Veteran guard Allen Iverson has been waiting all summer as a free agent, but has just recently received the official call from the Memphis Grizzlies. Pending a last minute snag, the Grizzlies have offered Iverson a one-year $3.5 million deal with incentives to make the deal larger.
Iverson through his Twitter page has stated “God chose Memphis as the place that I will continue my career. I met with Mr. Heinsley, Chris Wallace, and my next head coach Lionel Hollins.” He continued to express his enthusiasm by saying “I feel that they are committed to developing a winner and I know that I can help them to accomplish that. I feel I can trust them.”
After below average years put in with the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons, Iverson will look to really focus in and bring up the young talent surrounding him. The Grizzlies besides Iverson will rely on Mike Conley Jr., O.J. Mayo, and Rudy Gay. The franchise heading into their 2009-2010 campaign produced a very successful off-season, adding center Hasheem Thabeet and forwards Sam Young and DeMarre Carroll in the NBA draft. They have also acquired forward Zach Randolph from the Clippers this summer.
Memphis Grizzlies tickets are available now with us at AceTicket.com!
The Portland Trail Blazers topped the Pistons in Auburn Hills on Sunday in what is becoming a regular sight for Detroit fans. Both the Pistons and the Lions have yet to win a game on a Sunday this season. LaMarcus Aldridge led the rout with 27 points, followed by 19 from Brandon Roy, and 10 points and a career high 13 rebounds by Greg Oden.
“This is a good win for us, because we’ve struggled against good teams on the road this year,” Roy said in a post-game interview. “We had good focus, and we were able to close the game.”
Allen Iverson continues to struggle in Detroit, describing his tenure with the team so far as “almost (been) like a training camp”
Portland Trail Blazers tickets are available now for all games this season.
Allen Iverson’s move to Detroit has helped the Pistons get past the Lakers and the Cavs but not their Eastern Conference rival, Boston Celtics. The Celtics ruined Iverson’s home debut with Detroit a couple of weeks ago. It was more of the same last night at the TD Banknorth Garden as the Celtics prevailed over Detroit 98-80. Iverson managed 16 points and 4 assists but was outplayed by Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo scored 18 and had 8 assists as the leading scorer for Boston last night.
Both teams scored 21 points in the 1st but Boston would pull away in the 2nd and 3rd quarters outscoring Detroit 56-36 in that stretch. The Celtics got 15 points out of Kevin Garnett who returned from a one game suspension. Rasheed Wallace would add 13 points and 6 rebounds for Detroit. Last night marked the 5th straight game where the Celtics held the Pistons to under 90 points.
The Celtics will play their next two games on the road before returning home to the TD Banknorth Garden to host the Golden State Warriors on 11/26. Celtics tickets are available for all remaining 2008-2009 games.
The Boston Celtics spoiled the home debut of Allen Iverson last night. The stifling Celtics defense held the Pistons to 35% shooting and Iverson only got 10 points on 4-11 shooting. Iverson adds another dimension to an already vibrant rivalry between these two teams. He got a huge ovation when introduced for the first time in Detroit last night. The Pistons however we unable to capitalize off the crowd’s energy and lost 88-76.
The Boston Celtics bench played a large role in last night’s win. Tony Allen had a game high 23 points off the bench while the Celtics’ superstars had an off night. Garnett and Pierce combined for only 15 points. Ray Allen managed to drop 17 points and Rajon Rondo added 13. The win puts the Celtics at 6-1 on the year.
The Celtics will host the Toronto Raptors tonight 11/10 and on Wednesday night they welcome in the Atlanta Hawks. Great Celtics tickets are available for both of these games. Check them out now.
It’s always nice to have the luxury of three all-stars in your starting line up but its even nicer when those all-stars combine to score 78 points in the biggest game of the year to date. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have individually had their struggles in the 2008 playoffs but Wednesday night they put the past behind them. The ‘Big Three’ put forth one of their most impressive outings as a trio during the Boston Celtics 106-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics now hold a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 6 on the horizon in Detroit on Friday night.
“We knew the significance of this game,” said Garnett, who dropped 33 in the win, the most he’s scored in the playoffs this year. “You don’t win this game, you put basically yourself in a corner. … They’re experienced, and they’ve been in a lot of pressure situations. Now it’s up to us to go up there and try to get one.”
Ahead by as many as 17 points in the 2nd half, the Celtics looked like they would coast to victory but the stingy Pistons defense began to slowly whittle away the lead, capitalizing on turnovers and missed free throws. Leading the charge was veteran point guard Chauncey Billups who scored 26 points in the game on a 7 for 17 shooting performance in the loss.
“The good thing about it is we’re going home,” said Billups, who took the ball to the basket twice in the final 10 seconds trying to draw a foul that was never called. “We’ve been here before, and we don’t like being in this position, but we’ve fought hard.”
The shot of the night came from Allen who nailed a bucket from the deep corner of the floor right in front of the Pistons bench with less then 2 seconds remaining on the shot clock and only 1:02 left on the game clock. The basket pulled the Celtics ahead 102-99 and sent the TD Banknorth Garden crowd to their feet in jubilation. On the night Allen scored 29 points and was 5-6 from 3-point land.
“My feeling right now is no different than if I scored 10 points and we won the game. It’s a great feeling,” Allen said. “Just winning gives me the greatest joy, regardless of what I’ve done.”
Rounding out the ‘Big Three’, Pierce chipped in scoring 16 points but contributed in a big way by playing great defense on Tayshaun Prince, holding the wingman to only 8 points on the night.
Aside for the trio of all-stars, the rest of Boston’s starting 5 also played outstanding basketball. Starting PG Rajon Rondo dished out 13 assists while scoring 7 points in the win. Kendrick Perkins notched a double-double in the first half alone, actually out rebounding the entire Pistons team at the break 13 to 11. He finished the game with 18 points and 16 boards and understands the importance of winning right now.
“I know our Big Three veteran guys. I know this opportunity doesn’t come much,” Perkins said. “I knew if I was up in age, up in my 30s, and a young fellow was there I’d want him to go all-out for me, too.”
The only Celtics points not scored by a starter came from James Posey’s 3-point field goal with 9:54 left in the 4th quarter making the score at the time 89-78.
The Celtics find themselves now only one win away from returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 1987 season. Rondo and reserve Glen Davis were 1 year old when that last happened.
One thing is certain, if the ‘Big Three’ continue to play the way they did in Game 5, the Celtics quest for Green 17 could very well become a reality, but first they have to find a way to win one more time against Detroit before sending the team back to the NBA Finals for the first time since the original Big Three were in town.
With the Lakers up 3-1 over the Spurs, the possibility of a Celtics vs Lakers Finals is growing more likely.
It had been almost 2 months since the Boston Celtics suffered a loss on their home court. Thursday night, the Detroit Pistons reminded them just what it felt like; by beating the C’s 103-97 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals match up at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The loss snapped a 9-game playoff win streak at home and a 15-game win streak dating back to the regular season. Their last loss at the Garden came at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers on March 24th. Head coach Doc Rivers knows that his team will have to capture at least one victory on the road now to advance to the NBA Finals.
“I fully believe, and I’ve said many times, at some point we’re going to have to win on the road,” Rivers said. “We’ve gotten away with it thus far. That’s been taken away. And if we want what we want, we have to win on the road and that’s just the way it is.”
Boston’s Big Three did all that they could to try and pull off the win but got very little support from the rest of the line-up which ultimately cost them the game. Paul Pierce (26), Kevin Garnett (24) and Ray Allen (25) accounted for 75 of the teams 97 points. The Pistons used a balanced offensive attack with six players scoring in double figures including all of the starting five.
“It is even,” Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace said. “We don’t sit back and say, ‘Oh, look. They are undefeated at home,’ or ‘They didn’t win a game on the road.’ … A lot of the teams they played in the postseason and the regular season were scared of them, as far as KG and Ray and Paul. They are good players, but we have good players, also.”
Unlike Game 1, last night’s tempo was much more upbeat and both teams tried to run the ball and transition for fast break points. The Pistons did this more effectively behind the reigns of veteran PG Chauncey Billups who finished with 19 points and 7 assists. Teammate Richard Hamilton (25 points, 4 assists) wanted to make sure Billups was in the right state of mind for Game 2 after a sub par performance in the series opener.
“One thing I told Chaunce, you ain’t got to be overaggressive out there,” Hamilton said. “You can take your time and be the captain of our ship, and we’ll try to do a good job of helping you out.”
As the series now shifts to Detroit, the big question that everyone’s asking is can the Celtics win on the road? During the regular season they had no trouble away from Boston and actually had the NBA’s best road record. Since then it’s been a different story. The C’s are 0-6 away from home during the 2008 playoffs, and now will be forced to take at least one game on the road from the Pistons to win the series.
The first thing that needs to occur for them to be successful away from Boston is they need more production and better minutes from their bench. Guys like James Posey, Eddie House and Leon Powe need to step it up. All three of those guys are very capable of dropping 8-12 points a game. Last night the three combined for only 3 points on a Posey 3-point FG.
A great sign for the Celtics was seeing Allen find his shooting touch again after a prolonged slump that last over 3 weeks. He needs to continue to feel it from behind the arc so that the Pistons are forced to pull defenders from the middle to cover him on the perimeter, which will then open up the paint for guys like KG and Kendrick Perkins.
Another key to winning on the road for the Celtics will be to maintain their composure. Calls aren’t going to be going their way, the crowd will be loud and it can get intimidating but it’s very important for them to stay focused. The Pistons are going to be fired up and the Celtics will need to match that intensity.
“The atmosphere’s going to be crazy,” Hamilton said. “We’re geeked about getting back to our home court. The fans are excited, and now it’s our job to take care of home court.”
It is now the Celtics turn to play the role of the spoiler as they hope to take one if not both of the games in Detroit over the holiday weekend. The Big Three needs to continue to dominate and can only hope that the rest of their teammates pick up the slack a bit from their output in Game 2.
“We have no choice now but to get it done on the road,” Pierce said.
They did it all during the regular season and the time has come where they will now have to find a way to do it again. Their quest for Green 17 continues, next stop Detroit City.
The Eastern Conference Finals are underway and after another big performance by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics captured a Game 1 win by the score of 88-79 to take a 1-0 series lead over the Detroit Pistons. The victory improves the C’s playoff home record to a perfect 9-0 and they continue to excel defensively holding opponents to a 79.2 points per game average at the TD Banknorth Garden.
“The defensive pressure was fantastic,” gushed Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Offensively, we made the extra pass. The ball kept moving, finding the open guy, and that’s how we have to play.”
The Celtics team that showed up to play last night reminded everyone watching of the ball club that won 66 games during the regular season, breezed to the best record in the NBA and was a supposed lock to represent the East in the NBA Finals. It’s been three weeks since anyone had seen any sign of that team, but they definitely came out to play in the yesterdays dominating victory.
After a 41 point performance in Sunday’s Game 7 against Cleveland, Pierce picked up where he left off pouring in 22 points on 9-18 shooting, grabbing 6 boards and dishing out 6 assists for an impressive all around effort. No one on the Pistons lineup matches up well against him and ‘the truth’ was able to pick apart each defender by varying his shot selection with baseline fade away jumpers, free throw extended set shots and open looks on the wing. When defenders started to cheat closer trying to get the extra step, he’d slash to the basket which would result in either a bucket, a foul or defensive help opening up a shot for a teammate.
“You got Detroit coming in, well-rested,” Pierce said. “This was the perfect game for them to come in and try to steal one, and we were aware of that. They probably figured we were tired while they’ve been practicing. And we just came out with extra focus and extra energy at the start of the game.”
Speaking of extra energy, Garnett came out of the gates looking like he had been hooked up all day to a Red Bull I.V. drip. The defensive player of the year hit his first three shots from the floor, pounded his chest after every basket and screaming to the Boston fans fueling their energy for the rest of the game. KG finished the game with 26 points and 9 rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
“We just didn’t seem to be in a good flow, it might have had something to do with (the layoff). We were just a step slow,” Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. “We didn’t get into the flow.”
Veteran guard Ray Allen has gotten used to the routine of playing every other day and thinks that it is working towards the Celtics advantage. “You have to figure, doing this every other day, you just get used to the same routine of coming out, being out this late, playing basketball,” Allen said. “I think when you get that break in between, you have to build yourself back up into it.”
Unlike some games in the first two playoffs series, the Celtics really had control of this one all throughout. They jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and then played the type of basketball that everyone expected to see in the playoffs, a team oriented style of play. Players were making the extra pass to find an open teammate and not forcing shots. The end result, 27 assists and a .522 shooting percentage from the floor.
If the Celtics can put up those types of numbers every game, next week the Pistons will be golfing while the C’s will be the team getting the week long layoff before the NBA finals begin on June 5th.
There’s only one thing that needs to take place for that to happen that has yet to… Boston needs to win on the road. They currently hold a 0-6 mark when playing away from the Garden but hope to turn it around this weekend when they head to Detroit for games 3 and 4 of the series.
Before they ship out of Boston, there is still work to be done in Game 2. The Celtics look to stay perfect at home while the Pistons will do everything in their power to stop the home win streak right where it is.
The players will be fired up, the Garden will be fired up and you should be fired up as the Celtics continue their quest for Green 17.
Celtics Tickets are still available for Game 2!
After yet another prolonged seven game series, the Boston Celtics are back in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 6 years. Their opponents, the Detroit Pistons, are no strangers to the finals having made it there for the 6th consecutive season. The match up is set, the stakes are high and both teams are prepared for an all out war that will feature the two teams with the best regular season records in the NBA. It doesn’t get much better then this!
Through the first two rounds of the 2008 NBA Playoffs, it’s very clear that winning at home has been the key to most team’s success. For Boston, it has been a necessity. The Celts are 8-0 at home, 0-6 on the road and are clearly struggling to find the identity of the regular season team’s alter ego that had the best road record in the league. Detroit already has captured 3 road wins during the postseason and was the team that handed Boston their first home loss during the regular season as well.
“That’s a big plus for us that we have won there in a season that they won most of their home games,” Chauncey Billups of the Piston said. “We know we’re a great road team in anybody’s building and that’s to our advantage. Our whole mind-set is to go there and win Game 1.”
The Celtics are just looking to continue to win at home, even though they know they are up against a very fierce competitor.
“I think we probably will be the underdog,” Paul Pierce said, “knowing that Detroit has been there. They won a championship with this group and are used to going to the Eastern Conference finals and this is just our first trip.”
What Pierce is referring to is that Detroit returns a group of players that has already been in the big game together while this Celtics lineup has only been playing with each other since November. Guys like Billups, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince have been here through their run of dominance in the East while all of the Celtics, besides Pierce, have never been in the Eastern Conference Finals for this club.
Both teams come into the series featuring very similar strengths including deep benches, strong defensive units and a balanced offensive attack. The Celtics will be relying on Pierce to step it up during the series the same way he did in Game 7 against Cleveland when he scored 41 points. Kevin Garnett will also be a main option but will have to work a little harder for his points than he had to against the Cavs slower post players. Rasheed Wallace will most likely be matching up against KG creating a great match up of veterans.
Another key match up that could be the determining factor in which team has the edge offensively will feature Rajon Rondo and Billups. The veteran Billups had big games against the Celtics during the regular season while Rondo looked overmatched and timid. Boston acquired Sam Cassell for this reason and over the past two months the duo has worked out very well with Cassell bringing leadership and experience to the table to compliment Rondo’s instinctive and defensive skills.
Look for all of these games to be relatively low scoring. Do not expect to see games in the 100′s, unless you’re thinking about an overtime period, which is very possible with the way these two clubs will battle each other. The Celtics have been holding opponents to 79.2 points a game in Boston during the playoffs. The Pistons have been equally as impressive holding opponents to 85 points a game at home. If either team could steal a victory on the road it would improve there chances of winning the series tenfold.
Ray Allen is looking at the series as an opportunity to do something special, and he doesn’t want to let this chance slip away. After going through two 7-game series, critics are wondering if guys like Allen will be fatigued on the road, but he knows that won’t be the case.
“We’ve learned a lot about each other. It’s good for us because as a team this is our first time together,” Allen said. “Our valleys that we’re going through, seven games, adversity on the road. All that stuff that people say is a reason why we won’t win, it’s a reason why we will win.”
The Pistons have not played since last Tuesday (5/13) when they eliminated the Orlando Magic in 5 games and are very well rested, maybe even too well rested. The layoff is the longest they’ve had all season long, including the all-star break, so some wonder if they will be able to come out tonight and perform at the same level that they did a week ago.
When asked if he’d rather the rest or the quick turnaround, Allen said, “I would rather have the rhythm of regular competition than extra rest, because with the rhythm you don’t have to guess from one day to the next about how you’ll play.”
It all starts tonight. The Celtics quest for Green 17 continues while the Pistons look to bring home their 2nd title of the decade. It’s going to be fun and my only advice for the series, don’t blink.
Celtics Playoff tickets are available for all potential games.
P.J. Brown, newest member of the Boston Celtics, sat out for his second straight game on Sunday. “Physically, I’m in shape. But I’m not in NBA shape,” said Brown. “The two biggest things are timing and stamina. It’s not going to be overnight, but I’ll put in a lot of work and work my tail off. … When the time comes and my number is called, I’ll be ready to go.” Brown will likely see his first action on Friday against his former team, the Chicago Bulls. In addition to P.J. Brown, the Celtics are ready to add Sam Cassell to their roster as soon as he clears waivers on Monday. Both players will add depth on the bench, and allow the ‘Big 3′ to get some extra rest before the playoffs.
On Sunday the Celtics extended their win streak to five straight, winning a tight game against the Atlanta Hawks at home. Kevin Garnett had his best game since coming back from an abdominal injury, scoring 20 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. Ray Allen contributed 17 points, and Kendrick Perkins put out his best effort of the season; 11 points, a season-high 12 rebounds, and a career-high 6 assists. Paul Pierce had a game-changing 17 points in the 3rd quarter, 30 total on the game. The Hawks could not wrestle the lead back, and the C’s would go on to win their 5th straight game.
The Celtics and Detroit Pistons will play on Wednesday, possibly a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.