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‘Wild run’ continues for Celtics, Rivers

05.12.09 at 1:19 pm ET

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. 

“We’re not going to go step out on the floor and out-talent a team,” Rivers said. “We have to do it with execution and grit and our guys are doing that. That’s what we have to expect every night. It’s not like last year, because we had great talent and great health, when we got home, we could lean on the home court. We’re not good enough to do that this year.”

As for the carryover in momentum from the win in Game 4, Rivers said it’s pretty negligible.

“I don’t think it’s much,” Rivers said after Tuesday’s shoot-around. “It can’t be much for us because we’ve been in too many of these. We can’t let down and they can’t either. Eventually, we’re going to win a game when they played well and they played well on their home court.”

One thing is for sure, the Celtics need to be ready to defend the three-point shot better. Even though Orlando was just 5-for-27 from beyond the arc on their home court in Game 4, Rivers said sharp-shooters like Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Redick had way too many open looks.

“I told our guys that Orlando missed shots,” Rivers said. “We defended some of them. Some of them were wide-open and they missed shots and we can’t count on them missing shots. They are a great three-point shooting team. If Redick and Turkoglu get those same looks, they’re going to make some of them. We have to be better defensively.”

Then there’s Boston’s own three-point threat. Ray Allen has gone ice cold from three-point range, going 0-for-5 in each of the games in Orlando.

“Orlando’s done a nice job of guarding him and we have to do a better job of getting him open,” Rivers said. “I have to do a better job of running more plays to get him open, but through the offense, though. One thing you don’t want to do is start breaking your rhythm just to get one guy going. And what Ray needs to do is just keep playing like he’s doing. His value is just being on the floor, his movement, it opens other guys up. Even if he’s not making shots, he’s a threat enough to take one of their defenders out of rotation.”

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