|Pierce out again, Daniels to start||02.25.10 at 7:34 pm ET|
Paul Pierce will miss his second straight game with a sprained right thumb while Marquis Daniels will start after missing Wednesday’s practice with flu-like symptoms. Doc Rivers made the announcement in his pre-game chat with reporters.
|How C’s-Cavs are different now||at 1:00 pm ET|
WALTHAM — It seems much longer than four months when last the Celtics played the Cavaliers on opening night in Cleveland.
And for both teams – who meet tonight at TD Garden at 8 p.m. – the perspective has changed.
The Celtics went into Quicken Loans Arena on Oct. 27 and came away with a 95-89 win and served notice that they were intent on reclaiming their perch atop the Eastern Conference with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen back in full stride.
That night Pierce led a balanced attack with 23 points, overcoming a game-high 38 from LeBron James. But C’s coach Doc Rivers said beyond the final score, there’s not much to take from the result that night.
“Nah, they’re not the same team,” Rivers said. “We’re not the same team. We won. We can take that away from it but other than that, I think both teams have forgotten about that.”
Indeed. Since then, the two teams have taken different paths. The Cavs, after losing their first two and starting the season 3-3, have rebounded to claim the top spot in the East and the NBA at 44-14, despite a recent three-game skid.
[Click here to listen to Rivers explain how Cavaliers are different than opening night.]
The Celtics, who stood 23-5 following a Christmas Day win over Orlando, have battled injuries and inconsistency and stand 36-19, just ahead of fourth-place Atlanta by a game in the loss column.
Both teams made moves at the trading deadline to strengthen themselves. While the Celtics added firepower with Nate Robinson, Cleveland acquired more front court athleticism in Antawn Jamisoin, dealing away Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Cavs lost their first three games following the trade with Jamison in the starting lineup before he scored 18 in Tuesday’s win over New Orleans.
“They are different, watching them on tape the last two games,” Rivers said. “The Jamison thing has changed them a little bit. It definitely makes it more difficult to guard them so we have to get ready for that.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Pierce, Daniels miss practice||02.24.10 at 4:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics will likely be without Paul Pierce when they take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at TD Garden on Thursday night, according to Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Pierce was kept out of practice on Wednesday to protect his injured right thumb while Marquis Daniels was sent home with flu-like symptoms.
“I’m not going to say definitely but most likely not [Thursday],” Rivers said. “We’ll just evaluate it day-to-day. I didn’t want him to take a chance of getting his thumb hit at all in practice so that if he did feel good [Thursday] but if not, we’ll just wait. We’re just going to go a game at a time with him.”
Asked if he were concerned that Pierce’s thumb was anything more than a sprain, Rivers said likely not. “I would know if it’s something else and it’s not,” he said.
Also missing practice on Wednesday was Daniels. “We sent Marquis home. He looked awful so we’ll see [Thursday] and if not I have no idea right now so we’ll figure it out,” Rivers said.
|Pierce out with right thumb, flu||02.23.10 at 6:57 pm ET|
Paul Pierce will miss the game with the Knicks with an injured right thumb and didn’t make the trip into the Garden as he is also suffering from the flu. Marquis Daniels will start in his place.
“It’s just a hurt hand so we’re just going to go one day at a time,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s not even in the building tonight. He has the flu, too. He would’ve played if he didn’t have the hand injury. With the flu, we just told him to stay home.”
Rivers said he was not aware if tests have been performed on Pierce’s right thumb.
“If we have, I don’t know. I’m assuming we have but I actually don’t know the answer,” Rivers added.
|Bird and Magic documentary to debut at TD Garden||02.21.10 at 10:59 pm ET|
The Celtics, HBO and Comcast have partnered to premier the HBO Sports documentary, “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals,” in an invitation-only event on Monday at the TD Garden.
Paul Pierce and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck will join Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, for the screening on the parquet floor.
“Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals” explores 30 years of competition between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, dating back to their collegiate careers in the 1970s. The film also features Bird and Johnson’s personal lives and their unlikely friendship.
The film will debut on HBO on Saturday, March 6.
|Celtics vs. Lakers: Just Another Game?||02.18.10 at 12:18 am ET|
To Rajon Rondo, a trip to the Staples Center in the middle of February feels the same as a stop at any other arena.
He sees a basketball court, not the banners hanging above it. And regardless of the rivalry against the home team, he is simply focused on leaving with a win.
“It’s not like a championship game,” he explained. “It’s not a series. It’s one game. It helps our record or hurts our record, one way or the other. It’s another game.”
On Thursday, the Celtics will take on the Lakers in their final match up of the regular season. The last time the teams met on Jan. 31, the C’s blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead and watched Kobe Bryant sink a game-winner with 7.3 seconds left.
In spite of the desire to avenge their loss, Rondo’s right. This isn’t a championship game. In fact, at this point in the season it is more about the Celtics vs. themselves rather than the Celtics vs. the Lakers.
The C’s have been their own worst enemy lately, surrendering leads and making mistakes down the stretch. This game against Los Angeles, the second stop on a four-game West Coast road trip, will be a test for them to get back to Celtics basketball after a recent departure.
“It’s important,“ Paul Pierce said of the entire road trip. “We want to go out there and start playing better, start playing more consistent basketball. We know it’s a tough trip, and maybe this is a chance for us to get out on the road and get ourselves back together because we really struggled over the last month-and-a-half.”
The loss to the Lakers capped off a three-game losing streak and a month of January in which the Celtics went 6-8. They entered the All-Star Break on a two-game skid, still struggling to put together 48 minutes of basketball.
A win over the Lakers would give them momentum to jumpstart the second half of the season. They narrowly edged the 18-win Kings on Tuesday night and will face the playoff contending Trail Blazers, Nuggets, and Cavaliers over the course of the next week.
“Next is down to business,” said Kevin Garnett. “Obviously trying to play better, consistent basketball for the Celtics and being productive. So that’s what’s next for us.”
|Doc on Pierce for Weds: ‘Wait and see’||02.08.10 at 3:39 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Celtics captain Paul Pierce was pulled out of practice early on Monday after coach Doc Rivers felt his star didn’t look smooth on his strained left foot.
“Paul didn’t do a lot today,” Rivers said. “We actually pulled him out early. He was practicing and wasn’t moving very well so just took him out. He’s questionable. I think he’s going to play but right now we’ll wait and see.”
Marquis Daniels, meanwhile, looked good in practice after his first game back on Sunday following left thumb surgery. The team was forced to move up their departure to Tuesday morning in order to get into New Orleans ahead of the parade Tuesday afternoon for the Super Bowl winners.