There are many aspects to playing defense. Quick feet, quick hands, anticipation, physicality, timing, etc., are all parts of playing defense. Some players have more of these defensive tools than others, and obviously the more you have, the better of a defender you are. Rondo is known for his very quick hands and excellent anticipations, and thus has been called a good defensive PG, but so far, he is almost ineffective against Derrick Rose.
On the other hand, Marcus Banks is also known (or has been known) for his defense--but not in the same vein as Rajon. Banks doesn't have the quick hands or the anticipation skills that Rondo possesses, but his defensive prowess comes in the form of keeping his man in front of him (for the most part, that is). Banks was good at staying low and making his body wide, and sliding his feet to shield his man from getting his shoulder past him.
Celtics fans and the media have been focusing on the fact that we won't have KG for at least the first round and possibly the whole playoffs. There are naysayers everywhere who feel that the Celtics don't have a chance without KG.
But, the Celtics' title defense is about who they have, not who they don't have. To begin with, the Celtics have 2 definite future Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Both Pierce and Allen have had one of the best seasons of their careers this year and both have grown as team players and both have had to carry teams in the past.
Beyond Pierce and Ray, you have to look at Rondo. Rondo should have been an All Star and will be one next season. In his 3rd season, Rondo has out played just about every point guard in the league at one time or another. If a team needs 3 start to win a title, they have the 3rd one in Rondo.
And rounding out the starting five is Kendrick Perkins who has become one of the top defensive centers in the NBA. He has been able to cut down on fouls so that he can stay on the floor. He is an enforcer and defends the paint as well or better than any other player in the playoffs.
The Celtics much maligned bench has become a very solid and deep unit. Starting with Leon Powe and Big Baby, both players have grown in leaps and bounds since last season. Then, there is Tony Allen who has looked pretty good since he got back from the injury. And is there a better shooter off the bench than Eddie House? None that I know of. Scal is expected back by the 3rd game. He was really playing well when he went out with the concussions and hopefully will pick up where he left off. He can play anywhere from center to small forward and can be a matchup problem for other teams. Bill Walker hasn't seen a lot of playing time but I think he can help the team in the playoffs. He is a tough kid who plays in your face defense. If we need someone to get under somebody's skin, Walker's your guy. I doubt Gabe Pruitt will see any time in the playoffs, but he is there if we need him as a scorer or defender. That brings us to Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore, both of whom have been been getting better and better and will make a difference in the playoffs.
This is not to say that the Celtics won't still depend on KG for support and the intensity he will bring while sitting on the bench. He will be in the huddle giving his teammates inspiration and encouragement. I love this video. KG will be there doing whatever he can to give his team the edge.
Now that everyone is counting the Celtics out, winning will be that much sweeter. The Celtics are determined to overcome the loss of KG and pull together as a team to get it done. This is where their mental toughness will come into play and the experience they gained last season will be invaluable. It is certain that the Celtics won't be sitting around and missing KG. They won't give his absence as an excuse to lose. Instead of whining, they will be winning.
Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge suffered a mild heart attack this morning and is recovering in the hospital. According to the Globe:
Danny Ainge is recovering at Massachusetts General Hospital after having a minor heart attack. He is recovering nicely. Mr. Ainge is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days. Boston television station WCVB Channel 5, which broke the story earlier this evening, reported that the 50-year-old Ainge woke up this morning suffering from chest pains. He was immediately taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where doctors inserted a stent in heart to clear an artery that was completely clogged.
According to the story, he got to the hospital quickly and is already able to joke about Eddie House breaking his 3 point record. He is expected to make a full recovery. The thoughts and prayers of Celtics nation are with Danny and his family.
There has been lots of conjecture about the exact nature of KG's injury. Now that Doc has spilled the beans that KG won't be ready for the playoffs, the Globe adds some details as to exactly what the problem is:
Kevin Garnett will miss the NBA playoffs and likely have surgery on his right knee during the offseason, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said today.
The surgery will be to remove a spur in Garnett's knee. But a strained popliteus tendon -- and not the spur -- has affected Garnett's inability to return from a Feb. 19 injury. The tendon strain must heal naturally, and has taken longer than anticipated.
Thinking back, the problem probably started when KG started wearing that sleeve earlier in the year and he admitted that his knee was a little sore.
Usually the comments are fun to gather when we win, but it was almost depressing reading all the comments of Wizard fans rooting for their team to lose. I can honestly say that even in the season when we were in contention for the top pick I could never bring myself to hope the Celtics would lose. Not even then. I just got the news that KG probably won't play in the playoffs and that is pretty depressing in its own rights. So, here are the final regular season comments from the other side, such as they are.
Please God give the Celtics and the Clippers the power to win tonight
We MUST lose this one and the Clippers MUST win their game for us to have the 2nd best chance in the lottery.
I hope they lose and lose big, thus resulting in humiliation for being the WORST team in franchise history. Please, let this season end soon.
19 - 63. It shall be written.
Last time that happened, we landed the no. 1 pick....but we know who is the consensus #1 this time, AND IT AIN'T NO KWAME BROWN
Hmm, the Celts will rest their starters most-likely. I am looking forward to seeing Bill Walker in-action, I saw an alley-oop dunk to him that was sick!
We should have kept that kid.
My definition for a winning season has changed to "if we get the #1 pick, then we have won". Our wins and losses help to get us there. On the one hand, I want us to end on a winning note by winning this game. On the other hand, it will hurt our chances at that lotto pick. I want the lotto pick more than I want a win this game at this point. This is were loosing 1 game = winning in the long run. Go wiz! Tank one for the gipper.
I wouldn't even be shocked if Pirece sits. That's what kind of guy Rivers is. He cares more about safety then keep the team ready. Plus they won tonight so I know they don't care about the last game
We're winning. If Tap has to take the court himself we need to lose this game.
Big Baby is awful.
Dear Ernie grunfeld, Bill walker just delivered two facials right in your direction.
Lol fake crowd noise
Its Caron and House going at each other in threes.
All right, the Wiz finally fall apart and House is shooting lights out
Caron with 37 minutes in this critical game for the drive for 20
Juan Tanxson is doing a superb job
And to think we all said that Juan had nothing left in the tank.
Tank you very much Mr. Juan Dixon!!!
BEAUTIFUL TANKING GOING ON NOW...I hope D Stern is not watching this!
And the Washington Wizards trade Bill Walker to the Boston Celtics for one "Tank Coupon" to be redeemed on April 15th, 2009.
I don't think I've tanked Juan enough for his super tankalistic performance
Lol at the classless Celt scrubs trying to pad their stats in a meaningless game...
Eddie House reminds me of what we had in Mason, dude was on fiyah!!
I have the Cavs losing to the Pistons in an upset round 1!
Sorry to burst your bubble , Cavs aint losin sh*t in the East... ATM they're playing without Lebron, Mo and Big Z... Philly has a very hard time beatin them without their best players..
What we all need to keep in mind is that the Clippers are an expert tanking team. We are only in our first year of tanking (in a while, at least)....they are experienced vets.
In an interview this morning on Boston sports radio station WEEI, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said it was likely that Kevin Garnett would not be available to play at all in the playoffs.
"After today there's no way he can play," said Rivers, who left open the possibility his star could return at some point in the postseason but was not optimistic.
Garnett worked out his injured right knee this morning, Rivers said, after which the coach made the radio proclamation: "After watching him run, there's no way. So, we're going to move without him. And the way I saw him move today guys, I don't know if he'll be ready."
I think this is something Celtics fans have been bracing for, but there was always that hope that he would play. I still have some hope that he would play if we reach the ECF or the Finals. But, getting there has just become very, very hard. Yes, we still have 2 future Hall of Famers on the team and the rest of the team has picked it up considerably, but KG is the heart and soul of the defense that made the Celtics so tough to beat in the playoffs last year. Now it is up to Perk to double his efforts defensively and Big Baby and Leon will have to put in superhuman efforts if the Celtics are to repeat. My heart stopped when I saw that headline. I think the Celtics can still win it all, but the odds just went way up against them.
Last night ended up being pretty exciting. Yes, the game between the Wizards and Celtics was meaningless and Pierce and Allen sat out along with Garnett while Rondo and Perk played sparingly. But the Celtics bench came through for the win to end the season on a positive note. The Celtics' bench is definitely ready for the playoffs.
Going into the night, Eddie House was on the verge of taking the Celtics' record for single season 3 point accuracy from Danny Ainge. He had the numbers all figured out as to what he needed to get the record and he went out and did it. He shot 6-9 from beyond the arc to finish with a .444 percentage and the record. I had to chuckle because when he hit that 6th three he went over to the sidelines and asked if he had the record and then told Doc to take him out. A big congrats to Eddie. He has been a big part of the reason that the Celtics have been able to survive all the injuries this season. It should be noted that one of the first players to run up to Eddie to congratulate him was Stephon Marbury. Anyone still doubting that he has become a team player?
Eddie wasn't the only one to go into the record books last night either. Ray Allen set a regular season record for free throw accuracy. He shot a career best .952 from the line this season, making 237 of 249 free throws, to set the record.
At halftime, Leon Powe was presented with the Sixth Star award that had been voted on by the fans. I had voted for Leon and am thrilled that he won it. After all he has gone through in his life and after how hard he has worked as a Celtic, this is a much deserved award. Leon looked really good last night and will be a big factor going into the playoffs.
I was really hoping that we would play the Sixers, and it took an overtime game in Cleveland to find out that it would be the Bulls and not the Sixers that we will be facing in the first round. The Sixers are slumping going into the playoffs and the Bulls are surging, notwithstanding last night's complete breakdown vs the Raptors. The Bulls are worrisome because they are a young athletic team with a chip on their shoulder, similar to the Hawks last season. The Celtics are 3-1 against the Bulls this season but lost their last game against them.
The one bright spot in the fact that the Sixers beat the Cavs to move into 6th place, thus dropping Chicago to the 7th spot, was that they beat the Cavs in Cleveland, and preserved the home win record for the 1986 Celtics. I really didn't want Cleveland to tie that record.
So, we face the Bulls in the first round and the first game is on Saturday at 12:30. Great! We start out with an afternoon game. The Celtics haven't been playing all that well in the afternoon lately. They started off good, winning their first 5 afternoon games this season. But, they lost 6 or their last 7 afternoon games including losing their last 5 in a row. So, afternoons haven't been all that kind to the Celtics lately. Hopefully they can overcome whatever sluggishness they have had in the afternoon and will come out fired up for this one.
The first round schedule for the Celtics vs the Bulls has been released: Game 1 - Sat April 18 Chicago at Boston 12:30PM ESPN Game 2 - Mon April 20 Chicago at Boston 7:00PM TNT Game 3 - Thu April 23 Boston at Chicago 8:00PM TNT Game 4 - Sun April 26 Boston at Chicago 1:00PM ABC Game 5 * Tue April 28 Chicago at Boston TBD TBD Game 6 * Thu April 30 Boston at Chicago TBD TBD Game 7 * Sat May 2 Chicago at Boston TBD TNT
The 12 man playoff rosters must be set today. It is fairly certain that JR Giddens and Gabe Pruitt will be off the list since they haven't played much this season. But that still leaves 13 players and Doc will have to pick one more to leave off the playoff roster. Scal hasn't been able to play since receiving that 3rd concussion although he has been dressing. Doc said that it is 50-50 that he will be able to play in the playoffs. We have been seeing some good things out of Bill Walker when Doc has put him on the court. Does Doc go with Walker over Scal because of the uncertainty around Scal's health? Does he roll the dice with Scal anyway because of his experience and hope he will be able to play? Even though Baby and Leon are both healthy now, Mikki Moore will be on the roster because we will need his length to counter some teams. Tony is healthy and looks to be getting back to pre-injury form. So, that leaves the final spot for either Scal or Walker.
NOTE: I was just digging around to see what the actual rule is for playoff roster size and found where in 2006 they changed the rules and all 15 players on the regular season roster are allowed on the playoff roster with just 12 being allowed to be active on any given night. The active and inactive players can change from game to game.
So, the playoffs are finally here and we still don't know if KG will be ready to play. Doc says it depends on how he looks in today's practice and how the knee reacts afterward. Danny has said that it will be up to KG when he plays. We don't know the full extent of the injury and likely won't until the playoffs are over. Anyone remember the Celtics announcing minor surgery on Big Al's ankles to just look around which Al revealed was to remove bone chips? It may very well come down to KG's ability to play in pain and how limited that pain will make him.
In just their second season, the Utah Flash came into the D-League playoffs as the second seed and were facing the Bakersfield Jam in their first round matchup. In the D-League playoffs, the first round is single elimination so it was win or go home.
Utah started the game well and Utah took a 20-17 lead into the second quarter. A big second quarter gave the Jam a 39-34 lead with just a minute until halftime. The Flash was able to cut the lead to just a point at halftime at 41-40.
The Flash pulled ahead for good at 42-41 on a J.R. Giddens lay-up on the first possession of the third quarter and never trailed again. The final score was Utah 94, Bakersfield 81 and the Utah Flash have their first ever playoff win. JR Giddens finished the game with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in 33 minutes.
The Flash advance to the second round where they will face the winner of Thursday’s Iowa-Dakota game. The next Flash game will be on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the McKay Events Center. As always, you can watch the game live on NBA Futurecast, although since the Celtics will be playing in their second playoff game at the same time, most Celtics fans will be busy. But, you can always watch the Celtics on the TV and have the Flash game going on your computer.
The D-League playoffs are underway and Celtics rookie JR Giddens will be in action with the Utah Flash tonight as the Bakersfield Jam vists the Flash at 9:00 PM ET.
The Flash have reaped the benefits of NBA assignments this season on their way to a division title, and no less than three NBA first-round draft picks could suit up for Utah on Wednesday night. Utah's Morris Almond, who led the D-League in scoring on assignment from the Jazz in 2007-08, is joined by this season's Jazz first-rounder Kosta Koufos and Celtics first-round choice J.R. Giddens. All three players are averaging over 16.0 points per game. Giddens has a nice all around game and is averaging 17.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.4 bpg, and 1.1 spg. The Jam, who have no NBA players on assignment, will have a tough task shutting down all three of the Flash's NBA prospects but need to do so to pull off the upset.
The winner of this game faces the winner of the Iowa-Dakota in second round. If you get bored with the Celtics/Wizards game tonight you can catch JR and the Flash on NBA FutureCast.
The comments are definitely more fun to gather when we win. Seems like this win by the short handed Celtics accomplished what they hoped it would. The Sixers fans anyway are pretty demoralized by it. I really feel for them because it wasn't that long ago that I had those same feelings as a Celtics fan. As far as opposing fans go, Sixers fans are usually pretty classy. It looks like these teams will see a lot of each other over the next couple of weeks.
Looks like we will play the Celtics in the playoffs I hate losing to them
I don't think Garnett will make it through round 1 of the playoffs, and Thad should be fine (from all reports)...if nothing else, that is good news.
I expect a statement game from the Celtics, after the Cavs handed them the worst loss for the past two seasons. We will likely play them in the first-round, so I expect a good performance from our guys.
This should be a win. Meaningless game for the Celtics, and no KG or Jesus Shuttlesworth.
Without garnett and Allen we should be able to beat them. I mean if we can't beat them with 2 starters out we have no hope
Boston will be without Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce tonight. Sixers should be able to win this game.
Where did you guys get the info that the Celts are without Pierce? That pretty much leaves them with Rondo and Perkins as their sole decent players.
Pierce is playing just heard it. They wanted him to sit but he wanted to play. What did we ever do to him?
PP and Scrubs Lose this, and you deserve to be BOOED off the court.
It was SO obvious baby Davis flopped. Didn't the NBA say they'd fix this?
Big Baby is such a big baby. I really can't stand that guy. Have you ever looked at his pic on his profile? He looks so retareded
This game shows Boston's NEED of KG. Without KG, there's no one to protect the rim. No one. 'Perkins: HAH Davis: Nah Powe: Who?
This Boston team hates the sixers .. They r fired up
The Celtics are losing their cool way too much. They are getting technicals over nothing...
I think the nothing there is the key. The refs are getting Rivers back for getting one of their own fined After that don't expect the Celtics to get any resprect from the refs. They will play 5 on 8 through the playoffs. Serves them right.
So its legal for Pierce to catch Iguodala on the jersey
Pierce gets away with a lot of contact. Either the refs don't see it or they are ignoring it.
Sixers are getting away with a lot of contact too. Specially inside
If we had some three point shooting we could have beaten the Celtics tonight.
Its official. Rondo and Pierce > Miller Iguodala and Thad.
Wow that game was really embarrassing. If you think about it, it was pretty much just Pierce with a bunch of role players beating us. Just ashame how bad we suck.
So, are some people still stuggesting that facing Orlando would be worse than facing Boston? That game should speak volumes. We were beaten by a team which misses two of its best players and who have rested Pierce and Rondo. Yike.
We are down to the final night of the season and there is still some drama left. Will the Celtics face Chicago or will they face the Sixers in the opening round?
Here are the standings as of today: Seed Team GB 1. Cleveland 0 2. Boston 5.0 3. Orlando 8 4. Atlanta 19 5. Miami 24 6. Chicago 25 7. Philadelphia 26 8. Detroit 27
Detroit is locked into 8th and even if they tie with Philly they can't move up because Philly owns the tie breaker. Chicago can't move up to 5th even if they tie with Miami because Miami owns the tie breaker (Miami won the series 2-1). Chicago and Philly tied their season series 2-2 and so they have to go to the next tie breaker to see who would win should they finish the night tied record wise.
The Tie Breakers TWO-WAY TIES
1. Results of games against each other.
2. Better winning percentage within own division (only if tied teams are in same division).
3. Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.
4. Better winning percentage against playoff opponents in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
5. Better winning percentage against playoff opponents in opposite conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
6. Better point differential between offense and defense.
Since Philly and Chicago aren't in the same division, they have to go to #3 which is record in the coference. Right now, the two teams have identical conference records at 24-27. Both are playing within the conference tonight and if they both win, then Chicago is already 1 game ahead of Philly so Chicago would remain 6th and Philly would be 7th. Now, if Chicago loses at home vs Toronto and the improbable happens and Philly wins in Cleveland, they will have identical records but since both are conference games, Philly would win the tie breaker by having one more conference win than the Bulls. So, the only scenario that would change the standings would be a Chicago loss and a Philly win.
Games to watch tonight: Toronto at Chicago Philly at Cleveland
it appears that the 7th seed would end up being Philadelphia since the Bulls are at home and the Sixers are on the road. Toronto really has nothing to play for other than lottery position. Cleveland should be resting their starters, but they are also playing for their share of that home record and so if the game is in doubt, I would expect to see LeBron come in to pull off the win. But to quote Kevin Garnett, anything is possible. The Sixers may come through with a win and keep Cleveland out of the record books, but I seriously doubt it after the Celtics beat them in Philly with 2 hands tied behind their backs.
Celtics guard Ray Allen has been suspended one game without pay for elbowing Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao in the groin, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations. The incident occurred with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics 107-76 loss to the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday. Allen will serve his suspension tonight when the Celtics visit the 76ers. Tony Allen will likely start in Ray Allen's place.
In case you missed it, here is the incident that led to the suspension.
Doc was concerned as to whether to rest his stars or play them. It appears that the decision for 2 of them has been made for him as Ray is suspended and KG is back in Boston for more treatment. Personally I thing Varejao should be suspended as well because if he didn't hook Ray's arm and throw him to the ground when they were already blowing the Celtics out, Ray wouldn't have reacted.
Big Baby is a game time decision. Leon will probably be back in the lineup and if Big Baby can't go may start at power forward. It will be very good to see Leon back on the court. The start and extra minutes will be good for Tony to help him get the rust off of his game after the injury. EDIT Paul Pierce sitting out tonight's game also. EDIT of the EDIT: On the pregame show they said that Pierce will be playing. After Doc said that Pierce was sitting out, he went to Doc and talked his way back into the line =up for tonight.
Up until now, teams have gotten closer or farther away from seeds, but there wasn't a change in the standings. As of Monday's results, we have a shakeup in the standings.
First, the results of Monday's games to watch. Winners are in bold. Chicago at Detroit Orlando at Milwaukee Cleveland at Indiana Clevland won at Indiana. No surprise there. With Turkoglu and Lewis both ailing, it isn't surprising that the Magic lost either. Looking at the stats, it appears that VanGundy sat all his starters for the game so definitely no surprise. Neither game affects the standings. The Cavs are firmly in first place in the East and with tonight's win, clinched the best record overall. The Magic are in 3rd with no chance to move up or down.
The big game was Chicago at Detroit. A win by Detroit would have kept Chicago in the 7th spot but tied them with Detroit for the 7th and 8th spots. A win by Chicago gave them the 6th spot and dropped Philly down to 7th. Chicago is guaranteed no lower than the 7th seed.
Here are the standings after Monday night's action: Seed Team GB 1. Cleveland 0 2. Boston 5.5 3. Orlando 8 4. Atlanta 19.5 5. Miami 23.5 6. Chicago 25 7. Philadelphia 25.5 8. Detroit 27
With the 6th and 7th spots still up in the air, here are the remaining games for both teams for the last 2 days of the season.
Chicago has just one game left at home vs Toronto Philly has the toughest remaining schedule as they play Boston at home on Tuesday and then have to play Cleveland on the road on Wednesday.
Game to watch on Tuesday Boston at Philadelphia A win by Philly will tie them with Chicago again and Philly would have the tie breaker. A loss would move them to just 1 game in front of Detroit. With each team having one game to play. The 6th and 7th seeds probably won't be settled until the last day of the season. Miami also plays at Atlanta but that is pretty much a meaningless game as the results won't change the standings. However, these two teams will meet in the first round so either both will be resting or both will be trying to send a message.