|Milestone win: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce pass NBA legends in laugher over Raptors||03.13.13 at 9:53 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce achieved significant NBA scoring milestones while leading the Celtics to a bounce-back 112-88 blowout win over the Raptors Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Garnett scored 12 points and passed Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with a dunk with 6:30 left in the first half. Pierce scored 15 and passed Charles Barkley for 20th place on the same list with a pair of free throws midway through the third quarters.
Both Pierce and Garnett received a video tribute during separate timeouts and a standing ovation from the Garden crowd.
Riding a two-game losing streak, the Celtics (35-29) raced out to an early 18-12 lead but thanks to six first-quarter turnovers, allowed Toronto to go on a 10-4 run to end the quarter and trailed the Raptors, 22-21, after 12 minutes. Seven Celtics scored in double figures and Shav Randolph was the only Celtic not to score.
The Celtics took better care of the ball in the second quarter and raced out to a 49-40 lead at the half, as Jeff Green scored 12 points in the quarter. Green finished with a team-best 20 points while Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford had 12 each off the bench.
THe Celtics quickly built their lead to 13 in the opening minute of the third, 53-40, but the Raptors came back to close to within four, 60-56. The Celtics finally put the game away with a 21-6 run to end the third and head into the fourth with an 81-62 lead. Former Celtic Sebastian Telfair picked up his second technical foul in the third quarter intermission and was ejected.
The Celtics built their lead up to as many as 25 in garbage time, allowing Doc Rivers to take out Garnett with just under 10 minutes left. However, unlike the night before, Garnett was getting rest because of a blowout lead.
The win came one night after arguably Boston’s worst effort of the season in a 26-point loss to the lowly Bobcats in Charlotte. The Celtics have Thursday off and will practice Friday in advance of their rare Saturday night home game, a revenge contest against the Bobcats at the Garden.
The Celtics will conclude their three-game homestand with a Monday night game at the Garden with LeBron James and the Heat, who ran their win streak to 20 games with a narrow 98-94 win over the Sixers Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Heat have road games against Milwaukee Friday and Toronto Sunday afternoon before taking on the Celtics in Boston Monday night.
For more from the team of Mike Petraglia and Ben Rohrbach from the Garden, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Trade rumor roundup: Pacers shopping D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green, Tyler Hansbrough||02.21.13 at 12:12 pm ET|
Here’s a roundup of the rumors that are making their way around the web midday Thursday, hours before the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline.
The Pacers are dangling D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green and Tyler Hansbrough, according to the Indianapolis Star. While they are 33-21 and owners of the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Pacers are looking to strengthen their roster as they look toward the playoffs.
Augustin ($3.5 million) and Hansbrough ($3.05 million) are on expiring contracts. Augustin will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, while Hansbrough will be restricted.
Green, the athletic former Celtic, signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal last offseason but has struggled to find his niche.
• Magic guard J.J. Redick, who becomes a free agent this offseason, is said to be receiving plenty of interest. Redick makes $6.19 million this season but reportedly wants close to $10 million per year for his next deal, leading to the Magic taking calls. Redick is averaging a career-best 15.2 points and 4.4 assists in 31.6 minutes per game. The Spurs are one of the teams rumored to have an interest.
• Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Raptors have emerged as the frontrunners to land Suns guard (and onetime Celtic) Sebastian Telfair, crediting league sources. Telfair’s minutes have dropped since the Suns made a coaching change last month (hiring Lindsey Hunter to replace Alvin Gentry).
Wojnarowski also tweeted that the Hornets are struggling to find a team that will trade a high enough first-round draft pick for Gerald Henderson.
• The New Orleans Time Picayune reports that the Hornets are offering guard Eric Gordon. One option has Gordon going to the Warriors for Klay Thompson, although Golden State apparently isn’t very interested in that deal.
|Five worst Celtics draft day moves of Danny Ainge era||06.27.12 at 7:20 pm ET|
When Danny Ainge was hired as Celtics president of operations in 2003, he inherited a team on the upswing that had just come off of a pair of playoff exits following six straight seasons missing the playoffs.
Nine years later, Ainge has become known across the league for his bold decision-making, something that has helped the Celtics rise back to the elite of the NBA over the last five seasons. But despite the success, it hasn’t gone without some controversy and questionable moves.
As Ainge enters his 10th NBA draft in the Celtics front office, here’s a look at the top five worst draft day moves Ainge has made and how they’ve panned out.
5. J.R. Giddens, 30th pick, 2008 – Heralded as one of the best scorers in the 2008 draft class, Giddens simply just never panned out in the NBA. Considered to be a potential replacement for Tony Allen, who eventually left the Celtics in free agency, Giddens couldn’t live up to the defensive standards that Doc Rivers stresses and never received much playing time.
It didn’t begin well for Giddens, who declined to participate in minicamp after being drafted because he hadn’t agreed to a contract. After finally signing, the 6-foot-5 guard was put on assignment with the Utah Flash of the NBA D-League before getting called up to the Celtics in February 2009. He saw very limited action and saw eight minutes during the season.
In 2009-10, Giddens saw an increased role but still didn’t see much playing time. He played 4.7 minutes per game in 21 appearances, which even included a start on Jan. 2, 2010. He scored a career-high 10 points and posted nine rebounds against the 76ers on March 19, 2010, as a member of the Knicks after being traded by the Celtics. For his career, Giddens averaged 1.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 6.5 minutes per game.
Where is he now?: On Feb. 18, 2010, Giddens was traded by the Celtics as part of a deal that sent him, Bill Walker and Eddie House to the Knicks in exchange for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry. He saw an increased role with the Knicks but chose to leave the NBA after the season to pursue a career overseas. He spent 2010-11 in Poland before signing with PAOK Thessaloniki, in Greece, where he currently plays.
|List: Danny Ainge’s best, worst draft day moves||06.23.11 at 8:37 am ET|
The Celtics’ season has been over for a while now, and if you’re still in mourning, we’re sorry. But it’s times like these when it’s best to look to the future, and in this case, that means Thursday’s NBA draft. The C’s have the 25th pick in a relatively thin class, but as history has shown, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge always is capable of creating some draft day drama. Here are a few of Ainge’s best moves when the Boston is “on the clock” (followed by a few he’d rather have back).
5. Drafting Ryan Gomes in the second round in 2005
Overall, the 2005 NBA draft was a disappointment for the Celtics (see below), but Ainge managed to pluck a promising talent out of the second round. Boston took Ryan Gomes of Providence with the 50th pick, one spot ahead of Robert Whaley and two spots behind Mickael Gelabale. Gomes started 33 games in his first year and 60 his second year, and ended up averaging 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2006-07. In the same fashion as Al Jefferson, Gomes saw his trade value increase with his breakout season, and he eventually was used as one of the many pieces in the Kevin Garnett trade.
Gomes never was a back-to-the-basket player in college and was vastly undersized in the NBA. Still, he’s managed to develop into a solid small forward for the Clippers and is averaging over 10 points per game in his career.
4. Trading for Kendrick Perkins in 2003
In his first year as general manager, Ainge had two first-round picks in one of the most talented draft classes in NBA history. No, he didn’t miraculously trade up for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, or Dwyane Wade, but he did trade draft picks Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell to the Grizzlies for their first-round picks, Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins. You might only recognize one name from that transaction, but KP43 is the only one that mattered.
|Rondo helping Hudson improve defense||11.21.09 at 3:33 pm ET|
The two point guards were in the midst of an intense post-practice drill and neither wanted to stop. Rondo drove, pulled up for shots, and tried to shake Hudson on the way to the basket. Hudson buckled down and tried to stay one step ahead of him.
“I just play defense and he’s on offense the whole time,” Hudson explained.
The drill, while competitive, was friendly in nature — “Me and Lester are pretty close. I like Les,” said Rondo. They decided some extra practice time would help Hudson improve on defense and Rondo was happy to help him out.
“[I've learned] you’ve got to be ready,” said Hudson. “There are multiple pick-and-rolls in practice. Just he’s very quick so he’s going to help me out guarding quicker guards in the NBA, so hopefully I can get my defense right.”
Rondo participated in similar drills as a rookie against Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West and knows the benefits of additional time on the court. It is especially valuable for Hudson, who has clocked just 37 minutes so far in his first season.
“He can play D, he’s long, he’s athletic, he’s quick,” Rondo said of Hudson. “He’s going to be a great player in the league one day. He’s young, he’s just trying to learn the way and try to find his way on the team.”
Hudson also learned about Rondo’s game as well. Rondo is shooting 55.9% from the field this season, the second best percentage among all guards behind Chris Paul, but his offense has been criticized in the past.
“He can shoot better than I thought he could. He’s very quick, so it helps me on my defense. I’m trying to get my defense up,” Hudson said. “He can shoot from the three. In one-on-ones he’s been hitting, so I think he can shoot it. He just has to shoot the ball.”
Neither player keeps score in this drill. It just comes down to shots and stops.
Said Hudson, “We just go til we say we’re done.”
|Familiar Faces at Vegas Summer League||07.20.09 at 1:35 pm ET|
Even though the Boston Celtics already participated in the Orlando Summer League earlier this month, there were still plenty of familiar faces on hand at the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League last week:
- A relaxed Paul Pierce, who has a home in Vegas, donned a backwards Red Sox hat and sunglasses to a few games last Wednesday. Later that afternoon he was joined in the stands by Celtics GM Danny Ainge during the Milwaukee Bucks/Chicago Bulls match up.
- Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck traveled to Las Vegas for the NBA’s Board of Governor’s Meeting. Grousbeck was appointed to the league’s Labor Relations Committee. While in Vegas he emphasized the Celtics commitment to winning next season to WEEI.com.
- Sam Cassell looked like the Mayor of Summer League when he made his first appearance, being swarmed by friends before sitting courtside with Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who spent the week eyeing talent. Cassell, of course, was sporting a huge smile but this time he had traded in his uniform for a polo and khaki shorts as assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. He was at the helm on Sunday when he led the Wiz to a victory over the New York Knicks.
- Ryan Gomes and Sebastian Telfair were in town training at Joe Abunassar’s Impact Basketball facility. Both players spent their mornings working out before checking out some Minnesota Timberwolves’ action from the bench. Click here to read more on Gomes’ role reversal.
- James Posey also came to Vegas to support his team. He watched the New Orleans Hornets take on the Los Angeles Clippers from their bench.
- Patrick O’Bryant chatted with a reporter as he was late chasing a loose ball out of bounds with the Toronto Raptors. O’Bryant averaged 11.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots.
- Brandon Wallace returned to Vegas, the same place where the Celtics signed him to his first NBA contract two years ago. Wallace suited up for the Wizards after spending last season in Poland. He posted 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds per game under assistant coach Cassell.
- Kevinn Pinkney is giving the NBA another shot after playing in Italy the past two seasons. Pinkney, who had a brief stint with the Celtics during the 2006-07 season, averaged 2.4 points and 2.6 boards for the Clippers.
- Orien Greene came to Vegas as a spectator hoping to catch on with an NBA team next season. He recently returned home from playing in Amsterdam.
For more on the 2009 Las Vegas Summer League check out the five things we learned, including why the league is talking Sheed.
|More than trade bait||01.30.09 at 6:21 pm ET|
An NBA title with the Boston Celtics has made it easy to forget about Kevin Garnett’s days with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is no longer the player who couldn’t win it all. Rather he is the champion who proved anything is possible.
Yet the former Celtics who were involved in the blockbuster deal are still known as ‘the guys traded for Garnett.’ It has been two seasons, though, since the move and now they are ready to make a name for themselves in Minnesota.
“We’re thankful for what [the Celtics] gave us but now we’ve got to set our own trends, set our own careers,” Ryan Gomes said in a telephone interview. “We’re not with the Celtics anymore. We know who they have and what they’ve accomplished, but now we’ve got to try to set other goals for ourself.”
Gomes, Al Jefferson, and Sebastian Telfair are the only remaining players on the Timberwolves from the 2007 trade. (Gerald Green and Theo Ratliff have signed with other teams.) Last season they finished 22-60, their worst record since the pre-Garnett era. In attempt to establish a new identity, the Timberwolves made off-season moves to acquire a highly-touted rookie and veteran shooter. Nonetheless they got off to an eight-game losing streak.
“What people should understand is that we had high expectations coming into this season, with the trade of Mike Miller and getting Kevin Love and Brian Cardinal and Rodney Carney,” explained Gomes. “We had high expectations and it didn’t work out for the first 35 games.”
The Timberwolves were 4-15 when head coach Randy Wittman was replaced by former VP of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. Ironically it was a Celtic great who got the Timberwolves playing their own style of basketball. They headed into the new year hot off a five-game winning streak.
“In the beginning we did go through a rough time,” Gomes said. “Our schedule in the month of December was real tough and we were trying to find ourselves. But now we’ve found ourselves and I think that’s why we’re playing well. Everyone’s understanding their roles and fulfilling them, and I’d say that’s the most important thing. Whenever you have success that means everyone’s doing their part.”
Gomes points to a demoralizing loss as the source of their improved play. In December the Timberwolves (then 6-24) blew a 29-point lead in the third quarter to the Dallas Mavericks. In spite of losing, the Timberwolves gained confidence and momentum.
“We ended up losing that game and that was what turned it around,” said Gomes. “We had seen what we could become and where we were at, and then they took it away from us. They kept fighting and kept pushing through it and believing they could win, and I think that’s what we took out of it. We had a tough stretch where we lost 13 games in a row early in the season and that game showed that we can bounce back and we can make something of the season. There’s a lot more games to be played, and once that came in January we got off on the right foot and we’ve been rolling ever since.”
The Timberwolves are 9-3 since January 1, including upsets over the New Orleans Hornets and Phoenix Suns. They will look to continue their streak when they face the Celtics on Sunday in Boston. Their former teammates have taken notice.
“First of all, Big Al’s playing like an All-Star,” said Kendrick Perkins. “Second of all, Randy Foye has stepped his game up. Rodney Carney, the rookie (Kevin) Love, Sebastian (Telfair), they’re all playing well. Since coach Kevin McHale got the job, they’ve been playing well. They’re playing good defense and I’ve been watching them lately on TV, so they’ve been playing really well.”
With just under 40 games left on their regular season schedule, the Timberwolves are nine games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference. A postseason berth is a longshot, but Gomes doesn’t mind waiting. Even if their time doesn’t come this season he is confident it’s only a matter of time before the Timberwolves establish themselves as a playoff contender.
“I think the Timberwolves are a team on the rise and this year is not over,” Gomes said. “We’ve got a lot of games to play and if we play the way we’ve played this month for the rest of the season, who knows where we’ll be. Hopefully we can maybe sneak in the playoffs and if not we could be right there. Next year should be our breakout year to take what we did this year and carry it over next year from the beginning and have a successful season. So the Timberwolves should be a team that teams should be worried about in the West and in the East because of the way we’ve been playing lately.”