Ginobili Done for Year
April 6, 2009

So much for the Spurs knocking off the Lakers:

Manu Ginobili is out for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

The Spurs guard underwent scans on Monday that showed his troubled right ankle has gotten worse. Ginobili missed 19 games after the All-Star break before coming back late last month.

The Spurs said tests showed Ginobili had an increased narrow edema and stress fracture in his right distal fibula.

Say what? He can’t play with an increased narrow edema? What a bitch.

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Our Savior
March 21, 2009

KG for MVP? Not a chance in hell. But you get what I’m sayin’.

He’s the Celtics leader, master motivator, the straw that stirs the proverbial drink. He has the same effect as those little blue pills John takes. The Celtics get up with KG around. Have you ever seen a player make this type of impact in just 15 minutes?

“I’m the best cheerleader in the league,” said Garnett. “I just didn’t have my pompoms on. This was a very positive night for me. I felt OK. When I pushed on the gas and opened up the engine a little bit, I felt OK. Hopefully, we can build on this and continue.”

From his teammates: “I got a rebound and looked over at him – it’s the energy he has, he gives you energy just looking at him. That’s what I love about Kevin – he’s a wonderful guy and a competitor.” – Big Baby

“brings a swagger and intensity, he’s our leader on defense and gives the team a whole lot of swagger. We didn’t shoot well at the start but we stuck with our defensive principles and that got us through the game.” – Perk

Garnett said Doc will limit his minutes again tonight in Memphis. Whether he plays 15 or 20, it should be enough to beat the Grizz.

Perk (10 pts, 5 blks) was a defensive beast in the paint, holding  Timmy D to just 4 points in the second half. Let’s just say San Antonio noticed him:

Kendrick Perkins is a talkative soul. He spent a good portion of the game yapping at Tim Duncan. With the way he was playing volleyball with Duncan’s shots, maybe he had a right . After one such swat, Perkins whirled to the Boston bench and crossed his arms to signal an “X.” Whatever that means. Not sure when Perkins became so loquacious. Some believe Kevin Garnett — the league’s king of trash talk — has rubbed off on him. “He didn’t used to be that way until he got with KG,” one Spurs player told me.

Let me answer your questions: Perk’s played with a chip on his shoulder ever since he entered the league. And yes, KG has rubbed off on him. Deal with it.

My other favorite stat from this game: 4 turnovers.

Most importantly – don’t forget to vote in our Dancer Madness.

Today’s Links: Globe – C’s Kick It Up a Notch | KG’s Limited Role |Herald – A Cheerleader No More | Garnett Spurs on Celtics | Camerato Compares KG’s Return This Year vs Last Year |

Tony Parker Chokes Hard
March 20, 2009

This post has moved to our new site.  To see this post click here.

Big Three Finally Intact?
March 20, 2009

51-18 @ 45-22
Friday, March 20, 2009
8:30 pm ET
AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)

There is a lot going on in the basketball world right now, highlighted by “March Madness,” the NCAA’s 2009 tournament. The buzz around your place of business and/or amongst your group of friends is centered around bracket selections, upsets, sleepers, pool standings, etc. It’s a great time.

All bracket busters aside, the Celtics still have 13 regular season games to play before shifting their focus towards playoff basketball. Tonight, the men in green will be hosted by the San Antonio Spurs, who hold the NBA’s fourth-best record at 45-22. This is a tough game against a tough team, in a tough building to win it.

However, the Celtics may be getting a much-needed boost for tonight’s showdown, as Kevin Garnett may give it a go for the first time since February 19 due to a knee strain. Throughout that stint, the struggling C’s settled for an underwhelming 7-6 record. Ray Allen, who sat out of Wednesday night’s overtime victory vs. Miami with a hyperextended right elbow, is also listed as a gametime decision.

San Antonio’s “big three” has fought the injury bug of late, as well. Manu Ginobili remains sidelined with a stress reaction in his right ankle, while Gregg Popovich is sitting Tim Duncan on the second night of some back-to-backs as he battles knee soreness. Even Tony Parker missed nine consecutive games in November.

Hobbled or not, these clubs are two of the scariest that the league has to offer, and are both hungry for late-season victories in order to secure the two-seed in their respective conferences.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.6)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.8)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.8)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Tony Parker (21.4)
RPG: Tim Duncan (10.7)
APG: Tony Parker (6.7)
SPG: Manu Ginobili (1.5)
BPG: Tim Duncan (1.8)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (posterior muscle strain – probable)
Ray Allen (hyperextended right elbow – probable)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – questionable)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – out)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck – out)
Tim Duncan (sore knees – will play)
Manu Ginobili (stress reaction in right ankle – out)
Ian Mahinmi (recovering from right ankle surgery – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Ball Control
  • Perkins’ Interior Help D
  • Cut Off Parker’s Penetration
  • Bench Play

Gooden, Smith Find New Homes
March 3, 2009

Gooden is apparently going to San Antonio

… and Smith is going to Cleveland.

Does this scare you… or are we overrating Joe Smith?

Power Rankings
February 16, 2009

Soak in Gasol's ugliness

My top 5 piled up quite a few losses over the past week. The Lakers fell to Utah, Cleveland lost to Indy, San Antonio was beaten by a Bosh-less Raptors team while the Hornets lost two games to Memphis and Boston.

The only team not to lose – the Celtics. They scored road victories over the Mavs and Hornets.

Changes from last week: The Hornet are out and the Magic are in.

1. Lakers – Odom’s had 19, 18 and 17 rebounds in last 3 games.

2. Celtics – Feeling a lot better after two big road wins.

3. Cavs – Wait. A call actually went against LeBron?

4. Spurs – Trade rumors involving Vince Carter are stunning.

5. Magic – Have zero chance of winning it all, but no other team stands out.

FYI – There are plenty of spots available in the Celtics Tickets raffle.

Being Us vs. Being Them
February 9, 2009

Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Can we really beat the best teams in the league?

That seems to be the question circulating around anything Celtics right now.  Celtics fans and writers are bemoaning two losses to Western Conference powers… and a split against Cleveland.  But what does that mean, really?  Being us, we’ll over-analyze everything about those 4 losses to LA, San Antonio and Cleveland.  Did we need Posey more than we thought?  When will Danny make a move for a big?  Do these guys look tired?  Is it the flu, or is it their age?

Blah… blah… blah.

Being them… as in the Spurs… is so much different than being us.  We’ve only won it once recently.  They’ve won a few, and they’re always in contention.  And little things like regular season losses don’t mean squat.  Sure, everyone would love to win every game.  But that only happens in video games.  Look no further than last Tuesday for the real difference between being us and being them.  Ray Allen had just played 43 minutes… and nailed the game winning jumper in Philadelphia.  Meanwhile, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were playing zero minutes despite having 4 full days off coming up… and the Spurs lost to the Nuggets.

Can you imagine the hell that would rain down on Doc Rivers if he sat the Big 3 and lost to Philly?  Can you imagine how the fans and writers would react to the almost blatant sacrifice of a game?

That’s the difference between being us, and being them.  That’s the difference between a team that has won half the titles since 2003, and the team that spent all but one of those years struggling.  The pain and struggle of those years is still fresh in our minds.  Yes, we’re the defending champs, but sometimes we still act like that team fighting to avoid the lottery.

Yes, I wanted to see the Celtics win yesterday, but I’m not worried about it.  It was a great game that ultimately doesn’t mean much… not that you’d be able to tell by the way some people are acting today.

Herald:  Celtics must tend to GardenDocked pay fine by DocC’s squander lead, fall againBonner’s Granite-statement |  Globe:  Spur of the momentGranite Stater was rockin’Game’s crucial play kind of spacy |  Camerato:  12 minutes to make it count |  WEEI:  Let’s do it again this spring |  Souza:  Lost in an instant |  T&G:  Happy homecoming for BonnerPoll has Perkins laughingLakers hand Cavs first home lossNash dishes 21 assists in win

Matt Bleepin Bonner?
February 8, 2009

For as bad as Ray blew it at the end – coughing the ball up on an inbounds pass with 20 seconds left – you have to hand it to the Spurs’ Matt Bonner (23 pts, 8 reb). The dude killed us today. However, the Celtics were able to overcome, cough, Bonner’s greatness, and still had a chance to win this game.

KG was going to be our hero. He nailed a couple of jumpers and had a key steal in the final few minutes. With the Celtics up 93-92 and just 30 seconds left on the clock, Garnett hoisted one of his patented 17 foot jumpers. Unfortunately, this one rimmed out. And then Roger Mason drained a 3 that silenced John, myself and the other 18,000 people at the Garden.

But there was 20 seconds left, plenty of time for one of the Big 3 to win this. Ray went to make an inbound pass and somehow the ball ended up in Ginobli’s hands. It looked like the ball slipped out of Ray’s hands as he tried to pull it back. All the drama, all the buildup for this final possession was over in a blink of an eye. For some reason – there was never a reply of this crucial play on the Garden jumbotron. I guess the video crew was punching the clock. Game over.

Other observations from Section 20:

  • Cedric Maxwell (working the broadcast from 5 feet in front of us) needs a bigger chair.
  • Granted I made a few beer runs, but I remember seeing the Celtics dancers just twice. Are they paid by the routine?
  • The fried clams and fries is a decent meal for $9.

Box Score | Recap

Finals Preview?
February 8, 2009

The San Antonio Spurs are in town today to take on the defending champs.  The Spurs have a defensive mentality, dominant big man, quick-as-lightning point guard, and a wing that is capable of scoring in bunches.  So they’re exactly the kind of team that can make it through the west and come back here in June.

Of course, I’m hyping this game up because Chuck and I will be going.  And I’m calling it a potential Finals preview because it will piss off those idiot Laker fans that continue to try to spam us.  Face it, Laker fans.  The Spurs are good enough to beat you.  Your Finals berth is not guaranteed.

Anyway, since Chuck and I will be at the game, that means we won’t be carrying on our new tradition of live blogging these afternoon games.  However, you can still have some fun with us on Twitter.  I’ll be posting some observations from the game, and maybe even a few pictures.   Or, if you don’t have a Twitter account (or if you don’t want to set one up), you can go to our forums.

This also means the post-game update will be a little late.  Bear with us.  We’ll have to sober up before coming home.  Hopefully we’ll all be celebrating.   Half the Spurs haven’t played in a week.  Duncan, Ginobili, Parker and Finley all sat out Tuesday’s game… so they haven’t played since Monday.  Meanwhile, we’ll have to see if KG’s back is an issue after he got pushed from behind in the Knicks game.

Herald:  Spurs creating a Hub-bub |  Globe:  No looking past SpursSpurs thumbnailsCarmelo a little star struck |  Camerato:  Who needs Marbury? |  Souza:  C’s still the champs |  LA Times:  Lakers won nothing, Celtics lost a lot Lakers-Celtics got HUGE ratings |    Lakers swap Vlad Rad for MorrisonNuggets lose by 44 |  Garbage Time All Stars:  (Comic) getting football fans caught up on the NBA

Pruitt’s Time To Shine
October 12, 2008

The of the few times preseason wins and losses really matter is when a team has an opportunity to win a game in its final possession.  Last night, the Celtics had that opportunity, and it fell to Gabe Pruitt to make things happen.

And he did. 

What we’re seeing is the first evidence that his insane offseason workout progam is paying off.  But getting better physically is only half of it.  The other half is getting into the right mindset to not only lead a team… but lead a team full of superstars.  And of all the people helping Gabe get there mentally… it’s the guy no one wanted back in Boston:

“If you want to follow the example of somebody who is vocal, [Sam Cassell] is the guy,” laughed Pruitt, who admittedly has encountered some trouble getting vocally tough with his star teammates.

“Yeah, that can be hard because there’s a lot of older guys,” he said. “You tend to want them play their game.

“But I came in this year and my new focus was to just play the game,” said Pruitt. “Do the little things. Sam has been really helping me out, and also (assistant coach) Armond (Hill). Sam has really been pulling me aside and working with me.”

Sam says he wants to be an assistant after he’s done.  Maybe this year is his training… and he’ll be a sort of player coach.  No matter what… I think Gabe Pruitt is a pretty good basketball player.  With Doc adding his usual focus on point guards, this kid has plenty of chances to learn how to play the position.  He’s got good skills.  Once his basketball IQ reaches the next level, he’ll be a very valuable asset to this team.

Camerato WEEI Blog:  Pruitt shows growth  | Pierce stiff but OK  |  Powe getting x-rays on hand  |  Herald:  Miles can make ’em pay  |  Walker won’t back down  |  Globe:  Posey just minding his business  |  Souza:  Big Baby makes amends in Manchester  |  Telegram:  Young bench seeks identity  |  SI:  Paul Forrester’s Celtics preview  |  Hoopsworld:  Celtics & Rockets get hot and heavy  |  ESPN:  Highlights from Nuggets/Suns outdoor game  |  Monta Ellis suspended 30 games without pay for scooter accident

And as part of our continuing blogger previews (coordinated by Jeff at CelticsBlog.com), here’s what the bloggers of the Southwest division have come up with for their teams.

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Dallas Mavericks

Jake Kerr: Mavs Moneyball

Houston Rockets

grungedave and UofTOrange: The Dream Shake  

Memphis Grizzlies

Joshua Coleman: 3 Shades of Blue

New Orleans Hornets

Rohan: At the Hive

ticktock6 & mW: Hornets Hype

Ryan Schwan & Ron Hitley: Hornets247.com

San Antonio Spurs

Graydon Gordian: 48 Minutes of Hell

Also see links to all the previews at  CelticsBlog.com