Big Three Get First Taste of Losing in Boston


Big Three Get First Taste of Losing in Boston

In the unlikely event they had forgotten, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce now are getting a refresher on losing. The significance of this crash course really depends on them.


Shuttlesworth Saves the Day Again


Shuttlesworth Saves the Day Again

"Jesus" saved the struggling Celtics last night.

Boston defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 100-90, at sold-out TD Banknorth Garden and snapped a two-game losing streak thanks to Ray Allen, who is nicknamed "Jesus" by his teammates because he played the character Jesus Shuttlesworth in the movie "He Got Game."


Leon Pow(!)e KOs Sixers


Leon Pow!(e) KOs Sixers

With 3:04 remaining in the third quarter of last night's game, and the Celtics in the process of getting annihilated on the glass and possibly losing yet another home game to yet another ho-hum team, Doc Rivers finally remembered his 12th man and summoned him for help. If that sounds like desperation, well, it was pretty close to that. This was looking like Charlotte redux.


Raef Raves about Celtics


Raef Raves about Celtics

Raef LaFrentz' old Celtics team is now scattered between Minneapolis, Seattle and a small but important bit still in Boston.


C's Talk Trash in Matinee Win over Knicks


C's Talk Trash in Matinee Win over Knicks

NEW YORK - By the disappointment in coach Doc Rivers's voice and face, you would have thought the Celtics were thoroughly beaten yesterday. Actually, they hammered the Knicks, 109-93, at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. But since the Celtics let their mouths do as much talking as their game, Rivers was far from happy.


Posey and Pierce Celebrate Win


Posey and Pierce Celebrate Win

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Paul Pierce showed respect to the Pistons when he spoke after the Celtics' 92-85 victory last night. But according to reports, he was caught up in the hoopla and proclaiming his squad the best team in the league as he left the Palace floor.


Ray Allen has Offnight; Tony Allen? Not so Much


The highlight reel is usually reserved for Ray Allen, not Tony Allen. It was quite the opposite last night.

Ray Allen scored his only 2 points of the Celtics' 100-96 win over the Grizzlies on two free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining. The seven-time All-Star missed all nine of his field goal attempts in 35 minutes. He failed to score in double figures for the first time this season and was limited to 2 points for the first time since April 9, 1999, when he was 0 for 8 from the field and made two free throws for the Bucks at Cleveland.


Ali-Frazier II


Ali-Frazier II

Enough with the Grizzlies and other assorted flotsam and jetsam. Tonight, in Auburn Hills, Mich., the two best teams in the East again meet in what promises to be, as Johnny Most might have said, a real barn burner.


Down Goes Frazier!


Bambino Grande Leads Way to W over Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - A Big Baby grew up during the Celtics' big revenge victory last night.

Rookie forward Glen Davis scored 16 fourth-quarter points by making all six of his field-goal attempts to spark the Celtics to a 92-85 victory over the Pistons at The Palace last night.


For Crying Out Loud: Baby Leads the Way


Baby Leads C's to Win at Auburn Hills

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - And a child shall lead them.

Make that a Big Baby.

Glen Davis scored 16 of his career-high 20 points in a fourth-quarter sneak attack that dumbfounded Detroit and lifted the Celtics to a 92-85 victory in the return match of the best two teams in the Eastern Conference.


Big Game Players Play Big in Big Games


Big Game Players Play Big in Big Games

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - How fitting it was that a rookie, a second-round draft pick, no less, was the difference-maker down the stretch last night in a game between teams stocked with veterans, and one of them oozing in playoff experience.


Pierce earns an A for his D


Odds are, Pierce wasn't named NBA Player of the Week because of his defense (he averaged 27.5 points in four wins). But Rivers noticed. Only three Celtic opponents scored more than 20 points in the four games: Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, and Kobe Bryant. None was Pierce's responsibility. "This is the best I've ever seen him play defense and it's been all year," Rivers said. "So that's where my pride comes in when I talk about Paul."

Bonzi Wells pretty much summed up the mood of the Houston Rockets, who come into the TD Banknorth Garden tonight after Golden State guard Baron Davis took them hostage late in a 112-95 loss Monday. "We played like trash in the fourth," Wells told the Houston Chronicle. "Everything trash consists of, we did that. It was just a trash quarter for us." ... Rockets star guard Tracy McGrady has missed three games with tendinitis in his left knee and is considered day-to-day. "We're going to prepare like he's playing," Rivers said. "And if he doesn't play, he doesn't play."


Rondo's Absence Felt


WALTHAM - It's not as though Rajon Rondo wants to be on the trainer's table, switching between ice and heat on his bum right hamstring. If he could have, he would have played against the Lakers Sunday.

"The lineup card was already turned in," he said.




After Kevin Garnett put the game away with a late jumper, teammate Paul Pierce jumped on his back for a ride. The way the "Big Ticket" carried the Celtics in the fourth quarter, the rest of the team should have jumped on, too.


Odom: Foul on Shuttlesworth Not a Cheap Shot


Lakers forward Trevor Ariza made fun of teammate Lamar Odom during practice yesterday by getting into a three-point football stance. But even though Odom's hit on Celtics guard Ray Allen last Sunday night was better suited for the gridiron, he didn't view the foul as excessive.


Kobe & Phil: C's are Title Contenders


After losing twice to the Celtics this season, Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson gave them high praise. In fact, Bryant said he wouldn't be surprised to see the Celtics in the NBA Finals. "There are only a couple teams in the Eastern Conference that really stand out: the Pistons and the Celtics," Bryant said. "They're pretty much the cream of the crop of the Eastern Conference."

When asked if the Celtics were the NBA's best team, Jackson said, "They certainly have been with us. I think Detroit is playing really well, too. But [of] the teams we have seen so far, they have shined." Bryant also gave high praise to the Celtics' supporting cast. "It's not just [Allen, Garnett, and Pierce]," Bryant said. "If you just had them, it would be easy to defend those guys because you could always pack it in. They made some great additions. They got great defensive presence coming off the bench. They are all shooters."

The Celtics took yesterday off and resume practice today in Waltham ... Rockets star Tracy McGrady told the Houston Chronicle that he doubts he will play against the Celtics tomorrow because of bone bruise in his left knee.


Big Three have Big Supporting Cast


File this under sights you will see only in La-La land:

Dorchester homey and Celtics regular Donnie Wahlberg and his brother Mark Wahlberg, a reputed Lakers fan, seated next to the Celtics bench Sunday night.

Meanwhile, across the floor, former Celtics/Lakers player-turned-actor Rick Fox hanging out for the entire game with teen golfer Michelle Wie and actress Sharon Stone.


C's Beat Jazz for Third Straight West Coast Win


SALT LAKE CITY - As Paul Pierce walked off the hardwood floor, he poetically chanted over and over again, "Road warriors, road warriors!"

The Celtics advanced to 3-0 on their four-game West Coast trip with a 104-98 victory over the Jazz at a sold-out EnergySolutions Arena last night. Boston improved to an NBA-best 25-3 record, winning its seventh straight road game and fifth straight overall. The loss was only the third at home this season in 13 games for Utah (16-16).


Jerry West Prefers Kobe to Garnett (Big Surprise!)


Forgive Jerry West for being biased. The man who brought Kobe Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers recently called the high-scoring, high-maintenance guard the best player in the NBA. West made his preference clear with all due respect to Kevin Garnett, though the Hollywood logic behind his choice will likely spark debate in advance of tonight's Celtics-Lakers game at the Staples Center.


Celtics Blowout Lakers in LA with Rondo on the Bench


LOS ANGELES - After his right hamstring felt tight yesterday morning, Celtics guard Rajon Rondo missed last night's game 110-91 victory over the the Lakers.

Rondo suffered the injury late in the first quarter of Boston's 104-98 victory at UtahSaturday night.

The second-year guard said he felt fine following a workout at the Staples Center before last night's game and had hoped to convince coach Doc Rivers to play him.


Doc Weighs in on the Zen Mistress


Skeptics have said Lakers coach Phil Jackson's nine NBA titles had more to do with coaching the superstar likes of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers than being a great coach. But on the flip side, Jackson also has had to manage superstar egos, too.

Rivers, coaching three superstars in Boston, believes Jackson doesn't get enough credit for that part of his job.

"He's been phenomenal," Rivers said. "He's one of the better coaches to have ever walked the Earth. He gets a lot of heat because he's coached with talent. But that's not easy to do. You have to keep all those personalities together and go on. It's my first time having talent and it's not easy. You have to manage a lot of personalities.

"He's been through so much more than me. I can't even think of what he's gone through, to be honest. He's gone through a lot of good. Whatever anyone can say, you can't take any of those championships away from him."


Doc Keeping C's Steady on the Road


SALT LAKE CITY - While the Celtics were resting in this snowy city in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, the home team was in Los Angeles on Friday night, getting destroyed by the resurgent Lakers.

As a result, the Celtics weren't quite sure what to expect going into last night's game with the Jazz.


C's Down L's, Move to 26-3


Green Now 8-0 against Western Conference Teams
4-0 on this West Coast Trip
Lakers and Fans Give Up with 9 Minutes to go in 4th

LOS ANGELES - The Lakers' Phil Jackson will pass late Celtics legend Red Auerbach on the all-time coaching wins list. But it didn't happen on the Celtics' watch.

The Celtics completed their four-game Western road trip undefeated with a 110-91 victory over the Lakers last night at Staples Center. Boston improved to an NBA-best 26-3, and has won eight straight road games and six straight overall. Jackson remained tied with Auerbach with 938 career wins, seventh in NBA history.


Four Starters Score 20 in W


Through 25 games, no team in the NBA has been better than the Celtics, and not many teams in league history have been either.

The Celtics improved to an NBA-best 22-3 last night with a 103-91 victory over the Magic at TD Banknorth Garden. The NBA record for this point of the season is 23-2, achieved by Philadelphia (1966), New York (1969), and Chicago (1995). The Celtics also tied San Antonio for the best home record this season (14-1).

"I didn't have any expectations, honestly," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I know that's hard to believe, but I really didn't. I had an expectation that we were going to be a good team. But, as far as wins and losses, I didn't have a number by Christmas.


Defense is Now the Culture in Beantown


An old coach used to tell us that good defense is talk, help and hustle. Around the Celtics, it's more than that. It's a culture.

Danny Ainge can make someone a Celtic by drafting him, signing him as a free agent or trading for him. But he can't make him one of the guys.


Anticipation: 4 Games, 5 Nights, 2 Time Zones


It's finally here - an honest-to-goodness Road Trip. Most of the teams in the Eastern Conference have ventured into the Mountain and Pacific time zones this season. Every team but the Celtics and Bobcats has had at least one road game against a Western Conference foe.


Shorty Stepping Up


When the game film from this one gets passed around from team to team, there is going to be a collective imbibing of hemlock across the NBA. Rajon Rondo, the man Kevin Garnett affectionately refers to as "shorty," is now making threes, too? Who's next, Leon Powe?


Go West Young Man: Celtics Face First Extended Test on Road


The Celtics would have done well to study the progression of Orlando, last night's opponent.

At one time the team with the most wins in the league, the Magic limped in last night on a 2-6 streak, oddly enough with both wins coming on the road.

But Jeff Van Gundy, whose team conquered the toughest stretch of the early season with a 4-1 western road swing - the one loss coming in Phoenix - had a piece of advice for the Celtics.

``Their challenge will be when they get out on the road,'' the Magic coach said on the eve of the Celtics' first big move west - a four-games-in-five-nights affair that starts Wednesday night in Sacramento.

``So far we've played 10 Western (Conference) road games, and they've played none, so they have something to find out,'' he said. ``But all you have to do is look at their record and numbers to know they're the best team in the NBA. They've been a great defensive team all year.''

Doc Rivers understands the whole point of facing adversity. The Celtics coach only hopes the stakes don't rise too high in that department.

``I hope it's never coming, but I've been around the league long enough to know you find it in little ways,'' he said. ``And I think each day makes us better suited to face it. Even when you're winning there's adversity at times.''

Celtic Doubters Expect them to Stumble Out West


They're not deaf. The Celtics know what's being said about them in some of the more cynical corners of the NBA.

They haven't played anybody yet. They haven't gone west.


C's Start Road Trip with "Ugly" 20-Point W


SACRAMENTO - The Celtics were finally able to crown the Kings last night in California's capital city.

Boston snapped an 11-game losing streak here with an ugly 89-69 victory last night. The Celtics improved to an NBA-best 23-3 and have won five straight games on the road. It was Boston's first win here since Feb. 16, 1996.


New 3 Win Again, Tie Mark Set by Old 3


Larry Bird is reluctant to compare his Celtics teams from the 1980s with today's version. But after the current Celtics earned a 104-82 victory over the Bucks last night at TD Banknorth Garden, they have something in common with Bird's teams.


Perkins Hurts Toe


WALTHAM - Until yesterday, if you Googled the words "injured toe," "furniture," and "Celtics center," you'd come up with Pervis Ellison dropping a coffee table on his foot in 1996. That caused the oft-injured Ellison to miss pretty much all of the 1996-97 season.


Reserves Mop Up after Starters Build 70-30 Lead


The Celtics' starting five had to work as hard in the fourth quarter as the fans sitting across from them in courtside seats.

With their starters on the bench, the Celtics finished off a 112-84 blowout of the Raptors at TD Banknorth Garden last night. Boston improved to an NBA-best 16-2 and has won five straight.

Win Lifts C's Record to 17-2


CHICAGO - The Celtics' "Big Three" took a back seat to the "Big D" last night.

The Celtics pushed their NBA-best record to 17-2 with a 92-81 victory over the Bulls at the United Center. Boston has won six straight and three in a row on the road. The Celtics also snapped an eight-game losing streak to Chicago dating back to the 2004-05 season.


Sluggish C's Win Matinee


The clock oddly struck at 12:30 p.m. for tip-off. Cavaliers star LeBron James was sitting on the bench in street clothes. And the weary Celtics and the sold-out TD Banknorth Garden crowd seemed in need of some strong coffee and maybe some brunch, too.


Conjuring Up Pervis


Kendrick Perkins is now, unequivocally, unambiguously, officially part of Celtics lore. He joins Pervis Ellison on the short list entitled "Celtics centers who missed games because of injury involving a toe and a piece of furniture." Poor Pervis, who was almost always hurt (resulting in Danny Ainge nicknaming him "Out of Service Pervis"), missed most of a season when a coffee table fell on his foot. (That was the story, anyway, which Pervis and the Celtics resolutely stuck to. It may even be true. We'll have to wait for the Ellison Memoirs.)

Poor Perk missed his first game of the season last night - a 90-78 Celtics' win over the Kings - a couple of days after his bed collapsed on his toe. Perkins was in good spirits after the game, took a number of jokes well, and said he hoped to be able to play tomorrow. "I think he should be able to play [tomorrow] night," Ainge said.

Perkins missed practice Tuesday and coach Doc Rivers said it was because of a sore toe. There was no mention of how Perkins was hurt; players get sore toes all the time. Only a couple of reporters thought to buttonhole Perkins to get to the bottom of the matter and, soon thereafter, his story was sent 'round the world, courtesy of the Associated Press. And it was a doozy.

"I guess whoever put my bed together didn't put it together right when I moved, so one side of my bed fell," he said. "My bed was tilted, so I got out of my bed to go push down on the other side. And when I was about getting ready to push down on the other side, the headboard started coming in. So I tried to push the headboard back so it wouldn't fall over. My foot was under the bed and the other side of the bed fell on my foot."


Baby Plays Big in W


The Celtics used a "Big Baby" to get some much-needed energy yesterday.

Rookie forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis scored 9 points and made 4 of 5 shots, grabbed seven rebounds, had one block and one steal to spark the weary Celtics during an 80-70 victory over the Cavaliers yesterday at TD Banknorth Garden.

KG Not a Big Fan of Afternoon Tilts


Athletes may be the ultimate creatures of habit. Everything must be just so, whether it's the day-of-game routine or the pregame ritual. Thus, when a wrench is introduced into the equation, well, you get games like we got yesterday. Nature abhors a vacuum. Players abhor afternoon games.


Defense Key to Celtics' Fast Start


Well, if we didn't know by now - with 14 wins in 16 games, many of them wire-to-wire routs - we can point to Celtics boss Danny Ainge's remarks yesterday as to why he thinks his team is overpowering its opponents. In a word, defense.


Doc Rivers Named Coach of the Month


WALTHAM - Doc Rivers led his first practice yesterday since being named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for November. Even he had to marvel at how much better he's coaching this season than last season, when the only difference has been an overhaul in personnel featuring two additional All-Stars, one of them a first-ballot lock for Springfield.

"We haven't changed much," Rivers said. "It's different personnel."


Clifford Ray's Project Showing Promise


WALTHAM - Assistant coach Clifford Ray has a job on his hands. The task: Turn Glen "Big Baby" Davis into an NBA player. The observation to date: So far, so good, but much work needs to be done.


What Ever Happened to the Fire Doc Websites?


At the nadir of the Doc Rivers Era, frustration came in an unflattering and unfiltered form. The Celtics were in the midst of a 101-77 loss to the New York Knicks early last season when a large group of fans at the TD Banknorth Garden began calling for the firing of the Celtics coach.

At the end of the Boston bench, where Celtics players heard the clamor, the chorus was even crueler.



The Closer

Image result for kyrie duke


As you may have noticed, I've been compiling and posting articles about the 2007-08 championship season (the only championship in the last 30 years). One thing I will say is that the gaudy record this year feels a little more sustainable (as great as the 2007-08 team was, you kept wondering if they could keep it up). Brad Stevens has kind of reduced the games down to a science. Of course, that makes things a little more predictable. So we shall see. I'm sticking with my 58 win prediction. Can you imagine how many games this team would have won with GH?

Embracing Posey


In terms of surprises to the coach, the clear-cut winner for the Celtics thus far has been James Posey. Doc Rivers pretty much knew what he was getting from the ultra-intense Kevin Garnett and the smooth Ray Allen. He had no real read on Posey, other than hearing that Posey was a good guy to have in the locker room.


Reggie Miller has No Regrets


As hard as it was for him to do, ex-NBA star Reggie Miller picked up his telephone and called his neighbor, workout partner, and friend, Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, to tell him he planned on staying an ex-NBA star.


Cavs Conquer C's in OT


CLEVELAND - The Celtics put an end to one streak last night - they weren't the third straight team to be abused by LeBron James to the point of a triple-double. But James still put together a rather impressive line - 38 points, 13 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks - and nearly outscored the Celtics all by himself in overtime, as the Cavaliers pinned the second loss of the season on the Celtics, taking a 109-104 decision before a sellout crowd of 20,652 at Quicken Loans Arena.


Ray's Trey Moves C's to 11-1


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Imagine that. A Celtics game with no double-digit leads - by either team. A Celtics game with more than 20 lead changes. A Celtics game where - gulp - the Celtics actually trailed in the fourth quarter and went down to the last shot.


Perkins a Beast in C's Win over L's


Kendrick Perkins made it seem as if there were a Big Four for the Celtics in last night's 107-94 win over the Lakers at TD Banknorth Garden.

Perkins scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The 6-foot-10-inch, 264-pound center made 8 of 10 shots in 34 minutes. Perkins is now shooting a team-best 64.7 percent from the field.

"I've just got to be consistent," he said. "It can't be up and down, up and down. It has to be consistent all the way through and a steady level. But it was a great game tonight."

Perkins knew the main reason he was getting dunks and layups was the attention paid to teammates Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

"A lot of easy baskets," said Perkins. "I've just got to keep finishing, setting picks, and getting guys open and it will come."

Said Garnett: "He had a huge game for us. I'm happy for him."


Title Deprivation Accelerating Chemistry


Eleven games in, are we spoiled already?

The home games mostly look the same. The Celtics grab an early lead, pad it with an impressive second quarter, and then it's pretty much Patriots-like the rest of the way. People get edgy when the second-half lead drops to, oh, say, 12.


The Buzz is Back


We have officially gone back to the future.

For the last 10 years or so, you could walk into The Four's, the landmark sports bar located a Ray Allen 3-pointer from the New Garden, two hours before game time and sit yourself down, no problema. Now, two hours before game time means an hour wait for a table. Perhaps Larry, Kevin, and Robert aren't walking through that door any time soon, but in the meantime, thank you, KG. The Buzz around North Station and its environs is back.

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