Tag Archive | "Boston Celtics"

Big Daddy Shaq heading to Beantown


The NBA Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics just got 325 pounds bigger after signing free agent Shaquille O’Neal to a contract yesterday.

With NBA rings earned while playing with the Miami Heat and L.A. Lakers, the 7-foot-1 Shaq goes to Boston the year after failing to win a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James last season.

The two-year deal is said to be worth around $3 million and will take one of the NBA’s most popular players to the end of a 20-year career.

Big Daddy, 38 years old, will be teamed up with several other aging but productive players on the parquet floor including Kevin Garnett, 34, and Ray Allen, 35.

Shaq was originally drafted No. 1 overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic after a successful college stint at LSU.

 Playing on 6 teams, his career numbers include 28,255 points (5th overall), 12,921 rebounds (14th overall) and 15 All-Star appearances.

 O’Neal’s playoff experience is sure to help the Celtics but the big man does bring some baggage with him in the form of brick-throwing from the free throw line.

When I was living in Orlando, while Shaq was imploding at the line with the Magic, I had my wife come out to the neighborhood hoop and asked her to “stand on that white line right there” and see how many shots she could make into the hoop. She hit her first 6 out of 10 for 60% meaning her percentage was better than Shaq’s currently was at that time for the Magic. Could she do that again? Probably not since that was the first time she shot a basketball since her gym class in high school but it makes a good story.

If you would like to get personal with Shaq, you can follow him on Twitter at his account; @THE_REAL_SHAQ.

MORE NBA:

See LeBron’s “Loyalty” tattoo

How to find NBA Players on Twitter

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Don’t blame refs for Lakers loss to Celtics in Game 2


What happened to the Lakers in the final few minutes of game two of the NBA Finals? Rajon Rondo is the answer. But that’s starting at the end of the story.

The Celts 103-94 victory wasn’t inevitable. The game could have gone either way down the stretch, but let’s just go back to the beginning.

Ray Allen created an NBA Finals record of seven three-pointers in one half. He left the court at half-time with 27 total points. The rest of the big four were lagging way behind with most of it due to foul trouble and some Lakers defense.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were ineffective offensively and Rondo had not begun the heroics. The entire front line of the Celts was in foul trouble including back-up Glenn Davis, and yet the Lakers needed a three-pointer from Kobe Bryant to bring his team within six at half-time.

Thoughts for the home team at the half?

Well, how about putting a body on Allen, slow up on the outside shots that don’t drop and cause fast breaks led by Rondo, keep giving the ball to Bynum who was effective on both ends of the floor, send a search party for LO and tell Ron Artest to get his head in the game.

How did the boys in purple and gold do with that to-do list? Allen only had five more points the entire game, but managed another three-pointer, breaking the existing record of seven in an NBA Finals game.

Odom was still MIA, Bynum had a career night in a playoff game, Gasol and he blocked 13 shots between them and despite Artest dribbling more than a teething infant, the Lakers kept it close, even leading with five minutes left in the contest.

And then the Rondo show began. Kobe had five fouls and had to be as delicate as possible. The inside game of the Lakers was thwarted, turnovers were committed at the most inopportune times and Rondo was absolutely everywhere.

He was like Batman in “The Dark Knight”. You didn’t know what angle he was coming from but he was there to hurt you with scoring, passing and rebounds. With his second triple-double of the post season, Rondo made the Lakers pay.

Don’t listen to the critics who claim the officials tilted this game the Celts’ way. They punished both teams with fouls that were not there.

This was about no contributions from Odom and Artest, very little from Fisher, Kobe unable to score his average in the playoffs and Rondo emerging as the guy who can make the difference when two of the Big Four are absent offensively.

Now the scene shifts to Boston for Games 3, 4, and 5. The Celts haven’t defended home court as well as the Lakers this post-season and the Lakers have shown, against all their opponents in previous series that they can win on the road.

Game 3 starts Tuesday at 9 pm ET.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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LeBron James to Chicago? New York? Miami?


Rumors will be flying in this NBA off-season about what jersey LeBron James may land in.

SLAP! Excuse me, I just hauled off and slapped myself.

There are still two rounds to go in these NBA playoffs and the media, including us, are already absorbed in the LeBron sweepstakes.

Last time I looked there were four NBA teams that earned some press time by advancing to their NBA Conference Finals. Boston, Orlando, Phoenix and the L.A. Lakers all deserve the attention since they . . .

Forget that, back to LeBron.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers were given a shocking quick exit courtesy of Kevin Garnett and the Celts last night, Celtics fans was throwing in their two cents and giving a national television audience their prediction raising the roof with a chant:

“New York Knicks. New York Knicks!”

James had a statistically good night throwing up a triple-double, 27 points, 19 boards and 10 assists.

‘Throwing up’ may not be the best description pertaining to LeBron’s scoring; it seems more suitable for describing the symptoms Cavs fans may be having after another early ouster from the playoffs and the realization James may have played his final game in Cleveland.

When asked, James did not lay out any detail as expected about slam-dunking in another NBA uniform but he also did not suggest he will stay in the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame either.

“It’s all about winning for me, and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that,” James said. “But at the same time I’ve given myself options to this point.”

If LeBron does pack his bags, his final game could not have been a worse going away party. He was actually booed off the court after the Celtics took it to the Cavs blowing them out 120-88.

So where does ‘King’ James land? And I use that name lightly after his failure in this year’s playoffs.

The Chicago Bulls make a lot of sense since they have a foundation in place and plenty of championship history with Michael Jordan’s No. 23 jersey hanging in the rafters. Derrick Rose is one of the top point guards and Joakim Noah is developing along at a nice pace.

The Bulls gave away John Salmons and their No. 1 pick to the Fear the Deer group in Milwaukee and many believe that was solely to free up a butt-load of cash to bid on LeBron.

Miami is a part of this buzz as well and the timing of Pat Riley going to the press and declaring he may be interested in coaching again may not be a coincidence. Besides, they have the hottest cheerleaders on the planet who make every game feel like a sexy Halloween night.

Finally, the Celtics fans’ prediction, the New York Knicks. James has come right out and said New York is his favorite city and Madison Square Garden is his favorite NBA arena to play in and the Knicks have been clearing cap room for quite some time preparing to make a maximum offer to James.

If James is serious about wanting to be the first billionaire athlete in the universe, then the Knicks would almost have to be the place.

For sympathy reasons we will mention the train-wreck New Jersey Nets and give honorable mention to the L.A. Clippers because we have a really smart writer on staff here who lives on the west coast and thinks they may be prepping for the auction.

This summer will be one of the most interesting NBA off-seasons for sure, oh and BTW, I almost forgot to mention, the NBA Conference Finals start this weekend.

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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LeBron James injury update


CLEVELAND, OH. – Word finally came down on LeBron James’ injury to his elbow and as expected, the Cleveland lebron slam dunkCavaliers superstar will take the court on Saturday for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series against the Boston Celtics.LeBron practiced left-handed layups and short jumpers at his team’s practice today after being checked out by team docs Wednesday night in Cleveland. An MRI and X-rays were performed and the diagnosis is said to be a bone bruise accompanied by a strain.

“The best thing about it is there’s no structural damage. The docs have given me clearance that I can’t hurt it worse,” James said.

Although he’s been given the green light to play, James will continue receiving daily treatment and the team has scheduled another MRI for next week.

“We’re just being very [cautious] right now,” James said. “I didn’t do much shooting [today].”

The Cavs moved into this next round of the NBA Playoffs after they eliminated the Chicago Bulls in 5 games of a best-of-seven. Finishing that series in short fashion is exactly what the Cavaliers needed so James will be required to play less games over the stretch of these playoffs.

Knocking off the Celtics may not as easy. Many are expecting this to be a knock-down drag-out fight between these two hungry teams. The Celtics are out to prove they weren’t one-time wonders while the Cavs are still searching for their first title with James.

“If I am limited during the [Celtics] game, then I’ll be smart about it,” James said. “That’s what I was able to do in Game 5 [against Chicago]. I was very limited in shooting long-range shots, so I started going to the hole in the fourth quarter.”

With this injury limiting LeBron’s play, don’t expect a large amount of highlight-reel slam dunks until the elbow finds a way to work itself back closer to normal.

NOTE: ESPN First & Ten analyst Skip Bayless stopped just short of accusing LeBron of over exaggerating about his injury after he elected to shoot a free throw left-handed when the Chicago game was out of reach.

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Bulls Clinch Final Spot in NBA Playoffs


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose netted 27 points and Joakim Noah added 21 points and 13 boards noahas the Bulls took a win in Charlotte 98-89 to secure the final No.8 seed in the NBA Playoffs.

The victory comes at the heels of severe internal conflicts that included a physical confrontation between head coach Vinny Del Negro and GM John Paxton. Throughout this, the Bulls were able to stay focused and end the season with a three-game win streak.

Here are all the Eastern Conference and Western Conference match-ups for the NBA Playoffs.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

No.1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No.8 Chicago Bulls

No. 2 Orlando Magic vs. No. 7 Charlotte Bobcats

No. 3 Atlanta Hawks vs. No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks

No. 4 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Miami Heat

WESTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 LA Lakers vs. No. 8 Oklahoma City

No. 2 Dallas Mavericks vs. No. 7 San Antonio Spurs

No. 3 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 6 Portland Trailblazers

No. 4 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

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