|05.27.10 at 9:30 pm ET|
It’s no coincidence that Ray Allen‘s scoring has been inconsistent against the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. It is part of J.J. Redick’s plan, one that has been in the works for years.
As Redick revealed to ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons at the start of the series, he has been studying Allen’s game since he was in college.
‘When I got to Duke, coach [Chris] Collins, who was kind of like our guard coach, he used to show me tapes of Reggie [Miller], Ray and Rip Hamilton. Those are the three guys I studied at Duke,’ Redick said. ‘And, obviously watched them shoot the ball, but those guys are really, really good at creating space and then coming off the picks.’
Redick’s comprehensive knowledge of Allen’s skills and tendencies has helped him defend Allen for the second postseason in a row. Redick has an edge on anticipating Allen’s next move because he has emulated them so many times himself. Take Allen’s ability to run off screens as an example.
“Well, I kind of think it’s because that’s what I used to do at Duke,’ he said. ‘I kind of understand the mentality of coming off picks, coming off baseline screens. And really, it’s all about having contact and making sure there’s not that much separation. Ray, as you know, he gets it off so quick, you really have to be on his body.”
Redick’s insight has helped him stay ready on defense. Allen’s scoring has ranged from 25 points to four, shooting as hot as 8-for-16 from the field to 1-for-6.
While Redick’s performance has been overshadowed by more prominent storylines in the series, it has not been lost on Doc Rivers. The coach is well aware of Redick’s contributions on both ends (he is averaging 12 ppg, 45.5 percent FG, 56.3 percent 3PG, 95.5 percent FT) and the impact he has made against the Celtics.
‘We can’t know he was going to be Pistol Pete [Maravich] coming into this series, but we did expect him to be a great player,’ Rivers told reporters in a conference call on Thursday. ‘J.J. Redick has hurt us all year in the regular season. It was one of the things we talked about going into the series. J.J. Redick has been very, very important. He was last year in the playoffs against us, he’s played very well against us in the regular season, and he’s played well again against us in the playoffs now.
‘He’s a guy that everyone’s talking about Dwight Howard and Jameer [Nelson]. I think J.J. Redick has been their most consistent player in this series.’
|05.27.10 at 6:22 pm ET|
The good news for the Celtics is that Glen Davis has shown improvement after suffering a concussion in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. The news is not so promising on Marquis Daniels, who also had a concussion. Rasheed Wallace, meanwhile is still struggling with back spasms.
First, the positive news for the Celtics. Doc Rivers said on a conference call with reporters that Davis was looking better and that he was undergoing tests this evening with the team doctors.
“He didn’t have any headaches today,” Rivers said. “He had some last night, he didn’t have any today, which is a big step. All of it will be a game-time decision, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Daniels, meanwhile, is not so fortunate and it’s looking doubtful that he will be ready for Game 6 Friday.
“Marquis is not doing as well as Baby,” Rivers said. “I would actually say right now that he won’t be ready.
Then there’s Wallace who had his back tighten up during the game. Rivers sounded cautiously optimistic about Wallace’s availability, although he did have a rough morning.
“Rasheed is doing better,” Rivers said. “It was not going well at all today. We watched some film before we got on the plane and he couldn’t sit down, but he’s doing better [now].”
All three are said to be game-time decisions. Brian Scalabrine is the one player on the roster with NBA experience who has been mostly inactive during the playoffs. Scalabrine was activated for Game 2 of the series with the Magic after Shelden Williams had a back spasm.
Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney, who were signed at the very end of the season, are the other two options in a worst-case scenario.
|05.27.10 at 6:08 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said on a conference call Thursday that the New Orleans Hornets have not made assistant coach Tom Thibodeau an offer to become their next head coach. “No, not yet,” Rivers said. “I’m hoping they do soon. He deserves it. I haven’t heard much. Thibs and I do talk about it. So we’re just hoping.”
As a follow-up, Rivers was asked if this was a distraction. “I’m not worried about it,” Rivers said. “There’s nobody that’s going to work harder than Tom Thibodeau. Ever. He will never be a distraction. That’s the one guy I have no concern with. I’m not worried about it all.”
Thibodeau has been one of the hottest names in coaching with several teams, including Charlotte, New Jersey and Chicago all said to be interested in him for a head coaching job. The Hornets had seemed to jump to the head of the line with several outlets reporting that they had made him an offer, although Hornets general manager Jeff Bower denied it.
|05.27.10 at 4:23 pm ET|
ESPN basketball analyst Jon Barry joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning after the Celtics’ 113-92 Game 5 loss to the Magic. He discussed the urgency of Game 6 in Boston, how he believes Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis will both be back for that game, and the ramifications of not sweeping the Magic when the Celtics had the chance.
‘I’ll tell you, it’s unfortunate, and that’s exactly why you take care of business when you can, Barry said. ‘Injuries, technicals, ejections, all those things come into play. Now, you have a very confident Orlando team, and Boston’s going to have their hands full tomorrow night.’
What follows is a transcript of that interview. You can listen to it in its entirety at the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
You’ve said, ‘I wasn’t worried about the Boston Celtics, but I am now.’ This is a team in trouble, is it not?
With all the stuff that went down last night, concussions and Rasheed Wallace‘s back is now hurting. To me, [Rajon] Rondo looks like he’s not 100 percent. He’s not playing the same. You’ve got a confident Orlando team. Everything they couldn’t do in the first three games, they’re able to do now. Game 6 is basically Game 7 for the Celtics. I really do believe that. I think they have to get it done at home, or we could see history again. I don’t know how the Boston fans are going to deal with it with the Bruins doing it and the Celtics in the same year. Hard to believe.
We expect Kendrick Perkins to have one or two of his technicals rescinded. Do you agree with that, and do you think there’s any way Glen Davis plays? Are you expecting to see Perkins but no Big Baby like we are?
I’m expecting to see both. I am. Like Doc [Rivers] said, Baby would have a hard time passing a test if he was perfectly normal because he’s a little bit kooky anyways.
But the culture has changed. There’s a much higher burden of proof today to prove you can play after a head injury.
Yeah, there is. He’s going to have to get cleared certainly, but I believe he’ll be out there. Certainly Perkins, it wouldn’t surprise me if both technicals were rescinded, certainly one of them should be. It was a tough break for them obviously. The final score wasn’t really indicative of what happened. This was a pretty tight game. You can’t lose Kendrick Perkins. I think Kendrick Perkins plays Dwight Howard as good as anybody does in the league. Kevin Garnett, I didn’t even mention him. I think his leg looks different than it did a week ago.
The longer you go in a series, obviously the tougher it becomes. This is an older team, and they don’t look the same like they did in the first three games. That’s why Game 4, you do not mess around. Sitting with Magic Johnson, he said, ‘Take no games for granted. You have a team 3-0 and you’re at home, you take care of business.’ And they didn’t do that. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.27.10 at 2:39 pm ET|
‘I was up at the [Comcast] studios at Burlington and was in the conference room watching [Game 5],’ Heinsohn said. ‘There were several people and we kind of all were hit with the same thought that these [referees] are incompetent.’
Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.
I want a mental picture of you during last night’s game. Where were you watching it and with whom were you watching it?
I was up at the studios at Burlington and was in the conference room watching the game. There were several people and we kind of all were hit with the same thought that these [referees] are incompetent.
What was Ed Rush thinking on the technical foul calls?
Well this guy goes way back. I got in hot water some years ago when I said ‘Eddie F. Rush. F for fool.’ I used that because in a game against the Knicks on the very last play, they tried to get [Patrick] Ewing the ball. The man passed it five feet away from Ewing, it went out of bounds, the Celtics are going to win the game, and he calls a foul on [Robert] Parish like he was holding him or hitting him or something and they end up winning the game. This guy has had no common sense, I don’t know why he’s still around. He has a history, I’ve been watching the game all these years, I just marvel at how they let him keep refereeing. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.27.10 at 1:30 pm ET|
Former NBA official and author of ‘Personal Foul’ Tim Donaghy joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the officiating in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals and how referees manipulate games.
‘It’s a situation where officials are well aware of what goes on and what’s best for the league,’ Donaghy said. ‘Obviously, in this series, what’s best for the league is putting Orlando in a little bit of an advantage, and it seems to me that’s certainly what’s taking place.’
Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.
I would be very interested in your just overall impression of the specific event where Ed F. Rush called the second technical on Kendrick Perkins and washed him out of the game.
Obviously, that’s a situation there where he’s just not thinking and not concentrating knowing that [Perkins] already has one technical foul, and the second one is not only going to mean an ejection for him but a suspension. So it’s something where he wasn’t thinking and I’m sure he’s sitting around today wishing he didn’t do it because it certainly to me looked like it wasn’t deserved.
We were speculating on the postgame process for officials. I’m assuming the three of you would sit in the room and go over the video tape and look at each call and I assume that an NBA official who is at the site would come into the room with you. Is that how it goes?
It would, and there’s an enormous amount of reports that you need to fill out on the computer in the locker room to justify what you did and why you did it so that they have a full understanding of the entire situation and that they can defend any media request that comes their way in regard to this. Certainly this is something where a lot of answers need to be had. Read the rest of this entry »
|05.27.10 at 1:04 pm ET|
The Celtics and Kendrick Perkins received a reprieve from the NBA Thursday when the league rescinded one of the two technical fouls Perkins received in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, clearing Perkins to play in Game 6 on Friday.
Perkins and Marcin Gortat earned double-technicals early in the game and then Perkins was hit with a second one by official Eddie F. Rush with 36 seconds left in the half. Perkins was ejected after the second T, his seventh of the postseason, which triggered an automatic one-game suspension.
The league does review every technical foul that is called and they decided to rescind the second technical foul. Perkins still has six technicals against his name and would still be in danger of a suspension if he is hit with another one during the postseason.
In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, Doc Rivers spoke about the problems his team had with getting technicals, particularly Perkins, some two hours before it happened on the court.
‘I actually don’t like the rule, the suspension,” Rivers said. “I just don’t like it. I think the longer you are in the playoffs the more likely it’s going to affect your team. I think the fans want to see the best players on the floor. I just don’t agree with the whole suspension thing.’
Part of the problem, Rivers believes, lies in the process of issuing double technical fouls to players, a tactic used by officials to try to calm things down.
‘It’s the double tech thing that has to be resolved,’ Rivers said. ‘Sometimes the officials are just trying to clean the game up and an easy way to do it is give both guys techs and calm the game down. To me, those are the ones that we have to figure out a better way.’
The league also upgraded a personal foul on Paul Pierce to a Flagrant 1 after Pierce shoved J.J. Redick in the back in the fourth quarter. The NBA announced before Game 5 that they had upgraded fouls from Game 4 on Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Matt Barnes to Flagrant 1 status as well.
Players are assessed points for flagrant fouls (one point for a Flagrant 1 and two points for a Flagrant 2). If they hit three points, they are also subject to an automatic one-game suspension. Howard has two Flagrant Foul points.
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