|Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘I don’t second-guess’ Paul Pierce’s final shot||03.19.13 at 11:28 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, hours after Monday night’s tough 105-103 loss to LeBron James and the streaking Heat.
“I thought we competed well,” Rivers said. “I thought we had a lot of chances to win the game. For me, and for our players, we’re really disappointed. But I think we would enjoy that matchup [in the playoffs], there’s no doubt about that.”
Rivers said the Celtics’ biggest issues were their failure to continue to push the pace after having early success playing the Heat’s preferred uptempo style, as well as turnovers and defensive miscues.
“We did make some mistakes,” Rivers said. “The turnovers, I though, cost us the game. And then our defensive mistakes — game-planning mistakes that I was frustrated with. We gave up three or four, I’ll maybe even say five or six layups to the basket where we were switching and we shouldn’t have. Those are the things that hurt you.”
The Celtics had a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, but Paul Pierce missed a fadeaway 3-pointer off an inbounds pass.
“I don’t mind that,” Rivers said. “Listen, he got a good look at it. He maybe could have drove, I don’t know. I don’t question those types of shots at the end of the game. Because he makes those shots. If it goes in, it’s a great shot. If it doesn’t go in, then could we have gotten a better shot? I don’t know.”
Added Rivers: “Paul takes fadeaways. That’s part of his shot. Having said that, the play was really what it was, except for it wasn’t designed for a 3. Jason Terry actually set a terrific pick on LeBron. LeBron actually got tangled up on it — give him credit, he closes so quick it’s amazing. But the play was just for a pin-down from Jason Terry, because I knew they didn’t want to get off his body. And I thought Paul would have an opening. And Paul went out to the 3. He didn’t probably have to. He may have been able to tight curl that. But I don’t second-guess that.”
Jeff Green scored 43 points, but he was not involved in the Celtics’ final offensive play.
“He just had the shot before that,” Rivers explained. “Paul’s a better shot-maker low clock. Jeff Green is great, obviously. But they guarded him. There was a back screen for him on the back side of that. There was more than one option on the play. The guy who takes the ball out decides who he thinks is open.”
|Report: Kevin Garnett refused offer from Chris Paul to make trade happen||02.22.13 at 6:57 am ET|
Kevin Garnett said all along he wanted to remain a Celtic, and apparently he said the same thing to Chris Paul after the All-Star guard called to gauge KG’s interest in joining the Clippers.
According to the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy, Paul contacted Garnett and said if the veteran big man was open to making the move to Los Angeles, Paul would make it happen. Garnett said no.
The oft-rumored trade would have landed the Celtics center DeAndre Jordan and guard Eric Bledsoe.
The Celtics ended up making one move before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, acquiring Jordan Crawford from the Wizards for center Jason Collins and injured guard Leandro Barbosa.
|Trade rumor roundup: Pacers shopping D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green, Tyler Hansbrough||02.21.13 at 12:12 pm ET|
Here’s a roundup of the rumors that are making their way around the web midday Thursday, hours before the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline.
The Pacers are dangling D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green and Tyler Hansbrough, according to the Indianapolis Star. While they are 33-21 and owners of the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Pacers are looking to strengthen their roster as they look toward the playoffs.
Augustin ($3.5 million) and Hansbrough ($3.05 million) are on expiring contracts. Augustin will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, while Hansbrough will be restricted.
Green, the athletic former Celtic, signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal last offseason but has struggled to find his niche.
• Magic guard J.J. Redick, who becomes a free agent this offseason, is said to be receiving plenty of interest. Redick makes $6.19 million this season but reportedly wants close to $10 million per year for his next deal, leading to the Magic taking calls. Redick is averaging a career-best 15.2 points and 4.4 assists in 31.6 minutes per game. The Spurs are one of the teams rumored to have an interest.
• Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Raptors have emerged as the frontrunners to land Suns guard (and onetime Celtic) Sebastian Telfair, crediting league sources. Telfair’s minutes have dropped since the Suns made a coaching change last month (hiring Lindsey Hunter to replace Alvin Gentry).
Wojnarowski also tweeted that the Hornets are struggling to find a team that will trade a high enough first-round draft pick for Gerald Henderson.
• The New Orleans Time Picayune reports that the Hornets are offering guard Eric Gordon. One option has Gordon going to the Warriors for Klay Thompson, although Golden State apparently isn’t very interested in that deal.
|Chris Mannix on M&M: ‘More likely than not, the core of this [Celtics] team stays together’||02.20.13 at 1:48 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated NBA writer Chris Mannix joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday, one day before the NBA trade deadline, to discuss rumors surrounding the Celtics. Mannix said the Celtics would be wise to do the deal reportedly discussed with the Clippers, but he’s not expecting it to happen.
“Boston was making a lot of those calls about [Kevin] Garnett to the Clippers,” Mannix said. “And the interest in the Clippers, I can tell you, it’s divided out there among the organization. The coaching staff, they want Kevin Garnett, because they want to win now. … Whereas the front office, I can tell you this, they’re not all that inclined to give up Eric Bledsoe, who is a potential 10-year starter in this league, and DeAndre Jordan, a sure-fire starter right now, for Kevin Garnett, who could potentially only be giving you a couple more months. Who knows what Kevin Garnett’s future is going to hold? To me, he’s always been on a series of one-year contracts.
“I think at the end of the day, when you throw in the no-trade clause that Kevin has, and you consider the fact that I have not heard a heck of a lot of significant interest surrounding Paul Pierce, I think more likely than not, the core of this team stays together.”
A report Tuesday night had the Clippers pulling out of trade talks. Mannix said he expects Celtics boss Danny Ainge would follow through if the deal is resuscitated.
“I think if the deal is there, he makes it,” Mannix said. “If he can get Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan for Kevin Garnett, you jump at it. I’ve heard some criticisms of this deal from the Boston side; I don’t get it. Has anyone not been watching Eric Bledsoe? As really the fourth guard on this Clippers team — third, I guess, when [Chauncey] Billups is injured — but really, he’s done a lot of things.”
Added Mannix: “You’re dealing with potential right now, because he hasn’t gotten the consistent minutes at the point guard spot because Chris Paul has been there for a couple of years now. But Eric Bledsoe is a guy that could potentially take over as a starting point guard for a team right away, and be an effective guy, be a guy that can score 15 points per game and give you seven, eight assists. Look at the way he’s played this year: He’s up to about 10 points per game. But more importantly, his field goal percentage is in the mid-40s right now, his 3-point percentage is in the low 30s. This is a guy that’s been improving every single year. So I think he’s a guy you would want to get.
“Same thing with DeAndre Jordan, who admittedly is a little bit overpaid, because Golden State threw that massive contract at him last year. But he’s someone that can be a starting center on your team for the next decade.
“And when you make a deal like that, all of a sudden there can be a domino effect. Now you can think about dealing Rajon Rondo next year, when he becomes healthy, because you have Eric Bledsoe already at the starter’s spot. You can trade Rondo for some starting quality pieces or some draft picks, and all of a sudden an old, aging team could suddenly be a fast, rebuilding team on the fly. I think that’s the way it would turn out.”
|Celtics offer condolences after death of Lakers owner Jerry Buss||02.18.13 at 4:26 pm ET|
Longtime Lakers owner Jerry Buss died Monday at the age of 80 following an 18-month battle with cancer. The immediate cause of death was listed as kidney failure.
“The NBA has lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come,” NBA commissioner David Stern said. “More importantly, we have lost a dear and valued friend.”
Buss bought the team in 1979 and owned it during its most successful tenure. The Lakers won 10 titles and competed in 16 finals during the 34 years of his ownership. Two of his children, Jim Buss and Jeanie Buss, have been handling most of the team’s day-to-day responsibilities as his health failed.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck released a statement, saying: “I had the pleasure of working with Jerry closely for the last 10 years on league matters. He was a wonderful business colleague, brilliant competitor and became a good friend. Although our teams competed in two finals during that time, the friendship never wavered. He will be greatly missed and the entire Celtics organization offers condolences to the Buss family and Lakers organization.”
|Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘We need players’||02.15.13 at 10:24 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning, as the NBA heads into All-Star Weekend, and talked about the team’s need to bolster the lineup.
The Celtics are looking for help following season-ending injuries to Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa.
“Danny [Ainge] and I, we thought about it and we all have been thinking about it since all the injuries,” Rivers said. “With the last one with Barbosa, now we can’t look at one position anymore. That’s what we were looking at — looking at size first, then a guard. Now we’re looking at players. We need players. We need to pick up a couple of players as soon as we can get them. That’s what basically we’re doing.
“But we don’t want to do anything so quick that somebody else comes available and then we don’t have room because we’re at the cap threshold. We have to be very careful in what we do.”
Asked what kind of player would help most right away, Rivers said: “I would say a ball-handling guard. It’s no longer a point guard, it’s just a guard. If I had my perfect guard for this group right now, it would be a guard that can play multiple positions and that can shoot, that has some toughness.
“And then you need a big. You’re not going to find a center, so a 4. Obviously a 5 would be great, but a 4 that can stretch the floor. Or a 4 that can rebound, just a great rebounding 4 that has skills.
“That’s the list. There’s so many places to look. The China league ends in a week. So now some of the American players that are playing over there will begin coming back over to our league. The D-League. And then obviously through a trade. We don’t have a lot of assets to trade, so we have to be very careful there.”
Added Rivers: “We’re just looking for the best available player now. Obviously it would be great to have a shooter, one more shooter for us. Then we need a big that can rebound and defend.”
|Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: Celtics ‘going to look at everything’ regarding trade possibilities||01.28.13 at 12:03 pm ET|
Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Mut & Merloni on Monday morning to weigh in on the Celtics following Rajon Rondo‘s season-ending injury.
Wojnarowski said the C’s prospects for the postseason haven’t changed that much. “This is still probably a first-round loser in the Eastern Conference playoffs,” he said.
However, the C’s could decide to make some changes to the roster. Rumors around the web have the Celtics interested in Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. Wojnarowski said neither of those players would make much sense for the C’s, because Boston would have to give up too much — likely including first-round draft picks.
“They’re not giving away picks right now — maybe if Rondo was still around, possibly,” Wojnarowski said. “Danny [Ainge] said it to me yesterday, and it’s true: Picks are hard to come by. People don’t want to trade them anymore. … I just don’t see Boston giving away picks right now — to do what? Maybe somebody could make them better, but you’re mortgaging your future a little bit if you start giving away picks for a player who might able to help you win a couple of regular-season games and at best maybe a playoff game, if even that. I’d be surprised if Boston started to do that and gave away pieces of their future for a stopgap for the rest of the year.”
As an alternative, the Celtics could sell off a star like Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett in an attempt to rebuild.
“I think it’s possible and I think there is a chance,” Wojnarowski said. “And I talked to Ainge about this yesterday, I talked to Doc [Rivers] about it. It gets back to the fact of, you can’t just do it for the sake of doing it. People say let’s blow it up, get rid of KG, get rid of Pierce and ‘start over.’ But you’ve got to remember that you have owners who still see the place is full every night. And maybe they can get in the playoffs, and the [revenue from] playoff games. Versus dumping these guys for what might be very modest returns.
“It’s one thing when you have a Carmelo Anthony and a Dwight Howard and you do the deals Orlando and Denver did, where you got good young players, you got draft picks. … KG and Pierce are aging All-Stars in the mid- to upper 30s. People in this league anymore aren’t giving you young players and picks for those guys. So, like Danny said, tell me what the offer’s going to be. We can’t just say, hey, we’re going to ‘blow this up’ and start over. What will the offer be? Tell me what we’ll have the opportunity to do and then we’ll look at it. But you can’t just go into it and say, ‘Well, this is definitely what we’re going to do,’ because there may not be a deal out there that’s worth doing for those guys.
“But there’s no question they’re going to look at everything; they’ve been looking at everything. Danny’s not afraid to have a discussion about all his players. He’s always done it, to see what they’re value is. But I don’t think there’s any big deal out there where Boston’s going to get a great young player or one or two good first-round picks for either of those guys.”
Another rumor has Pierce going to the Grizzlies, Rudy Gay going from Memphis to the Lakers, and Pau Gasol going from Los Angeles to Boston.
“I’ve heard about that deal for days, I’ve asked about it, and I haven’t found anybody who’s given yet any credence to it. … For the Celtics, giving up Pierce to get Gasol? Obviously they have a problem in the middle, there’s no question he could help them go back to being a grinding low-post team. But it’s a lot of money for Boston to take on going forward by bringing in Gasol — two years, [$]40 million. I guess we’d have to see if ownership would be willing to take on that much money and if they think that would put them over the top. To me, that deal makes them a little different; I don’t know if it makes them significantly better.”