Celtics preseason 2012: Boston ends preseason with 88-79 loss to 76ers

Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green each had double-doubles, but the Boston Celtics were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers, 88-79, Sunday night.

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Ray Allen didn't feel wanted by the Boston Celtics

Ray Allen opened up to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston, saying that he didn't feel wanted in Boston and was fed up with the constant trade rumors surrounding him during his tenure with the Celtics.


Ray Allen doing himself, Miami Heat no favors

Ray Allen has had some pretty choice words about the Boston Celtics since defecting to the Miami Heat this offseason, and that could backfire on him and his new team.


Celtics to make roster cuts; Kris Joseph safe

BOSTON - With the preseason now complete, the Boston Celtics will make their final roster cuts as they prepare for the regular season opener against the Miami Heat on October 30. Boston will trim its roster (which currently sits at 17) down to 15, according to head coach Doc Rivers, and the cuts could come within the next few days.

One of the players who won't be getting cut is Kris Joseph, the Celtics' second round draft pick out of Syracuse. Joseph played well in "terrible positions," Rivers said, and proved to Rivers and company that he deserves a spot on the team. Joseph played in all eight preseason games and averaged 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game.

With Joseph winning the final roster spot, the signs point to Micah Downs and Rob Kurz being the odd men out. Kurz (1.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG) played in six preseason games while Downs (3.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG) appeared in seven contests for Boston.

The Celtics concluded their preseason with an 88-79 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Boston wrapped up the preseason with a 3-5 record and a 2-4 record against NBA opponents.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, CelticsBlog.


76ers 88, Celtics 79: Celts drop preseason finale

BOSTON - Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green each recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists and 12 points and 10 rebounds, respectively, but the Boston Celtics were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers, 88-79, in their final game of the preseason on Sunday evening inside TD Garden.

The Celtics finished the preseason at 3-5 while Philly has one game remaining.

Boston pulled ahead, 12-3, in the early going, but Philadelphia would trim that lead to one point, 22-21, after one quarter. The Sixers' 30-point second quarter was enough to give them a 10-point halftime advantage, 51-41, and they would hold steady in the second half to come away with the victory.

Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee reached double digits in scoring, finishing with 10 points each. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each had eight points and rookie big Jared Sullinger had 11 points off the bench for Boston, which shot 42.0 percent in the loss.

Dorrell Wright paced the 76ers with 20 points off the bench. Nick Young scored 15 points, Spencer Hawes totaled 12 points and four rebounds while Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner each had 10 points. Philadelphia shot 41.0 percent from the floor.

Boston opens the regular season against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat, and their former friend Ray Allen, at 8 p.m. ET on October 30 (TNT).

For more Boston Celtics coverage, check out our team blog, CelticsBlog.


Celtics vs. 76ers: Barbosa, Milicic, Wilcox out

BOSTON - A relatively healthy Boston Celtics team will take the court in Sunday night's preseason finale against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden. Boston will only be missing three players -- Leandro Barbosa, Darko Milicic and Chris Wilcox.

Barbosa signed with the Celtics for the veteran minimum this last week and is healthy, but is having visa issues that are stopping him from officially suiting up for the team. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said that he did not known much more about the issue.

Milicic, meanwhile, injured his wrist against the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this preseason and has not played in a game since. He will sit out the Celtics preseason finale, but Rivers expects that he will be available for the season opener on October 30 against the Miami Heat, saying that he was healthy enough to play Sunday, but they won't risk it.

Wilcox is still dealing with back issues and has not played in a preseason game.

Check out Rivers' entire pregame address by clicking on the audio link below.

AUDIO: Doc Rivers - Boston Celtics (Pregame Media Interview)

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, CelticsBlog.


Celtics beat Knicks 109-98 in preseason action

Riding the hot shooting hands of Jeff Green and Jason Terry, the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 109-98 on Saturday night in NBA preseason action. It's worth noting that the Knicks were without essentially their entire usual roster, including Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith.

Without Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass, the Celtics needed other players to shoulder the scoring load, and the veterans came through. Green knocked down 10-of-16 from the field to lead the Celtics with 25 points, plus Terry shot 7-of-13 from the field (4-of-6 from long range) to add 22 points.

Rajon Rondo played 31 minutes against New York, recording 13 points, 11 assists and six rebounds against the depleted Knicks roster. Chris Copeland played the starring role for the Knicks all night, leading all scorers with 34 points on 11-of-18 shooting in addition to grabbing six rebounds.

With the win, the Celtics improve to 3-4 during the 2012 preseason, while the Knicks drop to 2-2.


Celtics offense rolls in Brooklyn

On the second leg of a preseason home-and-home series, the Boston Celtics traveled south to Brooklyn and blew out the Nets, 115-85. It was just the second game at the glistening new Barclays Center, and the Celtics had seven players in double figures en route to the 30-point win. Unlike Tuesday, however, Nets coach Avery Johnson put his best players on the floor as both first teams got some early work on the floor with less than two weeks to go until the start of the season.

Courtney Lee and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 18 points each as Pierce continues his hot preseason. The future Hall of Famer poured in 20 points in the first half alone on Tuesday and was a perfect four-for-four from behind the arc on Thursday. In addition to Pierce, key offseason acquisition Jason Terry was also unconscious from three-point range, hitting all five of his attempts from downtown.

Rajon Rondo missed out on a double-double by one assist, finishing with 14 points and nine dimes. Rondo did, however, force it a bit as he continues to work through the preseason. The Celtics point guard committed five turnovers in just under 34 minutes on the floor. Rookie Jared Sullinger, who was outplayed in the post by Andray Blatche on Tuesday, chipped in with 12 points and six boards. All in all, it was an efficient game on the offensive end of the floor, with both teams playing their best five for much of the night.

Boston will now return home for a Saturday night preseason tilt against the New York Knicks.


Celtics vs. Nets: Boston looks for revenge

Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics are looking for some revenge when they face the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night at the Barclays Center, marking the first ever meeting between the Celtics and new-look Nets in Brooklyn. Boston hosted Brooklyn on Tuesday night, but couldn't hold on to a late lead and lost, 97-96.

Pierce was red-hot from the floor in the Celtics' first meeting with the Nets, making 10-of-17 baskets and 6-of-8 three-pointers to tally a preseason-high 29 points to lead all scorers. Jeff Green scored 14 and Courtney Lee added 13 points for Boston, which made 33-of-71 shots to shoot 46.5 percent for the game.

Andray Blatche paced Brooklyn with a 23-point, nine-rebound performance. Mirza Teletovic scored 18 off the bench and Tornike Shengelia chipped in with 11 points. Brooklyn shot 48.7 percent and out-rebounded Boston, 41-35.

Thursday night's game tips off at 8 p.m. ET and can be seen on CSNNE and TNT.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, CelticsBlog.


Boston Celtics agree to deal with Leandro Barbosa

The Boston Celtics have signed Leandro Barbosa to a one-year contract, according to Yahoo Sports.


Nets 97, Celtics 96: Pierce, C's lose to Brooklyn

BOSTON - Paul Pierce scored 20 of the Boston Celtics' first 42 points and finished with 29 points ,but the C's were defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 97-96, in their home preseason opener on Tuesday evening at an energized TD Garden.

Pierce made 7-of-12 shots in the first half and 3-of-4 threes to help Boston take a two-point lead, 49-47, at halftime. With Doc Rivers watching from the locker room, the third quarter featured an offensive barrage for the Celtics, who outscored the Nets, 36-24, behind a nine-point quarter from Pierce.

Courtney Lee had 13 points and Jeff Green, who played a very physical game, totaled 14 points. Kevin Garnett finished with eight points and three boards and Rajon Rondo totaled five points and 11 assists. Boston shot 46.5 percent.

Andray Blatche paced Brooklyn with a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds. Reggie Evans had eight points and 10 rebounds and Mirza Teletovic scored 18. The Nets rested stars Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.

Boston is off on Wednesday before playing Brooklyn again on Thursday night.


Celtics center Darko Milicic has mild wrist injury

BOSTON - Darko Milicic suffered a mild right wrist sprain during Monday night's Boston Celtics preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers, and will get a cortisone shot to ease the pain. Milicic will not play in Tuesday night's preseason home opener against the Brooklyn Nets and will be out for a few days.

"I'm not," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, when asked if he was concerned about Milicic's injury. "I just know that those things, if you keep falling on it or [if] someone keeps hitting it, those things never heal. We're probably going to give him this game off and the next one and probably play him [in four days]."

Milicic has played in four preseason games and has averaged 3.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in an average of 14.5 minutes per night. Milicic is the former No. 2 overall pick of the Detroit Pistons in the 2003 NBA Draft.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, CelticsBlog.


Doc: Christmas, Smith cuts 'came down to numbers'

BOSTON - The Boston Celtics made their first roster cuts of the preseason on Tuesday afternoon, sending Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith packing. Doc Rivers, head coach of the Boston Celtics, told reporters before Tuesday's preseason exhibition against the Brooklyn Nets that the cuts were mainly about numbers.

"Two good kids, both played hard. It just really came down to numbers," Rivers said.

Christmas and Smith were extended training camp invites after both played with the Celtics summer league team. Both played in four games with the team this preseason, with Christmas averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 12 minutes per game and Smith averaging 2.3 points and 1.0 rebound in 13.8 minutes.

Rivers said that, while he's happy with his team as currently constructed, he's always looking to add another player, specifically a point guard. Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry and Avery Bradley are the only three traditional point guards on the team, but Terry and Bradley have morphed into two guards over the course of their careers.

Boston's preseason game against Brooklyn tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, CelticsBlog.


Celtics host Nets in preseason home opener

The Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday in the Celtics preseason home opener.


Celtics vs. 76ers: Boston routed in Philly, 107-75

Paul Pierce played his best game of the preseason, scoring 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and grabbing six rebounds, but the Boston Celtics could not get the job done against the host Philadelphia 76ers, being blown out 107-75 in preseason action at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night.

Boston, which fell to 1-3 in the preseason, struggled from the field, shooting 38 percent, and turned the ball over 20 times. Aside from Pierce, Brandon Bass was the only other Celtics player to top 10 points, finishing with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger, who had been the team's standout performers in the preseason, were held to eight and nine points, respectively.

Spencer Hawes made 6-of-10 shots and led all scorers with 17 points and also totaled eight rebounds and four assists for Philadelphia. Thaddeus Young had 15 points, Nick Young scored 14 on 5-of-7 shooting, Lavoy Allen had 11 points and Evan Turner chipped in with 10 points in the Sixers' victory.

Boston will host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night at TD Garden, marking their first preseason home game. Kevin Garnett will return to action Tuesday after sitting out against the 76ers.


Knicks 98, Celtics 95 (OT): C's fall in Hartford

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and Chris Copeland added 21 off the bench as the New York Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics, 98-95, in overtime in Boston's first preseason game against an NBA opponent on Saturday night at the XL Center in Hartford, CT.

Boston, which has shot around 50 percent in its first two preseason games, was held to 40.8 percent shooting (31-for-76). Jared Sullinger (14 points, seven rebounds) and Jeff Green (12 points, four rebounds) were impressive once again and Courtney Lee scored 11 off the bench for Boston. Paul Pierce scored 12, Rajon Rondo had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists, Jason Terry had nine points and Kevin Garnett totaled four points and five rebounds.

New York was held to 36.7 percent shooting and out-rebounded Boston 52-50.

Boston continues preseason play on Monday night against the host 76ers.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.


Rondo compliments Sullinger's intelligence

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo complimented rookie Jared Sullinger, calling him the smartest rookie the Celtics have had since he's been in Boston.


Celtics 105, Milano 75: C's roll in preseason play

Rajon Rondo was perfect in the first half, making all seven shots he took, and finished the game with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and six assists to lead the Boston Celtics past EA7 Emporio Armani Milano, 105-75, in their second preseason game on Sunday in Milan, Italy.

"We established pace," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "One of the things we really wanted to do was get out and run and space the floor."

For the second straight game, Boston shot 50.0 percent from the field (38-for-76) and drastically cut down its turnover total, giving the ball away only 14 times compared to 25 turnovers in the preseason opening loss in Turkey on Friday. The Celtics amassed 54 rebounds, 19 assists, seven steals and had six blocks.

Jeff Green played well in his second game back from a heart ailment that sidelined him for the entire 2011-12 season, scoring 17 points in over 24 minutes. Paul Pierce scored 14 and Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Brandon Bass each had 11 points for the Celtics. Darko Milicic was impressive as well, totaling nine rebounds and four blocks.

"Darko has been phenomenal with his defense and his passing," Rivers said.

Boston returns to the United States next week and resumes preseason play against the New York Knicks at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut on Saturday, October 13.


Celtics lose preseason opener, 97-91, in Turkey

Rajon Rondo scored 13 points and had nine assists, but the Boston Celtics fell short against Fenerbahce Ukler, 97-91, in their 2012 preseason opener on Friday afternoon in Istanbul, Turkey. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger led the team in scoring with 16 points a apiece, but 25 turnovers for the Celtics did them in.

VIDEO: Highlights from the Celtics' preseason opener in Istanbul, Turkey

Jason Terry played well in his Celtics debut as well, scoring 12 points off the bench on 4-of-7 shooting in 20:15. Brandon Bass had nine points, Paul Pierce scored eight and Kevin Garnett finished with six points and four rebounds. Boston shot 50.0 percent from the field as a team (34-for-68) and had 37 rebounds, 17 assists, six blocks, five steals and committed 26 personal fouls.

Fenerbahce Ukler, was playing its fourth game in four nights. Bo McCalebb and Romain Sato powered Fenerbahce to victory, scoring 21 and 24 points, respectively.

Boston is back in action on Sunday against EA7 Emporio Armani Milano in Milan, Italy.


Celtics open preseason against Fenerbache Ulker

The wait is over, basketball fans. Your beloved sport is back in action. The Boston Celtics open their 2012 preseason schedule with a game against Fenerbache Ulker at 2 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon in Istanbul, Turkey. Friday's game will be televised regionally on CSNNE and nationally on NBA TV.

Boston officially kicked off the 2012 campaign when it held Media Day on September 28, and the team held two days of practice before flying to Istanbul for training camp. While fans were given an initial glimpse of the newest members of the Celtics last week, this will be the first chance to see them in action together on the court.

The Celtics are coming off a successful season in which they went 39-27 and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Miami Heat in seven games. Despite losing Big Three member Ray Allen to the aforementioned Heat, the Celtics had a nice offseason, adding bench scoring specialist Jason Terry and bringing back Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Jeff Green.


Avery Bradley 'months ahead of schedule' in rehab

WALTHAM - Avery Bradley participated in the Celtics' media day on Friday despite being ruled out for training camp and the opening of the regular season due to a shoulder injury suffered at the end of last season.

"I'm doing everything that they (doctors) told me to do," Bradley said. "I feel like that's why I'm such ahead of schedule because at first they said I was coming back in January but now they are saying I'm months ahead."

Bradley missed the end of the Celtics' second round series versus the Philadelphia 76ers and the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Miami Heat due to a shoulder injury.

"Shoulders are doing a lot better," Bradley said. "I can't say when I'm going to come back. there's no timetable. I'm just taking it day by day, not trying to rush, just trying to get stronger everyday."

Despite not having touched a basketball all summer and missing the Celtics' upcoming training camp, Bradley is optimistic about recovering fully and contributing to the team this season.

"I feel like everything happens for a reason," Bradley said. "All I can do is continue to have a good attitude and continue to want to get better and if i have that mindset, I think everything will be fine."


Rondo says feud with Allen was overblown

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo downplayed his feud with former Celtic, and current member of the Miami Heat, Ray Allen in an interview with Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Rondo indicated that he may not have gotten along with Allen, but it was not the feud the media made it out to be.

"It's just life ... People are blowing the Ray thing out of proportion. We had some words, but other than that it was no big deal."

Rondo also insisted that any differences he may have had with Allen never carried over to the court, and that he would have never looked Allen off due to personal differences.

Regardless of Rondo's opinion, Allen left the Celtics this offseason to join the Miami Heat. Some believe that the feud with Rondo played a part in Allen's decision, but Rondo's not buying it.

"I don't know why he made the decision, but he made the decision. I don't think it had anything to do with me."

The Celtics and the Heat open the season against one another in Miami on Oct. 30.


Rondo Ready to lead Celtics

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is ready to take over the role of leader of the team this season. Rondo planned a five day players only mini-camp of sorts for the Celtics who have nine new faces this season. Rondo and the Celtics spent the week in Los Angeles, scrimmaging at UCLA and staying at the homes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Rondo, who talked to Marc Spears of Yahoo!, planned all the activities including trips to Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles and a game of flag football.

"I wanted the guys to have fun. When you're with me I want you to say, 'Man, I had a good time with Rondo.' And I think that's what they did."

Rondo hopes the week away from Boston will help the team get closer with one another, but says it's too early to know what effect it had. What is clear is that Rondo appears ready to be a leader for the Celtics.

"I've kind of taken that leadership and veteran role because I am a point guard and I have been in Doc's system," Rondo said. "Other than [Pierce], I have been here the longest. I know exactly what Doc wants, especially for me and this team. I'm trying to lead the team the best that I can."

Rondo has high hopes for this year as well, adding "There are only five teams right now that can say they can compete for a title realistically. And we're one of them."

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