|04.16.10 at 12:49 pm ET|
Michael Finley joined Dale & Holley on Friday to discuss the Celtics’ chances in the upcoming NBA playoffs. The Celtics have been floundering during the second half of the season, and Finley said the reason may have been because this team didn’t respect its opponents.
But he believes that will change come playoff time.
“We go into the games not respecting our opponent as much as we should, and as a result we end up losing those games,” said Finley, who has played in 21 games with Boston since being let go by San Antonio. “Coming into the playoffs I don’t think respecting our opponent is going to be a problem, because each opponent that we face is a worthy playoff- and championship-contending team. We got to come in with the right mindset. Hopefully we can generate some of the juice that the team had at the beginning of the season and carry it on throughout the playoffs.”
As a Western Conference lifer, Finley talked about playing in the Eastern Conference for the first time, Paul Pierce’s work ethic and how he and Doc Rivers have a long history together.
Following is a transcript. To listen, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
What would you say to young guys on the team who asked for advice about playoff basketball?
The intensity of the regular season is going to go up tremendously. Every possession offensively as well as defensively becomes important. You just don’t want to leave the game with regrets, because regrets usually are what sends teams home.
Does the playoff format actually make it easier for veteran players?
In a sense. The regular season is a lot of games. It’s 82 games with back-to-backs with limited rest. The postseason you have a little bit of more rest. You are only playing one team. The travel is limited, so for older guys that’s always a good thing. At the same time, with the intensity going up the way it does, it can be a little physically and mentally draining, too. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.15.10 at 11:15 pm ET|
The Celtics and Heat will square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Saturday. The teams faced each other three times this season, with the Celtics sweeping the regular-season series. See how the Celtics got a 3-0 edge over the Heat heading into the postseason:
CELTICS 92, HEAT 85
Nov. 29, 2009, at Miami
How the Celtics won: Led by 24 points (11-12 FG) from Kevin Garnett, the Celtics starters led a balanced attack in this win over the Heat. Rajon Rondo (13 points, 11 assists) and Kendrick Perkins (14 points, 13 rebounds) recorded double-doubles; Paul Pierce added 15 points; and Ray Allen scored 11, including a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. The C’s shut the Heat down from behind the arc (2-for-15). Michael Beasley was the only player to knock down a trey.
Wade watch: Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 27 points. He attempted 23 field goals, the same number as Garnett and Pierce combined. The Heat were also a team-low -14 with Wade on the court.
Key stat: Assists ‘ Celtics 21, Heat 12
After the game: Celtics 13-4, Heat 9-7
The Three-Pointer: Garnett enjoys a run of near perfection
|04.15.10 at 12:45 pm ET|
Most coaches like to talk about how hot they are heading into the playoffs. But the Celtics have lost seven of 10, not exactly on a roll?
Yeah, and I don’t know if I’ve ever even used that. You want to have good rhythm and all that, but the playoffs are a new season, they’ve always been a new season, and that’s how you have to view them going in. You could have won 10 games in a row as we did two years ago, we were hot going in, and went into a seven-game series against Atlanta. So, it means a lot to say, but it is a new season.
David Stern isn’t pleased with coaches resting their players heading into then playoffs, is he?
I get that. I agree with part of that, more from the fans standpoint, families that come to games. There were families last night, I guess, who came to their first game ever. And to see Kevin [Garnett] and Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and everyone else, and they get there and they don’t play ‘ that would be disappointing if I was a fan, that would be tough. But then, it’s the same fan who understands that listen ‘ we want them to do well in the playoffs, we want them to be rested, we want them to be healthy. And, if that last game doesn’t have a lot of meaning, as a coach you have to do what’s best for the team and the whole picture. So it is a very tough situation. I was injured in the last game of the year as a player, and that will always stick with me.
Could you imagine if Paul had ruined his knee last night? They would have killed you.
Oh, last night, it wasn’t funny but it was funny. It was seven minutes left, and I had Oliver Lafayette at the table going in for [Rajon] Rondo, and there was no play stoppage. I couldn’t get the play to stop ‘ it was one of those stretches where the game kept going on, and then finally I yelled out to Nate [Robinson], ‘Foul! Foul somebody!’ And then [Brian Scalabrine] fouled, so Rondo comes in and on the next possession, Nate fouls. And he looks at me, ‘You told me to foul!’ Rondo’s already out! Read the rest of this entry »
|04.15.10 at 10:25 am ET|
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who wrapped up the NBA scoring title Wednesday night, responded to comments from the coach of the Thunder’s first-round playoff opponent by calling them “disrespectful.” In comments that should sound familiar to Celtics fans, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Durant gets preferential treatment from officials. Responded Durant in The Oklahoman: “Ever since [Kevin Garnett] said something, everybody’s been questioning how I get to the line. If you watch our games, you wouldn’t question it. the NBA should put us on national TV more, I guess.”
Durant said Jackson’s comments fired him up more. “Because it’s taking away from what I do,’ Durant said. “That’s a part of my game, getting to the free throw line and being aggressive. If you say that I get superstar calls or I get babied by the refs, that’s just taking away from how I play. That’s disrespectful to me. I don’t disrespect nobody in this league. I respect every coach, every player, everybody. I never say anything bad about anybody else or question why they do this or do that. So for them to say that about me, I don’t even want to use no foul language.”
Durant said he does not expect Jackson’s comments to influence the referees.
“If the refs pay attention to that and change how they call things because of that, that’s terrible,’ Durant said. “That’s terrible to the game of basketball and to us. If that happens, then [coach] Scotty [Brooks] could talk, too. Or any other coach could talk, too, just so the refs could switch everything up. But I doubt they do that. “They’re smarter than that, and they have more skills than that as refs. So I don’t really worry about it too much.’
|04.15.10 at 10:21 am ET|
The Celtics will open their first round series with the Heat on Saturday night at TD Garden. Doc Rivers was hoping for a Sunday start, but he got a bit of a break with their first round in that they will have two days off in between Games 2 and 3. After that it will be every other day.
The full schedule:
Game 1: Miami at Boston, April 17, 8 p.m.
Game 2: Miami at Boston, April 20, 8 p.m.
Game 3: Boston at Miami, April 23, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Boston at Miami, April 25, 1 p.m.
Game 5: Miami at Boston, April 27 Time TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: Boston at Miami, April 29, TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Miami at Boston, May 1 TBD (if necessary)
|04.15.10 at 12:47 am ET|
BOSTON — Doc Rivers speaks to the media following the Celtics last regular season game of the 2010 season. The Celtics lost 106-95 to the Bucks and now will prepare to take on the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
|04.14.10 at 11:44 pm ET|
Glen Davis got a surprise when he arrived at TD Garden on Wednesday.
He entered the locker room and saw his childhood friend, Oliver Lafayette ‘¦ in Celtics warmup gear?
‘I walked in and I was like, ‘What’s up man?! Baton Rouge!” Davis exclaimed.
Davis and Lafayette have known each other since elementary school and played AAU basketball together in Louisiana. Unbeknown to Davis, Lafayette had recently signed with the Celtics. The former D-League standout received the call just two days ago while he was driving to Baton Rogue.
‘My agent called me and told me Danny Ainge had called him. When he called me, I almost ran off the road driving,’ Lafayette said before suiting up for his first Celtics game. ‘I had to pull over for like an hour or two. I had to regroup myself. I called my mother and told her the good news.’
The 25-year-old guard came to the Celtics by way of Brown Mackie (Junior) College, the University of Houston, Erie BayHawks and Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He is thankful for his time in the NBA Development League, where he says the coaches gave him the green light to play ball.
‘My coaches just taught me the game,’ he said. ‘They put the ball in my hand and let me go to work, learn how to read the defense and stuff like that.’
This season Lafayette averaged 17.1 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 48 games for the Mad Ants, and ranked 10th in the league in steals. He was named NBDL Co-Performer of the Week after averaging 26.4 points, 8.0 assists, and 6.4 rebounds in his last seven games.
“He’s a scorer,” said Davis. “He’s a scoring point guard. He can play the point, he can play the one, play the two. He’s efficient with his jumpshot, playing defense, he’d be good for our team.”
The rookie made the most of his first opportunity with the Celtics in their 106-95 loss to the Bucks. He scored seven points (3-6 from the field, including 1-of-2 on threes), grabbed four rebounds, and dished two assists in 21 minutes. Davis believes it is time for Lafayette’s hard work to pay off.
‘He’s a great guy, a wonderful player. I think he’s a great player, actually,’ he said. ‘Oliver, I’ve always though of like a late-bloomer as far as his opportunities. He played high school at Capitol High School ‘¦ he went to [junior college], every time it was a late-bloomer. He went to University of Houston, played great over there, and now he’s just finally really getting his opportunity.”
Lafayette’s goal is to play well enough to earn a contract with the Celtics next season. In the meantime, he is trying to digest a whirlwind 48 hours that has taken him from the roads of Louisiana to the Garden parquet.
‘I can’t believe it myself right now,’ he said. ‘This is a great opportunity, great guys, great team, and great players I’ve been looking up to my whole life.”
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