|04.02.10 at 9:11 pm ET|
Doc Rivers is a man on a mission.
He wants every player and coach to be able to freely speak their mind without fear of retribution from Stu Jackson, the NBA’s chief officer in charge of behavior.
Jackson levied a fine of $25,000 on Friday to Kevin Garnett for his decision to give Michael Jordan a new middle name when referencing the breaks he thought Kevin Durant was getting from officials on Wednesday night.
Instead of the player paying it, he wants the people responsible to foot the bill.
“The next time that happens, I have a solution. Each one of you guys should pitch in a thousand dollars until we get to [fine total],” Rivers suggested, tongue-in-cheek we think.
The reason there’s some truth in what Rivers believes occurred last year when Rivers was docked $25,000 during the playoffs when he was asked during a press conference if he thought Kendrick Perkins was being targeted by officials.
But in all seriousness, Rivers shed some light on how the fines are administered. They are automatically deducted from a player or coach’s paycheck.
“If we had to write a check,they’d never get the money,” Rivers said, again joking we think.
Rivers also talked before the game about the progress of the second unit and how Nate Robinson, even when he isn’t scoring that much like Wednesday night, is still having a positive impact on the reserves.
|04.02.10 at 8:41 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo made Celtics history less than five minutes into the game when he broke Bob Cousy’s 50-year-old single season assist record. Rondo dished his 716th dime of the season, an alley-oop to Kevin Garnett, to set the mark. (Earlier in the season, Rondo passed Rick Fox for the franchise mark in single-season steals.)
But back to the game. The Celtics gave up an early 11-point lead to trail the Rockets 32-30 after the first quarter. The Rockets closed the quarter on a 19-6 run, led by eight points in less than six minutes from Kyle Lowry. Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins, and Aaron Brooks also scored eight in the quarter. The Celtics outshot the Rockets, 59 percent to 50 percent, but were outrebounded, 12-7.
The C’s trailed in the second quarter before Rondo sparked a comeback. Rondo leapt for a defensive rebound and threw an outlet pass as he lost his balance, which Pierce connected for a lay-in. On the next possession, he set Perkins up for a bucket. The C’s took the lead back on a dunk by Tony Allen. The Rockets fought back, though, and are up 57-53 at halftime.
Brooks leads all players with 17 points. Pierce has 14 for the Celtics. Rondo has a game-high seven assists.
|04.02.10 at 1:51 pm ET|
After Kevin Durant made all 15 free throws and the Celtics made just 13-of-17 at the line, Garnett said, “I thought we were playing Michael [expletive] Jordan the way he was getting the whistle. Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team for the game.”
Stu Jackson, NBA Vice President for Operations, made the announcement.
|04.02.10 at 11:05 am ET|
When the month of March began the Celtics were coming off a loss to the Nets and looking at 17 games in 31 days and 10 of those 17 at home. This was a chance for them to reassert themselves at TD Garden as well as get some of their pride back after struggling through January and February.
The Celtics went 11-6 in March and 7-3 at home, which are both solid marks, but not particularly noteworthy. They swept the Texas teams, but blew a halftime lead in Utah. They beat the Nuggets, but lost by 21 to the Spurs. They handled sub-500 teams on their schedule, but got crushed by Memphis. And, once again, they couldn’t hang with the Cavaliers for 48 minutes.
Have the Celtics improved over the last month? Absolutely. Have they inspired any more confidence that they have a serious postseason run in them? Not really. They are still in fourth place in the East and ninth in point differential. They remain good, maybe even dangerous, but outside the ranks of the top contenders.
ROCKETS (37-37, 4-6 last 10)
Points Per Game: 101.5
Points Allowed: 101.9
Differential: -.4 (16th)
Offensive Efficiency: 107.0 (17th)
Defensive Efficiency: 107.4 (16th)
Pace: 93.8 (8th)
CELTICS (47-27, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 98.6
Points Allowed: 94.5
Differential: +4.1 (9th)
Offensive Efficiency: 107.1 (16th)
Defensive Efficiency: 102.6 (2nd)
Pace: 91.7 (20th)
Injuries: Pierce (Shoulder, probable), Perkins (Knee, probable) Read the rest of this entry »
|04.01.10 at 5:23 pm ET|
To that point, Doc Rivers outlined two areas he believes his team has improved since the All-Star break and one more he believes still needs work before the second season begins.
Rivers told reporters following Thursday’s practice that the team has cut down on its turnovers since the break and has done a better job of rebounding in recent games.
But the one area he still feels his team needs work on its weak-side defense. In other words, Rivers wants to see more green and white shirts flying to the open shooter and not allow wide open shots, especially from three-point range.
That was particularly evident on Wednesday when Jeff Green nailed back-to-back three-pointers in the final two minutes to seal Oklahoma City’s 109-104 win over the Celtics.
“Turnovers are going down but we’ve had the sporadic bad game,” Rivers said. “We’re rebounding better, we’ve had the sporadic bad game. And then there’s the weak-side defense.
“To me that’s the biggest concern, a guy is going to get beat off the dribble, that next guy being there to take the charge and the next guy being there to get his body in the way and then the next guy getting on that guy’s body. That’s the next step we have to make.”
Rivers also said his players were more upset with three free-throw discrepancy than he was.
“I thought we could’ve gone to the line more but I thought we could’ve been more aggressive going to the basket as well since we took a lot of threes,” Rivers said. “I thought they were complaining more they were playing good defense on some of those and they were playing good defense.”
|04.01.10 at 2:56 pm ET|
Paul Pierce called in to Dale & Holley on Thursday to talk about the Celtics’ charge to the playoffs. Pierce said that he was happy that no major moves were done at the deadline to change the team and he sees this veteran squad being a team that can make moves in the postseason.
“I look at our and team and the struggles we have and I think we are more of a team that is built for the playoffs,” he said. “We have a number of guys who are in their 30s and I just think in the playoffs it becomes a half court game, and you only have to be better than four teams in the playoffs to win it all.”
Pierce also talked about where Rajon Rondo stacks up with the top point guards in the league, his future with the Celtics and why he is the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA.
To read the transcript, look below. To listen, click here.
Kevin Garnett was a little upset after the game last night, wasn’t he?
He’s going to say how he feels.
That was a bogus call though, right?
We were expecting make up calls, but they never came.
That’s just the nature of the game. Sometimes you get good calls, sometimes you get bad calls, and sometimes it’s the way it goes. I felt like I didn’t foul in a couple of cases but the refs saw it differently and a lot of times it’s judgment calls and what they think. There’s nothing you can really do about it.
The guys, like Kevin Durant, get the calls but they really don’t need the help.
Durant shoots 15 free throws and we shoot 17 for the game. That was the ball game with the discrepancy with the free throw shooting and that’s the way the game goes sometimes. You got to move on from it and you can’t let it bother you even though it hurts. Those types of games hurt. I was really frustrated after the game with how things went. But there’s nothing you can do, you just got to move on. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.01.10 at 1:57 pm ET|
Celtics swingman Paul Pierce joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday afternoon and talked about Wednesday night’s tough loss to the Thunder. The Celtics were visibly upset about some of the officials’ calls that benefited Thunder star Kevin Durant, but Pierce said the team can’t afford to dwell on it. “That’s the way the game goes sometimes,” he said. “You’ve just got to move on from it. You can’t let it bother you, even though it hurts. Those type of games hurt. I was really frustrated after the game, with how things went. But there’s nothing you can really do. You’ve just got to move on.”
Asked why he doesn’t seem to get the benefit of the calls from the officials that his contemporaries do, Pierce said it’s part of the whole package. “I’ve always been the Rodney Dangerfield of the game — no respect. Even from Day 1, when I got drafted,” he said. “It something I’ve just got to play through. I can’t let it bother me or frustrate me. At this point in my career, I’ve been used to it. I just feel like it’s made me a better player, because I know everything I’ve done out there, I’ve had to earn.”
Addressing the Celtics’ inconsistencies this season, Pierce said: “I think we’re more of a team that was built for the playoffs, to be honest with you. We have a number of guys who are in their 30s. In the playoffs, where it becomes a halfcourt game, you only have to be better than four teams in the playoffs to win it all. And I think we’re more built for the playoffs, when the game slows down, when you talk about halfcourt defense. It’s been tough getting through the ups and downs of the regular season, different types of matchups and all sorts of things.”
Pierce said he discounts assertions that the Celtics are bored during some regular-season games. “I don’t think guys are bored with the regular season,” he said. “I think that’s a bunch a crap about being bored with it. It’s a process. You have to build up the playoffs. You have to be consistent in what you do. You don’t just go out here and be a great shooter. You have to practice that. And that’s what the regular season is. It’s practice for the playoffs.”
To hear the interview, including Pierce’s thoughts about free agency and having his number raised to the rafters, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
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