|Rivers on D&C: Durant NBA’s most efficient||04.01.10 at 10:43 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning and talked about Kevin Durant, the young star who led the Thunder past the Celtics on Wednesday night. “Offensively, he’s as good as you’re going to get in the league,” Rivers said. “I think he is the most efficient offensive player in the league. LeBron and Kobe, they score more points, but he’s more efficient at it. He’s amazing. … He’s a great young kid. He’s everything good about our league. It’s really good to have a guy like that in our league.”
Rivers said Durant’s size is what puts him (literally) over the top, helping to make him the best catch-and-shoot guy in the NBA. “There’s probably guys who can shoot as well as Durant. The difference is when Durant catches and shoots, even if you’re there, because of his size, he can still shoot it over you,” Rivers said. “He knows at the end of the day, even [against] a good defense that he can still shoot it over you, because he’s five inches taller or four inches taller than most of the guys that are going to guard him.”
Rivers admitted that had the Celtics received the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, he would have wanted to take Ohio State center Greg Oden over the skinny Texas star. “I would have taken Oden, there’s no doubt about it,” Rivers said. “Obviously, now, I would have been wrong. … You can’t fault Portland for taking Oden.”
Comparing Durant and LeBron James, Rivers said: “The bottom line is we haven’t seen any player in the history of basketball like either one of those guys. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a guy with the size of LeBron and the power of LeBron and the speed and the IQ and all that.’¨’¨ The comparison of Durant would be a cross between George Gervin and Dirk Nowitzki, but he also has more speed than both of them and he can handle the ball. … Skinny, long — he is a freak. That’s what he is.”
Rivers said the Thunder are an impressive team, mainly in the maturity department. “They’re young, they’re confident, they play defense,” he said. “They have pretty good composure for a young team. And they’re not an emotional team. … They went for skill over the potential athlete who, if he learns how to shoot and run, he can be a good player, if you know what I’m saying. And they went for character. All their guys coming out of college were known as high-character players, high-skill players. It’s tough to go wrong if you go with that formula.”
Rajon Rondo has received some criticism for not being consistent enough and focusing more on being flashy than fundamental. Responded Rivers: “Rondo has come such a long way. There are times when Rondo goes for the showy pass instead of being solid. But even that, to me, he has improved so much. I don’t have a lot of complaints with Rondo right now. I do think there are times when he wants to put on a show. … He keeps getting better, and I like that part of him. He’s more competitive, he plays harder, so there’s a lot of good things. Far more good than bad. There is no perfect player, by the way. And I always remind myself of that. But as far as Rondo goes, the positives are so much greater than the negatives.”
The Celtics did their share of complaining to the officials Wednesday night, which is nothing new for this team. Asked if his team sometimes complains too much, Rivers said: “There’s no doubt that we do. There is no doubt. … That’s something I spend timeouts with at times: ‘Guys, I’ll do the complaining. I’ll do whatever I need to do. You keep playing.’ … The one thing I did like, is it never stopped them from playing last night, and that’s a really good sign for us.”
To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
|Grousbeck on D&H: Teams wary of C’s in playoffs||03.25.10 at 11:49 am ET|
Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck checked in with the Dale & Holley show Thursday morning and talked about the Celtics’ season. Said Grousbeck: “It has been up and down, we can’t hide from that. You have to be honest with people and be honest with yourself. We’ve always felt, though, inside the team that this team has a chance, and that that was probably a lull in the middle of the season, not from being lazy, but from being tired or conserving energy. … I think that’s what’s happened this year. I’m not trying to make make an excuse, that’s just my honest opinion.”
Grousbeck said the Celtics only have to worry about themselves as they prepare for the playoffs. “I think we have a chance to be as good as anybody at any given time, and it’s not just flashes of it,” he said. “I think people are looking at us saying, ‘Let’s avoid those guys in the playoffs.’ ”
Grousbeck noted that Danny Ainge is winning the front office’s NCAA tournament pool. “Ainge is winning our bracket, which just annoys us to no end because he won’t stop talking about it,” Grousbeck said, although he added that it does instill more confidence in Ainge’s scouting abilities. “It’s kind of a relief. If he were losing the bracket, I’d be a little more worried. I’m happy if he wins. It’s like saying, ‘Tiger beat me at golf.’ ”
To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
|Doc on D&C: ‘We’re close’||03.25.10 at 8:51 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the state of the Celtics. “We’re closer,” Rivers said. “I don’t think anybody can say they’re there right now as a team.”
Rivers said the Celtics’ recent improved play can directly be attributed to the team’s improved health. “We were 23-5 [to start the season], we were completely healthy,” he said. “I felt this throughout that whole streak. It’s amazing how conveniently everybody forgot about that. … So many different guys had to play so many different roles. … That took a toll on us.”
Rivers said he’s focused on continuing to get the team in rhythm the rest of the regular season, but, “I still want to get them rest as well.”
Rivers was asked about the NCAA tournament and which underdog he thinks has the best chance of advancing. “I think Cornell’s the best [underdog] that’s still available,” Rivers said. “Unfortunately, they have to play the best team [Kentucky]. … If that game is close, I think Cornell wins that game.”
Rivers said he has been getting grief from Nate Robinson since Robinson’s alma mater, Washington, knocked off Rivers’ school, Marquette, in the tournament’s opening round. “I’m still getting [teased],” Rivers said. “Every time he walks by me, he sings the Washington fight song.”
To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
|Rivers on D&C: ‘We’re starting to get it back’||03.18.10 at 9:29 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning (click here for the audio) and continued to be an optimist about his team. “We’re starting to get it back,” he said. “If we can get it back in time … I love our chances.”
Rivers was asked about his recent comments that the Celtics are close to getting back to form after their midseason struggles, and he was asked if he meant that the C’s could contend for a championship. “Yeah, I really see that,” Rivers said. “Listen, this is the same team that was 25-5. And I don’t lose sight of that. I’ll let everybody else loses sight of that, but I haven’t. I know we can reach back to that level. … Everyone forgets conveniently, the stretch that we struggled in, we were not right. We were not the same team. Now we’re healthy. We’ve added pieces. Nate [Robinson] is going to help us. Mike Finley is going to help us. Like I told out team, we’re not going to defend ourselves. we’re just going to go out and play. We have to prove that. As a group, I can tell you, our team belives that.”
An online columnist recently suggested that a key problem with the C’s is that Rajon Rondo and Kevin Perkins need to step up and be leaders because the Big Three have been distracted by health problems. “That’s ludicrous,” Rivers said. “It’s ridiculous, it really is. Kevin Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] are the leaders, but so is Rondo and Perk. I think the starting five leads our team and they always have this year. So I don’t know how all of a sudden you assume a different leadership role. That sounds so great in print, or saying it, but it’s not realistic. I think that our team’s leadership has been intact all year. I think all five of those guys lead when they need to. The bottom line is our starting five … all five of them have to set the table for his entire team.”
Rivers also made a prediction that Robinson will be a key contributor in the postseason. “Nate is a guy who has the chance to be a one-game sensation,” Rivers said “He’s going to win a playoff game for us.”
Asked if he was paying attention to the standings as the playoffs get closer, Rivers said no. “Our goal is to be ready, honest to goodness,” he said. “I’m so focused on our team.”
|Perkins on D&H: C’s need ‘sense of urgency’||03.11.10 at 1:38 pm ET|
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins made an appearance on the Dale & Holley show Thursday morning (listen to the interview here) to talk about the Celtics’ struggles, which were painfully evident in Wednesday night’s blowout loss at home to the Grizzlies. Perkins addressed the team’s home woes. “I don’t think we feel like we have a sense of urgency,” he said. “On the road, you can feel the urgency and focus before the game. [At home], guys are talking more in the locker room. … You can just tell it’s a different kind of focus.”
Asked about the boos from the home crowd Wednesday night, Perkins said he was surprised they started so early, in the first quarter, but that it didn’t bother him. “Not really. I think we deserved to get booed last night,” he said. “We didn’t give our best performance last night. We’ve got to do a better job.”
Asked if he felt the team could coast through the regular season and then turn it on for the playoffs, Perkins said: “No, I don’t think. I feel like we have 19 games left. We’ve got to get it going, sooner or later, before we get into the playoffs.”
Perkins talked about his troubles dealing with officials and getting technical fouls. “In the past two years a lot of my T’s have been complaining to the refs or talking bad to the refs,” he said. “This year a lot of my T’s have been getting tangled up under the basket. I’ve been trying to avoid getting them.” The center said he has tried to develop a better relationship with the refs but fears that his intense demeanor may give off the wrong vibe. “[Magic center] Dwight Howard, he can smile on the court. I’m not that type of person,” Perkins said. “I may have a frown, but I’m not frowning at [the officials].”
|Rivers on D&C: ‘We deserved’ boos||03.11.10 at 9:53 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Celtics’ embarrassing loss to the Grizzlies the night before (listen to the interview here).
Asked if his team quit, Rivers said it didn’t start out that way, but that’s how it ended up. “I thought they gave in as the game went on. Yeah, there’s no doubt, you can call it ‘quit’ or whatever,” Rivers said. “But I don’t think they mailed it in when they showed up. If you look at the first eight minutes of that game, I thought we competed. We missed every shot, every wide-open shot. … When things went bad, I didn’t think we had a lot of resolve to fight it last night, and that was obvious, But when you watch the beginning of the game, the ball was moving. We missed wide-open shot after wide-open shot after wide-open shot. … What bothered me about it was as we missed shots we hung our heads more and more.” Added Rivers: “On the [defensive] end is where the breakdowns came. As the game got worse, our fight got less, and that bothers me.”
Rivers said he was most disturbed by the fact that at halftime the Grizzlies had a much higher shooting percentage than the Celtics and, on top of that, managed to get more offensive rebounds in fewer opportunities. “That’s an effort category for us,” Rivers said. “And clearly, it didn’t show.”
Rivers said his team earned the boos that rained down upon them from the TD Garden crowd. “Yeah, that was pretty good, and we deserved it,” he said. “Listen, I’m not a fan of booing anything. … But that was frustrating for the fans as well. I always think you support your team good or bad, but last night was so bad ‘ and it’s rare where I’d say this ‘ I had no problem with it at all.”
Asked if there was an explanation for the team’s home woes, Rivers said: “No, there isn’t. That’s a tough one to explain. We have played at times ‘ we’ve been more comfortable on the road, which is unusual. … We just haven’t played well, bottom line.”
Asked if he planned a display of anger, such as breaking a clipboard, to inspire his team, Rivers said he would only do so if needed, downplaying its impact. “Listen, that is so overrated it’s ridiculous,” he said.
Rivers said the team is focused on getting Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett healthy and back into the flow of things before the playoffs roll around. “We have 19 games to get them right. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “Our best players have to be great for us to be a great team. And we have to figure out over these next  games whatever the best way is to get them there. If that means sitting them down for two weeks, we’ll do that. If that means playing them even though they may not play well, and maybe struggle through it, but get them more rhythm, then we’re going to do that. … That’s the key to our season. We have to get them right.”
|Reports: Finley chooses Celtics||03.04.10 at 4:32 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, forward Michael Finley agreed to join the Celtics for the rest of the season. The 6-foot-7 veteran, who was waived by the Spurs this week, is expected to join the C’s this weekend. The 37-year-old Finley played just 25 games for San Antonio this season, averaging 3.7 points per game. Over his 15-year career, he has averaged 15.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
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