Celtics Ready To Take On Challenge

High Expectations For This Years C’s

With the arrivals of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, and the regaining of full health for Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics should have lofty goals for their 2009-10 NBA season.

The C’s are two years removed from their, “Anything is Possible” Championship run and may have an even better team than they did in the 2007-08 campaign. The additions of Wallace, Daniels, Shelden Williams, and the re-signing of Eddie House and Glen “Big Baby” Davis, have the Celtics poised to make another run at the Championship banner.  With the starting lineup of the past two years still intact and the best bench in recent history, the Celtics shouldn’t have any trouble getting into the postseason.  However, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic will await the Green Team in the Eastern Conference and that’s when Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge hope the additions listed above will propel the C’s past their Eastern Conference foes and into the NBA Finals, once again.  

Pagliuca for Senate?

Celtics Co-Owner is Now in the Running

Sports and politics don’t mix. First it was Curt Schilling (although he nixed the idea on the HBO show “Joe Buck Live” last night). And now, Steve Pagliuca? The co-owner of the Boston Celtics announced last Thursday at the TD Garden that he would enter the race for the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat in Congress. Pagliuca will run as a Democrat.

With the 2009-2010 NBA Season on the horizon and the Senate race heating up, what will this mean for the Celtics going forward? Danny Ainge and Wyc Grousbeck don’t seem to be worried; they appear to have confidence in Pagliuca. Grousbeck told the Boston Herald, “He’d give 100% to the state.” In the back of their minds though, they must be thinking this is an off court distraction waiting to happen. Let’s just hope basketball is focus when the season starts.

Is This The Celtics Last Year To Win?

Time Could Be Running Out On The C’s

The 2007-2008 Boston Celtics season was magical in every way possible.  The team went from worst to first in just one season thanks in large part to the additions of the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.  The formation of the Boston Three Party and emergence of Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo made Danny Ainge look like a genius.  Now, two seasons removed from their 17th NBA Championship, the Boston Celtics feel the pressure to put up an 18th banner.

That’s why this off-season, Ainge has restocked the Celtics squad with the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels, and Shelden Williams while re-signing Glen Davis, Brian Scalabrine and Eddie House.  So with a starting five who won a Championship two years ago and revamped bench, how could the C’s not be the favorite to win in 2009-2010 and beyond?

Well, with the balance of power now shifting over to the Eastern Conference and the emergence of Orlando and Cleveland, the time for Boston to win is now.  Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are now approaching their twilight years.  With the addition of Shaq in Cleveland and Vince Carter in Orlando, the competition will be tough, but the C’s can handle it. 

Bar any serious injuries and setbacks the C’s should be the favorites.  But only in 2009-2010? Time will only tell what the future holds for Doc Rivers and the Celtics, however, the one thing that remains a certain for our beloved Green Team is that this next season should be another magical ride. 

Celtics Close To Inking Big Baby

Glen Davis Set To Sign With C’s

According to Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe, the Boston Celtics are close to signing Glen “Big Baby” Davis to a two-year deal.  The agreement is likely to be announced next week.

Adding Glen Davis to a front court that already has Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Rasheed Wallace, Brian Scalabrine, Shelden Williams, and Bill Walker improves the C’s bench dramatically.  Signing Big Baby, after having a great end to the second half of last season and the playoffs, was a preference of Danny Ainge and the Celtics this offseason but the C’s had to wait and see what the market value for Davis was.

 

Celtics Sign Guard Marquis Daniels

Ex-Pacers Guard Coming To Boston

In an effort to shore up the Celtics back-court, Danny Ainge signed free-agent guard Marquis Daniels to a contract worth $1.9 million.  Daniels will receive a biannual exception if the Celtics and Pacers cannot work out a sign-and-trade deal that would negotiate different terms for Daniels’ deal.

The free-agent will serve as a backup to both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and could be part of a sign-and-trade that involves sending Brian Scalabrine to Indiana.  Daniels averaged just under 14 points last season for Indiana and is part of an offseason where Danny Ainge and the Celtics are revamping and adding significant depth to Doc Rivers bench.

The only other questions that remain for the C’s are the futures of Glen Davis and Leon Powe in Boston and whether or not Ainge will sign another point guard to back up Rajon Rondo.

What Will The Celtics Do?

Pivotal Off-Season For Danny Ainge and Celtics

At the conclusion of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, it was clear who the better team was.

The Orlando Magic.  

The problem for Danny Ainge and the Celtics was that they had no Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, as both players were not healthy and unable to suit up for the series.  That’s neither here nor there now and what matters is that the Boston Celtics have some key decisions to make during the summer about what the future holds for this intriguing squad.

With Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau locked up for next season, the coaching staff is all set. However, there have been trade rumors circling involving the names of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Kendrick Perkins in the past couple of weeks, specifically with the players being traded in some type of package to the Phoenix Suns or Minnesota Timberwolves.  

Whether these rumors are true or are in fact just, rumors, is uncertain at this point.  That doesn’t stop us from considering the options.  If Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics decide to trade an aging Ray Allen, it would not necessarily mean the Celtics are getting any worse. Allen’s contract ends at the end of the 2009-2010 season as he will be the first member of the Big Three out of Boston (if he chooses not to re-sign).  If the C’s landed themselves a younger shooting guard or forward in a trade for Allen, it may set themselves up for more success in the long run while sacrificing a better chance at the title next season.  However, a trade involving Rondo and Perkins would create a huge hole at the center and point guard position. The two youngsters have blossomed in the past two seasons and are on the verge of stardom. Replacing either would be tough especially with a limited number of resources.

However, if the Celtics worked a trade to land All-Star Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14 overall pick from the Suns for Rondo and Allen, maybe the Green should consider such a whopping swap.  Boston would obviously need to find a ball-handling point guard for the short-term and the future with the lose of Rondo, but the acquisition of Stoudemire could create of the most feared and dynamic front courts in the history of the NBA.  With Perkins, Garnett, and Stoudemire, the Celtics would dominate the post and boards.  Also, Doc Rivers would be afforded the ability to rest Garnett more and prolong his career in Boston and the NBA.

Boston could also wheel the 14th overall pick from the Suns to another team for a point guard or other area of weakness.  The possibilities are endless for the Celtics executive but fans urge extreme caution to Ainge when wheeling and dealing such big pieces to the puzzle.

Celtics Eventually Fall In Game 7

   Defending Champions Knocked Off Their Throne By Magic

A wise man once said that all good things must come to an end.  That’s exactly what happened to Paul Pierce and the Celtics on Sunday night as the defending NBA champions lost 101-82 to the Orlando Magic.

It turned out that Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu were just too much for the depleted Celtics as the Magic now advance to the Eastern Conference finals to face Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Howard scored 12 points and had 16 rebounds for Stan Van Gundy and the Magic as Turkoglu led the offensive charge with 25 points and 12 assists.

Ray Allen finally found his shooting touch in Game 7, after having his stroke mysteriously leave him for the first six games of the series.  Allen scored 23 points as Pierce added 16 of his own but it wasn’t enough for Doc Rivers and the C’s.  

Looking back on the series, the Boston Celtics should have never been able to matchup with the explosive Magic.  But through nit and grit, the C’s clawed their way to a Game 7 at the Garden before their legs ran out and the wind stopped leading their sail as the Celtics ship came to port on Sunday.

Without Kevin Garnett the Celtics were 0-2 on the season against the Magic, however, in the playoffs they were 3-4, one win away from taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Celtics couldn’t control the high-flying Magic in Game 7 as Orlando shot 66.7 percent from the field in the fourth quarter to seal the deal in Boston.

With the season now over, the Celtics will look to re-sign Glen Davis, Leon Powe, and Eddie House.  More importantly, the C’s will look to get healthy in time for the 2009-2010 campaign as the careers of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen may be soon reaching their twilights.

Thank you for a memorable season Boston, you are still champions in my book.

(AP Photo)

Celtics Beat Magic With Fourth Quarter Rally

Celtics Mount Comeback After Trailing By 14 In Final Quarter
After stealing Game 4 from the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on Sunday, the Boston Celtics decided they weren’t done with their thievery quiet yet as the Celtics had enough gas left in the tank to finish off the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
The Boston Celtics trailed by 14 with 8:49 to play but a 12-point fourth quarter from Stephon Marbury and 13-0 run starting with little over five mintues remaining gave the Celtics a 92-88 victory as the C’s stole another win away from the Magic in Game 5.
Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer with 1:20 left to give Boston it’s first lead since the first quarter as the C’s never relinquished the advantage by hitting all six of their free throws in the final minute to preserve the victory.
Glen Davis led all Celtics players with 22 points as Paul Pierce had 19 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Boston shot 42 percent from the field but the C’s couldn’t seem to hit a shot until the final quarter. Doc Rivers and the Celtics outscored the Magic by 12 points in the fourth quarter which was capped off by a 14-point rally.  
Boston now holds a 3-2 series advantage as the two teams head to Amway Arena to play Game 6 as the C’s look to finish off the Magic in Orlando.
(AP Photo)

Celtics Will Win This Series

I have been telling a few people that I think the Celtics will win this series.  It could be a victory in vain because I am not sure they have a chance at beating Cleveland but I think they will outlast Orlando and win in a game 7 at home.  Tonight is really the tell all at how gritty they will be in the final games of this series.  We know they have the fight in them.  Who will tonight’s hero be?…  Possibly a Ray Allen 3 point buzzer beater?.. Maybe a Paul Pierce step back jumper?.. Or Rondo taking it to hoop forcing a foul?…  It will be an exciting game tonight.

Big Baby Provides Late-Second Magic For Celtics

Even with a sluggish fourth quarter, Glen Davis and the Boston Celtics pulled out a 95-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night at Amway Arena.
The defending champions tied the series at two games apiece due to the soft hands of Glen “Big Baby” Davis.  Davis’ 21-foot jumper as time expired helped propel the C’s over the Magic and gives Boston all the momentum heading into Game 5.
The play originally called for Ray Allen to receive a pass from Rajon Rondo, but Rondo was forced to hand the ball off to Paul Pierce.  Pierce was then forced to pass the ball to an open Davis as the Celtics captain was double-teamed.
Luckily for Pierce and the Celtics, Davis’ shot hit nothing but net.
Pierce led all Celtics with his second consecutive 27 point game as Rondo and Davis added 21 points each for Doc Rivers and the Celtics.  Dwight Howard led all scoring for the Magic  with 21 points and 17 rebounds.
Boston outscored Orlando 31-25 in the third quarter to take a six point lead going into the final quarter but managed to only score 16 points in the fourth forcing the late-second heroics from Big Baby.
Both teams have a day of rest on Monday as they will tip off again at the TD Banknorth Garden on Tuesday.

Rafer Alston Suspended For Slapping Incident

Alston’s Actions Leave Magic Without Their Starting Point Guard
The NBA league offices decided that Rafer Alston’s slap of Eddie House during Game 2 warranted a one game suspension.
I mean who wouldn’t get frustrated when an opponent hits three after three in your face?
Houses gloating or taunting is a mute point in this case as the Celtics sharp-shooter scored 30 points for the C’s off of the bench by going 4-for-4 from behind the arc, which technically warranted all the talking in the world.
Luckily for House and the Celtics, the Magic will be without their starting point guard for Game 3 because of House’s somewhat big mouth and Alston’s somewhat big mistake. Alston’s slap of House’s head came after the Celtics guard drained a three-pointer from the right side in Boston’s 112-94 rout of the Magic.
Without Alston, Stan Van Gundy and the Magic are left with Anthony Johnson as their starting point guard. Game 3 will be play on Friday night at Amway Arena.