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The Latest Sports News
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 09:55

Today's Headlines-- 12/3/09

Written by


Note from the Editor...

With the recent position of beat writer being filled, this gives me the opportunity to start posting daily links again. We are still in pursuit of a daily links director to monitor and post links to headlines from around the web daily. If this position interests you, please proceed to the bottom of this post for more information.

We tried to include all updated posts from our friends around the web. If we excluded you, it was not intentional. Please contact us asap so we can get you on tomorrow's links page.

If you are not included in daily links post and would like to be, please contact us asap to be included in next post.


Today's Headlines:

North Station Sports Mayor Kevin Johnson Loves North Station Sports, Kevin Garnett: A Piece in a Delicate Puzzle, Celtics Trounce Bobcats, Rest up for Spurs

Boston Globe Allen on target as well-oiled Celtics thump Bobcats, Wallace still having technical difficulties

Boston Herald Ray Allen-led, Celts Shoot Straight, Larry Brown Says 76ers Should Offer Iverson a Guaranteed Contract -- Coach Brown goes out on a limb for the Answer! hmmmm!

Celtics Blog What can I say? (5 in a row)

Gino's Jungle Garnett Torches the Heat, Gathering thoughts for the season --- GJ's writing staff is growing! Check out new addition Dirk!

Hardwood Houdini Where's all that "Celtics Look Old" talk now?

Celtics Town Perkins Dominates Charlotte Front Line --- CelticsTown just added a brand new blog! Check it out!

Red's Army Your Morning Dump

Celtics Hub A Clinic: C's 108, Bobcats 90

Celtics17 Sixers Pursuing Iverson

Celtics Life Celtics Now Highlights: Celtics 108, Bobcats 90

Lex Nihil Novi Would you take Kobe Bryant?

Banner 18? 2 Down, 2 to go

Gino's Jungle Team Green's Truth Rankings -- Welcome to the "Jungle" Matt Rury!

Boston Sports Then and Now Shortstop is a Short Stop for Red Sox

Headlines from around the league...

NBA Primetime Sixers, Allen Iverson Ready to Reunite

Ball Don't Lie The 10 Man Rotation: Staring 'Reke for ROY rally

Mile High Fan Sixers offer one year contract to Iverson

Howard the Dunk Preview: NY Knicks @ Orlando Magic

Fear the Sword Potent Quotables: Cavs 111, Mavs 95

Footbasket New Site URL

4 Sport Boston Running diary for Depressed Patriot

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Attention Aspiring Sports Writers:

NSS is looking for talented, opinionated, enthusiastic and well informed Basketball fans to join our writing staff.

Blogging experience is not a requirement but a writing sample is mandatory. Though we have filled the beat writer position, we are still in pursuit of a Daily Links Director. For job description, please contact us.

If blogging is your passion, we are willing to help promote your blog through your posts on NSS, links on our email newsletter and through writer’s profiles which will be posted on our “About Us” page.

If you are interested in contributing to North Station Sports, please contact us.

("Tommy Pose of the Day" Courtesy of Life.com)
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 22:49

Celtics Trounce Bobcats, Rest Up For Spurs

Written by
Celtics blow out Bobcats the second straight win on this four game road trip.Tonight’s opening tip was witnessed by tens of fans as people were filing in (or out, hard to tell) to bear witness to the dismantling of one of the most underrated defensive teams in the league 108-90.Charlotte (7-10) came into the game allowing only 87.9 PPG on 43 percent FG shooting, both better numbers than Boston (14-4) sporting a 91.3 OPPG and 44 percent OFG. Their defense is legit and rank in the top five in the league in almost every (relevant) category. Too bad their offense isn’t nearly as good.After the opening Bobcat basket the teams traded buckets until it was 6-4 Charlotte. That would be their last lead in the game.The interior ball movement by Boston was incredibly fluid. It’s usually feast or famine with that sort of play but tonight everyone was looking to rack up the assists. Eddie House was the beneficiary of most of a few open looks as the team is very obviously trying to get House’s stroke back. His game has been on the side of a milk carton all year with just a spark in the 4th quarter that it’s returning finishing 5-9 from the field and nailing a couple of threes to snag himself 12Celtics Bobcats Basketball points mostly in garbage time. Even after missing a wide open tre he hustled to mid court and drew a charge. Good defensive play from someone who needs it to ease the pain of his sluggish offense and Eddie knows it.Kendrick Perkins notched his second double double in as many games before halftime. Perk ended up with 21 PTS on 9-10 shooting, 11 REB and 3BLKS. Ray Allen found his range after an off night in Miami with 27 PTS going 5-6 from behind the arc, 6-9 from the field and mixed in a block for good measure. KG chipped in with 14 PTS and a little extracurricular activity with Charlottes Nazr Mohammed after Garnett was called for a ticky tac offensive foul that could have gone either way. Mohammed was knocked down and took great offense to it for no particular reason, getting in KG’s face so much so that the refs had to separate them. Mohammed continued to bark after the break with no repercussions yet Rasheed Wallace collected a technical for saying something to a ref after being subbed for and was making his way off the floor. That was his 8th T if you were counting. At this rate, he’ll be sitting out a game February.The game got completely out of hand by the end of the first half as Allen buried a three with one second before the break to make it 62-29.The Celtics bench took over in the second half much to the relief of C’s fans as the starters rested their legs for their upcoming tilt at the Spurs. As with all blow outs (on the good end or not) we had a nice look at the bench with Sheldon Williams motivated to show that he should still get minutes with the looming return of Glen Davis by hustling on the defensive end and coming up with 2 blocks. Marquise Daniels helped out by doing a little bit of everything grabbing 4 boards and 4 points.Charlotte had no offensive rhythm to speak of as evidenced by only assisting on 12 of their 31 buckets whereas the C’s had 24 AST on 36 FGM. In what very well could have been a trap game with Boston looking ahead to San Antonio, the Celtics were more than up to the task.
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 10:37

Goldie's Preview - Celtics @ Bobcats

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Tonight's game with the Bobcats features two teams on four game winning streaks and don't sell the Bobcats short, either. They are very underrated the way they are playing right now. The Bobcats play great defense. Top five in the league. When they score points they can be very tough to beat. Just ask Cleveland, who were beat down by the 'cats last week. Having said that (nod to Curb)... the Celtics have also won four in a row and, however unimpressive some of the victories were, they are getting their swagger back. They have a huge lead in the division already can move the focus to the conference. Not bad for a team that has largely failed to meet its own expectations. Matchup on the Night: KG v. Boris Diaw-- I have loved Boris Diaw's game ever since his days with the Suns when he was a fantasy stud. I feel like he is the Chone Figgins of the NBA fantasy-wise, for those fantasy baseball guys out there. He is very athletic and can play three or maybe even four positions. He defends well and when he rebounds, he is a borderline elite player. That being said, KG had his best shooting night of the season against the Heat, going 11 for 12 from the field. Prediction-- The Celtics and Bobcats, two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, are going to both allow more points than they allow on average. Celtics 101-95 in an entertaining affair. Or else it will be a 89-85 clunker...but I hope I am right.
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 10:02

Kevin Garnett: Just a Piece in a Delicate Puzzle

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Kevin Garnett's recovery has been as scrutinized as the Dow Jones' year long climb back to the 10,000 mark. Seems I have been more patient trying to recover some of my lost retirement dollars then I have been watching Garnett's slow steps towards 100 percent.

Yes, I am guilty. I am one of those guys who winces at every missed oop, gasps at every lame landing and prays that he gets back up with a bounce when he hits the floor. Okay-- admit it. You all pray a little when Garnett hits the deck too.

A child of the late 80's and early 90's, I guess you can say I am a victim of "Larry-Legend Syndrome". I still remember, all to well, Larry's struggles in his final seasons. I found myself defending the league's best ever small forward repeatedly from 1989 thru his retirement in 1992. Their were moments of brilliance, such as his come-back performance in the 1991 playoffs against the Pacers or his 49 point, triple double, in 1992 against the Blazers. It was during those moments, I found myself saying to younger fans... "you have no idea how great that man was!"

Yep, that's it. Blame my binocular bifocal scrutiny of Garnett's every move on "Larry-Legend Syndrome".

Truth is, we are all a little spoiled. Since Garnett's entrance into the league in 1995, a young and bright eyed teenager, the NBA has been treated to arguably the most passionate and intense player ever tokevin_garnett_sota pick up a basketball. Garnett's tenure in Minnesota was underscored with a 20.5 scoring average. An instant 20-12 machine, he revolutionized the power forward position, combining unmatched defensive intensity and athletic paint play with solid jump shooting and controlled emotional outburst of the likes we had never seen.

We have all witness conniptions from guys who play with their hearts on their sleeves. Bill Lambier, Rodman, Barkley...dare I say-- Rasheed Wallace, all come to mind without effort. Unlike the temper tantrum machines of the past, Garnett was controlled. His rants focused more on his own positives and negatives and less on that of the zebras (starship troopers) or spectators.

Garnett came to Boston in 2007, still a player who can dominate the game with strength, agility, athleticism, and the fury he was famous for. That intense passion spilled over to his new teammates immediately and it spread throughout the league. Finally the Big Ticket was in a major market place, poised to dominate. Boston was again the focus of the basketball world. Soon after, it seemed every team's unlikely hero was banging their heart when hitting a big shot, lifting their team's name on their jersey in proclamation that their squad was for real. Some did it only against the Celtics in a mocking gesture, others did it just because they saw Garnett and the Celtics do it.

Paying the biggest dividends from the KG tornado may have been Paul Pierce. The "one again-off again" star had only achieved modest success throughout his decade in Boston. Pierce had gotten a taste for success in 2002 as he and Antoine Walker (ugh) led the Celtics to a surprising Eastern Conference Finals birth. Paul combined strength, scoring and rebounding with late game heroics to prove that he was the Truth. The success he had achieved was often marred by his off-court comments, tumultuous relationships with coaches and culminated with his demands for a trade in 2007.

Danny Ainge had a trade of his own in mind, a swap that would keep Pierce satisfied in green and turn the NBA upside down. Garnett and Ray Allen arrived in Boston in the summer of 2007. Garnett's contagious intensity infected Paul Pierce and a self-imposed metamorphosis began. The iso-minded, offensive forcer, often whiner, sometimes boo'd super-star was transformed into a defense first, lead by example player-- forcing nothing but doing everything. The Captain was born.

That was 2008 and, yes, we were a bit spoiled.

Fast-forward to today. Put in the context of the past, it may be a bit understandable to scrutinize Garnett's recovery. The last four games have been a growth period for Garnett. We have witnessed KG narrowing his aim and connecting on an astounding 22-27 from the field. He has directly had his hand in a game winner against the Knicks and a knock out blow to Miami. The Ticket has displayed some explosion around the hoop in Boston's recent win streak. His one on one defense is showing signs of returning to top form. Yet, Garnett still seems to display a bit of relief when his shot connects. He still displays an occasional "gait" in his step. Though not quite as tentative as the opening games of the season, he still shows some hesitancy in traffic.

"Larry-Legend Syndrome" again? Maybe.

The fact remains, Garnett's progression has been, and will continue to be, gradual. No need to rush it. Boston is stacked with star power and they have his back. Recently, best friend and teammate, Rasheed Wallace told the Boston Globe,

rasheed-wallace-celtics-070909-150"I told you all that the knee is getting stronger,’’ forward Rasheed Wallace said. “Some people are still worried about it. Everybody keeps asking me about it. But all it is is time. You all thought he was going to be back to the old KG, jumping out the gym [immediately]. He’s taking his time with it and every game is looking better for him.’’

After a blazing 6-0 start, the C's adrenaline seemed to drain and the harsh realities set in. This team is not fully set. Coaches Rotations are not totally lined up. Big Baby is still out. What seemed to be a glue-like chemistry early on has shown signs of needing a regrouping. The Celtics hit some road bumps and struggled a bit. Looking out whack defensively and, at times, confused on the offensive end. Team's have scored on them and left fans scratching their heads, trying to figure out what's going on with this team. It's not the 27-2 start of 2008-09. That kind of regular season dominance may never again be seen from this team.

Wait a second! Kevin Garnett was out for 25 games last season and we still won 60 games! Shouldn't we be 17-0 with him back?

I have high expectations for this squad. The basketball world has echoed those same expectations. Instant 70 win predictions early on only cemented those lofty predictions. Early road bumps? They don't occur with our team!

Truth is, like any championship contending squad with the type superstar talent that the Celtics possesses, will experience growing pains. Add to that Garnett's recovery period and you have an early bumpy road. I don't know about you, but I would prefer some bumps on the way to the mountain top, making us stronger, pulling us together-- adversity builds cohesion on championship squads, right?


The be(a)st is yet to come...

Four straight victories, Garnett 22-27 from the field, 2 game clinchers, better up's and yet that "Larry-Bird Syndrome" still didn't subside much. An article published in the Globe this morning peaked my interest. At first it seemed to be the typical story we've all written about KG's return to form. After reading fully, I stumbled upon some quotes from KG himself, "Physically I feel really, really good,’’ he said. “But you all have no idea of the [stuff] I go through to come in here and be Grade B, Grade A. So I’m a work in progress. I don’t even think twice about my leg. There’s nothing about this game I second-guess. As a basketball player you have to react. When I am reacting and [stuff] flows, I’m a better player like that. I’m trying to find timing in what [coach] Doc [Rivers] wants and making it come together.’’ Displaying his (mistaken) hesitancy, KG explains why he has not looked to shoot first recently, garnetthanging“I wasn’t even going to it but Paul was on my [butt] on the bench about being aggressive, take the shot, take the damn shot,’’ Garnett said. “Here I’m just a piece that fits in the puzzle. And I’m thinking more defensively since I have been in here, since I stepped foot in here, put the jersey on. I am just more of a defensive player and I like that. Coming in I want to make sure defensively I am sound. When I am not forcing the issue and not thinking everything else just flows. So I think that’s all you see.’’“I really want to answer your question [about our personality] but I think it’s just too early,’’ Garnett said. “Defensively we are a definitely a team that can score the basketball. But until we get the continuity, the rhythm, understanding guys . . . We have not even played . . . the different combinations we played with in practice has not carried over to the court. I keep saying this. I know I am tearing your tape recorders up with this but it’s repetition, consistency and we just have to continue to be like that.’’

Just a "piece in the puzzle"...?

paul_pierce_and_kevin_garnett-6705Interestingly true. Seems my blind sighted focus on Garnett has left the only puzzle I've noticed to be in my mind, infected with that "Larry-Legend Syndrome" again. I have failed to see the larger picture. Comparing Garnett's 14 points and 7 rebound per game is unfair when stacking it against his career averages. He is surrounded by five players that average over 10 points per game and two more who can explode for 20 on any given night. Dare i say, Garnett is older now. "Old" is not as scary a word as we stack it up to be. The big three are older and more intelligent now. They score smarter not harder. Instead of being the guy's with all the pieces of the puzzle in their over-sized hands, they now share those pieces with capable teammates.Together, as a unit, the C's will continue to piece together the chemistry that a championship team possesses. Ubuntu may be a word that is rarely heard from these guys in 2009 but it's ubuntu that will guide the way towards filling the holes that complete the puzzle of the 2009-10 season-- hopefully that puzzle has the Larry O'Brien trophy as it's illustration.
(pictures courtesy of google images)
Monday, 30 November 2009 21:04

Meet The Bench: JR Giddens

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Everyone knows the starters by heart and could probably rattle off individual stats of each player and their favorite And1 tour move that they are capable of. That’s all fine and dandy but I’m the fan that looks ahead while appreciating the now. I can see the legs going on the Big 3. Maybe not now, maybe not next year but much like Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, they can go at any time.

Without further ado, our first edition to Meet the Bench:GiddensJR Giddens. Number 4 in your program, number 15 on the bench.Why JR first? I don’t know. I’m high up on him for no particular reason other than the parallels to The Truth. Blasphemy, I know. Let me give you something to chew on.Giddens went to Kansas (for two years, mostly because Bill Self retained JR as a recruit after Roy Williams had already signed him on and then bolted to UNC) and lo and behold, so did Pierce. Rock, chalk, coincidence? In his second year at Kansas, Giddens was involved in a nightclub stabbing in which his calf needed thirty stitches. Count your teeth real quick, that’s about how many stitches were in the dude’s leg assuming you practice good oral hygiene. (The rest of you, Randy Jackson has a number of a guy good with veneers that will make you look like you have a mouth full of halogen bulbs.) Paul Pierce, stabbed in a night club. Pierce had to face accusations of poor work ethic early in his career and in his loyalty to the team. Giddens was suspended in New Mexico by coach Ritchie McKay who said, “He did nothing illegal, nothing unethical. This program tries to promote being a good teammate and I want to emphasize that.”Character issues have swirled around both players at one point or another during their careers and they could have become embroiled in petty, self aggrandizing agendas or the Frost like path less taken to redemption.Both players responded admirably. Pierce took the C’s to the Eastern Conference Championship. Giddens played for the Lobos, so he was going nowhere with them. Sorry, you can’t dispute the facts. At any rate, JR manned up and tookJR1 responsibility for his actions instead of bemoaning left, right and inside out about being branded as a bad teammate with poor social decision making. He decided that he wanted to be better than your average disgruntled talent and that is something you don’t see in the college ranks. Usually once you get branded as a bad teammate, other teams and people tend to avoid you like the plague or a Nickleback concert.JR’s received a bigger boost in my eyes when Sports Illustrated’s (and Boston’s own) Chris Mannix wrote an article about players in the D league. The amount of growth and general great nature of this once exiled young man was great to hear. One example Mannix writes:"You bring your A-Game?" asks Giddens as I put on my gear."I brought whatever game I have," I reply."Good," Giddens says. "Because if I get the chance, I'm going to dunk on you.""Then I might foul you," I shoot back.Giddens smiles. "You think that's going to matter?"The whole entertaining article can be found here.Maybe I’m just a sucker for redemption stories. Maybe I’m just a sucker. When I see a guy turn his life around when he has every opportunity to continue the downward spiral, it just sucks me in. So maybe I do know why I’m high on this kid and I just made a liar out of myself. It’s hard not to like the guy from word one by most accounts after his attitude adjustment. It’s just as hard not to like the future of the franchise with players like him being drafted and receiving grade A tutelage from three Hall of Fame players. I’m enjoying the Veterans now but I find myself wishing for blowouts, not even for the win but to see what sort of talent is riding the pine.Or in this case, $350 leather chairs.
Monday, 30 November 2009 10:51

Today's Headlines-- 11/30/09

Written by


Note from the Editor...

With the recent position of beat writer being filled, this gives me the opportunity to start posting daily links again. We are still in pursuit of a daily links director to monitor and post links to headlines from around the web daily. If this position interests you, please proceed to the bottom of this post for more information.We tried to include all updated posts from our friends around the web. If we excluded you, it was not intentional. Please contact us asap so we can get you on tomorrow's links page.If you are not included in daily links post and would like to be, please contact us asap to be included in next post.Thank-you.

Today's Headlines:

North Station Sports Mayor Kevin Johnson Loves North Station Sports, NSS Beat, by Lee Herman, Celtics Ice Heat in MiamiBoston Globe Celtics keep their cool against HeatBoston Herald Kevin Garnett erupts, Celtics escape, Fine not OK by Rasheed WallaceCeltics Blog Nearly Perfect, 4 in a row, C's beat HeatGino's Jungle Garnett Torches the Heat, Gathering thoughts for the season --- GJ's writing staff is growing! Check out new addition Dirk!Hardwood Houdini Player of the Week-- Kevin Garnett, Garnett and Celtics turn down the HeatCeltics Town Celtics hold off pesky Heat --- Jay King is one of my fav Celtics writers and he does not disappoint in this recap.Red's Army Your Morning DumpCeltics Hub You might want to guard KG, C's 92, Heat 85Celtics17 Another coach fired: Jersey's Lawrence FrankLoscy Doubting Thomas Award: Project O'BryantCeltics Life Celtics Now: What the hell happened to...Jiri Welsch?, KG and the beast lead C's to 4th straight winLex Nihil Novi Cornbread was invisible long before he quit on Celtics in 1985 --- So interesting!Banner 18? That's more like it! -- JameyB's pictures and thoughts from his courtside seats at the Garden Saturday night!Boston Sports Then and Now Boston's Greatest Playoff Moments

Headlines from around the league...

NBAtipoff Jennings starting to slide a bitNBA Primetime Lawrence Frank Fired, All Part of the NBA’s New York State of MindBall Don't Lie George Karl questions Nuggets effortMile High Fan Nets drop to 0-17Howard the Dunk Magic come from behind to beat BucksFear the Sword Game #15-- Cavs and PistonsFootbasket Sixers Seriously considering bringing back Allen Iverson4 Sport Boston 14 reasons not to count the Celtics out

47 - 49

Attention Aspiring Sports Writers:

NSS is looking for talented, opinionated, enthusiastic and well informed Basketball fans to join our writing staff.Blogging experience is not a requirement but a writing sample is mandatory. Though we have filled the beat writer position, we are still in pursuit of a Daily Links Director. For job description, please contact us.If blogging is your passion, we are willing to help promote your blog through your posts on NSS, links on our email newsletter and through writer’s profiles which will be posted on our “About Us” page.If you are interested in contributing to North Station Sports, please contact us.
Monday, 30 November 2009 08:47

The NSS Beat, Covered by Lee Herman

Written by

North Station Sports would like to announce the addition of Lee Herman to our writing staff. We had many applicants respond to our "help wanted" post on Twitter and Facebook. The writing samples that were supplied by many were excellent and made the final choice a difficult one.

Our decision to go with Lee was based on his writing style and experience in posting intelligent comments on various sports sites. Lee is a New England native and his heart is with the Celtics and NBA basketball. As displayed in his first post, The Celtics Ice Heat in Miami, Lee goes deep into the Celtics game play with a flair for the numbers. North Station Sports has never been a "stats-based" site. Though I recognize that stats are essential when covering a team day in and day out, I have never considered myself to be a "stats-guy". Lee lends his expertise to NSS by providing some of these essential numbers while not making the post resemble more of a math formula and less of a game recap.

As you all know, North Station Sports covers the current Boston Celtics but often refers back to the history of this storied franchise in a way that is relevant to today's team. My love for the history of this game has spilled over into the writing style at NSS and I felt that the beat writer needed to have a good knowledge of the legend's that came before Pierce, KG and Allen. Herman passed the test without even knowing he was being quized. Needless to say, the decision was made easy when Lee proclaimed his love for Tommy Heinsohn, his admiration of Cedric Maxwell's story telling and his desire to see Larry-Legend launch one more fade-away J.

Lee will be taking the role of Celtics Beat Writer. He will cover NSS Flix, game previews, game recaps, breaking news and interesting tidbits. Along with myself, Matt and the other contributors to NSS, Lee will be posting daily on NSS which will allow Matt and I to concentrate on areas of the site that have recently been neglected. I will start posting daily links (until that postition is filled) again and, what we consider our strong suite, more extensive features and the recently neglected "one on one segments".

The growth of our writing staff is exciting and definitely diversifies our flavor for all things Boston Celtics. We look forward to working closely with Lee, incorporating his style into the North Station Sports brand.

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Monday, 30 November 2009 00:01

Celtics Ice Heat in Miami, 92-85

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In a game where Dwayne Wade passed Glenn Rice for the Heat’s all time field goals made, the Boston Celtics (13-4) showed the Miami Heat (9-7) why they have the best road record in the NBA. A lot of the reason is the continued stellar play from their big men in the middle.

Kendrick Perkins is making a strong case for First Team All NBA Defense if not for Defensive Player of the year. Perk finished off another double-double scoring 14 points on 4-6 shooting and 13 rebounds. He also added 3 blocks averaging almost 2 blocks a game (1.88) placing him 8th in the league but is posting a whopping 3.36 BLKP48M (blocks per 48 minutes) which is second in the league among players averaging 25 minutes plus per game behind rejection machine Josh Smith from Atlanta.

Kevin Garnett may have something to do with the vast improvements in young Kendrick’s game.

KG was on fire pouring in 24 points on 11-12 shooting, his only miss on an ugly turn around jumper high off the glass that he probably would like to have back. That miss broke his string of 13 straight dating back to Friday’s game against the Raptors.

Kendrick Perkins started okgmiamiff the first quarter strong by drawing four fouls in as many minutes. Two of those fouls were against Jermain O’Neal who sat the final ten minutes of the first quarter. That didn’t slow down the Heat who came out gunning and scored 31 in the quarter with an emphatic Wade jam from the middle of the key. Both teams decided to give their defense a rest to start the game as they shot the lights out with Boston hitting seventy-six percent from the field followed by Miami connecting on sixty-eight percent. Pierce carried the Celtics through the opening salvo from the Heat with 10 points on some impressive baseline drives and strong finishes that may be a sign of the Celtics getting their attitude back.

Then the defense showed up.

After what looked to be the start of another shootout both teams decided it would be better to actually try and stop each other from scoring. O’Neal came out fast after sitting most of the first and was giving Sheldon Williams all he could handle and more. The Celtics held the Heat to 17 points in the second while they pulled ahead with 26 of their own as Rajon Rondo was efficient with his distribution and shot selection compiling a double double with 13 points and 11 assists to help the C’s bring a 55-48 lead into the half.

As hot as Boston was in the first half, they were ice cold coming out in the second. At one point into the fourth the Celts had 9 FGs to 4 TOs. Not good to say the least. Eddie House has been struggling all season and finally hit his first basket late in the third and went just 1-2 from the field with two turnovers.

D-Wade took over the third going 4-5 in the period with some free throws sprinkled in to drag the Heat within two with three minutes left as the Celtics watched an 11 point lead evaporate on one of Michael Beasley’s four dunks of the night tying the game at 62 and capping a 14-3 run. The full court pressure from the Heat was attributing to even more Boston turnovers and things could have quickly changed for the worse before coach Doc Rivers adjusted by spreading the floor and bringing in four three point shooters. Brian Scalabrine stopped the bleeding with his only bucket of the game on his only shot but it was a three and kept the Celtics in striking range while the starters (minus Ray Allen) caught a breather on the bench. The rest of the reserves struggled to score in the third and as a result only scored 12 as a team.

Rondo tied the game back up at 76 with six minutes left in regulation and the Big Three did the rest. After getting out defended for most of the second half Boston regained their composure and went on a 14-9 run in the final five minutes to put the game out of reach with KG putting the icing on the cake with a pretty jumper from 19 feet and expressed his enthusiasm towards a less than appreciative Miami crowd that was already filing out.

The starters bore the brunt of the minutes for this game with Allen on the floor for 42 minutes despite having personal issues over the weekend. Not a good sign of fresh legs for this road trip that includes stops in San Antonio and Charlotte who just handed the Cavs an embarrassing loss over the weekend.

Photos from AP Photo/J Pat Carter
Sunday, 29 November 2009 16:34

NSS Live Game Chat: Celtics vs. Heat

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Chat with the Experts...

Well, we'd like to consider ourselves as experts... (lol)All of your favorite Celtics bloggers from around the web have centralized (Thanks to Ginos Jungle and HARDWOOD HOUDINI) their chat location for tonight's game. This chat is quiet during game-play (we have to concentrate-- lol) but WILD debate erupts during pregame, halftime and postgame. Heat fans are welcome!Should be fun... Check us out!Celtics Pregame, Halftime, and Postgame Chat
POD010173001David Aldridge of TNT Sports reported that Philadelphia is tentatively discussing bringing their former super-star back to the City of brotherly love. The following excerpt is taken from NBA.ComFrom NBA.Com Allen Iverson's on-again, off-again retirement may end with a reunion in the city that had his heart at hello. Emphasis on "may," because there's only one voice that matters when it comes to Iverson and the Sixers -- team chairman Ed Snider -- and he hasn't been heard from yet.The Philadelphia 76ers are considering signing Iverson to replace injured guard Lou Williams, according to a team source, confirming a Fox Sports report detailing the team's interest. However, the team has not yet discussed the relative pros and cons of bringing back Iverson, the team's first overall pick in 1996 and one of the city's most iconic athletes during his decade there until being traded to Denver in a 2006 package for guard Andre Miller. You all know my thoughts on Iverson. I'm interested in your feelings about a Philadelphia reunion for the exiled star. Good move for the Sixers? Can it improve their team? Blah Blah Blah...
Sunday, 29 November 2009 10:51

Danny Ainge Irritated with Celtics Recent Play

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The 2009-10 Celtics have drawn comparison to the post '86 squad, a team that struggled to remain competitive while the aging bodies of Dennis Johnson, Scott Wedman, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton and Larry Bird began to decay. The Celtics of that era remained very competitive and led the Eastern Conference in 1987 and 1988. After appearing in the NBA Finals in 1987, the Celtics failed to return. The 1988 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Piston featured a Celtics team that looked to be burned out from nearly a decade of Finals appearances and three NBA titles.The 1989 season was a bust as Larry Bird only played in 19 games, succumbing to bone spurs in both feet. Danny Ainge was traded mid-season (heartbreaking to me) to help bring some much needed length to a front line void of Larry Bird.The 1990 season headlined the return of a healthy Bird. The league-wide talk was a return to championship form. The result-- team chemistry issues, an ineffective new coach (Jimmy Rogers) and a first round playoff exit.The 1991 team (57-25), perhaps the last truly dominant Celtics team for the next 17 years, started the season very strong, was reinvigorated by the addition of youthful guards Dee Brown and Brian Shaw, accentuated by the emerging star status of the late Reggie Lewis, and anchored by the stability of the original big three. The three legends slowly fell to injuries and the team was ditched from the playoffs by the dreaded Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Semi's.Do these Celtics teams, finishing out the "Original Big Three Era", draw any similarities to the current day roster? Slightly, yes. Danny Ainge would disagree, however, though still citing his displeasure with the team's current play. Ainge recently told the media,From the Boston Herald: 329_ainge__1239922418_4719“You can’t sit around and wait,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t see a lot of similarities between the ’86 team and this one.“I don’t buy into those excuses,” Ainge said of the long-term argument. “The bottom line is that we’re a better team than (how) we’re playing. We’re just not showing it. We’re playing well some times, and not well at others. (The players) just need to focus like the coaches focus.“If we’re not paying attention to that, and we’re thinking that we’re so good, then we’re in trouble. I see a difference in how we play when we have our backs to the wall, so you can tell that we have what we need, but it has to be more than that.”“Our team can win right now without focusing on the little things, but that’s not going to last. (Coach Doc Rivers) is doing a good job, and the players want to win and do it. Are they willing to pay the price in practice? But I don’t think there’s much to it yet.” When I read this story in the Herald this morning, I was kind of satisfied that Ainge spoke up. Fact is, Danny Ainge was their during the tragic demise of the late 80's Celtics. He witnessed the struggles of a team frustrated by their inability to utilize the strategies that had, in preaingeredvious year's, made them unstoppable. Of any member of the Boston community, Ainge has the right to draw or dispel comparisons to the team's he started for, contributed so much to and was traded away from.Many people believe that front office officials and team owners don't have any place publicly voicing their dissatisfaction with the line-ups they recruited. I can't say I disagree. Nothing frustrates me more then seeing Mark Cuban sitting behind the Mavs bench yelling into the ears of Rick Carlisle's players. Their is no place for that nonsense. You hire a coach for a reason-- now let the guy coach.On the flip side, Danny rarely meddles into his coaches business. However, though Doc Rivers is one of the league's best skippers, he has become like a broken record. At this moment, I feel a higher voice needs to be heard, a voice that worked closely with Red Auerbach over their relationship that spanned 23 years. One that has fought the battles for the green and now holds the keys to the team's ignition.
Sunday, 29 November 2009 09:35

Game Preview: Celtics @ Heat

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ray-allen-pe-1_mediumThe Boston Celtics are finally starting to piece together the puzzle that fell apart shortly after their 6-0 start. Sunday evening, riding the momentum of a well played (116-103) victory over the Raptors on Friday night, the C's face D-Wade and the Heat. The Celtics (12-4) have quietly put together a sloppy 3 game win streak as the Heat have cooled off of late.After a 9-2 start, the Miami Heat (9-6) have lost four of their previous six games. Dwayne Wade has struggled shooting recently but averages 29 points per game against Boston. The Heat's record (3-1) versus Boston last year does not reflect Wade's dominance. Miami holds opponents to 43.8 percent shooting but if Boston's guns are on, they should dominate the perimeter against the Heat's defense which has been middle of the road on a league wide standard.Boston (38 rpg) is inexplicably at last in the league in rebounding. The key remains for Boston to keep their opponents off the boards. Jermaine O'Neal (8 rpg), Udanis Haslem (9 rpg) and Michael Beasley (7 rpg) are averaging a combined 24 rebounds per game.Tonight's matchup offers the Celtics another chance to sharpen their defensive play. The Heat are struggling lately and the Celts have failed to piece together 48 minutes of "Boston Defense". Boston's offense in running full speed again and the defense has to catch up. Tonight is the perfect opportunity.Matchup of the NightRay Allen vs. Dwayne Wade - These two guys have played each other to a stand still the last two seasons. Wade, wade_300_051203averaging 29 points per game on 51 percent shooting against the Celtics, will have to match up against Ray Allen. Allen has also notched great numbers against Wade and the Heat. Ray averages 25 points per game and 63 percent shooting from downtown. Allen has struggled from three-point distance this season but is coming off a 3 of 4 effort against the Raptors. Ray's past exploits against Miami leads me to believe that he will fully break out of his long distance slump tonight.Notes: Ray Allen's son, Walker, was hospitalized on Friday evening. Walker was born with Diabetes and Ray has been a spokesperson for the disease. Allen was a question mark for tonight's game until late last night when the Celtics announced that he joined the team in Miami. Though Ray must be pre-occupied with Walker's illness, he is a true professional that possesses mental toughness. I don't expect this to be a factor for tonight's game.Our prayers continue to be with Ray, Walker and their family.

From NBA.Com:

Ray Allen rejoined the Boston Celtics on Saturday after spending the night in a hospital with his ailing 2-year-old son.Allen missed practice Saturday, but the Celtics said he was back with the team for its flight to Miami and should be available to play against the Heat on Sunday night in the opener of Boston's four-game road trip.Allen went to the hospital to be with his son, Walker, after Friday night's victory over the Raptors. Walker Allen was diagnosed with diabetes during the 2008 NBA Finals.

This is good news for the Celtics and most importantly for Walker Allen. I am sure, if it were serious, Ray would not have left his side. Our prayers remain with you and your family Ray! Get well soon Walker!

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Saturday, 28 November 2009 15:28

Ray Allen: May Miss Sunday's Game, Son Hospitalized

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From the Boston Globe:

Celtics guard Ray Allen missed practice Saturday to be with his son, Walker, who was hospitalized, according to a team source. Allen's status for the Celtics' visit to Miami Sunday has not been determined.Walker Allen, who suffers from diabetes, was hospitalized Friday. Ray Allen scored 20 points in the Celtics' 116-103 win over Toronto Friday night, leaving the game with 2:08 remaining to visit his son.

We all know the bravery shown by Ray during 2008's NBA Finals when he played even though his son was being diagnosed with Diabetes. Ray has done an enormous amount of charity work on behalf of his son Walker for Diabetes awareness and research.

We wish Walker well and he remains in our prayers.

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Saturday, 28 November 2009 13:43

Why Ray Allen Can Never Be Traded

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rallen_300_080130Since joining the Celtics, their is always a point in the season where fans and sports analysts question Allen's worth and statistical numbers. In 2008, the questions (understandably) were raised during the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs. Allen struggled through some of the worst play of his NBA career during that stretch and the questions were swirling. Ray Allen put all questions to rest as he blazed his way back into normal form during the last two rounds of the playoffs leading to the NBA Finals. During the finals, Ray was arguably the best player in green. Though Paul Pierce, deservingly emerged with the Finals MVP, Allen was a close second. He played through his newly born son's diabetes diagnosis, often spending post and pre games at the hospital with his wife and new born.Last season, after the Celtics were shocked by a game one loss (105-103) loss to the Bulls, Ray Allen was questioned for his disappearing act, notching only 4 points in 40 minutes. Again, the speculation over Allen's effectiveness was in full bloom. How did Ray answer? He averaged 27 points per game in the last six games of the series, including a 51 point night in game game 4. Allen was the key player in this seven game masterpiece, forcing many games into overtime with his clutch shooting. Ray seemed unstoppable.Already, in this early season, Ray's play has again come into question as he has struggled from downtown, averaging only 31 percent. From a player that has never averaged under 42 percent from three-point land, this year's statistic is shocking. Despite his poor outside shooting, Ray is compiling one of his best over-all shooting percentages (47 percent) of his career. He is also beating his career averages in free throw percentage (93 percent), he is tied for his career averages in steals and assists.

So, where is Ray Allen disappointing?

He has been accused of careless ball handling. Though I have seen such careless play's in the Celtics recent stretch of ray-allen-mad-204x300struggles, but who hasn't struggled in one way or another in this stretch? Maybe it's our high expectations for the pure shooting veteran that allows us to pinpoint Ray as THE player not playing well.Ray also has been accused of playing poor perimeter defense. This was an area pointed out frequently by friends in the Celtics recent victory over Toronto. True, Ray was a step slow, but the Raptors tendency to constantly use back screens and double screens make it difficult for any player to stay with their man, let alone a guy at the age of 34.The constantly surfacing trade talks in regards to Ray makes me crazy.Ray is one of the best shooters of all-time. It's a bit cliche but, no matter how much a shooter is struggling, he cannot stop shooting. Ray's form will return sooner then later. Against the Raptors, Ray was 3 of 4 from downtown and the criticisms again shifted towards his defensive play despite his 3 steals and 2 deflections. Are we just looking for some one to blame?Ray has combated his poor outside shooting by doing what an intelligent veteran does-- adjust his game. Ray Ray is not standing outside the three-point line waiting to launch the next bomb. As a matter of fact, Ray has reduced his three-point attempts. He is now using intelligence to get to the hole. Taking advantage of Rasheed Wallace and Paul Pierce spreading the court, he has made a concerted effort to penetrate and post up. As a result, Ray is getting to the free throw line more and who would we rather to shoot free throws then Ray Allen? He is averaging nearly 2 free throw attempts more per game then he did any other season since joining the Celtics.Health wise, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have shown signs of breaking down. Garnett is struggling to return his body to form after his knee surgery. Paul Pierce, though having a career season, has also suffered from nagging knee issues. Ray Allen has remained primarily injury free, playing in 73+ games the last two seasons. In addition to Allen's durability, he offers a stable influence for the team's younger players. Can their be a better standard set for the Celtics youth then the eldest member of the starting line-up coming out several hours before game time to practice his jumper?Even after displaying a tireless work ethic and excellent conditioning, Ray remains, understandably, the likely candidate (from the big three) to trade if Danny were to make a move. I just don't think I would consider any optional player to be a suitable replacement for Ray Allen.76ers Celtics BasketballI am like any other fan. I get frustrated with the struggles of our team's superstars. I rarely give up on guys that give 100 percent and contribute consistently. Tony Allen is not one of those guys. As a result, I want him gone. Mikki Moore was not one of those guys and similarly, I was not crying when he was not re-signed. Ray Allen is DEFINITELY one of those guys. Ray always gives everything he has.Recently, when asked how he felt about the Iverson retirement and how it reminds him of his mortality, Shuttlesworth told the media:“I try not to think about it. You figure I am at 14 now, 19, 20 is a very long, extensive career. So I am definitely inside that amount of time, so I try not to even worry about it. If I keep myself in shape, I never have to worry about getting out. My kids, they are growing up, I would like for them to see what I am doing, and appreciate it and enjoy it. Try to enjoy it as long as I can.’’ Ray Allen, continuing to insinuate that he would like to end his career in Boston, said that he would not be opposed to a reduced role with the team in upcoming seasons. He has continually admitted that he recognizes the fact that his max dollar days are over following this season. He also stated that he would not mind coming off the bench for a championship contending team. “Whatever I need to do, I’ll do. I think the biggest thing for us as veterans as we get toward the end of our raypushupcareer is you want to play for a team that’s contending for a championship. Sometimes if you go to a team contending for a championship, you are going to have to come off the bench.’’ So, Ray is willing to take a lesser role with the team moving forward. He is willing to take a paycut to stay with the team. He offers great mentoring for the younger players. He is considered one of the NBA's classiest players and he can still put up great numbers. Isn't that enough?Red Auerbach believed job security was a paramount benefit a team can offer it's superstars. The list of Celtics players that spent their entire career in green is staggering when compared to other team's. Red was acknowledged as a coach/GM/ President that encouraged his players to train and mentor their eventual replacements.Bob Cousy did it for the Jones brothers, Tom Heinsohn did it for Satch Sanders, Frank Ramsey did it for John Havlichek, to a certain extent, Larry Bird did it for the late Reggie Lewis. This is a Celtics tradition that has spanned 50 years and resulted in, a league leading, 17 championships and 31 hall of famer's.Ray is continuing this tradition and that's good enough for me to qualify this guy as a Celtics lifer-- I think Red may agree.(quotes provided by boston.com)
Saturday, 28 November 2009 11:37

Sheed Tired of NBA 'Golden Boys' Preferential Treatment

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Rasheed Wallace is never one to pull punches. He is always on the front lines, calling out referee's inconsistencies. Friday night, following the Celtics win over Toronto was no different. He told the media that he was assessed a technical foul unfairly, saying Hedu Turkoglu should have been given the T for flopping. He also broached the topic of Paul Pierce being issued a technical foul for "taunting" Chris Bosh with a ferocious stare after posterizing the Toronto star. Sheed went on to point out that "NBA Golden Boy", LeBron James would never have been docked with a technical for the same play.

From the Boston Globe:

“I didn’t use no profanity, I just said, ‘He’s a flopper,’ ’’ Wallace said after Boston’s 116-103 victory at TD Garden. “And [Malloy] gave me a tech for that. The league should make that a rule - flopping.“It’s watered down, with all that flopping [stuff],’’ Wallace said.“I’m a straight shooter now,’’ Wallace said. “I ain’t going to [expletive] you all.’’Asked if he was referring to Cleveland’s LeBron James, Wallace said, “Take a guess,’’ acknowledging that he was.“They set rules on us to the point where you’re taunting. When Paul dunked it and then, Paul didn’t say nothing, he just looked at him. Let The Golden Child do that or one of the NBA [Basketball] Without Borders kids do that and it’s all fine and dandy.’’“It’s not like I threw my shoulder into him, or it was a hard push, or real hard contact. Come on, now. Showing on a pick, I’m already there, he touches me - ‘Ohh,’ he acts like I shot him or something. ‘Ohh.’ That’s not basketball, man, that’s not defense, that’s garbage, that’s what it is.’’ Can't say I disagree with Rasheed. LeBron James is always in the league's top five in free throws attempted. The whistle seems to blow more often for LeBron then any other guard in the league-- only trailing Dwayne Wade in guards free throw attempts.As far as "golden boy's" are concerned, if Kobe Bryant was whistled for every (phony) scowling look he gave out during the finals last year, he wouldn't have made it to game two. Isn't Kobe's snarls (strategically) towards the camera considered taunting? He growled at the Magic, the camera men and the audience so often in the Finals last year that it was kind of comical.I can't wait to see what Sheed's recent round of referee criticisms will cost him this time...

Hey refs! Call it both ways!

Saturday, 28 November 2009 10:55

Good Old Fashioned Celtics Blowout Friday Night

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rondoDThe Celtics roller coaster ride of the 2009-10 season continued Friday night with a 116-103 win over the Toronto Raptors. After a foul first half littered with, what has become too familiar, poor perimeter defense and turnovers, the Boston Celtics (11-4) locked in their defensive clamps on the Toronto Raptors (7-10) in the second half.The Celtics Offensive cylinders were turning from the opening tap. They shot 15-18 from the field and at one point in the opening quarter they hit 12 consecutive field goals. We saw a side of the C's offense return that has not been on display since November 9th when they blew out the Utah Jazz. Their was something about the Celtics demeanor during warm-ups that led me to believe that a missing element had returned-- swaggering confidence.Despite their own scorching offense, Boston allowed 55 first half points on 60 percent shooting from Toronto. The first half resembled a shoot-out style game from the Tommy Heinsohn era, something that most fans are uneasy with. The Celtics, however, played neck and neck with Toronto, matching them shot for shot. I, though discouraged by the lack of defensive tactics, was enthused to see the return of the Celtics intensity and recently void confidence. The return of these elements lead me to believe that the C's would come out of the half swinging and knock the Raptors off the parquet. They did not disappoint. “We just turned the pressure up,’’ Kevin Garnett said. “One of the things we talked about in the locker room. We’ve said we’ve wanted to start each quarter, especially the third quarter, with a lot of energy, and I thought we did that. You know, when we [communicate on the floor] we are a very hard team to beat. The effort has to be with five guys, can’t be with three, can’t be with two.’’ Kevin Garnett, showing glimpses of his former self more often, was perfect (6 of 6) from the field. Kendrick Perkins continued to show off his improved offensive repertoire, also notching a perfect (8 of 8 ) offensive performance. Rajon Rondo even hit two free throws. It seemed the C's were back on track offensively and the road was paved fully by the return of Rasheed Wallace (15 points). Sheed racked up a fast 12 points in the first half, exploring the paint-- an area of the court rarely ventured into by the 7 footer. Rasheed started his game inside, hitting a foray of post shots that led him to veer back out to his "promised land" behind the arch. It is not so painful to watch Wallace launching off three-bombs when he is anchoring those shots with some inside play. He played the inside/outside game perfectly last night and it paid dividends.The third quarter began with the Celtics putting the stops to the Raptors smoking offense. Outscoring Toronto, 17-33,Ray Allen scored 20 points Friday nightin the period, the C's were finally playing the defense that led us to declare them (possibly) the best defensive team of all-time. Forcing turnovers is rarely an issue when Rajon Rondo (4 steals) and company are playing with intensity and grit. During the third quarter the shot clock buzzer seemed to sound more often then the Raptors were able to launch off shots. Yes-- the Celtics defense was back.Rondo (12 points, 11 assists) again showed his worth to Celtics nation, controlling the pace and thus allowing the C's to control the game. Rondo's propensity to take over games with speed, quickness and hustle is accentuated by his ability to electrify the audience with picture-perfect passing.Paul Pierce continued his MVP play with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Pierce, averaging 26 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in his last three games, stamped his solid play with a monster jam forcing Chris Bosh to the floor. Pierce, displaying he still has ups, was assessed a technical foul after staring down Bosh while he lay on his back. The taunting is never something I encourage. Last night, however, feeling disrespected of late, it was satisfying to see the Celtics able to flex their muscle a bit. “Usually, you come in the half and you shoot 67 percent, the way we did, the way we passed the ball, we should be up about 10-15 points,’’ said Pierce. “So, we’re still a work in progress. You know, we’re trying to put four quarters together, instead of stretches. The way we move the ball, we shoot at this rate, we should be able to beat anybody, it should be a blowout. So we still got some ways to improve. We’ve still got a ways to go.’’ Toronto was led by Chris Bosh with 20 points and 13 rebounds (the Raptors as a team grabbed 31). Hedu Turkoglu, picking up where he left off in last year's semifinal against Orlando, notched 20 points, hitting 4 of 5 three-balls. The Celtics second half defense was too much however. The C's Forced 25 turnovers with 15 steals.Every contest the Celtics have improved an element of their game, trying to return to the form they displayed in their 6-0 start. Last night they improved by slowly pulling apart Toronto as the shroud of defensive intensity fell upon Raptors. With the return of Boston's confidence, we can see the return of Celtics intensity, grit, passion and power. Last night was the perfect way to finally put to rest their recent struggles. A stretch of Celtics play that left fans scratching their heads was concluded with the C's a half game back from first in the east, on a 3 game win streak and building momentum.The Celtics are yet to put together 4 quarters of their vintage offensive and defensive attack. They still fail to provide the thundering blow to fatally nock their opponent off balance. It is nice, however, to write about the team's positive progression recently. Each game inches closer to Celtics basketball. Afterall, this squad is still a work in progress...(quotes and photo's courtesy of boston.com)
Friday, 27 November 2009 17:47

NSS Live Game Chat: Raptors vs Celtics

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Chat with the Experts...

Well, we'd like to consider ourselves as experts... (lol)All of your favorite Celtics bloggers from around the web have centralized (Thanks to Ginos Jungle and HARDWOOD HOUDINI) their chat location for tonight's game. This chat is quiet during game-play (we have to concentrate-- lol) but WILD debate erupts during pregame, halftime and postgame. Raptors fans are welcome!Should be fun... Check us out!Celtics Pregame, Halftime, and Postgame Chat
Friday, 27 November 2009 17:38

Celtics Stuff Live Post Game Show-- 11/27/09

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NSS has teamed up with the guys from Celtics Stuff Live, you can now listen to their post game shows live on North Station Sports. Celtics Stuff Live is one of the best, if not the best Boston Celtics talk show around. Justin Poulin and Jon Duke are two of the nicest guys we have met during our experience blogging. They love to interact with their listeners and talk to as many people possible following games and on their weekly shows every Sunday. Join Justin and Jon tonight after the game at 10:30pm for their Gold Rarities Postgame Show. As always they will be taking your calls, emails, tweets, and questions from the chatroom! If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy a Celtics win or let your frustrations out after a loss, this is the place for you. The call-in number is below so don’t be shy and call in tonight following the game. They will also be hosting their weekly show on Sunday night so check out www.celticsstufflive.net for information about that.

Join us after the game on Friday night at 10:30pm for another Gold Rarities Postgame Show. As always we'll be taking your calls, emails, tweets, and questions from the chatroom!


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Click Here To Listen To The Show

Friday, 27 November 2009 10:46

Game Preview: Raptors @ Celtics

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The Celtics (11-4) finally seem to be getting back on track. Though their previous two victories were by less then 4 points, their showing against Philadelphia on Friday was encouraging. Tonight, the Celtics face Atlantic division foes, The Toronto Raptors (7-9). The Raptors come into this game with a 2-7 road record and having lost their previous 9 of 10 games versus the Boston Celtics.

The Raptors are a perfect team for Boston to continue to continue to build momentum against. Toronto is second to last in opponents allow scoring (108) and allow their opponents to shoot nearly 47 percent from the field. Boston may have some fits defending the perimeter against Toronto who are seventh in the league in three-point shooting percentage (38 percent). Bargnani, Belinelli and Turkoglu are all shooting over 40 percent from behind the stripe and launch more then 3 attempts per game.

Toronto is last in the lead in forcing steals as defense is not their strong suit. The Celtics should be able to fully flex their offensive muscle against this team's stagnant defense, this may just be the advantage the Celtics need to fully push them over the edge and out of their recent slump. But first, the Celtics will need to stop, 6th man, Amir Johnson (5.1 rpg), Andrea Bargnani (6 rpg) and Chris Bosh (league leading-- 11.9 rpg) from dominating the boards. The Celtics have struggled against athletic team's who have given them fits off the backboards with hustle. The Raptors, as a team, are twentieth in the league in rebounds per game but the C's are next to last.


Bosh vs Garnett-- Tonight's matchup will provide the sporting world another opportunity to see Kevin Garnett's recovery (something Garnett has warned us to stop talking about). Chris Bosh should put Garnett's knee to the test. He is averaging 25 points per game and leading the league with nearly 12 rebounds per game. Garnett will have to stay with Bosh on the boards while dealing with his athleticism on the offensive end of the court. Bosh has struggled from the field (10-33) in his last two games. Tonight may be Bosh's night to break out of his recent slump. The key to Garnett's success? Make Bosh play defense. Take him IN THE PAINT and force him into foul trouble. Keep a body on him and keep him off the offensive boards (averaging 4 offensive boards pg).