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Celtics happy to be home

06.08.10 at 9:30 pm ET
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The last time the Celtics played an NBA finals game at TD Garden was June 17, 2008.

The finals have returned to Boston almost exactly two years later on June 8, 2010, and the Celtics could not be happier to be playing at home.

‘€œIt feels good to be back home for a few games,’€ Kendrick Perkins said prior to Game 3. ‘€œI think it’€™s the finals, Boston-Lakers rivalry, just to see how the fans are going to be. I know there’€™s going to be a lot of energy in the building so it feels good just to be back home.’€

Even though the Celtics were 24-17 at home during the regular season, a drastic drop from their 35-6 records in the prior two seasons, they have reclaimed their turf during the playoffs. The C’€™s have clinched the previous three series at home.

‘€œ[We’€™re] back home,’€ said Tony Allen. ‘€œTime to take care of business.’€

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Lakers, Tony Allen

Lakers concerned with Bynum’s minutes

06.08.10 at 8:56 pm ET
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Andrew Bynum had his way with the Celtics in Game 2, scoring 21 points. But that was with two days off between Games 1 and 2, and with the quick turnaround for Game, Laker coach Phil Jackson said he would monitor Bynum early to see how his injured knee responds.

“I certainly will,” Jackson said. “Hopefully we can get him in and out of the game in the first half. A little earlier time for Lamar [Odom] to give him an opportunity to perform.”

Odom has been a non-factor through the first two games, with more fouls [10] than points [eight].

The Celtics would be just fine with getting Bynum out of the game because he has been a huge factor defensively for the Lakers. He bothered Rajon Rondo in Game 1 and also made life tough for Glen Davis in Game 2, who shot 4-for-13.

Both Rondo and Davis adjusted, however, and Davis was able to be effective by continually going to the glass where he recorded five offensive rebounds.

“[Davis] was huge in Game 2,” Doc Rivers said. “He was great with his energy. You know, he’s not going to be taller than anyone in this series. This is a long team, and he goes underneath, sometimes he gets too deep, he can’t finish. One of the things he did better the other night, he got it up quick or he threw it back out.”

Read More: Andrew Bynum, Glen Davis,

Rappers push Celtics street anthem

06.08.10 at 4:25 pm ET
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Cambridge-based rap group N.B.S. (Natural Born Spitters) has released a Celtics street anthem titled “Who Are We (The Celtics)” that features highlights of the C’s run at Banner 18.

Update: NH man walks to NYC from Boston, will sit courtside for Games 3, 4 and 5

06.08.10 at 12:15 pm ET
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After a nearly week-long, 200-mile journey that sent him from the TD Garden in Boston to New York City on foot, Tyler McGill will finally be able to sit Tuesday night in his courtside seats to Game 3 of the NBA finals after completing the challenge set forth by friends in exchange for the exclusive tickets to all three championship games at the Garden.

McGill, a native of Rye, N.H., finished the epic quest when he finally reached the Big Apple Tuesday morning and said, despite some intense chaffing and several sock changes, he would do all it over again if given the chance.

‘€œCome on dude, what would you do for Celts tickets? I would have walked even further,’€ McGill said.

Now that he’€™s won his chance to see the game, expect McGill to make the most of it.

‘€œI’€™m going to be in Shannon Brown‘€™s head all day. I’€™m going to be riding Kobe [Bryant] like a pony out there,’€ McGill said. ‘€œThe Celts are going to have an extra man on the court with them at all times.’€

For fans both in the Garden and watching on television, look for McGill in a reflective police vest that he picked up from Sherborn police en route to New York as well as a bright neon green Summer Sessions Surf Shop shirt from the store he and his brother own in the Granite State. He says his seats will be at center court across from the benches.

Stern on D&C: ‘We’re proud, believe it or not, of our officials’

06.08.10 at 11:40 am ET
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NBA commissioner David Stern talked with the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning, and the topic of conversation, as it has mostly been after the first two games of the NBA finals, was officiating. Stern was quick to back the referees, who have called 112 fouls between Games 1 and 2 alone.

‘€œWe have a long way to travel, no doubt, as long as we’€™re going to be using humans, but we’€™re proud, believe it or not, of our officials. And we thank you very much for caring so much,’€ Stern said.

He also easily dismissed notions to change the rules concerning suspensions given to players who amass seven technical fouls in the playoffs. Kendrick Perkins currently has six for the Celtics and is just one away from a one-game suspension.

‘€œAt some point, our players have to play according to the rules,’€ Stern said. ‘€œWe don’t want to have to spend our time issuing lots of technicals. You know what’s amazing? When they get close to the limit, they stop. What do you think about that?’€

A transcript of the interview follows. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

One NBA league source told Sports Illustrated’€™s Ian Thomsen that more than anything else the league doesn’€™t want a brawl in the NBA finals thus perhaps the 112 fouls called in the first two games. Does that border on ‘€œoverofficiating?’€

I don’€™t know what league source. I’€™ll talk to Ian, because what he does and what many people do is they find somebody who’€™s a third assistant PR person on a team, and they dub them a league source. So I give no credibility to that.

Sources aside, it seems like the officials this year are determined to keep order, and it has hurt the flow. Do you disagree?

We can check the numbers. I look at them. I was sitting at the game on Sunday, being very thankful that I wasn’t an official. Because the pace and the speed and the intensity and the passion with which our guys play is very, very difficult to officiate. And once you make a decision that a foul has occurred in front of you and you are not going to call it, then you are endangering our players. That’s all. And it’s a hard job that these guys have.

These games are particularly intense. The teams have enough time to figure out what they’re going to do to the other. And they test the officials. They test them. They push and push and push. And if the officials don’t step up, then you’re going to have chaos and a game decided on [something] other than its merits. I recognized the risk that you are going to have a lot fouls called as well. But we’ve got very large bodies in small places, and it’s our job, our duty to protect these players. Read the rest of this entry »

Donaghy on D&C: Refs will be aggressive

06.08.10 at 11:11 am ET
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Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to talk about the NBA finals. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”

Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.

Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”

Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.

Read More: Celtics, Lakers, Tim Donaghy,

A look at who will be blowing the whistles in Game 3

06.08.10 at 10:56 am ET
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The NBA has announced the referees who will be working Game 3 of the NBA finals: Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore. According to NBAstuffer.com, Crawford and Salvatore will be officiating their 12th playoff game this season, the most of any refs. It will be the 10th postseason game for Kennedy.

Of refs whistling the road team for fouls in the playoffs, Crawford’s crews have been among the leaders (seventh-most at 54 percent). In regards to fouls called per playoff game, Crawford’s and Kennedy’s crews have ranked toward the bottom, with Salvatore’s groups residing in the top half.

For more statistics on the referees, click here. For a closer look at the profiles of each ref, click here.

Also, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to talk about the NBA finals. Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Crawford, Kennedy and Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”

Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.

Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”

Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.

To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

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