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Familiar Faces at Vegas Summer League 07.20.09 at 1:35 pm ET
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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.

- James Posey also came to Vegas to support his team. He watched the New Orleans Hornets take on the Los Angeles Clippers from their bench.

- 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.

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Report: Daniels commits to Celtics 07.17.09 at 8:22 pm ET
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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.

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Role reversal for Gomes 07.13.09 at 7:49 pm ET
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LAS VEGAS — It’s a case of role reversal for Ryan Gomes.

He tried to soak in as much as he could in his first two seasons with the Celtics, listening to advice from Paul Pierce, the only veteran on a team dominated by youth and inexperience.

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.

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Pierce sees great things in Wallace, Celtics 07.09.09 at 8:58 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Paul Pierce has found new life in his step and Rasheed Wallace is the reason why.

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 »

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Pierce knew Rondo would not be traded 07.01.09 at 9:25 am ET
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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.”

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Pierce: ‘Rottweiler’ Celtics will be back 06.17.09 at 11:07 pm ET
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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

Follow Boston athletes and teams on the WEEI.com TWEEITS page.

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Doc Rivers on Dennis & Callahan 05.19.09 at 10:01 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers offered a look back at the 2008-09 season, as well as a look ahead to his team’s needs going forward, during an interview with the Dennis & Callahan Show this morning. He admitted a sense of disappointment that his team did not have the opportunity to pursue another championship without a full complement of players.

“The only thing that bothers me about the way the postseason ended was, you look at Kevin (Garnett), you look at Leon (Powe) and you just say, ‘Darn—we didn’t have a real chance to defend our title with our best stuff,’” said Rivers. “That’s real tough for a coach and for a team.”

Rivers addressed a number of topics during his interview, including ways in which the Celtics need to improve and his own coaching future. Among them:

WHETHER THE SURGERY ON KEVIN GARNETT’S KNEE MIGHT BE MORE FAR-REACHING THAN PREVIOUSLY SUGGESTED:

I don’t think there will be much more (than reported). I think it will be the strained tendon and the bone spur. What they started thinking at the end was that maybe the bone spur had something to do, maybe it started rubbing against the tendon and that’s what kept it inflamed. But they don’t know that. That’s just an assumption.

ON OTHER INJURIES THAT IMPACTED THE TEAM AND THAT MAY REQUIRE SURGERY

Ray Allen had a hamstring problem throughout the Orlando series that was not getting better. Paul had some bone spurs that may need to be removed as well. (Kendrick Perkins) may have to have a procedure on his shoulder… In Ray’s case, I thought his hamstring was bothering him a lot. That could have had an effect on him (during the Magic series).

ON THE TEAM’S NEED TO ADD DEPTH TO ITS BENCH THIS OFFSEASON

Just think this year if Kevin was healthy and Leon was healthy, that makes our bench 10 deep…Those two guys being out really shortened our bench.

But we have to improve our team. There’s no doubt about that. We don’t have to make any changes, but definitely have to make some additions.

No. 1, the one spot no one talked about all year, was the small forward spot. We need a small forward who can defend, who can make shots and give Paul (Pierce) a blow. I thought Paul, all year, had to guard the best guys all game. Whenever we took him out, we went small. We put Ray Allen in at small forward, which is a tough matchup. You could see it in the Orlando series. You were almost scared to take Paul off the floor because when you did, Ray Allen was now guarding the Terkoglus or the Rashard Lewises of the world. They went straight to the post, just like every other team did.

ON THE IMPACT OF KEVIN GARNETT’S DEFENSIVE ABSENCE ON THE REST OF THE TEAM

We didn’t run out of gas in the playoffs. We ran out of gas trying to get to the playoffs in a lot of ways. Every game was different and harder once Kevin left. Our defense suffered. (Rivers noted that opponents averaged 88 points per game against the Celtics last postseason, and 102 points per game this year.) I don’t think much more needs to be said about our defense, and how important Kevin Garnett is.

HOW MANY 15- TO 18-FOOT JUMPERS SHOULD RONDO TAKE THIS OFFSEASON?

He can’t take enough, obviously. I thought the series changed when Orlando decided that they basically weren’t going to play Rondo anymore. It’s very difficult for him to be effective from that point on. Obviously, he did on the rebounding side of things for us, but as far as creating plays, that not only hurt Rondo, but that hurt Paul and Ray as well, because they were using his man to double-team.
That’s a shot he’s going to have to make. We knew that. We knew that two years ago. It made it easier for them to do that because Kevin wasn’t out on the floor. When you have three other shooters out on the floor, it’s not as easy.

DO YOU REASSESS YOUR OWN FUTURE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?

I do it every year. I have every intention of coming back, but I would be lying to you if I said that every year, I didn’t sit back over the last couple, with the family. We sit back and we think, ‘What do we need to do, and what do I need to do?’ I just try to gauge it on how my kids are doing and if they’re happy. I’m sure there will be a day or some time when I’ll say no, I’ve got to stay and do family things. But I have every intention of coming back.
I love coaching. I see myself coaching a long time. But I also see myself as a coach who will take a break to re-energize. I believe in that. I love, what’s the analogy? A teacher taking a sabbatical and coming back. I clearly will do that someday. In the next two or three years, I think that has to happen. I just think it’s good for a coach to do that. It makes him a better coach.

WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO RETURN: MARBURY OR DAVIS?

Baby, it will probably come down to what he can get on the open market. With Steph, it will probably come down to what we can get on the open market.

WILL TOM THIBODEAU BE BACK?

I hope he’s not back…(The 76ers job) will be a tough one to get. Tom’s not a good guy – he’s a great guy. And he’s a terrific coach. So I’m really pulling for him.

WHO WILL WIN THE TITLE?

I don’t know. Honestly, I can tell you I really don’t care.

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