Doc: No Tanks for Lottery

April 2007

The Celtics can clinch the second-worst record in the NBA with a loss to the Bucks tonight, and, with all the talk of tanking that has surrounded these clubs, one half expects Doc Rivers to be breathing through a snorkel on the sideline.


Season Over for P-Squared

April  2007

The final say - Pierce is done

The last two weeks have been almost like a death watch. Last night, the official notice came from Doc Rivers. The Celtics coach announced that Paul Pierce has played his last game of the season.


Purple Pummels Green

June 5, 1987

Section: SPORTS



A good, solid first quarter that would have earned a 10-point lead over any other team in the league? It meant nothing.

Three starters over 20 points? Meant nothing.


Celtics Prefer Oden to Durant?

April 11, 2007

One down, one to go. The University of Texas's star freshman, Kevin Durant, has decided to leave Austin and make himself available for the June 28 NBA draft. Does this mean Danny Ainge gets his $30,000 back from the NBA for chatting up Durant's mom last month at the Big 12 tournament?

Ball Back in Telfair's Court

April 9, 2007

ATLANTA - One of the complaints about Doc Rivers during his tenure in Boston has been that he doesn't establish set rotations. A player's playing time and stock can fluctuate like the Dow Jones. Nobody knows that better than Sebastian Telfair. The team's starting point guard at the outset of the season, he's an afterthought as it winds down, having been surpassed by Rajon Rondo.


Kevin Pinkney Makes NBA Debut, Scalabrine Done for Season

April 2007

Kevin Pinkney looked right at home in his first NBA action, coming off the bench in the second quarter to score 11 points. He wasted little time getting his name into the scorebook, dunking over Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova 1:04 into the period and drawing a foul in the process. "That was a confidence-builder," said Pinkney, who played 22 minutes. "It got the jitters out of me. After that, I was just ready to go." Rivers liked what he saw from the the 6-10 forward, who was averaging 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBDL. The 23-year-old missed the first portion of the shootaround while the Celtics waited for his paperwork to go through - they needed a waiver from the league to sign Pinkney because they were at the 15-man roster limit ... Rivers said that as far as he's concerned, Brian Scalabrine (strained left hamstring) won't play again this season, citing the potential for the injury to become a pull or a tear. Scalabrine missed his sixth straight game last night.


The Right Buttons

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IT'S NO SECRET that Stevens is an NBA hit-maker. In his short time in Boston, he has made Jordan Crawford the sort of player that could win an Eastern Conference Player of the Week award. He harnessed the talents of Evan Turner and Kelly Olynyk enough so that teams paid them a combined $120 million the past two summers. Stevens helped Thomas morph from overlooked sixth man in Phoenix into someone who finished fifth in MVP voting last season while earning All-NBA second-team honors.

C's Suit Up Bare Minimum

April 7, 2007

Eight is just enough

More injuries push C's to bare minimum

The Celtics, league leaders in playing time lost to injury at one point this season, have reached the stage where booking MRI exams may be cheaper as a package deal.


Help Wanted

April 2004

The Celtics were already looking at bringing in a player on a 10-day contract when they had nine in uniform, but Al Jefferson's injury potentially leaves the club with eight bodies. With the max 15 players under contract, the Celts need a waiver from the league to sign a short-term player. Sources said late yesterday that Kevinn Pinkney, a 6-foot-10 banger playing for Bakersfield in the NBA Developmental League, should be on his way. The Nevada product is averaging 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds.


Ping-Pong Balls on the Mind

April 2007

No-risk strategy

With the Celtics playing for progress and ping-pong balls as the season winds down, they aren't taking any chances other than in the lottery. That's why neither Pierce (left elbow) nor Jefferson (left knee) made the trip.


Celtics Move 3 Games Ahead of Bucks in Ping-Pong Ball Race

April 5, 2007

Celtics Win with Loss

MILWAUKEE - Come lottery time in May, the Celtics may look back on their 98-89 loss to the Bucks last night as one of the most important victories of the season. The defeat put the Celtics three games ahead of Milwaukee in the ping-pong ball race. A Celtics win would have pulled the Bucks within a game of Boston for the second-worst record in the NBA.


Big Al Better than Oden?

April 4, 2007

Al Jefferson finally acknowledged yesterday that next season is more important than the rest of this season, and in that regard the Celtics may have caught a break with a bruise.

Jefferson may well be forced to sit out tonight's game in Milwaukee after aggravating a left knee he originally hurt March 21.


C's Want to Improve in 07-08? Get Grant Hill

April 1, 2007

Savvy veteran exactly what Celtics could use

I don't know if he'd come here. I don't know if he's even going to play next year. But if I'm Danny Ainge, the one veteran free agent I'd go after this summer is Grant Hill.

It might require the Celtics actually using their full mid-level exception. It might require a sign-and-trade if Hill figures he's worth more, although he turns 35 in October. But can you imagine a better veteran presence for the Celtics than the classy Hill?


Another Year, Another Injury for Raef

April 2, 2007

What is it with Raef LaFrentz and his first year in a new place?

In his first year in Denver, he tore the ACL in his left knee and played 12 games. In his first year in Boston, he had season-ending knee surgery after 17 games. And now, in his first year in Portland, he has torn his left calf four times and has played in only 17 games.


C's Eliminated from Playoffs; Ainge Declines Comment on Tanking

April 1, 2007

Those who follow the Celtics can revel in the fact they are smarter than mathematics. Greenhearts, no April fools they, have known for quite a while that the C's are not going to make it into this year's playoffs, but the numbers didn't figure it out until Friday night. Yes, the 88-82 loss to the 76ers officially eliminated the Bostonians from the postseason.


The Mookster is previously aquainted with Bron Bron

Marcus Morris (aka, "the Mookster") was the NBA’s best defender of LeBron James during the 2015-16 regular season. According to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh, James averaged just 20.5 points per 100 possessions when defended by Morris — his lowest average against any defender in the league that season.

That’s a striking statistic compared to James’s average over the course of that entire season: 36.5 points per 100 possessions.
As NBA.com noted that same year, James “averaged 20.7 points and shot just .308 from deep in three games against the Pistons this season, guarded mostly by Marcus Morris.”
That’s a striking statistic compared to James’s average over the course of that entire season: 36.5 points per 100 possessions.
As NBA.com noted that same year, James “averaged 20.7 points and shot just .308 from deep in three games against the Pistons this season, guarded mostly by Marcus Morris.”

The Big Baynger (part 1)

Who is Daniel Theis?


Lakers Rally from 17 Down, Beat Celtics

February 16, 1987

Section: SPORTS



What took place here yesterday afternoon at the Fabulous Forum bore about as much resemblance to the joke Celtics blowouts of Denver, Golden State and Portland as Bruce Springsteen has to some third- string lounge act in Brighton.


Ainge forces Riles Hand, Inflicts More Pain

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Missing out on Gordon Hayward in free agency Tuesday would have been far from a disaster if he had stayed in Utah.

The real problem for the Miami Heat is Hayward choosing Boston, an Eastern Conference rival that is strong and getting stronger.


A Behind the Scenes Look at the July 4th Debacle

SALT LAKE CITY - In the week leading up to making important visits with the three NBA franchises he was interested in possibly playing for, Gordon Hayward spent time writing down things on his mind about his impending life-changing decision.


Bob Cousy at Holy Cross

The Bob Cousy Series: Part 3

Though Worcester had a basketball tradition, Boston was a dribbling desert. The Midwest was the hotbed of basketball. Everybody knew that. Strange stories of Hoosier high school hoop hysteria seeped out of Indiana. Every backyard had a net. The bigtime coach was Adolph Rupp of Kentucky. The bigtime player was George Mikan, a myopic, broad-beamed, wide-shouldered hook-shooting hulk at DePaul University in Chicago.


Gordie vs. LeBron

Somebody's a Goner...

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Ainge Deals Riles a Body Blow

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This is a big defeat for the Miami Heat and a very personal one for Pat Riley.

You can try to spin Tuesday's news — top prize Gordon Hayward picking the Boston Celtics over the Heat and Utah Jazz — any way you wish, but it is an unequivocal loss for Miami. Period. It means an ultimately disappointing summer of free agency in South Florida.

Hayward chose the Fourth of July to declare his independence from Utah, his longtime NBA employer, but in doing so essentially told the world he thought Boston was closer to competing for a championship than Miami, his very decision making that a reality. The Celtics had a built-in edge: Brad Stevens, their coach, coached Hayward in college. Riley tried to overcome that but could not, losing what amounted to a 1-on-1 duel with Celtics counterpart Danny Ainge to convince Hayward where his future would be best spent. Ainge and Riley have had a professional animus since the 1980s, one that in 2013 led Riley to publicly tell Ainge to "shut the f--- up."

It was a needed victory for Boston, which hoped to both trade for Paul George and then sign Hayward but missed out on the first half of that dream.

The Heat and Celtics both offered Hayward what Utah could not: An easier Eastern Conference. A more reasonable path to the NBA Finals that did not include the gargantuan roadblock of reigning champion/dynasty Golden State.

Now the defeated Heat are left to prioritize retaining and re-signing their own two top free agents, James Johnson and Dion Waiters, keeping the core of the team that went 30-11 in the past season's second half, and tinkering from there. By signing Hayward, Miami might have been unable financially to keep both Johnson and Waiters and might even have lost both.

Heat fans of the glass-half-full variety will go there now, seeing the bright side, convincing themselves that keeping Johnson/Waiters (if they can) will outweigh losing Hayward.

That's dubious. Hayward was not a tinker. Miami was aiming big with him. He was the top available free agent out there. He was not a “whale,” no, but he's an in-his-prime 26-year-old versatile forward coming off a 22-point-average season. He made the 2017 All-Star team. He can shoot the 3. He'd have been a great add for Miami, a budding star, not to mention a big personal triumph for Riley.

Now, the Heat is left to parse the disappointment and hope to salvage the summer.


Ainge and Riles Still at It

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It was fun. It was loud. It was just four years ago Boston's Danny Ainge said it was "almost embarrassing" how LeBron James complained about some referees' calls, and Heat president Pat Riley dropped a 31-word bomb in a hand-delivered news release to defend James.

Celtics Dominate Lakers (again)

Celtics Stifle Magic, Dominate Lakers in LA

February 17, 1986

Section: SPORTS



The Celtics spoiled Sunday brunch at the Forum Club yesterday. Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson and an impressive quintet of green pine brothers drove Boston to a 105-99 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.


Teams Adjusting to this Paul Pierce Guy

March 8, 1999

   TORONTO - Two of the league's top rookies were on display yesterday at Air Canada Centre. The result? Well, there are now fans in two cities - here and Cleveland - who must be wondering what the Paul Pierce fuss is all about.

Pierce wasn't nearly as brutal as he was a week ago in Cleveland, when he went 0 for 11 from the field and scored 2 points. But he was 3 for 11 and scored just 7 points yesterday, his second single-digit game of the season. 


Cousy's Final Years as a Celtic

The Bob Cousy Series: Part 5
In 1961 and again in 1962, Cousy talked of retiring. He was still among the leaders in assists but no longer in the top 20 in scoring, turning that department over to Sam Jones, Heinsohn, and Russell. At the end of the 1962 season, a year in which the Celtics won 60 games and lost only 20, and then beat both Philly and Los Angeles in exciting seven-game series to capture the championship, Cousy sat down with Brown and Auerbach to discuss his future. He talked with Auerbach for half an hour and with Brown for almost an hour. When the talks were over, Cousy decided, at age 33, to give it one more season. That season and his career would end in triumph. He would go out, not with a T.S. Eliot whimper, but with a bang.


Riles Batting Lead-Off with Hayward

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June 30, 2017
So Pat Riley bats leadoff with Gordon Hayward, eh? What's that mean? That the Heat are the bar by which everyone else will be measured, or that they're the appetizer before the main courses of Boston and Utah?

What's the motivation here from Hayward?

Lakers Hold on to Win

June 8, 1985

Section: SPORTS



The Forum farewell was everything the Lakers had hoped it would be. Magic was Magic, Worthy was Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar was . . . still dominant after all these years.


Celtics Rapped by Raptors

March 8, 1999

   TORONTO - With 6:59 remaining in yesterday's game, the Boston broadcast crew filled out its request sheet for postgame interviews. Under the column headlined 'If Raptors Win,' there were three names. Under the column 'If Opponent Wins,' there were none.

It was that kind of day. 


Greatness is Fundamental

August 23, 1996

The smile never left his face.

Bill Walton slumped to a seat at the far end of the Stony Brook Indoor Sports Complex, sweat dripping from his long forehead and a weary look in his eyes. He rubbed his knees, let out a long sigh and leaned back against the wall.


Eric Williams Returns to Boston as Nugget

March 6, 1999 
Return to sender

   It's almost like he was hardly ever here. He might as well be Brett Szabo or Nate Driggers or anyone else from that appalling cast of 1996-97.

Eric Williams got mild, polite applause last night when he was introduced as the starting small forward for the Denver Nuggets. It was his first game in the FleetCenter wearing anything other than green and white. 


Billups Returns to Boston as Nugget

March 6, 1999 
Billups never got his shot

   Chauncey Billups returned to the FleetCenter last night. He did not play for the Nuggets because of a sprained left ankle. But had he played, he would have started at shooting guard. If someone could have whispered that to the entire Celtics drafting contingent in the summer of 1997, Billups never would have been taken with the third overall pick. 


Riles Reacts to Cunningham's Resignation

May 29, 1985

Section: SPORTS


Ian Thomsen, Globe Staff and Dan Shaughnessy, Globe Staff

Lakers coach Pat Riley was not surprised with colleague Billy Cunningham's resignation yesterday from the 76ers.

"He's eight years in one place and he's had a great, great coaching career," Riley said. "He's won more games faster than anyone . . . and obviously he was never getting the credit he deserved as a coach.


Byron Scott not Happy with Danny Ainge

May 29, 1985

Section: SPORTS


When Pat Riley is alone in his hotel room, is his hair combed like that?

Oh, to deal with such unimportant questions. Instead, there was that dreadful 148-114 Lakers' Game 1 loss to the Celtics Monday afternoon, which led to this important question: Just what did Pat Riley do alone in his hotel room Monday night?


Mercer Returns with a Vengeance

March 6, 1999 
Mercer turns in gem;

   Ron Mercer looked at the man assigned to guard him last night. But he couldn't look him directly in the eyes. If Mercer had wanted to do that, he would have had to look down. Way down. Six inches down.


Trader Dan: Strong Sense of Self

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"Trader Dan."

Isn't that just one of the nicknames Danny Ainge has acquired as the basketball boss of the Boston Celtics over the last 14 years?

Dee Brown Wants to Fit In

October 12, 1991
The intended message is clearly no longer, "I want to fit in."

Dee Brown is past that. Heck, he leaped over that in a single bound a long time ago, then did a handspring and dunked the ball lefthanded with his eyes closed for good measure.


Bob Cousy at Holy Cross

The Bob Cousy Series: Part 3

Though Worcester had a basketball tradition, Boston was a dribbling desert. The Midwest was the hotbed of basketball. Everybody knew that. Strange stories of Hoosier high school hoop hysteria seeped out of Indiana. Every backyard had a net. The bigtime coach was Adolph Rupp of Kentucky. The bigtime player was George Mikan, a myopic, broad-beamed, wide-shouldered hook-shooting hulk at DePaul University in Chicago.


Red and Moses Square Off in Preseason Win

1983-84 Boston Celtics

This was right out of Syracuse or Fort Wayne, circa 1955: The Celtics and a hated rival in a free-for-all with Red Auerbach in the middle, taunting the enemy's big man by taking off his glasses and saying, "Go ahead, hit me you big SOB."


What about Hondo?


Yesterday, I opined that Paul Pierce deserved to be on the starting unit of the all-time great Boston Celtics, as the starting two-guard. Today I'm gonna back-peddle, and recall that Hondo played a lot of two-guard, and perhaps we need to make a place for him on the starting unit. The Celtics all-time leading scorer, Hondo won eight championships with two different generations of Celtics (three if you count the one he won with Cousy as a different generation).


McHale has Late Night Taping for Cheers

October 13, 1991
The man deemed Most Likely To Play Backup Center showed up for the 7 p.m. game, some 56 minutes late. He then escorted his wife and four children to their designated seats, amidst wild applause from the celebrity-conscious Centrum crowd.

"I thought it was someone important," Larry Bird cracked.

It wasn't. Just Kevin McHale. 


Cousy's First Ten Years as a Celtic

The Bob Cousy Series: Part 4Auerbach was not a lover of razzle-dazzle. He was never one for making the game complicated. Even Cousy, in his book, "The Killer Instinct," said that Auerbach's coaching philosophy was, " Keep it simple and execute properly.' I don't think we used more than six plays in my 13 years as a Celtic."


Celtics Down Nets

December 13, 1979

They turned it on. They turned it off. They turned it on. They turned it off. But the Boston Celtics, as much as they may have aggravated coach Bill Fitch, were always in control last night as they defeated the New Jersey Nets, 116-102, before 9145 at the Garden.


Wallet-on-a-String Trick Back in Use

December 13, 1979

They must have played this game, oh, 700 times during the '60s. The Old Celtics used to tease opponents like this all the time, blowing a team out early and then employing the old wallet-on-a-string trick during the rest of the game before finally reeling in the old billfold in the final period.


Bird Toasts Red

October 4, 1992

The room was dark, save for the three rows of empty chairs in front of a photographer's lighting setup, and Larry Bird had found what he hoped was a remote couch.

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