|NBA Playoffs hit Facebook, Twitter||04.08.09 at 1:02 pm ET|
In promotion of TNT’s “40 Games in 40 Nights,” Turner Sports is rolling out a multiplatform marketing campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Just as Paul Pierce and Stephon Marbury have already done, TNT and NBA TV personalities including Craig Sager, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Steve Smith, Eric Snow, Gary Payton, and Rick Kamla will regularly update Twitter pages starting on April 14.
Beginning on April 19, sponsored ads will run on Facebook inviting users to ‘Become a Fan’ of the TNT Facebook page. That same day TNT will also run ads on Yahoo! Sports to promote their playoff coverage. On April 20, YouTube will run videos from NBA players promoting that night’s games.
|More Twitter analysis||04.03.09 at 3:46 pm ET|
There is no ignoring the speculation and discussions surrounding Twitter. This week we posed the question of the Celtics, To Tweet or Not to Tweet? Today Athlete Interactive, an online sports marketing company, analyzed the implications of professional athletes using the social networking site:
“It’s not difficult to imagine any number of scenarios where an athlete’s instant access to the world backfires because of bad judgment or a simple mistweet: an athlete tweets a prediction that fails to come to pass; an athlete tweets during a game that he later is responsible for losing; an athlete tweets something he fails to recognize as offensive, and in seconds, irrevocably undoes years of work.”
Athlete Interactive represents Paul Pierce and Tyson Chandler, both who actively Tweet. Click here for the full article.
|Time for TA||at 11:38 am ET|
Doc Rivers began his briefing with reporters this morning at shootaround in Waltham by declaring that Kevin Garnett is going to return to action tonight against the Atlanta Hawks.
“Kevin is going to play tonight and that’s April Fools a couple of days late,” Rivers said before quickly qualifying as a joke.
While Garnett is still out, Tony Allen could see his first action since spraining his left thumb in early February. Allen made it to the scorer’s table in the fourth quarter but never entered the game on Wednesday against Charlotte.
“We are going to try and ease Tony in,” Rivers said, indicating that tonight would likely be a chance for Allen to return to action. “It was game situation and Eddie (House) had it going. They stayed small, which is unusual for them. They usually go big and they stayed small. They had (D.J.) Augustine and (Raymond) Felton in a lot together and that allowed us to keep Eddie on the floor, and that was good for us because the way he was shooting we wanted to keep him on the floor.”
The other bonus of House’s playing time the other night was it allowed Rivers to rest Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for big minutes in the fourth quarter.
“Think about it, we went two overtimes and Paul and Ray still only played 47 and 48 minutes, and that’s with an extra 10 minutes added to it,” Rivers said. “Thank goodness we got them that rest because I don’t know if the overtimes would have worked out.”
|Allen continues to burn Bobcats||04.02.09 at 9:44 am ET|
Stopping Dell Curry was never easy for Ray Allen. Dale Ellis and Ricky Pierce were tough match ups too. They were dangerous players, the type who, if let open, always knew how to sting Allen and his teammates.
After Wednesday night’s double-overtime thriller, consider Allen the Charlotte Bobcats’ version of Dell Curry.
His three-pointer with seconds left iced another dramatic victory for the Celtics over the Bobcats. (Click here for a recap of the Celtics 2OT 111-109 win.)
“He’s a pure shooter,” said Bobcats guard Raymond Felton. “He got a good look, he knocked down the shot. It’s not like those were easy shots. Those were contested shots.”
This wasn’t the first time Allen has burned the Bobcats. In November of 2007, he drained a game-winning three after Eddie House picked off Jason Richardson’s inbound attempt with less than five seconds to go. The Celtics won 96-95. The image of Allen being carried away by his teammates in celebration is still a Garden favorite.
But Allen says credit goes to the Bobcats, too. He wouldn’t be in the situation to hit last-second shots if they didn’t test the Celtics. Last season the Bobcats stunned them at home and snapped their attempt to become the fastest team to reach 30 wins. This season they beat the Celtics in overtime.
“It’s not anything that I’m doing. Really it’s the team plays us so tough,” Allen said. “They always have a great match up against us, and in the fourth quarter it’s just an opportunity for us to win games. Every day we drill fourth situations, so whether I get the shot, Paul (Pierce) gets the shot, Eddie (House) has a shot, we all kind of know.”
While it is easy for Allen to get overshadowed by Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Bobcats have learned the hard way cannot be forgotten. He was left wide open to hit the game-winner when they tried to triple-team Pierce.
“You can’t exclude him out because he’s a guy who could come in and give you 40, 30 points any time,” said Felton, adding, “He’s a big time player, big time scorer, he hits some big shots.”
|To Tweet or Not to Tweet?||at 1:07 am ET|
“first 5 people who meet me at the garden in the players parking lot entrance at 445 with my jersey on get free tickets password is truth”
Less than a week ago, Paul Pierce started a frenzy in Boston when he began offering up Celtics tickets on Twitter. Since then, fans have been heading to the TD Banknorth Garden in hopes of snagging a hand delivered gift from Pierce. This was no joke — five lucky fans watched the Celtics beat the Oklahoma City Thunder from Pierce’s personal suite.
In just three days, Pierce’s invitation blew up all over the Internet. But on Wednesday, after tweeting about tickets for the Celtics-Charlotte Bobcats game, he had to renege his offer with this announcement: Do to the ammount in traffic and responce we r gonna to pospone this givaway for fridays game.
While Pierce has created a tweeting phenomenon in the Celtics community, not every player wants to put their lives out there for anyone to simply “follow” with the click of a mouse. How do other members of the Celtics who are not on Twitter view the social network?
“I wouldn’t say that I would be against it,” said Ray Allen. “I think when we do something, it becomes habit forming. So when you do it over and over again, you somewhat have to stick to it because people expect it. It’s like if you score 20 points in your first NBA game, they expect it the next game and the next game after that. So it becomes a ritual that you somewhat have to perform. But I wouldn’t be against it.”
There are dozens of NBA players on Twitter. Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal was one of the first to publicize his profile. More recently, Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva brought tweeting to the forefront when he was punished for sending updates from the locker room during halftime of the Bucks-Celtics game.
Celtics guard Stephon Marbury is also part of the Twitter community. He already posts personal videos on his website, starbury.com, but saw this as another outlet to spread his own message with statements like: i like the direct connection to the fans. no espn, no local news, just me and twitterland.
Allen agrees there are benefits to putting the words back in the players mouths.
“I think a lot of times when we do what we do around here, speaking to the media before and after games, we have no control where it goes and how it goes,” he said. “A lot of times you could break the words up, they could be taken out of context, you never know. I think when you set forth your own agenda, you can put it out there the way you want it to be out there.”
For every player who has a legitimate account, there are even more whose identity is falsified. Take Leon Powe: According to Twitter, he has more than 300 followers who he keeps updated on his knee injury and even the weather. But as it turns out, Powe didn’t even know what Twitter was, let alone manage a profile.
“I don’t even mess with the computers like that. If I did, it would be cool, but nobody has come to me and talked to me about anything like that,” he said, adding, “I think being an athlete, it could be a positive but sometimes it could be a negative, too. Being an athlete, you’re always out there and people are always going to find stories and find what you did eight years ago. So it’s basically the same thing.”
Powe is in favor of using Twitter for a good cause, such as giving away tickets as Pierce does. But it feels invasive to him when people know the miniscule details of his daily life.
“That’s weird to me,” he said. “I don’t do that. I don’t do that. I think that’s weird, but that’s just me. I wouldn’t do it like that. But some players probably like doing that stuff. It’s based on what you like.”
Social networking sites also pose challenges for young players in the league. Rookie Bill Walker is still going through the process of figuring out what he should and should not say to the media. At least in the locker room he can rely on the watchful ear of a media relations team. His words would not be monitored, though, if he joined Twitter.
“You don’t know how much you can put out there and what to keep back. Right now it’s kind of just learning my way, what we can put out there and how much of ourselves we can show,” said Walker, adding, “If it sounds wrong to you, you shouldn’t say it. That’s what I believe. If you say something, just make sure it’s your opinion, your thought, and you stand by it.”
While other players weigh the options of tweets and twittering, Pierce and Marbury continue to keep everyone up to date on the Celtics. Welcome to, as Marbury puts it, “Twitterland.”
|Ray for Hall of Fame||at 12:39 am ET|
It should be pretty obvious to everyone who watches the NBA that Ray Allen will be headed to Springfield and the Basketball Hall of Fame after his career is over.
Wednesday night’s game-winner is just another moment in a career filled with game-winning heroics.
But with Kevin Garnett on the sideline and the Celtics needing a pick-me-up, Ray Allen was bigger than life.
Listen to the praise of his teammates.
Paul Pierce: “That’s Ray. He’s a future Hall of Famer, and great players find a way. When Ray shoots and misses shots, it doesn’t discourage him. You know this from great players. His confidence is through the roof regardless if he’s missed two, three, or four hundred shots in a row, he always feels like the next one is going to go in. I’ll proclaim Ray the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA that I’ve ever seen.”
Eddie House, who actually gave advice to Ray when he noticed he wasn’t getting lift in his shot earlier in the game: “It just takes one. I told Ray, I told him don’t worry man you’re going knock it down when we really need and he did exactly that. Shooters aren’t afraid to take the next shot, always got confidence in self. Even when he had some air balls he came back and found himself. That’s just a hall of fame player right there.”
|Time out||04.01.09 at 9:22 pm ET|
10:34 to 36.7. No, that’s not a remake of Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4.
That’s the time that elapsed on the third quarter clock between Celtic field goals. From a Ray Allen three pointer to a Paul Pierce three-pointer. In between, the Celtics couldn’t even hit a two-pointer.
During that near-10 minute span, Boston was outscored 24-5. Paul Pierce has scored 28 of his team’s 71 points through three quarters. But the Green trails 77-71 heading into the fourth.
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