by as manny as 14, 65-51, midway through the third. The team was without head coach Doc Rivers, who was tending to a personal family matter and backup point guard Sam Cassell, who was tending to a family emergency. Here’s a sampling of what they players and coaches had to say about the contest and Bill Walker’s highlight film dunks in the second quarter.