Boston Celtics: The Big Green Machine

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Archive for December, 2008

Rivers: Mutombo Expected Back in Houston

Posted by r1zzo23 on December 19, 2008

Post from December 19, 2008…

One of the most sought-after big man not on a roster, Dikembe Mutombo is most definitely coming back to the NBA this season. The reigning champion Boston Celtics were courting his services, but Doc Rivers isn’t optimistic about him dawning the green in the Garden.

Doc Rivers confirmed on Wednesday that the Celtics are interested in free agent center Dikembe Mutombo, but he also predicted he would return to Houston.Asked if he had talked with Mutombo, Rivers replied, “Always. He’s a good friend. He’s going to come back. I talked to him last week – he will come back.

“We’re over the [salary] cap so it’s tough for us to do a lot of stuff, but we’re looking at everybody.”

If this is true, it’s very disappointing as a Boston fan. As I said earlier, I don’t think that PJ Brown will be playing again as he got his title last season, and it’s obvious that Patrick O’Bryant isn’t ready to step in and be a contributor any time soon, so to lose out on the Mutombo “sweepstakes” will be tough to swallow.

Anyone got a list of serviceable bigs that can help a team win a title?

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Posted in 2008, News, Rumors | Leave a Comment »

Celtics Win 16th Straight In Atlanta

Posted by r1zzo23 on December 18, 2008

Post from December 18, 2008…

Cs Win 16 Straight.jpg
After watching that game, I had to check the date on my computer because I thought it was June all over again. This game had a playoff atmosphere right from the opening jump, but it did have its playoff-like choke at the end. With just over two seconds remaining on the clock with the Hawks trailing by two, Joe Johnson stepped to the line with a chance to tie it up and most likely send this game into overtime. He calmly knocked down the first free throw. The second, well… just see the picture above.

This game came down to the final seconds, but every shot mattered, especially in the fourth quarter. The starting five, who ended up closing out the game, came to play tonight. The player of the game has to go to Kevin Garnett, who was a perfect five for five from the floor in the fourth quarter (2-10 in the first three) and was the emotional lift that the Celtics desperately needed. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce played second fiddle to KG in the quarter while Perk continued to gobble up rebounds and block shots (10 rebounds, 4 blocks).

With those four out of the way, that leaves us with our feisty floor-leader in Rajon Rondo. I mean if this kid didn’t turn haters into believers last season, I can’t possibly see how he hasn’t done it thus far into the season. When the all-star talk started for Rondo about a month ago, I thought it was a nice little conversation starter, but nothing serious. In the past month, Rondo has been nothing short of spectacular and has been just the point guard this team needs. Rondo finished tonight’s game with 15 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals (currently 2nd in the league for consecutive games with at least one steal, currently at 20 games). His leadership has been superb and no longer can defenses just help off of Rondo as his offensive arsenal is growing with each game. All-Star game or not this season, he has shown the world that he can play with the best that the game has to offer.

Josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams all missed at least one free throw in that fourth quarter tonight and I’m sure that they all wish that they could have those back. One thing is for sure: Atlanta is a matchup nightmare for the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics, now 24-2, head home for a three game home stand before heading to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on Christmas Day. With Chicago, New York and Philadelphia up next, it’s likely that we could be in LA with a 27-2 record.

Posted in 2008, Game Analysis | Leave a Comment »

Big Green Machine on the Move

Posted by r1zzo23 on December 17, 2008

Anyone that actually follows this blog, I just want to let you guys know that it will be moving permanently in the very near future (most likely on New Year’s Day). I was offered a spot for my blog over at Most Valuable Network, a great blogging community that will definitely rival SB Nation in the very near future. My blog is currently listed here and will be there as long as MVN is still alive and kicking.

My next few posts will be located here as well as at MVN, but like I said earlier, starting January 1st, 2009, all posts will be located at MVN and this place will become obsolete. Thanks for keeping up with this blog and hope you guys follow me over to MVN.

-Rizzo

Posted in 2008, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Big Game for Celtics?

Posted by r1zzo23 on December 17, 2008

Just watching ESPN today makes you think that the Celtics are playing a huge game tonight. If you’re an Atlanta fan, maybe this is a good measuring stick for you. If you’re a 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (72-10 record), maybe you’re rooting extra hard for the Hawks. But if you’re a Celtics fan, are you really getting “geeked up” about tonight’s game? Just think about it for a second. These are the Atlanta Hawks!

OK, let’s get serious. These are the same Hawks, maybe a little better, that took our championship team to the brink of elimination. Yes, before Lebron lost in that epic duel to Paul Pierce in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quaterfinals, Joe Johnson did the same to us in the first round.

Now that we have the history of this new-born “rivalry” between these current Celtics and Hawks, let’s discuss the question at hand: is this a big game for the Celtics? Do you remember the last game the Celtics played against the Pistons this season? You may recall the first game against Detroit this season as it was Iverson’s first home game in a Detroit uniform, the but second meeting between the Pistons and Celtics wasn’t nearly as memorable as any of the games last year. And these were supposed to be the Pistons that we were going to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals once again.

The reason I bring up the Pistons is because they were the team that was supposed to stop us from winning a title. They were supposed to be the team to take back their Eastern Conference crown this season after falling to us in six games last season. The Hawks, although much improved, still aren’t a team that the Celtics would normally “get up” for. In fact, the Celtics get up for just about every game and don’t really change their play at all no matter who the opponent is. The Celtics will go on the road and handle their business as best as possible and think nothing of it whether it’s the Hawks, the Thunder or the Lakers.

Don’t get me wrong, I like what the Atlanta Hawks are doing and are definitely on the ups. I’m not trying to diminish how big of a game this is for the Hawks tonight. This is a huge measuring stick for Atlanta, especially with the defending champs riding a 15-game win streak. Add to that the fact that Paul Pierce beat the Hawks in Boston this year with virtually no time left this season. The Hawks will be out for revenge, but the Celtics will be thinking to just win this one game and then move on to whoever is next on the schedule. That doesn’t mean the Celtics will be looking past the Hawks because that’s just not how they handle their business.

This will be a very competitive game and for the Hawks’ sake, I hope they don’t get blown out because they are billing this to be a very big game for their season.

Posted in 2008, Game Analysis | Leave a Comment »

Rumor Mill is Churning

Posted by r1zzo23 on December 16, 2008

Here’s a look at some of the many rumors that are out there in the basketball world, most of which concerning the reigning champion Boston Celtics.

Dikembe Mutombo to return to the NBA after Christmas, possibly to Boston:

Once Dikembe Mutombo passes out his gifts, he hopes to return to the NBA for a final season, possibly with the Celtics.

The 7-foot-2-inch, 260-pound center said last week he hopes to sign with a team after spending Christmas with his family in Atlanta. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year said among the teams that have shown interest are Boston, San Antonio, and Miami. The former Rocket also said Houston has “not answered me.” The 42-year-old, who has blocked 3,278 shots during his 17-year career, said he is in “good shape” from working out three hours a day with spinning classes, yoga, and weightlifting.

“You’ll see me in the next two weeks,” Mutombo said. “I will be somewhere. I really need to go back to playing. I’ve just got to make sure that I go to a place where I can be happy. There are about four to five teams that I’ve been looking at and about seven teams that have shown interest. It’s up to me to make my decision.”

The Celtics have the maximum 15 players and would have to waive one to make room for Mutombo. While Boston’s starting center spot is solidified with Kendrick Perkins, his backups include seldom-used Patrick O’Bryant and undersized Leon Powe and Glen Davis. The Celtics have not replaced the veteran experience and length that free agent P.J. Brown brought late last season and have interest in Mutombo, but have not offered him a contract.

“The way Boston is playing right now with [Kevin Garnett], Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, the team is heading in a direction toward winning another championship,” Mutombo said. “It will be interesting if I made the decision to go there. It would be very good. I’ve been to the Finals twice [with Philadelphia and New Jersey]. I got close, but I walked away empty-handed. Maybe going to Boston would give me a chance to win.

“I would love to play until July and then retire after this season,” added the eight-time All-Star. “My plan is to play this season. If my mind is set to play basketball, why not?”

Ainge, Celtics seriously interested in Marbury?

The Boston Celtics are one of a handful of teams, according to sources close to the situation, who have expressed interest in embattled Stephon Marbury if the embattled point guard is bought out by the New York Knicks.

Marbury, who was told by the Knicks earlier this month to stay away from the team until a resolution is arranged, has also fielded interest from Miami, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers, according to league sources.

Celtics boss Danny Ainge, according to the source, is legitimately interested in bringing Marbury on board because of his ability to handle pressure defenses – an area where backup Eddie House has struggled.

Ainge believes the locker room is strong enough – with veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen – to handle the addition of the enigmatic Marbury.

Antoine Walker expecting a buyout.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Antoine Walker found himself in a familiar stance Sunday, offering farewells while surrounded by Heat players.

Dealt 14 months ago by the Heat to the Timberwolves, and then traded in the offseason by Minnesota to Memphis, Walker said Sunday he expects to receive a buyout today from the Grizzlies.

“Hopefully, with this buyout, the opportunity is going to be there for me,” Walker said before Sunday’s game against the Heat. “Maybe I can go and talk to a few teams and hopefully move on to a better situation very soon.”

After being caught in youth movements on his last two teams, Walker said showing, at 32, that he still can be a contributor is his goal.

“I just want to play,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to make a lot of money in this league, but I want to play the games.”

Celtics shopping Giddens for future first-round pick.

The Celtics have offered their first-round pick, J.R. Giddens, around the league for a future first-round pick. So far, there are no takers. Giddens is playing for the Utah Flash of the NBA Developmental League.

Posted in 2008, Rumors | Leave a Comment »