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An apology from LeBron James about the ‘R’ word 05.10.11 at 12:29 am ET
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Before talking about his clutch 3-pointer that tied the game late in the fourth quarter and his defense on Paul Pierce at the end of regulation, LeBron James offered up an apology for using the word “retarded” to describe a question asked of Dwyane Wade following a Game 3 loss to the Celtics Saturday night. James was heard muttering “that’s retarded” while Wade was being asked if he had any reaction to those who might think his play on Rajon Rondo was dirty.

“First of all, I want to apologize for using the ‘R’ word after Game 3. If I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize,” said James, who scored 35 points and led the Heat to a 98-90 overtime win at TD Garden Monday night, pushing the Celtics to the brink of elimination Wednesday night in Miami.

Read More: 2011 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James
Rajon Rondo all wrapped up and ready to go 05.09.11 at 7:52 pm ET
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With his injured left elbow in a heavy white protective wrap and brace, Rajon Rondo took the court Monday and started for the Celtics.

The Celtics All-Star point guard dislocated his left elbow when he was pushed to the ground by Dwyane Wade with 7:02 left in the third quarter of Game 3 Saturday night at TD Garden.

He left the game and had the elbow popped back in place and started the fourth quarter, inspiring the Celtics in a 97-81 win over the Heat. After taking part in the pregame shootaround Monday morning, Rondo was cleared to play in Monday’s Game 4.

Read More: 2011 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA
Celtics Live Blog: C’s-Heat Game 4 from the Garden at 5:59 pm ET
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Join WEEI.com Celtics writers Paul Flannery, Ben Rohrbach and Mike Petraglia as they provide live updates from inside TD Garden as the Celtics look to even their best-of-7 with the Heat at 2-2 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Celtics Live Blog: C’s-Heat Game 4 from TD Garden

Read More: 2011 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA
Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett named First Team All-Defense at 2:30 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett tied an NBA record with his ninth appearance on the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced on Monday. Garnett’s teammate Rajon Rondo was also named to the First Team, drawing the second-most votes behind Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard. This is Rondo’s second straight First-Team appearance. He made the Second Team in 2008-09.

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James were also voted on to the First Team. It was also Bryant’s ninth First Team nod, which allowed him and Garnett to tie the all-time record for First Team appearances held by Michael Jordan and Gary Payton.

Former Celtic Tony Allen received enough votes for a Second Team nod along with Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler.

The voting was done by the 30 head coaches and coaches are not allowed for one of their players. Here’s the full breakdown:

2010-11 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM

Position, Player, Team 1st 2nd Points

Center Dwight Howard, Orlando 27 2 56
Guard Rajon Rondo, Boston 16 7 39
Forward LeBron James, Miami 17 4 38
Guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 13 7 33
Forward Kevin Garnett, Boston 15 3 33

2010-11 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM

Position, Player, Team 1st 2nd Points

Guard Tony Allen, Memphis 7 9 23
Guard Chris Paul, New Orleans 6 6 18
Center Tyson Chandler, Dallas 3 11 17
Forward Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 5 5 15
Forward/Center Joakim Noah, Chicago 3 9 15

Read More: All Defense, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo,
Mike Gorman on M&M: ‘I think Miami is emotionally spent’ at 1:28 pm ET
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Longtime Celtics television broadcaster Mike Gorman joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to discuss the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Heat. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Gorman said he doesn’t blame Dwyane Wade for what happened to Rajon Rondo in Saturday’s Game 3 after the two players tangled and the Celtics point guard ended up with a dislocated left elbow.

“I thought it was physical playoff basketball with a bad result,” Gorman said. “What happened to Rondo didn’t have anything to do necessarily with the way Wade hit him. It was just trying to brace his fall that he got his arm out there. It wasn’t like his arm was twisted willfully by an opposing player.”

Gorman said he was surprised by the Heat’s failure to be aggressive with Rondo after the injury.

“Maybe they were just so stunned he was on the floor,” Gorman said. “They seem hypnotized by the fact that he was playing them with one hand tied behind his back. ‘€¦ Not only they didn’t pressure the ball, they didn’t even force him to go left. It was like they were deferential to him. I don’t think that’s going to be the case tonight.”

Gorman said the Heat’s struggles Saturday and forward Chris Bosh acknowledging the Boston crowd affected his play might be a sign that the long season is wearing on them.

“I think Miami is emotionally spent,” Gorman said. “I think they’ve had the headlights, the spotlights, whatever you want to call it, right in their eyes right since training camp opened 6-7 months ago. And every single city they were in, they were getting booed, they were getting questioned. I think Bosh saying he was intimidated was more a sign of a guy saying that he was emotionally exhausted.

“I couldn’t believe on Saturday night, having the Celtics down 2-0 that [LeBron] James and Wade didn’t come out and just be assassins. Wade was an assassin, but James was tentative. I don’t know how else to describe it. For a guy with all the talent that he has, in a game like that to be tentative really is kind of amazing. So, I wonder about the psyche of this team.

“I also wonder ‘€” I think it’s 10 or 11 in a row now they’ve lost in Boston. They may be starting to think they can’t win here.”

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Read More: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Mike Gorman
Rajon Rondo goes through shootaround prior to Game 4 at 12:00 pm ET
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Injured point guard Rajon Rondo went through shootaround at the Celtics‘ training facility in Waltham Monday morning, which is generally an indication that he will try to play in Game 4 Monday night at the Garden against Miami. Rondo was on the floor in practice clothes shooting free throws when the media was allowed down on the court. He didn’t talk to the press.

Rondo dislocated his left elbow in the third quarter of Game 3 after he became entangled with Miami’s Dwyane Wade. Rondo underwent and MRI and a CT-scan on Sunday and both came negative for a fracture. The Celtics have said that he is a game-time decision.

Fellow point guard Carlos Arroyo said that he thinks Rondo is ready. “He’€™s a warrior,” Arroyo said. “He demonstrated that last game. We were all surprised in the fact that he came back after that injury. I know he’€™s ready. He wants to play. He wants to win.”

Delonte West also participated in shootaround as did Shaquille O’Neal.

Read More: Carlos Arroyo, Dwyane Wade, Heat, playoffs
Jeff Van Gundy on D&C: Jermaine O’Neal ‘a decisive force’ at 9:28 am ET
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ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Celtics-Heat series. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rajon Rondo‘s health was the primary topic of discussion, as everyone waits to see how the point guard will respond two days after dislocating his left elbow during the Celtics‘ Game 3 victory. If Rondo plays, Van Gundy said the Heat assuredly will test him right away.

“Obviously, Miami has time to adjust and adapt and really send him left on every penetration,” Van Gundy said. “I’d pick up him up full court and see if he can advance the ball with his left hand. Because you can’t take it easy on someone with an injury. So, the adrenaline rush from the other night ‘€” and it truly was a heroic thing he did ‘€” whether it can carry over to another night, I’m not sure.”

Added Van Gundy: “I think it all depends on who you are, your competitive spirit and personality, your level of speed and quickness to be able to get back to that dominant hand. And obviously, Rondo has all of those. Now, I think it will impact him shooting, because you need your left hand to help you get the ball up into the shooting position. And I would suspect they may leave him more open than they normally do.”

If Rondo can’t be productive, Van Gundy noted that the Celtics have other options. “Delonte West ‘€” he’s not a setup-type point guard, he’s not a create shots for others-type point guard, but he can play effectively,” Van Gundy said. “I thought he had a good game in Game 3.

“They’re going to have play a really good game again tonight, and it will be interesting to see if they can regenerate that same intensity and energy and enthusiasm.”

On the subject of the ailing Shaquille O’Neal, Van Gundy said: “I felt badly for O’Neal in the last game. ‘€¦ I found [it] tough to watch, actually. I give him a lot of credit for going out there and not worrying about how he was looking but giving of himself for the betterment of the team, whatever he could provide. And he is still a force when it comes to having to block him out on the offensive boards.”

Van Gundy said Shaq’s return overshadowed a solid performance by the Celtics’ starting center. “If you looked at Jermaine O’Neal ‘€” which is the ONeal that everyone should have been talking about after that game ‘€” that guy, he put his heart into that game,” Van Gundy said. “He blocked shots, he took charges. I thought Jermaine O’Neal was absolutely a decisive force in Game 3. But they have to keep doing it to have a chance. It can’t just be a one-game hit.”

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Read More: Andrew Bynum, Delonte West, Jeff Van Gundy, Jermaine O'Neal
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