|How close is that corner?||03.14.10 at 11:03 pm ET|
The Celtics repeatedly have mentioned “turning a corner” to get back on a winning track. But with 17 games left in the regular season, how far away is that corner?
“I don’t know, maybe 17 blocks,” Rajon Rondo guesstimated on Friday. “It should be the same zip code.”
Doc Rivers said he has felt his team getting closer, including at times during Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers. “I told our guys, it’s frustrating for me because I could see in a lot of ways how close we are to breaking out and to being really good,” he told reporters after the game. But the Celtics trailed the Cavs by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter and lost for the third time in four games.
The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 contests, a stretch that included a three-game winning streak and a pair of two-game skids. Ray Allen understands the regular season can be a series of ups and downs, the reason why he thinks that corner isn’t that distant.
“I live on an island. I don’t have blocks or anything in the country,“ Ray Allen said. “Any time you have to turn a corner, the corner is a block away. It’s just a block away because once you do something well, you feel like you’ve turned a corner. So it’s never that far away. Just like when you’re good, you’re just teeter-tottering on being bad, vice versa.”
|Ray Allen Press Conference, 3/10||03.10.10 at 11:43 pm ET|
BOSTON — Watch Ray Allen’s press conference following the Celtics 111-91 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at TD Garden.
|Ray: We probably got away with one||03.08.10 at 12:20 am ET|
Ray Allen felt comfortable all night.
With a game-high 25 points and 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point line, the stats say as much.
The problem was — for 42 minutes — the Washington Wizards felt just as good in nearly everything they did.
With the Celtics down 13 points, that’s when Allen said the C’s finally got to their opponent, opening the door for him to play hero in the final 93 seconds.
“It was night and day. We put a lot of pressure on them. We made them play away from the basket. We forced them to be more uncomfortable than we did in the first half,” said Allen, whose trey with 17.1 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Boston’s 86-83 win.
Asked if the Celtics might have gotten away with a win when maybe they didn’t deserve one, Allen was as honest as he could be.
“You could say probably in a small way we did,” he admitted. “But we fought for it, we never gave up or thought it was over with, so it bowed in our favor tonight.”
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Wizards||03.07.10 at 10:46 pm ET|
It looked like another disappointing home loss for the Celtics. Down by 12 in the third quarter, the C’s were on the verge of falling to the Wizards just a week after being upset by the Nets.
But that’s when their winning experience came into play. The Celtics outscored the Wizards 24-17 in the fourth quarter to secure a 86-83 comeback victory.
Turning Point: Down 81-77, Rajon Rondo scored a fastbreak layup and drew the foul on Al Thornton with 1:37 to go. He missed the free throw, but Kendrick Perkins kicked out the offensive rebound to Ray Allen, who drained a trey. This capped a 16-2 Celtics run and put them up, 82-81.
Player of the game: Ray Allen (25 points) got the Celtics momentum back with a pair of treys in the third quarter. Not only did he hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the fourth, he knocked down the game-winning 3 with 17 seconds left.
- Rondo scored just two points in the first half. He got hot late in the third to score seven points in a span of two-minutes. He finished the game with 15 points.
- Michael Finley was inactive and watched the game from the end of the Celtics bench in a charcoal suit.
- Tony Allen played two minutes in his first game back since injuring his hip on Wednesday against the Bobcats.
- The Celtics are now 6-5 on Sundays and improved to 25-6 against sub-.500 opponents.
|First Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. 76ers||03.05.10 at 7:38 pm ET|
A scoring duel is brewing in Philadelphia. Elton Brand started the game a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. He leads all players with 12 points. Ray Allen is right behind him, however, with 11. Allen tied Wednesday’s total (3 points) just over a minute into the game.
The 76ers opened the first quarter with a 3-point play by Andre Iguodala. They jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead but Kevin Garnett scored six consecutive points to propel a 10-2 Celtics run. Once the C’s tied it up, they kept the 76ers away from the line, committing just one foul in the quarter.
The Celtics trail 25-23 after the first.
|Meet Michael Finley||03.04.10 at 10:46 pm ET|
Proven veterans have become the norm on the Celtics, and Michael Finley looks to become the next one to add his playoff experience to the team. “It’s official now,” Finley told ESPN.com. “I’m soon to be a Celtic.” Finley has never played for an Eastern Conference team, but he comes to Boston with several links to the C’s. Here are a few quick facts to know about Finley:
Height/Weight: 6-7, 225 pounds
Birthdate: March 6, 1973
NBA Experience: 15th season
Class of ’95: The Suns selected Finley with the 21st overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. That year Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett were chosen with the fourth and fifth picks, respectively.
Before Beantown: Boston will be Finley’s first stint in the Eastern Conference. He played over a season for the Suns before being traded to the Mavericks as part of the Jason Kidd deal in 1996. He spent over eight years in Dallas, then signed with the Spurs as a free agent in 2005.
Most Recently: This season Finley played 25 games, including two starts, for the Spurs before being bought out on Monday. He averaged 3.7 points (38.1% FG, 31.7% 3PG) and 1.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game.
Title Run: In 2007, Finley won a championship with the Spurs. That postseason he posted 11.3 points in 26.9 minutes over 20 games. He also led the Spurs in three-point field goals and attempts (44-for-105). Finley has a career postseason average of 13.6 points (39.1% 3PG), 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 111 games.
Long-Range Momentum: Finley is averaging 37.4% from long range over his career. He currently ranks ninth among all active players in three-point field goals, trailing Paul Pierce by ten treys. He ranks eighth among all active players in three-point attempts. (Ray Allen is the leader in both categories.)
Major Minutes: He led the league in minutes in 1998, 2000, and 2001, averaging more than 41 per game in each of those seasons. He currently ranks fourth among all active players in total minutes played (37,683), behind only Jason Kidd, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kevin Garnett.
All-Star Accolades: Finley is a two-time NBA All-Star. He played on the Western Conference team in 2001 and 2002 with Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace.
Dunking Duel: Finley faced off against Ray Allen and former Celtic Chris Carr in the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. He finished third in the finals that year. The previous year, Finley came in second place to Brent Barry.
School Ties: Finley attended the same high school as Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Proviso East HS in Maywood, Illinois. He played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin, the same school as recently acquired Marcus Landry.
|Daniels dedication contagious||02.26.10 at 1:06 am ET|
Marquis Daniels is sick.
Not sniffly nose sick, but that stay-in-bed-all-day kind of sick where you can’t help but feel bad for him when you see that pained look on his face.
Daniels has been battling the flu the entire week, but he still played on Thursday night against the Cavaliers. He started, in fact, in place of Paul Pierce.
He fought through picks, defenders, and illness. Daniels hustled for 31 minutes, defended LeBron James, grabbed three rebounds, and picked off a steal along the way.
“He did a great job,” said Glen Davis. “Being sick is tough. He’s a competitor and he plays hard. But he went out there and did what he had to do.”
After the game Daniels looked exhausted as he slouched at his locker. His voice was faint and he simply shook his head when asked how he felt.
The Celtics will not practice on Friday. Daniels will wait until then to talk to the doctors about what he kind of activity he should or should not do.
But even though he is sick, it’s his dedication that’s most contagious.
“I commend him because the last day or so he’s been somewhat shaky and not strong,“ said Ray Allen. “You could tell that his energy was very low. So for him to be out there, I definitely commend him.”
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