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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
Report: Rondo would be happy to stay in Boston 09.22.09 at 11:06 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated recently caught up with Rajon Rondo to discuss hot topics surrounding the upcoming season, including the return of Kevin Garnett, the addition of Rasheed Wallace, and the possible outcomes of his current contract situation. As long as the Boston Celtics want Rondo on their team, he told SI he’d be happy to stick around:

SI.com: You could sign a contract extension this fall or you could test free agency next summer when a number of teams will be looking to buy talent. Is that an enticing possibility?

RR: That could be, but it’s still early so I’ve got some time to see how things settle in Boston. If it doesn’t, I’ll play out the fourth year and see how things go next summer.

SI.com: Is it safe to assume you’d prefer to stay with the Celtics?

RR: If the Celtics want me, then I’d be happy to stay.

Click here for the rest of the interview.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Rajon Rondo,
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
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.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo,
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