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Mashburn on D&H: ‘No one man’ can beat Celtics 06.14.10 at 5:00 pm ET
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Jamal Mashburn

Jamal Mashburn

Former NBA player and current ESPN NBA analyst Jamal Mashburn appeared on the Dale & Holley show Monday afternoon to discuss the NBA finals, Kobe Bryant, and the coaching matchup and how it has thus far worked in the Celtics’ favor.

Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Is there any way the Lakers lose three straight in the finals?

Well, you know what, it’s possible, if Kobe doesn’t get any help from some of his other supporting cast members, such as Lamar Odom and also Ron Artest on the offensive end. And we can discount Pau Gasol a little bit for his performance, he just had a bad game, but he’s been productive throughout the course of this series. But I think the real factor is the health of Andrew Bynum. … They don’t have any defense, nobody is stopping anybody at the rim. Paul Pierce was having his way with Ron Artest, and it’s going to be awfully difficult, but if anybody can do it and pull it off, it’s the Boston Celtics. They’ve been very good on the road in the regular season as well as in the postseason.

What did you expect after Game 2?

Well, my basketball mind told me that the Los Angeles Lakers would possibly get two out of the three games in Boston. I was sold after Game 3, when Derek Fisher had his performance in the fourth quarter, but then the Celtics just took over, but I did not see this coming. It seemed like the whole series, each game has had a personality of its own. If Boston can put it together, as far as their stars showing up, as far as their bench players showing up, and their defense continues to be stingy, Game 6 looks like theirs for the taking. But I’m awfully nervous when Game 7 comes around and you have Kobe Bryant on your team. And I think the Celtics should look at Game 6 as being their Game 7. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jamal Mashburn, Kobe Bryant
Thompson on Big Show: Celts ‘aren’t as talented’ 06.11.10 at 8:19 pm ET
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Lakers radio color commentator and Los Angeles radio show co-host Mychal Thompson, a former Laker, appeared on The Big Show Friday afternoon to discuss the Celtics-Lakers matchup and who he sees winning the series.

Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

How do you see this thing playing out?

I’m very amused by [Cedric Maxwell] over there enjoying his last moment of glory here, last moment of happiness celebrating the victory last night, led by “Donk and Shrek” or whatever his name is. Let him enjoy the moment right now because that’s the last piece of enjoyment he’ll have around here until the Yankees come in here and knock you guys out of the playoffs.

If Andrew Bynum doesn’t play, the Lakers are in trouble.

That’s OK, we have another 7-footer to act, don’t forget about my boy D.J. Mbenga sitting there. One thing D.J. can do is guard the basketball. We don’t care about scoring. The problem with the Lakers [in Game 4] was they couldn’t make stops, and D.J. can make stops. … We’re not panicking, because the Lakers have the best player in the world in Kobe Bryant. The only thing missing in the fourth quarter — I give the Celtics credit, they definitely came out and put it on the Lakers. They wanted it. They understood the sense of urgency to win that game. otherwise the series was over. I’ll give them credit for that. Now the Lakers must match their energy on Sunday [Game 5]. If the Lakers match the Celtics’ energy, the Celtics can’t beat them.

Isn’t that the same story from 2008?

Well, we had some softer guys on that team. But now with Ron Artest able to shut down Paul Pierce …

Some people say we haven’t seen the best of the Celtics yet.

Seeing the best of the Celtics won’t matter, because you guys just aren’t as talented. Kendrick Perkins is not as good a player in the post as Pau Gasol. [Kevin Garnett] is not the KG of two years ago.

The Celtics haven’t played their best yet. Would that concern you?

No, because I know Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are going to bust out and have a good shooting game eventually. … I’m not worried about offensively. It’s the energy level, it’s the aggression. If the Lakers come out like they did in Games 1, 2 and 3, if they play with that kind of energy, they’ll beat the Celtics.

Have the fans in LA been complaining about the officiating?

Yeah, but you’ve got to play through that. You’ve got to be like Maxwell and [Larry] Bird and those guys were: tough mentally, don’t worry about the officials. When you start looking over your shoulder, you’re going to lose, you’ve got to forget about the officials and adjust to how they call the game.

Do we go seven games?

No, six. The Lakers win Sunday [in Game 5] and close them out Tuesday [in Game 6].

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Lakers
McHale on Big Show: Celts must win ‘old-style’ game 06.11.10 at 8:12 pm ET
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Kevin McHale

Kevin McHale

TNT NBA analyst Kevin McHale appeared on The Big Show Friday afternoon to discuss Celtics-Lakers, the controversial officiating throughout the playoffs, and whether or not he might coach again in the NBA.

Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

Did [Game 4] shock you?

No. I was actually more shocked by Game 3. … Kobe [Bryant] goes 10-for-29, it’s kind of a muddy, muffed-up game, there was not a lot of flow to it. I thought they were going to win that game, I really did. [Derek] Fisher made some big shots and held them off. … I was telling somebody, they were saying, “Well, when the Lakers play free flow and they get their triangle” — they were talking like it was going to be 115, 114 points a night, that doesn’t happen in the playoffs. Everything tightens up, defense gets better, everybody’s after each other. So, no, I was more surprised that the Celtics lost one of those grind-it-out games, and now they’re going  to have to find a way to win two more of those kind of ugly, grind-it-out,  just classic, old-style games.

With Pau Gasol you have to keep him out of his sweet spot.

No question. I think that’s where Rasheed [Wallace] has done a nice job of running him, coming around, tipping some balls away from him, getting him out of the sweet spot. And what Gasol’s tendency is when he feels pressure, he doesn’t push back and get closer, he starts drifting out to the ball. So I think [Kendrick Perkins] and Rasheed have both pushed him off. … When you’re that much bigger and longer than the guy, you can get a one-dribble jump hook left, one-dribble jump hook right, pump fake, you’re just too close, just right under the basket. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Kevin McHale, Kobe Bryant
Ainge on The Big Show: ‘That was not our team’ in Game 1 06.05.10 at 11:04 pm ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined The Big Show Friday afternoon to discuss the Celtics’ tough loss to the Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA finals, why he doesn’t believe they were out-hustled, and the future for assistant coach Tom Thibodeau.

“There was no rhythm in the game, there was a lot of fouls being called. … I’m not making excuses, I just felt that our guy’s were ready to play, and played hard,” Ainge said about the way the team played in Game 1.

“[In Game 1] we really didn’t get a good performance out of anybody,” he continued. “Hopefully that will change.”

A lot of talk has been about the hustle in Game 1, did it seem like Lakers out-hustled the Celtics?

No i think that maybe some of the fouls early in the game took a little bit of that away, I know our guys were ready to play. A lot of times the team you’re playing does that to you. I thought, not so much effort, as much as tentative. We were in between on some of our defensive things, we weren’t quite on the ball. … We were kind of in no man’s land so many times where we didn’t contest a shot or left the basket open. It looked like there was more indecisiveness, I thought that the natural, just effort. There was no rhythm in the game, there was a lot of fouls being called. … I’m not making excuses, I just felt that our guys were ready to play, and played hard. I think [Rajon] Rondo got hurt half way through the game and kind of re-injured his back a little bit.

There is no way the Celtics can win when getting less second-chance opportunities.

Well I think there’s two things on that. I think 16 second-chance points is not good, and zero is really bad. I mean a lot of that is not effort, it’s just we’re not finding ourselves in those positions, or we’re taking shots too quick, as we were climbing the hill there coming from behind. You know we were taking quick shots and not even ready for offensive rebounds, I mean there are so many factors, more than just effort. But I believe rebounding is crucial for us, and has been for us the last three years. When we rebound the ball, and defensive team’s aren’t getting those second-chance points, that’s when we play our best. It gives us a chance to get out in the open court. If it’s going to be a halfcourt game on both ends, then that’s not our strength.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, Lakers,
What they’re saying about the Celtics-Magic series 05.28.10 at 10:59 am ET
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Glen Davis and the Celtics are trying to regroup for Friday night's Game 6. (AP)

Glen Davis and the Celtics are trying to regroup for Friday night's Game 6. (AP)

The Celtics find themselves in a dubious situation after opening up a dominating 3-0 series lead over the Magic, and with the Bruins’  crushing loss to the Flyers fresh on everyone’s minds, the Green hope to avoid making similar history.

It seemed unthinkable heading into Game 4, but now there are rumblings that the Celtics could give this series away. George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel has no doubt the Magic will be the first team in the history of the NBA to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a best-of-seven series.

Over-the-top proclamations like that may not be the norm, but as Jonathan Abrams of The New York Times points out, there may still be some bad karma lingering at the TD Garden.

The injury bug bit the C’s fast and hard Wednesday night, leaving Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels with concussions, and Rasheed Wallace with back spasms. But no one in the Celtics locker room is panicking, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg, who says the Celtics looked cool and confident in the locker room after their tough loss in Game 5.

Although excuses will not be made by anyone in a green uniform, the officiating has been anything but consistent all series, and that worked against the Celtics significantly in game 5. Although Kendrick Perkins’ second technical of Game 5 was rescinded Thursday, calls have been leaning heavily in Orlando’s favor the last two games. According to embattled former referee Tim Donaghy, who appeared on Dennis & Callahan Thursday, the NBA was pushing for a Game 6.

As Charley Rosen at FoxSports.com points out, the referees should allow both teams to play hard in this important Game 6.

Ultimately, the Celtics will need to regain that early series form if they hope to defeat a rejuvenated Magic team that has found it’s shooting groove from outside, and has begun to wear down the C’s big men. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!Sports says the Celtics cannot afford to go back to Orlando, and that winning Friday night is their only option.

Ian Thomsen on D&H: Celtics will prevail 05.26.10 at 9:48 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo Sports Illustrated Cover

Rajon Rondo graces the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated columnist Ian Thomsen appeared on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday afternoon to discuss Rajon Rondo, the Celtics-Magic series, and the future for LeBron James.

When asked about any rift that may have existed between Rondo and his teammates, Thomsen said, “I think they like him now because he’s so darn good. They appreciate now the stubbornness and the pride he has, because he backs it up. I have a feeling a lot of whatever tension was there, it was all about basketball. And look, you don’t get to act like you’re this good until you show us you’re this good, and now he’s shown it and he’s getting paid the way they’re getting paid.”

Below is a transcript. To hear the full interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Do you think you jinxed the Celtics after putting Rajon Rondo on the cover?

When I told Doc last week that they looked like they were going to be on the cover he replied with a grimace, let’s put it that way. And then originally the story was supposed to be Jameer Nelson and [Rajon] Rondo, it was supposed to be about the matchup, but, you know, the Magic were stinking up the joint, so you couldn’t write about them.

It was all about Rondo, and I went up to Joel Glass [the PR guy for the Magic] after the last game in their locker room after they won, and I said, “Sorry, I obviously couldn’t get Jameer into the story.” He said, “That’s OK, just put Rondo on the cover,” and I said, “Well we are putting him on the cover,” and the guy was rejoiced and he was shouting to everybody in the locker room, “Hey they’re putting Rondo on the cover, they killed Shaq [O'Neal] two weeks ago and now we’re going to kill Rondo.” It’s supposed to be one of the great honors in sports, and it’s kind of like a double-edged sword. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Ian Thomsen, Magic, Rajon Rondo
NBA draft: What they’re saying about the C’s pick 05.20.10 at 12:20 pm ET
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Butler standout Gordon Hayward is pegged for Boston, according to a few draft prognosticators. (AP)

Butler standout Gordon Hayward is pegged for Boston, according to a few draft prognosticators. (AP)

The playoffs are in full swing, but after the ping pong balls were dropped Tuesday night in the NBA draft lottery, many teams now turn their focus to prospective players who can help them get to the next level. This year’s draft does not have a prototypical superstar, but there are more than a few potential stars to pick from.

The Celtics, although battling with Orlando right now for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA finals, pick 19th overall in the June 24 draft. With an aging roster, the Celtics hope to land a player who can be productive for years to come.

On Wednesday, we gave you 10 candidates for selection by the Celtics. We’ve also bounced around the web to find out what other sites are predicting for the C’s. What we found is a variety of predictions, with Butler standout Gordon Hayward the only one to be budgeted to Boston by a few prognosticators.

NBADraft.net has the C’s grabbing Luke Babbit, a 6-foot-8 small forward/power forward hybrid from Nevada. Touted as a highly skilled big man, Babbit possesses a strong 3-point touch as well as an impressive mid-range game. He averaged 21.9 points per game last season as a sophomore while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. He is described as a tweener, however, and will have a difficult time defending small forwards in the NBA.

The same site is predicting the C’s will draft Sherron Collins, a 5-11 point guard from Kansas, with their second selection, 52nd overall. Collins, who had a very successful career at Kansas — winning a title his sophomore year — will come into the league a bit raw. He is quick and elusive and has proven he can handle the ball when the game is on the line. Ultimately, he could be a good backup for Rondo, but cannot play any other positions. His size does not allow him to play 2 guard, so he would serve as a spark off the bench.

Yahoo!Sports has the Celtics taking Elliot Williams, a 6-5 shooting guard from Memphis who transferred from Duke. Even if they re-sign free agent Ray Allen, the C’s could stand to shore up their depth at guard. Although Yahoo! explains that Williams’ outside game needs some work, he could be a good addition to an already impressive backcourt.

MyNBADraft.com and TheHoopDoctors.com have the Celtics taking Hayward, the NCAA tournament standout from underdog Butler. Hayward averaged 15 points and eight rebounds a game last season while shooting 46 percent from the floor. HoopsWorld.com also has the C’s taking Hayward in the first round, then 6-5 SF/PF Marquis Blakely from Vermont in the second round. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, NBA Draft,
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