|11.18.09 at 1:49 pm ET|
Doc Rivers has known Don Nelson a long time. When he arrived on the scene in the NBA, Rivers was a point guard on the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta would have knock down, drag out bouts with Nellie’s Milwaukee Bucks when the Bucks were winning Central Division titles year after year.
This year though, the Warriors are tops in the league in scoring through 10 games, at 111.6 points. Note to Celtics, the Suns and Hawks are second and third and both beat Boston at the Garden.
The flip side of that is they’re allowing 113.7 points a contest, the highest in the league.
“He didn’t start out that way,” Rivers said. “Don’s been coaching a long time. He’s basically taken what he has and uses it and turns it into that.
“In Milwaukee, they might have been the slowest basketball team on Earth to play. They walked the ball up the floor, played slow and used the clock and you were in an 80-point game with them.”
Nelson broke into coaching at the age of 36 in 1976 with the Milwaukee Bucks. He is now 69 and has more wins (1312) than any active coach and is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year. Read the rest of this entry »
|11.18.09 at 10:40 am ET|
On Wednesday night, the Celtics square off against the Golden State Warriors at the TD Garden. Golden State is a team that has played the Cs close and pushed them on several occasions in recent years. Last year, the teams split the season season series, 1-1, with the Celtics winning the first match-up at home, 119-111, and then losing the second game on the road, 99-89.
A deeper look at the numbers shows that points off the bench for the teams were not a factor. In the first game, both benches scored 21 points. In the second game, the Golden State bench outscored the Cs bench 26-24. This year, in all likelihood, the benches could play a larger role, certainly for the Celtics, given their increased depth and the fact that Paul Pierce’s sore knee has led to some effort to scale back his work in practice over the last couple of days.
Coming off a two-game losing streak, the Celtics are looking to tighten their defense, something they did at practice on Monday. Pierce was seen at Tuesday’s practice, which bodes well since he chipped in 21 points in each game last season.
While the C’s won’t have to worry about Stephen Jackson this year, they will have to contend with Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic, both recently acquired by the Warriors in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats.
Tip off is at 7:30 p.m. The game will be the final stop on a five-game road trip for Golden State, which is finishing its run of back-to-back games against the Celtics, who come off four days rest.
|11.17.09 at 4:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Doc Rivers knows his team hasn’t hit its stride yet.
He also realizes there’s 71 games left in the season.
But still, he, like everyone else, had to watch on Friday and Saturday as the Celtics dropped back-to-back games somewhat unexpectedly to the Hawks at home and the Pacers on the road.
The more alarming loss was Saturday when the weary Celts allowed Indiana to shoot 53 percent from the floor and score 113 points in a loss at Conseco Fieldhouse.
“It’s nothing big,” Rivers said following Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve done a lot of things average and we’re not an average team. When you play average on defense on certain things, and offense, you lose. It’s more of that. It’s nothing earth-shattering. It’s nothing we’re going to panic about. We know we have to get better.
‘To me, the way we’ve played so far, we’ve been a spurt team. We’re not ready yet to be a 48-minute basketball team, that’s just not what we’ve done yet. We’re working on it.’
Meanwhile, one of the Celtics best defenders of the last two seasons ‘ when healthy ‘ has been Tony Allen. The guard has been out with a right ankle injury since off-season surgery but could be getting closer to returning as he is now practicing with the team.
‘He did well actually,” Rivers said. “He moved and played great. He’s moving well. I’m not sure if he’s ready to play yet, honestly. I just don’t know yet because I do think he’s not sure of his injuries. There’s several times he’ll jump and you can see he’s clearly thinking about it and I don’t like putting players on the floor when they’re thinking about it because that leads to something else.’
|11.17.09 at 3:09 pm ET|
Asked if he had any reaction to uproar over Bill Belichick’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28, Rivers, an avid NFL fan, replied, “You read your team, and if you like your team, you take risks. That’s what you do.
“But you don’t get do-overs in coaching and that’s the difference. Everything else, you get to sit around and talk about it after the fact. In coaching, you make your decision and you don’t apologize for it.”
|11.17.09 at 2:27 pm ET|
Pierce said it was only a slight sprain and he took part in the team’s workout, with coach Doc Rivers giving him an occasional rest on the sideline.
“I got a good response from the last couple of days of rest and I felt good about it. It went smoothly. I went the whole practice and felt really good about it. It was a slight sprain in the knee but normally I’m a fast healer so I felt good,” Pierce said.
Pierce and head coach Doc Rivers expect Pierce to be available and start when the team takes on Golden State on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
“He looked good,” Rivers said. He went half-and-half. We got him in, got him out. He really wanted to do something because he said, ‘I don’t want to go through three days of nothing and play a game,’ which I agreed with. It was more about rest than an injury thing. He’ll be fine.”
|11.17.09 at 12:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM — While the Celtics hit the practice court again today in preparation for the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the team is involved in discussions regarding a three-way trade to bring power Sacramento forward Andres Nocioni to Boston, according to ESPN.
The deal, on the surface, would seem unlikely as Nocioni, who turns 30 on Nov. 30, is signed through 2011-12 and is owed roughly $20.5 million guaranteed, with a team option for the 2012-13 season.
|11.17.09 at 10:01 am ET|
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