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Irish Coffee: ‘The Association’ observations (Episode 3) 02.28.11 at 10:28 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Episode 3 of “The Association: Boston Celtics” didn’t disappoint. Filmed in the midst of all the drama surrounding Kevin Garnett‘s on-court antics, the Celtics All-Star forward became the focal point of the show. We got some rare glimpses of Garnett behind the scenes, like running the beaches in his hometown of Malibu and looking out over the Pacific Ocean. He gave us some true gems that could only come from the mind of KG:

  • “I feel like my intensity is right where it needs to be. If you’re going to be anything in this league, you’ve gotta have an edge. There’s no room for soft. There’s no room for a person who’s going to give ground. Hell, yeah, I’m trying to gain an advantage out here. If you’re not, then you’re in some trouble. If you can’t handle it, get off the court.”
  • “My job is to stop you, so I don’t anticipate you liking me. I don’t anticipate you trying to be my friend, because I’m not trying to be your friend.”
  • “Half the stuff you probably hear about me is not even true. I’m not doing anything different than what I’ve been doing the 15, 16 years I’ve been playing. It’s nothing personal towards anybody I play. It’s the way I play, night in and night out.”
  • “Game 7 was a time where I was speechless, and if I were sitting here to tell you it didn’t give me an extra push, then I would be lying.” [followed by a loooooooooooong pause]
  • “The league knows what we are. Everybody. Ain’t nothing to talk about. All our talk is in our play, so stay tuned.”
  • “Water is tranquil. It’s tranquility to me. You get a sense of peace. I’m on of thoes people that sort of embraces the moment. I reflect. It’s a tranquil moment for me. It’s crazy that a lot of people when they meet me, they expect me to be this intense guy, and a lot of times I’m just laid back and as cool as anybody else.”
  • “Everybody says they want to win, but sometimes actions are different from words. That’s what’s most important to me when it comes to basketball.”
  • “See y’all in the Finals.”

Garnett may have been the focus of the episode, but his supporting cast should get some Bust Supporting Actor nominations, too. Here are a few more observations:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Mike Bibby
Examining the Celtics’ buyout options 02.27.11 at 4:55 pm ET
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Leon Powe could return to the Celtics. (AP)

In the year and a half since Leon Powe left Boston after the 2009 season, he has played just 34 games. He also has not played in a game since Jan. 5. But Powe is available after he was waived by the Cavaliers and that’s enough to put him on the Celtics’ radar screen as they look to fill two, and possibly three, roster spots before the playoffs.

The Celtics currently have 13 players on the roster counting Chris Johnson, whom they signed to a 10-day contract out of the D-League. In the wake of the trades that sent Semih Erden, Luke Harangody and Marquis Daniels out of town, team president Danny Ainge finally has the flexibility to add more pieces.

“We’d like to add someone at each position,” Ainge said in an interview with WEEI. “A wing player, either a great shooter or a defender, not both. We’d like to shore up our frontline. We would probably look for another guard, but that’s probably the least of it.”

Here’s how the roster looks as of Sunday night:

PG: Rajon Rondo, Delonte West, Avery Bradley

SG: Ray Allen, Von Wafer

SF: Paul Pierce, Jeff Green

PF: Kevin Garnett, Glen Davis

C: Nenad Krstic, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal

(Note: Johnson is on a 10-day contract. The Celtics have the option of signing him to another 10-day contract when this one runs out. Then they would have to decide whether to sign him for the rest of the year.)

The issue for the Celtics right now is the limited number of players who might be available. To be eligible for someone’s postseason roster, players under contract must be waived before Tuesday, March 1. They can sign any time after that, but as Tuesday’s deadline draws near, the pool continues to shrink, not expand.

The Bobcats apparently plan to keep center Joel Przybilla. Jared Jeffries was bought out by the Rockets, but he is expected to go back to New York. You can forget about any Marcus Camby dreams and Sam Dalembert is staying with the Kings.

UPDATE: Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday night that the Clippers have reached a buyout with Rasual Butler. According to Spears, his list of teams includes the Celtics.

Then there’s the strange saga of Rip Hamilton. According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hamilton nixed a trade that would have sent him to Cleveland and then declined overtures on a buyout, while also orchestrating an embarrassing boycott of coach John Kuester, with whom he has been feuding.

The real prize in the buyout season is Troy Murphy, who has reportedly worked out a buyout with the Warriors as of late Sunday. Murphy will be the most coveted name available, with the Celtics competing with Miami for his services. It says something about the shallow pool of talent available that a player who has seen action in just 18 games and logged less than 300 minutes this season will be that in demand.

Which brings us back to Powe. He’s 27 years old with bad knees, but again, he’s available. Powe is still beloved in the locker room and he’s obviously familiar with Doc Rivers‘ system. Even in limited minutes, he’s shown flashes. He also may be one of the few legitimate options. Murphy and Powe are the two best big man options and acquiring one, if not both, will be the Celtics’ biggest priority.

Here’s a look at some other players who may interest the Celtics. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Buyouts, dan gadzuric, jason kapono, Leon Powe
Irish Coffee: Ultimate Celtics rumor roundup 02.23.11 at 2:40 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …

Ever since Marquis Daniels suffered a bruised spinal cord on Feb. 6, it’s been no secret the Celtics want to make a trade, and Lord knows they’re active. Just look at the names they’ve reportedly inquired about.

The Celtics don’t have to make a deal. They’ll be NBA title contenders no matter what. If they do add someone, they’ll have to part ways with Marquis Daniels, Nate Robinson, Von Wafer, Semih Erden, Avery Bradley or Luke Harangody. In a lot of cases, that someone wouldn’t be an upgrade over any of those guys.

So, let’s sort all the rumors into three categories: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

THE GOOD: UPGRADES

Suns forward Grant Hill

  • Contract: Signed through this season ($3.32 million)
  • Statistics: 30.4 minutes, 13.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 49.5 FG%, 35.8 3-PT FG%, 84.0 FT%
  • Rumor: Among the places the Celtics have looked is Phoenix. Three sourdes confirmed the clubs spoke about three Suns wings.
  • Chances: “That looks like it’s gone,” said one Herald source, “but you never know.”
  • What it would take: Daniels and either Bradley, Erden or Harangody

Rockets forward Shane Battier

  • Contract: Signed through this season ($7.35 million)
  • Statistics: 30.8 minutes, 8.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.2 blocks, 45.4 FG%, 64.9 3-PT FG%, 64.9 FT%
  • Rumor: The Rockets would be tempted to make the deal if the Celtics would include center Semih Erden, though we’ll probably never know since Boston apparently wants to keep and develop him.
  • Chances: Houston-Boston deal involving Shane Battier not happening, says source close to situation
  • What it would take: Robinson, Bradley and Erden or Harangody; or Daniels and Robinson

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Nate Robinson, NBA, Trade rumors
Irish Coffee: President Obama wants Bill Russell statue in Boston 02.16.11 at 11:58 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …


(NOTE: Between the 16:30 and 18:30 marks, President Obama speaks about Bill Russell; at the 35-minute mark, Russell receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom)

In a brilliant article in Boston Magazine, WEEI.com’s Paul Flannery stated the case for a statue in Bill Russell‘s honor in the streets of Boston. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama hopped on Flannery’s bandwagon. The following is a transcript of President Obama’s remarks as he awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

When Bill Russell was in junior high, he was cut from his basketball team. He got better after that. He led the University of San Francisco to two championships. In 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, he won 11 championships — a record unmatched in any sport. Won two while also serving as the team’s coach. And so happens, he also was the first African-American ever to hold such a position as a coach in a major league sports team of any sort. More than any athlete of his era, Bill Russell came to define the word “winner.”

And yet, whenever someone looks up at all 6 feet, 9 inches of Bill Russell — I just did; I always feel small next to him — and asks, “Are you a basketball player?” — surprisingly, he gets this more than you think, this question — he says, “No.” He says, “That’s what I do, that’s not what I am. I’m not a basketball player. I am a man who plays basketball.”

Bill Russell, the man, is someone who stood up for the rights and dignity of all men. He marched with King; he stood by Ali. When a restaurant refused to serve the black Celtics, he refused to play in the scheduled game. He endured insults and vandalism, but he kept on focusing on making the teammates who he loved better players, and made possible the success of so many who would follow. And I hope that one day, in the streets of Boston, children will look up at a statue built not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man.

In honor of Russell receiving the highest civilian award given in the United States, The Boston Globe discussed Russell’s impact on and off the basketball court with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino as well as Celtics legends Tommy Heinsohn and Bob Cousy, who spanned nine of Russell’s 13 seasons and nine of his 11 title runs:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, Delonte West, President Barack Obama
Report: Celtics have interest in Troy Murphy and Rip Hamilton at 10:13 am ET
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We’re still a little more than a week away from the trade deadline of Feb. 24 and things are starting to heat up. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski writes that if New Jersey’s Troy Murphy and Detroit’s Rip Hamilton are bought out of their contracts, the Celtics would have interest in acquiring them.

Murphy was traded from Indiana to New Jersey in the offseason but didn’t mesh with coach Avery Johnson and requested a trade. Wojnarowski writes that several teams would be interested in Murphy — a big man who can shoot from the outside and rebound — including New Orleans, Miami, Orlando and Miami.

Hamilton has been cast aside in Detroit, racking up DNP-coaches decision for the last few months. The Celtics have had interest in Hamilton before. Neither player addresses the Celtics’ most pressing need, a small forward to back up Paul Pierce, but both would be upgrades to a second unit that has struggled for consistency.

Players who are bought out of their contracts are free to sign with any team. The Celtics are over the cap and could sign them for a the veterans minimum. The issue for the Celtics is that they have 15 players on the roster and someone would have to go to make room for a new acquisition.

Read More: NBA Trade Deadline, Rip Hamilton, Troy Murphy,
Troy Murphy gets it right on Rondo 12.23.09 at 10:50 am ET
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Not sure if everyone’s noticed an emerging trend in the NBA where a large number of players stop short of giving Rajon Rondo his props. Indiana’s Danhtay Jones spoke for many who have conveyed similar statements when he said Tuesday night, “They have a great team. He compliments the guys around him. He’s a part of a great machine.”

There’s a couple of things happening in that quote. One, the players meme is that Rondo is beyond lucky to be on a team like the Celtics with veteran superstars and two, he’s a complimentary player.

The first part may be true. The second part not so much. At the very least Rondo is the third-most important player on the roster and you can make a strong argument that he is actually the most important. That’s not to call out Jones. Lots of players have made similar statements, and some in harsher tones than what  Jones said after a tough loss.

Troy Murphy, however, got it just about right.

“He just kills your whole gameplan because you don’t know where he’s going to be,” Muprhy said. “He’s all over the place. He’s taking chances. He just creates havoc out there. He’s tough.”

Rondo leads the league in steals, which is part of taking chances and creating havoc, yet he’s doing it while playing “more solid” as Doc Rivers has pointed out several times. There are no metrics for staying under control both offensively and defensively, but that’s what Rondo is doing this year, while still maintaining his creativity offensively and his gameplan destroying nature defensively.

In other words, he’s putting it all together. People will start to notice soon off. Even the other players.

Read More: Dahntay Jones, Rajon Rondo, Troy Murphy,
Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers 12.03.08 at 9:25 am ET
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On Wednesday night the Boston Celtics (17-2) will take on the Indiana Pacers (7-10) at the TD BankNorth Garden. The Pacers already upset the Celtics once this season and are riding the momentum of stunning the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. It will be up to the Celtics to halt this series of shockers.

The Pacers want to keep celebrating ...

The Pacers want to keep celebrating ... (Jessica Hoffman/Pacers)

What Went Wrong
On November 1 the Pacers defeated the Celtics 95-79 in Indiana. It was the Celtics first loss of the season, quickly proving their championship didn’t make them immortal. The Pacers jumped out to a 10-point first quarter lead and went up by as many as 25 in the fourth. The Celtics looked sloppy on the road (24 turnovers) and were off the mark all night (34.6% FG, 4-for-20 3PG, 60% FT). Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce‘s combined 33 points and 24 rebounds were not enough. Kendrick Perkins went scoreless while Rajon Rondo hit just one basket. Danny Granger scored 20 points, Marquis Daniels posted 13 points and 11 boards, and T.J. Ford contributed 19 points. When asked to explain the 18-point loss, Garnett told the media, “I don’t even know what to call it.”

In the Last Five Games …
The Celtics have the offensive edge over the Pacers, stretching their margin of victory up to 14.2 points per game over the last five contests while the Pacers have been losing by an average of 4.4 points. Their offense is back on pace with their defense (51.4% FG, 40.3% 3PG) as the Pacers have ranked in the bottom half of the league (43.8% FG, 34.8% 3PG). But in spite of the Celtics stifling D, the Pacers are the best rebounding team in the NBA and average nearly 10 more boards (49.0 to 40.0 rpg). The Pacers have also been the better ball handling team (23.0 to 21.8 apg) as of late despite Rajon Rondo‘s impressive play.

... but the Celtics are out for revenge

... but the Celtics are out for revenge

More than Meets the Eye
The Pacers 7-10 record is deceiving. This team has individual talent and has proved they can be threatening when playing together. Danny Granger is one of the hottest players in the league today and he and Paul Pierce will challenge each other on the perimeter all night. Force him behind the arc, though, and the Celtics could stifle his game. He is shooting just 24% from long range on no days rest. The Pacers traded Jermaine O’Neal for T.J. Ford this summer for backcourt leadership. Ford is just as dangerous as Ray Allen from the line and is capable of dropping 20 points on any given night. Troy Murphy (11.0 ppg, 11.8 rpg) will challenge the Celtics on the glass as one of the league’s underrated big men. Marquis Daniels is also having a breakout season (16.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) after recovering from a foot injury.

Hitting the Bench
While Jeff Foster and Jarrett Jack have been reliable for the Pacers off the bench, the Celtics reserves have the advantage. The Cs bench is filled with championship winners whereas the Pacers bench includes inexperienced rookies and unproven journeymen. Tony Allen has been explosive at the basket and scored 14 points in the first game against the Pacers. After suffering their first loss in Indy, the Celtics starters will look to come out swinging and that intensity will trickle down the bench.

Check back tonight for WEEI’s Live Celtics Game Day Blog from the TD BankNorth Garden.

Read More: Celtics, Danny Granger, Jeff Foster, Kendrick Perkins
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