|Close out special||05.14.09 at 1:05 pm ET|
ORLANDO – Doc Rivers could live without suspense for once.
On their way to a 17th title, the Celtics head coach watched nervously on the sideline as his team was pressed to seven games against Atlanta and Cleveland before finally learning the art of closing out a seven-game series in Game 6 in Detroit. They repeated the feat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
Fast forward to the present, and the urgency to seal the deal in Game 6 tonight in Orlando is obvious. While courageous, gritty and determined, clearly these Celtics are weary and thin. They had that chance in Game 6 in Chicago before the epic triple-overtime loss spoiled their plans.
Now, a team that is relying on a remarkably thin bench has a chance to rest up for Cleveland. Read the rest of this entry »
|Perk: Howard has a ‘point to prove’||05.14.09 at 12:14 pm ET|
ORLANDO – The man assigned with covering Dwight Howard expects a Superman effort from the outspoken Orlando center.
“Yeah, he’ll probably come out with a point to prove,” Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said at Thursday’s shoot around at Amway Arena. “I know he wants to be the best player on the court, so yeah he is going to come out with a point to prove.”
Following Tuesday night’s game, Howard criticized his head coach Stan Van Gundy for not calling plays for him to get the ball during the last five minutes as the Magic watched a 10-point lead evaporate as the Celtics prevailed 92-88, giving Boston a 3-2 series lead.
But Perkins, who is responsible for defending the Orlando big man, feels Howard has been getting plenty of touches. Read the rest of this entry »
|Starbury to the rescue||05.13.09 at 1:05 am ET|
On Tuesday night, Glen Davis felt like he was back in high school, watching one of his NBA idols tear it up on the floor.
Only this time, Davis had a much better view than on TV. Davis was playing next to Stephon Marbury as the reserve guard came off the bench to re-energize his Celtic teammates at the most crucial point of the playoffs so far, helping deliver a stunning 92-88 come-from-behind win over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 at the Garden.
“I grew up watching Stephon Marbury,” Davis said. “And there’s no doubt, I know he can play this game. Everyone’s seen Stephon Marbury play this game. He’s just got to get into the rhythm and the flow of our team. It’s hard to come from a (place) where he dominated the ball when he played as a star in this league and to come to where there’s a system and you’ve got to pass and create.”
Marbury scored 12 points in 14 minutes and helped the Celtics finally find their groove against an Orlando defense that looked solid, if not dominant, for three quarters. Read the rest of this entry »
|‘Wild run’ continues for Celtics, Rivers||05.12.09 at 1:19 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Sunday night was just another ho-hum crazy, buzzer-beating, phenomenal finish for the Celtics and their head coach Doc Rivers, who has seen more than his fair share of playoff thrills in the last three weeks.
“It has been emotional,” said Rivers, who punched the air wildly after Glen Davis hit his game-winner at the end of Game 4 in Orlando. “It’s been a wild playoff run for us. We kind of anticipated it. I didn’t know it would be like this, I don’t think anyone did. Not having Kevin then losing Leon. We knew this would be tough. We knew every game would be a grind.”
Rivers said he suffered an ‘emotional hi-jacking’ at the end of Sunday’s game but he has freed his psyche long enough to prep for tonight’s all-important Game 5 with the Magic, with the Eastern Conference semifinal tied, 2-2. Read the rest of this entry »
|Scal misses practice with flu||05.12.09 at 12:28 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine missed this morning’s shoot-around/practice in Waltham with flu-like symptoms and was told to stay home and get ready for tonight. Meanwhile, Kendrick Perkins did practice but is nursing a sore left shoulder. Perkins will start tonight and Rivers expects to have Scalabrine available off the bench.
“Perk’s shoulder’s pretty good,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday morning. “Obviously, it’s not 100 percent but it’s good enough to play. He’s doing alright. Scal’s not here. He’s got the flu. We’re hoping he can make it to the game tonight.”
Perkins said he would prefer holding off until the off-season before going in and intensively examining the shoulder, which has been chronically sore for the last two seasons. No MRI was ordered to look at the shoulder.
“He didn’t need it,” Rivers said. “They know what it is. He’s got shoulder problems. No need to look at it. They might find something. That’s why we didn’t do it. We didn’t want to find anything, smarter that way.”
If Scalabrine weren’t available, it would have serious and unpleasant ramifications.
“If Scal’s not available, it puts us in a bind, obviously,” Rivers said. “It would force us to go small, at times with Paul (Pierce) at the ‘4’, and that’s absolutely not what we want to do. We would play Mikki (Moore) a little bit more, might even play Billy (Walker) some and Tony (Allen) at the four, clearly those are the things we don’t want to get to but if Scal is injured, someone else has to step up.”
|Big Baby: My intentions were harmless||05.12.09 at 11:36 am ET|
WALTHAM -Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis said on Tuesday morning that he has already put the biggest shot of his career in the past while also offering an apology of sorts to the 12-year-old boy with whom he collided moments after winning Game 4 at the buzzer.
“I’m a big guy,” Davis said at the Celtics shoot-around prior to tonight’s Game 5 at TD Banknorth Garden. “Imagine if my emotions are going so wild, and if I’m running by somebody, I don’t feel them. If I’ve hurt anybody or if I’ve done any harm to anybody, please forgive me because my intentions were just harmless.
“I didn’t see the kid,” he continued. “I’m a big guy and I’m emotional. If I had seen him, I would have picked up, rubbed his head and tried to make him feel better. I’m a big guy guy. I’m just sorry if I hurt anyone.”
Davis said he’s seen the highlight a couple of times but has moved on from it.
“You like to see it once or twice, but when you keep seeing it, you keep dwelling on it,” he said. “You keep yourself in la-la land and right now I can’t be in la-la land. We’ve got a game today. It’s how fast the quick turnaround is. That shot goes out the door. It’s history.”
As for the shot itself, Davis said he had never hit a game-winner like that one.
“That was my first,” Davis said. “That’s where dreams come true. That’s where good players turn into great players. Sometimes pivotal moments like that makes you understand the competitiveness of the game and just brings out the competitor in you. Hopefully, that’s a shot I can always look back on and a shot that not only boost my confidence and but also boost me playing in this league.”
|Alston suspended for Game 3||05.07.09 at 7:08 pm ET|
Orlando guard Rafer Alston has been suspended for Friday night’s game against the Celtics for an open-hand slap to the head of Eddie House following a House three-pointer late in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 112-94 Boston win in Game 2.
Alston said afterward that his slap was in retaliation for an elbow that House threw to his stomach after hitting the three-pointer. House was not suspended. Alston’s suspension was one of two handed out by the NBA on Thursday at Lakers guard Derek Fisher was suspended for Game 3 against the Rockets for his hit on Houston Luis Scola.
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