Archive for September, 2008

Drills Yes, Contact No
September 30, 2008

Here’s the latest on Kendrick Perkins and his surgically repaired shoulder:

“He can run up and down the floor, as long as no one else is running up and down the floor with him,” Rivers said.

On Tuesday, Perkins ran sprints the width of the court with the rest of the team during the portion of practice reporters were watching.

Perkins said doctors told him he would be ready to handle contact in practice in about a week. He is shooting for the third exhibition game, on Oct. 11, to get back in uniform.

But Rivers said he wanted to hold Perkins out for four exhibition games, meaning he would return Oct. 16. The coach said he wasn’t worried about Perkins’ availability for the Oct. 28 opener.

And Doc had a great response when asked if he would take the team to see some of the historic mansions in Newport.

For some of my players, their mansions might be bigger,” Rivers said after the first day of training camp amid the polo pony and sailboat set. “They might not be impressed.”

Wire To Wire
September 30, 2008

Just an FYI to everyone else in the league…

We’re going wire to wire. 

We’re not alonein thinking that.  Also… here’s little video from NECN:  KG on the loss of James Posey (and more if you look at the links to the right).

Ball Don’t Lie has a big write-up (and photos) from KG’s big NBA 2K9 party that featured Rajon Rondo and Usain Bolt.  Here’s another reason why Bolt is bad-ass:

“I’m a basketball fan and I’ve watched KG since he’d been with (Minnesota) Timberwolves, since he came into the NBA,” Bolt said. “Every match I could get to watch, I made sure I saw it. I’ve been watching him for a while. He went to the Celtics and finally got his ring and he really deserves it, because he played his heart out when he was with Timberwolves.

“I missed one game during the playoffs, because I wasn’t in the country, and they didn’t show it where I was. I was in another Caribbean country and I could not see it on TV. I called to find out the scores though. I watched two games here in the US and the final game I watched in Jamaica.”

And here’s another reason why the Oklahoma City color scheme sucks.

And finally, for good measure, John sends us this picture from Dime Magazine.

Brace Yourselves…
September 30, 2008

Tony Allen has finally taken off the knee brace.  He could have taken it off last year… but he didn’t.  He didn’t take it off because it was his binky.  Yeah… it’s easy for me to say… because I didn’t tear MY knee to shreds in the prior season.  But we all know where his head was at.  That damn brace was wired to his brain… and it kept telling him “hey… remember how much I used to hurt?” 

I’m not the only one who feels this way

“He has a great opportunity, but again, he’s going to have to do it,” Doc Rivers said. “A lot of guys have had opportunities. I’m just happy he’s not running around with the knee brace. Mentally I think he’s in a great place. We’ll see, but he’s put in the time.”

We know the deal with TA.  We know how important he’ll be to this team.  He’s got that maddening potential that we only saw when this team was worse than its ever been. 

But training camp opens in earnest today.  So, Tony Allen, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Celtics.com:  A lot of video from media day  |  Herald: Celtics chomp at bit  |  Cassell back for encore  |  Perk’s health gets attention  |  Globe:  Pierce part of high level discussion  |  Kind words from Stern on title  |  Fresh new world for champs  |  Media day photos  |  Souza:  The defense begins with pictures  |  Telegram:  Celtics hungry for 18th title

No Hard Feelings
September 29, 2008

Yahoo.com

Courtesy: Yahoo.com

Sorry for the lack of Media Day coverage, but you can blame the Celtics. For some crazy reason, I guess the team’s media relations staff isn’t aware we are the most powerful Celtics blog in North America. Should I be pissed the team has ignored my repeated e-mail requests for access to training camp and opening night? At the very least, I figured they’d throw me a bone which is Media Day where everyone and anyone gets access to the team. Fortunately for Mr. Twiss and Mr. Olive, I am a patient man. But if you keep disrespecting us, then it’s no holds barred.

As for the team, the Globe reports thats Rajon Rondo is jacked while Paul Pierce, KG and Ray all look a bit thinner. Darius Miles is blessed to be wearing Celtic green and Sam Cassell has finally signed that contract.

More goofy photos after the jump

(more…)

Welcome To Next Season
September 29, 2008

As much as we Celtics fans want to still look back at winning the NBA Championship, it is now time to put that champagne-crusted trophy up on the shelf, and move forward.

It’s Media Day today.  A chance to see all our guys in uniform again.  A chance for them to talk about the rings one last time.  A chance for the new guys to talk about how much they want to have a ring of their own.  A chance for us to ask, for the last time, the questions that are currently impossible to answer.  Starting tomorrow, we’ll start to get those answers.

Everyone is asking them… and they’re all legit.  Can Tony Allen replace James Posey?  What’s happening with Perk’s shoulder and who’ll step in for him if he can’t go?  How much do Pierce, Garnett, and an Allen have in the tank? 

At this point, all we can do is guess at the answers.  I can guess that Tony Allen will be a defensive stopper but the Celtics can’t rely on him to hit some of those big Posey 3-pointers.  Perk’s shoulder will recover enough for him to do what he’s done, but the bigger question is about his ability to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble.  And the Big 3 will have plenty left in the tank… if they know enough to take the foot off the gas pedal early. 

Yeah… I’m telling them to take it easy early in the season.  Yeah… that’s going to mean a few more losses early than we’d like to see.  But I’m telling you it will be worth it.  So hey, Doc Rivers, limit their minutes early on and then start stretching them out after the All-Star break.  They’ll still be the 1 seed… and they’ll be fresher come playoff time. 

Check back here later today for some of the shenanigans during media day.  Should be one last day of fun before they start running drills tomorrow.

Herald:  Big Baby goes bowling  |  SI:  Shawn Kemp’s comeback is over  |  Sun Sentinel:  Beasley – “I’ve got a lot to learn”

Back To Work Tomorrow
September 28, 2008

Man… this offseason just flew by.

Tomorrow, the Celtics will hold their media day in Waltham… and we’ll be treated to all the mugging, posing, crazy questions and re-lived memories of last season.  And then its back to work for the boys in Green… as they head down to Newport to start playing basketball again.

And while there are a lot of little questions for each individual player… there is the one big-picture question hanging out there:  After spending their entire careers chasing that elusive championship… how will Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen react to starting the season as defending champions?

It’s a fair question.  Will they take the foot off the pedal at all?  Will they be surprised at the level of intensity their opponents bring because they’re playing the defending champs?  Doc Rivers knows it will be a challenge.

“We’ll see when we get into it,” Rivers said. “At the end of the day, I can give them a great rah-rah speech, but it’s got to come from them.

“They set their minds to do something last year and they did it. The question is, do they want to do it again? It’ll be harder, no doubt about that.”

But Doc’s not worried about Paul Pierce.

“You just don’t know how guys are going to come back after they win it. He’s come back hungry. He’s had a taste of it and he wants more.”

I’ll be honest… he’s the guy I’d worry about most when it comes to this.  KG is just wired differently so I’d expect him to just be him.  Ray might be too OCD to approach things any differently.  But Pierce… Pierce is the guy that could fall into the trap.

Hey… it’s not a knock on Paul.  It’s just human nature.  He’s been a pure Celtic almost every day of his career… and he’s been under intense pressure to add the ring to his resume so he could finally be considered among the all time great C’s.  Now he’s got it.  An entire career’s worth of pressure on the NBA’s most storied franchise is now off.  I don’t care who you are… there’s a potential trap there.  The great thing for Paul is that he’s still got to play up to KG’s intensity… so drop offs on this team will be less tolerated.

Marc Spears, as usual, has some of the best little Celtics tidbits at the end of a totally unrelated column.  At the end of this piece on the Hawks, Spears reports no new players will be brought to camp.  So they’ve got 16 now… and we’ll see if someone is waived or traded to make room for Darius MIles and Sam Cassell.  Also, the starting 5 will appear in GQ’s “Men of the Year” issue.  And there’s a quote from Andrew Bynum about whether he would have changed the outcome of the finals.

Also… I’d like to share this story from a spy at Showcase Live in Foxboro (which is part of Patriot Place).  This was from a party last week:

last night we had Timbaland host a party for his little brother Sebastain’s birthday. Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Gabe Pruitt & Darius Miles all showed up. Paul went up on stage next to the DJ & all 500 people went crazy. They spent about 3 grand on liquor in about an hour because they got there so late

Herald:  Doc faces new challenges  |  ESPN: KG talks about being a champ and upcoming season  |  Power Rankings from 2002-2008 combined  |  Patriot Ledger:  Back to the court for the Celtics

Nope… I Don’t Like This One Bit
September 27, 2008

Kendrick Perkins’ surgically repaired shoulder isn’t ready for action yet… so he’s going to miss at least part of training camp.

General manager Danny Ainge said yesterday that Perkins isn’t expected to participate at the beginning of camp after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder July 2, but he should be ready for the start of the regular season.

“He’ll be trying to get through September,” said Ainge, who added that the rest of the players on the roster are healthy. “I’m confident he will be in the starting lineup opening night.”

Get ready for a lot of Patrick O’Bryant.  Guess we’ll find out what he’s capable of pretty quickly.  Its one of many answers we’re looking for this preseason.  Scott Souza has more:

Yet with Rivers leery of leaning too heavily on Garnett in the post before the fourth quarter, and frontcourt reserves Leon Powe and Glen Davis undersized for the center spot, the hope is that O’Bryant is prepared to realize some of his purported potential.

From all indications, he has taken that challenge and has spent the summer working almost exclusively with Celtics assistant coach Clifford Ray in a daily array of post moves, body banging and glass cleaning.

“Everyone says he is one heck of a big-man coach and I have to agree,” O’Bryant said this week. “Where some coaches aren’t specifically tuned to big men, he definitely is. He played the position and brings that to his coaching.”

O’Bryant said he started working with Ray two weeks after he agreed to join the Celtics in July, and even followed him to his renowned big man camp in Florida this summer to keep the tutelage consistent.

“He’s just given me a general feel of how to get better in the post and with rebounding,” O’Bryant said. “He’s given me some goals to strive for this season just to try to make myself better, get some time and contribute to this team.”

If Patrick O’Bryant becomes a big contributor to this team, you’ll see a lot of demand for Clifford Ray next off-season.  With so few quality big men in the league… EVERYONE will want to bring in the one guy who can make second-tier centers into productive players.

Rondo Is Faster
September 26, 2008

So says…….. Rajon Rondo

I came to New York last night to do this appearance at the NBA 2K9 launch. It was good. Me and KG played against each other, and I won. But, I ended up losing in the finals to Andre Iguodala. O…I met Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, and I told him I could beat him.

You know what… I’d like to see that.  Rondo’s one of the fastest guys in the NBA… I wonder how that compares to the fastest guy ever?  Would Rajon get blown out?  Would he take an early lead and fade?  Would he make it close?

I’d guess he’d take the early lead because Bolt always starts slow… and 90 feet is a far cry from 100 meters.  We’d start by thinking Rajon had a chance… and then marvel at how fast Bolt really is. 

I dig Rajon’s confidence, though

KG Speaks
September 26, 2008

He’s back. Kevin Garnett has emerged from his summer of “mental decompression” to promote the new NBA 2K9 video game. Because the Celtics played more playoff games last season than any team in the history of the NBA, KG eased up on his summer workout schedule. Any chance a “certified” KG will be less thirsty for a title this season?

“Give me a couple more short summers where I feel like with this team, [we] set our mark. Every Celtics team sort of had their run, and its multiples. It’s only right that we set our mark in this league like Timmy [Duncan] has done it with the Spurs, Kobe [Bryant] and Shaq [O’Neal] have done it [with the Lakers]. This is my opportunity to do that. I’m trying to take advantage of it fully right now.”

“I know what I’m anticipating and what this season is about to be like. I trained with the intent that they’re coming [for me]. But guess what, I’m coming, too. We are coming.”

That’s the KG we know and love.

Meanwhile, Sixers coach Mo Cheeks is doing his best to keep his team grounded. The signing of Elton Brand made Philly a popular choice to challenge the Celtics in the East:

To compare us with Boston? C’mon, we have a long way to go,” Cheeks said. “We’re still trying to reach and see where we can go. That’s a long stretch to think we can be the Boston Celtics.”

I was also glad to see that nearly 80% of you want no part of Stephon Marbury playing in Boston.

Anybody get tickets this morning?

We Love Celtic Pride But….
September 25, 2008

Boston Herald

Courtesy: Boston Herald

Can’t the New Kids on the Block wear Patriots or Red Sox jerseys?