|Turn up the volume: C’s practice makes perfect||11.12.09 at 1:17 am ET|
So this is why Doc Rivers and his coaching staff were so happy to have two solid days of practice this week.
The Celtics held the Jazz to 37-of-79 shooting for 46.8 percent. But most impressively, they forced Utah, a team that prides itself on execution, to commit 21 turnovers.
Apparently the Celtics were listening when the coaches, starting with defensive guru Tom Thibodeau, preached about staying ready for the pick-and-roll and not letting Utah’s big men of Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur get easy baskets underneath.
Afterward, the Celtics were appreciative of their coaches’ preparation, as was head coach Doc Rivers.
|Bad back also ailing Williams||11.11.09 at 8:23 pm ET|
While Deron Williams was officially listed as questionable with a bruised left calf in Utah’s pregame notes, it was a sore back, injured on Monday in New York, that forced Williams out of the game early in the second quarter.
Williams went to the hallway behind the Jazz bench to try and keep loose.
Williams started his eighth straight game on Wednesday in Boston.
Meanwhile, Williams had praise for his counterpart, Rajon Rondo.
|No Scal again||11.11.09 at 7:30 pm ET|
Bill Walker [right knee], who returned this week to practice, is in uniform for the first time this season.
|Williams to play against C’s||11.11.09 at 7:11 pm ET|
Utah’s starting point guard Deron Williams [right calf] will play tonight against the Celtics.
“I’ll let out trainer let me know where he is in the game. That’s what we usually do when a player’s been out, make sure we don’t cause any problems and screw him up in any way,” Sloan explained.
Williams has played in all seven games for the Jazz this season, averaging 21.4 points and 10.7 assists. He suffered the calf strain in Utah’s win on Monday night in New York against the Knicks.
|Doc: ‘I understand and appreciate the day’||11.11.09 at 7:01 pm ET|
Every Veterans Day has special meaning to Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers.
His late father, Grady Alexander Rivers, was in the Army and he carries that memory with him now.
“I think a lot of kids look at this day as a day off,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “My dad was a veteran, so I do understand the day and I appreciate the day.”
So with that inspiration in mind, he’ll take the chance to remind his team before the game with the Jazz about why today is important.
“Today, and I do it all the time, but I’ll share some veterans’ stories,” Rivers said. “I’m going to ask the guys if they even know what day it is because a lot of people don’t. If it’s a certain day, like Martin Luther King Day, or any of these days I think it’s a good for us to bring it up. It’s not just a basketball game. I always think it’s important to bring it up.”
|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.
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.
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