2008–09 Boston Celtics season
The 2008–09 Boston Celtics season was the 63rd season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). They started the season as defending NBA champions, where they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals, winning their seventeenth NBA championship, as well as marking their ninth series victory over the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Celtics started the season 27–2, which surpassed a mark set by the 1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers for the best two-loss start in NBA history. This run also included a 19-game winning streak, which improved a Celtics franchise record set in 1981–82. However, the Celtics lost seven out of the following nine games, and eventually finished with a 62–20 record.
|2008–09 Boston Celtics season|
|Head coach||Doc Rivers|
|General manager||Danny Ainge|
H. Irving Grousbeck
|Arena||TD Banknorth Garden|
|Place||Division: 1st (Atlantic)|
Conference: 2nd (Eastern)
|Playoff finish||Conference Semifinals|
(Lost to Magic 3–4)
|Television||CSN New England|
But, they failed to defend their title as Kevin Garnett lost for the season due to an season-ending injury as they lost to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Semifinals in seven games. The Magic would go on to the NBA Finals, their second NBA Finals appearance, only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
- June 26: The 2008 NBA draft took place in New York City.
- July 1: The free agency period started.
- October 8: The pre-season started with a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
- October 28: The regular season started with a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which Boston won 90–85.
- December 11: Recorded the best season start in franchise history, starting at 21–2.
- December 23: Recorded the longest winning streak in franchise history at 19, and the best season start in NBA history with 27–2.
NBA Draft 2008Edit
On June 26, the Celtics selected shooting guard J. R. Giddens with the 30th and center Semih Erden with the 60th overall picks in the 2008 NBA draft, and traded cash considerations in exchange for small forward Bill Walker, who had been selected by the Washington Wizards with the 47th overall pick. Giddens had worked out with the Celtics before the draft for three days, and received praises from head coach Doc Rivers, who thought he could fight for minutes on the team right away. He was already familiar with future teammates Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins, who were his teammates at the 2003 McDonald's High School All-American Game. Walker was considered a lottery pick, but suffered the third knee injury in his career during a workout at the Golden State Warriors facility on June 15. However, he remained in the draft despite the injury, and was expected to have minor surgery in July that would keep him out for three to four weeks. Erden was not expected to join the roster this season, and was seen by general manager Danny Ainge as their first-round pick in 2009.
The Celtics headed into the off-season with several free agents and tried to gather a group to repeat as the NBA Champions, with a key decision on unrestricted free agent James Posey, who, in a widely anticipated move, opted out of the second and final year of his contract with the Celtics on June 30, but stated that he wanted to return to the Celtics on a new contract. P.J. Brown, who made key contributions during the 2008 NBA Playoffs, was leaning towards retirement, and the status of restricted free agent Tony Allen remained uncertain after the first-round selection of J. R. Giddens, who was seen as a possible replacement. Later it was revealed that the Celtics did not extend a qualifying offer to Allen, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Celtics also hoped to keep unrestricted free agent Eddie House, and decisions were to be made on unrestricted free agents Sam Cassell and Scot Pollard.
The Celtics were interested in small forward Corey Maggette as a replacement for James Posey, but Maggette signed with the Golden State Warriors on a much higher contract than the Celtics were able to offer, which added to the urgency to re-sign Posey. On July 11, the Celtics addressed their need for a backup center by signing Patrick O'Bryant to a 2-year, $3 million contract, after he had an impressive workout with the team a week earlier, and consequently ruled out the return of Scot Pollard and P.J. Brown. Eventually, James Posey signed with the New Orleans Hornets on July 16, since the Celtics were reluctant to offer him more than a three-year deal at the mid-level exception. Compensating for the loss of Posey, the Celtics re-signed Tony Allen to a 2-year, $5 million contract, and were also able to re-sign Eddie House to a 2-year, $5.6 million contract, using the mid-level exception only on House.
On August 22, the Celtics signed small forward Darius Miles, who was forced to sit out the previous two seasons due to microfracture surgery on his right knee and thought to have a career-ending injury, to a non-guaranteed contract, and expected him to fight for a roster spot at training camp. He worked out twice with the team and impressed with his health and attitude, but would sit out the first ten games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy if he made the roster. This signing ultimately put the roster up to the league maximum of 15 players, of which 14 players had fully guaranteed contracts. On September 29, the first day of training camp, Sam Cassell re-signed with the team, which put the roster one player over the maximum. On October 20, Miles was waived, a move which finalized the roster for the start of the season. On February 27, Stephon Marbury signed with the Celtics. In the following season he was offered a one year contract for the veteran's minimum for $1.3 million but declined the contract.
|1||30||J. R. Giddens||SG||United States||New Mexico|
|2||60||Semih Erden||C||Turkey||Fenerbahçe Ülker|
Boston Celtics roster
|New Jersey Nets||34||48||.415||28||19–22||15–26||8–8|
|New York Knicks||32||50||.390||30||20–21||12–29||5–11|
|11||New Jersey Nets||34||48||.415||32|
|14||New York Knicks||32||50||.390||34|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
|2008-09 NBA Records|
|2009 playoff game log|
First Round: 4–3 (Home: 3–1; Road: 1–2)
Conference Semifinals : 3–4 (Home: 2–2; Road: 1–2)
|2009 playoff schedule|
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Source:|||
|J. R. Giddens||6||0||1.3||.667||.000||.000||0.5||0.0||0.17||0.00||0.7|
*Statistics with the Boston Celtics
Awards, records and milestonesEdit
- Head coach Doc Rivers was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November.
- Ray Allen was selected to his 9th NBA All–Star Game
- Paul Pierce was selected to his 7th NBA All–Star Game
- Kevin Garnett was selected as a starter to his 12th NBA All–Star Game
- On February 22, Ray Allen broke the team record for consecutive free-throws made with 72, eclipsing the previous mark of 71 by Larry Bird.
- With 7 blocks against the Milwaukee Bucks on November 7, Kendrick Perkins had the most blocks in a game by a Celtics player since Kevin McHale had 8 on January 9, 1987.
- With 22 points in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors on November 10, Paul Pierce had the most points in a quarter by a Celtics player since Todd Day had 24 in 1995.
- Head coach Doc Rivers became the third coach in NBA history to win the Coach of the Month award for three straight months, joining Flip Saunders (2005–06) and Larry Brown (2002–03).
- Rajon Rondo had the first triple-double by a Celtics player since Paul Pierce accomplished it on February 2, 2005, in a win against the Indiana Pacers on December 3.
- With 19 straight wins, the Celtics recorded the longest winning streak in franchise history with a win against the Philadelphia 76ers on December 23, breaking the previous record of 18 straight wins held by the 1981–82 Celtics, and matched the fourth longest winning streak in NBA history.
- With a 27–2 season start, the Celtics were off to the best opening in franchise history and NBA history.
- The Celtics matched their 6th biggest win in franchise history with a 108-63 blowout victory over the Sacramento Kings on December 28, 2008.
- The Celtics lost four games in a row for the first time since acquiring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.
- The Celtics recorded the most points in overtime (22) in franchise history, breaking the previous record of 21 set on January 2, 1963 against the Golden State Warriors.
- Kevin Garnett became the youngest player (32 years, 165 days) in NBA history to reach 1,000 career games by passing Shawn Kemp (33 years, 24 days) against the Chicago Bulls on October 31.
- Paul Pierce moved up to 2nd in made free throws in Celtics history by passing Bob Cousy with a free-throw in the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors on November 10.
- Paul Pierce moved up to 4th on Boston's all-time scoring list by passing Kevin McHale with a layup in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers on December 7.
- Kevin Garnett moved up to 26th in points in NBA history by passing Walt Bellamy with a jumper in the first quarter against the Houston Rockets on January 7.
- Kevin Garnett passed 21,000 points for his career with a field goal in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors on January 12.\
- Rajon Rondo completed his first career triple-double December 3, 2008 with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 17 assists. He followed up with his second career triple-double February 12, 2009 with 19 points, 15 rebounds (career high), and 14 assists.
Injuries and surgeriesEdit
- July 2: Kendrick Perkins underwent surgery on his left strained shoulder which he injured during the 2008 NBA Finals.
- July 2: Bill Walker underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee which he suffered during a workout at the Golden State Warriors facility prior to the 2008 NBA draft on June 15, 2008.
- July 11: Paul Pierce had an MRI on his right knee which showed no significant problem. He suffered the injury during Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals, which was later diagnosed as a sprained MCL and a bone bruise.
|June 26, 2008
||To Boston Celtics
The 47th pick in the 2008 NBA draft (Bill Walker)
|To Washington Wizards|
|February 17, 2009
||To Boston Celtics
Conditional 2nd-round draft pick and cash considerations
|To Los Angeles Clippers|
|February 19, 2009
||To Boston Celtics
Conditional 2nd-round draft pick from Sacramento
|To Portland Trail Blazers|
- "Celtics Make It 19 Straight. Lakers Await". The New York Times. December 24, 2008.
- Big 3 carry streaking Celtics to 13th straight win, Associated Press, December 11, 2008
- Celts now 27-2 after winning 19th straight game, Associated Press, December 23, 2008.
- Julian Benbow, Taking a shot with J.R., The Boston Globe, June 27, 2008.
- Mark Murphy, Danny Ainge again busy late, Boston Herald, June 27, 2008.
- Gary Parrish, K-State's Walker injures knee in draft workout Archived July 9, 2012, at Archive.today, CBSSports.com, June 16, 2008.
- Walker stays in draft, despite knee; UCLA's Mbah a Moute, too, ESPN.com, June 16, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Walker looking to trade in his run of bad luck, The Boston Globe, June 29, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Walker to have surgery, The Boston Globe, July 1, 2008.
- Steve Bulpett, Celts drafting offseason plan, Boston Herald, June 28, 2008.
- Chris Forsberg, Posey to opt out today, The Boston Globe, June 30, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Posey out; offer to Allen?, The Boston Globe, June 30, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Ainge braces for free agency, The Boston Globe, June 25, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Posey is Celtics' top target, The Boston Globe, July 1, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Might 'The Birdman' cometh?, The Boston Globe, June 29, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Posey officially on market, The Boston Globe, July 9, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Celtics get their 'big', The Boston Globe, July 12, 2008.
- Steve Bulpett, C's make big move, Boston Herald, July 12, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Posey bolts Celtics for Hornets, The Boston Globe, July 17, 2008.
- Marc Stein, Posey agrees to four-year deal with Hornets, ESPN.com, July 16, 2008.
- Frank Dell'Apa, Allen will be ready to jump in, The Boston Globe, July 24, 2008.
- Frank Dell'Apa, Celtics rebound, re-sign Allen, House, Boston Globe, July 22, 2008.
- Miles, thought to have career-ending injury, signs with Celtics, ESPN.com, August 22, 2008.
- Marc J. Spears, Celtics bring in Miles, The Boston Globe, August 22, 2008.
- Celtics sign Darius Miles, Boston Herald, August 22, 2008.
- Ian Thomsen, A onetime phenom, Miles trying for unprecedented comeback, Sports Illustrated, July 17, 2008.
- Marc Stein, Warriors want Williams, Miles wants in, Smith wants out, ESPN.com, July 19, 2008.
- Frank Dell'Apa, Repeat performance would suit Cassell, The Boston Globe, September 30, 2008.
- Gary Dzen, Celtics waive Miles, The Boston Globe, October 20, 2008.
- Berman, Marc (October 16, 2009). "Marbury rips Knicks, coach, says he'll sit out season". nypost.com.
- "Roster and Statistics". Basketball-Reference.
- Rivers, Jackson garner Coach of Month honors, NBA.com, December 1, 2008.
- Rivers Named NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month, Celtics.com, December 1, 2008.
- Celtics start slow, rebound to coast by Bucks, Associated Press, November 7, 2008.
- Frank Dell'Apa, The Truth hurts, The Boston Globe, November 11, 2008.
- Rondo's triple-double lifts Celts to 10th straight win, Associated Press, December 3, 2008.
- Celts bounce back from back-to-back losses with rout, Associated Press, December 28, 2008.
- James dazzles on both ends to prolong Celts' struggles, Associated Press, January 9, 2009.
- Pierce, Celtics beat Raptors in overtime, Associated Press, January 12, 2009.
- Garnett becomes youngest to reach 1,000 games, leads Celtics past Bulls, Associated Press, October 31, 2008.
- Frank Dell'Apa, Rondo's deal is extended, The Boston Globe, November 1, 2008.
- Allen's 35 helps Celts beat Pacers in OT, extend win streak, Associated Press, December 7, 2008.
- Wafer hits 3 to push Rockets past reeling Celtics, Associated Press, January 7, 2009.
- Career Leaders and Records for Points, Basketball-Reference
- Mark Murphy, Celtics Notebook: Giddens goes home; no offer for Maggette; Perkins surgery, Boston Herald, July 2, 2008.
- Monique Walker, Operation Green, The Boston Globe, July 3, 2008.
- Steve Bulpett, Pierce's knee OK, Boston Herald, July 12, 2008.
- NBA.com: July 2008 Transactions