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Boston Celtics

Around the Rim: Kevin Garnett is almost ready for his close up


1. Welcome back?
Kevin Garnett cares about one thing and one thing only – winning. The Big Ticket missed the Celtics last nine games in addition to sitting out the All-Star game with an abdominal strain, but he appears to be almost back to his normal self which makes Boston far above average once again.

I’m trying to play Tuesday,” Garnett said from NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, according to The Boston Globe. “It’s been miserable. To be honest, miserable. But I’m in a good place mentally. I’m dealing with it.

The Celtics are in Denver tonight and Garnett said how he felt after Monday’s practice would play a big role in whether he takes the court or not. While the entire franchise is dying for Garnett to get back on the floor, they’re not stupid enough to rush it at this point. After all, they’ve won five consecutive games and own a 7-2 record since losing the big fella.

2. Agent 0 to the rescue

The Wizards got some terrific news on Monday, learning star guard Gilbert Arenas was cleared to participate in light, non-contact drills after having knee surgery last season. Arenas proved to be one of the most explosive scorers in the league, racking up 50 and 60 point games like clockwork. There’s no timetable for his return, but just hearing of his comeback has to energize Caron Butler and Antwan Jamison who have been carrying the load since Gilbo went down. Another piece of good news for the Wizards came in the form of Etan Thomas getting the nod to practice for the first time since undergoing open-heart surgery. Again, no definite timetable, but definitely good news.

3. Dare we say it? Jason Kidd is on his way to Big D
After a little tweaking, it appears that the Jason Kidd to Dallas trade will go through. However, before we go off analyzing the nuances of this trade, we’re going to wait for the official word to get dropped from NBA headquarters. Until then, we’ll stick with the major player – Kidd. Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard are going to love having this guy around and Mark Cuban isn’t even going to know who to cry over anymore. Not only will he have the sweetest shooting big man in the game on his roster, but he’ll also own the only player in the league who can completely change a game without scoring a single point. The only immediate drawback we can think of for Dallas is that the city is going to get sick of seeing Kidd’s big-headed kid on the tube every five minutes.

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (33-21) @ Detroit (39-13)
Now that the All-Star festivities are over and behind us, it’s time to forget all about Dwight Howard’s spectacular collage of throw-downs and start focusing on what’s important which is the race to the playoffs. Before the break, Stan Van Gundy `motivated’ Howard back to peak performance and with the wave of momentum currently underneath him, the Pistons might end up facing a snarling beast tonight. Of course, the Pistons have several proud All-Stars on its squad who will look to end Superman’s high flying act. And if you’re lucky, Rasheed Wallace might just jack up another lefty trey.

Buzzer Beater: Cedric Ceballos finally did something more embarrassing than his ridiculous blindfold slam dunk from a bunch of years back. The former Sun and current Suns on-court announcer was arrested on Sunday for driving with a suspended license. Turns out California had a warrant out for Ceballos and he got caught at a Cali gas station after an attendant called the cops because he tried to pay for gas with a bunk credit card. It was a quick in-and-out of the pokey for Cedric whose hearing is scheduled for March 18.

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Boston Celtics

Around the Rim: Blaze extinguished


1. Beantown bounces back
The Blazers were scorching hot coming into their contest against the Celtics in Beantown, but they weren’t hot enough to knock off the league’s top dogs. Ray Allen was on fire, hitting 12-of-20 shots for a game-high 35 points while Kevin Garnett scored 26, helping Boston grab a 100-90 win. After dropping three of their previous four games, this could be the beginning of another big run for the Leprechauns with Philadelphia, New York, Minnesota and Miami coming up on the schedule. Despite their winning ways of late, Portland has struggled away from home this season, losing 12 of their 18 road games. Against the Celtics, the Blaze committed 17 turnovers, including four apiece from Brandon Roy (22 pts) and LaMarcus Aldridge (16 pts).

2. Welcome back, here’s a trouncing

Sacramento and Miami were thrilled before tipoff of their respective games on Wednesday thanks to the return of Shaquille O’Neal and Mike Bibby to the active roster. But that was before the game; afterwards was a whole different story. The Diesel had a great game in his return, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against the Bulls, but as Charles Barkley would say “The operation was a success, but the patient died” because Miami lost by 30 points at home, 126-96. Up in Canada, it wasn’t much better for the Kings who had Mike Bibby (19 pts, 6 reb) in uniform for the first time this season but lost by 25, 116-91.

3. Heart attack Cats
Well, we’ll be darned if they ain’t done done it again. The Bobcats went into halftime against the Magic down by 15 points and fell down by 19 early in third quarter before making another furious rally to victory. Gerald Wallace netted 36 and grabbed 14 points while teammate Jason Richardson scored 26 points, including a bevy of clutch shots in the final moments, giving the Cats a 99-93 win. Charlotte (15-23) has now won four of their last six games against some pretty decent competition, knocking off the Nets, Celtics, Nuggets and, now, the Magic. Dwight Howard was ginormous in defeat, going for 24 points and 21 rebounds.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Dwight Howard @ Charlotte 42 min, 24 pts (FG: 8-15, FT: 8-13), 21 reb, 1 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Phoenix (26-12) @ Los Angeles Lakers (26-11)
The race for the postseason in the West is tighter than it has been in years and when a team slips-up, they can go sliding all the way down the ladder. Phoenix just learned this lesson the hard way by losing to the Clippers and dropping like a stone from first to fifth in the conference standings. And thanks to the Hornets defeating the Sonics on Wednesday, Phoenix now has the sixth seed behind New Orleans. The lucky beneficiaries of the Suns setting was the Lakers who jumped all the way to the top of the West, a place they hadn’t been since the Diesel was rolling in L.A. This should be a brawl between a pair Pacific Division rivals that hate each other with a passion.

Buzzer Beater: Oddball Joakim Noah and Ben Wallace had a bit of tiff during the Bulls loss to Orlando on Tuesday, just don’t tell Joakim that.

You know what makes me mad, that somebody actually said and told you guys that there was a situation,” Noah told WSCR radio station in Chicago. “That’s what makes me mad. That’s the only reason why I’m doing this right now. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it.

“For people to say we’ve had a clash … this is the kind of stuff that divides a team. You guys write these stories and hype things up. It’s crazy.

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Boston Celtics

Around the Rim: Kevin Garnett carries his club into the record books


1. Big Three hit the big two-seven

Kevin Garnett needed four stitches to close a gash over his right eye sustained against the Lakers on Sunday, but the cut wasn’t enough to stop the Big Ticket from punching Boston’s ticket into history. Scoring 11 of his 26 points in the final seven minutes, Garnett lifted Boston to their 27th win of the season in just 30 games with a 97-93 victory over Houston. The 27-3 mark matches five other squads, including the 1995-96 Bulls that went 72-10, as the only teams to accomplish the feat. The Rockets sorely missed their leading scorer down the stretch as Tracy McGrady missed his fourth consecutive game with an injury to his left a knee. Unfortunately, McGrady is expected to miss about three weeks with a “deep bone bruise,” leaving Houston rapidly sliding down the standings out West.

2. On again, off again

The Orlando Magic looked poised to join Boston, Detroit and Cleveland as one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams after they rushed out to a 14-3 start. But as quickly as they rose to contender status, they quickly rejoined the mass of mediocrity by dropping eight of their next 12, and just when the Magic men looked to be climbing back to their feet, putting together a four-game winning streak, the Nets come to town and demoralize Orlando with a fourth quarter knockout. New Jersey trailed by 10 points after 36 minutes, but outscored Orlando 30-18 in the final period and squeaked out a 96-95 victory. Dwight Howard scored 13 points in the loss, marking the fourth time in five games that the superstar has failed to reach 20 points.

3. LeBron-ckets red glare
LeBron James welcomed in the New Year by giving the Cleveland crowd of 20,562 in attendance his own version of a fireworks celebration. James went out of the first half against Atlanta like a lamb, scoring just four points, but he came roaring out of the locker room like a lion, guiding his cubs to a 98-94 win. LBJ continued to improve as the game went on, scoring 32 of his 36 points in the second half with 19 coming in the fourth quarter and 12 coming in the last 1:50. The Cavs are still sitting two games under .500 (15-17) and are a full 10 games behind Detroit in the Central Division standings after the Pistons won their 10th consecutive game by dismantling the Wizards in D.C. by 13, 106-93. Detroit (25-7) has now won 17 of their last 19 games, climbing to within three games of Boston (27-3) for the league’s top record.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: John Salmons @ New York 43 min, 32 pts (FG: 13-18, 3FG: 1-2, FT: 5-5), 11 reb, 6 ast, 6 stl, 1 blk

Thursday’s Game to Watch: San Antonio (21-8) @ Denver (18-12)
Despite their recent struggles (5-5 in their last 10 games) and injuries, San Antonio is still sitting atop the Western Conference standings thanks to a rejuvenated Tim Duncan. Known for sacrificing his numbers in exchange for teammate’s productivity, Duncan has been single-handedly taking over games for the Spurs lately, averaging 19.6 points, 14.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game over his last five games. However, the Spurs are surprisingly soft on the road this year with a 5-6 record. The Nuggets are 12-5 at home where Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson both average 26.0 points per game. Marcus Camby (14.2 rpg, 3.66 bpg) draws the unappealing assignment of defending Duncan, but perhaps nobody is more prepared for the challenge than the league’s defending Mr. Defense.

Buzzer Beater: The game between the Timberwolves and the Trail Blazers was delayed for over half an hour on Wednesday night when a pair of gaps developed in the Target Center court. So, while the entire arena waited for a couple dollops of putty to harden in the floor, players and fans alike had plenty of time to complain about the delay.

Timberwolves forward Al Jefferson, for one, couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. He walked over to Blazers swingman Travis Outlaw, a fellow native of Mississippi, and said, “We’re from Mississippi man, we play on glass.

Eventually Portland would run all over Minnesota, winning 90-79 for their 14th victory in 15 contests.

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Boston Celtics

Around the Rim: From worst to first


1. How ya like us now?
They did it again. The Cs are now 6-0, the lone unbeaten, after putting a hurtin’ on the Pacers, 101-86. Just so you know, they didn’t have six wins last season until there were already 13 ticks in the loss column. For a little while, it looked like this could actually be a game, but things fell apart for Indiana when Paul Pierce transformed into the Truth, scoring 31 points in the game with 13 coming a second-quarter, three-minute explosion. And yes, at one point, you did see Pierce doing push-ups in-between free throws. Apparently, the men in green are so bored with their competition that they’re working in a lil’ extra cardio training during the actual game. Frankly, we can’t blame `em. The big three are just toying with teams now, they combined for 66 points and 25 boards against the Pacers.

2. Two outta three ain’t bad

There is no NBA state feared more than Texas. All three of the Lone Star teams were in action on Tuesday and the Spurs and Mavericks both escaped their opponents, the Lakers and Sixers respectively, but the Rockets weren’t so lucky. They got downed by the lowly Grizz 105-99. It’s a shame too because Tracy McGrady had a terrific game for Houston. T-Mac was 16-of-28 and finished the contest with 41 points, four rebounds, four assists and a pair of pokes. But to the Rockets defense, they weren’t using their home state advantage last night as the game was held in Memphis. The trio of teams is a combined 11-0 at home on the year, but something is going to have to give here soon. On Thursday, the Spurs heads to Dallas; on Friday, Houston plays in San Antonio and next Wednesday, the Mavericks will be wearing their road unis against the Rockets.

3. He’s got that Magic touch
Rashard Lewis has to be loving life after putting up a game-high 22 points on his old club. Oh, and the fact that the Sonics fell to 0-8 while he’s raking in $14.9 million this year in sunny Florida probably didn’t hurt any either. Lewis led the way offensively during the 103-76 beatdown, but, as usual, it was the man-child who did all the dirty work. Dwight Howard finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the game. If this guy isn’t the closest thing to Tim Duncan since Tim Duncan then we don’t know who is. Of course, we can’t mention the Sonics without mentioning Kevin Durant. It was another tough night for the rookie as he went 4-of-13 for 10 points to go along with a single rebound and zero assists. Rashard Lewis has to be loving life.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Dirk Nowitzki vs. Philadelphia 37 min, 21 pts (FG: 7-14, 3FG: 1-3, FT: 6-9), 12 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (6-2) @ Cleveland (4-4)
Cleveland’s been on the road for a majority of the season so far, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be welcomed home. The Magic are undefeated on the road (4-0) and they’ve ripped off a streak of four wins in their last five games to rise to the top of the Southeast standings. The trio of Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson is clicking on all cylinders as Orlando enjoys the early season ride. Cleveland, on the other hand, has no such trio to speak of and they’ve given up 35 more points than they’ve scored. However, the end result is they are only 1 ½ games behind Detroit in their division. Not too bad for a team that is riding one horse; it’s not too good, but it’s not too bad either.

Buzzer Beater: So, how bad are things for the 1-6 Miami Heat? Well, according to Pat Riley, they’re PRETTY BAD, pretty bad.

Me? Play. I guarantee you I should suit up. I’d play better than some of them right now,” Riley said Tuesday night. “I guarantee it. I swear to God. With an old hip and 62 years old and I can’t see, I’ll play better than some of my guys tonight. Come on, they were pretty bad.

C’mon coach, aren’t you being a little hard on your guys? Oh, wait; they lost by 15 to the Bobcats? Are you serious?! Okay, you’re right; lace `em up.

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Boston Celtics

Kevin Garnett might be skinny, but he’s strong as an ox

Kevin Garnett spent 12 seasons with the Timberwolves before the Celtics came along and plucked him from the land of futility. Now that he’s in a much better place, KG is able to take a deep breath and just relax knowing that he’s not alone any more. You’d never expect his wiry frame to support the dead weight of a franchise for that long, but he did.

The Kid might not have a ring, but you’d never catch Kobe Bryant carrying the hopes of Hollywood to a losing record every year with a smile on his face.

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Boston Celtics

Is it already Miller Time again ?


Apparently pulling down Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in one off-season just isn’t enough for the Boston Celtics and now they are attempting to coax the greatest 3-point shooter in league history out of retirement. Celtics GM Danny Ainge has been talking to Reggie Miller about joining the All-Star squad for a run at the franchise’s first championship since some guy named Larry Bird was suiting up.

It looks like Ainge is going to follow in the footsteps of the late 90s/early 2000s Portland Trailblazers who tried to simply stack as much talent as possible onto that roster. It almost worked for the Blazers but an incredible Game 7, furious fourth quarter comeback by the Lakers in the West Finals was capped off by a Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O’Neal alley-oop and the rest is history. The opportunity to play another season and possibly go to his second NBA Finals has to be tempting for Miller, but, then again, only working one day a week while pulling down some excellent TV money is a pretty sweet gig in itself.

And before anyone starts saying that Miller has to come back because it will be his best chance at a title, don’t forget that Mark Cuban tried to recruit Miller to the Mavericks and he turned them down. Now, we all know about the horrible collapses by Dallas in the past couple of postseasons, but Miller would have been on an extremely competitive team who is always at the top of the list for possible title contenders. That’s something that Boston can’t be labeled as…yet. Anyways, we gotta figure that Miller is flattered, but he’s probably going to pass on the offer. After all, would you give up a chance to hang out with the Chuckster every week in exchange for running your 42-year-old body into the ground? And if he does say no, Ainge could always ask Reggie’s big sis to lace `em up.

Links:

[KCCI.com]: Celtics Shoot At Acquiring Reggie Miller

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Boston Celtics

Kevin Garnett finally finds his pot of gold in Boston


After 12 years in Minnesota, Kevin Garnett finally became the last person on the face of the planet to realize that the Timberwolves aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon in a deep, deep Western Conference. And instead of being a conference AND division cellar dweller once again, it appears that KG will finally have his time to shine in the postseason as he teams up with a pair of superstars in Boston. The move sends The Big Ticket to the Celtics for Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair (good luck with that one) and two future 1st-round picks.

Sure, it might sound like a lot, but we’re talking about Kevin Garnett here. Considering that he’s easily one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers, we’re going to say it’s a steal and break away slam dunk for the leprechauns. And talk about breathing new life into the dead! Not only is Garnett getting resurrected for a second shot at NBA immortality and hopefully a couple of playoff wins, but the Celtics are looking at making one of the greatest turn-arounds in league history.

After enduring a stomach turning season that consisted of some comical losing streaks, followed up by David Stern’s punch to the gut at the NBA Draft, the Celtics can finally grin from ear to ear as they have since acquired the sweet shooting touch of Ray Allen and the unquantifiable talents of KG. Throw in a healthy dose of a healthy Paul Pierce and you’ve got a big batch of conference contenders brewing in Beantown. The only problem imaginable is that there might not be enough ball to go around for all those All-Stars. But, then again, considering that none of the big three have been to the NBA Finals, we’re guessing they’ll be more than willing to share for the common cause. And for the faithful fans of the men in green, it’s been a really, really, really long time since they could actually consider too much talent to be a problem, so we doubt we hear any complaints from them either.

Links:

[SI.com]: Ticketed for Boston

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Boston Celtics

Paul Pierce disses a cinematic legend on video


If there is anything we learned about Mini Me Verne Troyer during the Surreal Life is that he hates being called Mini Me. Apparently, Paul Pierce isn’t a big fan of the show because he made the critical error of calling Mini Me Mini Me and then the little dude had to bow up to the guy who plays for the Celtics. Here’s a link to the TMZ exclusive. You’re gonna have to scroll down to find it, but take your time. We’ll be waiting.

Okay, you back? Good.

Our favorite part is when Mini Me starts hollering “What’s my name?!” to P.P. We know that Pierce is loaded, but things are pretty crappy when your team is going on 18-game losing skids and Mini Me is trying to put you check. Doesn’t the Celtic green intimidate anyone anymore? Well, the luck of the Irish could be swinging back in Boston’s favor if they can pull off a franchise defining mega trade for Kevin Garnett. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Back to the video of Verne Mini Me; we’re not trying to discriminate against little people but we’d fell a hell of a lot safer if Mini Me stayed on his little scooter. After all, the guy is known to tie on a couple before going for a spin.

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Boston Celtics

Around the Blogosphere: Celtics fan reactions


We started out thinking we’d post some reaction from around the blogosphere from Celtics fans (the team most screwed) and Trailblazers fans (the luckiest team). But it turns out that while Celtics fans are tearing up the interwebs with their anger and lament, Blazers fans are nowhere to be found.

After winning a lottery in which they only had a 1 in 20 chance, it’s like they don’t even know a team exists. There are more Celtics fans blogging about the Blazers getting Greg Oden than there are Blazers fans. And this, it seems to us, is exactly why the Blazers don’t even deserve to get Oden. (And we absolutely hate the Celtics — it just seems like the sports gods are fucking with them though.)

Well, without further ado, here are some angry C’s fans:

“The 5th overall pick in a 2 player draft… that’s what we get out of 82 games of tanking, inept coaching, mongoloidian general management, and Personal Injury…
Portland as a franchise was floundering. Every player they had was some sort of criminal. Dogfighting, weed smoking, assaults, OUI… you name it, the Blazers had someone who did it. We got Bassy Telfair and is gun collection from the Blazers. The team sucked, and the fans- normally the NBA’s most consistent sellout- were shunning the Blazers for Lumberjack Contests and Salmon Fishing Derbies. They got the #1 overall pick.” — High Above Courtside
(Right, it’s Portland’s fault that Danny Ainge traded for Bassy.)

“What does this mean for the Celtics? In my opinion, it means that the Celtics are absolutely the more desperate team in the league this summer. I think that if the Celtics can’t package this pick with Theo Ratliff’s contract and extra pieces for an All-Star caliber veteran, Paul Pierce will be gone by the trade deadline. That also, in my opinion, would be best for both the organization and Paul Pierce (if we can’t get ourselves a veteran All-Star this summer).” — Celticsnews.com

“The worst possible scenario played out in the lottery. The Celtics dropped to the #5 pick and the Grizzlies dropped to #4. Do you realize that there was approximately a 6% chance that the Memphis and Boston would pick 4 and 5? I think David Stern just sent an anti-tanking message to both teams. I would have felt better if the lottery were televised instead of being held behind closed doors.” — Loy’s Place

“I am usually a pretty optimistic Celtics fan, but right now I don’t know how to feel anymore. I can’t end this blog/rant saying all will be well and we should stop worrying. My prediction? An all-star veteran somehow becomes available and we trade the pick, Green, Ratliff, and Delonte West for him. We might even have to add a future pick. What will most likely really happen? No veteran becomes available; we draft Wright and wait at least three more years for him to develop. By then Pierce is all but gone and who knows how our other youngsters will have developed. Optimism? Sorry, wait a few more months before you get any of that from me.” — Celtics 24/7

“NOOOOOOOOOOO! It was all for nothing. The injuries. The tanking (fine, we can say it now). The agony. The misery. The futile dream that something might go right for the Celtics. You know what? I’m not jumping off the bridge yet. Maybe Tony Allen comes back. Maybe Gerald makes an improvement half as big as Al Jefferson’s third-year improvement. Maybe Rondo develops a shot; maybe Perkins adds something (anything) to his game. And we’re still in the Atlantic Division. But, dammit, I wish I’d be thinking about going deep into the playoffs, instead of my 12th straight year of hoping everything goes right and we just get there.

I hate sports.” — Bunkosquad

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Boston Celtics

Sebastian Telfair gets busted on gun charges


The NBA season ended on Wednesday, so it shouldn’t be surprising that ballers are getting popped by the cops by Friday. And getting the off-season started with a bang is Celtics guard Sebastian Telfair who was arrested around 4:00 a.m. Friday morning in New York after he was pulled over going 77 mph in a 45 mph zone. Now, speeding doesn’t usually get someone thrown in the slammer, but packin’ heat often will. Officers found a loaded .45 caliber handgun stashed under the front passenger seat and charged Telfair and his thug homey, Al Eden Fuentes, with second-degree possession of a weapon which is a felony. Ouch! Telfair also got slapped with a couple misdemeanors for not having a proper driver’s license and speeding.

This is nothing new for the high schooler gone pro because back in October Telfair was allegedly involved in a robbery/shooting/hired hit with rapper Fabolous that ended up with Telfair being investigated while his buddies painted him to be a sweet heart. Stephon Marbury and his lawyer both seemed to think there was no way their boy could be involved. Could it have just been a coincidence? Hell, no! But apparently Telfair is quite the charmer. According to police, “He was very polite and cooperative with our officers.”

While he might be polite, we’re not being fooled by the baby face and big smile. If he’s such a great guy who would never involve himself with criminal activity, then why does he have a loaded gat up under the seat? Call us crazy but we can’t imagine Dwyane Wade or LeBron James rolling with a pistol by their side. Carmelo Anthony on the hand…

Links:

[NYJournalNews.com]: Celtics star collared on gun charge on Bronx River Parkway; team has no comment