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Report: Celtics optimistic about KG 09.11.09 at 11:35 am ET
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After undergoing knee surgery in May, Kevin Garnett returned to the Boston Celtics training facility in Waltham on Monday,  Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported. While the organization hopes he will be cleared to participate in full-court scrimmages for the start of training camp, they are proceeding with caution.

According to Spears, Garnett is currently limited to court drills but could be cleared for contract drills as early as a week before training camp begins. The Celtics main concern, though, is not Opening Night but rather the postseason.

‘€œWe’€™re looking for him to be there at the end of the season, not just the start of the season,’€ Ainge told Yahoo!. ‘€œWe’€™re getting him ready for training camp and looking forward to him being healthy in the playoffs. He looks good. Really good.’€

Garnett has not played since March 25 when he scored four points in 17 minutes during a loss to the Orlando Magic. The Celtics forward, who has not averaged less than 31 minutes per game since his rookie year, has not played over 30 minutes since February 12.

Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rasheed Wallace have also been working out at the facility.

In Celtics backcourt news, Ainge told Yahoo! he has not decided whether or not the Cs will offer Rajon Rondo a contract extension before the season. In the meantime, the Celtics are considering the addition of a third point guard. Free agents Tyronn Lue, Dan Dickau, and Mike Taylor worked out at the team’s training facility on Thursday.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo
Red Claws name assistant coaches 09.07.09 at 9:20 pm ET
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On Monday the Maine Red Claws named Randy Livingston and Mike Procopio assistant coaches for the upcoming inaugural season. Procopio, 34, has deep ties to the Boston Celtics organization. He spent four years as a scout for the Cs before working as an assistant at Boston Amateur Basketball Club under Leo Papile, the Celtics Assistant Executive Director of Basketball Operations. He developed a reputation as one of the top development coaches nationwide as Director of Basketball Operations for Attack Athletics in Chicago and has trained players including Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade.

‘€œAlong with having four years of NBA front office experience, Mike Procopio regularly works out some of the best players in the NBA,’€ Red Claws head coach Austin Ainge said in a team statement. ‘€œHis experience and ability to develop players should make our team a desirable place for every player looking to make a jump to the next level.  As soon as I got this job, Mike was one of the first calls I made because of his experience teaching the game.’€

Livingston, a 12-year NBA veteran, led the Idaho Stampede to the 2008 NBDL Championship. He retired from playing after his title-winning season to become the Stampede’s associate head coach. Livingston, 34, helped coach the team to a second place finish in the West Division (31-19) in his first season on the sidelines.

‘€œI feel extremely fortunate to have a coach of Randy Livingston’€™s caliber to help me,” Ainge said.  ‘€œRandy knows the game, knows our league, and has experience at every level of basketball.  I trust Randy’€™s instincts and basketball IQ implicitly and will rely heavily on his opinion.’€

Read More: Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Maine Red Claws, Paul Pierce
Eastern Conference Preparing for Competition 08.18.09 at 10:20 pm ET
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Two years ago the Boston Celtics traveled to Europe for training camp. That season they won the championship. The close-knit squad credited the trip overseas for their unwavering chemistry on the court.

“The second we got to training camp in September, we all said, hey, let’s meet in September without the coaches and come together and just start playing with each other, starting to get to know one another, and I think all that stuff really helped us,” Paul Pierce said during the 2008 playoffs.

This summer Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson hopes he can have the same effect on his teammates. Nelson is hosting the Magic at his Philadelphia-area home for ‘€œBuilding Magic,’€ a week-long getaway that combines strength and conditioning drills with team-building activities.

Like the Celtics did in 2007, the Magic traded a handful of core players in exchange for an All-Star (Vince Carter) and added to their bench along the way. After losing Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee, key pieces in their postseason run, and veteran mentor Tony Battie, Nelson understands the importance of this offseason.

He explained to Sports Illustrated in July:

‘€œWe’re trying to piece it together because our team was in transition. For the most part, the big guns have committed — Vince [Carter], Dwight [Howard] and Rashard [Lewis]. After those guys have committed, no one can really back out unless they have some type of serious issue.

This year we’re doing it from the 16th through the 22nd of August. We do it at the same facility every year, same gym at Haverford College. We’ll work out with my trainers — conditioning drills, weightlifting, stuff to get your body right. The basketball stuff we do is later in the afternoon. We do that for about 2-3 hours.

Afterward, we’ll mix up the nightlife. We always do a dinner. Other days we’ll do paintball or bowling, maybe go to the movies.’€

As they gear up in hopes of reclaiming their Eastern Conference title, Rashard Lewis’ Twitpic has the Magic looking ready for battle. (Via Ball Don’t Lie)

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic, Paul Pierce
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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, James Posey, Paul Pierce, Ryan Gomes
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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Paul Pierce,
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.

‘€œEven 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. ‘€œI 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.

‘€œWe’ve just got to be prepared,’€ he said. ‘€œWe’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.

‘€œHe’s doing good. He’s way ahead of schedule,’€ Gomes said. ‘€œHe’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.

‘€œI’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. ‘€œDoc 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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen
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 »

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace
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