|05.09.09 at 2:53 pm ET|
When Doc Rivers got the Orlando Magic coach job in 1999 he wasn’t the first coach to know about it. Chuck Daly was way ahead of him. Daly called Rivers into the office he was about to vacate and laid it all out for him–who to keep, who to trade, who to fire.
There wasn’t much Chuck Daly didn’t know about basketball. A lifer who started coaching high schools, he worked his way up through an assistant job at Duke and then on to head jobs at Boston College and Penn before landing his first NBA gig as the head coach of the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers. Daly didn’t last long there, but he found basketball nirvana with the Detroit Pistons where he led the Bad Boys to back-to-back NBA titles before later stints running the Nets and Magic.
Daly died Saturday morning in Jupiter, Fla. after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 78 years old.
“He loved it,” Rivers said. “He was a coach. He and Red Auerbach were very similar. You’d think when you called Red he’d give you a complicated answer, but they saw the game so simply. It’s a tough loss.” Read the rest of this entry »
|05.09.09 at 2:34 pm ET|
Doc Rivers didn’t mince words Saturday afternoon when asked to dissect his team’s performance in Game 3:
“I was in a awful mood when I turned (on the film), and whatever is past awful, I was in that (mood) afterward,” Rivers said. “They played great. We played awful. Our defense was awful. I thought we were soft. They were the aggressors, we were the retaliators. They picked us all game. Other than that, it was a wonderful night.”
Rivers showed the tape to his coaches and then decided that he would let Armond Hill and Tom Thibodeau edit the bad stuff down to a more manageable size to show the players. “Probably the best move we made all night,” Rivers joked.
Of primary concern is getting Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Eddie House better spacing and looks. “I introduced our bigs to Ray and Eddie and Paul,” Rivers said. “We’ve got to get those guys open. That’s their job.” Read the rest of this entry »
|05.09.09 at 2:18 pm ET|
Update: The verdict is in from the NBA and there will be no suspension for Kendrick Perkins for Game 4 against the Magic, ESPN’s Chris Sheridan reports.
Sheridan reports that NBA will leave the Flagrant 1 call as it stands, which means Perkins will be in the lineup for Game 4.
The Celtics opted not to practice Saturday, and instead conducted a film session and walk-through at the team hotel in downtown Orlando. Topic number one on everyone’s mind was Perkins’s status after he was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for hitting Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus up high during Friday’s Game 3.
“I didn’t even know who it was,” Perkins said. “I was just trying to get through a pick. It wasn’t like I saw Pietrus and tried to hit him with an elbow. It wasn’t nothing like that.”
The Magic have already had two players suspended during the playoffs. Dwight Howard was out for Game 6 of their first round series when he hit Philly Sam Delambert with an elbow and Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 of this series. LA’s Derek Fisher was suspended for Friday’s Game 3 of the Lakers-Rockets series, and all this has Doc Rivers more than a little ticked off. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.08.09 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Magic were in control the entire night as they defeated the Celtics, 117-96, to take a 2-1 series lead in Orlando. The Celtics got off to a slow start and found themselves down 54-41 at halftime. After cutting the lead to single digits, they failed to take advantage of Dwight Howard’s five fouls. Even with the Magic’s big man on the bench, the Celtics were never able to put together a threatening offensive run. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points (14-14 FT). Ray Allen shot just 3-for-13 (8 points). Rashard Lewis led all scorers with 28 points. Game 4 will be played on Sunday at the Amway Arena.
|05.08.09 at 9:27 pm ET|
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul in the fourth quarter after he delivered an elbow to Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus. Things have gotten heated in the second half. After the play, Hedo Turkoglu and Eddie House were given double technical fouls. Turkoglu has also caught Paul Pierce with a couple of elbows.
There have been several hard fouls, but nothing like the play in the Rockets-Lakers series. Yet.
|05.08.09 at 9:10 pm ET|
After 33 minutes, the Celtics were down by 18 points. Three minutes later, the Magic lead is down to nine and suddenly we have a very interesting fourth quarter ahead of us. Orland’s penchant for blowing leads late in games is becoming legendary and they have set themselves up for another test.
The change came when Doc Rivers inserted Stephon Marbury into the lineup and he began to pressure Anthony Johnson fullcourt. The shots that were coming so easy previously, were suddenly nowhere to be found and when Rajon Rondo picked Johnson’s pocket and race down the floor for a dunk the Celtics had cut a humongous lead down to a manageable size.
All of this came without Dwight Howard on the floor, who has been a force at both ends of the floor tonight.
|05.08.09 at 8:36 pm ET|
Courtney Lee wasn’t supposed to play a lot tonight. So much for that plan. The Magic rookie guard suffered a fractured sinus in Game 5 of Orlando’s series with Philadelphia after he caught an elbow from teammate Dwight Howard and had to be fitted for a mask.
He worked out in Boston, but Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told the press that he wasn’t sure what Lee would be able to give his team back in Orlando. Perhaps Van Gundy was posturing, or maybe the coach didn’t have much choice after losing Rafer Alston to a suspension, but Lee played in the first half and he played a lot.
Lee logged 20 minutes and made an immediate impact scoring 10 points and making several energy/hustle plays. Lee recorded a +12 in plus/minus, second only to Rashard Lewis at +15.
Doc Rivers was pretty sure Lee would get some big minutes in this game. “He’s a tough kid,” Rivers said, and he’s made things tough on the Celtics thus far.
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