Friday, March 29, 2013

Ainge: 'Embarrassing' for LeBron to complain about NBA officials

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on WEEI 93.7FM's Salk & Holley Thursday afternoon and had a few words to say about LeBron James's recent comments regarding the officiating in Wednesday's game between the Heat and the Bulls.

During the game, Chicago's Kirk Hinrich was very physical with James on the defensive end. In one particular play, Hinrich gave James a hard foul that was later responded to in a separate play on the other end of the floor. James was hit with a flagrant 1 for a shot he put on Chicago's Carlos Boozer. He had a few words to say after the game regarding the officials.
"It's been happening all year, and I've been able to keep my cool and try to tell Spo (Heat coach Erik Spoelstra), 'Let's not worry about it,'" James said. "But it is getting to me a little bit. Every time I try to defend myself, I've got to face consequences of a flagrant foul or a technical foul or whatever the case may be. It's tough. It's very tough."
Ainge was asked what he thought about James's recent comment and had this to say:
"I think the referees got the call right. I don't think it was a hard foul (Hinrich's foul on James)," Ainge said. "I think the one involving LeBron against Boozer, that was a flagrant. I think the officials got it right. I think that it's almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating." 
Most of Celtics Nation would agree with Ainge, are you kidding LeBron? There isn't another player in the league that gets more calls than you and because the Bulls ended the streak, this is how you vent your frustration?

The only thing more embarrassing than LeBron complaining about getting calls will be the NBA giving him more calls because of his words of frustration towards the officials.


LeBron James fires back at Danny Ainge's comments:
"Not surprised about anything that comes from Boston," James said. [The Palm Beach Post]


Kenyon Martin says he was close to being a Celtic

Celtics have been thin in the frontcourt and it has gotten worse recently due with the loss of Kevin Garnett, but things could have been different.

Boston nearly added depth to their frontcourt two months ago. Kenyon Martin told ESPN Boston's Jackie MacMullan that the Celtics nearly signed him back in January.

Martin, who was unsigned throughout the 2012-13 NBA season, signed with the Knicks in late-Feburary. Martin is averaging 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds a game for the Knicks. He's averaging 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in his last four games.
"It was really close,"Martin told MacMullan."Like the deal was almost done. From what I understood, Doc wanted me and the players wanted me, but in the 11th hour they didn't pull the trigger." []
It's unfortunate the Celtics didn't sign the veteran. It's clear that Doc Rivers doesn't trust D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph due to their lack of extended playing time. Maybe Danny Ainge didn't think Martin would fit in with the team but if the players thought he was a good fit, one would think that would be a good enough reason to bring him aboard.
"There were talks, there was negotiations, they chose not to do it," Martin said."It was out of my control. I'm a Knick now, so they lost. I'm just here to prove that I never lost it. I guess I'm a better person than I am a basketball player." [Boston Herald]
No one knew that the Celtics would be without Garnett but the Celtics' frontcourt woes were showing  well before Garnett went down.

Rivers will ultimately have to fit White or Randolph into the rotation sooner than later. Celtics' small-ball rotation nearly loss to the Cavs Wednesday night, they might not be so lucky next time around.

Josue Pavon

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celtics 93 - Cavs 92: Green scores game winner at buzzer

For the second time this season the Celtics topped an eight-point comeback in three minutes with a game-winning field goal by Jeff Green.

Just as Green beat the Indiana Pacers on March 6, coach Doc Rivers appointed Green over Paul Pierce to take the last shot, but this time with only two seconds left in the game. The pass was inbounded to Green as he pressed off of two screens and drove to the hoop. Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak.

"It should give him tremendous confidence,"Pierce said. "After that he should be in the huddle late in games saying, 'I want the ball.' I felt that way when I hit the first couple (of game winners). Antoine (Walker) was knocking down buzzer-beaters, other guys were there, and when I hit my first one I was like, 'I want the ball more.' If you're confident in your situation, you believe you can get the job done." [Boston Herald]

Green had 21 points and seven rebounds, Pierce scored 19 points, grabbed ten rebounds and was two assists shy of a triple-double.

The Cavs had six players who scored in double figures. Wayne Ellington led with 16.

Green not only proved that he can make the big plays when the game is on the line, but he demonstrated to coach Rivers that he is not afraid to do it.
"Jeff wanted the ball,"Rivers said."He asked for it by the way he was looking at me in the huddle. He clearly wanted the basketball. I sensed that and everybody sensed that." [Boston Globe]
Pierce isn't the only player who can hit game-winners for the Celtics. Green's quickness and athletic abilities gives Doc another option at the end of games when the veterans are tired.

Celtics outscored the Cavs in the paint, 40-38 thanks to Brandon Bass. He scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Although the Celtics are struggling defensively without Kevin Garnett, they squeezed out a much needed win. Hopefully this is the inspiring game that they needed.

The Garnett-less Celtics play again Friday night when they host the Atlanta Hawks.


The third quarter continues to be the toughest 12 minutes of basketball for the Celtics. If Celtics don't have control after those twelve minutes, it's usually going to be a loss or a nail-biter. It's how they lost to the Heat weeks ago, things fell apart in the third quarter. Luckily in this case it was a nail-biter that ended up being a win. The Celtics need to stay focus throughout those twelve minutes... Jeff Green's confidence is sky high right now and with less than three weeks left in the season, it is good timing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Garnett to miss up to 2 weeks

The Celtics will be without Kevin Garnett for possibly the next two weeks.

An MRI revealed left ankle inflammation, team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is adamant that Garnett's injury is not season-ending.
"Could he play tomorrow? Yeah, but we're not playing him tomorrow,"Ainge said.

"The timeframe, I don't know, it's not an ankle sprain but there's inflammation in the ankle, sort of like an ankle sprain in unpredictability. So I think that it's not longer than three weeks or it could be a week. I'll guess two weeks just because we want to make sure he's really ready. We need to get him fresh anyway." [Boston Globe]
Coach Rivers spoke to the media first on Monday and told reporters that Garnett injured his foot (not his ankle) against the Dallas Mavericks. Details about Garnett's injury seem fuzzy but either way, Celtics will be resting Garnett for most of the season to get him ready for the playoffs.
"We're going to err on the right side, whatever they decide. If they give me an option of you can play him every third game or give him two weeks rest, I can tell you right now I am going to say two weeks rest." [Boston Globe]
Jeff Green will most likely replace Garnett in the starting lineup tonight against the New York Knicks like he did against Memphis. D.J. White, Chris Wilcox, and Shavlik Randolph will all help off of the bench at the center position.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hornets 87 - Celtics 86: Davis tips in victory for Hornets

The New Orleans Hornets won their second and last game of the season against the Celtics, sweeping the season series for the first time in over five years.

Paul Pierce scored 11 fourth quarter points in a 15-3 Celtics run. Unfortunately, the Hornets were only down by five points with two minutes remaining and responded with a run of its own in one of the worse losses of the season for Boston.
"I just thought that we messed the game up," Coach Rivers said."I thought that we thought  that we were going to win the game when we got the lead."
After an Eric Gordon jumper, Pierce fouled Ryan Anderson while shooting a three pointer. Anderson made two of three from the line, cutting the lead down to one.

Hornets had another chance to take the lead after Pierce missed a jumper that would of gave the Celtics a three-point lead. Gordon missed a layup attempt, which set up a game winning put back from Anthony Davis to win the game for the Hornets. Kevin Garnett missed the box out assignment on Davis.
"It's tough man, it was my block out," Garnett said."I went to try to help Avery. In that sense, when you're trying to help a teammate, you're reacting. I'm acting off impulse as a big man to try to block shots and protect the basket and [Davis] too advantage of that."
Pierce scored 28, Garnett 20 to go with his six rebounds in his first game back after missing two games in one week.

Anderson and Gordon led the Hornets offensively, they shot 11-for-25. Anderson scored 21, Gordon, 18. Hornets' bench outscored the Celtics, 39-17.

Although Jeff Green contributed off the bench with 13 points, he scored all of them in the first and went cold in the second half. Coach Rivers turned to Jordan Crawford for a spark, but Crawford couldn't get it going. He shot 2-for-5, and scored only four points in 22 minutes of play. Jason Terry went scoreless along with Chris Wilcox.

Crawford and Green were the only bench scorers for the Celtics

Celtics head to Texas next for their matchup against the Mavericks, Friday. It will be the first of a back-to-back that will conclude in Memphis against the Grizzles.


Hornets also dominated the Celtics in the rebounding department, 45-28. Although it will take time for D.J. White to break into the rotation, Doc may want to do it sooner than later. Celtics are giving up a lot more second chance opportunities and can't rely on Garnett, Bass and Wilcox. They need at least one other big man on the floor to help rebound like they've had in the past couple of years (Ryan Hollins & Mikki Moore)... With a back-to-back looming ahead against Dallas and Memphis, there is a good chance the Celtics could be swept in this mini road trip. This is the game that was supposed to be the easy one out of the three, it's too bad the Celtics let this game slip through its fingers.

Josue Pavon

Wallpaper Wednesday:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Heat 105- Celtics 103 : Heat Win 23rd Straight, Green Emerges

The Heat got their 23rd straight win last night against the Celtics in a rare win for Miami at TD Garden 105-103, but the Celtics gained much more after the game, confidence.

Yes, they lost the actual game but they proved that the they can indeed compete with the Heat, and at this point have to be viewed as the number on contender to knock the Heat off the throne of the East. 

Oh yeah, and they did this all without their most important 'active' player, Kevin Garnett. 

Jeff Green got the start in place of the injured KG, and took full advantage by putting on a masterful performance, probably the greatest game out of anybody in a Celtics uniform this season. 
Green began the night by scoring 21 point in the first 9 minutes of the game and was key to the Celtics getting out in front of the Heat early. 

He would finish the game with 43 points, the most put up by a Celtic all year and the first player other than Paul Pierce to score 40 points since Antoine Walker. Truly, this was the breakout game the Celtics were looking for from their up and coming forward since his return from heart surgery.  Unfortunately, it was not enough to edge the streaking Miami Heat .

The Celtics got out to a big 17 point lead by the middle of the second quarter only to see the Heat go on a 15 to 6 run to end the second half and get within three. It was the same thing at the end of the game too.

The Celtics were up seven with five minutes left and Lebron James took over the game. He capped off a 15 to 4 run with a 21 foot contested jumper with 10 seconds left in the game to seal the deal for the Heat. 

Overall, the Celtics lost but if they had a healthy KG in the lineup it would have been a completely different night. It could have been a repeat of the first game the Celtics played with out Rondo on that Sunday back in February where they were outlasted in the double overtime game by the Celtics. 

Lebron was getting to the rim at ease without the threat of KG there to meet him. It was a huge hole for the Celtics but it was also great to have others step up,  especially Green. 

It wasn't just offensively that Green produced but he switched on James on multiple occasions, a task usually assigned for Paul Pierce the entire game. This definitely helped Pierce conserve energy, even though he played 40 minutes he was not spent on the offensive end and produced in his newly defined facilitator role. Pierce put up 17-8-8, and was just off on a potential game winning three point attempt with seconds remaining. 

Lebron and his Heat are rolling right now, but come postseason time if the matchup should fall into place, the Celtics have ensured us all two things. They can compete with the Heat, and it is going to be one hell-of-a seven game series. 

-Sean Dutra
@seandutra on twitter.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Celtics 107 - Hawks 102 (OT): Pierce, Terry carry Celtics over Hawks in OT

The Celtics set a franchise record with its 11th overtime game of the season and knocked off the Hawks, tying Atlanta's record for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

After losing a 12-point lead in the final six minutes of the game, Jason Terry and Paul Pierce out shot the Hawks in overtime. Both scored five points in the extra period.

Pierce led the Celtics with a team high 27 points to go with his seven rebounds and assists. Terry scored 19 points, including a go ahead three pointer with 35 seconds left that broke a 102-102 tie.
"Jason really stepped up. We count on him late in games," Pierce said."Even if he doesn't get the shot, he's such a threat late in games that you can't come off of him. He's hit so many big shots throughout his career. He understand the moment and that's why he's here."
Terry also did a great job guarding Hawks' shooter Kyle Korver. Korver scored his only points of the night when he sunk a three pointer late in the fourth quarter.

Josh Smith scored a game-high 32 points but turn the ball over twice in the final minute of overtime. Jeff Teague added 26 points to go with his nine assists for the Hawks.

Although the Hawks outscored the Celtics in the paint, 48-32, the Hawks struggled to defend the perimeter in overtime. Jeff Green, Pierce and Terry all scored from behind the arc in the last five minutes of the game.

Hawks came back from a 12-point deficit by setting back door picks for Smith and Al Horford for layups in the fourth quarter. Kevin Garnett readjusted defensively and stopped the Hawks from getting layups in overtime.
"We're working hard, we're grinding. We're showing our character," Garnett said."Our coaches are grinding themselves, and this team is just that. We're not looking for any handouts or sympathies or anything like that. We don't expect anyone to give us nothing. We're going out, working hard and earning everything we're getting."
Celtics will head down to Oklahoma City and play the Thunder Sunday afternoon. It will not be an easy task for the Celtics, Oklahoma City has won seven of their last eight games.


Pierce averaged 21 points, 5.5 assists and 8.5 rebounds this past week against the Warriors, 76ers, Pacers and the Hawks. He continues to be consistent and is hitting the big shots at the end of games. Players like Jeff Green, Terry and Bradley have only made his life a lot easier becuse their contributions... Celtics will need players to continue to step up if they want to beat one of the best teams in the NBA on Sunday.

Josue Pavon
twitter: @Joe_Sway10

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Celtics 83 - Pacers 81: Green Down Pacers in Final Second

Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds last night, but in the two biggest plays in the game, it was his only two assists of the night that made the difference, capping of an 11-0 run and a 83-81 victory over the Indiana Pacers last night.

The Celtics were down two and and ran a pick and roll with KG and Pierce at the top of the key. Pierce dished to Kevin at his favorite spot to shoot at the free throw line but instead of shooting the patented  jump shot he found a cutting Avery Bradley for an easy layup to tie the game. 

On the next possession with the game tied, it was more of the same with Garnett running the offense  and all the defensive attention on Pierce, Garnett patiently waited for Jeff Green to get free off a Pierce  screen and lofted a perfect pass to Green who layed it up with .05 seconds left in the game. 

"Happy it went in. Great pass by Garnett. Great execution by us. Good draw up by Doc," Jeff Green said after the game.  

There has to be a lot of credit given to Garnett, Pierce, and Green for the execution for the final play, but also Doc Rivers' ability to draw up the right play was on display in the closing seconds again last night. 

It wasn't all pretty though for the Celtics last night. The Pacers were dominating the C's for the first 3 quarters. Indiana had a 14 point lead in the 3rd but it was a resilient and season defining comeback for the Celtics. 

Other than Garnett the rest of the Celtics truly struggled on the offensive end but did notch five players in double digits. Garnett (18), Pierce (13), Bradley (13), Green (11), and Jason Terry (10) were the leading scorers for the Celtics. 

The Cetlics' half court defense was championship caliber all game. They were beat in transition a few to many times but they held the Pacers to only 36% shooting on the night and forced 14 turnovers. 
Going into this game, many were using this game as a measuring stick for the Celtics to see how they matched up to a true contender in the East. The question was answered, the Celtics are for real and the other than the Heat they are the team to be feared the most in the East come playoff time. 

Early on the Celtics had no answer for Roy Hibbert, who looked absolutely dominant for the first 8 minutes of the game. Hibbert had 7pts and 8 boards in the opening couple of minutes. However, the rest of the game the Celtics were able to contain the big man and he only finished with 12 pts and 12 rebs. 

DJ White made his Celtics debut last night, playing 4 minutes and bringing down 2 boards and 2 blocked shots. 

Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, and Avery Bradley were a combined 15 for 44, 34 %. KG was 7 for 10, 70%. Could have been ugly without KG holding down the fort last night. 

Next Game : Friday March 8th 8pm vs. Atlanta Hawks @TD Garden

- Sean Dutra  
@seandutra on twitter

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wallpaper Wednesday:

Celtics 109 - 76ers 101: Moving on up after key win in Philly

Boston came into the city of brotherly love and took care of business, beating the 76ers 109-101.

Despite committing 22 turnovers, the Celtics now find themselves a game and a half out of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Paul Pierce, who has shown no signs of slowing down, scored 18 points to go along with his 11 rebounds, while Kevin Garnett also added 18, and both got some rest playing less than 30 minutes in the win.

Avery Bradley lead all scorers with 22 points as he had his mid-range game was on point, going 10-of-15 from the field and 2-of-4 from the three-point line. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

"He was good all-around," coach Rivers said."His defense was terrific and he's starting to make the little pull-up jump shot. He's been making the three for the most part. He keep shooting them. We want him to. I'm really happy with his pull-up off the dribble. That's a big shot for us later and he's starting to make that and that's big."
After a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, and back-to-back threes from Jordan Crawford (12 points off the bench) the Celtics were able to hit cruise control as they handed Philadelphia their ninth loss in 10 games.

Despite scoring 64 points in the paint, Philly just didn't have enough fire power as Thaddeus Young led the team with 19 and 10 boards and Jrue Holiday added 18 points and 10 dimes.

Jeff Green chipped in with 16 points, as Boston's production off the bench helped Doc rest his starters in preparation for tomorrow's second game of this current road trip.

"I just loved our effort," coach Rivers expressed."I thought the zone was huge for us tonight. The new guys, I thought, all came in and gave us a lift, so it was just a good team win."
The Celtics who are now 12-4 since losing Rajon Rondo for the season, are heading to Indianapolis to take on the second seeded Indiana Pacers. The battle of the defensive minded juggernauts tips off at seven.

Side Note:
Boston shot 51 percent for the night, including going 11-for-19 from behind the arc. "The Truth" made all four of his three point shot attempts.

Joel Pavon

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Avery Bradley setting the tone defensively

The Celtics have always been a defense-first minded team since its 2007-2008 championship team.

Kevin Garnett has been the anchor of the defense in the paint over the years, but at the beginning of this season the C's struggled to defend the perimeter and that all changed in January.

Avery Bradley has returned to the lineup and the perimeter defense has given the Celtics more opportunities on the offensive end of the floor. Bradley has given the Celtics stops by making players put the ball on the floor or take off balanced shots.

Despite having double shoulder surgery, Bradley moves great on the court. There were concerns about how Bradley would respond and if he would ever be the same player he was last year. And it's been so far, so good.
"I think he's 100 percent leg-wise," coach Rivers said."He's been 100 percent. I guess if there's any good thing about having a shoulder [injury], you can still use your legs, conditioning-wise. You can do all the running. As far as his shoulders, I can't answer that. I don't know. I would say he would not be 100 percent until next year with that."
Last Friday, Bradley disrupted one of the most explosive players in the league. Curry, fresh off his 54 points in New York, which was the best outside shooting performance one will see on a basketball court, was 6-for-22 from the field and went 3-for-11 from behind the arc at TD Garden. Although Bradley left the game in the third due to foul trouble, Curry only scored seven points the rest of the game.
"He is everything to our defense," Kevin Garnett said of Bradley on Monday before practice."I think he's the anchor. He's the true inspiration of what it is. He gets up on the ball, 95, 90 percent of the time. Look at any other guard in the league; no one in the league is playing defense like he is. He's just tenacious. He's the silent leader and it's by example. 
Bradley has even been shooting the ball well lately. He averaging 11.7 points per game and has been knocking down the three-ball from his spot in the corner effectively.

It would be great to see Bradley knock down shots from behind the arc often. Since coming back from shoulder surgery two months ago, he's averaged one three-pointer a game.

Josue Pavon

Friday, March 1, 2013

Celtics sign D.J. White to 10-day deal

Celtics signed forward D.J. White to a 10-day contract, Thursday afternoon.

White, who will be the third new face since the deadline (Terrence Williams & Jordan Crawford being the others), is a 6-foot-9, 250 pound, 26-year-old who hasn't been in the NBA but has been playing basketball of late.

White played in the Chinese Basketball Association this season for the Shanghai Sharks and has been cleared to play for the Celtics. In 32 games this season, White averaged 21.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game in China.

White, who was originally drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 29th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Indiana, played 58 games last season with the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds.