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What they’re saying about Celtics-Lakers 06.14.10 at 2:19 pm ET
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Fueled by a raucous TD Garden crowd, a bench that wouldn’€™t quit and an apparent lack of serious competition, the Celtics took a 3-2 series lead over the Lakers Sunday night with their 92-86 win. The storylines have stayed the same throughout the series. The C’€™s have stepped up and played as a team with a new leader emerging every game, while the Lakers have been inconsistent and led by one strong player, usually Kobe Bryant. Game 5 was just more of the same, and the national headlines the day after have told the same tale.

Los Angeles:

  • Most of the criticism against Kobe and the Lakers originates from LA:
    –  T.J. Simers of the LA Times writes the harshest criticism by refusing to call him by name, opting for Our Ball Hog instead.
    – Mark Medina from the Times’€™ Lakers Blog places the blame on the rest of the Lakers for not supporting their leader.
    – The LA Daily News’€™ Vincent Bonsignore discusses how calm and quiet Kobe was during the postgame press conference. Alongside that, Bonsignore says that the captain ‘€œreally isn’t interested in prodding his teammates along with some fiery speech over the next few days.’€
  • Bill Plaschke believes that this 2010 series is starting to resemble the 2008 series and it seems as though the Lakers are throwing in the towel.
  • The Lakers’€™ big men ‘€“ Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum ‘€“ have been largely ineffective and just taking up space on the court, writes Mike Bresnahan.
  • Meanwhile, the Daily News’€™ Elliot Teaford reports that Lamar Odom hasn’€™t been acting like his normal, bubbly self in and around the Lakers’€™ clubhouse this series because of his poor play.

National:

  • Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today chalks up the C’€™s Game 5 victory to their big four starters: Pierce, Rondo, Allen and Garnett.
  • Also from USA Today, Michael Falgoust noticed that Bryant’€™s shooting percentage for the series is down to 42.5 percent, his lowest since the first round against Oklahoma City when he had swollen knee problems.
  • Pau Gasol has been nothing more than a ‘€œspectator to the Kobe Bryant show.‘€ According to The Associated Press, Gasol wouldn’€™t ‘€œget himself involved or the Lakers wouldn’t involve him’€ in Game 5.
  • Kevin Garnett is noncommittal about his immediate future, but he is definitely glad he decided to leave Minnesota and come to Boston, writes Bill Lee of the Providence Journal.
  • ESPN’€™s Daily Dime covers topics such as ‘€œthe better team won Game 5,’€ Kobe Bryant needing some serious help on the court and Boston’€™s bench keeping the energy up every game.
  • And finally, the ratings for Game 5 are slowly trickling in and it appears that it was the most watched game of the series so far and the most watched event of the night again. The 2010 finals have been the highest watched finals since the 2004 matchup between the Lakers and the Pistons.
Read More: Celtics, finals, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant
Ainge on Big Show: Celtics ‘not in sync’ 06.09.10 at 8:58 pm ET
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A day after the Celtics‘ crushing home loss to the Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA finals, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly call into The Big Show to talk about Ray Allen, rebounds and pulling momentum away from LA.

‘€œWe’€™re just not in sync for whatever reason, offensively and defensively, we’€™re not playing like the team that won six games in a row against Cleveland and Orlando,’€ said Ainge. ‘€œIf we’€™re going to win the series, we’€™re going to have to get back to playing like that team.’€

A transcript of the interview follows. To listen to the interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

As a player, do you find that if there’€™s inconsistency with the officiating, it’€™s more difficult to get into the rhythm of your game?

I think that each game is an adjustment for each player. In a lot of cases, you have to adjust to how the game is being played and how the game is being called. That’€™s all you can control. A lot of players play their whole careers and don’€™t ever get in foul trouble, some get in foul trouble more often than others, but you got to figure it out.

Could you explain to us how Ray Allen can make all those huge shots in Game 2, and then get the same looks in Game 3 and go 0-for-13?

Well, I would have a major dispute in what you just said. I think that the quality of looks was completely different. I think that the open shots and the rhythm, in the game that he made them, even though it was spectacular, some of the shots that he made in that game ‘€” I think that when you make a few, the basket gets big and you’€™re just in one of those zones. He was in that way in Game 2.

In Game 3 yesterday, he had three or four jump shots blocked. I don’€™t think I’€™ve ever seen Ray do that, so that would tell me those aren’€™t open shots. I think that he was taking shots he shouldn’€™t have been taking. I think he should have been ball faking and attacking the rim ‘€” which he did very late in the game. [He] got us a couple of easy baskets off his penetration and dish-offs. I think you got to read it; if you’€™re open on the three-point line, you take them and if they’€™re running at you, you got to go by them and make a play. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge,
Celtics have praise for Wooden 06.07.10 at 11:49 am ET
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Before the start of Game 2 of the NBA finals, legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden, who passed away Friday at the age of 99, was honored with a moment of silence in Los Angeles’€™ Staples Center. In the days since his death, stars in both the college and the pro game have talked about how the Wizard of Westwood influenced them.

Even in a city that is the polar opposite of LA, out in Boston, Wooden’€™s impact isn’€™t diminished at all. Several of the Celtics took time away from their finals preparations to comment on Wooden.

Although he played at the University of Connecticut, Ray Allen can appreciate Wooden’€™s role in the modern game. ‘€œHe’€™s had an impact on all of us, indirectly,’€ he said. ‘€œYou figure that anybody’€™s who has played basketball in the last 50, 60 years, we’ve ran his offensive sets, his schemes. We’€™ve followed the quotations he used to motivate his teams. But not only just basketball: He’s been legendary as a coach, emulated by many coaches across the spectrum. We all have been better as individuals, as sportsmen, to have him in our lives.’€

Nate Robinson played against UCLA several times during his tenure at Washington in the Pac-10. “I know a lot of his history because of his winning, but a lot of kids, a lot of freshmen, don’t understand what he brought to basketball alone, but college basketball in general,” Robinson said. “His tradition will carry on. When you hear about UCLA and you hear about basketball, you’€™ll hear his name. He’€™s embedded in us. He’s in our DNA.”

Paul Pierce grew up in Inglewood, about eight miles from UCLA, and heard plenty about Wooden. ‘€œI’€™m very familiar with what John Wooden has done for the game of basketball,’€ he said. ‘€œWhen I talk about basketball, I don’t mean [just] the college game, I mean all of basketball. His influence on the game has been awesome, and when you see an icon like that pass away, your heart just goes out to him and his family.’€

But the biggest Wooden fan on the Celtics would probably be Doc Rivers. Rivers has autographed pictures of Wooden and Red Auerbach. ‘€œTo have those two on your desk, I don’€™t think you need to further your collection,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œYou know, those are the two best. But with Wooden, I think he’€™s one of the rare superstars that stood out more about him as a person than he did as a coach or anything. And that’s rare, when you say that about any star in any business.’€

When he met Wooden for the first time, Rivers recalls reacting like a child meeting his idol. ‘€œThe fact that I got to meet him and he actually knew my name, to me blew me away on its own right.’€

Of course, he had to take advantage of the situation, ‘€œI don’€™t ask for a lot of autographs, and he was one that I wanted, and he was as gracious as we thought he would be.’€

Read More: Celtics, John Wooden,
Robinson on future in Boston: ‘I feel wanted here’ 06.07.10 at 11:11 am ET
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Celtics point guard Nate Robinson has been a spark plug this postseason, picking up where starter Rajon Rondo leaves off. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Robinson came in when Rondo landed on the ground hard and came up sore, and the three-time slam dunk champion helped eliminate the Magic by racking up 13 points, two assists and a steal in 13 minutes. In Game 2 of the NBA finals against the Lakers, Robinson helped again by having a perfect shooting night: 2-for-2 field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 2-for-2 on free throws.

Even with his support off the bench, Robinson does not have guaranteed job security with the C’€™s. With the season soon coming to a close, he was asked about his future plans by AOL FanHouse’s Chris Tomasson.

‘€œI feel wanted here,’€ Robinson said. ‘€œThis group of guys, this team, this organization is good for me. They’re high class, man. They keep it 100 percent [real] with you. Doc [Rivers] keeps it 100 percent. He tells you straight forward what he wants. I like that.’€

When Robinson was asked about his 4½-year experience with the Knicks, his review wasn’€™t as glowing. ‘€œThey treated me good, but at times I felt like they didn’t,’€ Robinson said. ‘€œBut it is what it is. Sometimes it’s like your mom and your dad. You don’t communicate all the time being on the same page. But you move forward. I’m moving forward and not looking back.’€

If the 5-foot-9 University of Washington alum couldn’€™t return to the Celtics, he isn’€™t sure where he’€™d want to go next. One thing is for sure, though, he definitely isn’€™t running short on the child analogies: ‘€œI want to be able to play somewhere that somebody wants me,’€ he said. ‘€œYou kind of look at it like being in an orphanage and somebody wants to come and adopt you. So, whoever that NBA family that wants me and loves me and they want me for who I am.’€

Finally, he was asked about what he would take from his time in Boston. ‘€œThis whole season has been a roller coaster for me,’€ Robinson said. ‘€œIt’s kind of been like at an amusement park. You never know what to expect, what curve or what dip. But day to day, it’s been fun.’€

Read More: Celtics, Nate Robinson,
Ainge on The Big Show: Sheed lives for big games 05.20.10 at 6:53 am ET
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A day after the Celtics went up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals against Orlando, C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made his weekly call to The Big Show on Wednesday afternoon to talk about Doc Rivers‘€™ strategy against the Magic, Rajon Rondo‘€™s emergence, Rasheed Wallace‘€™s strong postseason play, and the team’€™s recent dominance over the top two seeds in the East.

‘€œWith each of these individuals on our team, I know what they are capable of doing and it’€™s taken a great performance out of each guy,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œWe’€™re getting a lot of contributions out of a lot of people right now and they’€™re all playing their best basketball of the year together. We’€™ll see what they’€™re capable of doing.’€

A transcript of the interview follows. To hear the full interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

How are you feeling right now?

I’€™m doing well. That was an exciting game last night.

Celtics analyst Cedric Maxwell said that the things going on in the stands reminded him of Philadelphia in the ‘€˜80s. Was it that bad?

I heard of some incidents, but I didn’€™t see anything. Maxwell had a better view of that than I did.

There’€™s a story out that Marquis Daniels‘€™ father was tased during the game. Does the team have anything to say on that?

No, we won’€™t comment on that. I talked to Marquis after the game and I’€™m aware of the situation, but don’€™t know all the details.

It seems like playing single coverage has really tripped up Orlando and it’€™s allowed the Celtics to cover out on the perimeter.

Well, I didn’€™t think we did such a good job last night. We got the win, but Dwight [Howard] had his way inside. He was out of the game for a short period of time with foul trouble, and we made a little bit of a run. He’€™s still a very dominant force. The first game, I thought that he struggled, and the second game, I thought he dominated. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, The Big Show,
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