|04.23.10 at 2:13 pm ET|
MIAMI — Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 by the NBA, yet again, after making comments critical of the officials, and specifically how they work games when superstars are involved. It’s a familiar gripe for Wallace who has been fined several times by the NBA for making similar statements.
“Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund by himself,” Doc Rivers joked after shootaround.
But Wallace’s words cut deep for a league that is fighting to regain trust in the wake of the Tim Donaghy affair. Officials have come under great scrutiny already in the playoffs and several coaches, notably Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy, have not helped matters with their comments.
Both Jackson and Van Gundy were fined by the league for various statements about the officiating and David Stern made a point of saying Thursday night in Oklahoma City that it won’t be tolerated.
“I wish I had it to do all over again,’ Stern said to reporters before Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder series. “Starting 20 years ago I’d be suspending Phil and Pat Riley for all the games they play in the media. You guys know our referees go out there and knock themselves out and do the best job they can.”
Make no mistake, this is a huge problem for the NBA and Stern basically dared coached to test him.
Stern also noted that within in the NBA community, it’s understood that when Jackson says that Kevin Durant gets to the free throw line too much, he’s doing it for effect, but the perception is that refs call the game differently for star players. Or in Van Gundy’s case, that his star player, Dwight Howard, doesn’t get the benefit of the calls.
“I think David is half right on that one,” Rivers said. “Sometimes we do know, but sometimes we really are defending our guys. Everyone is on the league’s side at the end of the day. Listen, I’ve been a league guy for 20-whatever years. I love this league and I want this league to do well. I don’t think any coach doesn’t want the league to do well. Having said that the coaches job is to do what he can to help the team win.”
|04.23.10 at 1:35 pm ET|
If there was any wonder, however, second-year forward Michael Beasley laid it out in stark terms after this morning’s shootaround.
“We have to be more athletic, more energetic, bring the fire,” Beasley said. “Make them feel old. They’ve got a lot of veterans on their team and we’ve got a lot of young guys. We just need to run the floor and just try to tire them out.”
The Celtics are old. That’s no secret, but through the first two games they have been the aggressors in the series and that’s got nothing to do with age. They have also benefited from the first round format which has given them two days off between games.
“Yes, since we’re so damn old, it allows them to sit in their rocking chair,” Rivers said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice. “It does [help]. I think it sets up well for everyone, honestly. I think everyone in the first round would take this format. In the second round you do want the rhythm to go a little quicker. Game 4 [Sunday afternoon] is tough. That’s a regular season, quick turnaround game. That’s a tough one.”
That’s the sticking point for the Celtics tonight. Yes, they are in command of the series but if they can’t beat Miami in Game 3, things will get much tighter.
“I told our guys, I was honest with them, We haven’t done well in these situations,” Rivers said. “We really haven’t. Every time we played well in the regular season we’ve let our guard down, so we’ll find out our mental resolve and our toughness tonight.”
|04.22.10 at 5:55 pm ET|
|04.22.10 at 2:40 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo received two first place votes for the 2009-10 Most Improved Player Award presented by Kia Motors. The league announced Rockets guard Aaron Brooks as the recipient of the award on Thursday.
This regular season Rondo averaged 13.7 points, 9.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game, up from 11.9 points, 8.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.9 steals last season. He led the entire league in steals and the Eastern Conference in dimes (fourth overall). Rondo was named to his first All-Star team this year as well.
|04.21.10 at 4:44 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Take a team that is playing for its playoff lives, add in a 29-point loss that their coach called “embarrassing,” sprinkle in some existing bad blood and the Celtics know that they will be walking into a frenzied arena Friday night for Game 3.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Doc Rivers said. “I told them that. Guys, at the end of the day all we’ve done is win two home games and Miami has yet to play a home game. That’s how they’re thinking for sure. Whether we won last by one, or whatever we won by, Game 3 is going to tough and we understand that.”
“Just anticipating it being very hostile,” Garnett said. “Watching Chauncey and Rasheed play them, how hostile and how crazy that town can get when they’re behind their team. It’s what we’re anticipating.”
The Celtics were a very good road team this past season. They were tied with Cleveland for the best road record in the Eastern Conference at 26-15 and were one game behind Dallas’ league-best mark. They beat Cleveland, Orlando, the Lakers, San Antonio and Dallas all on the road, but that was the regular season.
“It’s great to know that you can win on the road, but again, Miami could care less about our regular season the road,” Rivers said. “And we could care less about it. We have to come ready to play. The playoffs are a different beast.”
“Regular season is regular season,” Garnett added. “I never mix the two, to be honest.”
Instead the Celtics said they take their lessons from past playoff experiences and specifically from their seven-game series with Atlanta two seasons ago. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.21.10 at 3:59 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett knows that on Friday night in Miami he will be the the target of fans ire, and he said that he doesn’t really care.
“I don’t expect any of us to get any cheers down there and I’m no different from that,” Garnett said after the Celtics held a short practice Wednesday. “I’m not saying I’m the villain or the hero. I could care less. I’ve played on the road before. Hell I played in San Antonio and I know they hate me there for whatever reasons. So this should be no different. I could care less.”
Garnett, of course, was suspended for Game 2 after throwing an elbow at Miami’s Quentin Richardson late in the series opener. He watched the game at Danny Ainge’s house and praised Glen Davis for his energy. There’s a line between energy and being out of control and it’s one that Garnett straddles at times.
“I don’t know if Kevin can get more fired up for a game, that’s just who he is,” Doc Rivers said. “We want him to stay that way. It’s important for him to play with that edge. I think he’ll come out being the villain because I think he enjoys that anyway.”
|04.21.10 at 3:26 am ET|
Paul Pierce and Glen Davis spoke to the media following the Celtics‘ 106-77 win over the Miami Heat. Davis, the self-proclaimed “Ticket Stub,” started in place for a suspended Kevin Garnett and had 23 points and eight rebounds. The win gave the Celtics a 2-0 lead in their opening-round playoff series.
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