|Rivers: “Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund”||04.23.10 at 2:13 pm ET|
MIAMI — Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 by the NBA, yet again, after making comments critical of the officials, and specifically how they work games when superstars are involved. It’s a familiar gripe for Wallace who has been fined several times by the NBA for making similar statements.
“Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund by himself,” Doc Rivers joked after shootaround.
But Wallace’s words cut deep for a league that is fighting to regain trust in the wake of the Tim Donaghy affair. Officials have come under great scrutiny already in the playoffs and several coaches, notably Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy, have not helped matters with their comments.
Both Jackson and Van Gundy were fined by the league for various statements about the officiating and David Stern made a point of saying Thursday night in Oklahoma City that it won’t be tolerated.
“I wish I had it to do all over again,’ Stern said to reporters before Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder series. “Starting 20 years ago I’d be suspending Phil and Pat Riley for all the games they play in the media. You guys know our referees go out there and knock themselves out and do the best job they can.”
Make no mistake, this is a huge problem for the NBA and Stern basically dared coached to test him.
Stern also noted that within in the NBA community, it’s understood that when Jackson says that Kevin Durant gets to the free throw line too much, he’s doing it for effect, but the perception is that refs call the game differently for star players. Or in Van Gundy’s case, that his star player, Dwight Howard, doesn’t get the benefit of the calls.
“I think David is half right on that one,” Rivers said. “Sometimes we do know, but sometimes we really are defending our guys. Everyone is on the league’s side at the end of the day. Listen, I’ve been a league guy for 20-whatever years. I love this league and I want this league to do well. I don’t think any coach doesn’t want the league to do well. Having said that the coaches job is to do what he can to help the team win.”
|Richardson on Pierce, KG: ‘I don’t like them’||04.18.10 at 12:40 am ET|
Speaking after his team dropped an 85-76 decision to the Celtics, Miami guard Quentin Richardson spoke of his dislike for both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It was the skirmish which Richardson got into with Garnett, with Pierce on the floor with an apparent injury, that led to Garnett being ejected from the game with 40 seconds remaining.
“I don’t like them,” Richardson said, “and they know it.”
As for the incident, Richardson wasn’t sold on the severity of Pierce’s injury, which was identified as a shoulder issue by the Celtics’ forward after the first round Eastern Conference playoff game.
“He’s on the ground crying and I don’t know what’s going on,” the Heat guard said. “Two actresses over there, that’s what they are.” When asked he was surprised the confrontation escalated, Richardson responded, “I’m not surprised at people’s actions when I know them better than that, when they’re not those characters they portray in this movie. They’r not who they say they are, Garnett and Pierce. They’re good basketball players, nothing other than that.”
Richardson continued when asked if he had said anything to Pierce.
“I said to [Jermaine O’Neal], I said, ‘He’s OK,’ because I knew nobody just touched him,” he explained. “How did he fall? Was he taking another break like he do so many times? Sometimes he falls like he’s about to be out for the season, and he gets right up. That’s all I said. “
|Beasley: ‘[The Celtics] are going to try and punk us’||04.18.10 at 12:23 am ET|
Speaking after the Celtics‘ 85-76 win over Miami in Game 1 of the teams’ first round Eastern Conference playoff series, Heat forward Michael Beasley suggested that the Celts were going to try and use intimidation throughout the playoffs. “They’re physical, we got physical. We’re not going to back down,” Beasley said. “They’re a real physical team and I think they tried, and are going to try, to punk us throughout the series, and it’s not going to happen.”
Asked why the Celtics take such a tact, Beasley commented, “That’s their M.O. They’re loud, they talk through the whole game. We’re not going to get out of our game. We’re going to stay focused and let them do what they do.” The second-year forward also suggested that Miami’s athleticism would be an advantage as the series progressed. “It’s going to show come Game 7,” he said.
The impetus for many of Beasley’s comments was a skirmish that took place with 40 seconds remaining the game when Kevin Garnett and Miami’s Quentin Richardson tussled with Paul Pierce lying on the ground with an injury, an ailment Heat center Jermaine O’Neal questioned. “He wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t hurt,” O’Neal said. “He was taking a break.”
|Report: Rivers leaning towards leaving Celtics after season||04.14.10 at 12:06 pm ET|
“Part of it is true,” Rivers told the Herald on Tuesday. “Every year I sit down in the middle of the summer and I have a family discussion. We talk about what we want to do. That’s nothing new, but every year it gets stronger and stronger. And I think people are making common sense reads. I’ve got three seniors next year, two in college and one in high school. That’s important to me.”
Rivers’ son, Jeremiah, plays on Indiana University’s basketball team. His other son, Austin, will be a high school senior and is acknowledged as one of the top prep basketball players in the country. Rivers’ daughter, Callie, is a volleyball standout at the University of Florida.
Rivers suggested a year ago that he might leave the coaching ranks for a while in an effort to spend time with his family and “re-energize.” Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan Show last May 19, Rivers said that he contemplates a “sabbatical” from his profession.
“I have every intention of coming back, but I would be lying to you if I said that every year, I didn’t sit back over the last couple, with the family. We sit back and we think, ‘What do we need to do, and what do I need to do?’ I just try to gauge it on how my kids are doing and if they’re happy,” Rivers said after the 2008-09 season. “I’m sure there will be a day or some time when I’ll say no, I’ve got to stay and do family things. But I have every intention of coming back.
“I love coaching. I see myself coaching a long time. But I also see myself as a coach who will take a break to re-energize. I believe in that. I love, what’s the analogy? A teacher taking a sabbatical and coming back. I clearly will do that someday. In the next two or three years, I think that has to happen. I just think it’s good for a coach to do that. It makes him a better coach.”
|Pierce named NBA Player of the Week||03.22.10 at 2:44 pm ET|
The NBA issued the following release on the NBA Players of the Week:
Pierce led Boston to a 4-0 week, with wins over Detroit, New York, Houston and Dallas. Pierce averaged 24.8 points ‘ 6.7 points above than his season average (18.1 ppg) ‘ on .630 shooting in 26.4 minutes. Pierce also added 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals. On March 20, Pierce scored 29 points and added five assists, three rebounds and two steals in the Celtics’ 102-93 win at Dallas.
Gasol averaged 24.8 points on .685 shooting (third in the NBA), 11.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.0 block, leading the Lakers to a 4-0 week with wins over Golden State, Sacramento, Minnesota and Washington. Gasol recorded three point-rebounds double-doubles and on March 16, tallied 28 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in the Lakers’ 106-99 win at Sacramento.
Here is a recap of the week for Pierce and Gasol:
Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
March 15 vs. Detroit: Posted 15 points, three assists and two steals in a 119-93 win over the Pistons.
March 17 vs. New York: Tallied 29 points and six rebounds in a 109-97 win over the Knicks.
March 19 @ Houston: Totaled 26 points, five rebounds and two steals in a 94-87 win over the Rockets.
March 20 @ Dallas: Collected 29 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals in a 102-93 win over the Mavericks.
Paul Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
March 15 @ Golden State: Posted 26 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 124-121 win over the Warriors.
March 16 @ Sacramento: Totaled 28 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in a 106-99 win over the Kings.
March 19 vs. Minnesota: Collected 17 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in a 104-96 win over the Timberwolves.
March 21 vs. Washington: Tallied 28 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in a 99-92 win over the Wizards.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford and Al Horford, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s Aaron Brooks, Indiana’s Danny Granger, Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings and Phoenix’s Amar’e Stoudemire.
|NBA Power Rankings, 3/4||03.04.10 at 10:40 am ET|
After a few weeks off, we’re back. This week we’re offering the reminder that things might not be as bad in ‘Celtics Land’ as you want to believe. They come in at… well, check for yourself:
1. Cleveland: He’s playing the best ball of his life. I’ve never seen him guard people as ferociously as he has lately. What he did against the Celtics — simply DECIDING to take Ray Allen out of the game — was Jordanesque.
2. Lakers: Watch this team play and you understand why coaches are always asking their GMs for big men. Their size is crazy, with all of their contributing big guys able to defend, rebound and score. Plus they have, you know, Kobe. Wow.
4. Orlando: There are a few things that scare me about Dwight Howard, beyond the double-doubles: he’s only 24; he’s developed his offensive game significantly since last year; and he’s become an extremely smart defensive player.
5. Atlanta: When the Cavaliers lost to the Magic last season, they improved their team with the Magic in mind. My question about the Hawks is this: did they do the same thing after being swept by the Cavs last year? In other words, Jamal Crawford and Joe Smith are nice additions, but is that enough to get by Cleveland?
6. Denver: God bless George Karl. He has beaten cancer before. Here’s to beating it again.
7. Boston: Put aside your anger at losing to the Nets; and your anger at Rasheed and his 3s; and the baffling inability to play well at home (damn, anything else?). The reality is that the Eastern Conference is weak after the top four teams are accounted for, and the Celtics still have no fear of the teams in front of them. Does that mean anything? And is Sean Grande right when he says that he and Cedric Maxwell will be in Cleveland for Game 1 of the Cavs-Celtics conference finals?
|Celtics announce the Robinson deal||02.18.10 at 9:02 pm ET|
The Celtics officially announced the deal to acquire Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry from the Knicks in exchange for Eddie House, Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens. Boston President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge lauded Robinson’s ball-handling and scoring abilities, suggesting that he brings sorely needed skills to the team.
“Nate is one of the great athletes in the league and he brings a dynamic scorer to our team,” Ainge said in the release. “We have been seeking a second ball handler capable of penetrating the defense and we believe that he provides that. We love Nate’s ability to pressure the ball defensively and we think he can add to our defense as well as our offense.”
Robinson, a 5-foot-9 guard, is currently averaging 13.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 24.4 minutes per game. The former Washington Husky is also shooting a career-high 45.2 percent from the field in 30 games this season.
Ainge did suggest that it was difficult to part with House, who became a key reserve in parts of three seasons with the Celtics. House was averaging 7.2 points, 1.4 boards and 1.0 assists a game this year. Read the rest of this entry »
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