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About Paul Flannery

Paul Flannery began his journalism career answering phones at the Boston Herald before embarking on a cross-country odyssey that included stops in Oregon, Virginia and Philadelphia. He then returned home to Boston, where he was the online editor at Boston magazine and began covering the Celtics in 2008. Flannery also contributes to the Phoenix and teaches sports journalism at Boston University.

 
COLUMNS
Paul Flannery
05/13/2009 - 2:13am
There were five minutes left and the Celtics were down by 10 points when Doc Rivers put his starters back on the floor. It was, as he said later, “a gamble” because at the time the players who were doing the most on the court were Stephon Marbury and Eddie House. But if the Celtics were going to go down in their building they were going to go down with the ones who had brought them here.
Paul Flannery
05/11/2009 - 4:27am
ORLANDO -- The ball had barely ripped through the net and the horn had just finished going off when Glen Big Baby Davis took off down the court like a one-man running of the bulls at Pamplona. It goes without saying the game-winning jumper was the biggest shot Davis has made in his short career. It wasn’t the first time he had made one -- he had even done it before in Orlando back in February from almost exactly the same spot. But to do so in a playoff game with his team facing a 3-1 hole and Rashard Lewis rushing toward him, Davis had a right to be exuberant.
Paul Flannery
05/09/2009 - 12:40am
ORLANDO -- Angry isn’t the right word to describe the Celtics mood after getting run out of Amway Arena in Game 3 against the Magic. Disappointed. Frustrated. Those work.    The Celtics walked into a buzzsaw Friday night against an energized Magic team playing in a hopped-up building, and except for a brief moment at the end of the third quarter (playing with a “goofy lineup,” as Doc Rivers called it) they simply failed to land any effective counter-punches.   
Paul Flannery
05/07/2009 - 1:12am
The question before Rajon Rondo about an hour before Game 2 tipped was: Who’s the quickest player in the league? “Beside myself?” Rondo asked, although it was more of a clarifying statement than query. Rondo probably is the fastest player in the league, but when Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy looked out at the court and saw his super-sized lineup trying to stay with not only Rondo, but also Eddie House and Ray Allen, he did not like what he saw.
Paul Flannery
05/05/2009 - 1:18am
It’s a little hard to pinpoint when it was exactly that the Celtics got their groove back.  
Paul Flannery
05/03/2009 - 5:13pm
Having survived an epic first-round series with the Bulls, the Celtics now face an Orlando team that’s much different in terms of style, temperament and expectations than Chicago. If the Bulls were playing as if there was nothing to lose and everything to gain, the Magic will have tremendous pressure to break through and advance to the conference finals against the wounded Celtics.
Paul Flannery
05/03/2009 - 2:15am
Eddie House took the ball and flung it to the Garden rafters and by the time it reached the floor everyone went about trying to put the whole thing into perspective. After seven games, four of which went into overtime, what exactly was this series between the Celtics and the Bulls? Was it the greatest ever, or does a playoff series have to be much deeper than the first round to earn that distinction?
Paul Flannery
05/01/2009 - 12:38am
Words fail. After six games and seven overtimes what more could possibly be said about this series? That it’s the greatest first round series in the history of the NBA? Well, yeah.   That it’s the most competitive series in the history of basketball? Probably so.  
Paul Flannery
04/29/2009 - 12:44am
For most of the 2008-09 season, people have been struggling to define just how fast Rajon Rondo actually is. It is known, for example, that there is no one in the NBA who can stay in front of him on a consistent basis. It was suggested, by Rondo himself, that he could beat Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in the 100 meters. It’s taken 82 games, five more in the playoffs and four overtime periods before we could definitively answer the question, but here it is: Rajon Rondo is fast enough to save a season in 94 seconds.
Paul Flannery
04/26/2009 - 6:48pm
There were more than enough 'what if’s' in the aftermath of the Celtics double-overtime loss to the Bulls Sunday afternoon in Game 4 of their first-round series. What if Paul Pierce had made both of his free throws at the end of the first overtime? What if the Celtics had been able to foul Ben Gordon instead of allowing him to get a 3-pointer? What if Brad Miller had been thrown out?   
Paul Flannery
04/24/2009 - 12:07am
Everyone has a theory about Paul Pierce. He’s tired. He’s getting older. He’s hurt. If you played Revolution No. 9 backward, Ray Allen would tell you the truth about The Truth. Whatever the reason, the general consensus was that something was wrong with the Captain after two games in which he struggled to get his shot off, and missed 60 percent of the time when he did.   
Paul Flannery
04/21/2009 - 12:10am
  When he walked into the post-game press conference, Doc Rivers looked like he had just spent the last 48 minutes trying to guard Ben Gordon coming off multiple screens. “The only comment I have,” Rivers said, “is I pray that Danny Ainge didn’t watch this game.”  
Paul Flannery
04/18/2009 - 7:00pm
  Rajon Rondo was late coming into the postgame press conference area and when he finally did arrive he was moving slowly and deliberately. This was different for the third-year guard whose default speed is somewhere between fast and warp overdrive, but Game 1 of the Celtics first-round playoff series with the Bulls had drained him.
Paul Flannery
04/17/2009 - 12:14pm
What is the definition of a .500 team? The same number of wins and losses is a good place to start, and in the case of the Chicago Bulls, 41-41 is exactly the right mark, for the Bulls take mediocrity to an extreme. They are roughly even with their opponents in almost every statistical category. They shoot the same percentage, rebound the same, get as many steals, blocks and assists and turn the ball over at almost exactly the same rate as the opposition. The only thing that disturbs this yin-and-yang balance is a strong 3-point shooting percentage.
Paul Flannery
04/14/2009 - 11:07am
This is what I remember most about Harry Kalas: A friend of mine asked me if I could get Harry to wish her grandfather a happy birthday over the air. Her grandfather watched every Phillies game even though his eyes had started betraying him a few years earlier, and while he could only make out a sliver of the action he always knew when Pat Burrell chased a slider away. He knew by the sound in Harry’s voice.
Paul Flannery
04/13/2009 - 4:30pm
As the NBA season winds down, WEEI.com’s basketball roundtable discussed the Celtics, the NBA and if anyone can prevent us from enduring a LeBron-Kobe hypefest in the NBA Finals. 1. Who is your Celtics MVP? Paul Flannery: The numbers tell me it’s Rajon Rondo, but I’m going to go with Paul Pierce, who has been the rock for the Celtics this year. It hasn’t been his best year, but it’s been his important year.
Paul Flannery
04/07/2009 - 11:44am
As a general rule of thumb, it’s not a good thing when an NBA championship contender has a number of unanswered questions with a week to go in the regular season. A baseball or football team can get hot just in time for the playoffs (see: Cardinals, St. Louis and Arizona) but with the exception of the 1995 Houston Rockets, there just aren’t that many flukes — and the Rockets could hardly be considered a fluke when you consider that they had the best player in the world that year in Hakeem Olajuwon.
Paul Flannery
03/20/2009 - 12:49am
Stephon Marbury is frustrated. He’s frustrated because his shot isn’t falling the way it used to and because he hasn’t been the answer to every one of the Celtics' problems. He’s frustrated because those damn legs aren’t there yet and he’s frustrated because in his attempt to prove to everyone that he is a set-them-up point guard instead of jack-em-up malcontent that he’s not giving his new team exactly what it needs.    That’s good.   
Paul Flannery
03/09/2009 - 8:07am
Tony Allen made progress the other day and that was news in and of itself, because it seems that every time he does take a step forward, something else happens to set him back. Throughout his star-crossed career — and he is the second-longest tenured Celtic behind Paul Pierce, strange as that seems — it has always been something. Knee injuries, coaching changes, rotation shuffles, and then this year an ankle injury and finally thumb surgery, something always seems to get in the way of Allen becoming the player so many people want him to be.
Paul Flannery
03/05/2009 - 10:34am
The last time we saw the Cleveland Cavaliers on the Garden parquet, David Stern was handing out rings and Paul Pierce was thanking everyone he had ever met at any point in his life. The last time the Celtics saw the Cavs at all, it was at the end of their mid-season (pick your adjective) swoon/slump/re-tooling and were basically Ushered (pun intended) off the Cavs’ home court.
Paul Flannery
02/27/2009 - 9:51pm
The All-Star game is over and the Jabberwockeez have gone back to wherever it is Jaberwockeez hang out. Phoenix is starting over, Orlando is hurting, the Los Angeles Lakers are thriving and the Celtics and Cleveland are locked in a sprint to finish the 82-game marathon in first place.
Paul Flannery
02/27/2009 - 6:47pm
The lights were going down and the excitement in the Garden was building when PA announcer Ernie Palladino began to introduce, “The World Champion Boston Celtics.” Mikki Moore snuck up behind Stephon Marbury and shook him by the shoulders as if to say, “Can you believe we’re a part of this?” For Moore, who was in something akin to exile in Sacramento, and Marbury who actually was in exile from the Knicks it must have felt like getting an upgrade from the old Howard Johnson’s in Kenmore Square to a room at the Collonade.
Paul Flannery
02/10/2009 - 11:21am
In the universe of professional basketball, the little things are numerous and vast. Proper spacing on an inbound play, say, or ducking under a screen instead of fighting over the top of it and watching one of the best 3-point shooters in the business get a clean look with a half minute left. Little things. When the Celtics win games, the little things don’t seem so obvious. A five-minute stretch where they suddenly, and without warning, abandon their offensive principles and being playing a series of one-one-one games?
Paul Flannery
02/09/2009 - 1:46pm
In the universe of professional basketball, the little things are numerous and vast. Proper spacing on an inbound play, say, or ducking under a screen instead of fighting over the top of it and watching one of the best 3-point shooters in the business get a clean look with a half minute left. Little things.
Paul Flannery
02/03/2009 - 6:00pm
We are already well into what may prove the most significant leg in the race to claim the top spot in the Eastern Conference. While these things usually come into focus sometime between St. Patrick’s Day and the end of the NCAA Tournament, the month before the All-Star game is crucial to the hopes of the Celtics, Cavaliers and Magic. Why is that? As Doc Rivers said a few weeks ago, “This is when teams lose focus.” And games.


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