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April 13 - Boston Celtics

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  • April 13 - Boston Celtics

    ESPN Preview:

    The short-handed Toronto Raptors had their point guard bloodied and their interior defense soundly beaten their last time out.

    One can only imagine a motivated Rajon Rondo's eagerness, then, as he leads the resurgent Boston Celtics into Air Canada Centre for Friday night's game.

    Rondo is playing the best basketball of his career as the Celtics (34-24) try to win their fifth consecutive Atlantic Division title and overtake the Indiana Pacers for third in the Eastern Conference. The point guard reached double figures in assists for the 19th straight game -- matching a season high with 20 -- and recorded his NBA-leading sixth triple-double of the season Wednesday when Boston won 88-86 over Atlanta in overtime.

    That came one night after a big win at Miami.

    "We kept fighting regardless of the other stuff out there. We stuck together, followed through and got the win," Rondo said after Boston's fourth straight victory and 19th in 26 games kept it two games behind Indiana.

    Rondo's streak is the NBA's longest since John Stockton had a 29-game run Jan. 25-March 30, 1992. Rondo is averaging 13.7 assists while posting a 3.5-to-1.0 assist-to-turnover ratio during his streak.

    "I know he's on a run," coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't know what it means. He's playing well, but I don't need the numbers to tell me that. He's just been playing extremely well, he's been spectacular ... and that's why we're winning."

    Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in overtime while Brandon Bass contributed 21 and 10. The Celtics also got valuable minutes from Mickael Pietrus, who filled in for the injured Ray Allen and had eight points and six rebounds in 29 minutes in his first action since suffering a concussion March 23.

    Rondo posted one of his 19 career triple-doubles against the Raptors, but he was outplayed by counterpart Jose Calderon in an 86-74 defeat at Toronto (20-39) on Feb. 10 in the most recent meeting. Rondo was held to five points and seven assists while committing five turnovers, and Calderon totaled 17 points and 14 assists without a turnover.

    Calderon is expected to play after taking three stitches to his right eyebrow in a 93-75 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday after a collision with Jrue Holliday. It came one week after he absorbed an elbow in the same area from 76ers forward Elton Brand.

    "He's going to look like Rocky whether he wants to or not," Casey said.

    Casey, though, needs Calderon to fight on both ends of the court. Philadelphia had 27 assists and 58 points in the paint, totals the Celtics can easily attain given Rondo's current level of play.

    "We just didn't have any resistance at the point of the ball and you have to contain the ball and I thought their guards did a really good job of getting into the paint, causing problems, causing guys to help and finding the open man," Casey said.

    The Raptors likely will again be without leading scorer Andrea Bargnani, who has missed the last two games with a calf strain. Linas Kleiza may also be unavailable after suffering a sore right knee, though rookie Ed Davis did contribute 13 points and 13 rebounds off the bench Wednesday for his second straight double-double.
    Bargnani shut down for season.

    Calderon is not playing according to Wolstat tweet.
    Ryan Wolstat ‏ @WolstatSun
    No Jose tonight, Ben Uzoh gets the start. If you like 8 second calls fans, tonight could be your night.
    Kleiza with sore knee.

    Do I have to say it?

  • #2
    Demar is having a sensational second half.


    • #3
      **** sakes....just lose the game already.


      • #4
        WTF is this. Just tuned in thinking this was going to be a slaughter and see Anderson hit a 3 and get fouled for a 15 pt lead deep in the 4th. Has this ever happened against the Celtics? Something funny here?


        • #5
          JJ is playing himself right off the team this is wild


          • #6
            Our D-Leaguers are playing well.

            Who is the scout? Cause they've done a very good job of getting us these guys.

            What is casey doing leaving kleiza out there....


            • #7
              It's been a while since we've seen this Raptor team compete in a series with the Celtics. I'm happy to see no intimidation...

              As much as I'm all for the tank, i hate the celtics, so i want the win.


              • #8
                Dammit... now I think 4th is out of reach... but we beat the Celtics.. but... 4th is out of reach... but.. we beat the Celtics... but..

                Yeah, I dunno. Couldnt they have just laid off whipping the old ass Celtics until next year with a good lineup? On the bright side, that was a solid fuck you to the Celts hopes of home court advantage.


                • #9
                  I will take a good old whup-ass being laid on the Celtics any time, especially when we are talking about ranking 4th or 5th in the draft. Beating the Celtics might have more value to the players on this team who will be here next year than the difference between what thevalue of the draft picks would have been.

                  On another note, how cool is it to be a D-Leaguer on your second 10 day and being a big part of a smack down on a Celtic team that is ranked fourth in the East and that features two hall of famers. I am super happy for Dentmon, Uzoh and Anderson. Glad they got to be part of that, and especially the way they got to be part of it. Three 10 day contracts, without their starting 4 or 1 and the Raptors spank the Celtics. I will remember this game for a long time.


                  • #10
                    Casey has really got these guys psyched out. Well done. Now lose the rest


                    • #11
                      What is the story with James Johnson? He was playing so well and Casey was raving about him .. now he's hardly playing .. not sure what I missed.


                      • #12
                        @ Puffer

                        Well the D guys especially. A notch in their belt sotospeak. This Celtics team has aspirations this year actually.


                        • #13
                          Atlanta are wildly overrated and the Heat are slumping badly into the playoffs. I hope everyone is excited for the Henson era.


                          • #14
                            joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
                            What is the story with James Johnson? He was playing so well and Casey was raving about him .. now he's hardly playing .. not sure what I missed.
                            If it's attitudinal he must really have stones for brains. If this win with him on the bench doesn't get him to change or whatever he is on his way out. And I was a supporter of JJ.


                            • #15
                              joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
                              What is the story with James Johnson? He was playing so well and Casey was raving about him .. now he's hardly playing .. not sure what I missed.
                              There was an incident that no one will talk about that got JJ benched and then reduced minutes. He should be careful about how he'll be perceived by GMs if he doesn't soon pull himself out of this hole that he has dug himself into.