|Doc on Kareem: we hope things work out||11.10.09 at 2:53 pm ET|
WALTHAM – When he came into the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, Doc Rivers played against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and soon found out why the center was considered one of the best ever in the sport.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Rivers was informed that the Hall of Fame center has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.
“Obviously, sad, Rivers said of his initial reaction. “Obviously, we hope things work out but that’s tough.”
The 62-year-old basketball legend, born Lew Alcindor, was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield in 1995, the first year of eligibility after his retirement in 1989.
Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles, including five as the post player for the Lakers during their dynasty of the 1980s.
|Scal not likely to play this week||11.10.09 at 2:29 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Brian Scalabrine watched Tuesday’s practice on the sideline, still slowed by back spasms that forced him to miss last Friday’s game against Phoenix.
“I don’t anticipate him playing this week but with the backs you just never know,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following practice.
Scalabrine returned on Saturday night against the Nets and scored five points in 20 minutes off the bench, including a 3-pointer.
|Baby: ‘No football for me’||11.06.09 at 11:13 pm ET|
Glen Davis wants to make one thing very, very clear. He has no intention of playing in the NFL.
“No football for me,” the injured power forward said, while leaving the Garden wearing a Cincinnati Reds baseball cap. “Put that on the record.”
We assume he’s not considering baseball either.
Earlier this week, Davis told ESPN The Magazine that he wanted to try pro football after his NBA career.
He was kidded about it before Friday’s game by several Celtics, including Tony Allen and general manager Danny Ainge.
|Doc on Nash: ‘He’s Brady and Manning’||11.06.09 at 8:26 pm ET|
Doc Rivers can appreciate point guard greatness when he sees it.
He can also draw analogies unlike any other NBA coach. Rivers, a huge NFL fan, sees Steve Nash and he sees not just a point guard but a supremely gifted signal-caller on the floor.
Nash, a spry 35, is off to another other-worldly start for the Suns. He entered Friday’s game on the parquet averaging 19.6 points, 10.8 assists and three rebounds per contest.
“That’s who he is,” Rivers said. “He’s a great quarterback. He’s [Tom] Brady and [Peyton] Manning and all those guys combined at times, it looks like. He can shoot, he can pass. He does a lot for their team. And they have some great players around him.”
|Doc on Shaq: ‘I was obviously wrong’||11.06.09 at 8:05 pm ET|
One of the great traits of Celtics coach Doc Rivers is his brutal honesty.
He, like many others around the NBA, thought the Phoenix Suns hit a home run two seasons ago when they traded for Shaquille O’Neal, putting him alongside Amar’e Stoudemire and Steve Nash. Rivers just assumed the Suns would take off, challenge the Lakers and Nuggets for Western Conference supremacy.
Not so much. After a half-season in 2007-08, when they were eliminated in the first round, the Suns fell to 46-36 last season, not even good enough to qualify for the Western playoffs.
“I was obviously wrong,” Rivers said. “I didn’t that was a bad match with Shaq and Stoudamire.”
But the Suns could never optimize O’Neal’s presence with Nash and Stoudamire and the Suns let O’Neal go to Cleveland this past off season. The more nimble, athletic 6-11 Channing Frye has taken O’Neal’s spot and is averaging 14.6 points in Phoenix’s 4-1 start to this season.
“I thought you had one post guy and Stoudamire is more off the post than on the post so I thought it was a good combination but it just didn’t work out for whatever reason,” Rivers added. “It’s good to see Channing Frye play well. I’ve always been pretty high on him as a player. I think he’s another great example, a litle like Shelden [Williams], guys who take a little time to find their way and I guess he’s found his way.”
|Doc: Suns are not just run and gun||11.06.09 at 7:42 pm ET|
The Phoenix Suns have always epitomized the Wild West part of the Western Conference.
But Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Friday’s game to look beyond the image and consider what Friday’s opponent is now.
Still with Steve Nash running the point but now with Channing Frye replacing Shaquille O’Neal in the post and Amar’e Stoudamire on the wing, the Suns have become a versatile offensive threat.
Can the Suns still run? Sure. They’re averaging 111.2 points a game. But Rivers said that doesn’t mean Phoenix is limited to just that aspect of the game.
“We want to run,” Rivers said of his team, which is averaging 99.8 points a contest. “We would love to run and them not. They are going to but they are not just a running team. I think people don’t give them their due offensively. They’re more than a running team to me. They really execute in the half-court extremely well. They have the ability to not get fast-break points and still score 120.”
|C’s without Scal vs. Suns||11.06.09 at 6:52 pm ET|
The Celtics will be without forward Brian Scalabrine for their game against the Suns at TD Garden. Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced that Scalabrine came down with bad back spasms on Friday. “He was having awful spasms,” Rivers said an hour before the game.
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