Celtics Making Moves, Bringing In Slam-Dunk Champion

NBA Trading Deadline Affects Green Team

With a date set with the Los Angeles Lakers later tonight, the Boston Celtics may be a little undermanned on their bench.

That’s because Danny Ainge has reached a tentative agreement to deal Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, and Bill Walker to the New York Knicks for guard Nate Robinson and a player yet to be named.  

So with Robinson in and House out, what does this mean for the Celtics?

Well, House has struggled this season, compared to his record setting season last year where he hit 44.5 percent of his 3-pointers.  House, in 50 games, has averaged 7.2 points per game, coming off of the bench for Boston.

Robinson, 25, is averaging 13.2 points per game with 3.7 assister per game.  He has fallen out of favor with head coach Mike D’Antoni, like many other Knicks in the past two seasons. Robinson will provide Boston with a better scoring and defensive option off the bench for Boston, rather then House, and is set to become a free agent after the season.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo) 

It’s Time To Go Green!

The Boston Celtics have a tough schedule coming out of the NBA All-Star Break and despite what critics say, they are not taking this schedule lightly. Instead, they are looking at the second of season as a chance for a fresh start. 
“You remember it, break it down, understand what you’ve been doing right and been doing wrong, and instead of half a season, we look at it like a whole new ballgame,” said Paul Pierce. “A fresh start. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.’’
Last night, the Celtics started a four game, five night road trip in Sacramento, CA. The Celtics did prevail in the final minutes of the game, knocking down key free throws and going on to beat the Kings, 95-92.
The Sacramento Kings, despite only having 18 wins on the season, gave the Celtics problems all night long with their young and talented starting five. The Big Three combined for just 13 of 47 from the field and the team missed a total of 50 shots on the night.
The Celtics’ reserves were the real story of the game though, combining for 44 points off of the bench. Eddie House had 12 out of those 44 connecting on four 3-pointers and Rasheed Wallace chipped in with 17. The bench was a huge part of the Celtics’ success at the beginning of the season, and the C’s will need more production from them if they are going to be contenders in the post season.
A win is a win, even if it was ugly. “It’s a win.” Said Doc Rivers after the game, “I don’t know what tone it’s going to set, but we get a win and now we’ve got to move to the next game, and that’s how we’re approaching the next 31 now. We’re not looking ahead, we’re not sending messages, we’re just trying to win this game and get better tonight and focus on the next game. The whole trip, we’re not looking at. We’re looking at the next game. That’s the way we have to be right now.’’
The Celtics have 31 games left to play. Despite their woes before the All-Star Break, they still sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference Standings. Their focus must continue to be one game at a time.
Next stop: Los Angeles
Thursday could be a big day in Celtic Nation. The trade deadline is at 3:00 PM, when all rumors will either come to life or to fruition. Big trade or not, the Celtics are also scheduled to take on the Lakers in LA at 10:30 PM ET on national television. So, be sure to tune in for what is sure to be an eventful day.
To gear up for the second half of the season, Charlie Chowdahead has declared “It’s Time To Go Green!” Just order anything in the “All Things Green” Section and receive 10% of the entire order! Enter coupon code: GOGREEN2010 at checkout.

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Should The Celtics Trade Ray Allen?

This May Be The Time To Make A Move For the C’s

With the Boston Celtics championship hopes dwindling by the day, should the Celtics trade Ray Allen?

Short answer, no.

Allen’s $19.7 million contract is expiring at the end of the season, which makes him a valuable trading commodity for many teams looking to move players, as well as an asset to Danny Ainge and the Celtics.

Yet, the trouble with trading should a highly-paid player  to another team is that salaries of the moving players (and parts) have to match up in order to make the deal valid.  So, with a trade involving Allen, their will have to be more than a couple of moving pieces to get a deal done.

With a deal of this magnitude, Ainge must decide whether trading Allen gives the C’s the best chance at being competitive this year and perhaps in the years to come. With names swirling around the rumor mill, such as Kevin Martin (Kings) and Monta Ellis (Warrior), would trading Allen make the C’s better in 2010 or just in the future?

Most likely the latter, and with that, Celtics fans may not be happy to hear that Ainge is seemingly conceding this season, especially with the core players such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rasheed Wallace, reaching the twilights of their careers.

It would be in the best interest of Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge to keep Ray Allen for the final year of his deal and then let him walk after the season.  The leadership, camaraderie, and skill Allen gives the 2009-10 Celtics is still valuable and if the C’s want to raise an 18th banner into the rafters of the Garden this season, they will keep Ray Allen.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)
For now.

Rondo and the Celtics Cool Off Heat

The Boston Celtics have been hampered by injuries all season long. Their injury woes continued on Monday against the Washington Wizards when their Captain Paul Pierce went down with a strained left mid-foot in the first quarter.
Despite the most recent injury to Pierce though, the Celtics managed to pull out a win over the Miami Heat at the TD Bank Garden last night, 107-102. Rajon Rondo was the spark the Celtics needed to win the game and his logged minutes (44:11) show it.  He filled the offensive void left by Pierce, connecting for two 3-pointers and scoring 22 points on the night. Ray Allen dropped 23 points on 7 for 15 shooting and Eddie House chipped in with 16 off the bench.
The Celtics did miss Pierce on the defensive end. In fact, they really did not play defense for most of the game, letting the Heat shoot close to sixty percent from the field for the first three quarters. Yes, the defense did win the game. Tony Allen’s big steal on Dwayne Wade in the final seconds sealed the game, but that wasn’t the whole story.
There were three reasons why the Celtics won last night: they out-rebounded the Heat (41-31), they moved the ball around on offense (29 assists), and they have a great point guard in Rajon Rondo. The Celtics had 15 offensive boards as a team; Rajon Rondo collected four of them. He was also instrumental in the distribution of the basketball, dishing out 16 of the Celtics’ 29 assists. To say Rondo led the Celtics’ offensive is an understatement. He controlled the tempo and put the Celtics in position to win the game even without one of the Big Three in the lineup.
The Celtics play again tomorrow night at the Garden against the lowly New Jersey Nets. Paul Pierce is listed as day-to-day. If Pierce is scratched from the starting five, whose turn is it to fill the gap? Is it Rondo’s time again?

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Boston Sports Teams In A Lull

The Hub Of Sports Has Hit A Rough Patch

With New England Patriots season over, the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins were left with the task off shouldering the load of Bill Belichick’s bunch failures.

But, ever since the NFL season came to an end for Patriot fans, the B’s and C’s have hit a snag and are reeling as of late.  With both teams in a funk, what do Boston sports fans have to look forward too?

Mediocrity?  

I mean, it’s only 41 days until Spring Training starts.

Not so fast folks.  Kevin Garnett returned to the Garden parquet on Friday night after missing 10 games with a hyperextened right knee and scored 13 points to propel the Celtics to a 98-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to snap a three-game losing streak.  

There is a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel for Boston fans even if that light doesn’t reflect the Boston Bruins at the moment.  The Bruins are now losers of five straight and hold the ninth-place spot in the Eastern Conference.  Things are falling fast for the lifeless Bruins who are playing with the urgency of a pre-season practice rather than a January playoff implication game as the Black and Gold may have hit rock bottom today with their 5-1 loss to the bottom-dwelling Carolina Hurricanes.  

So, with the bleak play of the Bruins, at least the news of Garnett’s return can bring some life back to the Hub.  Maybe Beantown fans can have something to look forward too other than Casey Kelly updates.  

Or American Idol.

Even with snow still on the ground and temperatures south of 32 degrees, the NBA season is about to start heating up and so too should the play of the Boston Celtics. And even with the discouraging play of the Bruins, don’t throw the towel in yet.  The Bruins still have over 30 games left on the schedule and that’s plenty of time for them to turn their season around.  

So keep your clickers tuned to NESN and FSNE, you sure don’t want to miss anything good.  

Garnett’s Return Should Help Celtics

Boston Hopes Clean Bill Of Health Is On The Way

The NBA All-Star break is a little less than a month away but a shake up in the current NBA standings shouldn’t happen much for the Boston Celtics and other teams around the league.  
For the Celtics and other playoff contending teams, the first half is a good indicator for what’s to come in the second half of the season.   The midway point of the regular season actually starts on Friday night, not at the All-Star break, as the C’s take on the Portland Trail Blazers at the TD Banknorth Garden.   
Hit hard by the injury bug, the Celtics are looking for a spark from Kevin Garnett who is set to return to the lineup on Friday after a three week hiatus. His return could be the key to Boston returning to its early season success.  
Garnett will look to help Boston, losers of eight of their last 12 games, avoid their first four-game losing streak in more than a year.  Boston will look for Garnett to bring some defensive intensity that has sorely been missing from the front court.  The Big Ticket will also bring accountability to the reeling C’s who have been without Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Rasheed Wallce, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and Garnett for more than several games this season.  
But, despite all the injuries, the C’s still hold the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with a 27-13 record, trailing Lebron James and the Cleveland Caviliers by four games in the standings.  On their heels are the up and coming Atlanta Hawks (1/2 game back) and the Orland Magic (one game back).  
With Kobe Bryant taking on the James and the Cavs Thursday night, King James got the best of the defending NBA champion Lakers.  Could this be a sign that the stars are aligning for the 2010 NBA Championship and possibly Lebron James?
Who knows.
The Celtics may have something to say about that in the second half as a healthy lineup that includes Ray Allen, Garnett, Rondo, Pierce, and Kendrick Perkins could challenge the Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference.   
Inconsistency along with injuries have plagued Boston this season and that’s what happens when your three stars are hitting 32, 33, and 34 years of age. Pierce, Garnett, and Allen’s better years may be behind them, but needless to say, their is still some gas left in the tank and plenty of motivation to muster another Championship before the Big Three eventually fade into the sunset.
Playing by the mantra of “ubuntu”, a African proverb that stands for a system of working together by doing the right thing in order to sacrifice for the common good, the Celtics will need to work as a team to raise an 18th Championship banner into the rafters of the Garden by seasons end.
Whether its the spirit of ubuntu or the sudden resurgence of an old squad, Boston will look to right their ship on Friday against Brandon Roy and the Trail Blazers.

Celtics Drop 3rd Straight

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Last night the Boston Celtics (27-13) limped into The Palace of Auburn Hills to take on the lowly Detroit Pistons (15-26). The Celtics came into the game hoping to turn their luck around against another injury plagued team. The night started off well with a standing ovation for Rasheed Wallace in his first appearance at The Palace since being signed by the Celtics in the off-season. The Celtics came out with intensity, led by Captain Paul Pierce who scored 17 or his 21 points in the first quarter. After two quarters the Celtics held a respectable eight point lead over the Pistons. This match-up seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.
Wrong. This game was merely a tale of two halves. The Pistons simply out played the Celtics in the second half, to go on to win the game, 92-86. The Celtics only managed to score 30 points total in the second half, compared to 56 points in the first. They had no answers to the Pistons’ zone defense and as a result committed 19 turnovers. Ray Allen had 5 out of those 19, and 2 were a result of simply stepping out of bounds. Rajon Rondo was the only bright spot in the Celtics’ offense with a near triple-double (27 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals).
The Celtics now, are in the mist of a three game losing streak and are set to return to the TD Garden this Friday night to face the Portland Trailblazers. The Celtics are only 11-7 at home this season, but come Friday all eyes won’t be on their home record or losing streak. Celtics’ star forward, Kevin Garnett, is slated to return to the lineup after being sidelined for ten games with a hyperextend knee. The Celtics are 4-6 without Garnett and much of Celtics Nation will be put at ease if Garnett does suit up to play Friday.
The much anticipated tip off is at 7:30 p.m. Just don’t expect him to be the savior of the Celtics after just one game.

What Boston Sports Fan Should Be Thankful For These Holidays…

Lots To Be Thankful For As A Boston Sports Fan

Tis’ the season to be jolly, or at least amiable for people around the hub.

Boston sports fans may be turned off by the overall play from the Patriots, injuries to Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, a lack of consistency from the Bruins and of course, a lack of a big bat in the Red Sox off-season shopping.

But don’t be down, it could be worse and Boston sports fans have many things to be happy for or about, especially during the Holiday season.  Here is a list of five things Boston sports fans should be thankful for…

1) The Coaches: Oh what would we do without our managers and coaches?  From Bill Belichick and Terry Francona, to Doc Rivers and Claude Julien, Beantown is lucky enough to have some of the creme of the crop when it comes to head coaches.  Sure, many come with their own faults but for the most part these four figure heads bring a sense of professionalism and integrity (cough Belichick) to the city of Boston and their fans.  

2) Tom Brady: We New Englander’s love TB.  Sure, many others see him as a pretty boy who whines to the referees but we see him as the handsome gentlemen who is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time and dates Giselle.  What we would do to spend one day in Brady’s shoes.  We are thankful for the presence of No. 12 because he brought three super bowls to the Patriots organization and his underdog story has touched us all in some way or another.  

3) Championships This Decade: The total tally is six in the past eight years and has turned Beantown from the city of losers into the city of champions.  Once accustomed to losing seasons and bottom-dwelling franchises, Boston is home to six total championships this decade with three going to the Patriots, two to the Red Sox, and one to the Celtics.  The Bruins have been playoff-bound for a majority of the decade and are on the heels of a Championship.  What a difference a decade can make.

4) Superstar Players: Early on it was Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Joe Thorton, and Paul Pierce and now its turned to John Lackey, Kevin Garnett, and Zdeno Chara.  With David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Antoine Walker, and Randy Moss in between, the organizations in Boston have brought the superstars to our beloved city.  Now considered one of the biggest stages and places in sports, its no wonder that big-name players are inking their names in Boston’s checkbook.  It certainly beats the days of Jiri Welch, Jose Offerman, Anson Carter, and Andy Katzenmoyer.

5) World-Class Owners:  Eh, may be stretching myself on this one but there is no denying the good the owners have been doing since taking over in the hub.  Bob Kraft has transformed the Patriots organization and is now reaping the benefits (deserving so).  Although John Henry and Larry Lucchino may take a lot of fire from fans, they have brought two championships in three years to a team that went 86 years without one.  That alone, deserves some recognition.  Then there’s Wyc Grousbeck and Jeremy Jacobs have done some great work with the Celtics and Bruins, keeping both teams competitive and resourceful in the past few years.    

So, there you have it.  Five things that Boston sports fans should be thankful for this holiday season.  It’s still a great time to be a Boston sports fan, even if the last time we’ve won anything was with the Boston Celtics in 2008.  Here’s to many more championships and seasons coming to the scene in 2010.  

Sheed Ejected, Celtics Fall To 76ers

76ers Snap Boston’s 11-Game Winning Streak

The Philadelphia 76ers snapped an 12-game losing streak earlier this week and on Friday snapped the Boston Celtics 11-game winning streak with a 98-97 victory over the C’s at the Garden.

The Celtics had control of the game for the first two quarters before the Sixers jumped back into the contest with a 30-point third quarter and outscored the C’s by 12 points in the second half to steal away the victory.  Rasheed Wallace was ejected for the first time this season, and as a Celtic, for arguing a foul call by an official.  It was his 30th ejection of his NBA career.

Four of the Celtics five losses this season have transpired on Fridays on the Garden parquet. The C’s have two more home games left against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers before they hit the road for a mini four-game road trip.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Celtics Refuse To Fizzle, Win 11th Straight

Boston Holds Onto Victory Over Grizzles

Maybe all the Boston Celtics needed was some time to get away from the Garden’s parquet in order to figure things.  The C’s looked out of sorts earlier on in the season as they stumbled after their fast start but have started to figure things out recently on their current road trip by winning eight straight games on the road as they sit at 12-1 away from the Garden this season.

With eight of its last nine games on the road, the C’s have turned up the heat in the Eastern Conference, securing themselves top spot in the division while managing to take control of the best record in all of basketball.

On Monday night, it was more of the same for Boston as the C’s held on for a 110-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzles to extend its winning streak to 11 straight.

Paul Pierce scored 19 points, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen added 18 of their own as Allen’s 3-pionter with 17.5 seconds left, sealed the deal for Boston, marking a perfect way for the Green Team to cap off its road trip.

Boston heads home for a tilt with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday as the C’s welcome back familiar foe, Allen Iverson.  Doc Rivers will look to have an answer for one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers in hopes of building on his teams current success and winning streak.

( Getty Images) ( Getty Images)

Celtics Still King Of The Castle, For Now

Boston On A Roll On This Road-Trip

The Boston Celtics are once again reigning supreme in the Eastern Conference as the C’s have reeled off ten straight victories to grasp control of the Atlantic Division and take firm hold of the best record in the NBA.

With a 19-4 mark, Boston has recovered from its mini-stumble in November by coming back strong in December, averaging 103.9 points per game while allowing only 93.4 points to their opponents in each contest.

The Boston Celtics outmatched the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, showing the gap that has been created since the two teams who met in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last year.  A serious schism has come about with Vinny Del Negro and the Chicago Bulls but the opposite can be said about the Celtics.

Boston is gelling at this point in the season, which is understandable for a bunch of 30-year-old’s who have fresh legs at an early juncture of the season, but with the likes of Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins, emerging as perennial all-stars, the C’s have reason to be optimistic about this streak running for the rest of the season and into the playoffs.

But don’t be scared if the C’s hit a couple of bumps along the way, that’s to be expected– with each and every team in the league.  So enjoy the ride, even with a little turbulence, because it could be a long ways away before the Boston Celtics have the type of success that they are having now.

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Celtics Keep The Good Times Rollin’

San Antonio Spurned By The C’s

The Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs squared off in a Texas shootout that saw two teams riding a five-game winning streaks, and the Celtics came away with a 90-83 victory over the Spurs.

Kevin Garnett led the way for the C’s with 20 points and seven rebounds as Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 12 assists, as the point guard’s jumper with just under a minute extended the Green Team’s led to four as the Spurs almost made a fourth quarter comeback.

Boston, winners of six straight, will have no time to enjoy this win as they head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder Friday night.