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Davis jumps into new role 02.03.09 at 11:28 pm ET
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While Ray Allen was the hero of the Boston Celtics dramatic win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, the Cs would not have been in striking distance if it weren’t for one player stepping up in Kevin Garnett’s absence. For the second straight game, Glen Davis has thrived in his role as the Celtics starting power forward.

Davis posted 12 points (6-11 FG) and 11 rebounds against the 76ers (RECAP HERE). Of his six field goals, only one came in the paint. On Sunday, he added 12 points (5-12 FG) and six rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Davis isn’t just attacking the hoop like a traditional big man. Big Baby is getting the job done with his jumper.

‘€œI think it’s going to help my game tremendously,’€ Davis said recently. ‘€œIf I can spread the floor for my team …  I can move up to the four, pick and roll to help out with Paul (Pierce), and hit the jumper. I kind of just train myself to be ready to hit that big shot.’€

His preparation paid off when he hit knocked down a 17-footer with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter. The basket brought the Celtics back within three and sparked an 8-to-4 run to close out the game.

This season Davis has developed a knack for mid-range jumpers. Even though the majority of his baskets have come at the rim ‘€“ his biggest responsibility is attacking the glass ‘€“ he has been in the zone away from the paint. He entered Tuesday’s game shooting nearly 50% from just inside the arc and almost 40% from the top of the key. Davis has made it a point to fit his jumpshots into his training regimen.

‘€œIt doesn’t take that long [in practice],’€ he said. ‘€œI might go 30 minutes hard, just jumper, jumper, jumper, jumper, and get mine in for the day. I just try to do it every day.’€

Davis’ shot has been a work in progress over the years, according to his childhood friend, Dallas Mavericks forward Brandon Bass. The two also played college basketball together at LSU. Bass has seen Davis transform from a banger to a finesse player. It’s a move that was necessary for the 6-foot-9 forward to adapt as an undersized big man in the NBA.

‘€œHe never had a bad jumpshot,’€ Bass said. ‘€œHe always could shoot it, but he wasn’t necessarily a jumpshooter. He was more of a guy you could throw it to on the block and he could get you a bucket, or he’d eat the glass up and get an offensive rebound. When I left [LSU in 2005] he developed a jumpshot a little more.’€

Garnett (flu) is expected to return for Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. While Davis won’t get as many looks off the bench, this extra playing time has helped his confidence with his shot. The skills are there; now it’s just a matter of showcasing them when given the opportunity.

‘€œI feel like I always had the talent to do a lot of things,’€ Davis said. ‘€œIt’s just all about working on them and doing them. But I always in college had flashes of myself taking the ball up the court, playing at a smaller position than the power forward and the center. So I know I can do it. It’s just about going out there and doing it and having confidence and working on it consistently.’€

Read More: Big Baby, Boston Celtics, Brandon Bass, Glen Davis
A closer look at House’s streak 01.30.09 at 12:58 am ET
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Eddie House has been unstoppable from behind the arc, knocking down eight three-pointers against the Sacramento Kings this week. So just how well is House playing? It’s the best basketball of his nine-year career.

Game- High 3PG Made (Regular season)
08-09: 8
07-08: 5 (2x)
06-07: 5
05-06: 7
04-05: 3 (3x)
03-04: 3 (4x)
02-03: 4
01-02: 4 (2x)
00-01: 2 (3x)

3PG % when making 5+ treys
08-09: 70.9%
07-08: 66.7%
06-07: 50.0%
05-06: 60.0%

House isn’t just topping his personal bests. He and Ray Allen are the only two players this season to hit eight three-pointers in a single game. He is also shooting better this season than those who once ruled from behind the arc.

2008-09 Game-High 3PG among the past five seasons’ leaders
Ray Allen: 8
Quentin Richardson: 7
Raja Bell: 6
Peja Stojakovic: 6
Jason Richardson: 4
Kyle Korver: 3
Gilbert Arenas: N/A

For more on House’s streak, listen to Sounds of the Game.

Read More: Boston Celtics, eddie house, Ray Allen,
Scal out, TA back and Kings up… 01.27.09 at 3:14 pm ET
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The Celtics had a longer than normal practice on Tuesday at their training facility in Waltham.

Here are some nuggets from the day.

Brian Scalabrine, who already was dinged up from a mild concussion on Sunday during the win against Dallas, took a serious shot to the head from Patrick O’Bryant and had to be taken off the court and given medical treatment. He was having pain from the light and has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against Sacramento by head coach Doc Rivers, who added they might have to check with the Patriots for advice.

Tony Allen looked “great” to Rivers and with Scalabrine being out, will likely return for the first time since spraining his right ankle on Jan. 4 in New York against the Knicks.

Rivers said he will remind his team that they embarrassed the Kings by 45 points on Dec. 28 in Sacramento (their lone win on the West Coast swing) because “every team in the league has pride” and they will be “out to show that that game was a fluke.”

Here is the audio version of the above.

Rivers said Scal’s second concussion in four days is not good.

Rivers explains what happened to Scal.

Rivers said the Kings will show their pride.

Rivers was happy with what he saw from Tony Allen.

Ray Allen explains what he saw when Scal got hurt.

Ray Allen on why he feels for Scal.

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Patrick O'Bryant
Sounds of the game… Celtics 124, Mavericks 100 01.25.09 at 8:09 pm ET
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Another Western Conference team makes the trip to Boston and wonders why it even bothered.

Lakers Game 6, 2008 NBA Finals. Portland on Dec. 5. Phoenix last Monday. The Dallas Mavericks were the latest team on Sunday to quit in the middle of a game, knowing they were hopelessly out of it. It’s pretty sad to watch, actually.

The Celtics should get all the credit in the world for taking all of the heart out of the competition early and that’s what Ray Allen, Eddie House and every player in green and white was talking about afterward. That, and the fact that the team is passing so well right now that they are playing at a level even HIGHER than during the 19-game winning streak. Wow.

The Celtics shots 66 percent in the first quarter, 65 percent for the first half, led by 32 points in the second quarter and 35 in the third quarter. They could’ve played Gino on the big screen at the end of one. It was THAT bad.

Now, the Sacramento Kings head to Boston for a match-up on Wednesday. You remember them, don’t you? The Western Conference team that kept it close in the pre-game warmups before losing by 45, 108-63, in Sacramento on Dec. 28. One can only hope for a competitive, if not close game this time around. But forgive me if my expectations aren’t very high.

Doc Rivers said the team is playing well together right now.

Kevin Garnett said the team is playing better than in its 19-game winning streak.

Eddie House said the Celtics have been moving the ball well of late.

Ray Allen said the Celtics have re-discovered their killer instinct.

Allen said the 19-game winning streak is a blur right now.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said the Celtics just blew them off the court.

Jason Kidd says the Celtics have been doing a great job with the early knockout punch.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett
A Big All-Star Push 01.23.09 at 9:47 am ET
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When is there a possibility that 22 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game not good enough for an All-Star selection? When you play on the 13-27 Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Big Al” Jefferson has been quietly running up the leaderboards since being traded from the Boston Celtics in July of 2007. His performance, which includes 22 double-doubles, went relatively unnoticed in fan voting. So the T’€™Wolves are doing everything they can to make sure Jefferson receives the recognition he deserves in spite of their losing record.

The organization has less than a week to win the votes of the Western Conference coaches who will vote on All-Star reserves. They have developed a marketing campaign ‘€“ ‘€œBig Al’s Road Trip: Navigating his way to Phoenix’€ ‘€“ and mailed each coach a Sony GPS device. The devices have been named the ‘€œDouble-Double Machine’€ and play a highlight video set to Lupe Fiasco’€™s ‘€œSuperstar.’€

“It would mean a lot,” Jefferson told the media. “Just growing up, before I even knew I was going to be an NBA player, just watching the All-Star games on TV you always wanted to be there as a kid. Me having that chance to make it, it would mean a lot to me. It’s something I could talk about for the rest of my life.”

All-Star reserves will be revealed next Thursday, January 29. Celtics Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins are also on the Eastern Conference ballot. Kevin Garnett was named as a starting forward for the East.

Read More: Al Jefferson, Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett
Uncovering Allen’s Game 01.19.09 at 12:13 pm ET
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Ray Allen makes basketball look easy. He could knock down three-pointers in his sleep, right? Allen is featured on the cover of the latest issue of The Improper Bostonian, where he explains that his game isn’t as effortless as it seems.

A long time ago, somebody told me that they thought God had blessed me with a jump shot, and the ability to be a great NBA player. That surprised me. I was like, ‘€˜Do you really believe that?’€™ God blessed me with health, a healthy family and the ability to go out and find for myself what I wanted to do. He granted me with the competitive drive to want to be the best and the sound mind to accomplish my goals. But that came through focus and dedication, not from some Godgiven right.

Allen’s dedication to his professional and personal life made him an easy choice for the cover story. Away from basketball he is involved with the Joslin Diabetes Center, where his son Walker received treatment for Type 1 Diabetes.

“Since it’s our Man issue, Ray Allen seemed like the perfect fit,” said Megan Lisagor, editor of The Improper Bostonian. “He embodies the qualities of a good guy–dedicated on the court to his craft and off the court to causes like juvenile diabetes. He’s focused and humble. Not to mention, he’s incredibly smooth!”

This issue of The Improper Bostonian hits newsstands this week.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Improper Bostonian, Ray Allen,
What If: Tony Allen 01.10.09 at 1:56 pm ET
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On January 10, 2007 Tony Allen blew out his left knee in a post-whistle slam dunk. Two years later, he still isn’t the same player.

At the time of his injury Allen was one of the few bright spots on a dismal Boston Celtics team. He had stepped up in the absence of Paul Pierce and was doing his best to lead his team with explosiveness and  defensive hustle. He was also averaging a career high 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and shooting 51.4% from the field. In an instant, it was gone.

Reminders of Allen’s injury have come to mind with the recent struggles of the Celtics bench. He has missed the last three games with an ankle strain and has been inconsistent when healthy. Allen, who turns 27 on Sunday, has learned to accept his role as a defensive specialist. At times there are flashes of the old TA, slashing to the basket, getting up for a dunk, or attacking the hoop for a rebound. But those highlights have been few and far between.

On the date of his injury it’s easy to wonder, what if Tony Allen never went up for that dunk?

If Allen had continued his breakout season, he most likely would have been packaged in the Ray Allen trade instead of Delonte West. If not, the Minnesota Timberwolves probably would have pushed for him in the Kevin Garnett deal. Allen was playing too well to stay on a team desperate to make moves.

There would be no need to wonder what if. Chances are Tony Allen wouldn’t be on the Celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Delonte West, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen
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