|Cassell and Perkins to Serve 250 Turkey Dinners||11.24.08 at 9:27 am ET|
On Tuesday Sam Cassell and Kendrick Perkins will serve 250 turkey dinners at the Walter Denney Youth Center in Dorchester. Full dinners, including a choice of turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, Smart Water, and Vitamin Water, will be provided by the Sam Cassell Foundation and Mark Wahlberg Foundation. Today Ray Allen will provide 275 dinners at the Vine Street Community Center as part of his Ray of Hope Foundation.
|Cassell: What to Expect Defending a Title||10.27.08 at 12:49 pm ET|
Sam Cassell is the only player on the Boston Celtics who knows how it feels to defend an NBA championship. Not only that, he also knows what it takes to win two consecutive titles. Nearly 15 years after going back-to-back with the Houston Rockets, Cassell explains what the Celtics should expect heading into Opening Night.
On playing as an NBA champion: These guys got a grasp of that early in preseason. Everyone’s going to be giving us their best shot. Every game is going to be a big game. Every game.
On controlling emotions from the ring ceremony to focus on the game: You don’t control them. You don’t control them but our game plan is defense. If our offense ain’t hitting, our defense is going to be hitting so that’s the thing we live and die by, our defense. There’s no excuse if our defense isn’t up to par, so you’ll see our defense up to par and if our offense is struggling our defense will have to win the game for us.
On being a target for 82 games: Our big guys understand that and that’s why when we practice, our second unit goes after our starting unit, fouling and going after them, trying to frustrate them. But they’ve been doing a hell of a job just keeping their composure and understanding what’s at stake. And what’s at stake is winning.
On the reception in opposing arenas: Oh we’re on top of the mountain. We’re the Celtics and the majority of places we play at, we’ll have a lot of fans there ourselves. Everybody loves the champion no matter who they are. We’ve got great guys on our team and people really enjoy the way we play the game of basketball. We play it, we don’t taunt, we play hard.
On repeating the same success with different players this season: First of all, we’ve got to have the basketball gods on our side. Injuries, course of the NBA season, they happen. But we’ve also got to understand that every night is going to be a dog fight for us. So we’ve got to bring the fight. If we do that we’ll be fine.
On convincing the new Celtics to buy in to the system: Well they’ve got to. We don’t have too many new guys on this ball club but they’ve got to. They’ve got to understand. I told the guys I had a great summer last summer. I had a wonderful summer being a champ. That’s what we want to get back to. Everyone on this team had probably the best summer of their NBA career. For me it was blast because where I came from and where I ended up at, I went from last to first in a matter of 48 hours.
On putting last season behind them: It’s forgotten. It’s forgotten. We haven’t done anything yet. It’s all over. Doc emphasizes that every day in practice that it’s all over. After one night we’re just the world champions, it’s just a title. So we’re trying to get that back again.
|Fourth Quarter Reserved for Reserves||10.19.08 at 2:50 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said he wanted to learn more about “3-4″ guys before he made cuts and today he’s taking a look at everyone but Sam Cassell. With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Gabe Pruitt, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, Darius Miles, and Brian Scalabrine are on the court. This lineup is without a true center so they are pressuring on the perimeter to prevent a mismatch at the hoop. And just in case you thought anything has changed since last season, the fans are still chanting “Scal-a-bri-ne” every 30 seconds.
|Coach Cassell in Action||10.17.08 at 5:09 pm ET|
In between the first and second quarter Sam Cassell pulled Kendrick Perkins away from the huddle. The point guard demonstrated post up moves to the center, who scored two points and grabbed three rebounds in the first quarter. Despite their difference in size and position, Cassell has been working out with Perkins during shootarounds as well.
Celtics lead 26-22 after 12 minutes.
|Miles Settling Into Boston||10.12.08 at 10:19 pm ET|
Darius Miles was anxious when he moved to Boston last month. He had played here before on opposing teams but it’s a different story when you are representing Beantown. The city’s winning tradition was intimidating at first.
‘The last time I played there it wasn’t really a big deal because the team was losing games,’ Miles said. ‘Like now just walking into the practice facility, it’s like it’s scary to a point because of the history that goes back on this team. Seeing all these pictures of Bill Russell and all these great players that used to play here and seeing those big banners, it’s different now.’
Through his six-year stint in the NBA, Miles already knew many of the veteran Celtics including Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Sam Cassell. Knowing these players also meant knowing the high expectations of winning another championship this season.
‘I’m a basketball fan so I kind of knew a lot about [the Celtics tradition],’ Miles said. ‘Then once they brought a championship back, that kind of brought it all back to the world and everybody else and it kind of brought it back to my memory too. Like I said it got scary where I just don’t want to mess up, don’t want to miss a pass, drop the ball, miss a shot.’
After six weeks Miles has become more comfortable in his new digs. Doc Rivers has praised his hustle and he seems at ease in the Celtics locker room. Off the court, he has already staked claim of his new favorite restaurant, Biagio in Waltham.
‘I like the family restaurants,’ he said. ‘They don’t have too many name brand restaurants. There are a lot of family-owned restaurants around here, so the food tastes better and the people know how to cook.’
What else does Miles like about Boston?
‘My favorite part is I like everybody’s accent,’ he said, adding, ‘My mom came down here when I was sick (tonsillitis) and she was telling me she liked everybody’s accents too.’
So will this Belleville, Illinois native be pahkin the cah any time soon?
‘No, I don’t think I’ll pick one up,’ Miles said with a laugh. ‘I’m too country for that.’
|Don’t adjust your set…||10.08.08 at 3:54 pm ET|
Believe it or not, the Celtics are NOT the home team in their preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Mullins Center, despite playing this game just about 100 miles from Boston and in their home state.
That’s because the Celtics already have four other pre-designated ‘home’ preseason games, including two at the TD Banknorth Garden (Oct. 17 vs. NY, Oct. 19 vs. NJ), this Friday in Providence vs. Cleveland and Saturday night in Manchester, NH vs. Houston.
The Mullins Center is owned by the Comcast-Spectacor group, the same company that owns the 76ers and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
And besides, how appropriate that the Sixers have a home game against the Celtics on the same campus where Julius Erving made a name for himself before Dr. J did with the ABA’s New York Nets and the NBA’s Sixers.
The Celtics begin the preseason without head coach Doc Rivers on the sidelines due to personal reasons while Sam Cassell is not with the team, tending to his grandfather who suffered a heart attack this week. The 76ers are without Kareem Rush, out with a left ankle sprain.
Keep on WEEI.com for updates from yours truly and colleague Paul Flannery throughout the night.
|KG and NBA 2K9 Hits Shelves||10.07.08 at 9:52 pm ET|
On Tuesday, Kevin Garnett’s face was plastered around electronics stores across the country as 2K Sports’ NBA 2K9 hit the shelves. I checked out a copy for PlayStation 3 and the likeness to KG ‘ and the rest of the players around the league ‘ is uncanny. From his high release to spinning the ball into his left hand before shooting free throws to a dead-on replication of cheering on the second unit from the bench, NBA 2K9 captured every aspect of the cover star’s game.
The rosters for this game were set on August 8th, so if you want to Sam Cassell to play on the Celtics you will have to make some moves just like GM Danny Ainge. Cassell, along with P.J. Brown and Scot Pollard, are listed as free agents in this version.