Actually, three playoff games included, the losing streak had hit 11, dating to Dec. 18, 2004. It had culminated in theÂ CelticsÂ 107-76 loss to the Cavaliers last May in Quicken Loans Arena. The reminder was almost cruel.Â But the Celtics, who reveled in their ring ceremony at the expense of the Cavaliers a year ago, withstood Shaquille Oâ€™Nealâ€™s introduction to the crowd, absorbed a 13-2 opening punch, and exorcised this nasty little bit of series history. They once again knocked out their conference rival on the opening night of the season, this time with a 95-89 win.
Ready or not, rookie Brandon Jennings will be in the Milwaukee Bucks’ starting lineup on opening night Friday in Philadelphia.Â The 20-year-old Jennings experienced some tough times during the preseason as he tried to defend opposing point guards and struggled with his perimeter shot.Â But he also made some spectacular passes and major-league steals, giving glimpses of the potential that caused the Bucks to select him with the 10th pick in the June draft.
Arenas eased his way through the preseason, alternating between playing passive setup man and aggressive scorer. But on Tuesday, the three-time all-star confidently played both roles with resounding results, proving to anyone who wondered, that he is, indeed, back. “I think that anyone that had any questions about where he’s at,” Saunders said, pausing. “He’s just going to continue to get better and better.”