Friday, January 31, 2014

Rondo is still recovering, he's not trade bait

It was about a year ago when Rajon Rondo's life forever changed.

For six years, it looked like nothing could slow the NBA's best complementary point guard down. Until January 25, 2013, while playing in a double-overtime game against the Hawks, he unknowingly suffered a torn ACL but continued playing without giving it a second thought.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

76ers 95 - Celtics 94: Philly stun the C's on a buzzer beater at the Garden

Boston – The 76ers came into TD Garden Wednesday night last in the league in points allowed (110 PPG) with a 14-31 record, and won the game on an Evan Turner seven foot shot in the closing seconds to hand Boston a 95-94 loss.
Celtics, 15-32, have lost four straight games.

Philadelphia was trailing by one when rookie Michael Carter-Williams grabbed a rebound after a Kris Humphries missed jumper with 12 seconds remaining and gave the ball to Turner just past midcourt. A switch caused the much shorter Bayless to pick up the 6’7 small forward; Turner got the green light to drive into the lane.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Knicks 114 – Celtics 88: Knicks return the favor at MSG with 26 point win

New York – It was one of those days that Celtics wished they could do all over again.

Celtics, winners of only two games in the month of January, came into to Madison Square Garden after an emotional home loss on Sunday to the Brooklyn Nets, and let the Knicks have their way with them. Carmelo Anthony only needed 28 minutes to score 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help New York beat Boston 114-88.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nets 85 - Celtics 79: Pierce, Garnett top Celtics through an emotional night at TD Garden

Boston - In the 48 hours since an emotional filled evening at the TD Garden, it turned out the way most had in visioned that it would be.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were more than satisfied with the welcome back they received from the Boston fans.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Letter To A Boston Legend

Dear Paul,
You don’t know me, but we’ve met before it was many years ago at a charity event, a few months after you had just been to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time. I’m one of the many that have watched you your entire career. I have been a fan of the Boston Celtics since I was five years old. I watched through the 90’s as we C's fans waited for next big franchise changer, that seemed like would never come.

As we slowly slid through decade year after year of heartbreak, I remember when you were first drafted in 1998. Who is this swingman out of Kansas? Why did he fall so low in the draft? Wait, he's a Lakers fan and a Celtics hater? How is this going to work? But it didn’t matter as we would have to wait at least eight months to see what you could do. While a lockout had shortened your rookie season, not much was expected from the Pitino experiment that was in in year two.

Thoughts on a special night at The Garden

We are hours away from the emotional return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett at the TD Garden, you might be asking yourself what are the former Celtics’ legends feeling about the big night?

Brooklyn winners of their last 9 of 10 are clicking at the right time, while Boston even with its newest captain Rajon Rondo back as of a week ago, have lost 13 of their last 15 outings.

All focus will be to win this game regardless if anyone is ready or not to deal with all the extra stuff the media has put into today’s tip-off.

“I just know that the emotions will probably be high, just because of the success that we had while we were in Boston,” Garnett told reporters after the Nets beat the Mavs last night. “We had some really good years there, some really promising years. I think it’s going to be forever, we’re embedded in it.” [ESPN Boston]

It’s impossible to believe that the return of The Truth or KG won’t over shadow the game itself. Pierce knows after 15 years with the Celtics it’s going to be fun to see familiar faces, even after he decided to skip a preseason game here back in October to make tonight his one and only return to Beantown this season.

“It’s going to be a little weird, though,” said Pierce. "It’s going to be a lot of emotions. You play your whole life there, you win a championship there I mean, being the first time back…It’s going to be special. I don’t know how I will react, what emotions are going to be going through my head.” [ESPN Boston]

Various Celtics players are downplaying the pending return of the two icons. “It’s another game. We need to win,” said Rondo. [ESPN Boston]

Another former Celtic, Kendrick Perkins had his emotional return two years ago, when he came back to a warm reception and a touching video tribute that concluded with the words “Thank You Perk!” He walked on the court with both arms raised above his head, expressing his gratitude to the home crowd that grew to love him after eight years in green.

He was asked about it and how he felt on his return, Friday night after beating the Celtics 101-83.

“It was great, he recalled. “I thought the fans, organization, I thought everybody showed me love and appreciation. It was great. It gave me chills. It’s hard to play through that after you get a ceremony like that, but it was good.” []

Perk will be in attendance, since it's his off day to take it all in. He believes his former teammates now in Brooklyn will feel the same way, once they step back into the TD Garden in less than 10 hours.

“Emotional,” Perk predicts. “Wouldn’t be surprised if they both shed a tear. They both did a lot of things here, especially Paul. I’ll be watching.” []

Joel Anthony now with the Celtics went through three straight playoffs series against Pierce, KG and Boston from 2010-2012 as a member of the Heat. He knows all too well what playing against them has meant over the years.

“More than anything, you just wanted to beat them,” said the Celtics newest center. “You respected who they were, what type of team they were and how good of a team they were…To be able to have battles with that team was special.” []

When the two-future hall of famers step foot on the parquet floor at the Garden in Nets uniforms, Pierce will be glad he gets to make his journey back for the first time since April of last year with Garnett by his side.

“We shared so many memories, on and off the court…shared our best memories in Boston, said the second all-time leading scorer in Celtics' history. “We won a championship and, when you talk about the ride that we had together and the run, a lot of things go through your head, so it’s fun to be able to share it with him.”[ESPN Boston]

KG knows what will be involved on Sunday and despite the nostalgia of it all, he believes there is still a game to be won.

“It’ll be good to be back in Boston,” Garnett says. “It will be what it is, man. I’m going to embrace it for whatever it is and I’m sure the emotions are going to be very high. And I will act accordingly. But we are there to win a game. It will be good to see Rondo and some other personal friends. Other than that, it’s another game that I have to be prepared for.” [ESPN Boston]

For those that are going to be a part of tonight’s crowd at the Garden, remember what these two meant to the franchise, the city of Boston and New England. The memories and the history itself is worth the price of admission, not to mention countless standing ovations. I know I’ll be in attendance, so tune in to not only welcome back some hometown heroes, but to recognize an era that will always be special.

“Some things are forever, man, “added KG. “I’m happy to say that I’m part of that era.” [ESPN Boston]

So are we. Welcome home boys.

Joel Pavón

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thunder 101- Celtics 83: Another loss to OKC without Westbrook, Durant

Boston – On the brink of another emotional return looming just 48 hours away, the Celtics had to get by an Oklahoma City team that was without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Winners of their last five, including the Spurs, Blazers and Warriors, it was easier said than done.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ainge, Rondo discuss contract extension

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Rondo has talked to him about extending his contract but doesn't expect a signed deal with Rondo until next season or later.

Ainge spoke with 98.5 The Sports Hub, Thursday.

Is Pressey the Celtics back up PG of the future?

Since the beginning of the modern ‘Big-Three’ era, Celtics fans have seen a plethora of serviceable ‘backups’ to Rajon Rondo.

Who could forget such names as Eddie House (probably my favorite), Sam “I Am” Cassell, Nate “The Great” Robinson, and Stephon Marbury, all have made quick stops in the hub.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Celtics 113 Wizards 111 (OT): Green's scoring performance leads, snaps losing streak

Washington - It was one of the more exciting games of the season for the Celtics.

Leave it to be without two of your backcourt starters and riding a three game losing streak (10 straight loses on the road) to give you some motivation. When at times it sounded more like a TD Garden crowd than a game at the Verizon Center, as Uncle Jeff put his team on his shoulders and it resulted in a 113-111 overtime win.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Heat 93 Celtics 86: C's lose third straight in another close one

Miami – Once again it went down to the wire with opportunities for a win last night at the American Airlines Arena. For the third straight game, Boston came up short while trying to execute plays during the last stretch of the fourth.

LeBron James was able to hit five straight free throws to help the Heat hold off the Celtics 93-86.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pierce, KG still keep an eye on Rondo

In just five days emotions will be running high at TD Garden when two players that know a little something about Celtic pride make their long awaited return to Boston for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

Paul Pierce, who dressed in green for 15 seasons, became the second all-time leading scorer in franchise history before being traded to Brooklyn this past summer.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Magic 93 - Celtics 91: Orlando beats Celtics, snap its losing streak

Orlando – The Magic came into Sunday night as being one of two teams still winless in 2014 and losers of 10 straight head-to-head meetings against the Celtics. After a back and forth 48 minutes, and being down 11 early on, Orlando finally got their first win of the new year and snapped their losing streak by beating Boston 93-91.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lakers 107 - Celtics 104: L.A. spoils Captain Rondo's return

Boston - Last night was a night of firsts on Causeway Street. The Celtics were coming off their first win in 10 games and were looking to go on their first winning streak of the new year. 
Rajon Rondo made his first appearance of the season and Kelly Olynyk scored 25 points for the first time in his NBA career. But none of that mattered as a depleted Lakers team played spoiler in front a sold out TD Garden, making a late fourth quarter comeback and held on to a 107-104 win.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A 'New' Day has arrived

It has that certain feeling to it. The feeling you got when you’re a kid and something exciting that you couldn't wait for to happen is only a day away so it kept you up most of the night. Like Christmas morning, or even your birthday. For Celtics fans it's butterflies in your stomach that you’re feeling because you can't wait to see the return of Rajon Rondo.

It's been 359 days since their point guard was last seen in his iconic #9 jersey. Or as it’s been said in Rajon’s language: 30 million plus some odd seconds. That is how long we as fans, us in the basketball world, have been playing the waiting game.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Celtics 88 - Raptors 83: C's snap nine-game losing streak

Boston - On a crazy day when former starting point guard, Jordan Crawford was shipped off to the Warriors, and recovering starting point guard Rajon Rondo was assigned to the Maine Red Claws for a brief workout (an hour and 53 minutes in Waltham to be exact), and then recalled, the magic number was nine for the Celtics.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rondo assigned to D-League

The Celtics assigned Rajon Rondo to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League for a short stint early Wednesday afternoon.

Rondo stated previously that going to Maine was a possibility but recently said that he changed his mind about making the move to the D-League.

BREAKING: Crawford, Brooks traded to Golden State in a three-team swap

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting the Celtics have dealt Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to Golden State in a three-team deal that includes the Miami Heat's Joel Anthony.

Celtics will receive Anthony from Miami, while the Warriors send Toney Douglas to the Heat. Miami will also send a conditional 2014 first round pick and a 2016 second round draft pick to the Celtics to complete the deal.

The first round pick the Celtics receive from Miami is actually from Philadelphia. However, the first round pick from the 76ers is protected, meaning the Celtics will get the 2014 first round pick from them if they make the playoffs this season. If 76ers fail to make the playoffs, that 2014 first round pick turns into a 2015 second round pick.

The 76ers are currently three games back from the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Should Celtics explore trading for Pelicans' Eric Gordon?

The Celtics have the chance to form an electric backcourt with New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon reportedly available on the trading block.

According to Sporting News, league sources say that the Pelicans remain active in their pursuit of trading Eric Gordon.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Warriors 99 Celtics 97: Celtics lose seventh straight in Oakland

Oakland - Celtics came into Oracle Arena having lost the first three of their current five game west coast road trip, and the last six overall. Even though they held Stephen Curry to 7-for-18 shooting (3-for-8 from three-point range), no shot was bigger than the go-ahead jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining that lifted the Warriors past Boston 99-97.
Golden State coming off of a seven-game road trip where they finished 6-1, were looking to go on a much needed break with a win.

After Curry came off the pick-and-roll with David Lee before hitting his patented high arc shot over Kris Humphries, that would bring the home crowd to their feet, Gerald Wallace missed a game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, sending the Celtics to Portland with their seventh consecutive lost.

"D-Lee set a great screen and I found a nice little bit of daylight to knock it down," Curry said after the game.

Andre Iguodala had 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds, while Curry finished with 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Andrew Bogut grabbed 13 rebounds for Golden State, who are off until Wednesday when they play Denver.
Boston on the other hand, had played its best game of their road trip as Jeff Green (24 points, 11 rebounds), Jared Sullinger (21 points, 11 rebounds), and Kris Humphries (16 points, 14 rebounds) all finished with double-doubles. Despite the poor shooting of Jordan Crawford and Avery Bradley, who went for a combined 6-for-24 from the field, they kept the game close even with standing a 19-3 run by the Warriors at the end of the third.
Down 13, the Celtics never backed down, especially after big shots by Green and Crawford, and a Humphries block that cut the lead to 89-88. Once again Golden State tried to pull away but another three by Green had Boston down 94-93 with 2:13 remaining. When Jared Sullinger lost the ball on a possession where they had a chance to go ahead, Iguodala made a field goal and Harrison Barnes free-throw that put the Warriors up 97-95 with 19.6 seconds left.

Green made a running layup that got a friendly bounce, tying the game at 97 with 11.6 seconds to play. Then a Curry and Lee pick-and-roll forced the switch between Humphries and Bradley, leaving Avery to pick up Lee and Curry hitting a another game winning jumper over Kris. The last play where the Celtics could have tied it or gone for the win was fumbled by Green, leaving Wallace to pick up the ball and throw up a three that was wide left. Game over.

"Lost seven straight and guys are still fighting out there," Sullinger said. "Guys are still trying to make plays. Guys are still together. It's not like we're pulling apart."

Celtics will wrap up their road trip tonight in Portland when they take on the Blazers who are 27-9. They will try to finish on a good note, tip-off is at 10:00 PM.

Game Notes:

The Celtics shot 45% from the field to the Warriors' 41%. Boston outscored Golden State's bench 31-21. Before last night's tip-off it was reported that Rajon Rondo would make a return on January 17th against the Lakers at the TD Garden, which he and Brad Steven both denied. Earlier in the day, the story broke that the point guard would definetly would come back before the All-Star game which is on February 16.

Joel Pavón

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rondo promises to be back before all-star break

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo didn't offer a date but vowed to return to the court before the all-star break.

According to Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe, Rondo was very vague about an exact date but promised to return before the all-star break. Rondo also said that he will probably wake up one day and decide to play so he couldn't be specific about a return date. He doesn't know which day but knows it will happen within the next 33 days.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lee, Bayless three-team deal made official

On a day when decisions had to be made before contracts became guarnteed in the NBA, the Celtics were awaiting league approval on a proposed trade that involved Memphis and Oklahoma City. The pending three team-trade since Sunday night, was made official by all parties on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pelicans 95 - Celtics 92: Celtics lose third straight to Pelicans

Boston - The Celtics have started 2014 the same way they ended 2013; with another loss. Last night at TD Garden, Celtics loss its first game of the New Year in a close one to the Pelicans, 95-92. Despite losing one of their key players off the bench in Ryan Anderson early in the fourth quarter, New Orleans found a way to pull out the win.

Anderson had 13 points and seven rebounds before being taken out on a stretcher after colliding with Gerald Wallace.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

MarShon Brooks assigned to the D-League

Shooting guard MarShon Brooks was assigned to the Celtics NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws on Wednesday.

This will be the first time Brooks has played in the D-Leauge. He averaged 12.6 points in almost 30 minutes per game in his rookie season but didn't get much playing time last season in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brandon Bass, Jeff Green benched for the entire fourth quarter after argument

Late in the third quarter of Tuesday's game against the Hawks, Celtics forwards Brandon Bass and Jeff Green exchanged heated words on the bench, where they watched the final 18 minutes of the game after Coach Stevens benched both of his starters in a one-point loss at TD Garden.