Ainge on The Big Show: ‘Our guys will be ready to go’
|06.16.10 at 7:35 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called into The Big Show Wednesday afternoon and the topic of the day was the status of starting center Kendrick Perkins and what kind of impact his injury will have on Game 7. To listen to the full interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.
“Obviously, we’d like to have Perk [be] healthy,” Ainge said. “He’s a big part of our team defense, but I think that Glen Davis and Rasheed [Wallace] can carry the mail for us at the center position.”
The way that Ainge read Game 6 was as though the Lakers were just better prepared for the matchup. “I guess it’s like a boxing match and one team comes out and attacks. [The other team] didn’t come out prepared for that attack,” he said.
“You try to counter it, and we just weren’t able to. I thought they did a good job. Our guys were ready to play, but the Lakers came on all cylinders. They were making shots early and they just carried it throughout the course of the game. They got a great deal of confidence going and the bench came in and made all their shots. We could never stop that momentum. You’ve got to give the Lakers credit.”
When asked what Rasheed Wallace will have to do to make up for the loss of Perkins in the starting lineup in Game 7, Ainge said that the whole bench would need to step up and play smart. “Yeah, it’s a different role. Playing the starter’s role and then playing what he’s been playing for us off the bench in the playoffs is completely different. We need a different Rasheed.
“Big Baby’s minutes will be extended a little bit. They can’t go use up [all their] fouls. There’s one six-foul guy that we don’t have in there that can guard,” Ainge said. “Obviously, Shelden [Williams] and [Brian Scalabrine] will have to be ready to go out there and play and contribute in some way if we do get into foul trouble. But yeah, those guys both need to use their fouls more wisely.”
And as for the veteran starters, Ainge isn’t afraid to believe in them. “Well, I think our guys get it,” he said. “Every game is unique in its own right. How the games are officiated are different and how the games are played — the confidence and momentum within each game [are different]. So I’m confident that our guys will be ready to go. Our guys will do fine, with their backs to the wall. This is the ultimate test.”