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Video: Celtics Saturday practice

06.05.10 at 8:55 pm ET
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Doc Rivers and Celtics players speak to the media prior to their practice session Saturday at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo. This was the last practice the Celtics will have leading up to Game 2.

Read More: Doc Rivers, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, NBA Finals

Perkins won’t hold back again

06.05.10 at 8:44 pm ET
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EL SEGUNDO — Kendrick Perkins admitted he let his technical foul trouble hold him back in Game 1 of the NBA finals. But he promises he won’€™t let it happen again.

‘€œLast game in a way I was [holding back],’€ he said prior to practice on Saturday. ‘€œBut this game coming up, I’€™m just going to be myself. We’€™ve got to get this win, so whatever it takes.’€

Perkins entered the NBA finals with six technical fouls, one shy of an automatic one-game suspension. Putting the potential consequence out of his mind is easier said than done. He scaled back his aggressiveness and didn’€™t go as hard on defense as he would have liked.

‘€œJust a few times where I probably would have went in there and mixed it up a little bit, just got tangled up with guys, I didn’t,’€ he said. ‘€œI was like, ‘€˜I can’€™t do it.’€™ Or a time a guy was holding me is a time I might have locked up with him just because. But there are times when you want to get in there and mix it up, go in there and bang a little bit, but you’€™ve just got to pick and choose.’€

After the Lakers dominated the boards and got inside the lane with ease, Perkins knows he has to play differently in Game 2. He looks to find a balance between smart basketball and physical basketball.

Besides, Doc Rivers has made it clear what can happen if Perkins continues to hold back.

‘€œWhat didn’€™t he say?’€ said Perkins. ‘€œHe said everything, that we need to play harder, that this isn’€™t the team that played the last game against Orlando, it’€™s night and day. He said we need to come out and attack or we’€™d be getting sent home early, so we’€™ve got to come out and play hard.’€

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Lakers, NBA Finals

Celtics, Lakers look ahead to Game 2

06.05.10 at 8:11 pm ET
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EL SEGUNDO — The Celtics and Lakers held court with the media on Saturday as they looked ahead to Game 2.  There have been common themes discussed following the C’s Game 1 loss — energy, rebounding, stopping Kobe Bryant, among others.

Over the past few days the players have heard the same questions posed in different ways. Many view it as part of being in the finals. Others have found a type of motivation in the repetition.

“I think it helps us a lot because you kind of get tired about hearing about the same things,” said Kendrick Perkins. “So you want to go out there and correct it so after Game 2 you won’€™t have to hear about it anymore.”

Here are a few soundbites from Saturday’s practice:

Helping Rondo be Rondo: As the point guard, it’€™s Rajon Rondo‘€™s job to get his teammate the ball. At the same time, the Celtics have to do a better job of setting him up for success as well. The Celtics lack of defensive stops in Game 1 prevented Rondo from getting into transition often, something they look to improve in Game 2.

‘€œWhen you don’t get stops, that means he’s taking the ball out every time and it doesn’t allow Rondo to get out there and use his speed in transition for fastbreaks,’€ said Paul Pierce. ‘€œEvery time they got stops, rebounds was another big Achilles heel for us. So it’s important to do a better job on rebounds after each shot, getting the ball in his hands so his speed and play-making ability can become a factor in game number two. So we’ve got to make a concentrated effort at doing a better job at that.’€

Gasol reacts to Garnett comments: On Friday, Pau Gasol‘€™s comparison of Kevin Garnett from 2008 to 2010 became a media whirlwind when a small fraction of his comments were magnified. Gasol commented, ‘€œOn Kevin’€™s part, he’€™s also lost some explosiveness. He’€™s more of a jump shooter now,’€ before adding that he considers Garnett to be a ‘€œterrific player’€ who brings everything he has to the court.

Gasol reacted to the buzz following Lakers practice. When asked if he was surprised that his comment had been portrayed as derogatory, he responded, ‘€œTo an extent. To an extent. I understand media try to create situations for whatever reason, create attraction. But again, sometimes I extend my answers too long. Maybe I shouldn’t do that. I should be shorter with my answers and don’t give away just anything so it can’t be manipulated that way and used.’€

The Celtics didn’€™t get worked up over Gasol’€™s comments, though. Rondo said losing Game 1 was motivation enough for the C’€™s in itself.

Said Kendrick Perkins, ‘€œI say speak your mind. Sometimes it livens up the series a little bit. So I say speak your mind. You never know who you might make mad when you say something crazy, so you never know. Everybody’€™s watching.’€

Celtics know what they’€™re playing for: Kevin Garnett is no stranger to screaming, yelling, and getting in his teammates’€™ faces on the court to pump them up. But at this point in the season, Garnett says that isn’€™t necessary.

‘€œI think in this situation you don’t have to do any of that,’€ he said. ‘€œI think we’re all kind of distasteful at this time, knowing what’s at stake and it being the finals. No one here has to come out and say a heroic speech or get in anyone’s face. It’s all self-explanatory to this point. Everyone is motivated. Everyone knows we’re motivated. Guys on the team are looking at themselves in the mirror and I’m no different from that.”

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant

Reports: Thibodeau to coach Bulls

06.05.10 at 6:02 pm ET
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EL SEGUNDO — Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times are reporting that Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau has agreed to a three-year deal to coach the Chicago Bulls next season.

Doc Rivers wouldn’t confirm the reports at practice Saturday.

“I hope it’s true,” Rivers said. “But we’re not going to comment on it, I can tell you that. We’re focused on the NBA finals. It’s the Lakers and the Celtics and that’s what we’re going to keep the focus on. But on Tom, he deserves the job. I think he’s the best candidate out there. Let’s hope it’s true, but we’re going to leave it at that.”

Rivers did say that Thibodeau’s future won’t have an impact on whether he returns next season to the Celtics.

“No, Thibs and I are very close, but that won’t have an impact,” Rivers said. “I want all of my coaches to get jobs. Kevin Eastman and Armond [Hill], those guys are gems. But that won’t have an impact. Honestly, I haven’t thought enough about it.”

Read More: Tom Thibodeau,

The story behind Big Baby’s ear plugs

06.04.10 at 9:03 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES — Glen Davis raised a few eyebrows when he was spotted wearing ear plugs during Game 1 of the NBA finals.

But it wasn’€™t to block out the jeers of the Lakers fans sitting behind the Celtics bench — ‘€œFans are fans ‘€¦ Everyone feels like they can joke on me,’€ he said before practice on Friday. It was to block out loud noises, a cause of aggravation since suffering a concussion in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The earplugs worked. Well, after Davis made a minor adjustment.

‘€œYou know what’€™s so funny?’€ he said. ‘€œI didn’€™t think they worked well at first, but then Rasheed (Wallace) was like, ‘€˜Turn them around,’€ because I had them stuck in my ear the wrong way.’€

Davis removed the ear plugs when he played, but said he gets into a zone on the court and doesn’€™t hear the noise anyways. But he never misses Doc Rivers calling for him to get in the game.

‘€œYou can always hear him – ‘€˜Baby! Baby!’€™’€ Davis said, channeling an impression of his coach. ‘€œHe’€™s loud, so I can hear him. I’€™m always looking at him anyways because he’€™s always standing up that way because the game’€™s that way.’€

Read More: Celtics, Glen Davis, Lakers, NBA Finals

Video: Celtics Friday practice

06.04.10 at 7:16 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES — Celtics players speak to the media prior to their practice session Friday afternoon at Staples Center. The Celtics will have one more practice on Saturday afternoon before they try to even the series at one game apiece on Sunday night.

Read More: Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, NBA Finals, Ray Allen

What Ray Allen needs to ‘learn real quick’

06.04.10 at 6:10 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES – Throughout the postseason, players have studied Ray Allen’s game to learn how to defend the veteran sharpshooter.

Now Allen has his own assignment – finding a way to stop Kobe Bryant without getting into foul trouble.

Allen was whistled for five fouls in the Celtics Game 1 loss. He was limited to just 27 minutes and knows he has to stay on the court in Game 2.

“That’s a good lesson that I need to learn real quick,” he said prior to practice on Friday. “Because even on a couple of calls … I try to read the referees and how they call the games and they establish control early, so trying to figure that out without being a sieve on defense. Right now I’ve got to make that adjustment going into Game 2.”

Bryant scored a game-high 30 points on Thursday night. He shot 10-for-22 from the field and 9-for-10 from the line, a result of his aggressiveness at the basket.

“He just attacks,” said Allen. “He’s going to attack our defense, but I think primarily if he’s attacking that means he sees gaps.”

Whatever game plan Allen and the Celtics devise, Bryant is preparing for it.

“It’s not really a match up with me and Ray,” he said. “It’s really me trying to find gaps and holes in their defensive scheme and the help they provide.”

Read More: Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, NBA
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