|Pregame: Celtics vs. Raptors||11.10.08 at 5:17 pm ET|
Greetings from the TD BankNorth Garden where the Boston Celtics are set to take on the Toronto Raptors. Paul and I have you covered tonight so check back regularly for news and updates.
The Raptors wasted no time getting ready for the game as nearly every player except for Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh were warming up when I scoped out the court around 5:30. Leon Powe, Kendrick Perkins, and Brian Scalabrine were practicing on the Celtics end.
The Cs were loose in the locker room, with Powe, House, and Rajon Rondo crowded near Perkins’ locker. Perk turns 24 today and the big man is trying to downplay his birthday even though he is receiving some extra attention from his teammates.
Chris Bosh received treatment on the trainers table in the Raptors quarters while a handful of players wandered in and out of the locker room. Jamario Moon said the Raptors are a brand new team with O’Neal’s veteran leadership this season. They are also a better offensive team, ranking second in the league in both three-point shooting and free throws.
Tonight it was the bench who was receiving praise from Doc Rivers. The Celtics head coach said the starters have not been consistent with their offense and defense. He would not go as far to say the bench has exceeded his expectations but they are “playing well.”
The game will get underway shortly. Check back soon for more …
|Celtics-Bucks Game Blog Fourth Quarter||11.07.08 at 7:34 pm ET|
Once down 19-8 in the first quarter, the Celtics have fought their way back to pull away from the Bucks. Here is how they’re getting it done to close it out … Read the rest of this entry »
|Rondo: Celtics Have to Repeat for Obama||11.04.08 at 11:11 pm ET|
If there was any doubt of the Boston Celtics motivation to defend their title, Rajon Rondo has found another source of inspiration. For Rondo it’s not about what he’d win but rather who he’d get to meet. He explains on his Election Day YardBarker.com blog entry:
“I just got back in the locker room. We just got the W in Houston, and I had to blog. OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT! I can’t even explain how I feel right now. All I have to say is that we have to repeat, because we have to go back to the White House to meet Obama. I’m glad to see that everyone got out and voted today. I made sure I voted last week before we left for this road trip because I knew how important this election was going to be. Every vote counted! Thanks to everyone that got out and voted today. God Bless America. We did it.”
|The Initiation of Derrick Rose||10.31.08 at 11:41 pm ET|
Derrick Rose, welcome to the NBA.
In just the second regular season game of his career, Rose had to run the floor in the Garden against the defending world champion Boston Celtics. It was a tall order for the rookie point guard and he was up for the challenge.
Rose made his presence known by driving on Kendrick Perkins early in the first quarter and drawing the foul. Perkins has more than seven inches and 90 pounds on Rose and still the rook attacked the hoop as if he had a clear lane.
“I’m kind of used to it now,” Rose, 20, said after the game. “I’m the type of guard where I’m kind of athletic, so when I go to the hole I’m used to getting body contact and I’m used to finishing on people. He’s big but I’m practicing those shots all the time.”
Battling the bigs wasn’t Rose’s only concern. He also had to defend the fiesty Rajon Rondo.
“Rondo was good,” he said. “He knows his role on the team. He’s a good, improving point guard. He’s just going to make you better.”
Rose was one of the few highlights in the Bulls 96-80 loss. He tied Kevin Garnett for most points with 18 and scored all of his field goals in the paint. This was a completely different player than the one who raised red flags during an injury-ridden summer league showing.
“I didn’t want to lose,” Rose said of his improved performance. “I was steady driving, trying to get people open, shooting. I just know now that I can’t waste my time when we get out there. The Celtics, they mean business when they get out there. They try to get the game over with quick and we’ve just got to learn that and we’ll be fine.”
Just one game against the Celtics was all it took for a crash course in NBA competition.
“It’s just going to help me,” Rose said. “I’m happy that I had the opportunity to have this game early in the season so that later on in the season I can get better.”
Expect him to do just that.
|Celtics Exercise Option on Rondo||at 9:22 am ET|
In a move that has been expected all month, today the Boston Celtics exercised the fourth year option on point guard Rajon Rondo. Per team policy terms were not disclosed.
In three years Rondo has become one of the many “told you so’s” of Danny Ainge’s career. Ainge had been heavily scouting Rondo for years before landing him in a 2006 Draft Night deal with the Phoenix Suns.
1. Andrea Bargnani
2. LaMarcus Aldrige
3. Adam Morrison
4. Tyrus Thomas
5. Shelden Williams
6. Brandon Roy
7. Randy Foye
8. Rudy Gay
9. Patrick O’Bryant
10. Saer Sene
11. J.J. Redick
12. Hilton Armstrong
13. Thabo Sefalosha
14. Ronnie Brewer
15. Cedric Simmons
16. Rodney Carney
17. Shawne Williams
18. Oleksiy Pecherov
19. Quincy Douby
20. Renaldo Balkman
21. Rajon Rondo
Looks like the Celtics hit blackjack with stealing Rondo at 21.
|Sounds of the game… Celtics 90, Cavaliers 85||10.28.08 at 10:23 pm ET|
The final score hardly tells this story of this one. It was one of those unforgettable Boston sports nights. One of only 17 in the legendary history of the NBA’s most successful franchise. Raise another to the rafters and hand out the jewelery. Here’s what the players had to say about a night that had it all, and a Celtics come-from-behind win to boot.
|GMs Predict Lakers to Beat Celtics in NBA Finals||10.22.08 at 11:37 am ET|
On Wednesday NBA.com revealed the results of the 2008-09 GM Survey. There were some expected predictions based on last season’s performances – a second straight Celtics/Lakers Finals, the Miami Heat will be the most improved team, and Chris Paul is the fastest player with the ball. But there were also a few notable results worth taking another look at:
Which team will win NBA Finals 2009?
1. L.A. Lakers — 46.2%
2. Boston — 19.2%
3. New Orleans — 11.5%
4. Houston — 7.7%
San Antonio — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Detroit, Orlando
The departure of James Posey caused many to doubt the Celtics chances to repeat, but this landslide victory was still surprising. Most of the hoopla surrounding the Lakers this season is the return of Andrew Bynum. Yes, he will make them better by giving them an inside presence and allowing Pau Gasol to move back to the power forward position (where he won’t get beat up by Kendrick Perkins). But can Bynum hold up for three postseason rounds? The Lakers starting five (including the hobbled Kobe Bryant) has not proven they can win it all as a unit whereas the Celtics are returning their entire starting lineup. While experience isn’t accounted for on the box score, it can affect the final outcome.
Who will win the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year?
1. Michael Beasley — 48.1%
2. Greg Oden — 29.6%
Which rookie will be the best player in five years?
1. Greg Oden — 30.8%
2. Michael Beasley — 23.1%
A year ago the race for Rookie of the Year was neck-and-neck between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. One knee injury later, Oden has been edged out by Michael Beasley for the honors. But you’ve got to feel good if you’re Portland Trail Blazer GM Kevin Pritchard. His long-term vision for young talent will make his team a contender for several years down the road.
Who is the best head coach in the NBA?
1. Gregg Popovich — 53.8%
2. Phil Jackson — 23.1%
3. Jerry Sloan — 7.7%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Rick Carlisle, Nate McMillan,
Stan Van Gundy
Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?
1. Phil Jackson — 44.0%
2. Gregg Popovich — 28.0%
3. Doc Rivers — 12.0%
4. Nate McMillan — 8.0%
Others receiving votes: Rick Adelman, Jerry Sloan
Did you check that list twice? After winning an NBA Championship, Doc Rivers was left off the list of best head coaches. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still reigns supreme in the eyes of GMs, also taking first place over Rivers for coach with the best defensive schemes. You would assume that Rivers would get at least one nod after transforming the Celtics from worst to first, but fortunately for Rivers the title of 2008 NBA Champions holds more clout than any preseason predictions.
Who is the best on-the-ball defender in the NBA?
1. Kobe Bryant — 26.9%
2. Ron Artest — 19.2%
Bruce Bowen — 19.2%
Rajon Rondo — 19.2%
As far as defense goes, Kevin Garnett was predicted to be the league’s best defensive player, best interior defender, and best leader. Rajon Rondo’s inclusion on the best on-the-ball defender list speaks volumes to the influences of Garnett and Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who was also predicted best in the NBA. To put things into perspective, Rondo was 10 years old when Bruce Bowen made his professional debut. Talk about a quick learner.
So how much stock should you put into these results? It’s up to you.
Which team will win NBA Finals 2008?
1. San Antonio Spurs 37.0%
2. Phoenix Suns 25.9%
3. Dallas Mavericks 14.8%
4. Detroit Pistons 7.4%
Others receiving votes: Boston, Houston, Miami, Orlando