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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.

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MOST RECENT COLUMNS
10/29/12 11:53 EST
Five years ago, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce came together to salvage a franchise and complete their legacies as players. They accomplished both goals, establishing a new Celtics era on an identity that was forged on defense, toughness and a stubborn unwillingness to go gently into that good night. Together they won almost 70 percent of their regular-season games, 11 playoff series, five division titles, two Eastern Conference championships and one NBA crown. In the wake of their success, Garnett was fully accepted into the all-time pantheon, Allen was recognized as perhaps the greatest shooter of all-time, and Pierce finally got his due as one of the game’s greats. Their individual talents blended so seamlessly into a coherent whole that it made you wonder why they had ever been apart for so long. That’s gone now. Allen is in Miami and the Celtics will be a much different team this season. The offseason goal was to get younger, more athletic and more versatile.
10/22/12 12:53 EST
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It’s hard to say which move was the most impressive one Jeff Green pulled off on Sunday night. Maybe it was the smooth dunk he threw down in traffic, or possibly it was the reverse jam he had after driving baseline. There was also a swooping hook and the pair of blocks (plural) he made on 7-foot Sixer center Spencer Hawes at the rim. In seven preseason games, Green has averaged 14 points and four rebounds, while shooting 49 percent from the floor and 44 percent from 3-point range in 28 minutes a night. On the one hand, those numbers aren’t out of line with his career averages. On the other, it’s obvious to everyone around the Celtics that Green is finally comfortable with his surroundings. It’s not just that he’s making plays, he’s making emphatic plays, and he’s doing it every night. “Jeff’s a lot more aggressive than I can remember,” Kevin Garnett said. “I can remember when he first got here, maybe he was just
10/19/12 02:35 EST
Celtics coach Doc Rivers went with Jared Sullinger in the starting lineup again on Thursday night, and while Rivers insists that he hasn't made up his mind about any of his lineups, especially the starters, it's becoming more and more clear that Sullinger is the right fit. That's not taking anything away from Brandon Bass, who has literally done nothing to warrant a "demotion" to the second team. Starter/reserve are tricky designations in the NBA, particularly when it involves a 20-year-old rookie and a seven-year veteran who just recently signed a new 3-year contract. Just a guess, but that's one of the reasons why Rivers is being so deliberate with his plan. Another is that he really isn't sure yet, and a third is that he's using the preseason to gauge who can play where and with whom, so he can take advantage of a tremendously deep and versatile roster. That's not playing coy, that's being smart. And yet, through six preseason games, Sullinger has stood out both for his
10/17/12 12:03 EST
The Nets as we knew them are dead. The Nets we once knew were Micheal Ray Richardson checking into rehab, Kenny Anderson missing practice and Derrick Coleman summing it all up with what may as well have been an epitaph for the entire franchise: “Whoop de damn do.” The Nets, it should never be forgotten, sold Dr. J. In 2009, they lost their first 18 games, which cost coach Lawrence Frank his job and was a soul-sucking experience for everyone involved. “That was my first time being a part of something like that,” said Courtney Lee, who spent one season with New Jersey. “It was rebuilding. Management was changing. Lawrence Frank got fired. So everything was going in a different direction. In order to make changes, you've got to go through something in order to get better, and we were that something.” Those Nets are gone now, replaced with a new home in Brooklyn and a brand new arena. They are Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in the backcourt, Gerald Wallace



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