|Celtics GM Danny Ainge on The Big Show: ‘We haven’t really figured out’ Jeff Green||11.09.12 at 6:19 am ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, in his weekly interview on WEEI’s “Big Show,” acknowledged that his team’s play has been uneven in the early going of the season en route to a 2-2 record. However, Ainge also noted that it is not unusual for a team that’s gone through considerable offseason changes to endure some growing pains at the start of the year during which the team’s talent isn’t necessarily reflected in the quality of its play or record.
“I hope it doesn’t take a while. I feel like we’re playing very good in stretches, but we’re just having some ugly stretches. I think that all the guys playing together has not been pretty at times, but we’ve had some good stretches. We’ve got to hang on to those, hope those outlast the bad stretches for now as we continue to improve into the season,” said Ainge. “The other guys, the new guys, really have to find their way and earn the trust of the team.
“Generally it takes a while to figure out who your team is. This year’s not different than any other year. Last year, we started 0-3. As time went by, I think a month and a half into the season no one thought the team was going to be good,” he continued. “We’re not playing as well as we’re capable of, but I do think you see good things out of each player, and I also see how difficult it is to get each of the players involved. That’s always a challenge.”
Ainge did acknowledge that Jeff Green, averaging 7.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game, is still searching for his fit on the Celtics roster.
“We haven’t really figured out Jeff and when to use Jeff or felt an urgency to go to Jeff,” said Ainge. “I think that Jeff has had some favorable matchups through the course of the game, but at the same time our main offensive sets that go through [Rajon] Rondo and Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett] are working. There’s not really a need to change what we’re doing to go there.
“I think Jeff has been inconsistent in his production and just trying to find his way. I think him more than any other player, is just trying to find where he contributes. What we need from Jeff, is we need him to play that great defense, rebound every night. There’s going to be nights where he can get that 20 points off the bench, and some nights where his number isn’t called that much,” he added. “He’s been fairly productive when we’ve called his number, but he hasn’t been a productive playing off the ball and playing off of our stars.” Read the rest of this entry »
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|Doc Rivers goes on D&C to talk Ray Allen, state of Celtics and his failed pursuit of Tim Duncan||11.01.12 at 10:29 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis and Callahan Show Thursday morning to discuss his relationship with Ray Allen, the Celtics’ season-opening loss to the Heat, how he viewed his team going forward. (To listen to the entire interview, click here.)
STATE OF THE TEAM
I’m a little disappointed in it because we’re behind. They’re working. We’re going to get it right, it’s just going to take a little time.
With defense, you first have to have the buy-in, which I think we have, and then the trust. Then the execution. I think we’re in the execution faze. When you have so many different guys and new guys, when things don’t go right, their first thought is to do another coverage and when you do that on your own you’re team defense breaks down.
HOW IS THE TEAM WITHOUT RAY ALLEN
We replaced Ray nicely, but having said that they’re going to make a big deal about it because Ray is a good player. He’s probably going to be a Hall-of-Famer, one of the greatest shooters who ever played the game and won a title with us. When a guy leaves and goes to the team that knocked you out the last two years, I think people make a big deal of it. I get that part of it. But we’ve moved on, and I’ve moved on the minute Ray said he wanted to go play for Miami.
I think we’re potentially better, but I don’t think we are right now. The continuity of our team has to settle in. On paper it looks great, but the key for us is everyone buying into their roles and understanding their roles. I think before the season starts everyone is happy, and then the season starts and you start figuring out, ‘Wait, I’m not going to get as many shots or as many minutes.’ Then you have what kind of character you have with your team.
You just don’t know guys until you coach guys. I will say this, I think we’ve got a great group of guys. I don’t anticipate that being a problem, but you never know.
VIEWING THE NEW BACKCOURT ROTATION
Lee is a terrific defender, makes open shots, has a nice in-between game. You don’t need to run offense for him to score, he’ll score through the offense. And when you have Rondo, who I’ll need to be more aggressive, with Kevin and Paul, that’s a pretty good role in that lineup. It’s really the same thing Avery gave for us last year, the same kind of fit. Jason Terry is a shot-maker. He’s a guy who can create his own shot, he can create his shot through offense, and that’s great. The same thing with Barbosa, he just has tremendous feet. I think Barbosa will be used as a change-of-pace guy. When he comes in, I told him before the Miami game, because there was no way he knew half our sets, ‘Just go try and score. Just be as aggressive as possible, and I will call you back if you go over the line if I think you’re over the line.’ And I think he did a pretty good job of that.
|Live Blog: Celtics kick off 2012-13 season against LeBron James, Ray Allen and Heat||10.30.12 at 5:50 pm ET|
|Report: Ray Allen felt disrespected by Celtics, leading to move to Miami||07.07.12 at 1:46 pm ET|
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, Ray Allen’s decision to leave the Celtics and sign a three-year, $9.7 million deal with the Miami Heat was based on not only the love shown by Heat president Pat Riley, but the lingering bitterness toward the Celts.
The report had a source saying “He felt he was getting respect that he hadn’t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore.’¦The presentation was incredible.”
According the author of the report, Adrian Wojnarowski, Allen still was upset that Celtics boss Danny Ainge had dangled him in trade talks, at one point telling the guard he was being shipped to Memphis only to then be told the deal was off. Allen was also reportedly upset over Doc Rivers taking away his starting job late in the season.
Then there was the fractured relationship Allen had with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. As Wojnarowski wrote:
Those were some of the conflicts that Allen had with Rondo, but the stubbornness of the point guard worked to exacerbate everything. Rondo and Allen were non-confrontational, but much of the behind-the-back sniping to teammates and those around the team took a toll. So much of it was sandbox stuff, the kind of grating, ultimately petty issues that occur in every locker room, every workplace. Rondo didn’t chase Allen out of Boston, but their relationship did become a drain in the locker room. Their cold war was something Allen discussed with associates, something that become a concern of management and the coaching staff.
“When it comes to basketball, Rondo is the smartest player on the team ‘ one of the smartest players in the league,” one locker-room source said. “And Ray considers himself a smart guy. But at some point, it became hard for Ray to be corrected by a guy so much younger than him.”
The report states that Kevin Garnett and (to a lesser extent) Paul Pierce both joined Rivers in trying to convince Allen to stay with the Celtics in the final days leading up to his agreement with the Heat. But the recruitment by Riley — who promised the end of any trade talks, along with the prospect of championship runs — won out.
|Danny Ainge on Kevin Garnett: ‘Don’t really have any conclusions’||06.29.12 at 7:06 am ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that, with free agency set to commence on Sunday, the Celtics remain uncertain about the future of Kevin Garnett. The Celtics have an exclusive negotiating window with Garnett through the end of June; free agents can start negotiating with other teams on July 1, with a moratorium on signings from July 1-10.
“I’ve been talking with Kevin and his people and don’t really have any conclusions yet,” Ainge said after Thursday night’s NBA draft. “That’s our No. 1 option. One reason is because he’s such a valuable player, and one reason is because he’s the only guy we can talk to.”
The 36-year-old averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 60 games during the 2011-12 season.
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