Found December 06, 2012 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
Courtney Lee’s aggressiveness has picked up on the offensive end over the past three games. The Boston Celtics are nearly a quarter into their 2012-’13 regular season with a 10-8 record. Through seventeen games, the Celtics have battled inconsistency on both ends of the court. This year the Celtics’ roster appeared to be deeper than in the past five years since they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to form the Big Three with Paul Pierce. With Allen leaving the Celtics for the Miami Heat in July, they replaced him with Jason Terry. Terry has performed fairly well other than allowing Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings to get by him for the go-ahead basket in the Celtics’ 91-88 loss to the Bucks on Saturday. Terry missed a couple of treys in the final minute. The Celtics’ bench was supposed to be strong this year with players such as Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Leandro Barbosa, and either Jared Sullinger or Brandon Bass. They lost Darko Milicic, who had an ailing mother overseas, for the season. Milicic was supposed to be an upgrade over Greg Stiemsma last year. Milicic’s height (7 feet) and interior defense were supposed to help the Celtics, but that never materialized. Instead, the Celtics have used undersized forwards such as Chris Wilcox and Sullinger in the frontcourt with rare cameos from Jason Collins. This year, the Celtics lost the rebounding battle in 13 of their 18 games. Doc Rivers blasted the team after their 95-83 defeat to the Brooklyn Nets. Rivers called his players “soft.” Rivers is right because the Celtics used to be a tough team especially when they were at the Garden. The Celtics are just 6-4 at home. They lost by 11 in a game they fell behind early in their home opener against the Bucks. Overall, the Celtics have lacked intensity and focus at times this year. Since Rivers called out his players, the Celtics are playing like they are trying to prove their coach wrong. They got off to a 17-0 lead over the Bucks, but a poor second quarter in which the Celtics allowed 36 points got the Bucks back into the game. On Wednesday, the Celtics outrebounded the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. They have had some key victories over the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder on November 23rd and they were able to beat the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls on the road earlier in the season. Despite the Bulls not having Rose, it was the type of game the Celtics would have lost last year. This team played well in the absence of Rajon Rondo for his two-game suspension even though they lost to the Bucks. The Celtics coughed up some poor performances such as their 105-83 defeat to the Detroit Pistons on November 18th and their 106-100 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at home on November 9th. The Celtics got off to a 4-8 start last year. They were able to come back and win the Atlantic Division because the Atlantic Division was still relatively weak. The New York Knicks dealt with a soap opera all year with the emergence of Jeremy Lin, but he went down due to injury. Without a true point guard, Mike D’Antoni’s system of pick-and-roll offense was useless. The 76ers got off to a great start, but without any superstar, they faded down the stretch. Meanwhile the Celtics improved with the transition of Garnett to center and the emergence of Avery Bradley. Now, the Atlantic Division is much stronger than last year. The Knicks are running their offense through Carmelo Anthony. Tyson Chandler has improved the Knicks’ interior defense as well as Mike Woodson’s defensive schemes. Raymond Felton could be the most improved player in the NBA. There’s something about the bright lights of New York that brings out the best of Felton because he performed well for the Knicks in his previous stint before he was traded in the Anthony deal in February 2011. The Nets are playing well under Avery Johnson. They came into this season with some question marks such as the Andray Blatche reclamation project, whether Brook Lopez could stay healthy and become a dominant center, and how their players would mesh with Deron Williams. The Nets are playing well and they are 11-6. They have lost two straight without Lopez, but they nearly beat the Thunder on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Sixers continue to remain steady despite losing center Andrew Bynum to injuries on both knees. Bynum had surgery on his right knee in the offseason, but he significantly damaged his left knee while he was reportedly bowling. There is concern from the Sixers about him missing the entire year. Doug Collins has this team at 10-8 without a big inside threat other than Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. The Celtics are just 1-3 against these teams with their only win coming against the lowly Toronto Raptors. After the Nets beat the Celtics 102-97, the Celtics came out flat at the Garden in their loss to the Nets. They never recovered. Rondo got ejected for getting in a skirmish with Kris Humphries and Pierce went 1-of-6 from the free throw line. There is still time for the Celtics to turn themselves around. Bradley is getting closer to returning from his double shoulder surgery in the summer. Green and Lee are beginning to play with more assertiveness on both offense and defense. Despite having a poor first half of the Celtics’ 104-94 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Bass came out and played well in the second half. Sullinger continues to play with high energy. There are reports the Celtics could be looking into bringing in another center such as Erick Dampier. Dampier is another 7-footer who could play the role that Milicic was supposed to play. He will just be asked to be a physical force in the pain and rebound. At this point, the Celtics could use all of the help they can get because their rebounding woes are atrocious. With the current crop of players, the Celtics must play with more toughness, especially in front of their home fans or else they will be left behind in the Eastern Conference.  

Fan finds cool souvenir at Boston concert, Rajon Rondo's driver's license

Rajon Rondo and a few of hid Celtics teammates (Rondo and Chris Wilcox pictured below) were at the House of Blues Tuesday night for the 2 Chainz concert. Someone found his driver's license at the concert and posted a pic of it on Facebook. No truth to the rumor they are trying to trade it back to Rondo for some nail polish. Thanks Ryan for the tip.

Bradley to Return to Practice in 7-10 Days

On the pregame show, CSNNE is reporting that Avery Bradley is set to begin practicing with the team in 7-10 days. This fits with the timetable that he gave earlier in the season that put him back practicing in mid-December. He will need to get his conditioning back and get back into game shape and expects to return to the court for games just after the New Year. The Celtics...

Did Doc calling the Celtics soft help light a fire underneath them?

It's been eight days, and three games, since Doc Rivers called his team soft following their rather embarrassing loss at home against the Nets. Since then the team is 2-1, beating the Blazers by 18, losing in Milwaukee by 3 (both of these games without Rajon Rondo) and then beating the Timberwolves by 10 last night. More than just the results though, the team has played differently...

Video: Celtics Locker Room Report: Rondo Comes Back, But Doesn’t Want to Talk About It

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Rajon Rondo vacationed in Mexico during suspension, says he learned nothing

Rajon Rondo returned to practice with the Boston Celtics on Monday following his two-game suspension for a fight with Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries last week. The Celtics won one game and lost the other without their starting point guard, but failed to crack the 100-point mark in either contest. Rondo is happy to be back with his teammates, but that doesn’t mean he was miserable...

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Red Claws Move to 3-2 With 113-111 Win over Erie (video)

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Boston Celtics News from Around the Web: Daily Links for Thursday, 12/6

Celtics 104, Timberwolves 94 Boston Globe Boston Herald (AP) CSNNE ESPN Boston WEEI Boston Globe Brandon Bass spurs Celtics over Timberwolves in the second half – Amalie Benjamin looks at what the C’s power forward did to help get the win. Boston Herald Rajon Rondo earns an assist - The Boston offense ran smoothly with Rondo’s return [...]

Fab Makes Top 5 Plays of the Week

The Celtics' own Fab Melo makes the D-League's Top 5 Plays of the Week. Also featured is the Red Claws' Chris Wright. [Discuss on CG Forums!]

Celtics Beat Wolves 104-94 In the Return of Stiemsma

The Celtics played their first game in five days as the Minnesota Timberwolves came to the TD Garden. This marked the first return of Greg Stiemsma coming back to Boston. While he wasn't the most important player last year, "Steamboat" quickly became a fan and team favorite due to his hard work and shot blocking ability. The night also marked the return of Rajon Rondo...

Kendrick Perkins: Still Making Boston Proud

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Role Players, Second-Tier Scorers and How Danny Ainge Can’t Tell The Difference

Meet Courtney Lee, shooting guard for the Boston Celtics. He’s a decent on-ball defender at-best and can score in bunches when given the chance. Some would call that being a role player, but I assure you that’s not the case.

RedsArmy presents Fan Friday #33: “Hal Dogg”

Chris (far right) with his cousin Jackie & friend Mark About 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting die-hard Celtics fan Chris H, aka “Hal Dogg” at TD Garden. This guy is just full of energy and Celtic Pride. He’s at the Garden for pretty much every home game with the attitude that the Celtics are going to win, no matter what. Chris, a 23 year-old C’s fan from Blackstone...

1987 NBA Champs T-Shirt

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Q&A with Comcast Sportsnet host/Celtics reporter Gary Tanguay

Gary Tanguay is involved with a number of programs for Comcast Sportsnet including UNO Sports Tonight, Patriots Wednesday Live and Celtics pre and post game coverage. He also co-hosts 98.5 The Sports Hub’s pre and post game coverage for every Patriots game. In addition, he has also called some college football games for CSN. Tanguay is one of the most versatile members of the Boston...
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