|Pierce: It’s a must win||04.24.10 at 4:58 pm ET|
MIAMI – The Celtics elected not to hold practice Saturday afternoon after taking Game 3 from Miami on a dramatic buzzer-beater by Paul Pierce to take a 3-0 lead in their series, but don’t mistake that for over-confidence.
“I’m looking at it like it’s a 3-3 tie,” Pierce said. “It’s a must game for us. We want to be desperate for this win. We don’t want them coming back to Boston with any kind of confidence. You never know what can happen in this league. They’ve got a great player in [Dwyane] Wade and a team that played well down the stretch”
Ray Allen equated it to running a marathon.
“You don’t win anything if you get four in the first round,” he said. “Winning three games doesn’t mean anything either. You can’t go around and be fuzzy because you’ve won a couple of game. We have to make sure that we follow through because it is a process. It’s like running a marathon. You’re not done until you cross the finish line. So we have a finish line and we have to cross it.”
Kevin Garnett was asked if winning this series would give the Celtics some momentum going forward. Predictably, he did not bite.
“At this point right now, man, we’re focused on the Heat,” Garnett said. “We’re not looking past this game. I’m not even going to indulge in any of that conversation. The focus right now is trying to win this game in Miami.”
|Wade suffers cramp||04.24.10 at 12:23 am ET|
MIAMI – Heat star Dwyane Wade suffered a cramp in his left leg and wasn’t on the court for Paul Pierce’s game-winner. That was about the only thing Wade wasn’t involved in for the Heat in their 100-98 Game 3 loss.
He played 43 minutes and scored 34 points on 26 shots, but late in the game he started to feel the effects of all his work. The good news for the Heat is that he should be ready to play in Game 4 Sunday.
“He just willed himself to continue to play all the way through to the end,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Right now it’s just a cramp and he’s getting fluids. It should be something we can work out.”
With the score tied at 98, Wade pulled up for a 3-pointer instead of attacking the basket.
“It limited me in the last five minutes,” Wade said. “I wanted to attack and be more aggressive, but I knew that’s how it would have ended up. I had nothing. I was trying to fight through it and pass to my teammates. They hit some big shots, but it was very unfortunate. The basketball gods were with them on that one because I wasn’t able to put pressure on them at the end like I wanted to.”
Although Wade wasn’t on the floor for the final play, he wasn’t far from the Celtics thoughts. Doc Rivers planned specifically to keep the ball in Pierce’s hands, far away from Wade.
“We learned that lesson the last time we were in Miami,” Rivers said. “You don’t fool around with Wade. He tends to steal it and go for layups.”
That was a reference to a regular season game when Wade stripped Ray Allen at the top of the key and went in for two points late in the game. The Celtics were able to rally to tie the game and went on to win it in overtime.
|Beasley: We’ve got to make them feel old||04.23.10 at 1:35 pm ET|
MIAMI — There is no mystery as to what the Celtics can expect from the Miami Heat tonight for Game 3. These are desperate times for the Heat and the Celtics know that they will get Miami’s best shot.
If there was any wonder, however, second-year forward Michael Beasley laid it out in stark terms after this morning’s shootaround.
“We have to be more athletic, more energetic, bring the fire,” Beasley said. “Make them feel old. They’ve got a lot of veterans on their team and we’ve got a lot of young guys. We just need to run the floor and just try to tire them out.”
The Celtics are old. That’s no secret, but through the first two games they have been the aggressors in the series and that’s got nothing to do with age. They have also benefited from the first round format which has given them two days off between games.
“Yes, since we’re so damn old, it allows them to sit in their rocking chair,” Rivers said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice. “It does [help]. I think it sets up well for everyone, honestly. I think everyone in the first round would take this format. In the second round you do want the rhythm to go a little quicker. Game 4 [Sunday afternoon] is tough. That’s a regular season, quick turnaround game. That’s a tough one.”
That’s the sticking point for the Celtics tonight. Yes, they are in command of the series but if they can’t beat Miami in Game 3, things will get much tighter.
“I told our guys, I was honest with them, We haven’t done well in these situations,” Rivers said. “We really haven’t. Every time we played well in the regular season we’ve let our guard down, so we’ll find out our mental resolve and our toughness tonight.”
|C’s expect hostile environment||04.21.10 at 4:44 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Take a team that is playing for its playoff lives, add in a 29-point loss that their coach called “embarrassing,” sprinkle in some existing bad blood and the Celtics know that they will be walking into a frenzied arena Friday night for Game 3.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Doc Rivers said. “I told them that. Guys, at the end of the day all we’ve done is win two home games and Miami has yet to play a home game. That’s how they’re thinking for sure. Whether we won last by one, or whatever we won by, Game 3 is going to tough and we understand that.”
Kevin Garnett noted that when he traveled to Miami for the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 to watch Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace play with the Pistons that the crowd was a factor.
“Just anticipating it being very hostile,” Garnett said. “Watching Chauncey and Rasheed play them, how hostile and how crazy that town can get when they’re behind their team. It’s what we’re anticipating.”
The Celtics were a very good road team this past season. They were tied with Cleveland for the best road record in the Eastern Conference at 26-15 and were one game behind Dallas’ league-best mark. They beat Cleveland, Orlando, the Lakers, San Antonio and Dallas all on the road, but that was the regular season.
“It’s great to know that you can win on the road, but again, Miami could care less about our regular season the road,” Rivers said. “And we could care less about it. We have to come ready to play. The playoffs are a different beast.”
“Regular season is regular season,” Garnett added. “I never mix the two, to be honest.”
Instead the Celtics said they take their lessons from past playoff experiences and specifically from their seven-game series with Atlanta two seasons ago. Read the rest of this entry »
|KG on being the villain: I could care less||04.21.10 at 3:59 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett knows that on Friday night in Miami he will be the the target of fans ire, and he said that he doesn’t really care.
“I don’t expect any of us to get any cheers down there and I’m no different from that,” Garnett said after the Celtics held a short practice Wednesday. “I’m not saying I’m the villain or the hero. I could care less. I’ve played on the road before. Hell I played in San Antonio and I know they hate me there for whatever reasons. So this should be no different. I could care less.”
Garnett, of course, was suspended for Game 2 after throwing an elbow at Miami’s Quentin Richardson late in the series opener. He watched the game at Danny Ainge’s house and praised Glen Davis for his energy. There’s a line between energy and being out of control and it’s one that Garnett straddles at times.
“I don’t know if Kevin can get more fired up for a game, that’s just who he is,” Doc Rivers said. “We want him to stay that way. It’s important for him to play with that edge. I think he’ll come out being the villain because I think he enjoys that anyway.”
|Report: Nets eye Tibs||04.20.10 at 10:48 am ET|
A report in the New York Daily News indicated that New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn might have interest in Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau for his team’s head coaching vacancy. According to the report, Thorn didn’t mention Thibodeau by name, but he did say he was looking for “somebody who has a defensive presence.”
That description fits Thibodeau, who has been the architect of one of the NBA’s best defenses during his three seasons with the Celtics. Thibodeau has interviewed for several head coaching jobs in the past and many think it’s only a matter of time until he gets one.
The Nets job would be intriguing in that the woebegone franchise finally is moving out of the Meadowlands and the team has a new owner with deep pockets, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Additionally, the Nets have a huge chunk of cap space and two cornerstone players already in place in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Also, Thorn is a widely respected executive.
|Sheed or Baby for Game 2?||04.19.10 at 5:21 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Now that Kevin Garnett has been suspended for Game 2, a decision that took no one by surprise within the Celtics organization, the immediate question becomes: who will start in his place?
The team tried to keep the decision under wraps, but there were indications that it will be Glen Davis rather than Rasheed Wallace. When the curtain rose on practice Monday afternoon, Davis was on the floor with the first team, while Wallace was in a white practice jersey worn by the second unit.
That may mean something, or it may not, but Rajon Rondo also said, “I think Baby’s starting.”
Maybe he didn’t get the memo. Doc Rivers, Wallace and Davis were all non-committal.
“I don’t know,” Davis said. “I have no idea. It’s either going to be the Ticket-Stub or it’s going to be Sheed.”
Wallace said he’s fine either way.
“It don’t matter as long as I’m in there in that fourth quarter,” Wallace said. “I don’t care if I start, I don’t care if I come off the bench. Like I said before, Doc’s the mad scientist. If he seems me starting, fine. If he doesn’t see me starting, fine.”
Ultimately the decision may have more to do with Miami’s personnel than with the Celtics. More specifically it may have more to do with second-year forward Michael Beasley who scored just six points on eight shots in Game 1.