|Doc Rivers on D&C: Relationship with Rajon Rondo is ‘very good’||03.08.12 at 11:23 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to discuss his team’s 103-71 blowout loss to the Sixers, his reported relationship troubles with Rajon Rondo, and the outlook for the rest of the season.
This lockout-shortened season has been mediocre at best for the 20-18 Celtics, who, after Wednesday’s loss, remain seventh in the conference. Wednesday’s loss marked a definitive low point, as the Celtics had a chance to take over the top-spot in the Atlantic Division against a Sixers team that lost eight of its last 10. Instead, Boston never stood a chance. The 32-point blowout was the worst of the Big Three era, and the 71-point effort matched a season-low in total points. The Celtics also did not make a single three-pointer, going 0-for-8 from beyond the arc in the worst three-point performance since an 0-for-10 showing against the Utah Jazz on Dec. 21, 2005.
“Two stats [stand out], really,” Rivers said. “The ‘0’ stands out and the eight. We usually take more threes, number one, and we usually make a couple. What’s amazing, the first half, that’s when I was concerned because we were getting really good shots, open shots and everything was front-rim, so you just knew it was going to be one of those nights.”
The schedule only gets worse for the Celtics, who will play one game at home before embarking on an eight-game, 12-day road trip. Rivers said the road trip will be especially difficult for his team, as they are older and not in typical form after the lockout altered their preseason preparation. Rivers admitted that he underestimated how much the lockout would affect the team, and said he thinks some of the results of the lockout are manifesting in his team’s play.
“I underestimated a couple of things,” Rivers said. “Number one, the lack of practice time, how that all was going to affect us and every team. And you know, one thing we didn’t do where some teams did, I don’t think all of our guys came in to the beginning of camp in great shape. And I thought when you’re an older team and you’re not in great shape and you don’t have a lot of time to get in shape, I thought that really affected us.”
In spite of the many issues currently facing the Celtics, Rivers said a reported personnel feud between Rondo and him is a non-factor. Rivers denied any personal problem with Rondo despite reports from multiple media members to the contrary.
“We have had arguments,” River said. “So have Paul [Pierce] and I. … You don’t get along all the time. But when it becomes personal is when I think you have a personality clash. Our personal relationship is very good. So it keeps coming up and I guess it will. I don’t know why.”
|NBA Free Agency: J.J. Barea reportedly agrees with Timberwolves||12.12.11 at 11:01 am ET|
The defending champion Mavericks apparently will lose one of their postseason stars to the Timberwolves, as J.J. Barea will sign a four-year, $19 million deal with Minnesota according to NBA.com writer David Aldridge. The Mavericks reportedly offered Barea just a one-year deal despite the fact that the former Northeastern star was one of their strongest contributors off the bench last season. In the 2011 postseason, Barea averaged 8.9 points, 3.4 assists and 18.6 minutes per game and was the team’s second-leading scorer in its sweep of the Lakers in the conference semifinals. Barea expressed his disappointment with the Mavericks’ attempts to sign him when he appeared on a Dallas radio station.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be like this after everything we did, after my five years here, after what we did last year,” Barea told the Ben and Skin show. “Now you’ve just got to go with it, and things happen.”
Barea, a 27-year-old point guard, will add to the Timberwolves’ depth at guard, where they have already signed Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio.
|NBA Free Agency: Shane Battier to sign with Heat||12.08.11 at 11:10 am ET|
Yet another free agent will be taking his talents to Miami, as Shane Battier confirmed on Twitter Thursday morning that he will play for the Heat in the abbreviated 2011-12 season.
Battier wrote, “The Lockout gave me a lots of time to consider what was important to me at this stage of my life and career. Over the last week, I’ve played out every scenario in my head over and over. It always came back to one thing for me: a winning role. … This was a exciting process and after much deliberation, I would like to quote the great poet Jimmy Buffett and take my chances “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” Let’s Go #Heat!!!!!”
The 33-year-old Battier is strongest defensively, but he can put up points from the perimeter should Heat stars Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James need help from the outside. Battier has split time in his 10-year career between the Grizzlies and the Rockets. The 6-foot-8 forward shoots 38 percent from the three-point range and averages 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Battier had tweeted throughout the lockout that he was interested in Houston, Memphis, Miami and Oklahoma City.