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Tag:Paul Pierce
Posted on: March 6, 2012 7:03 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 7:12 pm
 

Report: Kobe fined for skipping All-Star events

Kobe Bryant took a hit in the pocketbook for not doing this. (CBSSports.com)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

23 of the 24 2012 NBA All-Stars showed up for a mandatory Friday morning media availability in Orlando. The one absentee -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant -- called in sick. That proved to be a costly decision.

USA Today reports that the NBA fined Bryant $40,000 for multiple All-Star Weekend absences.
The NBA fined the Los Angeles Lakers guard $40,000 for missing a news conference and a mandated charity appearance for NBA Cares during All-Star weekend in Orlando.

In addition, the NBA fined Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce and guard Rajon Rondo $20,000 each for missing their charity appearances.
Reporters stood around for the better part of an hour on Friday, waiting for Bryant to show up. Eventually, a league spokesman informed the crowd that Bryant would not be attending due to an illness.

Bryant did attend events later on Friday and eventually met with reporters before a Saturday practice session. There, he immediately brought up his absence when asked a question he didn't like.

"What type of question is that to ask me? Are you kidding me?" Bryant said. "Man, I was sick the other day so I didn't have to hear this."

According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Bryant's 2011-2012 salary with the Lakers is $25.2 million, tops in the league. The $40,000 fine represents roughly 1/630 of his salary. The equivalent fine for someone making $50,000 a year would be roughly $79.

Bryant's West team defeated the East, 152-149. Bryant finished with 27 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 2 steals in 34 minutes. He also suffered a broken nose when he was fouled by Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 12:06 pm
 

Podcast: Will the Celtics blow it up?

Rajon Rondo (Getty)
By Matt Moore 

The Celtics are facing a huge upheaval, and aren't being quiet about it. Rumors continue to swirl regarding the end of the Big 3 era, as the team looks to the future. Rajon Rondo has been the subject of the majority of talks, despite being the best player on the team at this point, and despite Doc Rivers' insistence to the contrary. But how has this affected the Celtics? Is it bothering them at all? More importantly is it time to blow this thing up?

We talked to WEEI columnist Paul Flannery about the feel from players right now and where the organization stands as the precipice of a rebuild rapidly approaches.

 


So since we did that interview, we've posted on the Celtics being interested in Michael Beasley and Doc Rivers vehemently denying that they are shopping Rondo. All this talk of what the Celtics are or are not doing reasserts what Flannery says regarding how the Celtics are constantly looking to improve.

The fact that Ainge is so unsentimental about the Celtics has always been a strange offset to the team's unity among its players, dating back to the "Ubuntu" philosophy from 2008. But Ainge has been looking forward since last year's trade of Kendrick Perkins, and while Rondo is their best player, it's clear that the Celtics won't be closing any doors. And as long as they're open to making moves, those convesations will wind up in the media.

The drama continues to unfold in Boston.

Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:25 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 11:32 pm
 

Report Card: Pacers survive, Pierce passes Bird

Paul Pierce took over No.2 on the Celtics' all-time scoring list and the Celtics improved to 14-10. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore


Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was. We want to hear your grades of the night on Twitter at @EyeOnBasketball.


Paul Pierce On a night where Pierce passed Larry Bird on the Celtics' all-time scoring list, the Truth was doing everything for the surging Celtics. His shooting percentage was nothing great, but 8 rebounds and 9 assists with just two turnovers to go with 15 points is excellent work. Pierce took a step up the Green's list of point producers, but it's his overall play that makes him a Celtic legend. Tuesday night showed why.
Indiana Pacers Played like warrior gods for about 34 minutes. Then utterly collapsed against the power of Paul Millsap while Frank Vogel hung out his second unit to dry. Then managed to slam the door shut thanks to what got them the lead in the first place. When the Pacers are clicking, they can be dominant, but this team is built with too many hustle defenders on the bench and not enough scoring. George Hill's absence hurts, but it goes beyond that. They might consider getting a backup scorer at the deadline. At the same time, a quality win against a good team.
Minnesota Timberwolves The Kings are more game to fight under Keith Smart, but this still should have been a more comfortable win at home. Then again, they didn't have Kevin Love. So basically, they pass, but next time maybe a little better shooting than 41 percent against a horrid defense is in order. 14 assists for Rubio in the win.
Kings final possession All you have are perimeter scorers. All you have are ISO guys. You don't pass well. I'm one of the guys who rails against the ISO-Final-Possession culture in the NBA, but in that situation, down two, give the ball to Thornton or Evans and let them do work out of Isolation. Instead the Kings tried to get inventive and cute. Not a good look. Honestly, DeMarcus Cousins should not be on the floor at the end of the game for the Kings right now. 22 for Thornton in the loss.
Tyrus Thomas 20 minutes. 1-6, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 foul, -12 for the game and got into it with Paul Pierce on the night he passed Bird on the Celtics' scoring list. Remember when he was going to be a difference maker?
E FOR EFFORT
LeBron James (24 points on 16 shots, 5 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, excellent passing to close out the Cavs.)
Derrick Brown (10-10 from the field, 20 points, 4 rebounds)
Darren Collison (10-14 from the field, 25 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 turnovers)

Posted on: February 7, 2012 9:35 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 10:04 pm
 

Pierce passes Bird on Celtics' scoring list

Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird on the Celtics' all-time scorer's list Tuesday. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird on the Celtics' all-time scorer's list Tuesday night in the third quarter of Boston's game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Pierce now stands at No.2 all-time on the Celtics point leaders behind John Havlicek who has 26,395 points, a little less than 5,000 more than Pierce. 

It did take Pierce 88 more games to catch Larry Legend, at a more lower percentage. But that's the territory when it comes to passing one of the greatest players of all time, and had Bird remained healthy towards the end of his career, or began his career earlier with the Celtics, it's unlikely Pierce would have caught him.

But he did.

This is why Pierce should not be traded by Boston, even if things were to fall apart for the Celtics before the trade deadline. Pierce has been a Celtic since he was drafted, and should retire as one. He has had MVP worthy seasons, and been a contributor and leader for a championship team. His brilliance is understated, it's not made for bronze statues, but it is in no way unworthy of being discussed among the greats. 

Most franchise records are quality levels. But the Celtics are a different matter. Pierce now stands above Parrish, McHale, Bird, Russell, Jo Jo White, and Tommy Heinsohn for point scored in green. It is a franchise not just with a lot of history, but great history. It is layered in greatness, and Pierce's position at the top behind Havlicek warrants his entry into discussions for the greatest Celtics ever, even if he doesn't necessarily stack up with the other Hall of Fame members. Pierce will have his own entry into the Hall, his own place in Celtics lore, his own spot in his fans' hearts. 

As Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe notes, Bird had roughly 1,400 more field goal attempts than Pierce, and shot .05 percent better from the floor. So how did Pierce catch him? The three-point line. Pierce made 1,615 3's compared to 649 for Bird. Bird could hit from distance, he just didn't. Pierce did. In fact, in a moderm metric called True Shooting percentage, which factors three-point and free throw shooting, Pierce actually leads Bird .569 to .564. This doesn't make Pierce a better shooter than Basketbal Jesus, just maybe a more efficient in the modern sense one. 

The Garden crowd predictably gave him a massive ovation for the feat, continuing for several minutes. Here's the shot. 



Here's Pierce from a few days on the accomplishment.


 
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: A Magical Time

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, we look back on extensions week, ask if the Celtics are back, and of course, check in on Dwight Howard. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. After two games between Orlando and Boston this week, is Boston "back?" 

Ken Berger: I still think they're going to be OK. What a difference when Pierce has it going. He's clearly getting his confidence back. What happened Thursday night was as much about the Magic's fragility as it was about the Celtics' resilience. But to come back like that on the road, without Rondo or Allen, is a great sign for Boston. The Celtics' bench is still way too thin, and they don't have enough size. But one thing they need more than anything is some young legs and youthful exuberance, not to mention those attributes coming with meaningful contributions. They got that Thursday night from E'Twaun Moore. A much needed jolt for Boston's elders.

2. What extension decision, signed or unsigned, surprised you the most?

Ken Berger: I don't know that any surprised me, but the most interesting case was Eric Gordon. Given his knee situation, it's difficult to make a largely unnecessary long-term commitment now. But clearly the Hornets can't afford to lose the most significant asset they received in the Chris Paul trade. But much like Kevin Love's shorter extension with Minnesota, this arrangement could work out in Gordon's favor. If he comes back healthy and continues to put up big numbers, he'll command a bigger deal as a restricted free agent. And New Orleans knows they control the situation because they can match.

3. The Pacers have an interest in Eric Gordon. With his future in the air, is there any chance teams make a run at him in trade at the deadline?

Ken Berger: It would be logical for Gordon, the IU product, to wind up only a short drive from Bloomington. But I don't expect the Hornets to entertain in-season trade offers for him. There's no reason to panic since they have the right to match next summer.

4. We hear a lot about the Magic waiting to make a decision on Dwight Howard. But how about the Lakers? Are they going to give this team a chance to gel or will they pounce at the first opportunity for improvement?

Ken Berger: It always depends on the deal. If Howard can be had for a price that's less than Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, then the dialogue could catch fire pretty quickly. But unless Orlando completely goes in the tank -- and they haven't been playing well lately -- I see no signs that Otis Smith and Alex Martins are going to consider anything less than an all-out blockbuster offer for Howard. There's one caveat: If the realization of losing Howard for nothing hits the Magic organization like a freight train on March 14, it's impossible to predict now how they'll react.

5. Explain why the Minnesota Timberwolves not signing Kevin Love for as many years as possible is in any way a good decision on their part, please.

Ken Berger: I got into this in Postups yesterday. Basically, it's a good deal for both sides. Love has three years to determine if the Wolves are, in fact, going in the right direction. The Wolves, in turn, get to preserve their five-year designated player extension for Ricky Rubio. But Minnesota also will be able to get Love on a five-year extension after he opts out of the fourth year of this deal. And Love will get more money, too. With seven-plus years of service at that point, he'd be eligible for 30 percent of the cap.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:56 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 1:03 am
 

Report Card: Magic make a lead disappear

The Magic blew a 27-point lead at home to the Celtics Thursday. (Getty Images)

Posted by Matt Moore

Your nightly report card wraps up the performances of the NBA night and provides grades on a curve. The Magic blew a 27-point lead to lose at home to the Boston Celtics, who were without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. The loss comes just days after the Magic only scored 56 points to the Celtics in Boston.

Boston Celtics

If the Celtics aren't back, they're doing an impressive job of faking it. The Magic had more to do with the collapse, but make no mistake, Boston earned this one after a terrible first half. Their second-half effort was dominant in classic Celtics style. They cut off all passing lanes, challenged each shot, and attacked the ball handler at every turn. E'Twuan Moore scored 16 points, while Kevin Garnett repeatedly found his 18 footer open and shut down Dwight Howard. The first half it looked like the Celtics were still the useless club they've been for much of this season. But these two performances against Orlando show they can still win a playoff series. Especially if it's against Orlando.

Stan Van Gundy

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Dwight Howard

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Jameer Nelson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Jason Richardson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Hedo Turkoglu

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Ryan Anderson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Glen Davis

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


J.J. Redick

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Chris Duhon

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Quentin Richardson

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed. 


Earl Clark

Surrendered a 27-point comeback at home to a conference rival that was without its starting backcourt and has struggled the entire season with age and speed.  


Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:10 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 12:11 pm
 

Howard would listen to offer from Celtics

Howard says he would consider playing for Boston. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore


OK, so now all of a sudden Dwight's OK with Boston. This is getting hard to keep track of. For months, it's been assumed that Howard would not consider Boston on his list of teams to go to. Multiple reports have indicated he's expressed that he will not re-sign there if traded to the Green Team. But now there's different information... from Howard's own mouth.  
And if Howard is still available — if the Magic don’t blink and move him before the March deadline — C’s president Danny Ainge will undoubtedly put in a call to Team Dwight.

The question is whether he’ll answer.

“Always. Always,” Howard told the Herald. “I’d always listen to a team like that.

“My thing is I want to win. It’s not something like I’m doing this for money. I win. I want to do it my way.”

There may be two problems for the Celtics in that last paragraph. Howard may question whether the club can win with him, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, a collection of minimum salary veterans and a few children. And his “way” likely means a bigger stage.
via Dwight Howard to Hub? - BostonHerald.com.

This does not mean that Boston is at the top of, or near the top of the list for Howard. He's made his choices pretty clear. But Boston has continually dogged him in the playoffs. Joining them would be joining an organization all about winning, who he knows will be able to build around him. He'd likely have Rajon Rondo as well, since the trade package would probably include the Big 3. The Magic have reportedly been looking for veteran players who can help them win now instead of younger players. If they want old guys, Boston's got them.

(Side note: Please try and imagine Rajon Rondo's surliness next to Dwight Howard's effusive jolliness. Unintentionally funniest duo ever.)

But Howard hasn't been all about winning. He's not targeting Chicago, which gives him the best chance to win a title. He clearly wants the money and fame that comes with Los Angeles or New York. If winning is what matters, you don't put the Nets at the top, no matter how good Deron Williams is. The Celtics are a long shot, but Howard would listen to the offer. From there it would come down to Danny Ainge and if he could pull off the sales job of his life.

(HT: SI
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:33 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 12:10 am
 

Report Card: Paul Pierce carries Boston

Posted by Royce Young



Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments.

Mo Williams

If anyone is taking advantage of Chris Paul's injury, it's Mo Williams. And here's the irony: Paul's injury may end up benefitting the Clippers. As a result, Williams has been able to showcase he still has a little All-Star ability in him after putting up another big line with 26 points against Toronto. With Williams playing so well, his trade value is climbing and the Clippers, who don't have a ton of need for him once CP3 returns, could dangle him at the deadline for a 2-guard or interior post defender.

Paul Pierce

The Celtics are looking old and hobbled, but Pierce still has a good amount left in the tank. Granted, it was against the Wizards, but Pierce was in triple-double territory with 34 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Pierce got his points on just 15 shots and did it as he likes to -- getting to the line, attacking the middle of the floor and hitting open shots when he got them.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers failed to make a statement earlier in the month in Miami, but did exactly that Sunday night notching a signature win over the Lakers in Los Angeles. All five starters scored in double-figures and the Pacers just played a wise, defensive game limiting Kobe's counterparts. It helped hitting 10-18 from 3 and the fact the Lakers missed 11 free throws. Regardless, the Pacers needed this type of win to really grab attention and they executed and got it done.

John Wall

Finally, it looks like John Wall might be turning a corner. After a disappointing start to his sophomore season, Wall has had a better week. Against Boston Sunday, he put up 27 points, seven assists and 10 rebounds. In order for Washington to stay competitive with anyone, that's how Wall has to play. I'm sure the dysfunction and losing have weighed on him, but he has to realize a lot of it is on his shoulders. And if he can bring it like he has lately every night, the Wizards can play with people.

Washington Wizards

The Wizards lost again dropping to 2-14, but they kind of hand a decent week. They beat the Thunder, were competitive against the Nuggets and nearly beat the Celtics. I wouldn't say they're coming around to get excited, but it definitely is encouraging to see they haven't completely quit. Continuing to play hard and competing is often the first step in turning things around.

Brandon Jennings

Check out his line: 23 points (good), 5-20 from the floor (not good), 12-13 from the line (good), 1-10 from 3 (not good). Milwaukee got good games from Ersan Ilyasova and Andre Bogut which was enough to beat Miami, but Jennings' night was a little bit of a mess.


Toronto Raptors

The Raptors kind of had a little promise to them early in the season. Dwane Casey had them defending, Andrea Bargnani was off to an All-Star caliber start and there was some legit optimism about the direction. But they've now dropped eight straight games, the most recent being at the hands of the Clippers in a game they were handled with relative ease (just 11 first quarter points for the Raptors). Things may be improving in Toronto, but not quite at the pace some might've thought.

Heat players not named LeBron or Chris

LeBron James and Chris Bosh combined for 61 of Miami's total of 82 against the Bucks. Only one other player scored in double-figures (Mario Chalmers) and no other player scored more than six. It was an extremely weak effort from the Heat's role players and without LeBron playing an incredible game, Miami wasn't going to win like that.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com