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The Latest Sports News
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 10:19

Goldie's Preview - Warriors @ Celtics

Written by
kevingarnett-tz-180Here we are again. New song same as the old song. The Celtics are coming off a loss and playing a younger but undermanned team that likes to get up-and-down. The Warriors are not as good as the Pacers who aren't as good as the Hawks...so the trend has to lead to a Celtics blowout, right? The Warriors just traded the drama of Stephen Jackson and the Acie Law (remember how good he was on A&M?) for journeymen Raja Bell and Vlad Rad. The team is in flux and playing a back-to-back on the East Coast. Ripe for the crushing, right?

Matchup of the Game

Paul Pierce v. Corey Maggette - Pierce admitted that his injury severly limited him defensively and that really the Celtics Celtics against the run and gun Pacers. Maggette has had good numbers against the Celtics and will be a tough guard.

Prediction

The Celtics are rightfully downplaying this stumble the past week and a half. Tonight's game offers the chance to prove that they can keep up with the highest scoring team in the league. The Celtics are well rested and for the first time all year have something, even if it is really small, to prove. I think the game is close for three quarters, but the Celts pull away and cruise in the fourth 115-108.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 09:02

Ainge Meets with Scal and TA about Nocioni Trade

Written by

BASKET-WORLD-JPN-ARG-TUR

Boston.com is reporting that Danny Ainge met with Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine yesterday, after practice. It's assumed they were discussing the potential trade that has been rumored to involve Allen, Scal and Giddens for Andres Nocioni. Ainge is, as usual, tight lipped regarding the trade rumors.Time to Look For Some Help?-- Boston Globe While the Philadelphia 76ers are looking to rid themselves of the underachieving Samuel Dalembert and the Sacramento Kings are seeking to deal the disgruntled Kenny Thomas, the Celtics have been rumored to be part a three-way deal that would send Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, and J.R. Giddens out of Boston and net them the Kings’ Andres Nocioni. Earlier I posted that I do not like the Nocioni trade. It's not that Nocioni is an unattractive addition to the C's roster. We can never get enough of the "Posey-like" toughness that Andres brings to the hardwood. It's not that I would miss TA either, I said goodbye to him 2 years ago and cringe every time his name is mentioned. Scal? Well, I love Scal but he is over-paid and underutilized with all the talent on the Celtics roster. I rarely even remember J.R. Giddens is on our roster so that tells you how much I would miss him.

The trade sounds good then, Right?

Wrong! The potential ramifications of taking on a 21 million dollar contract is not attractive when weighed against what it would do to the Celtics cash-flow issues next season. Ray Allen's contract up and Paul Pierce is due for an extension. Paul Pierce is a lock to get an extension but it would be hard to honor Nocioni's hefty tab while trying to make a reasonable offer to keep #20 in green and secure his spot in the rafters.Nocioni is gritty and on the gentle side of 30. Ray Allen (34) is on the rough side of the 30 but through excellent conditioning and work ethic, shows little signs of mortality. In my mind, Ray is a lock. He is stability on the roster. He is a mentor to the younger players. He is a Celtic.He will take a pay-cut next year to remain in green. I said a pay CUT not the vets minimum which may be required if we burden Nocioni's contract.In my mind, the loss of Ray is too much for me to agree to this deal. I know! I know! I am not thinking about the C's future here. I agree, I am a bit present-minded, sticking for a guy who's past his prime, but taking care of our players, job security and allowing our stars to retire gracefully in green is a Red Auerbach trait I would not want to see end.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 00:17

Hardwood Houdini is Back in Action!

Written by

cousy

My Google homepage has been a bit empty the last several months. The upper left hand corner was reserved for one of my favorite Celtics sites, Hardwood Houdini. The feed remained fixed on the last post from back in August. I would look at it every morning while glancing over the latest NBA news and contemplate deleting the feed. I could never get myself to do it.Around 10 pm, I was doing my final glance over of my google homepage for the last drops of NBA news for the night. There was a spattering of the recent news about Nocioni, who I would prefer we don't acquire, and every blogger's take on our recent woes-- including ours.As I was ready to shut down, I did my nightly glance over at that stagnant upper left hand feed. It read, Hardwood Houdini is Back and Better then Ever! Funny thoughts ran through my exhausted brain, Wow! HH is back? I know Loscy is back to being Loscy so it can't be him. Who the hell is it? My next step was logical, I clicked the link to find the above mentioned article, authored by... B-Paul? Wait a sec, I just did an Allen Iverson post with him in partnership with Gino's Jungle.Now I'm really confused... I emailed Gino's to ask what the hell was going on. B-Paul responded with this... I am sort of happy we lost to Orlando. I mean, I never want to lose to anyone but I don’t think I would have been able to watch the thrashing LeBron would have given our depleted team. We will have time to face the Cavs next year and eliminate them. There’s no doubt in my mind that our team when healthy is the best team in the league. Hands down! I read it and thought, "that sounds alot like something I would write..."Wait! It wasme. Immediately after the C's loss to Orlando, the Cavs were still surging and the favorites to beat up on their next playoff opponent. The Celtics were decimated with injuries and had played their hearts out. They went down as a team (62-20) that will be remembered as one of the toughest of all-time. I obviously had no clue that LeBron would go down, crying, to the Magic in the EC Finals (lol).Anyway, this comment was composed by yours truly and I was told by B-Paul that I left it on Hardwood Houdini last spring. After a moment of confusion (I am often dazed after 5 hours of blogging and 9 hours of working-- sorry), I realized that B-Paul and GreenBanner18 from Gino's Jungle were the new guardians of this great hoops blog. They are going to keep Cousy in the banner but update the photo (thank-god). They are also going to be posting several times daily, hosting live game chats (in partnership with NSS) and (eventually) incorporate an interactive forum.The guy's assured me that, though their concentrations will be focused on Hardwood Houdini, they are not abandoning Gino's Jungle totally. They will still continue to grow the site and search for capable writers to join in at the Jungle.I am thrilled for these guys. They tricked me on this one, throwing me a no-look pass while making their move over to their new site. What can be more fitting then a no-look pass by the new Hardwood Houdini's?Congrats Fellas!
I think it is hilarious that a week ago we were arguing about whether this is the greatest Celtics team of all time and now I am talking people off the roof about this team. Here is the simple truth - this team is not going to win 73. And it shouldn't. This team is measured by May and June and not November and December. They can't win it now, they can only lose it if they get one of the big three hurt.

kgblood

Let me give you a few reasons for the slump:

These were two games against hot teams on back-to-back nights in two different cities. The Hawks are really good. Like top 3 or 4 in the East good and they are getting better all the time. The Pacers can score in bunches. They are young and want to run. And they are hot. They have won four straight and played the Celtics tough in their building last year, beating the Celtics once and taking them to OT the other time. The Celtics are an older team. They just are. No need to be defenisve about it. Pierce just tweaked his knee. KG is coming off a serious injury and isn't 100%. You can't push these guys now to win these games. Take a page from the Spurs. The players can't say it but we can...these games aren't that a big a deal. The Cavs aren't off to a crazy start that the Celts have to keep up with. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Take this from a big baseball fan. They need to be tested. The Celtics can't win every game by 20. They need to have the starters in a game down 6 with 4 minutes left. They need to sharpen that skill - the clutch skill. They need to have the pressure of needing to execute on every possession. Every jumper can't be free and easy. Some need to have the pressure of needing to go in. Same for a big defensive possession and for a big rebound. Sheed, Daniels, and Williams are still like a blind man in an orgy...just trying to feel their way around. Naked Gun. These guys are still learning where they fit in on this team, not just when the second unit is out there as a whole, but when Sheed is out there with the starters. This will come with time and these guys will get better.Did the Celtics look old two nights in a row? Yes. Might we have overestimated how good this team is? Yes. Are the Celtics still one of the three or four best teams in the league? Absolutely.This is a time for patience.

piercefoundation

Watch the Magic Game on Friday in Pierce's Private Luxery Suite at the Garden!

The Celebrities for Charity Foundation has teamed up with Paul Pierce to benefit his Truth Foundation hosting an online raffle at www.netraffle.org to give one lucky fan a chance to win a once in a lifetime prize package. The grand prize package includes tickets to a Celtics Game in Pierce’s Private Luxury Suite, a meet and greet with Paul Pierce, and an autographed jersey. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit The Truth Fund and Celebrities for Charity Foundation.Winner and 11 guests (12 total) will enjoy Paul Pierce's Private Luxury Box, including food and drinks, for the Boston Celtics vs. the Orlando Magic game on November 20, 2009 Winner will receive a pre-game courtside Meet and Greet, plus photo op with Paul Pierce Winner will receive an autographed authentic Paul Pierce Celtics jersey Winner will also receive a cash prize in the amount of $1374.77 to mitigate the Winner's tax liability that results from winning the raffle. This prize is withheld and paid, on behalf of the Winner, directly to the IRS and the Commonwealth of MassachusettsThe online raffle will take place at www.netraffle.org with tickets costing $2.00 each and a minimum purchase of 5 tickets. This gives every fan a chance to win this amazing prize. The raffle closes on Wednesday , November 18, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

About The Truth Fund

The Truth Fund was founded in May of 2002 by Boston Celtics Co-Captain, Paul Pierce, as a means to streamline his charitable efforts and connect with disadvantaged children in the Greater Boston area and his hometown of Inglewood, CA. The mission of The Truth Fund is to provide educational and life-enriching opportunities for underprivileged youth by offering resources and programs that foster safe and stable environments. www.paulpierce.netRead the entire press release.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 08:05

Allen Iverson a Boston Celtic?

Written by

POD010173001

No Thanks!

By Nick Gelso; NSSThis evening, fellow Celtics blogger and friend, B-Paul of Gino's Jungle, instant messaged me on Gchat. Eventually, after solving all the Celtics recent problems, we got on to the topic of Allen Iverson.Everyone who reads NSS frequently would know that I absolutely do not care for Iverson. I never did. If you're interested in why, check out a recent version of NSS One on One: Is their a Defense for Allen Iverson? (Just in case you still don't believe me, Here's some more proof)Anyway, Iverson's 24,000 career points is enough to impress most sports fans. He is a terrific one on one player. He even (single handedly) carried his 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001. He's been an NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, All-Star MVP (twice), he is a four time NBA scoring champion too.No one can deny Iverson's great individual talents and exploits. One achievement that is missing from A.I.'s career accomplishments is an NBA title. Sure, Iverson fans may say, "many NBA greats have not won titles."That would be true. My only rebuttal would be, most NBA players (or at least the memorable ones), would have done anything to win before retiring. Iverson is not even willing to come off the bench in order to improve his team. Let's face it, even if Iverson was the sixth man in Memphis, he would have still played starter's minutes. He is not willing to sacrifice for the betterment of his teammates. He has proven time and time again that, if he is not the first option, he will not play.Iverson doesn't even grin and bare his way through the duration of NBA season's, he just walks away. He abandons his teammates and fans. He has never left a team on good terms.AIMVPLast season, I was a supporter of the Stephon Marbury experiment. I was even disappointed (prior to his online circus) when he was not returning. I am not against giving guy's a second chance. In my eyes, however, Iverson is too strong a personality. No one ever took Marbury too seriously and so, it worked.The Boston Celtics are made up of (first option) superstars who are willing to be roll players in exchange for another NBA title. Iverson has proven in failed stints with Denver, Detroit and now Memphis that he is not willing to make any sacrifices. It's either A.I.'s way or he get's injured, has a personal problem, or just plain quits. Can anyone envision The Answer accepting a seat on the bench during crunch time when we opt for Rondo over him? It's ridiculous! He didn't want to back up Rip Hamleton for crying out loud!I could go on and on about his negative influence on Carmello Anthony and his tearing apart a 57 win team in Detroit but I won't.It all comes down to this, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen created a culture in Boston and all the other guys bought into it. It's a mind-set that is epitomized by unselfishness, backing eachother up and sacrificing to win-- Ubuntu. A concept Iverson has proven he could never grasp.

Why Not?

by B-Paul; Gino's Jungle

I’m going to be quite honest with you, I used to be a big fan of Allen Iverson when he was on the Sixers, and I actually still have the DVD, The Answer, sitting on my movie shelf at home. Nobody that watched him play in Philadelphia can argue against this guy being a TERRIFIC NBA player. AI is one of the best scorer’s I have seen in my ten or so years watching the NBA.

The one issue everyone seems to have with him is his personality. People do not think he can accept a lesser role like what he has been given in Detroit and Memphis. In a way I can understand how AI feels about his recent roles, how would you like to go from an all-star to a bench warmer on two non-competing teams? Of course the guy is going to be upset; he’s sitting there watching two bad teams lose, while he has no power to do anything about it.

The question that got brought up when I was talking to Nick was whether or not Iverson could fit in the Celtics lineup, both on the court, in the locker room, and off the court. Nick seemed very stiff on his viewpoint that he wanted nothing at all to do with Iverson in green. I, being an Iverson fan back in my younger years, started bringing up reasons why AI might fit in green.

NBA-ALLSTAR/One of the reasons why I believe Iverson could fit in green is because he wants the “bling bling”, aka a championship ring. This is one thing that Iverson has not accomplished in his career. He has NBA MVP’s, all-star MVP’s, and four NBA scoring championships. What better place for him to accomplish this then with one of the current front runners, the Boston Celtics. Is Iverson that stuck up that he couldn’t agree to a bench role alongside three, possibly four, other players that could be starters on other teams? If Iverson’s mindset was set on winning a championship, I believe he would straighten his act up and play whatever role we need him too. If he isn’t set on winning a championship then this point isn’t valid, but at this point in his career he must be getting sick of coming up short.

Another reason I think he could fit is because of the other veterans around him. Look at his surrounding core players in Memphis, and then look at the core players on the Celtics. AI is going to be much more focused playing with Ray, KG, Paul, and Sheed then he ever could be with Rudy Gay or O.J Mayo. If he screws up once with KG he is going to regret the day his momma gave birth.

The role that Sheed has come to accept in green, may also affect the way Iverson see’s coming off the bench. If he looks at what Sheed is doing off the bench, AND getting noticed for it, Iverson may be more likely to see the positives of coming off the bench. If it is his ego he is worried about, in Boston he would soon realize we love all our players just as much. Whether it is Scal coming off the bench in 2007-2008 for two to three minutes, or Shelden Williams or Leon Powe coming in off the bench giving us their 100% effort, we admire all our players.

I want to end my part of the argument by saying a phrase I said to Nick during our chat, “Cancer in sports can be cured”. Take Stephon Marbury or Randy Moss for example. Both of these athletes were considered nothing but negative personalities before joining their respective teams. Although by now I am sick of Stephon, he did nothing but accept his role while in green. And for all you football fans, do you remember how much negativity was around Randy Moss before he joined the Patriots? Look at all these people who were saying he couldn’t work as a team with Brady and his other receivers, and people saying that all he was concerned about was his stats. Well look no further than their 16-0 regular season record to prove that talk was bull****. My point is that you never know how these personalities will react in good situations.

Allen Iverson wearing green may be what he needs as an individual to straighten up his attitude and to get that “bling bling” he has yet to receive.

This article was created in partnership with B-Paul and can also be viewed at his home, Gino's Jungle.

Monday, 16 November 2009 10:31

NSS Week Three Recap

Written by

bigthreedisappoint

Are the Celtics fatigued after just 11 games?

Three games in seven nights-- Lots of rest and practice time. Two of their three games were at home-- nothing like home cookin'. All three games were against inferior opponents-- great time to re-focus our efforts on both ends of the court. After a loss to the Suns and a squeaker in New Jersey, a week earlier, the "light" schedule this week was welcome.Flash ahead one week. The Celtics are 8-3, finishing this week with a disappointing 1-3 record. A loss to the emerging Atlanta Hawks was painful but tolerable. A loss, one night later, to the Indiana Pacers was just plain excruciating and eye-opening.A week that ended scattered with poor defense, foul free throw shooting, ill-advised shot attempts and alpha-dog offense all resulted in looks of shock on the C's smug faces-- summed up by a uncharacteristically unslung brick thrown up by Ray Allen in Indianapolis.The C's started off their work week on Wednesday with a gratifying blow out (105-86) against Utah at the Garden. A game that saw the Celtics dish out 30 assists on 41 made buckets, re-affirmed the Celtics strangle hold on the east after the previous two disappointing games (1L-1W). The Celtics blew out the Jazz, holding them to 46 percent shooting and 0-10 from behind the arc. Going to bed Wednesday night, I felt re-assured that these Celtics are for real. Upon examining the box score the next morning, I was surprised to see the Celtics were out-rebounded 39-33, allowing 17 offensive rebounds. I shrugged it off as an anomaly on the night's stat sheet. The Celtics had won in a laugher.

Little Did I know...

The Celtics off-balanced rebounding stat that jumped out at me, popped back into my head two nights later against the upstart Hawks. As I watched the Hawks out hustle the C's to the tune of a 47-29 rebound disparity, I realized that the Utah box score may not have been an anomaly. Maybe this was a problem.How does a front line dominated by 7 footer's, Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett and the bull-like Kendrick Perkins get out-rebounded by anyone? Sure-- Pachulia (4 rebounds), Smith (7 rebounds) and Horford (13 rebounds) are more athletic and youthful then our front line.. but more aggresive? More passionate? Wanting it more? That's hard to believe.Well believe it!The Hawks definitely wanted it more. 97-86 Final (Hawks Win)

So, the Hawks were an isolated incident, Right?

Wrong!One night later, the Celtics traveled down to Indianapolis to right the wrong from a night earlier. The Pacers, Danny Granger, had guaranteed a victory. In the first half of Saturday's contest, the C's were making Granger eat his words. Dahntay Jones (1-6) particularly struggled with the Celtics stifling first half defense and Garnett and Pierce let him know it with unbecoming trash talk that would eventually bite them. Boston went into half time with a nine point lead and looked to be back on track.When the second half began, it looked as if a spell was cast over the C's at half time and they were put into a comatose-daze. The Pacers jumped out fast and never looked back. Granger finished with 29 points, frequently and uncharacteristically, embarrassing Garnett's hobbled defensive efforts. Dahntay Jones, repaying the insult, exploited Paul Pierce's ailing knee on every play. Dahntay finished with 25 points on 6-9, second half, shooting. Jones also broke down the defense often, getting to the stripe 15 times. After (almost) every shot Jones dropped, he waived to the Celtics bench-- a blatant reminder to the Celtics that if you can't bag your trash, don't talk it.The Celtics recovered from the rebounding disorder on Saturday night but were quickly afflicted with another game-changing malady.

What happened to the text book ball movement?

In an occurrence that has rarely been seen by the Celtics since 2007, they were forced into a selfish style of play. Chucking up poor three-point attempts and running isolation offense that more resembled the (if we're struggling) Cavs, get it to LeBron and get out of his way, style of play.The glaring problem is, not only is this style unbecoming of our ubuntu Celtics but last time I checked, LeBron was not wearing green (yet!) Just kidding-- lol.We can look forward to a team that is determined to get back on track in this week's opener against the Warriors in Boston.Week Three Game Results Wednesday, November 11th: vs Utah Jazz, W 86-105Friday, November 13th: vs Atlanta Hawks, L 97-86Saturday, November 14th: @ Indiana Pacers, L 104-113

bigthreedeterm

In an attempt to be more positive, I expect a big come-back week for the Celtics.Here's what's ahead in week four: As week four begins, the Celtics are facing questions that need to be answered. The media has already declared them washed up and unlikely contenders through 82 games. Their opponents have showed little respect, predicting victories and fulfilling their predictions.Expect a comeback week for the Celtics. I am not the prediction guy at NSS but based on the up-coming schedule and the rematch against last year's Eastern Conference finalists, I expect the guys to come out with a chip on their shoulders. Let's hope I'm right...Wednesday, November 18th: vs Golden State WarriorsFriday, November 20th: vs Orlando MagicSunday, November 22nd: @ New York Knicks

pacers-vs-celtics

Summing up the Celtics last two losses...

(Courtesy of Red's Army)

More of the Low-Lights...

(Courtesy of NBA.com)
“I was able to make it through the game, but I obviously hurt us tonight. Especially on the defensive end."- Paul Pierce, following the Celtics 113-104 loss to the Pacers. 1889218RH014_Celtics_PacersOnce again, the Celtics starters could not keep pace with the youth, hustle and stamina of a younger and more athletic team. The Indiana Pacers, in what has become a nightly routine, held tight with the Celtics throughout the first quarter.Early on, the Celtics corrected their deficiencies from a night earlier, rebounding the ball well and defending the basket. They had extended a one point first quarter lead to a nine point halftime lead as the Celtics seemed to be returning to their normal form.The second half was like an episode of the twilight zone for Celtics fans. It was like a bad dream you wake up from, thinking it was real, thanking god it wasn't. Fact is, it was real. We did lose for the second straight night to teams that are, not only sub-par but have zero chance of winning a championship in the distant future.More disturbing was the Celtics lack of mental toughness. Missing clutch free-throws, taking ill-advised shots and complaining at every whistle.Who are these imposter's?In the second half of last night's disaster, we saw a completely different Celtic team. Unfortunately, due to the recent losses to Atlanta and Phoenix, the Celtics that showed up in the second half last night, were a team that we are beginning to get familiar with and it has to stop here.The Pacers out-scored the Celtics (113-104), out-assisted the Celtics (31-18) and shot nearly 53 percent from the field-- 60 percent in the second half. Danny Granger led the attack with 29 points as he made good on his promise to beat the Celtics. Dahntay Jones chipped in with 25 points after going 1-6 in the first half. Paul Pierce, ailing with a sore knee, guarded Jones most of the night and took Jones', lights out, second half scoring personally, "I was a step slow pretty much all night and it really hurt us. I pretty much told the fellas, I really take a lot of the blame. Dahntay Jones goes out and has one of his best nights, with me guarding him most of the night. I am really going to take that one on the chin right there.’’ The C's continue to struggle in making all cylinders click simultaneously. In the second half of last night's contest nothing was clicking. The Celtics were so off point defensively that I held my breath every time Jones or Granger had the ball. This is a feeling that would normally consume me when Kobe or LeBron had the ball. Granger and Jones? Purely humiliating and humbling. Doc Rivers said after the game, “I thought we were awful defensively, give them credit, they ran an awful lot of nice stuff,’’ Rivers said. “We were awful. I don’t think we respected some of their guys and some of their guys made shots. I thought it was more us than our legs.’’ Doc should get a raise as he has doubled his efforts, now taking on the role of the spokesperson for the Celtics veteran legs. Doc seems to be scrambling to come up with any excuse, other then age, for why the Celtics are struggling this early in the season.One week ago, we were reading articles littered with 72-10 predictions and descriptions of bench depth unmatched in the NBA.

Celtics_lose_to_pacers

The Honeymoon is Over...

These losses are reminiscent some of the embarrassing losses of last season. The Clippers and Warriors quickly come to mind. The Pacers also embarressed the Celtics is Conseco Fieldhouse by 16 points last November. The Celtics then ripped off 6 straight victories en-route to a 27-2 start.Do the Celtics have the stamina to pull off such a feat this season?Boston started the 2009-10 season with 4 straight wins over decent teams. So, it is possible for the guys in green to recreate their winning ways. Fortunately, bad defense, poor shot selection, poor foul shooting and lack of intensity can all be corrected through practice and mental refocusing. The scary part is, players age and fragility are not changeable. The Celtics have to find a way to win while preserving the legs of their veterans while pulling out victories.In my opinion, the C's are relying too much on the perimeter shot. When defenses close out on our snipers and when we are forced to play transition defense, we seem to sputter out fast. Garnett needs to post up more. KG is an excellent shooter outside of 15 feet and he needs to use that weapon to break down defenses when swinging the ball to the off-side. Garnett, however, needs to impose his will with his back to the basket. In the last two losses, I have seen Garnett pass out of mismatches several times. The two man game between Ray or Paul and Garnett is seldom used. Instead, we are using Garnett as a spot up shooter and Perk becomes our only low post presence. Allen, Garnett and Pierce waiting on the perimeter while Perk posts up and Rondo hides on the off-side of the ball is not a healthy offense and it's showing.We have all heard people say for years that Rasheed needs to get in the paint. I agree that Sheed needs to post up more but he is also doing his job as a three-point threat. I don't mind Sheed launching off three-point bombs as long as they are within the offensive structure. He needs to shoot (and occasionally hit) from downtown to adequately spread the court. When the court is enlarged and the defense is spread, the Celtics need to use that to their benefit by using Rondo, Allen and Pierce to drive the open lanes. When the game tightens up, we seem to use the three as our only weapon instead of using it to create better options.This year's team has relied too much on the three-point shot as an anchor of the offense. The three pointer should be the shot that breaks apart defenses and opens better shots inside of the paint. Instead, the Celtics are basing their offensive success on it. For the second straight game we witnessed a team effectively defend the Celtics 3-point shot (3-12) and knock our entire offensive structure off point. The Celtics looked dazed in the second half. They fell back into the last resort strategy of isolating Paul Pierce on the elbow and hoping he draws a foul and when he does-- PRAYING he makes the shots. On a team with all-star prospects at every position, I am not comfortable with (resorting to) isolating an injured player and hoping/praying our hearts away. It's just not necessary. We have FIVEoptions on offense, each bringing separate skills capable of hurting our opponent. Why do we continue to use the Pierce isolation play of pre-2007 to try to get back into games? Did anyone else notice that when Pierce became our only offensive option in the closing moments last night, the court got very small? The spacing was terrible. No one (including Pierce) seemed to have any rhythm.If we are going to run isolation's, The Celtics need to start running more for Ray Allen.Ray Allen, at 34 years old?Yes-- the man is in great shape and benefiting (more then anyone) from the court length Rasheed is creating. Ray's outside shooting is off thus far but he is attacking the basket unlike anything we have seen since he joined in 2007. Why aren't we using the one option that is working? The few shots Ray was able to throw off in the fourth last night, were spot ups from the perimeter-- under pressure. One shot, in particular, by Ray summed up the night's foul play. Late in the fourth, with the Celtics in need of a bucket, Ray launched off a brick that stuck between the backboard and the rim like a magnet. This was the culmination of two night's of frustration for the players, coaches and fans.We need to stop setting the record straight, stop trying to prove that we are not too old, stop blaming everything on the referees (I am trying to ignore Joey Crawford's impact on last night's game) and start playing Celtics basketball again. The "work in progress" has become just plain "work"recently with progress coming to a screeching halt.There is not one point in the last twenty years that I have not looked forward to a Celtics game. Even in the lean years, I got entertainment from Tommy Heinsohn's blaming everyone else for the Celtics failures. Tonight, I am glad there is no game. The last two night's have been too stressful and frustrating. Tomorrow I can look forward to starting to anticipate seeing the REAL Celtics show up to play the Warriors.(Quotes courtesy of boston.com)
Saturday, 14 November 2009 14:00

Goldie's Preview - Celtics @ Pacers

Written by

granger_teeth

Well, I was right about last night's game being more important to the Hawks because they wanted it more then the C's. While the Celtics bench did outplay Atlanta's, it was by no means dominant. And their starters outworked the green starters the entire game.Tonight, playing a back-to-back, the Celtics hope to avoid their first losing streak of the year. The Pacers are hot, winning three in a row, causing Danny Granger to boldly predict victory tonight. As Nick pointed out in his recap of last night's loss, the C's have had issues with young run and gun type teams and the Pacers certainly fit that description. Instead of looking at that as a problem, it should be looked at as an opportunity. The Pacers aren't as good as the Suns or the Hawks. They don't play defense and they aren't very physical.

Match-up to Watch

Granger vs Pierce/KG/Williams, etcGranger is long and can score in bunches. The Celts will have to play good team defense on him while still rebounding the ball on the defensive end.

Prediction

Will the Celtics bounce back with a better effort or will they look tired, banged up, and a little disinterested against an inferior opponent? This game will be closer than it should. Celtics 106-100.
Saturday, 14 November 2009 11:30

Today's Headlines - 11/14/09

Written by
Wow! I can't believe it's been three weeks since I last posted links. I apologize to all my friends with great sites around the web. Today's Headlines are littered with last night's garbage loss to the Hawks and still dominated by LeBron's idiot-like comments about Jordan's #23. Check out today's top stories from around web.

Today's Headlines:

North Station Sports NSS One on one: How do the best team's from Celtics past rate against the 2009-10 squad?, Mayor Kevin Johnson Loves North Station Sports, Celtics flat feet keep them grounded, hawks fly 97-86Boston Globe Slow burn, Atlanta's growth spurt was biggest factor, Pierce's status is undetermined, Rondo, self-centered but absolutely essentialBoston Herald Hawks soar over Celtics, Pierce's knee a painCeltics Blog Celtics out-rebounded, out-played in loss to Hawks, Young legs cause trouble, Apparently LeBron James thinks basketball started in 1984Gino's Jungle Time to focus on championship, NOT 72-10, Celtics out-everythinged by the Hawks --- GJ is always a GREAT read!Celtics Town Running Diary: Celtics fall short against athletic, hungry HawksRed's Army Basketball 101: the box out NBAtipoff Poll: LeBron says players should give up no. 23; James making switch to no. 6Loy's Place Comments from the other side - Hawks 11/13/09 --- I love when Loy's does these segments. It's interesting to hear both sides...Celtics Hub Notebook: Pierce questionable for tonight, That was ugly: Hawks 97, C's 86Celtics17 Updates and Links: LeBron James better watch his punches and moreNBA Primetime Oden, Aldridge. Something is brewing up front, Who are the Atlanta Hawks?Loscy More reasons to hate LeBron James: because he's an idiot - One of our fav Celtics blogs. Note that Loscy has changes it's URL!Ball Don't Lie BDL's 2009-10 NBA Preview: Orlando MagicBanner 18? Lack of Motivation?Celtics Life Celtics Now: C's New Additions and New Gino --- Interesting perspective on Rasheed by Wyc and Max!Lex Nihil Novi Stern is Leading Candidate to Replace O'Brien --- So interesting!

Celtics Shamrock

Special Note from NSS:

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 reccommended.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.
Saturday, 14 November 2009 09:48

NSS Flix: Celtics Lose to Hawks 97-86

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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?

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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.