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Doc Rivers on D&C: Ray Allen’s halftime speech ‘out of the ordinary, for sure’ 02.03.11 at 9:47 am ET
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Doc Rivers (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Celtics have thus far avoided a second-half letdown like the one that hurt them last season, costing them homecourt advantage for most of the playoffs. Rivers acknowledged that the obvious reason is the health of Kevin Garnett, but he noted that there are other factors as well, including having a healthy Paul Pierce.

“People forget, both were injured. Paul Pierce had the knee surgery as well as Kevin Garnett,” Rivers said. “So, I think those two things are the biggest difference. And [Rajon] Rondo is another year [more experienced], playing great. And Ray Allen is having an unbelievable season. I think all those, in the one basket, is the reason we’re playing well. But the big key is Kevin and Paul.”

Allen gave a fiery speech before Rivers entered the locker room at halftime of Tuesday’s victory over the Kings. Rivers said Allen got everyone’s attention because he’s not normally that vocal.

“Yeah, that was out of the ordinary, for sure. The tone and just the entire speech,” Rivers said. “It was more about playing the right away. And you could hear it. It was at the second unit. He wasn’t mad at the starters. it was all directed to the second unit. The starters came out and played great to start that game, and then the second unit kind of let it go. And it was more how they’re were playing. And that’s what he was frustrated with.”

Reggie Miller has said he’s cheering for Allen to break his record for most 3-pointers all-time, as Allen is within eight of the former Pacers star and current TNT analyst. However, the hosts said they don’t believe Miller, never known for his graciousness during his playing days, is telling the truth. “No, I don’t believe him, either,” Rivers said. “I’m going to call ‘bull’ on that one with Reggie.”

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Chris Mannix on D&H: C’s deal for Rip Hamilton unlikely anytime soon 01.26.11 at 11:55 am ET
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Sports Illustrated NBA writer Chris Mannix joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday morning to talk about the Celtics and the NBA.

There’s a rumor going around that the Celtics are interested in Pistons shooting guard Richard Hamilton, but Mannix downplayed it.

“That’s just a rumor,” he said. “The only way they acquire him is by buyout. Right now, the ownership situation in Detroit is in such flux that that buyout, it ain’t coming anytime soon. And I’d be really surprised if it came before March 1st.”

Mannix acknowledged that “Hamilton would be a great asset in Boston” and “something has to happen” because Hamilton and coach John Kuester are at odds. However, Mannix said, “I just don’t see him getting bought out right now. He’s owed $25 million over the next two years. If he’s not willing to take a significant pay cut from that — and I’m talking in the $16 [million], 17 million range — he’s just not going anywhere. Now as long as the ownership situation is so up in the air out here.”

On Tuesday night, Kendrick Perkins made his first appearance since suffering an ACL injury in Game 6 of the NBA finals. Mannix said he was amazed at how quickly Perkins returned.

“To see him come back this early from what can only be described as a devastating knee injury, is unbelievable,” Mannix said. “Certainly, he’s got a long way to go. From watching that game, he has no lift on his legs right now. That’s going to take time to come back, to re-develop that explosiveness that he once had right around the rim. But it’s an amazing story, getting him back this quickly.”

Added Mannix: “I expect over the next two months for him to kind of be a work in progress. But that fact that he’s back now, that bodes well for Boston. Because it seems like if you give him a couple of months to get his legs back under him, come late March, early April, he should be back to close to the form he once was.”

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Jermaine O’Neal on D&H: Surgery a consideration for ailing knee 01.13.11 at 2:09 pm ET
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Jermaine O'Neal

Celtics big man Jermaine O’Neal checked in with the Dale & Holley show Thursday as part of the show’s Celtic of the Week interview series. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

O’Neal has been struggling with his surgically repaired left knee the entire season, and he’s been limited to 17 games. “For the most part, it’s been a frustrating first part of the year,” he acknowledged. “I do understand where I’m at. I understand what we’re dealing with. We actually had a little evaluation this morning about something that may or may not be done to kind of just put a couple of scenarios behind me.”

O’Neal said another meeting was scheduled for Thursday afternoon with doctors and Danny Ainge, so they can make a decision on the treatment plan. O’Neal indicated surgery definitely is in his future, but he’s hoping it can wait until after the season.

“[Surgery] was definitely something that we talked about the first time I was out for an extended period of time,” he said. “We wanted to try a couple of options. And we may be looking at that situation now. It’s something that I will eventually need at some point, at the end of the season or in the season, but you want to be around. You don’t want to miss an extended period of time. I already did that. So, you make your decisions as a player. You listen to the staff, and if they have a certain way, then you try that. And if that doesn’t work, you’ve got to go with the next best scenario.”

Despite the injury troubles, O’Neal gushed about how much he’s enjoyed playing in Boston. “This is a very enjoyable time for me,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re not doing some of the things you’re used to, sometimes you look at it as a negative. But I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had so many enjoyable teammates. so many enjoyable personnel as far as the coaching staff, and just so many enjoyable people throughout the city that really makes it easy to be here, and no matter what you’re going through, it makes it fun.

“It’s funny, because me and Kevin [Garnett] were just talking over the last couple of weeks, and we were talking last night actually about the ability to pick a teammate up when he’s sort of down and make him feel like nothing else matters. You know, We love you and we want you here. That’s how we approach it every day.”

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Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘I’m against what the Jets are doing’ 01.13.11 at 10:55 am ET
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Doc Rivers said Kevin Garnett is 'very close' to a return from a strained calf. (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning, following Wednesday’s night’s 119-95 rout of the Kings. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Rivers started the conversation by giving his opinion of the trash-talking going on in the lead-up to Sunday’s Patriots-Jets playoff game. He said, “I can’t wait for the game,” but he didn’t support the Jets’ disrespectful comments. “It’s stuff obviously I don’t like,” he said. “But it’s who they are. And that’s what they’ve been all year. … I’m against what the Jets are doing, because I do think it — I don’t know if it motivates you, but it may give you that extra, a little bit more, so who knows?”

The Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak with Wednesday’s win. It followed Monday’s 108-102 loss to the Rockets in which the Celtics’ effort was lacking, according to Rivers. “In an 82-game season, you’re going have some of those [letdowns],” he said. “I didn’t feel like we would have one last night, because of what happened against Houston. … I just thought we’d be ready last night.”

Kevin Garnett remains out after straining his right calf two weeks ago vs. the Pistons. “He is day-to-day, very close, but just not ready yet,” Rivers said.

Rivers said he feels sympathy for Cavaliers coach Byron Scott, whose team was hammered by the Lakers, 112-57, in losing for the 21st time in 22 games on Tuesday. However, he doesn’t think LeBron James deserves the type of criticism he’s received for abandoning Cleveland.

“No it’s not unfair,” he said. “It was legal. He became a free agent and he left. And there’s nothing wrong with what he did. What did they have, seven years, in LeBron’s mind to get it right, to get him the players he wanted for them to win. And in his opinion, they never did that. And so, he had every right to do what he did. Obviously, you knew if LeBron left it would wreak havoc on that team, and it has. It tells you one thing, is how good LeBron was. He’s the only guy that really left the team, and man, it’s amazing what’s happened.”

Rivers raved about the iPad, which he uses to watch video and check stats. “It is absolutely amazing how often I’m on it,” he said. “Way too much.”

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Man charged with stabbing Paul Pierce convicted in another knife attack 12.03.10 at 9:08 am ET
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The man who was charged with stabbing Paul Pierce a decade ago was convicted Thursday in federal court for stabbing a Drug Enforcement Administration informant, according to a report in The Boston Globe.

Trevor A. Watson, 44, stabbed the informant 10 times outside a South End barbershop on Feb. 27, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said in a statement. The victim, who underwent emergency surgery to repair his colon and intestine, had provided information against Watson in a federal cocaine trafficking investigation.

Watson, of Dorchester, first was tried in October, but that trial ended with a hung jury. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 10 and faces up to 30 years in prison. He also is due in court in January to face a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Watson previously has been convicted of robbery, armed robbery, assault and battery and possession of a Class B substance.

Watson was charged with attempted murder in 2000 for allegedly stabbing Pierce in his head, back and face at the Buzz, a now-defunct nightclub in Boston’s theater district. Watson only was convicted of assault and battery after multiple witnesses changed their testimony at his trial. He was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in the attack. Another man, William Ragland, received a sentence of 7-10 years in state prison for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the incident.

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Celtics-Wizards game earns record rating 11.18.10 at 12:36 pm ET
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It may have seemed like a run-of-the-mill matchup between one of the NBA’s elite teams and a rebuilding franchise, but Wednesday night’s Celtics-Wizards game drew a 7.4 rating. That made it the most watched regular-season broadcast ever on Comcast Sports Net, according to a tweet from the Celtics. The C’s rolled to a 114-83 victory.

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Kevin Garnett on D&H: ‘I’m not speaking to nobodies’ like Charlie Villanueva 11.18.10 at 12:29 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

As part of WEEI’s Celtics Thursday, forward Kevin Garnett joined the Dale & Holley show to talk about his resurgence this season. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Garnett has returned to form after struggling for much of last season following knee surgery in May 2009.

“Rest is everything,” Garnett said. “And being healthy is another thing. I don’t like speaking about my own personal health, because everybody in the league has something they’re dealing with, and I was no different from it. Obviously, you can see the difference in the play. I have a little pep in my step, I’ve got a little bounce in my hop. And it feels good.

“A lot of times last year I was playing subpar guys, man, and they were getting by me, doing different things to where I knew that if I was 100 percent, no way that some of those things were happening. To be honest, I’m blessed. It’s something I have to deal with every day. But you can see the difference. You can see the difference. The confidence is there. When you get hurt — one of the things I’ve never had to battle was dealing with health issues to where it damages and messes with your confidence. I’m a very confident person. I would be lying if I said it didn’t test me. But it made me a stronger person mentally.”

The addition of Shaquille O’Neal to the roster brought a unique personality to Boston. The high-intensity Garnett was asked if he agreed that Shaq has lightened the mood in the locker room.

“Unfortunately, I do [agree],” Garnett said. “I don’t like my mood to be lightened too much, man. I like to have an edge. When I take the floor, I like to be a certain way. I don’t do well when I’m giddy and kind of light. I do well when I’m dark and sort of concentrated. When I’m locked in, I look at myself as a threat. I don’t want to be too lighthearted when I go out there. Shaq is the opposite. He likes things light. He likes to keep you laughing. He likes the mood to be light.

“I think from [Doc Rivers'] perspective — or anybody’s perspective — they tend to think that I’m too intense at times. And I can understand that. But hey, man, this is my makeup. This is who I am. This is what I’ve been for a long time. It’s gotten me to this point. Like anybody else’s personality it’s who they are. This is my makeup. This is who I am.”

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