Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Never Could Do It Pruitt" Joins Maine Red Claws

Former Boston Celtics guard Gabriel Michael "Gabe" Pruitt is returning to New England to recapture his former...uhh..his former...ummm...ahhh, that is, his former...proximity, yeah, that's it...Proximity...joining the NBA Developmental League's Maine Red Claws following a trade from his former team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. 

A 2nd round pick by the Celtics in the 2007 draft, "That's-Not-How-We-Do-It, Pruitt" was a minor disappointment for the team during his brief stay. I say "minor" because there weren't really any great expectations placed on the former University of Southern California player by the Celtics, who at the time were in desperate need for even a just-slightly-competent playmaker/shooter. Instead, despite numerous opportunities and resulting boneheaded decisions both on and off the court (see the 3am DUI he received out in L.A.), the Celtics were treated to averages of 2 points per game on .321 shooting (.283 from Threeland), and 0.8 assists over 62 games at 7.4 minutes a clip. 

"You only get THIS many chances, Gabe!!"
Eventually passing the point of desperation into Marburyation, the Celtics parted ways with their unsharpened point, but not before "Made-In-The-Shade-Gabe" blissfully rode the bench to an NBA Championship ring with the 2008 Celtics.

Only catching brief glimpses of the NBA life following his cut from the C's, "Aww-Screw-It Pruitt" found a home with the NBADL, most recently with the Sioux Falls Skyforce for whom he was averaging a Jordan-esque (noooo, not Michael Jordan...Jordan Eglseder ) 6.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per-game in 21.7 minutes.

The NBADL described the deal to bring the former Celtics guard to the Claws and send forward James Mays to the Skyforce as a "Blockbuster," but I'm trying to decide whether they mean that James is a building "block" and "Just-Get-Through-It Pruitt" is a "buster," or the NBADL is just really hurting for some kind of news. ANY kind of news.

Now, if you think I'm being a little too hard on a former Greenteamer (a shallow and reportedly cocky-beyond-his-talent Greenteamer, though he may be), allow me to bring in another "raving fan" to help me rest my defense.

The Boston Globe summed up "I-Need-A-Babe Gabe's" questionable character thusly:

"It's fair to say Gabe Pruitt didn't distinguish himself as a member of the Celtics, and he isn't winning many fans with his boorish behavior on "Bad Girls Club." Pruitt, whom the Celts wisely cut before the season, appeared on this week's episode and was even more obnoxious, if that's possible, than the stars of the show."
-- Boston Globe, 2010, The Names Blog

For the...ahhh, shall we say less-than-charming details about "Gameless Gabe," click on the link to the full Globe story here.

In any case...welcome back to New England, Gabe...I guess.
The following post is the partial regurgitation of a story so good, we wish we wrote it ourselves! Follow the link at the end to catch the full story where it lives.

(The Following Story Originated On ESPN's "Boston Celtics Report" And Was Written By Chris Forsberg)

C's send message: Never write them off

By Chris Forsberg on February 26, 1:00am

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett put the Celtics on their backs in Utah.

The Boston Celtics sent a friendly reminder to the rest of the league with Monday's overtime win in Utah: Never write this team off.

Playing the final night of a grueling five-games-in-seven-days stretch that had seen Boston drop three of its first four contests out west coming out of the All-Star break, the Celtics had every reason to roll over in a particularly difficult environment. Instead, Paul Pierce put on a vintage display, scoring seven consecutive points in overtime, highlighted by a go-ahead 3-pointer and two tough jumpers as the Celtics emerged with a gritty 110-107 triumph over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

With the luxury of extended rest looming, Celtics coach Doc Rivers utilized a playoff-like rotation, shortening up his bench even on the second night of a back-to-back while treating this game like a bit of a must-win situation to salvage a frustrating road trip. Pierce simply wouldn't let this team lose.

"Whatever that is, it was the best win, for me, of the year," admitted Rivers.

{For the rest of this story, you can download it by clicking this link or visiting http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/Celtics.}

Friday, February 22, 2013

Celtics Future Shines Bright Against Suns As KG-Free Boston Blasts Phoenix: 113-88

Call Springfield and tell 'em to add another spot next to the markers for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett...Jeff Green's comin', Baby!!

Okay, I really am just kidding, so stop typing and calm down.

Still, Green -- stepping up and starting in the absence of a resting KG -- had the breakout game we've all been waiting for, scoring a season high 31 points and swatting a career-high 5 shots to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

This game against the Phoenix Suns -- who still happen to be an NBA team despite what their record (18 wins, 38 losses) and casual fans would have you believe -- was a blowout for the Celtics thanks to continued emphasis on running the ball in the passing game.

As a byproduct of the pace of this game, a newly aggressive and hard-running Chris Wilcox -- perhaps still feeling the heat from his brush with the trade deadline and his near-exile to Washington in the Jordan Crawford trade (more on him later!) -- scored a season-high 14 points (including this SWEET reverse jam to go with an even SWEETER put-back layup), grabbed 8 boards and registered 1 block.

And, speaking of the trade that sent the ACL-challenged Leandro Barbosa and his expiring contract along with Jason Collins to Washington for guard Jordan Crawford, J-Crawf and the equally green man-in-green Terrence Williams served each and every negative know-it-all a tall, bubbly glass of STFU -- at least for one game, anyway. T-Will looked steady as he showcased his versatility, dropping 9 points on 4-8 shooting with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 23 minutes while J-Crawf scored 10 on 4-9 shooting in addition to his 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 15 minutes.

I won't get into it too deeply in this post, but the nattering nabobs of negativism who have criticized Danny Ainge for "only" trading for Crawford at the much overhyped trade dudline deadline instead of running Pierce and KG out of town and are speaking ill of the two new additions are most likely either fly-by-night fans or very casual observers of the sport. Any issue with Williams and Crawford was NEVER connected to a lack of talent. Each has had maturity issues in the past, but both are extremely gifted athletes who possess the kind of skill that the Celtics have been yearning for. And the fact that they're both on the young side of their 20's speaks to the tremendous upside each has if Doc Rivers and the Celtics' veterans can help to guide them. Many of the "fans" who are doubting T-Will and J-Crawf were cheering for the equally immature and impetuous Nate Robinson by the time he left town.

Time will tell with these two, but lets give them the time to be able to tell, 'kay guys?

In fact, the newbies were so effective in their abbreviated court time that Captain Pierce was treated to a relatively short night of 23 minutes, and was able to keep his shoulders light scoring 8 points on 3-5 shooting snaring 5 rebounds, passing out 3 assists and grabbing 1 steal. Instead, other Celtics like Jason Terry (13 points), Avery Bradley (13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals), Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee carried the burden for the team.

The future is indeed bright for the immediate stretch-run and, potentially, years to come. Time will tell, but it's great to know that the clock is still running.

Speaking of running clock, it's only a matter of time before the Celtics fill in the rest of the open slots on the team with a couple of large bodies, and the most recent report floating around from League sources has the C's signing D.J. White to a 10-day contract. White is a 26-year-old 6' 9" forward who was drafted in 2009 by the Detroit Pistons. With career averages of 6.3 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game, White has spread his ultra-limited 124 NBA games over 3 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and 2 with the Charlotte Bobcats, but most recently, he played with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball League where he averaged 21.6 points and 9.7 rebounds. At this point, he may just be a placeholder for one of the bigs expected to be available in the coming weeks as teams look to perfect their rosters heading into the playoffs. There have also been rumors of the Celtics' interest in hair band member 6' 9" forward Louis Amundson, among others.

Box Score

Tale Of The Tape

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nuggets Mine Gold Against Celtics For 97-90 Win

I'm going to spare Commissioner David Stern and the NBA the trouble of trying to wrangle a couple of marquee teams (read: Miami, Oklahoma City) into the Finals.

Here's my suggestion: just have the Celtics and Nuggets play a seven-game series and crown the winner. It will be an entertaining, high-octane affair that basketball purists everywhere can enjoy.

Seriously, though...it was another good one between the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets with only the final outcome providing the dark cloud to this otherwise sunny display.

Yes, the Celtics dropped the game this time (last time, the two teams combined  for 232 points in a triple-overtime barn-burner with the Celtics putting the hammer down at the end for the win), but it was an entertaining loss (if a Celtic fan can actually say that with a straight face).

So, here's what I'm gonna say, and then I'm throwing it to the box score...

All this ludicrous talk about trading Bass and Green or Pierce for Josh Smith...trading Garnett for Bledsoe and Butler or Bledsoe and Jordan...just look at the box score, people. There is NOTHING that those folks are going to do for this team this year and with a couple of them, there may be nothing that they ultimately do for this team to win a championship later, either. Yes, a team with Rondo, Jordan, Bledsoe, Bradley, Sullinger, Smith, Terry, Lee, Barbosa, Melo (and whomever would be left from whatever trade would happen) sounds promising on paper. But, before we go crowning paper champions, let's just think about the team that was highly predicted by many to play for the Championship this year ON PAPER: the Los Angeles Lakers.

So, how did our trade bait do tonight?

Garnett: 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Pierce: 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

Green: 20 points with 2-4 shooting on threes and 2 blocks.

Bass: 6 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

And, what the Hell...since they've also been mentioned...

Bradley: 17 points and Lee: 15 points.

Smith? Bledsoe? Jordan? In the words of Tommy Heinsohn himself: "Gimmie a break!!!"

Box Score

Tale Of The Tape

Monday, February 18, 2013

Celtics Begin To Fill Out Depleted Roster With T-Will Signing

As first reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Celtics have signed 6' 6" swingman Terrence Deshon Williams to a 10-day contract.

Drafted in 2009 by the New Jersey Nets, T-Will has had a somewhat checkered playing career in a fairly short time marking stints with the Houston Rockets (where he clashed with Rockets Coach Kevin McHale), Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons and most recently as a Guangdong Southern Tiger in the Chinese Basketball League.

Though his phenomenal athleticism and undeniable basketball talent has been recognized by many since his early college days (T-Will scored two triple-doubles as a co-captain for Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals team, a feat only accomplished twice before in team history), he has yet to convince any team that he is worthy of long-term status.

Let me just say now, I think this is a great signing for the Celtics. I've followed T-Will's career in college and got to know his penchant for filling an NBA stat sheet while he (unbeknownst to him) worked for me as a member of a couple of fantasy basketball teams I was running at the time. Against the sentiments of several of my fellow Celtics basketball cognoscenti, I have wanted the Celtics to sign him every time he became available during his young career.

Back in the day, T-Will soared and glided his way to the 2005 Kentucky Derby Basketball Classic slam dunk championship trophy, and Pitino once described him as "A freakish athlete" -- something that the Celtics can use a few more of since our players began resembling a line of human dominoes.

His best season in the League was with Sacramento in the 2011-12 season in which he scored 8.8 PPG, pulled down 4.1 RPG, and passed for 3.1 APG while shooting .461 from the field over 20.5 minutes per game.

With career averages of 7.6 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game and career percentages of 40% FG and .358.% 3-PT FG, the potential is there, should Coach Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Co. be able to get into his head to correct some of the immaturity issues he's displayed in the past. And, with the easy-out of two 10-day contracts providing insurance in case things go south, this one is the quintessential low-risk/potentially-sky-high reward scenario.

And now, some numbers to get you salivating...

As a Net, Williams scored his first career trip-dub in 49 double-overtime minutes against the Chicago Bulls, with 27 points, 13 boards and 10 assists. His career high for assists is 14 and he has snagged 13 boards on three separate occasions.

And, while this should almost NEVER be a credible measuring stick in gauging NBA-level competition, it is interesting to note that T-Will was a key player for the 1st-place Guangdong Tigers (whom he left this past month to attend to a death in the family) -- a team that also features former NBA'ers Yi Jianlian and Ike Diogu -- where he averaged 17.9 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists while playing just under 27 minutes a game.

Check out these video posts from Celticslife.com that shed some light on the person behind the name and some of these highlight videos if you want to get excited.

R.I.P. Jerry Buss

News came this morning that Laker owner Jerry Buss died today due to complications related to cancer.

The owner of the LosAngeles Lakers since 1979, Buss quickly became the most revered and successful steward of any West Coast team, presiding over "Showtime" and teams featuring the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and later, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

NBA.com described him this way:

Few owners in sports history can even approach Buss' accomplishments with the Lakers, who made the NBA finals 16 times through 2011 during his 32 years in charge, winning 10 titles between 1980 and 2010. The Lakers easily are the NBA's winningest franchise since he bought the club.
Though his teams were bitter rivals of my one and only Celtics, taking the title from them on numerous occasions since his arrival, he was one of the things that made the battles that much more exciting. Much respect due, Mr. Buss. R.I.P.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

C's Put On Defensive Act, Give Bulls The Hook: 71-69

Jason Terry gets the defensive stop to seal the win? How's THAT for role reversal?

Down 2 with less than 6 seconds left, Marco Belinelli snagged his teammate's errant free-throw and attempted to once again crush the spirits of Celtics Nation by making a last second game-winner. It was then that Terry, giving it his best Avery Bradley, stepped up and swatted Marco's shot, closing the door on any repeat celebration by the men in the Valentine's Day-colored jerseys. Defensive stopper Bradley, meanwhile, put up 10 points.

Helping to break the Bulls' hopeful hearts was Brandon Bass, who shed this year's image as the team's underachiever and played leading man as the game's high scorer with 14 points while adding 9 rebounds 2 assists and a block to this lowdown, dirty game.

Getting into the act was Captain Paul Pierce, who all but slipped on a spare #20 jersey as he paid homage to former Celtic Ray Allen, shooting 2-12 for the game, only to stick it to the Bulls down the stretch with a timely shot from Threeland to go along with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal.

Having none of this experimental theater, master thespian Kevin Garnett stayed in character with 12 points on 6-12 shooting (which included a key basket with 19 seconds to go), 11 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. And, despite his defensive turn, Terry also added 12 points, proving his versatility and ability to master two roles simultaneously.  

With this win, the Celtics evened the season series between the two ballclubs and enter the All-Star Break four games over .500 with a 28-24 record and the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference Playoff picture.

The C's will try and pick up where they left off with a rematch against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, February 19th at 9:00 p.m.

Tale Of The Tape

Box Score

Monday, February 11, 2013

Celtics Doing The Work Of The Devil?


So, as everybody undoubtedly knows by now, the Los Angeles Lakers -- minus The Cookie Monster -- sauntered into town carrying with them the swagger of a team with a 6-1 record in their last 7 games. And, as we all know, they left dragging the confidence of an 8-year-old child wandering alone through a dark haunted house full of corners.

The Celtics? They just keep chugging along like a steaming locomotive, unaware that its back car has detached and the coal supply is dangerously low. They're riding their second six-game winning streak of the season and have continued to laugh heartily, even derisively, in the face of the adversity they've battled in recent weeks with the loss of their rebounding rookie phenom Jared Sullinger and fearlessly-leading fuel source Rajon Rondo.

By rights, when you lose your best player and offensive pilot, your team is supposed to flop to the ground and flounder like a fish looking for water. With reasonable expectation, a team that loses one of the few able-bodied rebounders and interior scorers it has, it is not supposed to be able to outrebound or score more points in the paint then their opponents, but that's what the Celtics did against the Lakers, grabbing 5 more boards and outscoring L.A. by a gaudy sum: 58-36.

And, yes, though the Lakers have endured even more downs than the Celtics have this season, the C's current heady play -- particularly that of 36-year-old PF/C Garnett and 35-year-old F Pierce -- following the loss of their most important player is only the most recent evidence that has been accrued in a theory that I've been working on for quite some time. I believe that they've been getting some outside help from an unlikely source and I'm not talking about PED's, and I'm CERTAINLY not talking about the NBA referee corps.

No, that source that I am referencing is far more shocking than you may imagine. I believe that the Celtics have been getting the backdoor assist from none other than the Dark Deceiver, the Prince of Darkness, He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken himself...The Devil.

Now, I know
what you're thinking..."Doesn't the Devil play for the Lakers?" Well, no. He doesn't. He doesn't play for anyone. He's merely content to steal players' souls, enter into promising looking contracts backloaded with numerous trick-kickers, and generally mess with players' fragile egos while disrupting team balance.

How else to explain KG's Dorian Gray-esque youthfulness? Or the Phoenix-like rise of Captain Pierce after a string of games in which he appeared to be feeling every bit his age, only to spring to life with the unfortunate injury to Rondo (don't even get me started about correlation between his double-digit assists streak and recent season-ending knee injury!). Or the fact that players of Jason Collins and Darko Milicic's caliber found themselves on a team with so many future Hall of Famers (okay, now THAT was the Devil speaking through me. I apologize.).

Going back a few years, just think about the amazing good fortune that the C's came into in the assembling of the new Big Three after a series of seemingly unfortunate events. As we all can remember, the Celtics -- the team with the second-best chance to land the top pick in the lottery -- finishes out of contention for Kevin Durant or Greg Oden in the fifth spot, only to land the game's best power forward in Garnett and best shooter in Ray Allen via trades to pair with one of the best forwards in Pierce. The Celtics most certainly would have drafted Oden, and you see what MX-Missile they dodged on THAT score. All they got for their "bad luck" in the draft lottery was a magical run to capture the Championship that very same year.

How about the more recent past and the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City for the extremely gifted youth and promise of Jeff Green (whom we drafted then traded for Ray Allen in the first place, who also was the first domino falling for the Celtics that convinced KG to come to Boston) which resulted in Perkins' return to the Finals and Green's trip to the operating table with a life-threatening heart condition along with Chris Wilcox, an obvious reversal of the "great luck" originally encountered?

And, what about this year when the Celtics landed Draft-Day-steal Jared Sullinger, thanks to his slide that began with a report that he had a back injury that might require surgery later in his career? Well, he actually ended up needing surgery and...uh...umm...okay, I got nothing there.

Now, I may still be delirious from my bout with cabin-fever after "THE BLIZZARD OF 2013!", but I can tell you that there is some seriously hard evidence that proves the theory that someone on the Celtics...perhaps Danny Ainge...maybe Doc Rivers...Hell, even some of the players might be in on this dalliance with the Devil.

Brace yourselves, people...this is some seriously sinister stuff.

A few weeks ago, the Celtics won six games in a row conspicuously, after a dismal stretch of basketball, right (yeah, yeah, I know...Avery Bradley...savior...blah blah blah)? Then they went on to LOSE six in a row. And then...inexplicably after losing Rondo and Sullinger for the year, they go on to WIN six in a row again! Does anyone see the obvious and alarming pattern here?!?! No? Well here it is:

Six wins followed by six losses followed by six wins...666!!! The mark of The Beast! Beelzebub!! Satan! The Destroyer!!

Oh...wait, now...WHAT? The Celtics beat the Nuggets last night?!? On Grammy night?!? In triple overtime?!!?!!! That's SEVEN wins in a row? And, they just lost to the Bobcats?!? The Bobcats??!!?!! So, now, the totals are 667 and 1??!?!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beat 'em like drums.
Report in the morning. I'm resting up for some SERIOUS snow-angeling!

Box Score

Tale Of The Tape

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Garnett's 27 Points Make Dinos Sore As Boston Beats Toronto For 5th Straight Win: 99-95




Maybe it was all the trade talk. Maybe it was his 25,000th point looming just over the horizon. Maybe it was just due.

But, Good...Sweet...Lord!

Growing up as a young man, Kevin Maurice Garnett must have broken a lot of hearts on his way to basketball supremacy. I say this because tonight against the Toronto Raptors, on the heels of several rumors and much speculation about teams eagerly, hopefully inquiring as to his availability in trade, The Big Ticket unveiled some mad skillz directly related to his brand-new persona: The Big Tease. That's right. The Big Tease.

Sensing the amorous eyes of the basketball world fixed firmly on his 7-foot frame, Garnett walked out onto the floor of the Air Canada Centre and proceeded to show all of his suitors exactly how much they're never going to get, delivering his highest single-game scoring output since the Championship run of 2008.

Feasting on the Dinos as if they were Brontosaurus Burgers, KG netted a game-high 27 points on 11-18 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds IN JUST 26 MINUTES. Contrast that performance with Toronto's high scorer, new Raptor Rudy Gay, who scored 24, but had to take 24 shots to get there, making only 8. In fairness, he did get 10 boards, 4 steals and 3 assists, but he managed to sink only one shot in the 4th quarter amidst an aggressive Celtics defense.

As astounding as KG was tonight (did I mention he scored 27 in only 26 minutes?), he had some help from Captain Paul Pierce, who shot an abysmal 2-11 but still nearly got a triple-double by living up to one of his favorite sayings and "giving the game what it needs", which was apparently 12 points, 11 rebounds and a team-high 6 assists.

Courtney Lee had a strong 15 points, Avery Bradley got 11 and Brandon Bass scored 10. Coming off the bench, a very active and explosive Leandro Barbosa dropped 14 on 5-8 shooting with several baskets coming in crunch time as the Celtics took command of the game down the stretch.

When asked to give his assessment about the game and why the Celtics are beating teams without Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger, KG uttered these heartwarming and telling words, "We believe in each other." They apparently like each other, too, as evidenced by the embrace we saw Jeff Green (who played great defense) give Barbosa after the game and the smiles pasted all over the faces of the team.

Milestones? Did someone say Milestones? No? Well, we're talkin' about 'em anyway!

Doc Rivers got his 400th Celtic win and KG now stands at 24,994 career points -- for all of you non-math majors, that's just six points away from an impressive milestone. Tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Lakers, Garnett should join the only other active player in the NBA with 25,000 or more points. That player? Kobe Bryant. Bryant, by the way, recently said something to the effect of, "You guys don't want Rajon Rondo? Send him my way...I like everything that guy's about." Take THAT, Rondo haters!

Not to make early projections here, but the Celtics are now 2 games over .500, just 6.5 games out of first place in the Atlantic Division, and only 8 games out of the top spot for the Eastern Conference. Aww, Hell...I WILL make a projection, or at least, a prediction...the Celtics will win the Atlantic Division. After that? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLLLLLEEE!

Take Of The Tape

Box Score

Next Up, The Los Angeles Lakers!


The Boston Celtics vs. The Los Angeles Lakers
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
@ 8:00pm
The Boston Garden, Boston MA

Pau Gasol Out Due To Injury Suffered Chasing Cookies?

Why do we never see these two in the same room at the same time? Hmmmm...

Okay, okay...maybe he wasn't chasing cookies, but he must have at least been THINKING about them as he went after the cookie-shaped ball that Brook Lopez was holding before he went down during yesterday's matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.

And, so...it looks like the first meeting of the season between bitter rivals familiar opponents the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics will be just as notable for who's not on the floor as who is.

According to reports from several mainstream media outlets, Pau Gasol will miss at least 6 weeks with a partially torn plantar fascia -- the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot.

So, already, we have Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger out for the season on the C's side, and the Lakers have been struggling to keep Pau and Dwight Howard (torn labrum = the shoulder joint) healthy in shifts, to no avail. Howard might be forced into service due to Pau's most recent injury and that to 6' 10" center Jordan Hill's hip (labral tear -- jeez, I guess my purchase of that medical encyclopedia is starting to pay off! I TOLD you, Mom!), but I wouldn't count on the Lakers rushing anything with the potential to further injure their (if only for two more months!) slightly-tarnished star center.

I guess I'll have to get my "Dwight Howard: Circus Clown" photo ready for tomorrow...just in case.

But, tonight...it's a Rap (as in, "Rap-tors").


Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
TONIGHT! (February, 6th, 2013)
@ 7:00pm
Air Canada Centre -- Toronto, Ontario


Toronto power forward/center Andrea Bargnani reportedly will play against the Celtics tonight.

Also, the Maine Red Claws welcome back Kris Joseph.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lacking Substance, Lazy Writers Try To Stick You Innuendo

Oh, for crying out loud!

People...I know there's not much more out there to talk about -- though I think the ongoing saga of a Celtics team pulling together without their best player and rookie phenom is fairly sexy with enough leg to walk a few more weeks -- but, can we PLEASE put the "Garnett May Be Traded!!" futhermucking shullbit to bed? Please? Please?!?

Look...a day of reporting rumored hearsay is fine. A second day, I get it...you have to look at all the angles...beat the fantasy horse a little. But, folks...three days on a story that isn't backed up by a single credible source, makes no tangible sense to either team, and is essentially barred from happening in the first place because the main player mentioned in the deal has a "no-trade" clause...overkill, much?

I know I sound cranky, and maybe that's because we're talking about trying to trade one of the two Celtics that currently deserve to retire in Green (we'll talk about the rafters for Garnett another time...maybe when readers need sexy...) and it rubs me the wrong way when normally levelheaded talking-heads start behaving like they're on the latest episode of "Basketball Housewives From The Bachelor's Surviving Dancemom's HoneyBooBoo."

I know, I know..."this is what sportswriters and bloggers DO!" Some of 'em even get paid for it. I get it. I do.

But, how long can we kick that horse before it turns into powder? According to reports, Garnett has a number of conditions that would prohibit his waiver of the no trade clause he holds and one of them hinges on whether or not Paul Pierce is also traded. That's all I need to know. To paraphrase the father of a bumblingly lovable drink-share-worthy ex-president who is an ex-president himself, the Celtics are "not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture."

Doc says as much at the 1:33 mark:

But, as I said...normally sensible folks are out there flogging this non-story so hard, they should face suspensions and fines before they're allowed to return to work. (Sorry, Sherrod...this was just three steps past one too many. 

So, I implore everyone to get their sanity back and start reporting on other more interesting stuff that actually happened, like how Ron Artest will never be worthy of the respect of people calling him anything other than the name for which he became notorious (in a BAD way not B.I.G. way); our next opponent Toronto's more potent offense with the addition of Rudy Gay; how the Lakers appear to have righted their ship somewhat just as they prepare to invade the Garden on Thursday; and, finally...oh, hey, would you look at that...four-game win streak without our best player and rookie phenom!

Then again, aren't some of you still participating in Honey Nut Cheerioverkill?

For crying out loud.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Celtics Keep Rolling With Hippie-Ball, Clip L.A.: 106-104

Paul Pierce. The Captain. The Truth.

Can we just close our eyes and ruminate on what The Truth is still doing to teams after 14 clutch-filled seasons at 36 years of age?

Thanks. Let's carry on...

WHEW!!! Like a friend of mine used to say, that game was like finding a shark in your bathtub -- it's much closer than you ever wanted it to be.

The Celtics started this game much as they have the past three -- playing great defense and sharing the ball to equate a firm double-digit lead for much of the game. Unfortunately, the Clippers shoved a big spoonful of "ShuttyUppie" (thanks, King of Queens!) into the faces of all of the so-called fans who have been robotically regurgitating the idea that the Celtics are better off without Rajon Rondo. The Clippers cut the Celtics' lead to 2 in the 4th quarter by exposing the C's shortcomings in the half-court offense, a place where someone with Rondo's unparalleled passing, driving and court vision can make the difference.

Fortunately for the Celtics, they still have THIS guy:

Paul Pierce did what he has done in more games during his career than I could remember even if I HAD a good memory -- he calmly, ruthlessly and deliciously drained a three to slam the door on any LaLa Land dreams of a Clipper comeback.

Late-game lapses notwithstanding, the Celtics continued to move the ball and gang rebound to get themselves another win PR&S (Post Rondo and Sully), notching the 4th in a row and moving up a stair above the .500 mark.

Sure, the Clippers were without All-Star point guard Chris Paul, but let's not even think about playing the injury game, people.

Enough can not be said about the Celtics bench in this one. As a collective, the bench outscored the Clipper reserves -- 52-29. As individuals, there was a LOT to be excited about: Jeff Green continued to back up his new "I got heart" signature celebration move by gliding and jump-shooting his way to 14 points on 4-6 shooting (3-3 on 3's), 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Jason Terry lit his turbos and took off into Jet-mode with 13 points and a team-high 6 assists while Leandro Barbosa blurred into action for 14 points. Hell, even Jason Collins got into the books with more points than fouls, scoring 7 in the game.

The starters? Well, as mentioned above, Pierce dropped the game winner on Matt Barns' "Uncle Creepy" dome, and he ended the game with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. How's that for washed-up trade bait, Haters?

Kevin Garnett contributed 12 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 head game against Blake Griffin (20 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists), frustrating him at key junctures. New starter (same as the old starter) Brandon Bass mustered 9 points, 8 rebounds and a career-tying 4 assists.

And, while Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley didn't put much in the scoring column (11 points between them), their defense on guard Eric Bledsoe (23 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds), the hot-first-half-having Caron Butler (18 points) and the always deadly Jamal Crawford (23 points, 6 assists) was also timely.

While it's clear that the Celtics are indeed a formidable bunch for any team to take on, they'll need some work on half-court sets when the speed game bogs down. But, if Doc and the C's can figure out how to keep it crisp and run on teams for the rest of the season, there are going to be a LOT of coaches sighing with relief when they draw a first-round matchup against the Miami's, Brooklyn's, Indiana's and Chicago's of the world.

One more note about The Captain: today, with that game-winning 3, Paul Pierce moved ahead of sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic and into 6th place in all-time 3-pointers made with 1,761 and counting. Now THAT's the Truth!

Box Score

Tale Of The Tape