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‘Rare’ lineup for Celtics on Sunday 10.17.09 at 4:25 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following Saturday’s practice that he intends to use a ‘rare’ lineup on Sunday in Toronto against the Raptors in the team’s sixth preseason game.

Rivers will start Paul Pierce, along with Ray Allen and Marquis Daniels, with Daniels the most-likely choice to start at the point. Daniels, who has played big guard as well as small forward, has been getting time in practice as the point behind Rajon Rondo.

“We’re just going to do that [Sunday] to see what the other team does defensively,” Rivers said Saturday.

Daniels, along with Eddie House and rookie Lester Hudson figure to get a long look as Rivers considers back-up options behind Rondo off the bench.

Read More: Celtics, Marquis Daniels, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo
Rondo and Reserves Propel Celtics over Nets 10.13.09 at 10:57 pm ET
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On Tuesday night, the Celtics overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the Nets, 91-88, in Newark, N.J., during preseason action (recap here). With Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen getting the night off, the Cs were propelled by Rajon Rondo and the reserves.

  • Rondo led the Cs with 18 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds in 40 minutes. This is in contrast to Sunday’s game against the Nets when he posted eight points, three assists and two rebounds in 26 minutes.
  • Rasheed Wallace (20 points, 9 rebounds, 25 minutes) was the Celtics‘ driving force in the first half. However, he rolled his right ankle in the third quarter and eventually left the game. Doc Rivers told the media he considers the injury to be mild.
  • Eddie House demonstrated his tenacious intensity by fighting for loose balls, forcing jump balls and hitting clutch shots, including a go-ahead jumper with 34 seconds left. He finished the night with 14 points.
  • Glen Davis continued to knock down his mid-range jumper en route to 18 points. The Celtics were a game-high plus-12 with Davis on the court.
  • J.R. Giddens, whose talent only had been showcased in the D-League, played his best NBA game. He grabbed 13 rebounds and scored seven points.
  • Marquis Daniels started the game but left after 15 minutes with a stomach bug.

The Celtics will travel to Hartford to take on the Raptors on Wednesday night.

Read More: Boston Celtics, eddie house, Glen Davis, J.R. Giddens
Former Magic Notice Changes in Celtics 10.11.09 at 5:01 pm ET
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The last time Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, and Courtney Lee played against the Celtics, they sent the C’s packing for the summer. The trio were members of the Magic team that eliminated the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. This year they are in a different uniform and noticed the Cs have a different look as well.

Alston, Battie and Lee were traded from the Magic to the Nets over the summer as part of the Vince Carter deal. On Sunday they got their first take at the Celtics with their new team during preseason action at the TD Garden (recap here).

‘€œThey got a brand new season,’€ Battie said. ‘€œI mean, you look and [Kevin Garnett] is back and Rasheed [Wallace] is part of it. They got a great steal in getting Marquis Daniels, and you have those three additions coming back in the team. So, I think they’re the team to beat, definitely.’€

Last season a hobbled Celtics squad was outscored, outrebounded and burned from the 3-point line by the Magic. Without Garnett on the court and veterans Ray Allen and Paul Pierce overworked, the Celtics bench could not save the season. Now the additions of Wallace and Daniels give the team much-needed depth.

‘€œThey get their big guy back and then they add Rasheed Wallace in there now,’€ Alston said. ‘€œI think when you’re trying to take away a lot of their main guys, they have a lot of guys that can step up and stretch the defense or post up on the low block. They have a different dynamic to their team, especially from a defensive aspect for other teams.’€

Both Alston and Lee agree the series would have been completely different if the Celtics had so many weapons last season.

‘€œThey would’ve been a better team,’€ Lee said. ‘€œThey definitely would’ve been harder for a matchup because you can play Marquis at the 1 and you sub in Rasheed, so they keep a shooting big in at all times, so they definitely would have been better.’€

Said Alston: ‘€œI don’t think we would have been able to roam a lot off of a lot of their guys ‘€” [Rajon] Rondo, [Kendrick] Perkins, Big Baby [Glen Davis]. Those guys who really bring more scoring to the offense, especially from the bench standpoint.’€

The combination of a healthy Garnett and a revamped second unit has Alston noticing a difference in the 2009-10 Celtics. Although he isn’t as willing as Battie to name them the best in the Eastern Conference, he can’t deny the changes on the court.

‘€œWhenever they have all their guys, they have a swagger,’€ he said. ‘€œWhen someone goes down they don’t have swagger no more. That’s just how they are.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins
Returning Celtics hit the court in preseason opener 10.07.09 at 11:37 pm ET
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On Wednesday night, all eyes were on Kevin Garnett as he returned to the court for the first time in more than six months during the Celticspreseason opener against the Rockets in Hidalgo, Texas. Although Garnett’s playing time was limited, his knee injury looked out of mind when he drained the first shot of the game.

But Garnett was not the only player who returned to the Celtics looking to improve upon last season. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis lost weight, Rajon Rondo bulked up, and Ray Allen claims to be in the best shape of his career. See how the members of the 2008-09 team fared as they began the 2009-10 season.

Kevin Garnett
Last game: March 25 vs. Orlando Magic
17 minutes, 4 points (2-5 FG), 8 rebounds, 1 assist
Preseason opener: 13 minutes, 6 points (2-6 FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist

Paul Pierce
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
39 minutes, 16 points (4-13 FG), 7-10 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Preseason opener: 16 minutes, 8 points (2-6 FG), 4-4 FT, 1 rebound, 0 assist

Ray Allen
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
41 minutes, 23 points (9-18 FG), 3-6 3PG, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Preseason opener: 17 minutes, 8 points (3-6 FG), 0-2 3PG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist

Rajon Rondo
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
37 minutes, 10 points (4-10 FG), 2-2 FT, 6 rebounds, 10 assists
Preseason opener: 17 minutes, 7 points (1-4 FG), 5-8 FT, 1 rebound, 3 assists

Kendrick Perkins
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
39 minutes, 8 points (3-11 FG), 15 rebounds, 2 blocks
Preseason opener: 14 minutes, 3 points (1-2 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 blocks

Glen Davis
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
31 minutes, 13 points (4-7 FG), 4 rebounds
Preseason opener: 23 minutes, 9 points (3-6 FG), 4 rebounds

Eddie House
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
17 minutes, 2 points (1-3 FG), 0-1 3PG, 0 assists
Preseason opener: 21 minutes, 9 points (3-6 FG), 1-2 3PG, 0 assists

Brian Scalabrine
Last game: May 17 vs. Orlando Magic
13 minutes, 2 points (1-5 FG), 1 rebound, 2 assists
Preaseason opener: 18 minutes, 4 points (1-2 FG), 2 rebounds, 0 assists

J.R. Giddens
Last game: March 6 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
1 minute, 0 points (0-0 FG), 1 rebound, 1 steal
Preseason opener: 13 minutes, 1 point (0-1 FG), 1 rebound, 0 steals

Tony Allen (ankle) did not play against the Rockets. Visit WEEI.com’s Green Street for live coverage from the TD Garden on Friday night as the Celtics take on the Knicks in their preseason home-opener.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, eddie house, Glen Davis
NBA GMs Pick Celtics as Best Defensive Team at 11:29 am ET
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A survey of NBA General Managers on NBA.com revealed the more than 60 percent of the execs believe the Los Angeles Lakers will win it all again this season. That doesn’t mean, though, the Boston Celtics were not recognized.

The Cs were predicted to win the Eastern Conference, earning 50 percent of the votes. They also received 100 percent of votes to win the Atlantic Division.

Which team will win the Eastern Conference?
Boston Celtics     50.0%
Cleveland Cavaliers     42.9%
Orlando Magic     7.1%

Over 60 percent of GMs selected the Celtics as the best defensive team in the 2009-10 season. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each received votes for individual defensive categories. Rondo tied Kobe Bryant with the most votes for best ball-on-ball defender.

Best defensive team:
Boston     60.7%
San Antonio     32.1%
L.A. Lakers     7.1%

Best defensive player:
Dwight Howard, Orlando     46.4%
Kevin Garnett, Boston     17.9%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers 17.9%

Best on-the-ball defender:
Rajon Rondo, Boston     25.0%
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers     25.0%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers     17.9%

Best interior defender:
Dwight Howard, Orlando     64.3%
Kevin Garnett, Boston     32.1%

Best perimeter defender:
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers     34.5%
Shane Battier, Houston     24.1%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers     20.7%
Rajon Rondo, Boston     6.9%

On an individual basis, Garnett received the second-most votes (20.7%) for best power forward behind Tim Duncan. Ray Allen also received votes for best shooting guard.

Click here for complete results on NBA.com. General Managers were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen
Rivers: “I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic” 10.06.09 at 11:25 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics have until the end of the month to decide whether to extend Rajon Rondo‘s contract or let the point guard become a restricted free agent next summer. Doc Rivers, however, has a strong feeling Rondo will be back … for a while.

On Tuesday he told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show:

“I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic. I really do. I think this process he’€™s gone through is the process all players go through at times. The maturity process is another thing that all players go through. I don’€™t think he’€™s behind in that department at all. I just think he’€™s young and he’€™s growing. So, I never had a black mark against him. For maturity issues, that’€™s part of his process of growing up, and he’€™s doing that. He’€™s been as good as anyone. In camp thus far he’€™s doing everything we ask him to do ‘€” and he usually does. I would be very surprised if he’€™s not a lifetime Celtic.”

Click here for a complete transcript of Rivers’ interview.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo,
Celtics Media Day Wrap Up 09.28.09 at 11:34 pm ET
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The return of Kevin Garnett may have been the hot topic at Celtics media day on Monday, but there were plenty of other news and notes from the C’s …

(Click on the links for more Media Day reaction from Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers.)

Rajon Rondo will become a restricted free agent next summer if the Celtics do not sign him to a contract extension by October. On Monday he was tight-lipped when it came to business, suggesting any questions could be answered by his agent, Bill Duffy. ‘€œI don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really think about it,’€ Rondo said. ‘€œI try to just focus on camp. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. If not, I’ll play it out.’€ He reiterated that he will play wherever he is wanted and that his main focus is getting another ring. … Rondo, 23, gained 11 pounds this summer ‘€œbecause I’m growing up.’€ He trained with a new weight-lifting routine, ate three meals a day, and cut fast food from his diet. He also plans on hiring a chef.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would like to keep Rondo around as the team’s point guard for the next 10 years and has had early talks with his agent about future plans. He has not, however, had discussions with Ray Allen about his expiring contract and will not address that issue publicly. … Ainge has high expectations for the upcoming season. He believes the offseason moves and returning talent will be successful. ‘€œWe’ve added some great depth, our young players are improving, and Rondo, Perk and Glen Davis, they made great strides last year and I think they’re even going to better this year as their games are maturing. I think that Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis [Daniels] give us two more starters, proven starters, that are coming off the bench for us that should give us a lot of depth,’€ Ainge said.

Paul Pierce is making his confidence in the Celtics perfectly clear. He believes they are the best team in the league when healthy, pointing out they were on a record-breaking pace last season prior to injuries. ‘€œPeople are going to say what they want to say about my comments or whatever, but I have total confidence in this ball club,’€ he said. … Even though Doc Rivers would prefer to cut back on the veterans’ minutes this season, Pierce refuses to sacrifice playing time for wins. ‘€œI’m not willing to lose nothing. Next question. I don’t understand that, losing. No.’€ … He compared seeing Kevin Garnett back on the court for 5-on-5 drills as a ‘€œbreath of fresh air.’€

Ray Allen kicked off media day with some humor while waiting for Pierce to join him and Garnett at the podium. Allen grabbed the microphone to locate his teammate: ‘€œPaul Pierce. Paul Pierce. Your food is ready.’€ … The Celtics’ window of opportunity to win a championship has been mentioned since they acquired veterans Allen and Garnett. Allen, though, is more focused on the here-and-now than two or three years down the road. ‘€œWe don’t look at a window. We’re not looking past this year. We can’t look past this year,’€ he said. … Allen is not concerned with adding a player like Rasheed Wallace to the mix. He pointed out many of them have known Wallace since high school and the Celtics have already learned each other’s game.

Kendrick Perkins is heading into training camp 15 pounds lighter than last season and is down to 270 pounds, his lightest total in three years. Perkins did not have a weight-loss regimen but rather trimmed down during his workouts. … His shoulder, which he has dislocated in the past, feels better than it has ‘€œin a while.’€ Perkins noted he is not worried about suffering another injury and is feeling strong. … The big man has been impressed by Wallace on and off the court. Even though he did not know what to expect at first ‘€” ‘€œI didn’t know. I was just waiting to see. It was kind of like scary for a moment,’€ he said ‘€” Perkins praised Wallace’s versatile game and pointed out he is a great addition to the locker room.

Click here to listen to audio clips from media day.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
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