|Alston wanted to play for Celtics||02.05.10 at 12:44 am ET|
Earlier this season, there was speculation that the Celtics could make a move to acquire Rafer Alston after he was bought out by the Nets. The theory was that he could be a veteran backup to Rajon Rondo, the same role the Celtics had filled with Sam Cassell and Stephon Marbury the previous two seasons.
Turns out, it was actually the other way around. Rather than the Celtics going after Alston, Alston told his camp after the buyout that he would like to play in Boston. He is ‘pretty sure’ the Celtics knew of his interest, but he never had a conversation with the organization.
‘I think it was my interest,’ he told WEEI.com. ‘But I don’t think Doc [Rivers] would have opposed it knowing that you can grab a guy that can give you minutes at backup point for this team, and who’s a willing passer and just a natural point guard. Then understand, I played for [assistant coach Tom] Thibodeau before in Houston. So I’d always had them on my mind before I came here.’
The 33-year-old didn’t lose any time holding out for the C’s, though. The Heat scooped him up almost immediately after he cleared waivers in early January. Alston could not turn down the opportunity to start for a playoff contender, nor could he stress enough how happy he is on his new team: ‘I got blown away by coming here with the immediate option to play instead of waiting it out.’
There is an element of surprise in Alston’s interest in the Celtics, though. He has been involved in some heated moments at TD Garden. Last season he slapped Eddie House in the head during the Eastern Conference semifinals as a member of the Magic. Just Wednesday night, he was issued a technical foul in the Celtics-Heat game.
But Alston says that has nothing to do with ill will. It’s about the competition.
‘I enjoy watching them on League Pass,’ he admitted. ‘Playing against them, I know it’s going to be a competitive game. We always chat at each other, but deep down I always care about each of the players in this league. So even if I did come, I hope they wouldn’t have taken the chatter back and forth that we all do against each other personally. Again, I have a great respect for the level of competition that they bring.’
Alston also has a good understanding of the Celtics. He has faced them enough times over his career to see where he could have fit in. While he believes Rondo is more than qualified to run the floor himself ‘ ‘He’s an All-Star,’ Alston said. ‘He’s having a wonderful career.’ ‘ Alston thinks having a true point guard on the bench could have had its benefits, too.
‘Not back up but just complement, maybe get him [Rondo] some much-needed rest,’ he explained. ‘Sometimes there are nights that he’s out there giving 40 minutes, and get him some rest. And also, you’d help the second-unit guys. You can keep some guys in their natural positions. You can keep [Eddie] House in his natural position; you can keep [Marquis] Daniels in his natural position, guys that are flirting between playing shooting guard.
“That’s one thing that I learned in this game. If you can keep everyone at their natural and most comfortable position, them succeeding is a better percentage.’
|Eddie House on D&H: Rondo, Pierce and 3′s||02.04.10 at 1:46 pm ET|
I’m hoping you could give us some news ‘ that you’re going to take part in the 3-point contest?
No, I haven’t got an invite. I think Paul’s actually going to be the one representing the Celtics in the contest, so I hope all’s well with that and I hope he gets a win.
You should have been in last year, in your hometown ‘ could you imagine a final in Phoenix between you and Mike Bibby?
That would have been a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, that’s not my main goal, to get in the 3-point contest. Mine is to make sure my 3-point percentage is steadily on the way up, and I’m helping the team get wins ‘ that’s what it’s about. My job is to do whatever I can to get wins and get a few loose rebounds or make the next pass so somebody else can make the wide open shot, or if it’s me to take the shot or hit a 3 or 2, whatever I have to do to get a win, that’s what my focus is. Read the rest of this entry »
|Ray to Rondo: ‘This could be your last shot’||at 12:34 am ET|
Ray Allen had a very simple message for his backcourt teammate before Wednesday’s game against Miami.
“I told [Rajon] Rondo earlier, I said this could be his last shot,” Allen said. “I told him, ‘You’ve got 10, 12-plus years left in the NBA, you’re making great money but this could be yours.
“I told him I went to the Eastern Conference finals in Milwaukee and the next year we just assumed we’re going to get back and we didn’t make the playoffs. So, it’s not guaranteed because you did it once or twice. It’s never guaranteed. So, we have to be very selfish about really wanting to be good now and really taking care of our bodies, making sure we hold each other accountable. And doing it in a good way.”
Allen and Rondo have been the focal point this week of trade rumors and locker room chemistry questions. But Allen made it clear following a 107-102 win over the Heat that he wants to go to battle with Rondo and the rest of the Celtics.
“Believe me, there’s not a better group of guys that I think are capable right now,” Allen said. “I’m not looking at our record (31-16), although our record is not too shabby. We have guys here, a roster than can win it.”
[Click here to hear what Allen had to say about wanting to stay with Rondo and his team]
More to the point, Allen sounded like a man who wants desperately to keep the relationships he’s forged over the last three seasons.
“All of these guys in this locker room are my brothers and I’m going to proceed forward that this could be it for all of us and we have to treat this season very specially and know that what comes out of it is what we want to come out of it, and that’s a championship,” he said.
|Daniels wants to re-sign with C’s||02.03.10 at 8:43 pm ET|
Marquis Daniels has seen enough to know that he likes where he is.
In spite of spending the majority of his one-year contract on the sidelines with a thumb injury, Daniels already knows he would like to re-sign with the Celtics this summer.
‘The locker room is great, it’s a great atmosphere, the coaching staff, everything is good,’ he told WEEI.com prior to the Celtics ‘ Heat game, despite a recent claim from Rajon Rondo that the team was having chemistry issues. ‘So it’s something that I’d like to be part of. Hopefully it will work out. If not, then I have to deal with everything that happens.’
Daniels likes the winning mentality of the Celtics community, from his teammates to the coaching staff, front office to the fans. The city’s winning tradition is something he would like to remain a part of.
At the same time, he has a very realistic outlook on his current situation. He knows what he can control and what is out of his hands. While he is eager to get back on the court (he has missed 27 games and hopes play before the All-Star break), he isn’t dwelling on the fact that he hasn’t been able to.
‘There’s no frustrations. It’s part of the game,’ he said. ‘I just go out there and play. I can’t worry about trying to do more than what you’re supposed to because that’s when you start playing bad and making things worse for yourself. I’ve just got to go out there and do what I do, and that’s playing defense, getting guys open, and doing my job. That’s the only thing I have to worry about.’
Daniels won’t get caught up in the length of future contracts, either. So whether he is offered another one-year deal or something longer than that, he’ll stick with doing his job and let everyone else do their own.
‘I don’t think about stuff like that,’ he said. ‘I worry about things that I can control, and that’s not one of them. I just go out there and play. I can control how I play when I get out there. As far as what someone wants to do, as far as deal-wise, I let my agent and the front office talk about that.’
|Doc: At least Rondo’s been listening||at 8:42 pm ET|
But upon further review, the Celtics coach said he would have written what Bulpett wrote. Moreover, he was happy with the fact that Rondo has apparently been listening to the coach’s pleas for better team chemistry and singleness of purpose on and off the court.
Here’s what Rivers had to say about Rondo’s thoughts on team chemistry before Wednesday’s game with Miami.
“I don’t mind that,” Rivers said. “There’s better ways of doing that but I don’t mind that. Even the comments he made, I didn’t mind much at all because, for one, it says at least he’s been listening. And that’s always a good thing.”
|Ainge on The Big Show: Pierce, Allen, Rondo||at 4:03 pm ET|
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge went on the Big Show on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the state of the Celtics. Ainge dismissed as gross rumors any reports that the foot injury to Paul Pierce will keep the forward sidelined for anything more than a matter of days, said that he has not talked to any other clubs about a trade of Ray Allen, and addressed the recent comments of Rajon Rondo that there are “agendas maybe creeping in” that have affected the team negatively.
Does Paul Pierce have a broken foot?
What would be our motivation to say that he has a sprained foot if in fact his foot is broken? This is the same question we had last year. Why would we be hiding the rumors that were coming out that [Kevin Garnett] having a torn ACL? Why would we say that? What would be our motivation? I don’t get it.
You’re saying there is no broken foot?
There is no broken foot. He’s got a sprained mid-foot. The only question for us now is when are we going to play Paul. Are we going to give him two days off, four days off, six days off or try to give him four games before the All-Star break? Probably more than healing the foot but to heal everything and just let his body rest. Seriously you guys, I get these questions all day long and I don’t understand what would be our motivation trying to tell you something that is not there in regard to a broken foot or a sprained foot. Read the rest of this entry »
|Ian Thomsen on D&C: C’s need to adjust game||02.01.10 at 11:08 am ET|
Sports Illustrated NBA writer Ian Thomsen made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Celtics‘ recent woes. He explored the team’s current struggles, whether the Big Three still has the legs to mount a championship run, whether the team might consider a major deal along the lines of a trade of Ray Allen or whether a move to acquire a player such as Kirk Hinrich of the Bulls could help the team to pull out of its current funk.
Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click here.
How quickly is the window closing?
It’s going to close fast if they don’t make the adjustments they need to make. They aren’t themselves, and I’m talking about [Kevin] Garnett especially, and [Paul] Pierce a little bit, and even Ray Allen. They’re just going to need to adjust the way they play, to try to make the best of it while they get through this transition. If they still think they can win a championship, they can’t do it the way they are playing now. They have to sort of do a transitional style to get them to March and April with a chance to win it.
Meaning what? Get new people?
Garnett needs to be more of a center right now. He’s not himself. He’s not beating guys down the floor in transition. [Lakers coach] Phil Jackson brought that up yesterday. He needs to be more that post-up guy, play a little bit more inside, they can play the ball through him. He needs to figure out what he can do and do that. Because what he’s doing now isn’t very productive.
They’ve been outscored in the fourth quarter in 12 of their last 14 games. Is that age and injury?
It’s age and injury, and I really think they’re asking too much of Rajon Rondo in his [fourth] year to be doing so much, to be carrying them, playing a lot of minutes, and then to lead them in the fourth quarters the way he’s been having to do. I think he’s come a long way, he’s a terrific player, he’s going to be even better in a couple of years. But right now they’re asking too much of him.
A lot of it just doesn’t make sense. The team doesn’t make sense, when you look at the hierarchy. Think about two years ago. When you looked at the stats for the season, it just all made sense the way the shots were divvied out, the order of things. And they don’t have that order right now. Rondo’s a big part of the offense as a point guard who is not a great shooter. Really, it all just comes down to not having Garnett be himself, and he’s got to figure out some way to be productive right now.