|Menino flubs again, criticizes NBA officials||06.10.10 at 2:18 pm ET|
Tom Menino is at it again.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Tobin Community Center in Boston Wednesday, the Boston mayor thanked ‘Donald Sterns’ and the NBA instead of David Stern, the actual NBA commissioner. (Click here for the video evidence.) The flub is somewhat defensible, given that Donald K. Stern was the U.S. attorney for the Bay State from 1993 to 2001. It’s probable that the mayor simply mixed up his Sterns.
This, however, is the second time in recent memory that Menino has mixed up his sports icons. Last month, at the ceremony commemorating the new Bobby Orr statue in front of the TD Garden, he claimed that Boston sports remember ‘Varitek splitting the uprights,’ rather than Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, as one of the ‘ionic’ moments in Boston sports history.
Earlier in his Wednesday speech, Menino came very close to directly criticizing the much-publicized officiating of this year’s NBA finals.
“I’m not saying anything; the commissioner is right behind me,” Menino said, according to a Los Angeles Times piece by Baxter Holmes. But in just saying that, Menino had said enough.
Later in the piece, which can be read in its entirety by clicking here, the mayor talked about the effects a high-foul count has on the game.
“You just can’t take control,” Menino said. “You ruin it for the fans. The referees aren’t supposed to be the show. The players are supposed to be the show, but sometimes the referees want to be the show. That’s unfortunate.”
Eddie F. Rush, Scott Foster and Greg Willard have been announced as the referees for Thursday’s Game 4.
|Simmons on D&C: Officiating is the headline of finals||06.10.10 at 10:39 am ET|
ESPN columnist Bill Simmons joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning and talked about the quick turnaround from Game 2 in Los Angeles to Game 3 in Boston, the inconsistencies of the officials, and the sloppiness of both teams in the series.
Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On Game 3:
I was worried about Game 3 because it was 48 hours after Game 2, cross country trip, and it just seemed like, ‘Uh oh, this is going to be bad.’ If you look at what happened in the game, Kobe [Bryant] had a bad game, [Paul] Pierce and [Ray] Allen both had bad games, the only old guy who had a good game was [Kevin Garnett] and KG didn’t play a lot in Game 2 because he was in foul trouble. My biggest fear about this whole series is that they just wasted an epic KG game and I’m not sure how many he has.
On the inconsistency of the officials:
I think for the most part in the finals, the right team is going to win each game. That’s what bothered me about Game 3 was basically both teams didn’t play well and it came down to officiating. If we’ve learned anything from the Celtics team this year, for whatever reason, the officiating determines how they’re going to do. ‘¦ It just seems like so many things are predicated on how the officials decide beforehand, ‘This is what we’re going to do tonight.’
That’s my biggest problem with NBA officiating. Why can’t they just call it the same way every game? ‘¦ Should we go to a system where there’s just three refs for the entire finals, the same three every game. There just has to be a better solution. Read the rest of this entry »
|NBA tabs Eddie F. Rush to referee Game 4||06.10.10 at 9:17 am ET|
The officials for Game 4 of the NBA finals were announced Thursday morning, and the trio includes a referee Celtics fans won’t be happy to see. Eddie F. Rush, who ejected Kendrick Perkins from the Eastern Conference finals Game 5 on a technical foul that later was rescinded by the league, will be on the floor along with Scott Foster and Greg Willard.
However, according to NBAstuffer.com, Celtics fans shouldn’t be too upset about Rush taking the floor in Boston. The site’s stats indicate that home teams have won nine of the 10 times Rush has officiated in the 2010 postseason. He calls fouls on the road team 55 percent of the time.
Rush officiated two games in the 2008 finals between the Celtics and Lakers: Games 1 and 5. Both were played in Boston, and both resulted in Celtics wins.
Greg Willard and Scott Foster have identical stats that are much more even. Home teams have won 64 percent of their games (both have reffed 11 times), and their foul calls are an almost even split: 51 percent on players on road teams, 49 percent on home teams.
Foster is the referee Tim Donaghy called 134 times in a seven-month stretch during the 2006-07 season, which raised suspicion as that was during the time Donaghy was gambling on games. Foster was not charged with any wrongdoing. He refereed two games in the 2008 NBA finals, Game 1 (a Celtics win) and Game 5 (a C’s road loss).
|The other Kendrick Perkins||06.09.10 at 11:13 pm ET|
Kendrick Perkins thought the only other person who shared the same name was his son.
He was surprised to discover there was another Kendrick Perkins out there ‘¦ and he had been drafted by the Red Sox.
‘No they didn’t,’ he said when told of the Red Sox pick. ‘They did for real?’
Earlier this week, the Red Sox selected the outfielder from La Porte High School (TX) in the sixth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. La Porte is located just 75 miles from Beaumont, home of the Celtics big man.
But there are more differences that separate the two than the hour-plus drive. At 6’10, 280 pounds, the elder Perkins towers over the younger Perkins, who is listed at 6’2, 225 pounds. According to Baseball Beginnings, Perkins possesses above average speed and is an aggressive base runner, another contrast to the center.
‘They got another Kendrick Perkins?” he asked. “I thought I was the only one. That’s cool though.’
|Ainge on Big Show: Celtics ‘not in sync’||06.09.10 at 8:58 pm ET|
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.
‘We’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. ‘If 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 »
|The day after for Ray Allen||06.09.10 at 2:57 pm ET|
Following his 0-for-13 shooting nightmare in Game 3, Ray Allen spoke to reporters for about 20 minutes before the Celtics‘ practice on Wednesday. He quickly dismissed a radio report that suggested he was at the team’s practice facility shooting jumpers at 7:30 on Wednesday morning, telling the assorted media that he was asleep until 10 AM.
When he was asked about the biggest difference between Game 2 (NBA finals record eight 3-pointers) and Game 3, Allen didn’t hesitate.
“My thigh,” said Allen, who took a first-quarter shot from Ron Artest. “I took a knee to the thigh.”
But Allen was also quick to give credit to a Lakers defense that has held the Celtics to 41 percent shooting in the first three games of this series.
“They gathered out to my shot very quickly, adjusted well. You know, a couple of shots early I missed, and I think after that they got it back out to my shots very quickly. Maybe four or five shots they got their hand on. They had an outstretched arm in front of my ball all night.”
Allen “watched the tape” of Game 3, but he isn’t going to dwell on it or even use it as motivation for the rest of the finals. He seems comfortable chalking it up to A) the thigh, B) the Lakers’ defense and C) one of those nights that happen in the life of a shooter.
“I don’t question it [Game 3] I just move forward,” Allen said. “Just focus on getting a good rest today and moving forward.”
The referees have played a leading role in this series, and were once again on center stage in Game 3.
“You know, we didn’t have a great whistle,” admitted Allen. “Not a lot of calls yesterday went in our favor. But again, we have got to make our breaks. We had great opportunities last night, I think offensively down the stretch we just didn’t do what was necessary.”
When asked if his Game 3 goose egg would lead to any changes in preparation for Game 4, Allen responded with a “nope” before the question was even finished.
As for the thigh, Allen said on Tuesday night that he thought it would probably be sore the following day. He was asked Wednesday if that was indeed the case.
“It’s sore,” Allen said. “It’s difficult walking up and down the stairs.”
|Lakers hope Ray-Ray ‘does it again’ Thursday||06.09.10 at 9:48 am ET|
The Lakers were as shell-shocked as anyone as Ray Allen rained down shot after perfect shot from beyond the 3-point arc on Sunday night in Game 2 in Los Angeles.
But the tables could not have been more turned on Tuesday night in Boston if Lou Piniella were managing the Yankees again and these were the 1980s.
Ray Allen finished 0-for-13, including misses on all eight from long range.
“I hope he does it again Thursday,” said a relieved Shannon Brown, one of the Lakers who were on the court for both the near-perfect performance from Allen in Game 2 and the perfectly-off display in Game 3.
Obviously, the Celtics had a different take.
“As a team, you have to stick together and stay focused on what you need to stay focused on, especially during that time during the game,” Glen Davis said. “We have to stay together as one and make things happen for each other, not just one person. It’s tough.”
In fact, Davis believes there’s a silver lining to Tuesday’s loss.
“Ray, 0-for-13? Who would have ever thought that? So, that won’t happen again,” Davis boldly predicted. “We only lost by a couple of points. He hits a couple of shots and we’re in the game. We’re winning the game, really. Today just wasn’t our day. In spite of him not hitting his shots and things like that, we’ve still got to win this game because it’s a winnable game for us.”
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