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The Latest Sports News
Saturday, 14 November 2009 09:48

NSS Flix: Celtics Lose to Hawks 97-86

Written by

Celtics Shamrock

Here are some highlights and post game pressers from last night's disaster.

First Half Highlights

(Courtesy of Celtics.com)

Game Highlights

(Courtesy of Celtics.com)

Pierce/Garnett: Post Game Presser

(Courtesy of Celtics.com)

KG Attacks The Basket

Pierce Draws the Foul on Smith and hits

(Courtesy of Reds Army)
Saturday, 14 November 2009 09:05

Celtics Flat Feet Keep Them Grounded, Hawks Fly 97-86

Written by

celtshawkslossbench

This game is dangerous to the Celts because it is so much more important for the Hawks. They have lost nine in a row in Boston and are desperate to be thought of as contenders in the East.- NSS Writer Matt Golden in his Pre-Game Preview

The Celtics Weaknesses Exposed...

The C's early difficulties continue to lie with the young, run and gun, teams. First the Phoenix Suns (110-103) and now, the Atlanta Hawks. Both losses at the Garden and both teams used speed and athleticsm to run the ball at every opportunity.Coincidence? I say no.Hawks Celtics BasketballThe Celtics were dominated last night by a more athletic, younger and more passionate performance by a team desperate to prove that they can compete with the Eastern elite. The Celtics (8-2), were well rested and yet seemed to play with a hangover from a home stretch that included just 1 game in 6 nights. Their were points in last nights contest that were simply painful to watch. Such as, the Atlanta Hawks dominance over the boards (47-29). The rebounding figures in the box score do not do the Hawks any justice. Atlanta's front line made their Celtics counterparts look like senior citizens. Josh Smith (7 rebounds), Al Horford (13 rebounds) and Zaza Pachulia (4 rebounds) out-rebounded and out-hustled Kevin Garnett (5 rebounds), Kendrick Perkins (9 rebounds) and Rasheed Wallace (3 rebounds). The Celtics front line looked so out of sync that, at times, there failed attempts to grab the boards resembled more of a volleyball game then a NBA game. “It was the second shots that really killed us,’’ Pierce said. “Obviously, the turnovers [15] really hurt. But I thought, initially, we stopped a lot of their plays and it was just all about controlling their one-on-one game . . . and I think, for the most part, we didn’t do that. We’ve got to do a better job of just staying in front of our man. I think team defense was initially good but we’ve got to play better one-on-one defense.’’ After Atlanta blew out to an early lead, the Celtics 2nd unit again came into to stabilize the game. Marquis Daniels (9 points) and RasheedWallace (7 points), led the charge that closed the Hawks margin to 2 points (24-22) at the conclusion of the fourth quarter. The secondunit's success continued into the second quarter as Sheed'sthree pointer with the shot clock running down, gavethe Celtics a 25-24 lead, early in the second. The combination of Shelden Williams (2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal), Rasheed, Daniels and Eddie House with Ray Allen (10 points, 5-8 FG) spread the lead to 32-38 before Doc started to trickle the starters back into action.

Is the green team that good or are the starters that out of sync?

“I just think we have to get off to better starts,’’ Pierce said. “I think we’re setting a trend to really not getting off to good starts. It’s been about four or five games where we’ve been down in the first quarter. It’s up to the starters to come out and really set the tone. We’ve got to do a better job to start out the ballgame.’’ In what's becoming a trend, the second unit closed the gap again from a strong start from the Hawks. Mid-way through the second quarter, with the C's up 32-38, Doc Rivers started to re-insert his first unit. The Hawks again exposed the front line of the Celtics first unit and closed the gap to one point (42-41) at the half.The Celtics were out-scored in the third (31-28) and fourth (25-16) as the rebounding disparity became more apparent. With nearly 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Paul Pierce got banged up on an apparent missed call by the officials as he drove to the basket. Pierce ended up, lame, on the parquet floor. The Garden gasped as Pierce tried to play through apparent pain in his knee. Shortly after, Pierce was escorted to the locker room by trainer Ed Lacerte.Doc again inserted the second unit (+Ray Allen), as the Hawks had expanded their lead to six (72-64). The reserves again stabilized the team and closed the gap to 72-70 at the end of the third quarter.

A sigh of relief followed by a louder grown...

No doubt their was a collective exhale at the Garden as Pierce re-entered the game with a knee brace in the fourth quarter. It seemed Pierce was too late. In the opening two minutes of the final stanza,pierceinjury the Hawks again went on a 10-2 run. After a failed attempt at a comeback, Doc began to exile the starters to the bench.What was more unsettling? The Hawks ability to control the game with passion or the Celtics lack thereof? It's so rare that Kevin Garnett (14 points, 5 rebounds) and company show a lack of passion in their pursuit of victory. In stretches the C's played aggressive but, for the most part, last night's team seemed to be running on a treadmill. Their several runs at grabbing the lead were countered with their own willingness to give it back to the Hawks by complaining about calls, not getting back on defense, not boxing out, turning the ball over, missing free throws (68 percent) and relying on the three point shot in crucial situations.The Celtics have 2 losses, both at home, both playing from behind, both to athletic fast breaking teams... Coincidence or not?Noteworthy:- Paul Pierce's injuryis not expected to be serious but will be re-assessed before tonight's match-up in Indiana.- The Lakersgot blown out by the Nuggets, 105-79. The Lakers drop to 7-2, keeping the Celtics tied with the Suns (???) for best record in the NBA.- The Hawks (7-2) are now only a half game back in the standing with the Celtics.(photos and quotes courtesy of boston.com & bostonherald.com)
Friday, 13 November 2009 12:10

Goldie's Preview - Hawks @ Celtics

Written by

garnetthawks

This game is dangerous to the Celts because it is so much more important for the Hawks. They have lost nine in a row in Boston and are desperate to be thought of as contenders in the East.This Hawks team is on year three of their growth and development into one of the better young teams in the league. From two years ago where they pushed the Celts to the brink in the opening round, to last years series win, this team is trending up. Two of their biggest hurdles remaining are represented in this game - winning on the road and getting past the Celtics. I believe the Hawks are 1-9 on the road in the playoffs in the past two seasons, including getting crushed in 4 games at the Garden.

Match-up to watch - the benches

The Hawks starting 5 is great and has shown an ability to hang with the Celts, but they are basically a six man team with Jamal Crawford coming off the bench for serious minutes. An early frontrunner for the 6th man award, Terry has been great. Beyond him...not so much.Look for the Celts to continue to show off their new toys in Sheed, Williams, House, and Daniels to not only give the Big 3 their legs for the 4th quarter but to stretch the lead.

celtshawks

Prediction:

The bench comes up big but Hawks hunger keeps it close...98-97 Celtics.
Friday, 13 November 2009 11:28

Mayor Kevin Johnson Loves North Station Sports!

Written by
johnson0561_1_reducedsize_normalYou have a new direct message: KJ_MayorJohnson: Cool site. What about the Kings? Haha

This was a shock...

When I signed onto NSS Twitter account on Wednesday night, I was shocked, honored, humbled and excited to see that former NBA All-Star and Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, sent us a direct message. I did not contact him first nor did I really realize that I was following him on Twitter.KJ, if you read this post, we are honored by your presence as a reader of NSS and we miss ya' on the court.

Sacramento Mayor

celticslegends

Go One on One with NSS Writer, Matt Golden...

In an attempt to create an interactive debate, we decided to go one on one versus YOU!Matt Golden ranks his top Celtics teams against the roster of this year's squad. Read, enjoy and sound off with your rankings.

disclaimer:

I think "best team" talk is way premature. Way. It's November for crying out loud. Does anyone think the Celts roster won't be different in May? Also, and more importantly, is that I will not be responsible for any and all jinx, real or perceived, that comes from this article.I have chosen my four favorite teams from Celtics past to compare against this team.My fab four are: - the 1959-60 team - the first truly great NBA team - the 1964-65 team - the best Bill Russell team - the 1985-86 team - the best team ever assembled - the 2007-08 team - the best 1 year team this decadeI am going to go position by position with three bench players. And we are off....

Center:

This is hilarious. No offense to Kendrick, but the best big man ever and the Chief are way way too much to compete with. Let's take a look at the stats. 1960 Russell - 18ppg/24 rpg/4 asts 1965 Russell - 14/24/5 1986 Parrish - 16/10/2 (1.5 blocks) 2008 Perkins - 7/6/1 (1.5 blocks) 2010 Perkins - 10/6/1 (2.5 blocks) I will say this...the 09 Perkins is much better than the 07 version. His defense, under the tutelage of KG, improves almost game to game. That being said, I have to rank them like this... bill_russell1. '60 Russell - (HOFer) A 25 year old monster in his prime... an All Star and All NBA in 1960 (2nd in MVP) 2. '65 Russell - (HOFer) A 30 year old monster still kickin' ass... an All Star, All NBA, and NBA MVP in 1965 3. '86 Parrish - (HOFer) The Chief had a great great year in 86... an All Star in 1986 4. '10 Perkins 5. '08 Perkins

Point Guard:

This is an interesting position because it has changed so much physically over the last 50 years. Guys are longer and the position is much more about athleticism now but I think this group of guys can hang with today's boys. Let's go to the stats... 1960 Cousy - 19/5/10cous 1965 KC Jones - 8/4/6 1986 DJ - 16/3/6 2008 Rondo - 11/4/5 2010 Rondo - 11/4/9 (with 3 steals) I love Rondo's game, especially when he is playing his heart out on defense, but as we saw in Jersey last week when he can't hit a jumper, he is a liability. He has to be taken off the floor in crunch time and this will continue to happen from time to time until he can consistently punish opponents who fluff off him. Again, he is much improved over the last two years. He is so close to being a top tier player, but he just isn't. He certainly isn't an MVP and 13 time all star. He also isn't as good defensively as KC Jones, who is in the Hall of Fame for his defense. And then there is Dennis Johnson. I love DJ. Why isn't he in the Hall? Also a better defender than Rondo.Gotta rank them like this... 1. '60 Cousy - (HOFer) At 31, still amazing...an All Star and All NBA in 1960. 2. '86 DJ - ($&%^#) Also at 31, he had a great year leading such a potent cast of characters and playing unreal D. 3. '65 KC - (HOFer) - Kind of reminds me of Rondo...has to be the only HOFer never to make an All Star team 4. '10 Rondo - Hit a jumper! 5. '08 Rondo

Shooting Guard:

Is Ray Allen a Hall of Famer? I say he is. He has made 9 straight all star games and is one of the best pure shooters ever, especially for a guy who was the go-to guy on a team. The next question is do you deduct from him in these rankings for being past his prime. His points and minutes have declined since he joined the C's. I am leaning towards no. I am going to chalk up the lesser numbers to his being a part if a team where he didn't have to shoot as much. His shooting percentages have not significantly declined. Let's compare the stats... 1960 Sam Jones - 12/5/2 1965 Sam Jones - 26/5/3 1986 Ainge - 11/3/5 2008 Allen - 17/4/3 2010 Allen - 15/3/3 I have to give 07 Allen the nod over 09 Allen because he was two years younger, and I know he stayed healthy. Here is how I rank them... 1. '65 Sam Jones - (HOFer) Mr. Clutch in his best year...an All Star and All NBA in 1965.ainge_0530 2. '08 Allen - (HOFer?) Had a great year in 07, but I am hoperful the 09 Allen can pass him...an All Star in 2008. 3. '10 Allen 4. '60 Jones - (HOFer) Not yet his 65 self... 5. '86 Ainge - A great player and clutch 4th quarter performer...a winner.

Power Forakgscreamward:

Here we find three more Hall of Famers and what an awesome group of players and guys. Who would you most like to get drunk with? This is so difficult... 1960 Heinsohn - 24/11/2 1965 Heinsohn - 14/6/2 1986 McHale - 21/8/3 (w/ 2 blocks) 2008 KG - 19/9/3 (w 1.3 blocks) 2010 KG - 13/8/3 (w 1.4 blocks) There is no way you can put the 09 KG ahead of the 07 KG. The 07 KG is coming off of a serious injury and I will not jinx him by saying he is better than the 07. Tommy was all nba the four seasons in between 1960 and 1965, but his 1960 season was a standout. And McHale...87 was his best year but he was at his unstoppable peak in 1986. Here is my ranking... 1. '86 McHale - (HOFer) the best post player EVER! An All Star in 1986. 2. '08 KG - (HOFer) Anything's Possible!!! An All Star and All NBA in 2008. 3. '10 KG - (HOFer) Fingers crossed so hard... 4. '60 Heinsohn - (HOFer) Tommy rules... 5. '65 Heinsohn - (HOFer) An All Star in 1965.

Small Forward:

magic-bird-aingeI love Paul Pierce. He got me through the lean years. But don't you dare expect me to put him over the Legend...let's go to the stats... 1960 Bill Sharman - 19/4/2 1965 Satch Sanders - 11/8/1 1986 Bird - 26/10/7 (w 2 stl) 2008 Pierce - 20/5/5 2010 Pierce - 19/5/4 Bill Sharman was awesome and Satch Sanders had a cool nickname but their games don't translate as well as say Hondo's would to today's game. Here is my rankings: 1. '86 Bird - (HOFer) - Bird at his best. An All Star, All NBA, and NBA MVP in 1986. 2. '08 Pierce - (HOFer?) the moment that sticks out to me is Game 7 against the Cavs. Legendary. An All Star and All NBA in 2008. 3. '10 Pierce - (HOFer?) It must be so nice not to have to carry the team the way he used to. 4. '60 Sharman - (HOFer) His last great year. An All Star and All NBA in 1960. 5. '65 Sanders - Satch. It is fun to say. Satch.

Bench:

To me, it is impossible to reproduce the benches of the teams of the 60s. They had Hall of Famers on the bench. And not old ones, but rather young ones. Here are the top 3 off the bench for each team... 1960 Frank Ramsey - 15/7/2 KC Jones - 6/3/3 Gene Conley - 7/8/1 1965 John Havlicek - 18/5/3 Willie Naulls - 11/5/1 Larry Siegfried - 6/2/2 1986 Bill Walton - 8/7/2 Sichting - 7/1/2 Wedman - 8/2/1 2008 Posey - 7/4/2 House - 8/2/2 Powe - 8/4/0 2010 Sheed - 11/5/1 Daniels - 8/2/3 House - 7/1/2 I really like Daniels and think Sheed can be a huge asset, but it is really hard to overlook how good Posey was in 08. The 86 team was basically a 5 man team. Walton gave them a great 15-20 minutes, but for the most part they were a five man team. Sichting shot 57% form the field for the year. Hondo and Frank Ramsey were Hall of Famers largely for their roles as 6th man and basically invented the position. Hondo would be an All Star today. Hands down. Check out his 1970 season. The 60 team also had HOFer KC Jones coming off the bench. Just nasty. Here is how I rank them... 1. 1965 - Hondo (HOFer) and former All Star Willie Naulis 2. 2008 - Posey was fabulous, Powe was a beast in playoffs, and House is a wild man. 3. 2010 - Sheed and Daniels will settle in and get better all year 4. 1960 - Two Hall of Famers off the bench!?! I guess because you start 5 Hall of Famers... 5. 1986 - Aging HOFer Walton and a some great role players.

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

CONCLUSION:

The 1960 team had 7, yes 7, Hall of Famers. The players and style have changed, but Cousy and Russell were unbelievable and would be great today. KC Jones and Sam Jones would be great today as well.The 1965 team lost Cousy but Sam Jones stepped up his scoring and Hondo was so good. 1965 was the "Havlicek stole the ball" year. Russel was MVP and this team sported 6 Hall of Famers.The 1986 team is the best team ever in my mind. The best front line ever. Bar None. All in their prime. And their guards were tough and clutch.The 2008 team had so much to overcome. There was the blending of a lot of new faces and egos, twenty years of team suffering, a negative racial team image, the big 3's legacies were on the line...and they got better round by round in the playoffs. So much to love.The 2010 team has a lot of history and legacy to live up to, both recent and historically. Their place in Celtics lore is made in the late spring and not in the late fall. They need to stay healthy first and foremost. Sheed and Daniels need to continue to blend and find their place. And Rondo and Perkins need to continue to develop. The sky is the limit with this team....oh, and the 1986 team is stil the king of teams, Celtics or otherwise.Check out our last edition of NSS One on One: NBA Talking Heads-- Best and Worst of NBA Broadcasters

lebron-james-suit

SILENCE! The King has spoken...

Okay LeBron, you love the drama.
Thursday, 12 November 2009 10:00

Celtics Silence the Jazz, 105-86

Written by

Pacers Celtics Basketball

What a difference three days can make...

Unselfish play, stifling defense, hot shooting, and careful ball handling, translated into (possibly) the Celtics most impressive performance of the season. The C's have had wider margins of victories and more dominant games but last night the offense and defense finally clicked in sync through 48 minutes. Boston, struggling early in the season, even hit 88.9 percent from the foul line.Three days of rest, pratice and home cooking served the Celtics in redirecting their focus towards the aspects of the game that slipped as last week came to a close. The C's three previous games (2-1) got them away from their credo of team defense and intelligent, unselfish offense. Particularly disturbing the team were their opponents ability to score the basket recently (Last three opponents-- 96 points per game/49.9 field goal percentage). “If you’re going to pride yourself on defense, then [those numbers] shouldn’t happen and they did. They saw that. And they thought it happened on both ends. Not only that happened, but then the offense wasn’t good enough, either. And there will be nights where your offense is bad and your defense has to carry you. And on those few nights where your defense is bad then your offense has to carry you. So in our mind, we let both offense, defense, let each other down on a couple nights.’’- Doc Rivers on the Celtics recent deficiencies The Celtics veteran core were running out of gas and it was starting to cast a shadow over the team's play. So, after their 86-76 victory in a game that was closer then the box score reflected, 3 days of rest, regrouping and practicing in Boston were welcome. “We paid attention to the small things and the details because this is how that team beats you.’’Kevin Garnett, after the game.

Blow-out victories equal more rest for vets...

The Celtics starters shot a combined 28-45 (62 percent) from the field. No starter played over 32 minutes. Ray Allen particularly benefited from the Celtics lay-off. Scoring 15 points (6-8 shooting) and continuing to exploit Garnett and Wallace's ability to open driving lanes by stroking the net from outside, the 34 year old guard again displayed moments of immortality while playing just 32 minutes. “That’s the process of the progression of the game for us. Whatever they’re running, kind of push them further away from the basket and make them play on their heels a little bit.’’- Ray Allen, after the game. Kevin Garnett, improving every contest, scored 18 points (7-10 shooting) and dominated the second half in vintage KG style. Garnett's outside stroke continued, knocking down several shots from beyond 15 feet. The highlight of the evening was the appearance of the nightly oop from Rondo to KG. Garnett has had a hard time getting lift in completing this (vintage) Celtics play. Not last night as Garnett exploded for a two handed dunk over several Jazz defenders before landing on the parquet on his back. Kevin bounced back up like a spry rookie and proceeded down court as the Garden faithful erupted.That was not the only highlight of the game. In a half-court sequence that should be illustrated in an offensive text book, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett all touched the ball in route to a Rondo layup. This play sums up the team's ability to use unselfishness carefully breakdown defenses.

Williams vs Rondo...

“We want to be one of the best defensive teams in history and we know we’ve got to do it consistently.’’Rajon Rondo, after the game. Rondo continued to prove that he is a top 5 point guard as he out-played the injured Deron Williams (13 points, 4 assists, 3 turnovers). Rondo (14 points, 11 assists, 2 steals) pestered the Jazz on every defensive play. He guarded passing lanes and pilfered the Jazz twice while not taking risks on defense. In addition to Rondo's two steals, he had several deflections that kept the Jazz out of offensive rhythm.Noteworthy: Rondo improves to 3-1 (only being outplayed by Steve Nash) in his head to head match-ups with the leagues premier point guards.

If KG is the spiritual leader but Paul Pierce remains the Captain...

Pierce remains the team's leading scorer at 18 points per game. Embracing his roll as team captain, Pierce has had an ability to lull his opponents into forgetting he is on the court. Quietly scoring throughout the game, the captain fits perfectly in the team's offense. Every night, usually in the third quarter, Pierce seems to pick a moment to push the team over the edge by taking over the game. then Pierce quietly retreats back into his role in the offense. This is what great players do. They force nothing, play within the offensive structure of the team and create the momentum changing moments that take a game from a close battle to a blow-out bonanza.Pierce did just that again last night. Scoring just 13 points on 4-7 shooting, by the box score Paul looked to have a sub-par night. Quite the contrary, the captain again took over in the third quarter, hitting two three's, widening the gap and bringing the sell-out crowd to their feet. “It’s noticeable. You look up and a team scores 100 points or a team shoots over 50 percent on the Boston Celtics. That’s not the type of team we are. We’re a defensive team. We don’t give up a lot of points. We don’t allow a high field goal percentage. You definitely notice it.’’Paul Pierce, after the game.

The statements made off the court are as impressive as the statements made on the court...

The Celtics played a near perfect offensive game. Tommy-points were being dished out as frequently as assists. The Celtics scored 105 points, shot 53 percent from the field, 88.9 percent from the line, dished out 30 assists and completely decimated the Jazz in a near text book performance.Yet, following the game, the statements the players made were dominated by the word defense. It was as if the Celtics didn't hit one basket. This team embraces Doc Rivers challenge of being the best defensive team of all time. By last night's performance, I would say that It's not unlikely and I would take that statement to the bank.(Player quotes provided by Boston.com)
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 20:13

NSS Live Game Chat: Celtics vs Jazz

Written by

Celtics Shamrock

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) their chat location for tonight's game. Should be fun... Check us out!NSS Live Game Chat: Utah vs Boston
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 09:57

What do we need from Sheed?

Written by
sheedfor3The Boston Celtics have never been a team that has lived and died with the 3-point bomb. This season has started out different. The C's have attempted far more three-balls then in previous seasons. After a scorching start from downtown, Boston has cooled off.Doc Rivers told the Globe that he is not worried, “I’m not that upset by them,’’ Rivers said. “I really am not. It’s not like we’re shooting them poorly. The last few games we haven’t been shooting them great, but I don’t make a big deal of them.’’ Rasheed Wallace has attempted more three point shots then Ray Allen. Ray has, thus far, struggled from downtown. As he gets his legs into top game form, their is no doubt Ray's stroke will return. What's stood out for me, has been Ray's determination to attack the basket this season. A post by, up and coming blogger, Gino's Jungle, examines Ray's game change in more detail.

Is Ray attacking the basket more because of his lack of confidence in his long range shooting?

I think not. I think Ray's ability to attack the basket more this season is a direct reflection of Rasheed Wallace rayallenfiststanding at the three-point line, pulling his large defender out of the driving lanes.Rajon Rondo is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, averaging 10 points and dishing out 9 assists. His play continues to improve. I also feel this has direct relation to Rasheed Wallace spreading the floor.Sheed has taken 50 three-point attempts. He is shooting them at a 34 percent rate, a percentage that has dropped by his recent struggles from downtown and poor decisions on when to launch the bomb.Is Sheed taking too many?Probably. The fact remains, however, that Wallace's presence on the floor means that opposing Centers must guard him because he is likely to hit the shot sooner or later.

So what do we need from Sheed?

Danny recruited Wallace identifying our lack of length on the front line last season. He also acknowledged Sheed's ability to spread the court on offense. Rasheed has played excellent defense thus far. He has also succeeded in enlarging the court. The spacing has opened up offensive options for guys like Rondo, Daniels, Williams and Perkins. The Celtics spacing is the best I have seen since Larry-Legend was hoisting them up, 20 years ago.Rasheed Wallace's addition in Boston is the mirror image of Shaq teaming up with King James. The King's court is constantly clogged with the Big Aristotle lurking in the middle. Pick and roll basketball has come to a screeching halt in Cleveland. Over-all, the Cavs look slower and have less continuity.So, I'll ask again...

What do WE need from Sheed?

Big fella', be a little more selective in when you launch them but, for god's sake, don't stop launching them. I like seeing parquet between the Celtics players as they continue to space the floor and open up options.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 08:51

NSS Week Two Recap

Written by

week2recap

The Celtics are 7-1

Week two presented the Celtics with their first challenge of this infant NBA season. Playing 5 games in 7 night, the C's started off strong with big wins against the Hornets (87-97) and Sixers(105-74). The three games that followed offered fans their first chance to hold their breath. The first loss of the season came against Phoenix (110-103) at the Garden and was sandwiched by squeaker victories in Minnesota (92-90) and New Jersey (86-76).Two Back to back sessions took their toll on the Celtics veteran legs forcing me to think Doc may definetaly have to adopt Spurs coach Popavich's strategy of resting the vets on consecutive game nights.The Big Three + Sheed played very inconsistent during this stretch. Alternating players succeeded in one outing and struggled in the next furthering my argument that back to back's must be subject to Doc's discretion regarding playing time. Of course, it's WAY too early to think about resting players but it is a topic that must be addressed sooner then later.

There are some positives!

rondocp3Our lone loss came to the surprising Phoenix Suns as they put on a shooting clinic at the Garden becoming the first team to challenge the C's defensive dominance.Rajon Rondo finally came to a deal with the C's and will remain in green for, at least, 5 more years. Proving he is worth every bit of his new contract, Rondo has nearly averaged a double-double (10.6 ppg, 9 apg) and showed off his new look jumper on more then one occasion. His only (big) draw back has continued to be his free throw shooting-- 37%(???).Though, this week, the Celtics gave up over 80 points for the first time this season, they are still holding opponents to 42 percent from the field while dominating their opponents in every category.All in all, though or record was 4-1, bench struggles, sloppy offense and lack of intensity in the final 3 games, made for a very frustrating week for Celtics fans.Week Two Games: Sunday, November 1st vs Hornets, W 87-97Tuesday, November 3rd @ 76ers, W 105-74Wednesday, November 4th @ Timberwolves, W 92-90Friday, November 6th vs Phoenix, L 110-103Saturday, November 7th @ Nets, W 86-76 What's ahead in week three: As week three begins, the Celtics are looking forward to playing only 3 games and having plenty of rest and recoop time in practice. Two of the three games are at home. This will be a good opportunity to get Boston's offensive game back on track.Wednesday, November 11th vs JazzFriday, November 13th vs HawksSaturday, November 14th@ Pacers Take a look back at Week One.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 07:48

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has Cancer

Written by

kareemcancer

I shuttered when I saw the headline, Abdul-Jabbar being Treated for Leukemia, Remains Optimisic, scrolled across my igoogle homepage from NBA.com's rss feed.NBA.com reported this morning that Kareem is suffering from a rare form of blood cancer and is taking oral treatments. Kareem told the associated press on Monday, "I've never been a person to share my private life. But I can help save lives," he said at a midtown Manhattan conference room. "It's incumbent on someone like me to talk about this." His Doctor's told him that his condition is completely treatable with monitoring and medication. Kareem will continue his roll as special assistant for the Lakers and is not expected to have any interruption in his duties.We all know that Kareem is addicted to Twitter. During the finals, he posted more tweet updates then NBA.com (lol). Kareem says he will continue post twitter and facebook updates regarding his health and I will be looking for them.Kareem, I lived my life rooting against you and the Lakers in the 80's. You frustrated me (and scared the sh*t out of me) with your unstoppable sky hook. You were always age-less on the basketball court. I often found myself asking when father-time was going to catch up with you and you take you out of the NBA equation.Well, let me tell you, today I am completely in the Captian's corner.We, at NSS, are rooting for you all the way!
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 00:26

Celtics Fans: Welcome to the Jungle!

Written by

ginojumbotron

To celebrate the kick off of the 2009-10 season, NSS held a contest giving away a plaque autographed by Larry Bird. To enter the contest, a requirement was to subscribe to our email subscription. Of course, I checked daily as the email addresses began to pour in. The response only solidified my claim that Larry Bird is still one of the most admired basketball players of all-time.The regional origins of the email addresses particularly intrigued me. To my surprise, there were many variations of the (curse) word Lakers mentioned in several of the 100's of email addresses submitted. Lots of Lakers fans secretly like Larry-Legend and I love it! The winner of the contest, Kevin Diec, is actually a California resident! By the way, Congrats Kevin! Anyway, their was one email address that jumped out at my over the course of the contest entry period. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The obvious thought, as a C's site owner, was that if this person has Gino in their email address, they must be serious Celtics fans. i decided to google "Gino's Jungle" to see what I can find. What I discovered was, what looked to be another new C's blog. After further examination, I realized that these two guys, B-Paul and GreenBanner 18, were for real.ginohatThey both post fresh, well-rounded and palpable content. These guys don't mess around. There's no half baked material with points that are never brought to completion-- something I despise when investigating some seasoned writer publications. Those that have become familiar with some of my work at NSS, know that I am not a stats guy. I enjoy glancing over the box scores daily but then I flip the page (or, in this case, the button) shortly after staring down the standout (or stand down) performances highlighted in the daily stat sheets.Gino's Jungle has a unique way of incorporating stats into their posts while not imposing math equations on their readers. An overview of Ray Allen's recent struggles proves my point that stats are sometimes necessary but should never be dominant. GJ's writing style inspires it's readers to think about what could be while not requiring them to break out the calculator to do so.. A recent post, Defense Wins Championships, Offense sells Tickets, looked into the Celtics 6-0 start and depicted defense as the C's key to success.Upon initially discovering GJ, what impressed me most, was their adoption of such well thought out concepts and site features at such an early stage in their site's maturity. Interactive features, such as, GJ Pickems-- an area where readers can pick their favorites to win the most anticipated games being played around the NBA that week (I'm currently ranked 5th among nearly 20 contestants from around the C's blogging world). I also have participated in the fan forums posted at GJ. With topics such as, NCAA Athletes and Best Players at each position, encourages reader interaction. The combination of their quality content and interactive features led me to believe that maybe I had missed this hidden gem in the Celtics World Wide (Tangled) Web.Truth was, these life long Celtics fans had (admittedly) never witnessed the C's win a title until 2008. These guy's parents obviously dressed them in green as kids because what impressed me most was their loyalty to the C's during the down years. They describe the Celtics like a marriage, "fans through the good times and the bad." As a fan from (way) back, when Fred Roberts and Greg Kite were warming our bench, it was nice to see some representation for Eric Williams and (Tommy voice) WALTAAAAA in their gino"who are we" section, furthering their claim of loving the C's when we were on the wrong side of the win streaks.North Station Sports is proud to say that we have joined forces in an effort to centralize a live game chat for Celts games. With seasoned bloggers such as C17, Celtics Town, Celtics Stuff Live and yours truly, all dropping by during the course of the game, the interaction and spirited debate is every bit as entertaining as the game itself. Check into NSS before every game for details on when the chat room opens.We, at NSS, are excited to watch and assist in the growth and development of Gino's Jungle-- Celtics Nation's youngest, yet already grown up, blog. Enjoy!
NSS is excited to welcome, guest blogger, Travis. You can check out more of his exceptional work at Gino's Jungle.Celtics Nets BasketballFinally that dreadful 8 games in 12 nights is over. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to watch the guys in green every night if I could. The problem for the Celtics is it wears them down, and they have no time to practice what they need to fix. This was very visible in the way they jumped out on a sprint to begin the season, then the last three games have been somewhat of a letdown. Have no fear, the Celtics will take and use this 3 day layoff to the best of their advantage, to gear up for a more normal schedule.Now onto the game. We all figured, "Ha, even with a tired and worn down team, we can beat the New Jersey Nets easily." Nevermind the fact that they were 0-6, but they also came into the night with one player after another going down due to injury or flu. The Nets had 7 players sitting. We aren't talking about JR Giddens taking a seat for the Celtics for a game. Key players had to sit for the Nets such as: Yi, Harris, Douglas-Roberts, and Lee. That is most of their team right there. The Nets did not lay down, though. They battled hard, and were a step faster than the Celtics all night (I would even argue maybe 2 or 3 steps faster). In the end, when all was said and done, the C's talent prevailed.The Nets were led the whole night by Alston and Lopez. Alston had a great night on the floor putting in 20 points and dishing out 7 assists. Brooke Lopez was the real pain for the Celtics, though. He was everywhere, and was knocking down the jumper from the top of the key consistently. We let him shoot it and he proved more times than not, that we should get a hand in his face. Lopez finished with 23 points and 7 boards.The Celtics were battling all night to get ahead. The game was close throughout, however you never got the feeling weGYI0050968019.jpg could have lost. When the Celtics need to buckle down and suck it up, they do it (Reference to the C's late game defense on previous post: Defense Wins Championships, Offense Sells Tickets). The charge was originally led by Rondo. Although he didn't have a great night in the assist department, he made up for it with steals and easy baskets. Rondo was consistently in the passing lane frustrating Raefer Alston all night.Brian Scalabrine was what I would consider, the spark that led us onto victory. He came in and scored only 5 points, but they were huge. We were struggling to score at the time, and he came in and knocked down a 3 followed soon thereafter by another long 2. Scal also stepped in on the defensive side with fresh legs and came up with 3 steals of his own.When all is said and done the Celtics are 7-1, and by the end of the season we will never remember back to this game and think of how we should have won by 40. Now to 3 days off to get ready for a big game against Utah at home.
Saturday, 07 November 2009 18:33

NSS Live Game Chat: Celtics vs Nets

Written by

Celtics Shamrock

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) their chat location for tonight's game. Should be fun... Check us out!Gino's Jungle, North Station Sports, and Celtics17 Live Celtics Chat
Saturday, 07 November 2009 10:02

NSS Flix: Celtics Lose to Suns 110-103

Written by

KGBW

Here are some video interviews and highlights from the Celtics/Suns game last night from around the web.

Pierce and Garnett Post Game Comments

(Courtesy of Boston.com)

Doc Rivers Post-Game Comments

(Courtesy of Boston.com)

Game Recap Video

(Courtesy of NBA.com)

Ray Allen-- Immortal?

Celtics Shamrock

Saturday, 07 November 2009 08:49

The Suns were too Hot in the Garden - C's lose 110-103

Written by

Pistons Celtics Basketball

tommy "The Suns played a near perfect game,"Tommy Heinsohn, following the Celtics loss. The Tommy-gun couldn't have put it any better but is that an acceptable excuse?

110 points? Were we watching the Celtics last night?

No. We were watching the Phoenix Suns.It was hard to recognize the Boston Celtics on Friday night as they, uncharacteristically, allowed the Phoenix Suns to score 110 points (57 points at the half), on 50 percent shooting, 54 percent from downtown and only forced 12 turnovers. The Suns were in control from the opening tip. Steve Nash (16 points, 12 assists) showed Boston he is still in the upper echelon of NBA point guards. He distributed the ball perfectly and hit big shots down the stretch. Amare Stoudamire (22 points, 8-13 shooting, 7 rebounds, 1 block shot) has no blurred vision from his season-ending injury last season. He had several monster jams and defended the basket adequately. Stoudemire's smile was ear to ear in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter when it became apparent the Suns had the victory bagged.The Suns played near perfect offense highlighted by the play of Jason Richardson. Scoring 34 points, 10-16 from the field, 6-7 from three and grabbing 10 boards, Richardson scorched the Celtics continuously. He seemed to have his hands in every offensive play for the Suns as Ray Allen could not contain him.

The Honeymoon is Over...

As the first quasheedsunsrter was playing out to Phoenix advantage, I found myself asking for Doc to to insert the second unit anticipating their nightly bump in momentum. Sticking to his strategy the bench players started to file towards the scorers table late in the first. As Wallace, Daniels, House and Williams trickled onto the court one by one, I was confident we would get a grasp on the Suns surging offense and provide an offensive bump of our own. For the first time this season I was wrong. The early season line-up shift of House, Daniels, Allen, Williams and Wallace were ineffective. The Suns counter of Dudley (10 points, 3 assists, 2 steals) and Dragic (3 assists, 2 steals) added to Phoenix early stamp on the game.In my estimation, Dragic was most impressive off the Suns bench. He committed 2 turnovers but answered his negatives with positives as he nabbed 2 steals, embarrassing Daniels and Rondo on both plays. Drajic was under control and out-hustled the Celtics reserve back-court.Rasheed Wallace (8 points, 4-12 from the field, 0-6 from downtown) was very frustrated with his inability to hit shots. He kicked the Celtics bench before planting himself back on it.Down the stretch, Doc decided to exclude Kendrick Perkins (12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks) opting to play a struggling Sheed. I found myself questioning this decision by Doc but, after the game, I settled into realizing that Wallace presence on the court, struggling or not, spreads the floor and opens up offensive options for the rest of the Celtics. Doc's strategy backfired last night but not because the strategy was wrong. The Suns didn't even have anything to do with the C's coaches strategy. The Celtics backfired on their own as they made, uncharacteristically bad decisions down the stretch, resorting to unnecessary three's over finding a higher percentage shot.

Manipulating the Minutes...

Watching the Celtics struggle is very frustrating. Late in the game, as the Celtics 2nd unit could not gain footing on the burning Suns, I found myself yelling through the TV for Doc to put the starters back KGsunsin. Credit Doc for sticking to his game-plan and monitoring the minutes of the veterans. With the exception of Paul Pierce (41 minutes), Doc kept Garnett (34 minutes) and Ray Allen's (31 minutes) minutes under control. Ray played well as he scored 16 points (7-11) and grabbed 7 boards. Allen, looking like his former self bursted across the baseline for a monster-explosive jam in the second half. Ultimately, Ray helped Doc in his decision to keep the Big Three's minutes down as he mounted a rare 5 personal fouls early.Kevin Garnett is slowly getting back to his old self. Though still favoring his right knee, he scored 26 points in 34 minutes and looked much more offensive minded.

Deja Vu?

In the second half of last night's contest, the Celtics looked comfortable playing from behind. There was a point, late in the fourth, looking at the expressions on the Boston players faces, I can see their shock as they were about to lose to an inferior team at home. Last season, I saw this expression, at home and on the road, all too often.Celtics Rivers BasketballAnyone remember the Clippers on the road or the Rockets at home last January? Those losses were unacceptable and exceedingly painful. We couldn't blame them on injuries as we had not yet sustained any. Like last night, those losses could only be blamed on the lack of intensity on every play and an old habit of being comfortable with playing in a deficit.Against the Suns, the Celtics played well in stretches and made some ill-fated runs, attempting to tie the game. The fact is, the Suns were on fire-- never letting up and the Celtics didn't counter with their normal intensity on defense.Following the game, their was a lot of talk about the Suns scorching offense. I agree. The Suns couldn't miss but, in my estimation, the Celtics gave them no reason to. Typically, the C's defense changes their opponents playing style. Last night, they didn't do that. The Suns controlled the tempo and the Celtics were content to play within and adjust to the Phoenix style of play.

A Work in Progress...

So the Celtics lost one game. They still have the best record in the league. One game certainly doesn't classify the C's as struggling. The Celtics, inevitably, will lose some games. That's only to be expected. Last night was one of those games but the fact that we turned up the heat late and were so close to taking the lead and then slacked off with poor shot selection, only adds to the Sun-burn inflicted by Phoenix.Another back to back game tonight. This time in (thank-god) New Jersey. Lets finish up this tough stretch in the early schedule tonight with a blow-out victory.Onward and upward-- it's still a work in progress...
Friday, 06 November 2009 19:50

NSS Live Game Chat: Suns vs Celtics

Written by

Celtics Shamrock

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) their chat location for tonight's game. Should be fun... Check us out!Ginos Jungle, North Station Sports, and Celtics 17 Live Chat

ncaabirdmag

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are again linked at the hip. This time they are on the same team. NSS has covered every bit of the When the Game Was Ours book tour.birdmagicjerseyAfter appearing together on HBO Sports and the CBS Sunday Morning Show, last night they shared the stage at the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Magic on stage with, proud Celtics fans, Amy Pollard and Conan. Bird, (in Bird-like fashion) refusing to fly to LA, appeared via satelitte.Being the old school Celtics fan that I am, these Bird/Magic appearances have been so enjoyable. The entire video is entertaining, interesting and funny but I particularly love when Magic mentions that Bird had never taken him out for a beer. When asked why by Conan, Larry responded in typical fashion, "Well he's (Magic) got all the money, he owns all the businesses. I'm just tryin' to wait for him to ask me." Bird's still a cheap-skate. I love it!Afterwards Conan mentions, to the amusement of the studio audience, Magic being bothered by Larry never buying him a beer and asks Larry what bothers Larry about Magic. Again, as we would come to expect of Larry-Legend, Bird (very seriously) cites all of his failures during the Bird/Magic rivalry. Larry will never let go of losing one game to the Lakers!So, sit back, relax and go back in time as Bird and Magic reminisce about the Golden Era of the NBA in hi-def.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thursday, 05 November 2009 20:31

Joe Torre Patterned His Career After Red Auerbach

Written by

rednewsmall

Well, now that Joe Torre is no longer a Yankee, I think it is not quite as taboo to post a video with him paying tribute to our godfather, Red Auerbach. This clip is from the series Torre's Stories and is a very nice tribute. "Believe it or not, growing up there was a team I patterned my philosophy after and that was the Boston Celtics..."- Joe TorreTorre's Stories: Inspiration - Funny bloopers R us

NBA/EUROPE

The Celtics hot start, though impressive, has not left me awe-struck enough to think we would not have challenges. I figured this road trip, with 2 back to back outings, would pose our first real test. I did not, however, feel that it would be at the claws of the T-Wolves.Through 5 gamkginsotaes of the 2009-10 season, the Celtics have breezed to a 5-0 record. They have shot 52 percent from the field, dished out nearly 28 assists per game and shot 45 percent from downtown. As a team, The C's have held opponants to barely 80 points per game, 17 assists and 22 percent from downtown. The league's most unstoppable defensive force has out-rebounded opponents, out-blocked opponents, out-hustled opponents and been pesty in picking their pockets. As impressive as the Celtics defensive exploits have been, possibly the stat that has stood out most has been their ability to keep their opponents from getting easy baskets. Early this season, the Celtics have held their opponents to 40 percent shooting whiles forcing nearly 18 turnovers per game.The legs of the veteran Celtics have been a frequent topic of conversation. How would they hold up in back to back's? Would Doc have to employ Coach Pop's strategy of resting his aging vets in consecutive games?There is no doubt that our 30-something players struggled last night. Eddie House (2-8), Rasheed Wallace (2-7), Ray piercesotaAllen (6-13), Kevin Garnett (6-13) and Paul Pierce (3-12), shot, a combined, 35 percent from the field and 26 percent from downtown.NSS loyal readers know that, though I study them daily, I am not really a stats guy. I've always been less interested in the players numbers on paper and more interested in the teams numbers on the scoreboard.While looking at the post-game box score this morning, I couldn't help but notice that our vets were off point last night. While watching the game, Ray looked to struggle more then his stats displayed, Pierce was simply flat, Sheed (2-7-- all shot attempts were from downtown) was in his three-point shooting down-pour mode-- when Sheed took the court, it was raining 3's and it wasn't a positive thing last night. Kevin Garnett, though his FGP was not great, played well and controlled the flow late in the game.

Young Guns Have the Vets Back...

Former Phil Jackson protege, Kurt Rambis, adopted the familiar strategy of leaving Rajon Rondo alone on the perimeter, challenging his offensive abilities from the distance. Rondo (18 points, 8-16 shooting) made him pay as he hit some outside shots and broke down the defense with his lightning fast penetrations.Kendrick Perkins' offensive growth is continuing. Last night, in addition to his tough defense, he notched 13 points on 6-7 shooting.Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams were again quietly effective. They scored a combined 12 points on 4-7 shooting.After the game, I found myself re-assured by the youngsters flourishing ability to control games when the key-vets are being held ineffective.

Are the T-Wolves a Sleeper?

The Timberwolves offense was the first of any opponent to permeate the Celtics defensive strategies. They shot 52wolves percent from the field and dished out 22 nickles.Are the Wolves offense that good? No.Was the Celtics defense that bad? Well, on a league wide standard, I would say, no. Based on the Celtics standard of defending the basket-- I'd say, yes.The point, in bold, is, the Celtics pulled out the victory in a game where they played flat and, uncharacteristically, emotionless. Despite the high standard we hold our team to, we cannot expect them to cruise through every game. There will be unexpected struggles from unlikely opponents. Again, as a scoreboard guy and not a box score obsessed fan, I can honestly say the only numbers that truly matter to me are those displayed with a W or L after them.Last night that number was followed by a W in the Celtics column.We are 6-0!