Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe is reporting that Miami will be at full strength as the Celtics take on the Heat tonight in South Beach. Spoelstra's been resting his starters intermittently since their win streak was snapped, but they'll all see time tonight against the C's. With the #1 overall seed locked up, it's a curious decision. My guess is that they want to send a message to one of the few teams they fear in the Eastern Conference. Boston, on the other hand, still has some jockeying to do in the standings. Their magic number to clinch the #7 seed over Milwaukee is 2 and they've still got a chance at #6 with Atlanta holding a two-game lead in the loss column. For those scoreboard watching, the Hawks face the Bucks tonight.
(Click the "csnne.com" link to see the video) He seems to be hinting that... (1) He's a bit less than 100% physically, but expects to overcome that and give max effort for these playoffs. (2) This is probably his last season. (And this is the second time he's dropped that kind of hint to the media.)
The team is still citing "personal reasons" for PP's absence from shootaround. This is after Doc was certain that he'd play today after missing Monday's game in Minnesota. The Celtics are only a game ahead of the eighth seeded Bucks with Milwaukee owning the tie breaker. Tonight isn't a necessarily a must win, but it would be nice to sweep the 4-game homestand against Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, and Brooklyn. The Pistons are no joke either; they've won both previous games against the C's in convincing fashion.
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No Paul pierce tonight— greg dickerson (@gdickerson_csn) April 1, 2013
All signs pointed to him sitting out after tweaking his ankle last night against the Knicks, but the Celtics are citing "personal reasons" rather than scheduled rest or injury for his absence. Courtney Lee returns to the starting line-up. No point in speculating why The Captain is out, but let's just hope everything is O.K. back home. UPDATE: Doc said that it isn't bad news and that PP will be playing Wednesday night vs. the Pistons.
The Celtics announced today that they have signed F Shavlik Randolph to a multi-year contract. Details here: http://t.co/JPExFEwJBP— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 21, 2013
Like the deals for Terrence Williams and D.J. White, Shavlik Randolph's multi-year deal gives Danny the option to pick him up for next season at a bargain. With only their first round draft pick this summer (the second rounder went to Portland with Sasha Pavlovic), all three China League alumnus will have the opportunity to prove their worth not only during the final games of this season and the playoffs, but presumably during summer league and training camp in October. Doc has said that the team picked up all three in order to maintain continuity for a roster that has been rocked by injuries. Outside of Chris Wilcox, the rest of the roster is signed for next season with Melo probably moving up to the bigs, Rondo and Sullinger returning from injury, and a decent draft pick in the teens. With how big the learning curve was for the new Celtics earlier this season, it's nice knowing that there will be some consistency going into 2014.
Kevin Garnett is on today's team flight to New Orleans, as are D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 19, 2013
It's a good sign that all three will be available on Wednesday in a revenge game against the Hornets. As previously reported, White is signed on for the rest of the season and Shavlik's second 10-day expires tomorrow. Both have shown similar signs of production in limited minutes, so I wouldn't be surprised if Danny extends Randolph, too.
KG's absence is a huge blow to the C's chances of stopping Miami's pick-and-roll game and their 22-game winning streak. However, it'll force Doc to go small and that could 1) put Jeff Green on Lebron more often and subsequently 2) free up Pierce on the offensive end. Garnett's still a game time decision.