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February 1st - Boston Celtics

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  • February 1st - Boston Celtics

    ESPN Preview

    Despite nagging injuries to some of their top players, the Boston Celtics have a good chance to surpass the .500 mark for just the second time this season.

    With the last of their injured stars possibly set to return, the Celtics hope to accomplish that feat as they try for an eighth consecutive home victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

    Even with injuries to starters Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Jermaine O'Neal, Boston (10-10) has won five of six. Allen played his second straight game since missing three with an ankle injury, and O'Neal was back following a three-game absence with a knee problem as the Celtics won 93-90 at Cleveland on Tuesday.

    Paul Pierce scored 20 points and Kevin Garnett had 13 while O'Neal and Allen each added 12 as the Celtics shot 50.7 percent to move one win away from topping the .500 mark for the first time since they were 4-3 on Jan. 4.

    Though the Celtics appear confident, they must improve after the Cavaliers trimmed a 22-point deficit down to two Tuesday. Boston blew an 11-point cushion in Sunday's 88-87 home loss to Cleveland.

    "I hate it," Allen said. "We won (Tuesday), but I'll take it as a loss in terms of getting better. Being able to play for a full four quarters is what I want. Every day we have to get better."

    Boston could get a boost if Rondo is able to return after missing the last seven games with a wrist injury. Averaging 15.0 points and 9.4 assists, Rondo traveled with the team to Cleveland and is expected back either for this contest or Friday versus New York.

    "(Rondo) being on the road means he wanted to work with the team," said coach Doc Rivers, whose team is 5-2 without Rondo. "With us, when you see a guy on the road, it means he's really close."

    Rondo has not played since he scored 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting in Boston's 96-73 home rout of Toronto on Jan. 18.

    With or without their star point guard, the Celtics appear in good shape to extend their home dominance over the Raptors (7-15), who last won in Boston 114-112 on Jan. 23, 2008. The Celtics have won 16 of 18 at home versus Toronto.

    Though the Celtics average just 89.0 points, they've scored 108.0 per game on 52.1 percent shooting during their seven-game home winning streak versus Toronto. Pierce was held to eight points against the Raptors earlier this month, but he's still averaging 23.2 in his last six home games against Toronto.

    Raptors leading scorer Andrea Bargnani (23.5 ppg) did not play at Boston two weeks ago because of strained calf, and could miss a fourth straight contest with the same injury.

    Jerryd Bayless scored 14 points while Ed Davis had 11 with 11 boards as Toronto returned from a 3-2 road trip to shoot 37.0 percent in a 100-77 home loss to Atlanta on Tuesday.

    "We came out with a competitive spirit, but I didn't think we sustained it long enough," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "I was disappointed."

    Second-year swingman Gary Forbes, who had 10 points off the bench against the Hawks, scored a season-high 18 at Boston this month.

    Retribution in the air? Rondo has been out since these 2 teams last encounter.

    That bolded quote from Casey is like your old man telling you, "I'm really disappointed in you." Shit, man, couldn't you ground me or something? Why'd you have to play that card?

    Looks like ED is rewarded with the start along with Gray. Amir is on the pine.

    Raptors Toronto Raptors
    #Raptors Starting 5: Calderon,DeRozan, J.Johnson, Davis & Grey. Linas Kleiza will sit out tonight w/ a sore right knee. #RTZ

    Hopefully Kleiza's knee is just precautionary.

  • #2
    Bayless has 9 points in 9 mins


    • #3
      This game is fugly..... and it is not even half time yet.

      Has Jose's contract been changed so that his salary is passed on number of bounces per possession? Seriously, pass the ball Jose. Everyone else, move goddammit.

      I've had this soft spot for Aaron Gray that I couldn't place. Tonight I figured it out. He should most definitely be considered a piece moving forward to have on the bench. A nice complimentary piece to Bargnani and a backup to JV.

      Bayless continues to impress.... too bad it is not as a point guard.


      • #4
        Thunder vs Mavericks is much better
        "Stay steamy"

        - Kobe


        • #5
          This is some amazingly bad ball


          • #6
            Ed has his struggles but you can see a very good player there waiting to come out. He's got a nose for the ball, man. I'm not saying he's ever going to be a all-star but when his body catches up with his IQ he's going to be a fantastic big coming off the bench.

            Bayless has a decent night and Gray did some nice things like Matt mentioned. Rest of the team was just abysmal. Peep Demar's stat line if you feel the need to vomit.


            • #7
              This is maybe one of the worst Raptors games I have watched. Who posted that they are going to the playoffs? That would be the worst possible out come for this team. We obviously lack talent that can be acquired in the draft. We really need to be in the top five!


              • #8
                This is a season to forget, so far. I hope it gets better.

                Tomorrow is Groundhog Day March Madness is only 6 weeks away!


                • #9
                  “Oh, we’re going to practise (Thursday),” he said after the Raptors put up the fourth-lowest single-game points total in franchise history. “There is no question about it after an exhibition like that. We owe it to the city of Toronto, the organization and ourselves to go back in and correct some of the things we didn’t come through with tonight.”
                  “I thought we caved,” said Casey. “I thought Boston came out, threw the haymaker and we didn’t respond. It was something that was disappointing, I thought we competed for one quarter but after that, we didn’t compete.

                  “Every excuse in the world during an NBA season that you can use — back-to-back, travel, whatever it is — we let it creep in and used it. We didn’t play with the confidence and the spirit we’re going to play with.”

                  “You learn from getting your butt kicked like we did tonight,” he said. “I told the team, ‘For the rest of your basketball careers, remember how this feels tonight, getting beat by 40.’ I can’t remember getting beat by 40 and it’s the worst taste you feel. It’s something you never want to forget. You take that, you learn from it and you build from it and you never want to feel it again.

                  “Teams in this league, when they have an opportunity to step on your neck, they’re going to step on it and suffocate you and that’s what Boston did. I thought there were certain situations in the game where we had opportunities to kind of break the tide (but) we missed some free throws, missed some easy buckets and that’s when they took off, which a good team like Boston will do.”


                  Notice there is not one excuse? No blaming refs, schedule, injuries. Awesome. Work them hard in practice, coach.


                  • #10
                    Recorded the game to watch when I got home. Barely made it through the first half. Couldn't stomach watching the second half. After 16 years of mostly crap I don't remember a season where the games were as unwatchable as this season.

                    It is good to see Ed Davis playing better. I couldnt' understand why he was so bad early on this year but he appears to be turning the corner. At least that's something to hang a hat on. Derozan, on the other hand, seems to be getting worse. This system, this coach, this style just don't seem to suit him. Long term, I just don't think a guy that's as easy to guard as Derozan is the answer at such a key position.


                    • #11
                      On the bright side - we didn't lose by 44 to the Trailblazers like the Bobcats did. I like the idea of getting a solid pick, but I like Toronto's situation far more than I like the Bobcats situation right now.


                      • #12
                        Did anyone notice DeRozan hurl the ball into the 10th row at the halftime buzzer? It was right after KG nailed a 3.

                        You can tell he's getting frustrated with the non-calls, his poor production, and the losses.


                        • #13
                          Nilanka wrote: View Post
                          Did anyone notice DeRozan hurl the ball into the 10th row at the halftime buzzer? It was right after KG nailed a 3.

                          You can tell he's getting frustrated with the non-calls, his poor production, and the losses.
                          Yeah, I laughed at that. Hey guys, the dude with no rebounds, no assists, no steals and no blocks who is shooting 25% from the field is mad and frustrated at the fact we are getting killed at home. I imagine there were a few eyerolls on the bench after that one....