|Danny Ainge on The Big Show: Kevin Garnett has a strained calf||12.30.10 at 5:12 pm ET|
Celtics president Danny Ainge told The Big Show Thursday that after an MRI and a thorough examination, Kevin Garnett would likely be out a couple of weeks with a strained calf muscle.
“It’s a muscle injury, a strained calf,” Ainge said. “It’s actually the softer side of the leg below the knee. It’s not anything to do with his knee, which is great news, and it’s one of those injuries that he may be out for a couple of weeks at the most. That’s my guess. It’s always a guess. I’ll just say two weeks. I think that’s on the conservative side.”
Ainge said that when he saw Garnett go down and grimace in pain that he was hoping it wasn’t serious, but he did flashback to the Utah game in 2009. “That was a specific injury that he had and had been playing with,” Ainge said. “KG had been playing with a sore leg for weeks before that Utah injury and it wasn’t something that just happened. he had that bone spur on there for much longer than before that Utah game.”
Ainge also had an update on Rajon Rondo who has missed six games with an ankle sprain. “Rajon is getting better,” Ainge said. “It was a pretty severe sprain. Rajon is in a situation where he could play, but he’s in pain still. He has pain on both sides of the ankle and we just don’t want to get him back on to the court until he can play hard.”
Here are more highlights from the interview: Read the rest of this entry »
|Preview: Celtics at Pistons||11.02.10 at 12:53 am ET|
Strange things happened to the Celtics when they went into Detroit last year.
Desperately needing a win on March 2, the Celtics relied on Nate Robinson in the fourth quarter to pull it out instead of Rajon Rondo. The Fast Break posted that night had Rasheed Wallace as the Player of the Game for his defensive effort.
In a 92-86 loss on Jan. 20, Glen Davis swore at a heckler in a very quiet arena and was later fined $25,000.
What awaits the Celtics this season? From the looks of things a mediocre and slightly disjointed basketball team. Rondey Stuckey remains the point guard, although the Pistons just let the deadline pass to sign him to a extension. Rip Hamilton still starts at the other guard, while the younger and more talented Ben Gordon comes off the bench. Tayshaun Prince is an expiring contract and Tracy McGrady is getting minutes.
Still, the Pistons have some interesting young players such as Austin Daye who is now starting and rookie center Greg Monroe, who has yet to crack the rotation. Detroit is a team in transition, with enough proven veterans to make a run at one of the final playoff spots, but also a team with several young players to develop.
The Pistons have dropped their first three games of the season by a total of 14 points and would love to get a win. For the Celtics, this game has trap written all over it.
It’s the first night of a five games in seven days stretch with a back-to-back coming Wednesday against the Bucks at the Garden. They are not expecting to have Shaquille O’Neal and will likely insert Jermaine O’Neal into the starting center spot with rookie Semih Erden backing him up. They also struggled to close out the Cavaliers in their first road game, another also-ran Central Division team that is somewhere between rebuilding and competing.
Offensive Rating: 99.6 (23rd)
Defensive Rating: 98.1 (5th)
Pace: 93.7 (21st)
Probable Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal
Injuries: Avery Bradley (ankle, out), Kendrick Perkins (ankle, out), Delonte West (suspension), Shaquille O’Neal (shin, doubtful)
Offensive Rating: 103.3 (15th)
Defensive Rating: 108.3 (21st)
Pace: 94.5 (17th)
Probable Starters: Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, Ben Wallace
Injuries: Will Bynum (hamstring, questionable), Chris Wilcox (hamstring, questionable), Terico White (foot, out), Jonas Jerkobo (Achilles, out).
KEY MATCHUP: Pierce vs. Prince
In 2008-09, Prince held Pierce to 15.5 points over four games. That was the lowest per-game average Pierce had against any team other than the Clippers and Grizzlies.
The year before, Pierce again scored just 15 points a night in three games against the Pistons while shooting just 37 percent. Pierce has the same effect on Prince who shot below 40 percent against him those two seasons. Their matchup cooled a bit last season while Pierce was battling injuries and Prince missed one of the games entirely, but it’s still one of the better small forward battles in the East.
Prince’s length has been a problem for Pierce over the years, but he is off to a quietly efficient start to this season, averaging 19 points a game and making 8-of-12 from 3-point range. The focus has been on Pierce’s rebounding after he grabbed 14 boards against the Knicks, but the Celtics need his shooting more while Ray Allen works out his shot (6-for-18 from 3) and Nate Robinson tries to get untracked (1-for-9).
It’s not exactly the most enjoyable matchup to watch, but it should be a good one.
KEY NUMBER: 3-point shooting
The Pistons have bee defensively-challenged in their first three games, giving up over 100 points in all three games, but they have defended the arc well, allowing only 28 percent shooting.
The Celtics, with the notable exception of Pierce, have struggled from beyond the arc and need to start making some shots to take the pressure off the inside game. Take Pierce out of the equation and they have made just 25 percent of their 3′s (8-for-32).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Detroit is desperate for win and the Celtics would like to get through a road game and get Jermaine O’Neal on track.
These two teams never quite renewed their rivalry for the modern era. They battled throughout the Celtics championship year of 2007-08, but the Pistons fell of quickly once they traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson.
Still, these two teams have history and you never know, maybe Sheed will show up.
|Celtics: Irish Coffee||09.27.10 at 7:33 am ET|
It’s time again for your morning cup of Irish coffee. Following the referees’ annual meeting late last week, the NBA announced new guidelines for technical foul calls. Guyism explained all four new guidelines with some comical Rasheed Wallace footage, of course. The guidelines are as follows …
- “Players making aggressive gestures, such as air punches, anywhere on the court”
- “Excessive inquiries about a call, even in a civilized tone”
- “Running directly at an official to complain about a call”
- “Players who use body language to question or demonstrate displeasure”
These stricter rules could spell trouble for the Celtics, even without Rasheed. Kendrick Perkins (16), Kevin Garnett (6), Paul Pierce (5) and Rajon Rondo (4) all finished in the top 50 for technical fouls last season. Based on the above descriptions, Perk might be eligible for a technical foul roughly every time he hears a whistle. Heck, he might even get a handful of techs before he comes back from the knee injury.
The Reclamation of Delonte West
Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don’t Lie has an interesting take on Delonte West‘s return to the Celtics. He believes this C’s team could be just what the doctor ordered for West, who has suffered from mental issues throughout his career.
“So even with the nonguaranteed contract, you would hope that the Celtics are in it for the long haul, and not for some guy to take a chance on because Tony Allen followed the money to Memphis,” writes Dwyer. “Because this really could be the first season of the rest of Delonte’s life, in 2010-11, as their supportive environment and steady work could be the best possible thing for West as he tries to move forward.”
NBADL Rule Change
The NBA and NBA Development League have reached a deal that allows as many as three players cut from an NBA roster to be assigned to their D-League affiliate. So, the Celtics could potentially store training camp invitees Chris Johnson, Stephane Lasme and Jamar Smith in Maine with the Red Claws (Did Jackie Moon play for them?). I’m sure all four Red Claws fans are drooling at the opportunity to watch Stephane Lasme all winter. Tickets must be flying off the shelves.
Perfect Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce spoke to the media on Saturday following a fitness rally for his charities, The Truth on Health and FitClub34. After a “perfect” summer, he’s excited to chase another title.
“I’ve been in the gym for the last couple of weeks and I’ve probably seen everybody,” Pierce told the Herald. “I’ve been comparing this to the last couple of years. It’s like a new energy with Shaq, Jermaine. You can just kind of feel it around the practice facility–just the energy, the vibe of the guys in the locker room–that we left something behind last year and that’s the trophy.”
Energy isn’t the first word that comes to mind when I think of Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal (“The O’Neal brothers,” as Doc Rivers has dubbed them).
Shhhhhh! You’ll wake Bill Russell!
I’m not exactly sure why I found this so funny, but I did. Hats off to GrahamSpector.tumblr.com for that.
|The Greening of ‘Sheed: A look at Wallace’s season in Boston||08.11.10 at 1:31 am ET|
Thirteen months after signing a three-year deal with the Celtics, Rasheed Wallace’s time with the team — and in the NBA — has come to an end.
On Tuesday night, the Celtics announced that they had waived Wallace after “coming to a mutual agreement following which Wallace plans to retire.”
Wallace, 35, only may have played one year of his contract in Boston, but that was more than enough time for the big man with the big personality to make an impact.
Here is a look back at five (and yes, there are many more than that) of Sheed’s memorable moments with the Celtics:
Welcome to Boston
After a courtship that included a trip to his Michigan home, the Celtics signed Wallace in July of 2009. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen attended his introductory press conference, where Wallace discussed his excitement of being a Celtic, his role off the bench, and his appreciation of his new teammates’ support.
“I just want to thank all the guys sitting up here on stage,” he said. “Because they didn’t have to come up here today and show their team compassion about having me here in the city of Boston and playing with them.”
The good …
Between injuries and inconsistencies, Wallace’s performance during the regular season was shaky. But there were points when he showed glimpses of his former self. Take November 3, 2009, against the 76ers. Wallace scored 20 points in 24 minutes, including six 3-pointers, in front of his hometown crowd.
… the bad …
With the playoffs nearing, the outcome of an April game against the Bulls had an impact on postseason seeding. But a second half mishap by Wallace didn’t help the Celtics’ chances of stealing the third spot. The play drew a reaction from the crowd, but not the one the C’s were looking for that night.
… and the outspoken
Wallace took his outspoken personality with him when he came to Boston. He came close to maxing out on technical fouls and was handed down fines on several occasions. One of his most memorable quotes (which earned him a $30,000 fine for publicly criticizing officials) came following a game against Hedo Turkoglu and the Raptors.
“They gotta know that he’s a damn flopper,” he said of Turkoglu. “That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him.”
The following month, Wallace was ejected for arguing with officials when he felt referee Bill Kennedy was standing too close to the Celtics huddle.
“I’ll still play my game,” Wallace said after the ejection. “I’ll still be me. I ain’t changing my game for nobody. I ain’t changing nothing for nobody.”
The final call
Wallace’s 15-year career came to an end with seconds left in Game 7 of the NBA finals. Wallace, who started in place of an injured Kendrick Perkins while battling backs spasms himself, fouled out of his final NBA game.
According to reports, he attempted to speak to officials following the Celtics’ loss but was not allowed in the officials’ locker room.
That night, Doc Rivers said he expected Wallace to retire.
“You know, I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again,” Rivers said following Game 7. “You know, he’s one of them. I think he took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and the strains, he was just trying to figure out a way of staying on the floor.”
Wallace scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in what looks to be his final game.
He averaged 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds during the regular season for the Celtics. The four-time All-Star has a career average of 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 46.8 percent field goal shooting. He was selected by the Washington Bullets with the fourth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.
|Celtics waive Wallace||08.10.10 at 8:37 pm ET|
After one frustrating season the Celtics and Rasheed Wallace have agreed to part ways. The team announced Tuesday night that they waived him after coming to a mutual agreement and that Wallace will retire.
“We would like to thank Rasheed for everything that he did for this team and organization last season,” said Danny Ainge in a statement released by the team. “We would like to wish Rasheed and his family the best as they move on into the next phase of their lives. He will always be a member of the Celtics family.”
Wallace signed a three-year deal last offseason for the full mid-level exception, but his play in the regular season was inconsistent at best. Wallace rebounded with a strong postseason but he was battling several injuries including a bad back in the finals against the Lakers.
The Celtics had tried to trade his contract this summer but couldn’t find a deal to their liking. The waiver process is a procedural formality. It’s highly unlikely anyone will put in a claim. Once he clears waivers, he will become a free agent.
|Ainge: Sheed will be resolved soon||at 2:06 pm ET|
One question that has continued to hover around the Celtics this offseason, is what will they do with Rasheed Wallace? The veteran has two years left on his contract, but he indicated through his agent and to the team that he will retire.
The Celtics have tried to trade his contract this summer but have not found the right deal. Danny Ainge said the situation will be resolved soon. “We have looked at trade possibilities throughout the summer,” Ainge said. “We’ll continue to do that. I would say it will all be resolved soon and you guys will all hear how we’ve resolved it shortly.”
At this point it seems unlikely that they will find a trade partner for Wallace and will try to work out a buyout agreement for the final two years of his deal. If the Celtics are able to settle with Wallace that would clear a roster spot.
“One more piece is possible,” Ainge said. “But I like the team we have at this stage. There are different scenarios but I would say the most likely scenario [to signing another player] is the veteran minimum.”
|Agent: Wallace is retiring||08.09.10 at 2:28 pm ET|
According to a blog post at boston.com, the agent for Rasheed Wallace confirmed that the veteran plans to retire. New Celtic Shaquille O’Neal fueled speculation that Wallace might change his mind and play in 2010-11, but apparently the persuading from Shaq and fellow Celtics newcomer Jermaine O’Neal did not work.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reportedly has been using Wallace’s contract as trade bait, as Ainge has said all along that Wallace would not return to the team.