Thunder 94, Timberwolves 92...
Thunder-Timberwolves, Box...
Wolves' Love, Thunder's Collis...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
NOTES, QUOTES 2010-01-20...
Thunder-Timberwolves Preview 2...
Presented By: 2010-01-19...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-19...
NOTES, QUOTES 2010-01-19...
Thunder's blueprint to success...
Links to possible OKC team log...
Howard Schultz drops Sonics su...
OKC signs Kyle Weaver...
OKC team announces basketball ...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Brand has surgury
Brand has surgury
Brand has surgury
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » Celts in battle for 2 seed

Celts in battle for 2 seed

Celts in battle for 2 seed
Boston romped to the best overall record last season en route to capturing its first NBA title in 22 years.

A year later, the Celtics, hampered by injuries, are in a battle with Orlando for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Boston coach Doc Rivers has admitted that Cleveland has the No. 1 seed wrapped up. But to stave off Orlando, every game is critical for Boston, including tonight's contest against the Thunder.

Despite going 14-10 the past seven weeks, coaches and players around the league said the Celtics are a viable threat to win back-to-back titles.

"At full strength, when they're healthy, they're still the champs," said Utah All-Star forward Carlos Boozer. "Any team that's not at full strength is lacking a little. When we played them, they were healthy and played really well. Until somebody beats them, they're the champs."

To repeat, the Celtics will have to win some road games in the playoffs. If they don't finish strong they might own home-court advantage only in the opening round of the playoffs.

"I don't think it's so amazing they've dropped a couple of games here and there," said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. "They've had some key injuries. But when they're healthy, you still have to count them as the best team in the NBA until somebody proves differently."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson was asked if the Celtics can repeat, even if they have to win on the road in May and June.

"Without a doubt," Jackson said. "They have the experience. They know how to run a game. They close (out games) well. They have the defense and rebounding that goes along with being a dominant team at times."

What they won't have is home-court advantage.

The Celtics won two games in Detroit in last year's Eastern Conference finals. A win in the Staples Center in Game 4 helped Boston defeat the Lakers in six games. But in the first two rounds, the home team won every game. Home-court advantage was critical.

"That was shocking," said Minnesota coach Kevin McHale. "But if you're not good enough to go beat someone at least one game at their place, you're not a championship team anyway. I think they'll be fine. They have (Paul) Pierce, (Ray) Allen and KG (Kevin Garnett)."

Jackson said the key might be whether the Celtics hold off the Magic for the No. 2 seed in the East to avoid possibly having to win three series on the road.

"They do not want to slide down below Orlando and not have home court in the second round," Jackson said. "Without Garnett, they struggled for a month, but having him back, and how he fits back together with them, will be interesting."

The Celtics started the season 27-2 but haven't looked like a title contender the past three months. They were 7-6 while Garnett was sidelined with a knee injury. Rivers said his main goal is to get the Celtics healthy.

"Boston is one of the best teams," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "When you're an elite team, it's because you win road games. They have as good a chance in the playoffs to win as anyone."

Thunder AT Celtics

→Time: 6 tonight

→Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston

→Television: KSBI-TV (Cox 15)

→Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM, Sirius 218, XM 234

→Live blog:

Three things to know

→Boston has won five of its past six games.

→Forward Kevin Garnett is not expected to play tonight because of right knee soreness.

→The Celtics won the first meeting 96-83 on Nov. 5 inside the Ford Center.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 1, 2009


Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2020.