Post Ups Notebook
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Tuesday, August 26 - Giddens, Celtics Make It Official
BOSTON - The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 2008 first round draft pick J.R. Giddens. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Giddens, a 6'5", 215-pound guard from the University of New Mexico was selected with the 30th overall pick. He is the first player from the University of New Mexico to have been drafted by the Celtics. The former Lobo shared Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year honors as a senior when he averaged 16.3 points and a league-leading 8.8 rebounds in 33 games played. Giddens earned First Team All-Conference honors as a senior and earned Honorable Mention All-MWC honors as a junior. Giddens transferred to New Mexico after his sophomore season at the University of Kansas. The 23 year-old was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week a record five times during his senior season.
Friday, August 22 - C's Ink Miles and Walker
Danny Ainge was busy on Friday, signing a pair of forwards to round out the Celtics roster. Ainge reached deals with second round draft pick Bill Walker, and free agent forward Darius Miles.
"Darius has been in twice for workouts with us and has impressed us with his progress, health, and attitude," said Danny Ainge, Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations/General Manager. "Darius will have the next couple of months to prove to myself and Coach Rivers that he can help us win."
Ainge was also excited about officially sealing the deal with Walker, whom the Celtics acquired from the Washington Wizards on draft night. Walker has spent much of his summer working on rehabing an injured knee that he hurt during draft workouts.
"Bill's hard work and skill development this summer has given us the belief that he can be in our short-term plans as well as our long-term plans," Ainge said.
Wednesday, August 6 - Schedule Released
The NBA officially released its schedule at noon on August 6, and the World Champion Boston Celtics will tip off the action on Tuesday, October 28 when they host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Garden.
Other highlights include an NBA Finals rematch on Christmas Day with Kobe and the Lakers in Los Angeles, Kevin Garnett's return to Minnesota on November 21, and a Sunday afternoon showdown on March 1 with the Detroit Pistons.
Regular season tickets will go on sale on Friday, September 26, 2008.
Wednesday, July 23 - House, TA Officially Re-Signed
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed guards Tony Allen and Eddie House. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wednesday, July 16 - O'Bryant Officially Signs
BOSTON - The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent center Patrick O'Bryant. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
O'Bryant, a 7'0", 249lbs center, has appeared in 40 career games for the Golden State Warriors posting averages of 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. The former Bradley Brave played in eight games for the Bakersfield Jam of the Development League last season with averages of 16.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. The ninth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft netted a career-high 10 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 16, 2007.
O'Bryant is slated to meet the Boston media in Waltham on Thursday morning at The Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint at 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, July 15 - Posey: "One Day at a Time"
Free agent forward James Posey was among the attendees at the Celtics' Championship DVD release party at the TD Banknorth Garden on Monday night, and he was peppered with questions about his free agent status by media members and fans alike. Posey, for his part, said few words, and the words he did say, he repeated several times.
"It is what it is," Posey said of his situation. "You just gonna take it one day at a time and that's how you go about it."
Is he any closer to making a decision about where he'll play next year?
"Ah, I'm taking it one day at a time. That's my approach," Posey said. "At the end of the day both sides are gonna do what's best for themselves and that's just how it ends up."
Posey compared the free agency process to college recruiting, saying that everything was speculation and talk.
"You just sit back and wait and see what happens," Posey said. "I just take it one day at a time and in due time, things will happen."
In the meantime, Posey can expect to start hearing from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, both of whom said Monday night that they intended to campaign for Posey to return to Boston for next season.
Reserve point guard Eddie House, also a free agent this summer, told reporters on Monday night that he'd like to return to the Celtics, but feels he's due a raise and some security after winning a championship this season.
Monday, July 7 - Pierce To Get MRI, Doesn't Expect Surgery on Knee
BOSTON - Paul Pierce talked to a few reporters on Monday at his annual summer basketball camp at Basketball City just around the corner from the TD Banknorth Garden on Monday, and said that he'll be getting an MRI on his knee but doesn't expect to have to undergo surgery.
Pierce said the knee is still sore, but is getting better, and noted that he's been treating his injury "like a sprain that normally takes three-four weeks."
"I've still got some soreness in it, so hopefully it's nothing major requiring surgery," Pierce said. "I plan on getting in there this week, getting the treatment and the MRI and making sure I take care of my body. I doubt if I need any surgery. It's getting better and better. I'm gonna get the MRI just to take the extra precaution but I don't see any surgery in my future and I just plan on getting treatment until it's all the way healed."
In the meantime, Pierce said he and his teammates have been soaking up the love since winning the Celtics 17th World Championship.
"It feels good now, man, truthfully, knowing your the best. You feel the love when you're out in the public," Pierce said. "It's kind of hard on the people out in L.A., they're happy [for me] but they're sorry because they're from there. But it's what it is, the Boston Celtics are World Champs."
Pierce said he's already been re-watching some of the Finals games and reliving the glory of his first NBA title.
"When you win it, you don't understand the magnitude of it and the significance of it until you get a chance to watch it," Pierce said. "Some of the stuff I was out there doing, I couldn't believe it myself."
And now that he's finally reached the top of the mountain, Pierce has no designs on coming down next year.
"The craziest thing about this is, I'm happy that we won it, and I'm kind of coming down off it again, but last week I've been thinking, 'We've got to do this again', you know? And that's what's going to motivate me next year. You get a taste of it and you want more."
Along those lines, Pierce is already planning his offseason workout schedule, and said he plans to be in the Boston area for most of the summer to get that done. This week, his while his camp is in session in Boston, Pierce plans to spend some time doing some "light bike riding" at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint in Waltham.
"As far as stuff with the basketball, I plan on really getting into it after I get back from the ESPY Awards," Pierce said.
You can watch the entire Pierce interview on Celtics.com. Check it out on the CelticVision HD page.
Wednesday, July 2 - Baby, Pruitt Share Summer Plans
WALTHAM - Glen Davis certainly had a memorable rookie year with the World Champion Boston Celtics, but after a little bit of celebration in the Bahamas, he's ready to get back to work and spend his summer in tropical Waltham, Massachusetts.
"I'm gonna live at the gym," Davis told reporters on Wednesday. "I ain't going anywhere. I'll be up here probably eight weeks. We don't start until September 30 so I want to be at a point eight weeks from now and then cruise to September 30."
The goal for Davis, in his own words? "Just maintain my conditioning, maintain my body, be fit and ready to play."
Peter Stringer has more with Big Baby, while Couper Moorhead checks in on Gabe Pruitt...
- Stringer: Summer School: Davis Plans To Camp Out in Waltham
- Moorhead: Pruitt Looks To Make Leap in Second Year
Perkins, Walker Have Successful Surgeries
BOSTON - The Boston Celtics announced today that center Kendrick Perkins and second round draft pick Bill Walker both had successful surgical procedures today at New England Baptist Hospital. Perkins underwent arthroscopic left shoulder surgery while Walker underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery. Both surgeries were preformed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Alan Curtis and Dr. John Richmond. No timetable has been set for their return.
Free Agent Camp Numerical Roster
11 Davis, Glen
13 Pruitt, Gabe
60 Brown, Bobby
62 Cook, Omar
63 Shakur, Mustafa
67 Mays, James
68 Hawkins, David
69 Butch, Brian
70 Anderson, Alan
71 Basden, Eddie
72 Gaines, Charles
73 Morris, Randolph
74 Noel, David
75 Roberts, Lawrence
76 Pettway, Aaron
79 Covile, Ryvon
Celtics roster players under contract denoted in bold.
Tuesday, July 1 - Rookies Meet the Media
Erden Going Back Overseas; Giddens and Walker Hope To Stick
Just days after being drafted by the 2008 World Champions, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker and Semih Erden made their official Celtics debut at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint in Waltham on Tuesday afternoon.
All three players met the press along with Executive Director of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge, and while Erden said he'll be returning overseas to play out the final year of his contract, Giddens and Walker talked about being excited to join the Celtics and what it will take for them to earn a roster spot at training camp in October.
Celtics.com has you covered with reaction from Giddens, Walker and Erden, as well as Ainge.
- Stringer: Giddens Excited at Chance with Champs
- Moorhead: Walker Hopes To Get Healthy, Earn Spot with C's
Monday, June 30 - Introductions Tomorrow
Giddens, Walker and Erden To Meet Media in Waltham Tuesday
The Celtics' 2008 NBA Draft picks, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker and Semih Erden, will have an informal meeting with the media in Waltham Tuesday afternoon at the Sports Authority Training Center in Waltham. Celtics.com will have complete coverage following their availability.
Friday, June 27 - 2008 NBA Draft Recap
Doc Giddy To Grab Giddens at #30
Admittedly -- and understandably -- Doc Rivers was not fully prepared for the 2008 NBA Draft following the Celtics' title run. So Danny Ainge made it easy on him, handing Rivers four scouting tapes following the Rolling Rally.
The subject of one ended up being selected by the Celtics with the 30th pick of the draft: 6'5" guard J.R. Giddens, senior from the University of New Mexico. Giddens had just worked out for the Celtics the day before the draft, and it didn't take much to sell Rivers.
Thursday, June 26 - 2008 NBA Draft
C's Swap for Kansas State's Walker, Grab Turkish Center
The Celtics stayed aggressive on draft day, trading for the draft rights to No. 47 pick Bill Walker from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations.
With the final selection in the draft the Celtics took center Semih Erden from Turkey.
Giddens, Rivers Meet Media
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and first-round pick J.R. Giddens met the Boston media tonight. Rivers talked with reporters in person in the visitor's locker room at the TD Banknorth Garden while Giddens talked to the press via conference call in the Garden press room.
You can hear both interviews in the Audio Archive.
C's Take Giddens at #30
The Celtics select New Mexico senior guard J.R. Giddens with the #30 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Giddens averaged 16.3 PPG and 8.8 RPG last season while shooting 52% from the floor. Giddens shared Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year honors as a senior. He also earned First Team All-Conference honors.
Pre-Draft Media Availability
Doc Rivers met with the Boston media about 30 minutes before the Draft began, and you can listen to the interview in the Audio Archive.
After last season's 24-win campaign, the Celtics were expected to pick at the top of the draft and hope for a franchise savior. But after a Draft Lottery disappointment, which turned out to be the best thing that could happen to the team, Danny Ainge started wheeling and dealing and laid the foundation for Banner 17.
Tonight in the 2008 NBA Draft (7 p.m., ESPN) the Celtics pick dead last in the first and second rounds, and the stakes are decidedly lower. But given Ainge's history of unearthing impact players late in the draft (Does the name Leon Powe ring a bell?), the Celtics are hoping to find some young talent that can help the team down the road.
Friday, June 20 - Pierce, C's Honored at Fenway
Pierce Throws Out First Pitch
FENWAY PARK - Despite a massive (and quick) downpour that struck the Fenway neighborhood as soon as their Duck Boats took the field, the Celtics weren't about to let a little precipitation preempt their second parade in two days.
The 2008 NBA Champions -- man, is that cool to type or what? -- were introduced at Fenway Park Friday night before the Red Sox took on the St. Louis Cardinals, whom coincidentally, the Sox beat in 2004 for their 86-year-drought-breaking World Series title.
The C's rode three Duck Boats and carried four Larry O'Brien trophies onto the field for a trip around the warning track before ducking back under the bleachers to take cover from the rain. Minutes earlier, as they loaded up the boats and turned around on Lansdowne Street, the team was serenaded by lucky fans who happened to be just arriving at the park minutes before the first pitch. Players posed for photos and reached out for high fives before riding through the gates and onto the field at Fenway.
Paul Pierce was scheduled to throw out the first pitch just before 7 p.m. -- something he envied teammates Kevin Garnett (who took the mound last season on August 2, 2007) and Ray Allen for doing last summer since they did the honors before he ever did. Finally, after an hour-plus rain delay, The Truth and the Celtics charged back out onto the field and then Pierce took the mound flanked by teammates and the four golden trophies.
Clearly amped up by chants of "M-V-P" from the Fenway Faithful, Pierce was hopping up and down on the mound before toeing the rubber. After taking a deep breath, Pierce shook off Sox catcher Jason Varitek not once, but twice, only to deliver a pitch that was out of the zone, up and away, to the point that Varitek couldn't even control the delivery.
Perhaps he should have stuck with Tek's call afterall...
Either way, Pierce had a great laugh about it, while teammates enjoyed it as well. Coach Doc Rivers delivered the ceremonial "Play Ball" declaration, and the Red Sox, clad in Celtics green jerseys for the occasion, took the field for their game with the Cardinals.
Thursday, June 19 - Rolling Rally
Rolling Rally Recap
Rolling Rally Pregame
8:04 a.m.: Fans are already lining the streets of Boston, as today's Rolling Rally kicks off at 11 a.m. at the Garden. See you there.
Wednesday, June 18 - The Morning After
Rolling Rally Details
The Celtics' 2008 NBA World Championship Rolling Rally will tip off Thursday, June 18 at 11 a.m. on Causeway Street at the TD Banknorth Garden and conclude at Copley Square.
There is no speaking program. More details to come as they are available.
Locker Room Videos
Celtics.com was live inside the locker room for the celebration. Hear from Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, James Posey, Tony Allen, Rajon Rondo and Scal as they celebrate Banner 17.
Back from Rock Bottom, Pierce Emerges on Top at Moment of Truth | With Title on the Line, Tommy Points Abound | Stuck in a Moment and They Don't Want Out of It | Rondo Rebounds from Road Woes in Clincher | New To Boston, Garnett and Allen Etch Names into Celtics' Legacy
Tuesday, June 17 - Lakers at Celtics, Game 6
Postgame - World Champions!
Pregame Media Access - Perkins and Allen Will Play, Start
With reporters overwhelming the Celtics locker room, most players opted for the safe haven of the trainer's room, and as such there's not much to report tonight from our guys. And as for Phil Jackson, his press conference was under one minute long, and if there was anything of substance to report, we'd have it for you. He left at the first sign of a gap in the questioning and told reporters, "It was nice."
Doc Rivers, however, was asked about the Celtics' travel problems from L.A. When asked to detail them, the coach quipped, "Why don't you call Mitch Kupchak and Phil [Jackson]. They'll probably tell you exactly what happened."
As detailed in yesterday's Post Ups, which came to you live from the private aviation terminal used by both the Celtics and the Lakers, the team plane was delayed for upwards of four hours due to mechanical issues. The Lakers did not experience any delays.
Either way, Rivers was not about to use logistics as any possible excuse.
"We probably would not have been asleep anyway because of the time change and all that," Rivers said. "So heck, maybe it gave us more rest, who knows. We'll find that out."
As for Perkins, Rivers said the center will play and start tonight, along with Ray Allen, who missed the morning shootaround due to personal issues.
Perkins Will Give it A Go
The Celtics' shootaround just concluded, and center Kendrick Perkins (strained left shoulder) told the media that he's going to give it a go tonight. No word on whether or not he'll start at this point.
Perkins, who injured the shoulder in Game 4 and missed Game 5, says he's still in pain, but that it's getting better each day.
Monday, June 16 - Travel Day
Travel Delays - Good Times...
2:05 p.m. PST - The players are boarding their new plane and are expected to take off shortly. A second plane with additional Celtics staff is yet to board a second plane that's expected to leave around 3 p.m. PST.
11:35 a.m. PST - Mechanical issues with both the Celtics' team plane and the team's family plane have grounded the Celtics and staff at LAX for the morning, which will make for a late arrival tonight in the Boston area.
"Yeah, I'm Goin' To Boston...I'll get out of California..."
Both the Celtics and Lakers are on their way back to Boston, and as such, there will be no practice for either squad.
What Almost Was Last Night
LOS ANGELES - Win or lose Sunday night in Los Angeles, the Celtics were going to fly back to Boston on Monday morning. But they were hoping to bring a long lost friend along for the ride. Instead, moments after the Celtics' 103-98 loss in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center, a heavy, golden Larry O'Brien, wrapped in a baby blue trophy bag, was being carried away from the Celtics' locker room.
He's still making the trip back East, but he can't ride on the team plane with the Boston Celtics. White-gloved handlers from the NBA offices were repairing to a holding room with the trophy and will take it back to Boston themselves. Making the trip with them is the Finals MVP trophy, which presumably would have been handed to Paul Pierce, whose 38-point, eight assist, leave-it-all-on-the-floor effort was almost enough to carry the Celtics to their 17th World Championship.
Pierce, still nursing the knee he hurt in Game 1 at the Garden, wanted dearly to win the championship in his hometown of Los Angeles, and to that end, played all but two seconds of the Game 5. One would presume that if he had anything left in the tank afterward, it was fumes.
More on Sunday Night at Staples: Close, But No Victory Cigar for Celtics
Sunday, June 15 - Celtics at Lakers, Game 5
Postgame Wrap Up
Boston came close to duplicating its comeback magic in Game 5, but it fell just short down the stretch.
Paul Pierce erupted for 12 points in the final frame as the Celtics erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie the contest, but they were unable to pull ahead, dropping Game 5 to the Lakers, 103-98, on the road Sunday.
Pierce finished with a game-high 38 points, while Kevin Garnett notched his fifth double-double of the series.
The Celtics will look to close out the series and grab their 17th NBA Championship back in Boston on Tuesday.
- NBA.com Newsdesk
Perkins Out for Game 5
5:10 p.m. PST - When we saw Kendrick Perkins shooting one-handed at practice yesterday, it didn't look good, and Doc Rivers' confirmed our suspicions today when he said that Perkins was out for Game 5 and doubtful if there were to be a Game 6 back in Boston on Tuesday.
"We kind of thought he was going to play after yesterday, and [Trainer Eddie Lacerte] called me this morning and he said there's just no chance of it. We're prepared for it," Rivers said. "We can go a lot of ways. We can go small, but we're going to start out big."
With that in mind, look for P.J. Brown and Leon Powe to see time in his place, and Kevin Garnett may play some center in his place.
Saturday, June 14 - Practice
Rivers: Perkins, Rondo To Start Sunday
Eddie House gets some shots up before Saturday's practice at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo, CA.
Both the Celtics and Lakers practiced at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo Saturday afternoon, and each team met the media between their two sessions. The biggest news to come from Saturday session is that Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo will be ready to play -- and will start -- in Sunday night's Game 5 at the Staples Center.
Rivers didn't elaborate on Rondo's injury (ankle), but did say that Perkins wouldn't practice today. "He's moving his arms and shoulders pretty well, so again, we won't know until tomorrow, but right now I think everything looks good," Rivers said.
Given Perkins' history with separations in his left shoulder and a subsequent operation, news that Perkins will give it a go Sunday is encouraging.
Speaking of separations, with just one victory separating the Celtics from a NBA Championship, the Celtics were decidedly calm and in good spirits, and they touched everything from the possibility of winning the title on Father's Day to the original duck boat ride that Coach Doc Rivers took Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett on last summer.
Garnett talked about thinking how weird he initially thought an 8 a.m. Duck Boat ride was at the time, but explained that it made a lot more sense once Rivers explained the significance of riding Duck Boats in Boston.
"It was kind of weird. I'll be honest with you. It was really weird to begin with, but as he talked in depth and got real, you know, specific and then later on in the year you see the pictures of some of the parades and you really understand what it is," Garnett said. "It's really tradition and Boston's way of celebrating from when you've won or you've achieved something as a whole and that was the message."
Kobe Bryant seemed upbeat in his press conference, joking with reporters about the mood of the team now that the Lakers are down 3-1.
"I borrowed Phil's peace pipe. We had a big kumbaya meeting," Bryant said, laughing before turning serious. "No, everybody's fine. Everybody is in the same mood that I am. Everybody's ready to go. We're excited about the opportunity."
Bryant then explained that he's looking at as if the Lakers need just three wins, like the NCAA tournament, rather than worrying about being down 3-1.
"If we start the season in training camp and you come to me and say we're going to give you three cracks to win the championship, I'm going to take that. So I'm excited about this. This is not something we're down and out. This is still the series. We've got a big game tomorrow. We're going to be ready to play that, and then we're going to go from there," Bryant said. "Look at it as college basketball. It's March Madness. It's the Elite Eight now. So we're ready to go."
Paul Pierce has a laugh during his press conference before Saturday's practice at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo, CA.
Friday, June 13 - Off Day
Today was an optional practice day for both teams, and according to the schedule of event from the NBA, the Celtics will not stage an official practice this afternoon. Doc Rivers will meet the media at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo and we'll have his comments posted later this afternoon (evening back in Boston) in the Post Ups.
Both teams will return to the practice floor on Saturday in preparation for Game 5 at the Staples Center.
Thursday, June 12 - Celtics at Lakers, Game 4
Live from the Rafters
97-91 Celtics, FINAL: As LL once said, Don't Call It a Comeback! Celtics up 3-1. Can we close it out in L.A. Sunday night??
96-91 Celtics, 15.7 seconds: Too much action to type, but the C's are now up five with 15 seconds after Ray Allen blows by Vujacic for the lefty layup.
88-83 Celtics, 2:11/4th: KG's hook in the lane follows a Ray Allen reverse layup and House's jumper for a 6-0 run.
84-83 Celtics, 3:48/4th: House hits a midrange jumper and Ray comes up with a loose ball and calls time.
81-77 Lakers, 5:47/4th: After trading hoops, the Lakers run off two straight baskets, the second of which was a Bryant two-handed stuff in traffic. Ouch.
75-75, 8:47/4th: This game has gotten super-physical. But if Paul Pierce has played a better quarter on the defensive end than his third quarter against Kobe, I can't remember it.
73-71 Lakers, End of 3rd: The Forum, er, Staples, is stunned. The Celtics are within two.
73-67 Lakers, 1:22/3rd: Pierce (9 3rd qtr points and some excellent defense on Kobe, who's 2/11 for just 7 points) is coming alive and the lead is down to 9 after Pierce hit a ridiculous layup. An Eddie House three has it down to six.
72-61 Lakers, 2:58/3rd: The Celtics defense is starting to ball hawk and suddenly it's an 11-point lead after a Ray Allen breakaway layup. The Lakers are just 2/14 here in the third.
68-48 Lakers, 7:06/3rd: And once Perkins left the floor the Lakers ran off 8 unanswered points and the lead's back up to 20 points.
60-48 Lakers, 9:35/3rd: Kendrick Perkins appeared to injure his left shoulder while trying to stop Lamar Odom at the basket. Not good. He just went back to the locker room. That's the same shoulder he's injured twice before in February and May of 2006.
58-40 Lakers, Halftime: Jordan Farmar just hit a running three off one foot at the horn to put the Lakers up by 18. Lamar Odom (7/7, 15 points) is killing the Celtics inside while Kobe Bryant has three fouls and has been relatively quiet. Don't expect that to last in the second half.
The Celtics have been a strong third quarter team, and they're going to need a HUGE third to have a shot at this one.
48-33 Lakers, 2:36/2nd: Well we just saw the rally the Celtics needed to get back into this one. The C's put together a 12-0 run over the last three minutes until Derek Fisher got to the basket for the and-one layup right down the heart of the Celtics defense. They were as close as 12 before the Fisher play.
45-26 Lakers, 4:06/2nd: Wow...The Celtics show a very minor sign of staging a rally and Phil Jackson calls for a 20-second timeout. A Garnett fadeaway in the paint and a wide open Allen three has the lead down to 19.
45-21 Lakers, 5:26/2nd: The Celtics are trying to get the ball into KG on the post, but he's being doubled and tripled, and when he's finding open shooters their looks aren't falling. Boston is shooting under 30% as a team and it's almost impossible to win when you're shooting that poorly.
The Lakers are up 21-11 in the rebounding department.
40-19 Lakers, 8:13/2nd: Free throws: Celtics: 2/4. Lakers: 10/15. Remember that from Game 3? Not much different tonight. The Celtics defense needs to tighten up and stop letting guys get into the lane.
34-14 Lakers, End of 1st: The Celtics shot 6/22 (22%) from the field in the first, while the Lakers shot 11/17 (64%). It's a make or miss league and right now the Celtics are just missing. If they can get this down to 10 points by the half they'll probably have a shot.
24-7 Lakers, 3:20/1st: The C's look sluggish on defense, and their shots just aren't falling while the Lakers can't miss. Lamar Odom is connecting early (he's got 11) and the Celtics need to figure out why he's finding seams in the defense. But most of all the Celtics need to get stronger on the glass.
KG picked up his second foul and that's going to hurt the Celtics at both ends of the floor and especially on the glass.
16-6 Lakers, 6:31/1st: The Lakers are killing the Celtics in transition, and it certainly doesn't help that they're not getting any whistles. Doc Rivers got teched up for arguing a call where KG got double-teamed and mugged in the post.
Rondo is playing but has yet to probe the paint more than once. He'll need to start making forays into the lane if the Celtics are going to get any open looks.
Game 4 Preview
Couper Moorhead checks in with our Game 4 preview. We'll have more this afternoon from the Staples Center when we arrive downtown at the arena.
Wednesday, June 11 - Practice
Rondo Aims To Play Game 4
Rajon Rondo practices his baseline jumper before Wednesday's practice at the Staples Center.
LOS ANGELES - Rajon Rondo made it clear: He is confident he'll be playing in Game 4 tomorrow night despite injuring his ankle in Game 3.
"It feels a little better. It's still sore. I got treatment again this morning, but it's getting better," Rondo said, telling reporters that he almost fell out of bed this morning when he got up. "I mean, nobody in this league is 100 percent, but I'm sure I'll play tomorrow night."
Rondo's been icing his foot and keeping it elevated. He participated in some of today's open portion of practice (stretching and light jogging, as well as taking some baseline jumpers) but he was not expecting to go hard today. His ankle was in a brace to "hold it in place," according to Rondo.
One guy who hopes to see Rondo back in the lineup for Game 4 is center Kendrick Perkins, who argues that Rondo may be the team's true MVP, and that the Celtics offense is much more efficient with Rondo on the floor.
"When he's out of the game, we don't have [any] offensive rhythm. We're so off key when Rondo's out of the game," Perkins said. "He gets Ray a lot of easy shots, Kevin a lot of easy shots, and Paul with his dribble penetration.
"The shots we get are so easy when he's pushing the ball. When he has the tempo going we're a whole lot better team."
Doc Rivers would probably agree with Perkins' assessment as well. He noted that the team failed to get into it's sets early Tuesday night, and they missed Rondo's speed at the point guard spot as well.
"He's the one pure point guard on our team that has the ability to make plays, and that's what we would lose," River said of a scenario in which Rondo had to sit out.
Tuesday, June 10 - Game 3, Celtics at Lakers
After grabbing the first two games of the series in Boston, the Celtics once again had trouble claiming that elusive Game 3 on the road.
Ray Allen had his best performance of The Finals, firing off a team-high 25 points, but it wasn't enough as the Celtics were unable to find their offensive rhythm down the stretch, dropping Game 3 to the Lakers, 87-81, on Tuesday.
After heroic performances in Games 1 and 2, while battling through a knee injury, Paul Pierce managed only six points in Boston's first game in L.A.
Kevin Garnett notched his third double-double of the series.
The Celtics will look to regain control of the series on Thursday, when they take on the Lakers at 9 p.m. ET.
- NBA.com Newsdesk
High Above Courtside
87-81 Lakers, FINAL: Neither team played incredibly well, but you get the feeling that the Celtics missed a golden opportunity here tonight.
87-81 Lakers, 38 seconds:Trading hoops with LA won't get it done...
83-76 Lakers, 1:33/4th: It was as close as 78-76, but the Lakers just ran off five points keyed by a Vujacic threeball.
78-74 Lakers, 3:22/4th: Pierce is just 2/12 from the field and has six points. If he's had a worse game in L.A. over the years, I don't remember it.
75-70 Lakers, 4:25/4th: The whistles have been put away and its getting extremely physical out there. Guys are traveling, running through screens, ripping the ball from each others' hands, and the refs are letting it go. How the Celtics adapt to the lack of calls will probably play a role in whether they can get a win here tonight.
66-64 Celtics, 9:56/4th: Pierce just picked up his fifth foul on a charging call by Joey Crawford.
62-60 Celtics, End of 3rd: Allen's 22 is pacing the Celtics attack, while Kendrick Perkins (8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks) is quietly getting it done for Boston.
54-50 Celtics, 4:58/3rd: Hard to believe the Celtics have the lead in this one, but they've submitted a much better third quarter. Eddie House is making his impact felt. And Ray just buried another three. Meanwhile, KG just hit his last two shots...is he breaking through after his 1/11 start?
47-43 Lakers, 8:11/3rd: Rondo appears to be on his way back to the Celtics bench after getting his ankle looked at by Dr. Brian McKeon.
43-37 Lakers, 11:16/3rd: Rajon Rondo (ankle) just limped off the floor with help from Eddie Lacerte, and was promptly booed by Lakers fans, who apparently think he's faking...
43-37 Lakers, Halftime: Considering how they played, the Celtics have to be happy with just a six point deficit here at the half. Ray Allen's shots are falling (3/3 on threes) and that's a good sign for the C's.
38-27 Lakers, 2:49/2nd: Pierce just picked up his third personal, and he's got just two points. He's 1/7 from the field while KG is an ugly 1/9 from the field. That's not going to get it done for the Celtics.
34-27 Lakers, 5:49/2nd: The Celtics are settling for jumpers and have just six points in the paint. They've only shot two free throws while the Lakers have shot 16 free throws. Looks like Jackson's lobbying has already paid off...
20-20, End of 1st: Pierce (scoreless) picked up his second foul just before the end of the quarter and KG missed all of his five shots of the quarter. Kobe Bryant has 11 points for L.A. on 3/7 shooting.
17-14 Lakers, 2:29/1st: After a sluggish start the Celtics are picking up the defensive intensity and scoring in transition. Pierce, Garnett and Perk all have four rebounds while Rondo's got three dimes here in the first quarter.
9-2 Lakers, 7:32/1st: After a quick hoop, the Celtics have given up nine straight hoops and thrown the ball away three times here in the first quarter. Thankfully, the Lakers are shooting just 22% from the field. Otherwise, this could be a 20-2 lead. KG is 0/3 to start the game...
The View from L.A. on Game 3
LOS ANGELES - The Celtics are up 2-0 in the NBA Finals, but nobody's mapping a rolling rally route just yet. Because the team will spend the next week in Los Angeles trying to get the last two wins they need to capture their 17th World Championship. And when you're on the road in the playoffs this year, it ain't easy being Green.
Paul Pierce during warm-ups before Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center.
The Celtics are just 2-7 away from TD Banknorth Garden this postseason, and while they got those two road wins in the Eastern Conference Finals, here in Los Angeles they can expect the forces of nature -- in this case a hot Staples Center crowd, probably a few unkind whistles and the phenomenon who is Kobe Bryant -- to conspire against them.
The Lakers have yet to lose at Staples (8-0) in the postseason and you can bet they're not looking to start tonight.
If the Lakers have any hope in this series, though, they'll need to slow down Paul Pierce. The Los Angeles Times has a quick stats comparison between Bryant and Pierce, and the caption says that "Paul Pierce is holding his own against reigning MVP Kobe Bryant after the first two games of the NBA Finals."
Holding his own?
Man, somebody's wearing Purple and Gold colored glasses. The numbers presented by The Times (which, by the way, features a huge photo of McHale clotheslining Rambis in today's Sports page) are presented to your right. They didn't include turnovers in the chart, but both guys have committed eight a piece over the first two games of the Finals.
Let's read that again.
"Paul Pierce is holding his own against reigning MVP Kobe Bryant after the first two games of the NBA Finals."
As Vincent Vega might say, a better way to say that would be that Paul Pierce has a slight advantage over Kobe Bryant in the statistics department. And even better way to say that would be that Pierce is outplaying Bryant; check their overall shooting percentage and three-point shooting. And perhaps even a better way than that would be to say that "Pierce's team is up 2-0 in the NBA Finals and Pierce, who always plays well against the Lakers, is toasting his hometown team once again."
Also of note: Only three teams have ever come back in the NBA Finals after falling behind 0-2. The first team to do it? The 1969 Celtics, who beat the Lakers that year. The most recent? James Posey's 2006 Miami Heat.
Game 3 Preview
Couper Moorhead checks in with our Game 3 preview. We'll have more this afternoon from the Staples Center when we arrive downtown at the arena.
Monday, June 9 - Travel Day
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Monday was a cross-country travel day for both teams, and they'll both take the court tomorrow night for Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the Staples Center at 6 p.m. PST, or 9 p.m. back in Boston.
Sunday, June 8 - Lakers at Celtics, Game 2
Postgame Wrap Up and Links
Paul Pierce's knee wasn't 100 percent. But he sure played like it was.
Pierce fired off 28 points, including two key free throws with 22.8 seconds left as the Celtics held off a late comeback from the Lakers for a 108-102 Game 2 home win Sunday and a 2-0 series lead.
Leon Powe scored 13 of his 21 points off the bench in the second half as Boston built a 24-point fourth-quarter lead, before watching it slip to two. James Posey drilled two free throws with 12.6 seconds left to seal the victory.
Kevin Garnett notched his second double-double of the series, while Kendrick Perkins, who was a game-time decision, fought through the pain for seven points.
The Celtics will now head to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Tuesday.
- NBA.com Newsdesk
Locker Room Interveiws: CelticVision HD
Perk Still "Gametime Decision"; Pierce Good To Go
Doc Rivers just took the podium for his pregame presser, and told the media he still didn't know if center Kendrick Perkins would play, but did say that Paul Pierce is ready to go.
"Don't know yet. We're just gonna wait and see. We're not trying to play any games here," Rivers said. "At gametime, he's just going to tell us if he can go."
"We'll go with Plan B," said Rivers, and Plan B is presumably back-up center P.J. Brown, who's seemingly gotten better every game throughout the playoffs.
Despite the initial "gametime decision" declaration, Rivers seemed to indicate that Perk would give it a go and see how he feels.
"I'm gonna give him a chance. I think we just wait and see and watch," Rivers said. "The tough thing about this game is that he could be healthy and get beat off the dribble, and you don't overreact to it."
As for Pierce, Rivers is confident that his captain is good to go.
"I'm not concerned about Paul. He played one-on-one this morning and he looked good."
"I let Eddie do his job and try to stay out of it. I let the players and Eddie decide on health," Rivers said.
Saturday, June 7 - Practice
Perk To Sit Out Practice, Pierce Will Do Walkthrough
According to Celtics Coach Doc Rivers on Saturday afternoon, Kendrick Perkins would sit out today's practice at the Garden while Paul Pierce was expected to at least participate in the team's walkthrough portion this afternoon.
That said, Rivers did say he expects both to play Sunday night in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
As for Pierce himself, he said he "definitely" expects to play tomorrow night. He said he'll continue to treat the knee with ice, steam and some laser treatment.
Pierce also talked at length about Scott Collins, an LA police officer who took Pierce under his wing during his high school years and had him working out in the gym at 6 a.m. back in the day. Pierce called him "very instrumental in my life and in basketball," and noted that Collins would be in Boston for Game 2 as well as the games in Los Angeles.
Friday, June 6 - Practice
Pierce: "There's a Great Chance I'll Play Sunday"
As the entire known basketball world waits for an update on the status of Paul Pierce's right knee so that the aftermath of the Boston Celtics' Game 1 victory in the NBA Finals can be sorted out, it will have to keep waiting -- Pierce himself doesn't want to know the details. He will wait until the series has concluded to get an MRI.
"Either I can play or I can't, regardless of what the MRI says," Pierce said. "I mean, what is it really going to tell us? The extent of the injury, but at this point with two weeks left, six games to go, we can figure this out after the season."
A little over 12 hours since Pierce's dramatic return to the third-quarter of Game 1 after being carried off the court minutes earlier, he told the media that if Game 2 were tonight, he would not be able to play because of the sharp pain lingering in his knee. With no reported structural damage, Pierce's availability may depend on him being able to play through the pain -- but as for Sunday, things are still up in the air.
Bird and Magic: There Can Only Be One
Thursday, June 5 - Lakers at Celtics, Game 1
Paul Pierce returned from a sprained right knee in the third quarter and posted 19 of his 22 points in the second half as the Celtics edged the Lakers, 98-88, in Game 1 of The Finals on Thursday.
Kevin Garnett, who flushed home a monster two-handed jam off a missed shot with 1:32 remaining to seal Boston's triumph, finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Ray Allen added 19 points for Boston, which is playing the Lakers for the 11th time in the NBA Finals. The C's managed to limit Kobe Bryant to just four points in the fourth quarter.
Game 2 is set for Sunday in Boston at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
- NBA.com Newsdesk
Live from High Above Courtside
98-88 Celtics, FINAL: Celtics up 1-0. Three wins to go.
96-88 Celtics, 1:01/4th: KG's put-back slam on Posey's missed three might have finished them tonight. But a lot can happen in a minute...
90-85 Celtics, 2:57/4th: It's getting down to crunch time. Who will step up here for the C's??
88-82 Celtics, 5:15/4th: The Lakers hit two jumpers and the complexion of this game changes quickly. Pierce returns and promptly hits a turnaournd J.
86-78 Celtics, 8:42/4th: P.J. Brown is doing some dirty work on the boards and in the paint, and keeping balls alive for the Celtics. Meanwhile, James Posey continues to have that knack for coming up big when the team needs him most. He just forced a timeout with a three to put Boston up eight points.
77-73 Celtics, End of 3rd: Will we be telling our children about the night Pierce pulled a Willis Reed? We'll see. He's riding the stationary bike to keep loose throughout the quarter break.
75-71, 46.3 seconds/3rd: Pierce just drilled back to back threes. Then he picked up his fourth personal.
62-62, 5:04/3rd: Pierce is checking back in. This place just came unglued. I can only assume Eddie Lacerte is breaking out his Mr. Miyagi moves in the locker room.
62-59 Lakers, 6:18/3rd: Perkins just limped off the floor after Fisher came down on his left leg in the rebounding action after a free throw. Perkins walked to the dressing room under his own power.
62-58 Lakers, 6:49/3rd: Pierce and Perkins got tangled up in the rebounding action and Pierce was carried off the floor by TA, Scal and Dr. Brian McKeon. It appeared that Perkins careened into Pierce from behind and injured Pierce's right knee.
52-51 Celtics, 11:15/3rd: It looked like an offensive foul (okay, maybe to Bennett Salvatore), but Paul Pierce got bumped taking a three and instead buried it and went to the line. He then drained a free throw. He had three points at the half, and he's already got 11.
45-42 Lakers, 3:03/2nd: The Lakers offense is settling in and suddenly they've snatched the lead. Nine of Fisher's 11 points have come in the second quarter.
40-35 Celtics, 5:49/2nd: KG has 16 points and is dominating the matchup with Pau Gasol (6 points). Bryant (6 points) is also struggling. Meanwhile, Sam Cassell is hitting his shots (3/4) which is a great sign for the C's.
23-21 Celtics, End of 1st: Perk stuffs Gasol in the paint, and the Celtics are up two after the first. The C's have 10 points in the paint, while the Lakers have eight assists on 10 hoops.
21-14 Celtics, 2:53/1st: The Celtics are attacking the hoop and pushing the pace against the Lakers. Rajon Rondo tried to dunk on Radmanovic in the lane, and Ray Allen had a driving leaner earlier in the quarter.
10-10, 5:56/1st: KG just put a nasty UTEP Two-Step move on Pau Gasol and slammed it home with one hand. Meanwhile, Kobe has yet to score.
Game Preview, Finals Feature and More
Celtics.com Correspondent Couper Moorhead checks in with today's Game 1 Preview, while Peter Stringer and Sean Grande weigh in on the NBA Finals.
According to our man in Waltham, P.R. chief Jeff Twiss, everyone is present and accounted for at this morning's shootaround a mere 11 hours before tip-off.
Wednesday, June 4 - Practice at Garden
Celtics and Lakers Meet the Press
Both teams, their media and outposts from all over the world descended on the TD Banknorth Garden Wednesday afternoon for a Finals media day on Wednesday, with each head coach and two stars from each team holding formal press conferences. The rest of the rosters met reporters out on the parquet floor, which is now adorned with "The Finals" logos and a giant Larry O'Brien trophy at center court beneath Zang Auerbach's leprechaun logo.
Check CelticVision HD for video interviews with a few of the Celtics, while NBA TV has the official press conferences with Doc, KG and The Truth.
Celtics, Lakers To Practice at Arena
Both teams will practice at the TD Banknorth Garden today in preparation for tomorrow's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and the national media should be represented here in Boston in full force.
While the teams are preparing for the Finals on the court inside the Garden, outside the arena the NBA is preparing as well, erecting a replica of the Larry O'Brien trophy on grass mall that overlooks I-93 and the Zakim Bridge on Causeway Street.
We'll have a full update this afternoon after the Celtics' media availability.
Celtics-Lakers Video Coverage
NBA.com has a ton of Celtics-Lakers Finals coverage. Here are some of the best links:
Video: Celtics Celebration - All Access |
More Video: Celtics-Lakers Finals Moments
Tuesday, June 3 - Practice in Waltham
TA Back in the Mix for Finals?
A day after Celtics Coach Doc Rivers expressed doubt that Tony Allen would be available for the NBA Finals and some media outlets reported that he'd be out for the series, Allen himself practiced and says he hopes to be in service Thursday.
"I practiced today and I felt good," Allen said, after explaining that he'd strained his achilles, and to that end, his left leg was heavily wrapped when he met the media after today's session. He had two sessions of massage therapy, ice and electronic stimulation and expects to practice again tomorrow.
As for whether he'll see any time against the Lakers, Allen said it was up to the Coach.
"I should have showed him something today," Allen said. "I had a couple of good moves in practice. Hopefully that will win him over."
Check CelticVision HD for video interviews with Doc Rivers, Sam Cassell, Tony Allen, and Kendrick Perkins.
Monday, June 2 - Practice in Waltham
Practice Wrap Up
Kobe Bryant, and how to stop him, was the hot topic after Monday's practice as the media descended upon the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint in Waltham on Monday afternoon. The C's went two hours plus today, and afterward they were peppered with questions about the NBA MVP.
Paul Pierce talked about seeing Bryant in the UCLA gym around this time last year, and how the two players wondered who'd be traded from their respective teams first.
At the time, Bryant had demanded a trade from the Lakers, while the Celtics had lost out on the Oden-Durant sweepstakes in the Draft Lottery and appeared to be headed for more rebuilding.
Instead, a year later, they're playing in the NBA Finals. Strange how things work, huh?
"Nobody won the bet," Pierce said. "We both stayed with our teams."
Check CelticVision HD for video interviews with Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, James Posey and Ray Allen.
Practice - Early Update
The Celtics will practice in Waltham Monday and Tuesday before moving their workouts to the TD Banknorth Garden on Wednesday afternoon for the NBA Finals.
We'll have complete coverage of today's session in the Post Ups Notebook and on CelticVision HD.
Saturday, May 31 - Off Day
The Celtics will have today and Sunday off from practice. They are expected to practice at TD Banknorth Garden on Monday afternoon.
More Coverage of Friday's win in Detroit: