- Green Street - http://greenstreet.weei.com -

Barry on D&C: ‘We could see history again’

ESPN basketball analyst Jon Barry joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning after the Celtics’ 113-92 Game 5 loss to the Magic. He discussed the urgency of Game 6 in Boston, how he believes Kendrick Perkins [1] and Glen Davis [2] will both be back for that game, and the ramifications of not sweeping the Magic when the Celtics had the chance.

‘€œI’€™ll tell you, it’€™s unfortunate, and that’€™s exactly why you take care of business when you can, Barry said. ‘€œInjuries, technicals, ejections, all those things come into play. Now, you have a very confident Orlando team, and Boston’€™s going to have their hands full tomorrow night.’€

What follows is a transcript of that interview. You can listen to it in its entirety at the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page [3].

You’€™ve said, ‘€œI wasn’€™t worried about the Boston Celtics [4], but I am now.’€ This is a team in trouble, is it not?

With all the stuff that went down last night, concussions and Rasheed Wallace [5]‘€™s back is now hurting. To me, [Rajon] Rondo [6] looks like he’€™s not 100 percent. He’€™s not playing the same. You’€™ve got a confident Orlando team. Everything they couldn’€™t do in the first three games, they’€™re able to do now. Game 6 is basically Game 7 for the Celtics. I really do believe that. I think they have to get it done at home, or we could see history again. I don’€™t know how the Boston fans are going to deal with it with the Bruins doing it and the Celtics in the same year. Hard to believe.

We expect Kendrick Perkins to have one or two of his technicals rescinded. Do you agree with that, and do you think there’€™s any way Glen Davis plays? Are you expecting to see Perkins but no Big Baby like we are?

I’€™m expecting to see both. I am. Like Doc [Rivers [7]] said, Baby would have a hard time passing a test if he was perfectly normal because he’€™s a little bit kooky anyways.

But the culture has changed. There’€™s a much higher burden of proof today to prove you can play after a head injury.

Yeah, there is. He’€™s going to have to get cleared certainly, but I believe he’€™ll be out there. Certainly Perkins, it wouldn’€™t surprise me if both technicals were rescinded, certainly one of them should be. It was a tough break for them obviously. The final score wasn’€™t really indicative of what happened. This was a pretty tight game. You can’€™t lose Kendrick Perkins. I think Kendrick Perkins plays Dwight Howard [8] as good as anybody does in the league. Kevin Garnett [9], I didn’€™t even mention him. I think his leg looks different than it did a week ago.

The longer you go in a series, obviously the tougher it becomes. This is an older team, and they don’€™t look the same like they did in the first three games. That’€™s why Game 4, you do not mess around. Sitting with Magic Johnson [10], he said, ‘€œTake no games for granted. You have a team 3-0 and you’€™re at home, you take care of business.’€ And they didn’€™t do that.

Is it possible that we overestimated the Celtics’ smothering defense in the first three games, and it was really to some extent the Magic just not shooting the ball well?

No, I see a different defense. I just see a different Orlando offense, particularly Jameer Nelson who’€™s just being so much more aggressive on that pick and roll. First few games, he basically just came off pick-and-rolls and picked up the basketball. Now, he’€™s taking it and being much more aggressive, getting in the lane. Now, he’€™s got more options. He can just throw the lob to Howard. He’€™s get three-point shooters open. That’€™s the thing to me all season long. Orlando rolled along, but they lost Hedo Turkoglu [11], and I thought he was the best playmaker they had on their team last year. No one was being that playmaker, but now Jameer Nelson has taken that role, and they’€™re playing better basketball obviously.

What happens when they come back to Boston? Do you look at some of the Orlando guys and say, ‘€œYeah, he can do that but not on the road?’€

I don’€™t buy into that. I was a pretty average NBA player, I guess. I enjoyed playing on the road. I think most guys do. I think what happens is, it’€™s a lot easier to make shots when you’€™re up 12 as opposed to being down 12. So when you’€™re home, your team plays better. There’€™s no question about that. But as I said, if you’€™re down 12 and you’€™re taking three-point shots, they become a lot more difficult. It’€™s going to be a real key to the start of this game. If Boston can get a lead and Doc said it last night, Orlando’€™s a different team when they have the lead. When they’€™re trailing, they’€™re a different team. It’€™s going to be imperative that Boston comes out and jumps on this team early. I fully expect that they do. This team’€™s been in a bunch of big games. They’€™re champions. Regardless of who they have out on the floor, they’€™re banged up, I think they know this is a Game 7, and I believe they’€™re going to respond.

If the Celtics don’€™t have the three big guys back, is there any way they can slow down Dwight Howard, or is he just going to have his way like he did against Atlanta?

They’€™re going to have a real tough time. They have to have those bodies. I think Shelden Williams [12] might have to be a guy that plays. It’€™s going to be tough. What makes it difficult is that pick and roll is you come off of his body, and that’€™s when he’€™s at his best. He has a free run to the basket. He becomes very difficult to guard. Straight post-up, he’€™s not there yet. He still has a lot of improvement to make. But when he has a free run to the basket, what happens is the weakside guy has to come over and get in front of him, and that’€™s going to be a guard more times than not. That’€™s not a deterrent. You can just throw it up in the air, and he’€™s down there. He can get fouled or he dunks the basketball. So Boston has to do a better job on the Jameer Nelson pick and roll.

I don’€™t know if Doc is going to change it up and maybe keep a body on Howard and just try to fight over that screen or meet Jameer Nelson on the other side and go under to make him take a bunch of three-point shots off the dribble. But something has to change. They cannot allow this dribble penetration off this pick and roll.

Your two cents worth on referee Eddie Rush’€™s performance last night.

Well, I think he didn’€™t realize about the double technicals that Kendrick got with [Marcin] Gortat earlier, and I think he made a mistake. I think Joey Crawford, I believe was the other official, that they should have gotten in there right away when that technical foul was made and said, ‘€œNo, no, no.’€ That would have been fine. I don’€™t see a problem with that. It was a mistake. It shouldn’€™t have been done. And it was, but what are you going to do now? I thought they could have fixed the problem last night, and it wouldn’€™t have been an issue.

In baseball if you think someone’€™s playing dirty, you can hit him with a pitch. What can the Celtics do if they think what Howard is doing with his elbows is over the line and they think they need to respond?

Well, you can take physical fouls, that’€™s all. You’€™re not going to be in there trying to hurt somebody. That’€™s not the way things go. You just make him pay for fouls if he catches the ball down low.

But that’€™s what they do now. They can’€™t elevate their physical play any more, can they?

No, like I said, then you risk getting a flagrant foul and getting kicked out of a ballgame. If he’€™s down there and he’€™s going to lay the ball in, you take a nice hard foul, and that’€™s basically all you can do.

Going back to Eddie Rush, should Perkins or the Celtics in general expect some leniency in Game 6 based on the way he screwed it up in Game 5?

I don’€™t know. I don’€™t think that’€™s the way things work. Each game is its own entity. No, you come out and play. Kendrick does that all year long. That’€™s the way he reacts. He always does. It was unfortunate that Eddie Rush did that. He made a mistake. It didn’€™t warrant a technical foul in any situation, whether it be a preseason game or a playoff game. I don’€™t think the officials are going to look at what happened and make any judgments based on the last game. They’€™re just going to come out and officiate the game the way it goes tomorrow night.

Is Howard dirty?

Is he dirty? No, I don’€™t think he’€™s dirty. You do see a lot of flails after he does get fouled, putting the elbows up. He’€™s caught guys numerous times in this series. I don’€™t know. I guess you could call that.

Was Dikembe Mutumbo dirty in your mind?

No, he just didn’€™t have control of his own limbs [laughs].

Kind of like Big Baby after he took a shot in the chops.

Hey, that was something else. I just thought he couldn’€™t get up because he was sliding on perspiration on the floor. Doc’€™s over there, screaming at him, ‘€œGet back!’€ He was clearly out. He was out on his way down. You could just that he got knocked out. I’€™ll tell you, it’€™s unfortunate, and that’€™s exactly why you take care of business when you can. Injuries, technicals, ejections, all those things come into play. Now, you have a very confident Orlando team, and Boston’€™s going to have their hands full tomorrow night.

And for the record, you agree with the simplistic formula that whoever wins Game 6 wins the series?

I do, I do. I think if you get an Orlando team that would have won three in a row going into a Game 7 back in their building and another day in between games, another game for a team that’€™s already beat-up, that’€™s already aged, I think it’€™d be too much to ask. I really do.