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‘Wild run’ continues for Celtics, Rivers

05.12.09 at 1:19 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Sunday night was just another ho-hum crazy, buzzer-beating, phenomenal finish for the Celtics and their head coach Doc Rivers, who has seen more than his fair share of playoff thrills in the last three weeks.

“It has been emotional,” said Rivers, who punched the air wildly after Glen Davis hit his game-winner at the end of Game 4 in Orlando. “It’s been a wild playoff run for us. We kind of anticipated it. I didn’t know it would be like this, I don’t think anyone did. Not having Kevin then losing Leon. We knew this would be tough. We knew every game would be a grind.”

Rivers said he suffered an ’emotional hi-jacking’ at the end of Sunday’s game but he has freed his psyche long enough to prep for tonight’s all-important Game 5 with the Magic, with the Eastern Conference semifinal tied, 2-2.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Magic, Ray Allen

Scal misses practice with flu

05.12.09 at 12:28 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Already down Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe, the Celtics are dealing with two more health concerns to their front court.

Brian Scalabrine missed this morning’s shoot-around/practice in Waltham with flu-like symptoms and was told to stay home and get ready for tonight. Meanwhile, Kendrick Perkins did practice but is nursing a sore left shoulder. Perkins will start tonight and Rivers expects to have Scalabrine available off the bench.

“Perk’s shoulder’s pretty good,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday morning. “Obviously, it’s not 100 percent but it’s good enough to play. He’s doing alright. Scal’s not here. He’s got the flu. We’re hoping he can make it to the game tonight.”

Perkins said he would prefer holding off until the off-season before going in and intensively examining the shoulder, which has been chronically sore for the last two seasons. No MRI was ordered to look at the shoulder.

“He didn’t need it,” Rivers said. “They know what it is. He’s got shoulder problems. No need to look at it. They might find something. That’s why we didn’t do it. We didn’t want to find anything, smarter that way.”

If Scalabrine weren’t available, it would have serious and unpleasant ramifications.

“If Scal’s not available, it puts us in a bind, obviously,” Rivers said. “It would force us to go small, at times with Paul (Pierce) at the ‘4’, and that’s absolutely not what we want to do. We would play Mikki (Moore) a little bit more, might even play Billy (Walker) some and Tony (Allen) at the four, clearly those are the things we don’t want to get to but if Scal is injured, someone else has to step up.”

Read More: Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Magic

Big Baby: My intentions were harmless

05.12.09 at 11:36 am ET
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WALTHAM -Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis said on Tuesday morning that he has already put the biggest shot of his career in the past while also offering an apology of sorts to the 12-year-old boy with whom he collided moments after winning Game 4 at the buzzer.

“I’m a big guy,” Davis said at the Celtics shoot-around prior to tonight’s Game 5 at TD Banknorth Garden. “Imagine if my emotions are going so wild, and if I’m running by somebody, I don’t feel them. If I’ve hurt anybody or if I’ve done any harm to anybody, please forgive me because my intentions were just harmless.

“I didn’t see the kid,” he continued. “I’m a big guy and I’m emotional. If I had seen him, I would have picked up, rubbed his head and tried to make him feel better. I’m a big guy guy. I’m just sorry if I hurt anyone.”

Davis said he’s seen the highlight a couple of times but has moved on from it.

“You like to see it once or twice, but when you keep seeing it, you keep dwelling on it,” he said. “You keep yourself in la-la land and right now I can’t be in la-la land. We’ve got a game today. It’s how fast the quick turnaround is. That shot goes out the door. It’s history.”

As for the shot itself, Davis said he had never hit a game-winner like that one.

“That was my first,” Davis said. “That’s where dreams come true. That’s where good players turn into great players. Sometimes pivotal moments like that makes you understand the competitiveness of the game and just brings out the competitor in you. Hopefully, that’s a shot I can always look back on and a shot that not only boost my confidence and but also boost me playing in this league.”

Read More: Big Baby Davis, Celtics, Glen Davis, Magic

Father doesn’t need apology from Davis

05.12.09 at 9:57 am ET
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The Orlando Sentinel has reported Ernest Provetti, the father at the center of the Big Baby shove drama, will not pursue his demand for an apology. Provetti told the Sentinel he “reacted emotionally and will back off.” The Celtics and the NBA have yet to respond to his email.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, Orlando Magic,

LeBron: Celtics still tough

05.11.09 at 10:11 pm ET
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Following the Cleveland Cavaliers series-clinching victory over the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James looked ahead to potential Eastern Conference Finals match ups. Even though the Boston Celtics are shorthanded, he told TNT there is no discounting their experience in the postseason.

“It’s a championship team and they have a lot of things going, even with KG out,” James said to Cheryl Miller. “Big Baby has done an unbelievable job for that team. So we look forward to meeting whoever and it’s going to be really good in the next series.”

The Cavaliers will wait for the winner of the Celtics and Magic series, which is tied at two apiece. Game 5 will be played Tuesday night in Boston.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James,

The Other Side of Big Baby

05.11.09 at 8:43 pm ET
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In just two seasons, Glen Davis has established himself as one of the NBA’s quirkiest personalities. But behind the singing and dancing, the jokes and the pinstripe suits, there is another aspect of Big Baby, one that harbors 23 years of heartache and struggles. As Davis explained to ESPN’s Wendi Nix, there is a softer side to the man who once wrestled Shaquille O’Neal to the ground.

Read More: Big Baby, Boston Celtics, Glen Davis,

The NBA: Where fans happen

05.11.09 at 5:32 pm ET
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The woman behind the basket was wearing a Marcin Gortat jersey. That alone indicated that she was way beyond what one might call as casual fan. As Glen Big Baby Davis was leaving the court a few minutes after his clutcher than clutch career-making jump shot, she yelled at Davis who was well within earshot: “Hey you fat (rhymes with truck). Get off the court.”

I bring this up not to disparage the fans in Orlando who brought a manic level of intensity to Games 3 and 4. It was truly an impressive display and surely the fine people of Boston have yelled that, and worse, at opposing players in the Garden.

A white-hot crowd is part of what makes playoff basketball so much fun, and for the most part the players are professional enough to deal with all manner of invective that is spewed their way.

Davis was a target or their ire all night. Not the only Celtic to be sure (Kendrick Perkins, Eddie House and Rajon Rondo got it just as bad, if not worse), but after Davis expressed his frustration at picking up a cheap foul and had to go to the bench, the fans knew they had a new target.

It got worse after Davis reacted to what seemed like a routine foul by Dwight Howard on a drive to the basket. “I’m an emotional player,” Davis said after the game and with the exception of a handful of players (Ray Allen, Rondo) the Celtics all feed off emotion.

Add all that into the equation and put it into a game when their season was for all intents and purposes coming down to a final possession and Davis’ end-to-end dash doesn’t seem out of character at all.

That a 12-year-old kid standing courtside got shoved out of the way on Davis’ charge was unfortunate, but it was hardly a pre-meditated act of violence by a “raging animal with no regard for fans’€™ personal safety,” as Ernest Provetti, father of 12-year-old Nicholas put it to the Orlando Sentinel.

Part of the NBA experience is being close enough to see all that emotion up close. That’s why you pay the big bucks for courtside tickets (assuming you’re not a glad-handing CEO with a cell phone attached to your ear). With that, you get the right to say whatever the hell you want, and often without repercussion. But you also shouldn’t be shocked if you’re standing on the tracks when the train comes rumbling through.

Mr. Provetti has asked for an apology and whether Davis gives him one or not is up to him. Know this about Big Baby: Beneath that raging emotion on the court is a guy with a big and kind heart, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he did, if only to diffuse the situation.

But something tells me Davis won’t be getting the same courtesy from the lovely woman in the Gortat jersey, and he’s probably not expecting it either.

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