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NBA mock draft 06.02.10 at 6:36 am ET
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The Attack Athletics Center in Chicago hosted various general managers, coaches and team scouts late last month. The assembled individuals tried to gather as much information as possible on 52 of the best college basketball prospects at the annual NBA draft combine. During the two-day event May 20-21, the players were tested on their physicals, group workouts, skills, drills and interviews.

Some prospects had their draft stock rise, while some didn’€™t participate at all and raised questions. One player that raised eyebrows and interest was 19-year-old Ryan Richards from England. Standing at 6 feet, 10 inches, the forward showed the ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter while being fundamentally sound. After heading into the combine as an unknown, Richards improved his status and looks like an intriguing second-round pick.

Paul George from Fresno State was another player who had eyes on him after playing at a lower-profile college. Like Richards, George raised his stock by showcasing his coveted combination of athleticism and shooting. He appears to be a lottery to mid-first round pick after demonstrating his skills at the combine.

Two players — among many — who declined an invitation for both days of the combine were Al-Farouq Aminu and Quincy Pondexter. While Aminu is projected to be a top 10 pick, Pondexter is on the fringe of being a first-round selection. Though their absence could mean they feel safe in their current project, it could also mean they don’€™t want to exemplify their weaknesses through drills and workouts.

One player who needed to impress in the interview portion was Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins. Coming into the combine with questions about his character, Cousins didn’€™t fully squash that perception. He answered questions by the media with short and seemingly curt responses. Despite the concerns about his maturity, Cousins demonstrated in his only season with the Wildcats that he can be an immediate factor in the NBA.

With that said, here is the first-round mock of the NBA draft, which will be held on June 24.

1. Washington

John Wall, Kentucky, Fr., PG, 6-foot-4, 196 pounds

Wall is the no-brainer No. 1 pick in this draft. Possessing incredible quickness and athleticism that allows him to drive by defenders in a Rajon Rondo-like fashion, he will give Washington a true point guard to play alongside Gilbert Arenas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Technical analysis: Breakdown of Perkins’ playoff T’s 06.01.10 at 1:42 pm ET
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Celtics center Kendrick Perkins has never been one to hold back emotions on the basketball court. His reactions to opposing players or calls by officials have often resulted in him receiving technical fouls. During the regular season, those technicals haven’€™t hurt Boston more than one point. In the playoffs, however, those technicals are threatening to force Perkins to sit out a game.

After the ‘€œBrawl at the Palace’€ between the Pistons and Pacers at Detroit in 2004, the NBA implemented a rule that limited the amount of technical fouls a player could receive in the playoffs before being suspended. The rule states that any player will receive a one-game suspension following a seventh technical and every other technical thereafter.

Entering the NBA finals, Perkins already has six technicals on his tab and could be going on his eighth if not for the league rescinding one in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. He’€™s picked up at least one technical in each of the three series the Celtics have played in this postseason.

Here are the six technical fouls Perkins has received in the playoffs:

1.  Game 5 vs. Miami

Perkins’€™ first technical came when he locked arms with Udonis Haslem in Game 5 against the Heat. Official Derrick Stafford blew the whistle with six minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter as Perkins and Haslem became tangled after a Dwayne Wade missed shot. Though it seemed as if Perkins was only trying to get free and into the offense, Stafford felt he was a little too wild with his elbow. (Skip to 6:40 mark) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, technical fouls,
Heinsohn on D&C: Howard getting away with flagrants 05.27.10 at 2:39 pm ET
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Comcast Celtics analyst Tommy Heinsohn joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to give his take on the officials from Wednesday night’€™s Game 5 loss and why Dwight Howard should be suspended.

‘€œI was up at the [Comcast] studios at Burlington and was in the conference room watching [Game 5],’€ Heinsohn said. ‘€œThere were several people and we kind of all were hit with the same thought that these [referees] are incompetent.’€

Heinsohn also touched on the similarities and differences in Rajon Rondo and Hall of Famer Bob Cousy‘€™s game.

Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

I want a mental picture of you during last night’€™s game. Where were you watching it and with whom were you watching it?

I was up at the studios at Burlington and was in the conference room watching the game. There were several people and we kind of all were hit with the same thought that these [referees] are incompetent.

What was Ed Rush thinking on the technical foul calls?

Well this guy goes way back. I got in hot water some years ago when I said ‘€œEddie F. Rush. F for fool.’€ I used that because in a game against the Knicks on the very last play, they tried to get [Patrick] Ewing the ball. The man passed it five feet away from Ewing, it went out of bounds, the Celtics are going to win the game, and he calls a foul on [Robert] Parish like he was holding him or hitting him or something and they end up winning the game. This guy has had no common sense, I don’€™t know why he’€™s still around. He has a history, I’€™ve been watching the game all these years, I just marvel at how they let him keep refereeing. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Ed F. Rush, Kendrick Perkins
Donaghy on D&C: NBA wanted Game 6 05.27.10 at 1:30 pm ET
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Former NBA official and author of ‘€œPersonal Foul’€ Tim Donaghy joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the officiating in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals and how referees manipulate games.

‘€œIt’€™s a situation where officials are well aware of what goes on and what’€™s best for the league,’€ Donaghy said. ‘€œObviously, in this series, what’€™s best for the league is putting Orlando in a little bit of an advantage, and it seems to me that’€™s certainly what’€™s taking place.’€

Donaghy also talked about the comparison of Dwight Howard throwing elbows to Kobe Bryant‘€™s arm flailing when he was suspended in 2007 during the regular season.

Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

I would be very interested in your just overall impression of the specific event where Ed F. Rush called the second technical on Kendrick Perkins and washed him out of the game.

Obviously, that’€™s a situation there where he’€™s just not thinking and not concentrating knowing that [Perkins] already has one technical foul, and the second one is not only going to mean an ejection for him but a suspension. So it’€™s something where he wasn’€™t thinking and I’€™m sure he’€™s sitting around today wishing he didn’€™t do it because it certainly to me looked like it wasn’€™t deserved.

We were speculating on the postgame process for officials. I’€™m assuming the three of you would sit in the room and go over the video tape and look at each call and I assume that an NBA official who is at the site would come into the room with you. Is that how it goes?

It would, and there’€™s an enormous amount of reports that you need to fill out on the computer in the locker room to justify what you did and why you did it so that they have a full understanding of the entire situation and that they can defend any media request that comes their way in regard to this. Certainly this is something where a lot of answers need to be had. Read the rest of this entry »

Rivers on D&C: ‘We have done nothing’ 05.20.10 at 12:47 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about closing out the series against Orlando and raising the intensity level on defense.

‘€œThere’€™s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, but having said that, we still have a lot of work to do, guys,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œOur goal was not to win two games in the series, our goal was to try to win the series.’€

Rivers also touched on LeBron James‘€™ pending decision on where to play in the offseason.

‘€œI just think if you’€™re going to go somewhere, go where it’€™s the best fit for you to win as quickly as possible, and there are some interesting situations,’€ Rivers said.

Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

You gave your guys the day off yesterday and I’€™m sure before you parted company you had some words of advice for them. What was the advice you gave them?

Well, not yesterday, but the day before was humility. And we have done nothing, we’€™ve won two games. We just have to keep working and keep playing.

But you know what human nature is right and you know what they’€™re hearing from all their friends and family?

Yea, that’€™s why when you go home and hear how great you are. There’€™s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself, but having said that, we still have a lot of work to do, guys. Our goal was not to win two games in the series, our goal was to try to win the series. We just have a lot of work to do, Orlando won both games at our place this year.

Do you think it will be Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen], or Tony [Allen] covering Kobe [Bryant]?

I’€™m so far off of [the Lakers] because again, I know how good Orlando is and how good they were going into this series. We played two exceptional games. I was happier with Game 2 than Game 1 because I felt we took one of their better shots. We’€™re going to take a big one in Game 3 as well. They’€™re thinking that they’€™ve been up here twice and won, you can say they’€™ve won the last three times they’€™ve been in our building, so they’€™re probably feeling pretty comfortable. Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics first-round draft prospects 05.19.10 at 8:16 pm ET
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Prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night, 14 teams watched the ping pong balls determine their draft location in the NBA draft lottery, with the Wizards, 76ers and Nets grabbing the top three spots, respectively. Though the Celtics weren’€™t one of those teams, they will have their own pivotal decisions to make on June 24, regardless of the outcome of their playoff run.

Celtics president Danny Ainge has done fairly well in past drafts. When Ainge has had high picks to work with, he’€™s turned Al Jefferson and Jeff Green into Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and helped bring Boston a 17th banner. The Celtics also have had success with later picks such as Glen Davis (35th in 2007), Rajon Rondo (21st in 2006), Leon Powe (49th in 2006) and Tony Allen (25th in 2004). All of those picks (the first three of which technically were chosen by other teams but were part of draft-day trades) have been of some service to Boston and have worked out well compared to other late fliers.

Picking at No. 19 this year, Boston will need to rejuvenate its veteran roster and continue to find late steals. Here’€™s a list of 10 players the Celtics potentially could draft in the first round. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ainge on The Big Show: Both teams ‘desperate’ 05.13.10 at 7:48 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge joined The Big Show Thursday evening to talk about Boston’€™s success against Cleveland and the importance of closing out the series in Game 6 at TD Garden.

‘€œBoth teams are very desperate to win this game tonight, for obvious reasons,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œI think that’€™s why it will be a good game.’€

Ainge also touched on the amount of criticism LeBron James received after the Cavaliers‘ lopsided loss in Game 5.

Below is a transcript. Visit The Big Show audio on demand page to hear the interview.

It’€™s been a bizarre series, do you have any idea what to expect tonight?

I have no idea. I would be shocked if it was going to be any sort of blowout like we’€™ve had in a couple of games in the series. I expect both teams to be ready, they know what they’€™re doing, they kind of know the strengths and weaknesses, and I’€™d be shocked if it wasn’€™t a close game.

Kevin Garnett spoke about the sense of urgency after the last game about treating this is as a Game 7 and not as a Game 6. Do you like that approach?

Yeah, I think so. Both teams are very desperate to win this game tonight, for obvious reasons. I think that’€™s why it will be a good game.

You guys have really played great defense from the initial point of attack.

I think the identity of this team is defense. I think we’€™ve gotten back to that in the playoffs. We’€™ve had a few bad spells, we let our guard down in Game 3 of course, but overall our defense has really stepped up, improved, and I think the effort each possession is better than the regular season. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett
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