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Allen Feels for Marbury 01.03.09 at 12:13 pm ET
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Ray Allen has always felt a connection to Stephon Marbury. The two have been linked together since they were teenagers and Allen has kept tabs on Marbury’s career, from the highs of All-Star seasons to the lows of the on-going standoff with the New York Knicks. Even though Marbury is direct competition in the backcourt, Allen can’t help but feel for the embattled guard.

‘€œIt’s somewhat disappointing watching what happened with Stephon,’€ Allen said after Saturday’s practice. ‘€œHe and I grew up playing together, against each other [in] high school basketball and then being drafted together, we got traded for each other. So I’ve always followed his career. He was in my draft class.

“So this year was somewhat disappointing regardless of whatever was going on in the organization, I thought he still could help that team. So it’s not like he’s a guy who can’t play basketball anymore. With his skill set, his talent, he still can come out and play basketball and carry a team.’€

Will Marbury carry the Celtics this season? Allen has not spoken with Marbury about any talks about a move to Boston and wouldn’t offer any insight on the rumors.

‘€œDanny’s the guy who has to make decisions and we feel as though he’s very, very qualified to make those decisions,’€ Allen said of Celtics President Danny Ainge. ‘€œSo for us right now, we’ve got to focus on what’s going on here on the floor. If that does happen then will move on with that, with Stephon.’€

Even though Allen won’t speculate on Marbury, that doesn’t mean he would oppose an additional asset this season.

“We welcome the help,” he said. “Our egos, we’re pretty selfless here on this team when it comes to playing basketball. We just want to win.”

While Marbury’s future is in question, Allen has little doubt about his game. Even though he hasn’t seen him play since preseason action, he has a feeling Marbury’s not letting up.

‘€œHe’s always been a strong guy so I know he hasn’t, basketball-wise, he hasn’t fallen off,’€ Allen said. ‘€œAnd not to mention with the speculation out there, in his mind I bet you he believes that if he has a chance to come here that he’s probably doing what he needs to do to take care of himself.’€

The Celtics will take on the Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Read More: Celtics, Knicks, Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury
All-Star Voting Update 12.25.08 at 7:06 pm ET
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On Christmas Day the second returns of the 2009 NBA All-Star Game ballots were announced. Dwight Howard continues to lead all votes while Rajon Rondo still struggles to crack the top 10 among all guards. Boston Celtics are bolded below in the Eastern Conference results:

Forwards: LeBron James (Clev) 1,259,764; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 905,506; Yi Jianlian (NJ) 762,162; Chris Bosh (Tor) 500,700; Paul Pierce (Bos) 313,474; Shawn Marion (Mia) 210,040; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 137,035; Danny Granger (Ind) 116,238; Josh Smith (Atl) 110,186; Michael Beasley (Mia) 100,257; Tayshaun Prince (Det) 98,262.

Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,229,858; Allen Iverson (Det) 858,469; Vince Carter (NJ) 600,087; Ray Allen (Bos) 354,642; Devin Harris (NJ) 267,504; Gilbert Arenas (Wash) 205,223; Derrick Rose (Chi) 203,687; Luke Ridnour (Mil) 197,933; Jose Calderon (Tor) 193,715; Jameer Nelson (Orl) 174,081; Joe Johnson (Atl) 162,772.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,421,882; Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 232,733; Rasheed Wallace (Det) 163,279; Jermaine O’€™Neal (Tor) 147,534; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 112,708; Al Horford (Atl) 107,118; Ben Wallace (Clev) 89,809; Emeka Okafor (Char) 69,015; Zyrdrunas Ilgauskas (Cle) 60,970; Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 54,772; Brendan Haywood (Wash) 28,182.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo
Sounds of the game… Celtics 110, 76ers 91 12.24.08 at 6:52 am ET
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The Celtics threw a Christmas party for family and friends in their locker room following their 110-91 win over the 76ers Tuesday night at TD Banknorth Garden. They certainly had plenty to celebrate. In addition to the festive time of season, the Celtics family and friends cheered the fact that they are now owners of the longest winning streak in team history at 19 games. They also raised a toast to the team’s 27-2 start, the best 29-game opening to a season in NBA history. Up next, an NBA Finals rematch with the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas Day. To get there, they took a red-eye cross-country flight but before that, they took time to reflct on the record and look ahead to what should be a classic game on Christmas at Staples Center.

Doc Rivers said he is not downplaying the sigificance of the 19-game streak.

Rivers heard the ‘Beat L-A’ chants and thought it was a great moment for the fans.

Paul Pierce on playing the Lakers in a rematch.

Kevin Garnett said winning 19 straight doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win a championship.

Ray Allen said the C’s are doing a great job of not looking too far ahead.

And be sure to read and hear what Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala said about the Celtics, their streak, trash-talking and a certain reference to a perfect regular season in the NFL that didn’t end in a title.

Read More: 19-game win streak, 27-2, Andre Iguodala, Boston Celtics
Sounds of the Game… Celtics 126, Bulls 108 12.20.08 at 10:32 am ET
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What makes a great team is when it can constantly find way to get better even when things are already going so well. Doc Rivers and staff worked with center Kendrick Perkins to work on setting better screens and picks, convincing him that this would lead to better seals under the basket and eventually more scoring opportunities for him. The result? Perk scored a career high 25 points on Friday night, second only to Ray Allen’s 27 as the C’s (yawn-yawn) dispatched of the Chicago Bulls 126-108 at TD Banknorth Garden. Now, the Celtics can match the team’s all-time winning streak mark of 18 on Sunday night against Quentin Richardson and the Knicks at home. If victorious against New York, the chance to break it comes on Tuesday against another arch-rival, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Doc Rivers on the good first and third quarters.

Rivers said Ray Allen is hitting his stride this year with the team.

Rivers jokes about Ray Allen’s 27 points.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were not surprised at the great crowd that showed up.

Garnett said the Celtics were locked in at the beginning of the game.

Rajon Rondo said the winning streak isn’t changing the Celtics.

Kendrick Perkins on the coaching staff working hard to keep team sharp.

Perkins looks forward to Knicks and Sixers.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett
73 or 34 in a row 12.19.08 at 7:42 pm ET
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Chicago, one of the most important bands of the 70s once wondered, 25 or 6 to 4. Sitting here at TD Banknorth Garden watching Chicago’s NBA entry offer precious little resistance to the Celtics, your intrepid reporter was inspired to re-work the question.

What is more likely, the Celtics winning 73 games in a season to break the 1997 Chicago Bulls all-time record or 34 straight wins to top the mark by the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers?

Would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Just Email Trags

This reporter is on record maintaining that as the Celtics are currently constituted, they will win 73 and set the new record. As for 34 straight, with a West Coast swing on the docket starting Christmas Day, that might be too much, even for these Celtics.

One other random question… With Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, in attendance at the Garden taking in the game, who is in better shape, Bolt or Ray Allen? When the two shook hands just prior to the fourth quarter at the scorer’s table, it marked a meeting of two supremely conditioned athletes.

Then, following the game, Bolt entered the locker room for a personal chat with the team and coaching staff. There was this question posed… Who would win a race, Bolt or Rajon Rondo?

Doc Rivers, who was surprised at Bolt’s height, on the great debate.

Rajon Rondo told Bolt, ‘I’ll see you in 2012’.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Hussein Bolt, Rajon Rondo
Stojakovic Done with Three-Point Shootout 12.13.08 at 1:06 am ET
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Sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic is saving his long range game for the regular season. The two-time Three-Point Shootout champion will no longer compete in the All-Star Weekend contest.

“I did that so many times so I don’t think I need to do it again,” he said on Friday night prior to the New Orleans Hornets-Boston Celtics game.

Stojakovic participated in five Three-Point Shootouts, dating back to 2001 as a member of the Sacramento Kings. He dethroned Celtics guard Ray Allen to win back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. Stojakovic took a three-year hiatus before returning this past February to show his appreciation for the host city of New Orleans. He looks forward to spending time with his family during the All-Star Break.

Read More: Boston Celtics, New Orleans Hornets, Peja Stojakovic, Ray Allen
Pierce’s D Helps Celtics Earn the W 12.03.08 at 9:24 pm ET
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The stat line will tell the story of Rajon Rondo‘s triple-double, Ray Allen‘s 31 points, and Kevin Garnett‘s 14 rebounds. But what it won’t show is the stifling defense Paul Pierce imposed on Danny Granger. Pierce held Granger to just six second half point (20 total) and shut down the Pacers leading scorer.

‘€œPaul’s always been a good defensive player,’€ Granger said after the Pacers 114-96 loss. ‘€œKG’s a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year and I think that’s one of the things that makes this team good. They can score the ball but they also play good defense.’€

Granger scored 14 points in the first half with the majority coming while Ray Allen was guarding him. The defensive switch worked for the Celtics and Granger finished the night shooting 7-for-15, including just one basket in the paint. Pierce’s tough defense combined with the Pacers’ exhaustion from Tuesday’s overtime win against the Lakers was too much for Granger to overcome.

‘€œI just got a little tired,’€ he said. ‘€œIt’s hard playing back to back games sometimes, especially when you fight so hard to win one game. You have lapses and your legs give out but that’s still no excuse. Everyone plays back to back games. You’ve just got find a way to find through. Tonight we couldn’t.’€

Read More: Celtics, Danny Granger, Kevin Garnett, Pacers
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