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The Latest Sports News
We will be airing our weekly show this week on Tuesday because the Celtics and Magic tip-off Monday night. Rich Levine from Comcast Sports Net New England will be joining us as our featured guest.

The Celtics Late Night Show

Tuesday, May 25th

at

9 pm, EST

Featured Guest

Comcast Sports Network's

Rich Levine

We will be airing our weekly show this week on Tuesday because the Celtics and Magic tip-off Monday night. Rich Levine from Comcast Sports Net New England will be joining us as our featured guest.
We will be featuring all of our weekly segments, including the Scottish Torture Chamber
As always, we will be taking all of your calls

347.215.7771

We will be airing our weekly show this week on Tuesday because the Celtics and Magic tip-off Monday night. Rich Levine from Comcast Sports Net New England will be joining us as our featured guest.

The Celtics Late Night Show

Tuesday, May 25th

at

9 pm, EST

Featured Guest

Comcast Sports Network's

Rich Levine

We will be airing our weekly show this week on Tuesday because the Celtics and Magic tip-off Monday night. Rich Levine from Comcast Sports Net New England will be joining us as our featured guest.
We will be featuring all of our weekly segments, including the Scottish Torture Chamber
As always, we will be taking all of your calls

347.215.7771

(Courtesy of Red's Army)

I don't normally re-post video's from other site's but this one could not go unnoticed. I was doing my daily glance of Red's Army today and came across Jason Williams going absolutely crazy on reporters for being in his locker while interviewing Matt Barnes.

Red's Army insinuated that Rondo has made Jason Williams crazy. Though I agree with that assessment, I more so feel this demonstrates the amount of class that Williams has always shown throughout his career. It also displays the lack of discipline that is is present in the Magic locker room. That lack of discipline has shown through in their inability to stop the Celtics on the court in this series.

This "feel good" atmosphere when winning (ie: pre-game nonsense, laughing, globe trotter "warm-up" shots, etc) has truly destroyed team's such as the Cavs and Magic when losing.

Call me old school but I believe that discipline is paramount to winning. I hate to give the Lakers credit but do we see them throwing in half court shot's during warm ups? Do we see the Boston Celtics laughing it up with opponents and fans?

The answer is... no.

Winning franchises-- championship franchises-- have one thing in mind... winning.

Yes, it's important to have fun while playing. However, like Red Auerbach asked his dynastic teams, "How does it feel to be champs? How's it feel to be the best in the world?"

No feeling can compare to that. Nothing is more fun than being the best in the world. It's my opinion that this recent tolerance of player immaturity and lack of discipline in the NBA starts in the front office. Why are general mangers allowing their superstars or, as in Williams' case, role players run the team?

In 2010, team's have proven that this nonsense may work during the regular season but the loose atmosphere does not afford teams to lock in and focus during time's that require mental toughness. The Cavs were ousted in six games by a team that won 11 less games during the regular season. The Magic are on the verge of being swept by a team that won 9 less games during the regular season.

The Cavs loss has resulted in the dismissal of Mike Brown today. Is Mike Brown really the problem? I don't feel he is the most impressive coach and I definitely feel he lost control of his locker room during the semi-finals but how do you, after 87 games, demand a different attitude from your players-- especially when your superstar is the guy holding the imaginary camera.

If the Magic get swept, will Stan Van Gundy be released?

That is yet to be determined, however, one thing the 2010 NBA Playoff's has proven is that bullies such as Boston and LA play into May and June and the class clowns get to go home early. In the Magic's case, they can just stroll down the street to Disney World where being a clown is celebrated and worth something.

Say Cheese!

From The Orange County Register (via Fan Feedr):

PHOENIX — Asked about Andrew Bynum’s phrasing that “it’s going to be amazing to play against those (Boston) guys again,” Phil Jackson said Sunday it was “what we call a brain fart in our business. He wasn’t thinking very clearly right there.”Bynum’s comment came even before the Celtics took a 3-0 series lead on Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals. Bynum did mention Saturday how the Lakers’ focus was on Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, though.“Man, it’s going to be amazing to play against those guys again,” Bynum said Saturday. “Especially having lost. We’re going to have a lot of fuel, a lot of ammo to throw at those guys. … They’re definitely a great team. They’ve got great veterans on their squad. We know that. So we already are getting prepared. The first step is closing out Game 3. And after that we’ll be focusing on Boston, looking at them play, watching how they’re playing Orlando, and try and pick up as much as we can.”Jackson did say that the three days without a game helped the swelling in Bynum’s injured right knee calm down, even if the torn cartilage can only be fixed with surgery.“That part is better off,” Jackson said.

Since I was a little boy, watching Larry-Legend lead his Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals, I would always get overwhelmed as 14,589 people simultaneously chanted "beat LA." It would inspire me to go out and shoot hoops after watching the Lakers and Celtics battle on CBS for three hours.As the Celtics slumped into the basement of the league in the post-Bird era, I would often re-watch many of those historic games on VHS tape. I can confidently proclaim that during the late 90's and early 00's, I watched much more of those VHS taped game's from the Bird/Magic era than I did of game's being played live during the Pierce/Walker era. It didn't help that I lived in northeast PA and very seldom were the Pierce/Walker led team's on national TV.The Celtics were in basketball purgatory from 1993 through 2007. All I could do to satisfy my competitive cravings were to watch those old tapes and dream of hearing the Boston faithful once again get the opportunity to shout "beat LA." I honestly felt the days of yellow, purple, green and white, meshed together in an intense competition for the championship trophy on a parquet floor were over.In 2008, we got to once again see this rivalry renewed and again the chants of beat LA were heard after a 22 year absence. My eyes swelled up with tears and my chest grew with pride. As my friend Matt pointed out to me yesterday, the chants had gotten faster. The pace had increased and the added (nearly) five thousand seats in the TD Garden had made it a bit louder. The passion, however, had remained as intense and stirring as it was throughout those great NBA battles that is now just a chapter in the NBA story book.As the 2010 season progressed it looked apparent that the Los Angeles Lakers were primed for another finals appearance. The Celtics seemed to be going in the opposite direction. A disappointing regular season had left the C's lacking chemistry and an effective game plan. Finishing in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics were very much an after thought. I was reassured by the Lakers first round struggles with the upstart OKC Thunder.The second round opened and the Lakers steam rolled over the Utah Jazz. The Boston Celtics shocked the NBA by embarrassing the Cleveland Cavaliers. They ousted the King in 6 games.As the Conference Finals opened, the Celtics and Lakers both implanted in their respective conference finals, started a grumbling in the basketball world.Is it possible we may see another LA/Boston Finals match-up?The answer is quickly becoming apparent. The Celtics are ready to wrap up the East Finals tomorrow night. I attended the game last night and witnessed a team that was dominant and a crowd that was possessed by the smell of the NBA Finals.Unbelievable. Unbelievable.It was everything I had dreamed about during those 1980's historic match up's. The TD Garden crowd proved that they were same intense fans transplanted to a new venue. The audience did there best to respect the national anthem yet the excitement and energy in the building crept out in raucous out-bursts as each beautiful word was sung by an 11 year old singer.From tip off to final buzzer on a 23 point blow out, the fans were wild and intense. It was truly a party I was hoping to be invited to since I was a kid.My dream went one step past any expectations as the crowd broke out into a beat LA chant in the second half. I was able to be a part of that history being made. Though I may not attend any game's in the NBA Finals, I know I was a part of history.As the affects of five hours of drinking were wearing off from a Garden imposed fourth quarter prohibition, I soaked in the sights of a TD Garden in complete hysterics. I thought to myself, "is it too soon to be looking past Orlando?"I would say no. Though four wins is required to advance, I watched first hand as the Boston Celtics tore the heart out of the Orlando Magic and I do not feel that the Magic can get it together quick enough to rip off four straight wins against a Celtics team that is playing possibly as well as the 2008 team.With that in mind and as the LA Lakers are about to tip-off in their Western Conference Finals, it seems as if the Celtics and Lakers are on a collision course to history.North Station Sports, equipped with our very own Lakers writer, will have all the coverage (from both sides) of the remainder of each conference finals and will look forward into the possibility of a Lakers/Celtics Finals match-up.
Stay Tuned...

(photos courtesy of nba.com)
It's a question that I posed right here on NSS and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who is struggling with it. Check out what Boston Globe legend Bob Ryan has to say.
Ok, so maybe that really shouldn’t be the headline but cut me some slack. When was the last time you saw a basketball coach get annihilated equal to the team that he coached on the floor? Orlando didn’t break the 50 point barrier until the 10 minute mark in the 4th quarter.Aside from helping Stan Van to a seat in the 3rd, the other highlight of the night was the stifling defense that the Celtics kept up for the full 48 minutes. It was a thing of beauty as the tenacious D held the Magic to under 35 percent shooting for most of the game, only allowing them to crawl up over 36 percent in garbage time when Doc ran out Shelden Williams, Nathan Robinson and Marquise Daniels.While the Celtics didn’t exactly shoot the lights out at 46 percent from the field, that number was dragged down some by Rajon Rondo’s 4-14 effort from the floor. Don’t get me wrong, Rondo played a hell of a game posting a double double with 11 PTS and 12 ASTS with 4 STLS but I saw him take a few 15 footers that were way off the mark rather than just get it inside where he really works.Boston had four starters in double figures with the Kendrick Perkins being the odd man out there but doing his job on Dwight Howard, holding him to just 7 PTS on 3-10 shooting. The bench more than made up for Perkins’ lack of offense, though.Care to guess who the high scorer for the game was? Pierce? Allen? Carter? Nope. Glen Big Baby Davis with 17 PTS in 24 minutes off the bench. I’ve been hard on Baby for his lack of conditioning and the somewhat amusing amounts of time he ends up eating his shots but he has really stepped up lately.Rasheed Wallace also made an appearance for the C’s with an efficient 4-6 night for 10 PTS and 4 REBS. I’ve been impressed with the bench production in this series in that not only are they not losing leads, they are expanding them with the starters catching a breather.Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter led the stagnant Orlando offense with 15 PTS apiece. They were the only viable options for most of the game and it showed in the quarterly break down. Orlando scored 12 PTS in the 1st, 22 PTS in the 2nd, 13 PTS in the 3rd and an irrelevant 24 PTS in the 4th. That is the end result of Boston outhustling Orlando on every single play.Boston had 43 REBS to Orlando’s 36 and grabbed 4 more OREBS. Rondo’s quick hands led to 4 of the C’s 12 STLS while the Magic only swiped 5. The Celtics were also an amazing +10 in turnovers for the game. It’s amazing because they are usually on the other side of that stat.The Garden was rocking from the tip to Gino being up on the board with four minutes left in the game. I really don’t think the Celtics could be executing their game plan any better than they are doing right now. Forcing turnovers, outrebounding and running the Magic off the three point line has been their key to success. They only need to stick to that formula for one more night to close out Orlando in a sweep, a team that is coming off two straight sweeps themselves.
What a difference an upset makes.I know I wasn’t on the “Celtics/Lakers Final” after finishing the season at .500, but you know what? Neither was anyone in the media. Now that all of the LeBron talk has boiled down to a simmer, the attention is focused squarely on the remaining teams in the playoffs as it damn well should be.Doc Rivers may have been the wolf in sheep’s clothing this whole season. I lambasted him multiple times on NSS questioning his rotational awareness, not preparing his team and seemingly skating by on a grace period after winning it all two years ago. Apparently, he fooled me.Begrudgingly, I have to admit that maybe Doc knew what was going on the whole time. I mean, playing Scalabrine in a twelve man rotation for two months was genius. No one would/did look at the Celtics as any sort of threat coming down the stretch and losing to three lottery teams at the end of the season made it seem like they were old fogies running the court.Then the proverbial switch was flipped. Suddenly Ray was draining threes, Rondo became the most unguardable player in the league, Pierce started getting to the line and KG’s knee was magically healed by the power of cheese (or so I presume). Point being, they looked like the team that won it all in 07-08. The scary part is, they may be better than then.Yes, Allen, Pierce and Garnett are all two years older but can still get the job done. Add in Perkins solid post defense with Rondo’s blinding speed and bag of And 1 moves and the starting five is the best they’ve looked since some guys named Bird, McHale, Parrish, Ainge and Johnson took to the parquet.Glen Davis is full of confidence and isn’t afraid to take a shot, even if it means getting is swatted back into his grill piece thirty percent of the time. He hustles and even if he doesn’t make the right play, there is always a chance that he severely injures the opposition a la Shaq.Tony Allen has been this year’s James Posey off the bench with an inside game rather than a spot up shooter. In some ways I prefer it because he is the only reserve who can create his own shot and cut to the rim. I do, however, realize that TA will take an open jumper when left alone and that does scare me slightly. I would much rather have him getting in the lane than firing an awkward eighteen footer.You must be saying, “But Sheed can create his own shot off the bench,” and you would be right…if Wallace would camp out in the post and have the ball fed to him. His game on the block has diminished some but it’s like gold, all you have to do is polish it up and it will shine once more. The only thing is, Sheed doesn’t want to put the effort in to dominate like he could but that has been the story of his career.With all that said, people in the media are once again salivating at the matchup that both the Celtics and Lakers were robbed of last year and want to happen this year. Columnists, bloggers, analysts and TV personalities are creaming their collective panties over the potential matchup.The sad thing is, less than thirty minutes after the confetti drops on the victorious team, we’ll have to hear about how that affects LeBron. At least both teams will have played hard.
Ron Artest scored 18 points for the Lakers, who won their eighth straight playoff game and moved within striking distance of a tantalizing NBA finals showdown with the Boston Celtics, who lead Orlando 2-0 in the East. For the second straight game, the chants rained down from the Staples Center crowd in the final minutes: "We want Boston!"
...From the Salt Lake Tribune

The Los Angeles Lakers murdered the Phoenix Suns again Wednesday night, 124-112. The Celtics Late Night Show was broadcasting during game one, so Wednesday night was the first game of the Western Conference Finals I was able to watch.

My first impressions of the series is just how big LA is. There front line of Paul Gasol, Andrew Bynum and, sixth man, Lamar Odom are extremely formidable. As much as it pains me, I do see more than one similarity to Kevin McHale in Gasol's game. They both possess an arsenal of low-post moves, a solid jumper and superior basketball IQ. Gasol is a much more athletic player and McHale was far tougher than Pau. I still think McHale would have taken him if they squared off, one on one, in their prime.

It's clear that the Suns are soft and over-matched. I do believe the Lakers will take this series in five games. The Suns are lucky to be going home for two games and are likely to squeeze a win out in Phoenix.

The Celtics hold a 2-0 strangle hold over the former Eastern Conference champs. Unfortunate for Magic fans, Orlando is headed to Boston for two games.

I also feel this series will wrap up in five games. My initial prediction was a more sexy six game victory for the Celtics. I do believe, after watching game two, that the Celtics can see the Finals in front of them. They look honed in and nearly possessed by the smell of championship glory returning to Boston.

After watching the Lakers Wednesday night, I realized they have a similar look. The Lakers are looking to repeat as NBA champions and who better against than there arch rivals from the northeast?

The Lakers are still seeking a legitimate claim to their throne. That road, much like the path to the finals that history has carved out, must go through the 2008 champions-- the Boston Celtics.

Both team's are up 2-0 on their respective opponents. Nothing is set in stone as both series have (potentially) five games left. One thing that is a definite is that both the Lakers and Celtics would be a lock for the NBA Championship, if matched up in the Finals against the Suns or Magic. Regardless of that fact, Lakers and Celtics fans would rather roll the dice and meet each other in the Finals. Nothing is sweeter than Boston/LA in June for the biggest prize in all of basketball.

Lakers fans started the war of words with their, "we want Boston" chant in the closing minutes of game two at Staples. Truth be told, after the struggles that haunted Boston throughout the regular season, Celtics fans are hesitant to move there focus past Orlando. If we are to allow ourselves to look into the future, just for a second even, the only certainty of that moment is Celtics' fan's want to beat LA in the Finals.

If the Celtics jump out on the Magic early in game three, it's likely the "beat LA" chants will start to rain down on the parquet floor. A collision course to NBA destiny? We will find out Saturday night as the Celtics look to take one more step towards what may be the most unpredictable championship run since 1969. That '69 season will certainly creep into the media hype if the Celtics knock the Magic out of the playoffs.

All of this is clearly just hype at the moment. Both Conference Finals are far from over. It seems as if Celtics and Lakers fans can finally agree on something however. Regardless, neither fan-base prefers their team to square off against any other opponent than the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in June.

Lakers' fans want revenge for 2008...

Thursday, 20 May 2010 09:06

Looking Ahead To The Draft For Boston

Written by
Prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night, 14 teams watched the ping pong balls determine their draft location in the NBA draft lottery, with the Wizards, 76ers and Nets grabbing the top three spots, respectively. Though the Celtics weren’t one of those teams, they will have their own pivotal decisions to make on June 24, regardless of the outcome of their playoff run.Celtics president Danny Ainge has done fairly well in past drafts. When Ainge has had high picks to work with, he’s turned Al Jefferson and Jeff Green into Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and helped bring Boston a 17th banner. The Celtics also have had success with later picks such as Glen Davis (35th in 2007), Rajon Rondo (21st in 2006), Leon Powe (49th in 2006) and Tony Allen (25th in 2004). All of those picks (the first three of which technically were chosen by other teams but were part of draft-day trades) have been of some service to Boston and have worked out well compared to other late fliers.Picking at No. 19 this year, Boston will need to rejuvenate its veteran roster and continue to find late steals. Here’s a list of 10 players the Celtics potentially could draft in the first round.Xavier HenrySize: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds Position: SG Team: Kansas Class: FreshmanThe Kansas one-and-done star likely won't be available when Boston drafts at No. 19, but we’ve seen lottery picks slide before. Henry originally committed to play at Memphis with John Calipari but left for the Jayhawks when Calipari fled to Kentucky.Strengths: Henry’s 6-6 frame and fluidity makes him one of the smoothest players in this year’s draft. His playing style will translate well at the next level and his scoring ability is already NBA ready. A quintessential shooting guard, Henry is a natural scorer and possesses a deadly shooting eye. His fundamentals and knowledge of the game are very strong coming from a basketball family, and his intangibles separate him from fellow freshmen.Weaknesses: Henry was once considered to be a top three pick coming out of Oklahoma's Putnam City High School, but his freshman season at Kansas wasn’t as stellar as many hoped. His game showed concerning flaws, including turning the ball over at a clip of nearly two a game. Despite being a great athlete, Henry doesn’t possess the explosive quickness that will enable him to blow by or stay with every player at the next level.To read the rest of the story, visit the Green Street blog on WEEI

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am big on game presentation and branding. I love certain aspects of the NBA's marketing strategy and I hate some of it (LeBron hype). As the post season began, I spent some time chatting with Natalie Sitto, John Karalis and Jackie Taylor on Boston and that Sports Babe.

As always, our conversation was quite amusing. As we were about to wrap it up, I asked the question, what happened to all the great NBA Amazing Commercials. Last post-season had me spoiled. The batch of commercials that came out had a retro theme. They featured, Bird stealing the ball, Magic's baby hook in '87 and Doctor J's amazing baseline reverse layup from '80. Truly amazing stuff.

This season has had the theme of mixing players' and coaches remarks into a beat track. Interesting but not quite as inspiring.

The Celtics had a great presence in these commercials all season. Unfortunately, the theme's of "heart, determination, focus, and defense" often looked ridiculous as the Celtics struggled throughout the season and all of those qualities were being questioned by fans and media.

As the playoffs started, and the Celtics found their stride, the newest round of Playoff Amazing Commercials seem to finally make sense. Bird and Magic have crept back in and I'm thankful for it.

Check out the newest round of NBA Commercials.

Flashes of Nick Anderson's inability to hit game winning free throws to stave off an aging Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets for the 1995 NBA Championship shook the timbers of Amway Arena. Anderson had not one but two opportunities to put the sixth seed Rockets who had backed their way into the playoffs on ice.Flashes of Nick Anderson's inability to hit game winning free throws to stave off an aging Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets for the 1995 NBA Championship shook the timbers of Amway Arena. Anderson had not one but two opportunities to put the sixth seed Rockets who had backed their way into the playoffs on ice.That was the beginning and the end of a psychological collapse that ended Nick's career. He was never the same player after that; he had lost the mental edge that was necessary to remain a professional athlete. No one saw it coming. Anderson was a 90 percent free throw shooter and the Rockets were clearly full of angst when they made what they thought was a bonehead play.Anderson is now in the Orlando Magic front office and bore witness to Vince Carters choke job of his déjà vu moment. This is nothing new to Carter at each of his NBA stops it had been clear that he could not be counted on in crunch time.All supposedly great players in the league are given labels as they create a name for themselves. Carter's is (I prefer to say was), half-man half-amazing and in one foray to the charity stripe reminded us that he doesn't have the onions to take the heat or deserve the accolade.The only difference between him and Anderson is that Carter has been able to carry on in the NBA but unable to deliver.Please spare us the standard line that the Magic's pearl onions will suddenly turn to stone. They do not have the required heft beside the chiseled Dwight Howard to turn it around.Oh Superman got his points but Kevin ‘Lex Luthor’ Garnett, Kendrick’Gorilla Grod’ Perkins, Ray ‘Captain Cold’ Allen, Paul ‘Solomon Grundy’ Pierce saw to it that his 30 points just didn't matter.The vaunted magical bus ride has been turned into a mystery tour. What happened to the team that slapped down perennial door mats like the Charlotte Bobcats?What happened to the team that plucked the feathers of the erstwhile Hawks and turned them into ostriches with their heads buried in the sand behind a barrage of three pointers?Someone please tell the Orlando fans who turned Superman into Clark Kent.Stan Van Gundy knows he doesn't have an answer to what has turned out to be a mirror reflection of a systematic dismantling to his team by the Celtics. Boston did the same thing to the LeBrons.They took away the outside shot and dared Superman and The Super-friends to withstand the pressure.And sure as Saturday will come, pressure burst their pipes and they couldn't stop the leaks that sprung in the form of Rajon’Braniac’ Rondo, Glen ‘toyman’ Davis, Rasheed ‘Sinestro’Wallace and Tony’Riddler’ Allen.The Magic failed to realize the importance of Hedo Turkgolu to their championship run in 2009. He was the lone tragic, (excuse me a Freudian slip) Magic player who could create for himself and others.Hedo was Dwight’s Robin he ran the offense and gave him the necessary leeway that he needed to roam the paint. Put Turkgolu back on this year’s squad and I assure you that Paul Pierce would not be boasting about taking them out in four in Boston.Carter is a shell of himself though on occasion he can jump into the way back machine and become the super-hero he pretends to be.Mr. Elastic, Rashard Lewis couldn't unwind himself from the Celtics' defensive web and has been the poster child for disappearing acts in the fourth quarter.Jameer ‘the boy-wonder’ Nelson, like Mo Williams will only go as far as his superstar takes him.Orlando has a roster full of not ready for prime time players and it shows. The dazed look, the inability to generate offense without jacking up threes has laid the ground work if not for a sweep but at least for a five game shellacking.Two days on the Jungle floor of the TD Garden where Boston’s play has been less than stellar may just salvage Orlando's season.However, the way the fourth seeded Celtics bull-dozed their way through The Chosen One may have set the blueprint for Orlando’s demise.

The Boston Celtics are on the verge of going up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals. They are two win's away from a return to the NBA Finals. As the final buzzer rang Tuesday night, the Celtics strutted off the Magic's (imitation) parquet floor with a 2-0 series lead and a bit of a swagger.The Celtics came out in the first quarter swinging and landed quite a few punches on the befuddled Magic. At the end of the first quarter, the Celtics trailed by one point. Dwight Howard (30 points, 8 rebounds, 0 blocks) showed up for this game but the Celtics defense limited his teammates and kept him from grabbing double digit boards. Zero blocks for Howard was another reminder that Dwight Howard is yet to put together a full game this series.The Boston Celtics carried a 53-51 lead into the half. Paul Pierce was huge in the first half-- hitting his first four shots. Pierce ended the game with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, before fouling out in 39 minutes of play.Kevin Garnett (10 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks) struggled again shooting 5-15 from the field but was very active on defense. Ray Allen was unusually quiet. Ray Ray scored just 4 points on 1-6 shooting. It's my belief that the Celtics should get Allen, at least, 10 shots.Garnett and Allen's struggles on offense furthered the Celtics claims that they are a team centered by Ubuntu and never dominated by one players.Rajon Rondo (25 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals) hit clutch shot's down the stretch and, again, picked up the slack when any member of the big three was not scoring. ESPN's Wilbon declared that if Rajon Rondo can hit clutch jumpers, it's hard to figure out what he cannot do well. Truth is, Rondo has been hitting those 17 foot jumpers for a while and will even chuck in an occasional three-point effort with the shot-clock winding down.Dwight Howard scored 1/3 of the Magic points. The rest of the starters rang in 38 points combined. J. J. Redick was a bright spot off the bench for Orlando. He scored 16 points and provided much needed energy. Redick, however, possibly made the biggest mistake of his professional career. With under 10 seconds on the game clock and trailing by 3 points, Redick looked to be avoiding a foul in the back court and dribbled towards half court. Taking several seconds off the clock, Reddick called time-out before the mid-court line, forcing the Magic to inbounds the ball in the back court with less than 4 seconds remaining. Jameer Nelson (9 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists) barely missed a desperation, mid court, three pointer to tie the game.The Boston Celtics completed the first two games of the series on the road going 2-0. It's the first time in the franchise's storied history that the Celtics pulled out the first two games of a seven game series on the road. Heading back to Boston, the Celtics are looking to close out the series with a sweep on their home court.
Check out Matt's Game Two Musings for me detailed statistical tidbits.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 08:08

Paul Pierce's Twitter Account Hacked!

Written by
The Boston Celtics did everything right this post season. They have handled their resurrection with humility and class-- keeping their eye's on the ultimate goal.After going up 2-0 on the 2009 Eastern Conference champions, I couldn't help but do jumping jacks in front of my TV. I settled my celebration down as I saw Paul Pierce winking at the camera during his post game interview. Paul Pierce showed the confidence and swagger we have been missing all season. That's right! I said "swagger."Pierce proclaiming that he wanted to close out the series in Boston were welcome remarks to me. I loved his confidence and, like my co-host always says, it's a good sign if the rest of the league hates the Celtics.If the Magic's hatred toward the Celtics didn't peak with the loss in game two, it certainly did in the post game press conference.Dwight Howard, put on the spot by a "smart" reporter, was asked how he felt about Paul Pierce tweeting, "anybody got a BROOM?"Howard, in shock, responded, "Am I supposed to have a comment on that," asked Orlando's Dwight Howard when informed of the Tweet. "No, they only won two games. I mean, they can write what they want. But we're going to stay humble and stay focused. Pride comes before a fall, just know that." At that moment, I thought, why is Paul Pierce, the captain, giving them a reason to get fired up?Not only does Paul Pierce rarely tweet (his last tweet coming on May 13th), but it was not characteristic of Paul to make such a high risk/low reward proclamation.I was relieve this morning to read that Athlete's Interactive, the company that controls celebrities social media accounts, declared that Paul Pierce was not tweeting after Tuesday night's game.From WEEI (Paul Flannery): ORLANDO — At some point during his postgame press conference, a post on Paul Pierce’s Twitter page appeared that read: "Anybody got a BROOM?" A reporter picked up on it and asked Dwight Howard in his press conference about it, to which Howard replied, “Am I supposed to comment on that?” Pressed for a comment Howard said, “Pride comes before a fall. Just know that.” While we have yet to hear from Pierce directly, it appears that his account may have been hacked. A company called Athlete Interactive, which manages digital media for several athletes, including Pierce, put on its Twitter page: "That is NOT @paulpierce34 tweeting — the previous four tweets are all courtesy of a hack. Looking into it."

Dwight Howard's Reaction to Paul Pierce's "Tweet":

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 07:11

Celtics Fans-- Does This Piss You Off?

Written by
NSS writer, Calvin Chamberlain, brought this article from Slam Online to my attention. It's a very interesting comparison between the 1986 Celtics and the 2010 Lakers.
Does this piss you off?
I can't say I agree with all of this article but the comparison is very interesting.
What do you guy's think?

From Slam Online:

Do the 2010 L.A. Lakers remind anyone else of the 1986 Boston Celtics???

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 07:10

Celtics vs. Magic-- Game 2 Musings

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Wow! Now that’s a Conference Finals game! Two teams just getting at each other, very well played, with a little bit of everything. When you play a game where the ESPN crew all wishes they were a part of it-- Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson on the court and Jeff Van Gundy on the sidelines- you know it was a meaningful and special game.Great win for the C’s, 95-92, and a commanding 2-0 series lead. Here are my immediate thoughts and musings as the game ended: · Magic Johnson calls Rondo at the conclusion of the game the best player in the 2010 post season. In my mind, there are only 3 living human beings that can argue this point, so unless Larry, Russ, or MJ want to dispute that we will leave it as is.· Big game for the Truth. He found his stroke early, responds appropriately to Howard flagrant foul, hits two clutch FT with 34 sec left, and finishes with a 28-5-5. Him and Rondo were awesome tonight.· Rondo continues to show he is one of the best players in the game. 25-8-5 and makes all the big plays. DOMINATED the PG matchup vs Nelson tonight.· KG was steady. Helped thwart Magic run in 3rd, and hit the huge turnaround in Howard’s mug to put C’s back up, 91-90. Finishes with a 10-9-2-2-1.· Ray was a no-show tonight, but that’s the beauty of this Celtics post season. Someone is always there to pick up slack when another player is having an off night.· Sheed hit a big 3 in the corner to start Q4, but other than that, had a somewhat frustrating game. At one point in Q1, with Celts trailing 28-25, Sheed had a +/- of minus 65. Ouch.· Celts were up 11 in Q1 but Sheed triggered a 16-4 Orlando run by tapping THREE rebounds to Orlando on one possession. The result: a Redick three in the final minute of the qtr.· Carter is quickly beginning to seal his legacy as one of the most non-effective talents in NBA history. The two missed FT with 31 sec reminded everyone in Orlando of Nick Anderson, and the phantom fall and wrist injury at 7:15 mark of Q3 was baffling to say the least. He wanted out of the game.· This marks the first time in Celtics playoffs history that they have taken a 2-0 series lead with both wins being on the road. Sounds crazy at first, but when you consider the C’s have had home court advantage for the majority of their playoffs series’ throughout the years, it begins to make more sense.· Howard played well tonight with a 30-8, but at no point did I feel like he was taking over or dominating the game.· Mark Jackson stated that if Orlando’s #1 scoring option is Howard in the post, the Celtics will sweep the series.· Celtics are 32-0 in playoffs series where they jump out to a 2-0 series lead.· BBD was very effective tonight. 28 big minutes, an 8-6, tough defense on Howard and stepped up to take the HUGE charge on Redick at the 2:20 mark of Q4.· Perk looked better out there tonight, albeit in only 15 minutes. Finishes with a 10-5-2-2-2 and muscled up Howard for the brief time he was in.· I’m just going off memory here, but at least three of the six fouls on Perk were bogus. The foul where Howard slammed into him running down the court in Q1, the foul where Carter steamrolled into him in Q2, and the screen in Q4 that fouled him out (where Ray hit the three that was waved off) were all very questionable to say the least.· This marks the first time all year that Orlando has lost consecutive home games.· Paul Pierce via twitter tonight: “Anybody got a broom?!”· This marks the 20th 20-5-5 game for Pierce in his playoffs career. That’s pretty damn good.· I love that it was a Duke grad (Redick) that advances the ball off the rebound with 7 seconds left, thus taking four more seconds off the clock before the TO, and prevents the Magic from having the ball at midcourt for the final play.· This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but Celts went through tough stretch in Q4 with six turnovers. If we get shots on those possessions, two of them go in, and this game never gets closer than five points.· It will be interesting to see what the NBA does with referee Joe DeRosa. At halftime, DeRosa threw the basketball at a fan that was heckling him, who then threw the ball back at DeRosa. Weird. I would have kept the ball!· In the 2nd qtr, Rondo was helped up by Matt Barnes off the floor after Barnes fouled him. This infuriated Mark Jackson (a veteran of the Knicks-Pacers bloodbaths in the 90’s). Goes to show the difference between the C’s and Magic. No player in Green would do that for an opponent in the playoffs.· With 38 seconds left in Q2, Rondo switched from his white sneakers to black, only to switch back to the white ones at the start of Q3. Somehow, I feel this is worth noting.· Scal was dressed and active for the game tonight. He took Shelden Williams spot on the roster due to Shelden’s back spasms.· Doc Rivers on the annoying clappers Orlando hands out to fans at games: “It doesn’t really bother us. Hell, half of our players are too old to hear them anyway.”· Gortat is beginning to annoy me in the same manner as Andy Varejao with his “over the backs” and whining. Not quite, but he’s getting there.· Very physical, playoffs game. 29 fouls whistled on the C’s; 25 on Orlando. 38 FT attempts for Orlando and 28 for Boston.· Celtics won the battle on the boards tonight, 38-36.· Apparently, Doc calls Rondo “Varitek” in practice because of his evolving leadership skills. Somehow, I find this as more of a compliment for Varitek than I do for Rondo.· The difference between the careers of Paul Pierce and Vince Carter in two sequences: Pierce hits two clutch FT down the stretch. Carter misses two clutch FT down the stretch. Pierce gets clotheslined by Howard, refuses to leave game, and erupts for 22 points in 1st half. Carter randomly falls down with no contact, does not even hit his wrist on the floor, but leaves game with mysterious left wrist injury. You really don’t need to know anything else.
That’s all I have for now. Look for Nick’s official Game 2 recap in the morning, plus more coverage from NSS for both the Eastern and Western Conf Finals. Have a good night!

Report out of Orlando has Scal warming up with the Boston Celtics prior to game two.

More Details To Follow

Basketball is a game of runs, and as Celtics coach Doc Rivers likes to say: “The NBA is a make-miss league”.But if the Celtics hope to escape Orlando tonight with a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals, they are going to need to thwart the big runs they have been prone to give up against the Magic this season.In Game 1, the C’s played very aggressive and intense defense throughout the game, the likes of which Orlando had not seen all year. But even still, thanks to a 30-18 fourth qtr run, the Magic crept within 3 points and nearly pulled out a game Boston had otherwise dominated.Unfortunately, for the C’s that fourth qtr run by Orlando on Sunday was not so much an anomaly but a trend for the Magic against them this season.Aside from the Christmas Day game, an 86-77 Celtics win, Orlando had been able to muster at least one huge quarter against Boston in each of the other four games this season (including Sunday) with the Magic winning three of those games.On November 19th in Boston, Orlando jumped out to a 29-13 first qtr lead, which despite a valiant effort by the C’s, was too insurmountable of a run to come back from; resulting in an 83-78 Magic win.On January 28th in Orlando, the Celtics dropped a 96-94 decision despite having led throughout the game, thanks to a 35-22 fourth qtr run by the Magic.And on February 7th in Boston, the Magic blitzed the Celts with a 36-11 third qtr run to erase an 11-point halftime lead by the C’s eventually resulting in a 96-89 Orlando victory.So what makes it so difficult for Boston to prevent Orlando from going on these runs? In my opinion, there are two primary factors:The first and obvious answer is that Orlando is a very talented offensive team, and as Doc alluded to in the opening paragraph of this article, it is a make-miss league. Orlando led the NBA in overall FG% this past season at 48%, and also led the league in 3-point field goals made with 841. Throw in, Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard’s intimidation at the other end of the floor, and the Magic are one of those rare teams that can get hot and dominate a game both offensively and defensively for any given time period.The Celtics at times, have been slow with their defensive rotations resulting in Orlando getting open looks from beyond the arc, and when Pietrus, Reddick, Lewis, Nelson, and Williams are getting to square up and look at the basket, they are going to make their share of shots thus potnetially leading to big runs.To compensate for this, the Celtics are choosing to stay at home and not double Howard on the block, thus not having to rotate as frequently on defense. If Perk-BBD-Sheed can muscle up Howard, and Rondo can do a better job of staying in front of Nelson than he did in the 2nd half of Game 1, the Celtics should not have to rotate on defense as much as they did during the regular season, which led to the 3-point barrages by Orlando and some of the above mentioned runs.In Game 1, Orlando shot a paltry 5 of 22 from distance, and the C’s need to make sure they keep contesting these shots to ensure the Magic do not get on track and catch a rhythm.The second and not so obvious reason that Orlando has been able to go on these periods of dominance in games against Boston this year, has been Doc’s usage of timeouts. Being that the Celtics are a veteran team, it has been Doc’s strategy to let the C’s play through tough stretches this season. But, encouragingly, he has slowly changed his philosophy and position during the post season on how to best use the team’s timeouts.Rather than waiting until a lead completely dissimilates, or allowing the Celtics to see a close game slip out of reach, Doc has been judiciously using his timeouts to stop runs by the opposition and regroup his team before opponents pick up too much momentum. In the past, Doc would rely heavily on the leadership of KG, Ray, and Pierce to iron out any turmoil or tense situations on the floor.But on Sunday, in the midst of an Orlando run, Doc noticed that KG and Rondo were beefing over a disagreement on a defensive switch and called timeout on the next possession to not let Orlando capitalize on the situation. Two months ago, that timeout would not have been called.With less than the three hours to go before tip-off, the Celtics have a golden opportunity tonight to really put the clamp down on Orlando and come home to Boston on Saturday night with a 2-0 series lead.If the defensive intensity stays up, the game plan is executed, and the offense stays in rhythm, there should be no room for Orlando to make one of the extended vaunted runs that have haunted the C’s all season.And if Boston prevents one of those runs from happening, we will be only two wins away from getting back to the NBA Finals after tonight.
Ahh, the sun. It brings us light and heat, but it doesn't bring us defense. The sun doesn't even have arms. And much like its hapless namesake, the Phoenix Suns were incapable of stopping anyone in game one, giving up 58% shooting defensively and 8-17 from three to the normally poor shooting Lakers. Amare Stoudemire guarded Lamar Odom as if he was the sweaty, shirtless guy at the gym, refusing to touch him as Lamar slid inside for 19 points and 19 rebounds.After a relatively close first half, Kobe Bryant decided to take control in the third quarter, scoring 21 points in that period on his way to a 40 point game. This is the sixth straight game for Kobe with more than 30 points. And to think a few weeks ago Charles Barkley declared him done. The Suns have difficult defensive matchups at several positions, but the inability of any Suns player to shade Bryant effectively was by far the most glaring on monday night. Grant Hill has done an admirable job defending players lately but seemed to lack the lateral quickness to stay with Bryant.The Suns succeeded in creating the tempo they wanted for the game, and in doing so allowed the Lakers to score 128 points. Steve Nash seemed continuously stifled as he reached his preferred spot on the floor, the center of the court around the free throw line. The opportunities for easy pick and roll layups and open shooters were not as regularly available to Nash as they usually are. Nash seemed to be grounded, like Tugger: the 4X4 jeep who wanted to fly.A blowout loss in a game in which they shot a relatively high percentage and they got a decently productive performance from Robin Lopez, the Suns might be feeling a little disheartened going into game two. Unfortunately for them their weaknesses play right into the Lakers hands. Chuck Barkley suggested that the Suns go as small as possible and take all of their shots from the perimeter, but an attempt at that strategy earlier in the season ended with the Lakers impregnating the basket as they scored a whopping 75 points in the paint. Look for a repeat of that performance if the Suns are foolish enough to remove all of their interior players save Amare, who is anything but an interior player on the other end of the floor. Of course, if the Suns can manage a three pointer for every interior deuce they give up on the other end, they will gain an extra point every time, and extra points are half the battle. The Lakers dont allow a ton of fast break points because of their positioning offensively so I dont buy the theory that the Suns can just run them into the ground. Hopefully, game two will be another Lakers victory and we will all have something else to cheer about!Unfortunately I cannot bring myself to take pride in that performance. We all know the real reason why the Lakers won that game, and will probably go on to win the series and eventually the NBA title. The referees and Stern clearly favor them! Mwahahahaha.[caption id="attachment_7048" align="aligncenter" width="242" caption="Mwahahahaha"][/caption]

While most of NBA nation will be tentatively paying attention to Game 2 of the Celtics-Magic Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night in Orlando, 14 teams and their fans will have their eyes locked in on the bouncing balls that is the annual NBA Draft Lottery.Moreso than any of the other major professional sports, the NBA Draft (and the trades and signings that become as a result of it) can turn a lottery team one year into a contender the next.No team is more aware of this than the Boston Celtics, who in 1997 lost out in the draft lottery and the rights to draft Tim Duncan (only to see San Antonio select him and win the title two years later) despite having the best shot at landing the top overall pick. In 2007, the C’s again could not secure one of the top two picks with the potential to draft either Kevin Durant or Greg Oden.Where as in ’97 the Celtics could not salvage the setback of the bouncing balls (even though they did draft Chauncey Billups), they were able to turn their pick in ’07 (Jeff Green) into Ray Allen, who helped peak the interest of KG, and well… you know the rest of the story.Are there any teams in this year’s lottery that can have the type of turnaround the C’s had from ’07-’08 by using the draft as a springboard? I say yes.This year’s prize is 6’4 Kentucky point guard John Wall. Wall, by many scouts, is considered the best PG prospect since Chris Paul, and one of the best prospects to enter the draft in the last decade.By drafting Wall –many teams in the lottery- may then have the one missing piece to add a big name free agent or two to the fold this off-season. Imagine how much more enticing Los Angeles (Clippers) or New Jersey looks for America’s most notorious elbow if a PG like Wall is now on board as well? Or what the Utah Jazz (New York’s pick) will look like if they land a top 5 pick? The scenarios are endless, and for the 14 teams that did not qualify for the 2010 playoffs, the process towards reshaping the roster to position themselves for a better run in 2011 begins Tuesday night.Here is a look at the likelihood of the teams in this year’s lottery of landing the top overall pick and drafting Wall: New Jersey Nets – 25%Minnesota T’Wolves – 19.9%Sacramento Kings – 15.6%Golden State Warriors – 10.4%Washington Wizards – 10.3%Philadelphia 76ers – 5.3%Detroit Pistons – 5.2%LA Clippers – 2.3%Utah Jazz – 2.2%Indiana Pacers – 1.1%New Orleans Hornets – 0.8%Memphis Grizzlies – 0.7%Toronto Raptors – 0.6%Houston Rockets – 0.5% On a related note, the Celtics have already won a miniature “draft lottery” of their own. Of the four teams that finished with a 50-32 record this year, the C’s won a four team coin flip and will be selecting 19th in the draft regardless of how the rest of the post-season plays out. The difference between picking 19th and 22nd definitely means something. I’ll take it!……………………….. Stay tuned for more draft coverage from Matt Ribaudo at NSS, including his mock picks per team as we draw closer to the actual draft. Who will go where and why? Matt and NSS will give you all the answers!