Almost five months removed from celebrating their 17th NBA title, the Boston Celtics are just 2 weeks away from openening their season to defend that title. The Champion Celtics will open the season at home against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on 10/28/08 at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics are still favored by many to win the Eastern Conference and return to the NBA Finals to fight for their 18th Championship.
The Celtics 2008-2009 roster will be very similar to last year’s squad with the exception of James Posey who signed with the Hornets in the off season. Expect bigger roles for bench players like Leon Powe and Glen (Big Baby) Davis, two key players in last year’s successful run. In a preview of their opening night matchup the Celtics and Cavs faced off in a pre-season game on Tuesday 10/14, with Boston edging out the Cavs behind 17 2nd half points from Leon Powe.
If you just can’t wait to get a look at the 2008-2009 Boston Celtics make sure you take advantage of the great deals on the two pre-season home games at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics will host the Knicks on Friday 10/17 and the Nets on Sunday 10/19. Celtics tickets for these pre-season games start well below face value. This a great chance to check out some of the best seats in the house at extremely low prices.
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After the 2006-2007 season many wondered if Doc Rivers would even be around for 1 more year. What a difference a year makes. After a 24-58 record in the ’06-’07 season Rivers and the Celtics came back with one of the best turn arounds ever, going 66-17 while earning their 17th NBA Championship. Granted the ’07-’08 Celtics had a much improved lineup with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, but Rivers was able to quickly mold several stars into a cohesive unit.
The Boston Celtics and Doc Rivers have now agreed on an extension that will employ Rivers through the 2010-11 season. Doc’s salary will increase from $5 million to $5.5 million including incentives that could bring his annual salary up to $7 million.
Rivers and the Celtics are anxious to defend their title in the 2008-2009 season. The Celtics will open the season at the TD Banknorth Garden, facing Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Celtics tickets are now available for all games.
The defending champion Boston Celtics announced the signing of Darius Miles to a non-guaranteed contract today. Miles hasn’t played since the 2005-2006 season with the Portland Trailblazers. Miles sustained what some called a career ending injury to his knee and had been unavailable for the past two seasons. Apparently now healthy after surgery to his knee, Miles will attempt to make the Celtics roster this Fall.
“He’s coming to training camp and he’s going to try to prove that he can make the team,” said Celtics general manager Danny Ainge. “He has come in for a couple of workouts. He’ll try to make the team somehow.”
For his part, Darius is just excited to prove he can contribute to the Celtics.
Boston Celtics tickets are now available.
For the second year in a row the Boston Celtics will hold training camp outside of Boston, however this time they will still be in the country. Last year the Celtics held camp in Europe and played a few exhibition games there as well. GM Danny Ainge thought the trip helped the team develop some of its chemistry early on. For the 2008-2009 season, Ainge wanted the team to train outside of Boston but without the distraction of of a foreign country.
This year the Celtics will hold camp at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. Celtics players will report to camp on September 29. Boston Celtics tickets for the upcoming season will be available soon as the 2008-2009 Celtics schedule is being finalized.
Less then one week after the Boston Celtics watched free agent James Posey sign with the New Orleans Hornets, the 2007 NBA Champions made sure not to lose out on two of their other free agents in Eddie House and Tony Allen. According to Boston media outlets, both House and Allen have agreed to two-year deals keeping them in town through the 2009 season.
Celtics GM and Director of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, was not very specific about the details of either contract but a source reported to the Boston Herald that each would be worth close to $2 million dollars each year.
The 30-year old House averaged 7.5 points in 78 regular season games last year for Boston shooting 39 percent from behind the three point line. In the 2007 NBA Finals over the Lakers he averaged 8 points a game and shot 41 percent from behind the arc.
Coming off of off-season knee surgery in 2006, the 26-year old Allen averaged 6.6 points in 75 regular season games last season for the Celtics.
After winning his second NBA title with the Boston Celtics, James Posey has opted to begin his quest for a third championship with the New Orleans Hornets. Posey signed a four-year contract worth $25 million dollars Wednesday afternoon. The deal came less then a month after the 6-foot-8 forward helped lift the Boston Celtics to their 17th Championship.
“It was a really tough decision for him,” said his agent, Mark Bartelstein. “Boston was an incredible experience for him every way you look at it. If he was going to leave Boston, he wanted to make sure it was for a team that would compete for a championship immediately and the Hornets certainly are in that world.”
Posey leaves behind the Big Three in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to join the likes of Chris Paul, David West and Peja Stojakovic in New Orleans.
Boston fans will be sad to see him leave knowing the great defensive prowess he possessed when guarding the likes of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and many of the league’s other top scoring threats.
The Celtics would have loved to re-sign the fan favorite 6th man, but if it was going to take a four-year contract to get him to stay; they may have made the best move for the franchise by letting him go. At 31 years old, Posey’s age is certainly going to become a factor over the course of this contract. He may have one or two solid years left in him but asking for four is a stretch.
As for now, Boston fans can only wish Posey the best of luck in New Orleans, and pray that when he comes into town he takes in easy while covering Pierce.
The Boston Celtics added a new big man to their bench today, signing Center, Patrick O’Bryant. Patrick is expected to back up Kendrick Perkins at Center and compete with Leon Powe and “Big Baby” Davis for time off the bench.
The 22 year old O’Bryant has been somewhat of a disappointment in his first two years of NBA play. The young big man was drafted by the Golden State Warriors 9th overall in the 2006 draft. The Warriors had high expectations for O’Bryant who averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks in his second and final year at Bradley but the 20 year old struggled early and saw little playing time.
O’Bryant signed a two year, $3 million contract with the Boston Celtics and is eager to show what he can do. The young center knows he’s perceived as an under-achiever and his anxious to work towards his potential.
“I know how good a basketball player I am,” O’Bryant said. “Everyone else doesn’t know. With hard work and minutes, I’ll show everyone why I was the ninth pick in the draft.”
The Celtics expect to continue their efforts to sign free agents, James Posey and Eddie House. Both men were exceptional off the bench and played pivotal roles in the Celtics Championship run.
Less then one month after the Boston Celtics captured their 17th NBA Championship, many teams around the league are already beginning to try and make some adjustments so that they can put themselves in contention for a title run. Many teams have begun to sign their lottery draft picks and several free agents are close to signing multi-year deals with new teams.
It is expected that the Golden State Warriors will sign Corey Maggette to a five year deal estimated right around $50 million dollars. Last season, Maggette averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for the struggling Los Angeles Clippers. At 6-foot-6, great speed and a soft perimeter touch, he would fit right into Golden State coach Don Nelson’s run and gun style of play.
The Philadelphia 76ers continue to make moves, freeing up salary cap space which many suspect is so that they can make a strong offer to Elton Brand to come and play for them. On Tuesday the 76ers traded away forward Rodney Carney, a future first round draft pick and reserve forward Calvin Booth to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a future second round draft pick and $2.8 million dollars. The Sixers now have another $2 million in salary cap space to add to the $11 million in space available that they hope will land them the post player in Brand that they desperately need to become a contender in the East.
First round draft pick O.J. Mayo (third pick overall) signed a multi-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. The Grizzlies pulled off an eight player trade the night of the NBA draft to acquire the rights to the third pick and land Mayo. Memphis also announced the signing of Darrell Arthur, the 27th overall selection of this year’s draft.
The number one and two picks of this years’ NBA Draft have been in the spotlight in the early action of the NBA’s summer league games. Michael Beasley (2nd pick in the draft) scored 28 points in the first game of the summer season for the Miami Heat but then followed it up with only a 9 point outing in the second game a night later. Derek Rose of the Chicago Bulls (1st pick in the draft) scored 10 points in his NBA summer league debut against Miami and Beasley and then followed it up with 9 points in his second game against the Indiana Pacers.
In other league news, the NBA set the new salary cap at $58,680,000 for the 2008-2009 season. This year’s cap went up by more than $3 million dollars over last season’s, which was set at $55.630 million. The minimum team salary for 2008-09 was 75 percent of the cap, or $44.010 million.
On Sunday in Orlando, Michael Beasley made the case for why he should have been picked number one in the NBA draft. Beasley looked confident on the floor; racking up 29 points and 9 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play.
“It’s just basketball, man. Played it in college, high school and middle school,” Beasley said in a post-game interview. “The same game, same concepts, the same rules. I was just out there having fun.
Beasley did not seem to be bothered by the cracked sternum he suffered Wednesday in a practice session with the Heat.
“I felt like me, man… I don’t play to get injured, and if it happens it just does. I just go and play.”
Number one pick Derrick Rose, on the other hand, seemed a step behind the game. He seemed tentative and slow in his professional debut, with only rare flashes of the speed and athleticism that the Bulls were expecting
As the New Jersey Nets clear cap space (getting rid of Richard Jefferson’s contract in the trade for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons) the rumors and speculation of Lebron James in New York get louder. Lebron, a frequent visitor to NY, and lists it as his favorite city.
“My favorite borough? Brooklyn, said James. “Brooklyn is definitely a great place here in New York City, and some of my best friends are from Brooklyn, so I stick up for them.”
Among those friends is hip-hop icon Jay-Z, a close friend of James’ and partial owner of the Nets. Jay-Z helped orchestrate the 2010 relocation of the nets to Brooklyn; the first pro team that will play in the borough since the Dodgers in 1957.
James can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Summer of 2010, and would become an unrestricted free agent. The future Brooklyn Nets would still need to move Zach Randolph, and either Eddy Curry, Jared Jeffries, or Jamal Crawford to free up enough cap space to pay Lebron a max contract.
The Knicks would also be in a position to offer max money to Lebron, although they would not be ready until 2011.