Celtics to face Rockets, Kings for first time


Celtics to face Rockets, Kings for first time

By Jessica Camerato

The Boston Celtics wrapped up their regular-season series against the Toronto Raptors on Friday. The following day, they played their third game against the Chicago Bulls.

After already playing 11 teams more than twice this season, the Celtics will face new competition this week when the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings come to town.

Houston Rockets (16-21)
Monday, January 10

Team Leaders
Scoring - Kevin Martin: 23.2 points per game
Rebounds - Luis Scola: 8.2 rebounds per game
Assists - Kyle Lowry: 6.8 assists per game

Last Season: The Celtics split their two-game series with the Rockets. The Cs won in Houston, 94-87, behind 15 fourth-quarter points from Paul Pierce (26 total). The Rockets then defeated the Celtics, 119-114, in overtime in Boston. Aaron Brooks scored a game-high 30 points.
Skidding In: The Rockets are currently on a five-game losing streak and have not won since beating the Raptors on New Years Eve. During the skid, they have lost by an average of 8.8 points to the Portland Trail Blazers (twice), Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, and Utah Jazz.

Dishing Dimes: The Celtics (24.6 apg) and Rockets (23.8 apg) are the top two teams in assists per game this season. Rajon Rondo leads the Cs - and the league - with 13.4, while Kyle Lowry has averaged 6.8 for the Rockets.
Familiar Faces for Wafer: Von Wafer played for the Rockets during the 2008-09 season (9.7 ppg, 44.7 FG). His time with the team, however, was marred after being ejected from the bench by coach Rick Adelman during a playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sacramento Kings (8-26)
Wednesday, January 12

Team Leaders
Scoring - Tyreke Evans: 17.2 points per game
Rebounds: DeMarcus Cousins: 7.6 rebounds per game
Assists - Tyreke Evans: 5.4 assists per game
Last Season: The Celtics swept last series, 2-0, and have won their last six games against Sacramento. The Cs beat the Kings on the road, 95-92, with 44 points from the bench. They also won at TD Garden, 94-86, as Rajon Rondo dished 18 assists and set the franchise record for steals in a single season.
Power at the Point Guard: Tyreke Evans posted 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists in the one game he played against the Celtics last season (he was injured during the other). This season he is averaging 17.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game. After battling Derrick Rose on Saturday, Rajon Rondo will have his hands full with Evans.

Young Talent Down Low: After an inconsistent start, rookie DeMarcus Cousins has been settling in offensively. He is averaging 21.8 over the last five games while grabbing nine rebounds during that stretch. Cousins has faced several off-the-court issues, however, including arguing with his coach. A high pressure game on a big stage will be a test for the 20-year-old center.
Champion Returns at the Helm: Former Celtic Paul Westphal returns to Boston as the head coach of the Kings. Westphal was a member of the Cs from 1972-75 and won a championship in 1974.

Stats as of January 9, 2011
Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

Drummond on tweets and trade talk: 'I can change my profile if I want to'

Drummond on tweets and trade talk: 'I can change my profile if I want to'

BOSTON – If you believe what Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons are saying, then the former UConn star will not be on the move prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. ESTtrade deadline.

Drummond, whose social media posts on Monday and later Tuesday morning only perpetuated the belief that he might be traded to Boston, addressed the trade speculation surrounding him after the Piston’s practice on Tuesday.

“What’s that got to do with my team?” he told reporters. “I can’t control what happens with trade rumors.”

Drummond was then reminded of the eyeballs emoji he posted Tuesday morning, which came less than 24 hours after he re-tweeted Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas’ eyeballs emoji – a similar posting to what Thomas did around the time Boston landed Al Horford last summer.

So as fans and media tried to piece the tweets together like they were clues to a Jessica Fletcher mystery, Drummond did his best to splash cold water on the trade talk on Tuesday.

“I’m a grown man,” he said. “I can change my profile if I want to. It doesn’t matter what time of year. If y’all want to speculate about that and me, go for it.”

Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy has made no secret about the Pistons having conversations with several teams about all their players.

“Some discussions get more serious than others and that’s what happens,” Van Gundy told reporters following the team’s practice on Tuesday. “There hasn’t been a serious discussion about Andre, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been discussions about Andre.

Van Gundy added, “The rumors don’t mean anything to me. One of you (media) guys asked me over the weekend how far along the D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green trade for Reggie was. The first time I heard about it was when I got that text, so I would assume not that far. I usually can just laugh it off, but it gets a little annoying.”

Thomsen: Believe Danny Ainge has 'really been pushing it' for trades

Thomsen: Believe Danny Ainge has 'really been pushing it' for trades

Will Boston fans be comfortable if the Celtics don't make a move before the trade deadline and again are waiting for free agency in the summer? Ian Thomsen, Marc Bertrand and Mike Giardi discuss.