|Sheed: Don’t sleep on the Jazz||11.10.09 at 4:47 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Rasheed Wallace can read the standings just like everyone else.
He sees that the Utah Jazz are off to a 3-4 start out West. He also sees the likes of Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur on the box score. Throw in the sharp-shooting Andrei Kirilenko and he knows his 7-1 Celtics will have their hands full when they take the court on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
“They’re a good team,” Wallace said. “Everyone is sleeping on them coming out of the West. I think they have the talent to beat the Lakers, talent to beat the Spurs. Can’t sleep on them, in my opinion. You can’t sleep on them at all. They have a good point guard, good big men, good swing men and good coach. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us.”
Ever since the days of Stockton and Malone, the Jazz under Jerry Sloan have mastered the pick-and-roll as well as anyone in the sport.
“That’s Sloan’s calling card,” Wallace said after Tuesday’s practice preparing for just that. “Just look at Mailman [Karl Malone], just look at [Jeff] Hornacek, of course [John] Stockton. Just some of the guys they’ve had. That’s what they do to a ‘T’.
“That’s what they’re know for, their execution. Their power play, so to speak, where you dump it down from the corner. That’s something Sloan has re-written the book on, the pick and roll. And you definitely have to give them their credit.”
Sloan, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, knows what he wants on the court at all times. And opposing players like Wallace know what to expect.
“Of course, he’s always going to have a big who can shoot, he’s always a point guard who can handle and drop it off to that big and still shoot, i.e. like Stockton did,” Wallace said. “It’s definitely not going to be a cakewalk. It’s definitely going to be a challenge.”
|All-Star love for Celtics||11.10.09 at 4:39 pm ET|
WALTHAM – The Celtics are regarded as one of the deepest teams in the NBA. That depth is well-represented as they placed six players on the NBA All-Star ballot that was released on Tuesday by the league.
Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo are the guards. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are on the ballot as forwards and Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace are on the Eastern ballot as centers.
The Celtics are the only team in the NBA with two centers on the ballot. The 2010 NBA All-Star Game will be played at brand new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington before an expected crowd of over 80,000 on Sunday, Feb. 14. That will be the largest group ever to see a live basketball game in the world.
The 120 players on the ballot – 60 from each conference – were chosen by a panel of six media members who cover the league on a regular basis.
Balloting will continue through Jan. 18.
|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.”