|KG vs. Gasol: It’s on (kind of)||06.04.10 at 5:16 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — Pau Gasol was asked a lot of questions about Kevin Garnett on the day after he scored 23 points and had 14 rebounds in the Lakers Game 1 victory in the NBA finals. Gasol talked about how he has grown over the years and how playing Garnett was a big challenge when he was in Memphis and Garnett was in Minnesota.
Then he said this: “On Kevin’s part, he’s also lost some explosiveness. He’s more of a jump shooter now.” Gasol went on to say how Garnett is still a “terrific player, a terrific competitor, and he’s going to bring everything he’s got. You can count on that.”
Only the first part of the quote was relayed to Garnett who responded, “I have no comment for his comments.”
Pressed further, Garnett said, “I’m not getting caught up in what Pau’s talking about. I’m not going to play these games. I’m going to stick to my guns, continue to make the proper adjustments and move on. I’m not into this bull [expletive] that’s going on, you know what I mean? That’s it.”
So, we have our first media-driven controversy of the finals. Fair or unfair, and the set-up was more than a little bit dishonest, Garnett will have to bring more to the table defensively against Gasol in Game 2. He knows that, as does everyone else, but count on this being a major plot point over the next 48 hours.
For example, Rajon Rondo was asked about the Gasol’s comments, again without context, and he just grinned. “Every man is entitled to this opinion,” Rondo said. “You know, Kevin is fine. It’s just one game. We’ll see in Game 2.”
Asked how this would affect Garnett, Rondo said, “I just can’t wait. I didn’t know [Gasol] said that, but I’ll be excited to see how it goes in Game 2.”
|About that 47-0 stat||06.04.10 at 2:48 am ET|
LOS ANGELES — Phil Jackson coached teams, as you may have heard, have never lost a series when his team won the first game. The number is 47-0 and it’s been getting a lot of play around here.
Ray Allen was unimpressed.
“Nothing,” was his answer to a question about what it meant to him. “Stats are made after the fact. Most of us don’t live in the past.”
It really doesn’t mean anything, other than Jackson has coached some pretty good teams. The Celtics have been bucking the odds the entire postseason.
They beat the hottest team in the league in the first round. They beat Cleveland after being down 1-0 and 2-1 and they took two games in Orlando after the Magic had not lost a game at all since early April.
Their entire playoff run has been something of an anomaly anyway, so no, they are not intimidated by this piece of historical data.
|Celtics say they are healthy||06.03.10 at 8:39 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — Doc Rivers said just prior to Game 1 of the NBA finals that, “Everybody is good. Everybody is healthy, feels good, rested and ready to play. So, there’s no issues on our end.”
Rivers was talking about Rasheed Wallace (back) and Rajon Rondo (muscle spasms) who both missed practice time this week while they were healing their injuries. There is, however, one issue. Marquis Daniels (concussion) is not available for the start of the series, although he told WEEI.com when he arrived at the arena that he is “feeling much better.”
Brian Scalabrine will be active in his place, although Rivers did say that Daniels could be available by the end of the playoffs. “[Daniels] did drills, has feeling again,” Rivers said. “Before the series is over I think Marquis will be playing.”
As for Wallace, Rivers’ primary concern is not his back, but his conditioning. Wallace seemed to be in good spirits before the game, warning reporters to stay back of his locker, which is generally a good sign for him.
|Ray Allen’s patience is rewarded||06.03.10 at 8:32 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — Ray Allen is a creature of habit. For him, the only thing worse that not doing his pregame routine, which isn’t really an option anyway, is not being able to do his pregame routines because there are no games.
The extra rest may have been necessary to get his teammates healthy, but Allen has never liked having a long break in his rhythm. “It’s seem like it’s been forever, but it’s here,” Allen said. “You wait five, six, seven days, but it just happens just like that.”
However, this time is a little bit different because this is the NBA finals.
“You get a chance to soak up the sun and enjoy the success that you’ve had,” Allen said. “Once you get that you have to keep going and keep focus. There is definitely no comparison to the first few rounds. The conference finals are no comparison. As a team, as a player, it’s the Super Bowl. It’s just another level.”
|Big Baby will play in Game 6||05.28.10 at 7:14 pm ET|
Glen Davis said prior to Game 6 that he will play tonight after suffering a concussion in Game 5. “I’m feeling good,” he said. “[The headaches] are all gone.”
Davis was hit by Magic center Dwight Howard with an elbow and staggered to half court before collapsing. “He caught me off guard,” Davis said. “That was the big thing. I didn’t see it coming.”
Davis also said that he didn’t lose a tooth, but he have a brace in his mouth knocked out. Asked if he thought the play was dirty, Davis said, “I don’t know what to think. It’s not the only time he’s thrown elbows.”
Davis held court with reporters for about five minutes before Rajon Rondo told him it was time to stop and focus on the game.
|Injury update: Big Baby improves, Quis does not||05.27.10 at 6:22 pm ET|
The good news for the Celtics is that Glen Davis has shown improvement after suffering a concussion in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. The news is not so promising on Marquis Daniels, who also had a concussion. Rasheed Wallace, meanwhile is still struggling with back spasms.
First, the positive news for the Celtics. Doc Rivers said on a conference call with reporters that Davis was looking better and that he was undergoing tests this evening with the team doctors.
“He didn’t have any headaches today,” Rivers said. “He had some last night, he didn’t have any today, which is a big step. All of it will be a game-time decision, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
Daniels, meanwhile, is not so fortunate and it’s looking doubtful that he will be ready for Game 6 Friday.
“Marquis is not doing as well as Baby,” Rivers said. “I would actually say right now that he won’t be ready.
Then there’s Wallace who had his back tighten up during the game. Rivers sounded cautiously optimistic about Wallace’s availability, although he did have a rough morning.
“Rasheed is doing better,” Rivers said. “It was not going well at all today. We watched some film before we got on the plane and he couldn’t sit down, but he’s doing better [now].”
All three are said to be game-time decisions. Brian Scalabrine is the one player on the roster with NBA experience who has been mostly inactive during the playoffs. Scalabrine was activated for Game 2 of the series with the Magic after Shelden Williams had a back spasm.
Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney, who were signed at the very end of the season, are the other two options in a worst-case scenario.
|Doc: No formal Hornets offer for Thibodeau||05.27.10 at 6:08 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said on a conference call Thursday that the New Orleans Hornets have not made assistant coach Tom Thibodeau an offer to become their next head coach. “No, not yet,” Rivers said. “I’m hoping they do soon. He deserves it. I haven’t heard much. Thibs and I do talk about it. So we’re just hoping.”
As a follow-up, Rivers was asked if this was a distraction. “I’m not worried about it,” Rivers said. “There’s nobody that’s going to work harder than Tom Thibodeau. Ever. He will never be a distraction. That’s the one guy I have no concern with. I’m not worried about it all.”
Thibodeau has been one of the hottest names in coaching with several teams, including Charlotte, New Jersey and Chicago all said to be interested in him for a head coaching job. The Hornets had seemed to jump to the head of the line with several outlets reporting that they had made him an offer, although Hornets general manager Jeff Bower denied it.