|Rondo: I wanted to make a point||05.07.09 at 12:28 am ET|
Rajon Rondo sat in his locker before Game 2 Wednesday night and was asking reporters if he thought he could be more aggressive.
Whether rhetorical or not, the most important answer came from Rondo himself on the court.
Rondo, with 18 assists, 15 points and 11 rebounds, became just the second player in team history to record three triple-doubles in a postseason and the first since Larry Bird in 1986 as the Celtics cruised, 112-94, over the Magic to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal at 1-1.
But still, Rondo wasn’t completely satisfied afterward.
“Probably like a B-plus,” Rondo said when asked to grade his night. “It really wasn’t my ‘A’ game. I really didn’t shoot the ball well. I tried to get guys open. I was trying to do the intangible things on the floor. My offensive game wasn’t flowing for me. Just trying to pick it up defensively and get my guys going early.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Van Gundy: Vermont to Lowell to the NBA||05.06.09 at 7:47 pm ET|
Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy has been criticized by some players for being too uptight on the bench during NBA.
He was anything but just 90 minutes before Game 2 of his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Celtics on Wednesday night at TD Banknorth Garden.
Van Gundy reflected on his first head coaching job, a Division 3 gig with Castleton State in Vermont, just two years out of the University of Vermont. He would move onto UMass-Lowell, where he coached for four years, and had the privilege of mentoring Leo Parent, the Division 2 player of the year in 1988.
“Leo Parent was the best Division 2 player in the nation,” Van Gundy said. “Even though it was tough at times, he could carry a team for his level, he was maybe the best player I’ve ever coach relative to the level he was playing on. Read the rest of this entry »
|Captain’s Musings||05.05.09 at 9:28 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Paul Pierce, as captain of the defending NBA champions, knows full well that he is the best spokesman for the team after head coach Doc Rivers.
And he didn’t disappoint on Tuesday as the media converged on the Celtics practice facility in search of answers to how and why the wheels fell off on Monday night, at least in the second and third quarters.
“It’s just all about our energy and effort,” Pierce said, repeating what Rivers has been saying since Game 1 went into the books for Orlando. “We went into halftime and we really didn’t change anything. We didn’t alter our gameplan, we just everything we were supposed to do a little bit harder. That’s what got us back in the game.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Comeback just fool’s gold||05.05.09 at 3:29 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Down 28 points midway through the third quarter, the Celtics nearly completed the biggest comeback in their great playoff history on Monday night.
But to coach Doc Rivers, that provided no consolation. And he made that much very clear at practice on Tuesday at the team’s practice facility, one day after dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to Orlando, 95-90, at TD Banknorth Garden.
“Execution was bad, defense was bad, offense was bad,” Rivers said. “And I don’t lean on the fact that we had a chance to win the game. I agree with Van Gundy. I’d focus more on the fact that they were up 28 points. To me, that’s far more important to me than we made a fool’s gold run that got everybody excited. That does nothing for me.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Comeback buzzkill||05.05.09 at 12:54 am ET|
The way Stephon Marbury viewed Boston’s 95-90 loss in Game 1 to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night, the Celtics hadn’t really earned the energy that the sellout crowd was giving them when they started to mount a dramatic, nearly historic comeback from a 28-point third-quarter hole.
“The crowd was great,” Marbury said. “They came ready to do what they were supposed to do. We didn’t.”
What the Celtics didn’t do was keep the game close in the final moments of the second quarter and early stretches of the third quarter. With the game tied, 30-30, Orlando closed the first half on a 24-6 run to take a 54-36 halftime lead. Things were looking really bleak when J.J. Redick drained a three with 8:56 remaining in the third for a 65-37 Orlando lead.
The TD Banknorth Garden crowd was driven into a frenzy in the final quarter after the Celtics converted turnover after turnover by Orlando into either wide-open threes or easy transition baskets. The Green shaved that 28 point lead down to just four, 89-85, on Glen Davis’ reverse layup with 2:08 remaining. Read the rest of this entry »
|Big men, old friends||05.04.09 at 7:35 pm ET|
Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Boston’s Kendrick Perkins have always been close.
They will renew acquaintances for the next two weeks when they battle in the low post in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Celtics and Magic.
But ever since the two came into the league four seasons ago, the two have always shared a bond that only NBA big men can share.
“Me and Kendrick, we worked out together when we first got into the NBA at a big-man camp, with Clifford Ray actually,” Howard said before Game 1 on Monday night. “I think he saw how hard I worked and how skinny I was when I first got drafted. And how was I was able to grow into myself and my game.”
Clifford Ray would be the Celtics coach dedicated to coaching big men. Quite the advantage for Perkins as he looks for any and all advantages.
“I always battled,” Howard said. “Back then we had a lot fun together working out and just hanging out and just learning about each other.”
Kendrick Perkins said earlier in the day that he isn’t losing any sleep worrying about guarding Howard. And Howard said on Monday evening that Perkins has earned the right to be that confident.
“I’ve seen him grow over the past couple of years and he’s done an excellent job for their team,” Howard said.
|Doc’s homecoming against Magic||05.04.09 at 2:24 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers will have to wait until after Game 2 of this series against Orlando to reap one of the hidden benefits coming to him.
Rivers calls Orlando his home when he’s not coaching the Celtics. So, when the Celtics hit the road for Games 3 and 4, he’ll be going home.
“I get to go home and sleep in my own bed,” Rivers said Monday morning. “I’m in bed every night in my own bed, that’s not bad in a series. It’s rare that you can say that.”
But as for coaching in the playoffs against the franchise where he cut his NBA coaching teeth for four-plus seasons, including NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2000, Rivers said there’s no extra motivation. Rivers was fired after a 1-10 start to the 2003-04 season. Read the rest of this entry »