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Doc: We’ll let Brad Miller make a big deal of it 04.29.09 at 2:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Doc Rivers stood by his starting point guard at a brief shootaround this afternoon prior to the team’s departure for Chicago and Game 6 on Thursday.

Rivers reiterated that he didn’t think that Rajon Rondo was trying to hurt Brad Miller when he committed a hard foul on him with 2.0 seconds remaining in overtime.

“I don’t think Rondo fouled to hurt him or anything like that,” Rivers said. “I thought Rondo was clearly trying to go for it and then couldn’t reach hiand then was just trying to grab anything he could grab. But Brad Miller clearly wants to make a big deal of that so we’ll let him.”

Read More: Brad Miller, Celtics, NBA playoffs, Rajon Rondo
Pierce: I’ll be ready for Game 6 04.29.09 at 2:43 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Paul Pierce admitted on Wednesday before leaving for Chicago that the grueling Game 5 on Tuesday night took a bit of a toll on him. He suffered a bruise when he was kicked in the left calf.

“I’m a little sore but I’ll use today to recover, get a message, rest and I’ll be ready for (Thursday),” Pierce said. “It’s nothing more than a light bruise on the calf muscle so some ice and stuff should be able to take care of it.”

The bruise clearly didn’t affect his late-game performance as he drilled three jumpers in the final 90 seconds of overtime to help lift the Celtics to a 106-104 win over the Bulls, and a 3-2 series lead.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, NBA playoffs, Paul Pierce
Doc fined $25K for defending Perkins 04.29.09 at 1:36 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday he has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for suggesting that center Kendrick Perkins has been targeted by officials for setting illegal screens.

Rivers made the comments on Monday, one day after the Celtics lost 121-118 in double overtime to the Bulls in Chicago.

The team is leaving this afternoon for Chicago following a brief film session at their Waltham training facility. Game 6 is Thursday night in Chicago, with the Celtics leading the best-of-seven series, 3-2. A win sends them into the second round to face either Orlando or Philadelphia.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, fined, NBA
Rondo’s foul: Flagrant, or not? 04.29.09 at 12:47 pm ET
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With time winding down in Game 5, Brad Miller caught the Celtics in a frantic switch and drove hard to the basket. Trailing behind the play Rajon Rondo reached forward and made contact with Miller’s face, which did two things. It prevented Miller from dunking to tie the game and it also drew blood.

The Bulls protested after the play that it should have been a flagrant foul since, in their opinion, Rondo didn’t attempt to make play a play on the ball. The Celtics, obviously, contend that it was good hard playoff foul.

Naturally, opinion in Boston is of the latter interpretation, but they are up in arms, so to speak, about the play in Chicago.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Last night in Orlando, Dwight Howard clocked Philly’s Sam Delambert with an elbow. That, as True Hoop’s Henry Abbott points out should have resulted in an ejection.

Now the question becomes: What, if anything, will the NBA do about this?

Here’s a video with both plays (via True Hoop):

UPDATE: According to a report by ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, the NBA is reviewing both plays.

Here’s the flagrant foul interpretation from Sheridan:

“If Rondo’s foul is upgraded to a flagrant-category 1, he would be assessed one flagrant foul point. Players earn an automatic one-game suspension if they accumulate four flagrant foul points during the postseason. If the foul is upgraded to a flagrant-2, Rondo would be suspended for Game 6 in Chicago on Thursday night.”

UPDATE II: Howard was suspended for Game 6 and it appears that there will be no further action taken against Rondo.

Read More: Brad Miller, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo,
KG was still heard 04.29.09 at 8:29 am ET
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He hasn’t played in over a month but Kevin Garnett is still finding a way to make his voice heard during games. On Tuesday night, he made sure Bulls guard Ben Gordon got his message loud and here. Click here for the photo (via HoopsHype).

Read More: Ben Gordon, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett,
Ray: All game the whistle was battling me 04.29.09 at 1:17 am ET
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Now Ray Allen knows what it feels like to sit on the bench as someone else plays the hero.

Allen had — of course — been the hero in Game 2, nailing the game-winning three-pointer with 2.0 seconds left in regulation to lift the Celtics to a 1-1 series tie with the Bulls.

Allen was again “Johnny On the Spot” when he drained a three on Sunday afternoon in Chicago to force Game 4 to overtime.

But with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, Allen was whistled for his sixth foul, running into a screen set by Brad Miller, of all people. Miller would have his own issues with the refs later.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Perk getting called for that same play but I was just trying to fight through and they called it on me,” said a frustrated Allen, who fouled out for just the second time in 72 playoff games and the first since June 15, 2008, a loss to the Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

And this time it would have to be someone else to the rescue. How ironic since Allen had just drained a long three from the right baseline to bring the Celtics to within three, 83-80, and it looked for all the world he was about to work his magic again.

That is until he got called for his sixth foul.

“I was extremely upset,” Allen said. “I was disappointed. I thought all game the whistle was battling me. But I didn’t want to be that isolated guy that was over on the sideline and pouting and worrying about himself. Of course, I was angry but we had to win the game. Those were the cards we were dealt so we had to figure out the best way, whether it was  Tony (Allen) Steph (Marbury) or Eddie (House), who was going to have to come in and do the job.”

It was Pierce who nailed back-to-back jumpers in overtime to put the Celtics up, 104-101, and then Pierce who hit the game-winner with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime.

“I guess now I know what it feels like to sit on the sideline and not be able to do anything and not have control,” Allen said. “For me, it was toughest feeling I’ve had to deal with. But Paul and Rondo came through for us. I figured as mad as I was, it wasn’t going to do us any good trying to figure out what happened in the game.”

Read More: Celtics, NBA playoffs, Ray Allen,
All beat up and nothing to show for it 04.29.09 at 12:46 am ET
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Brad Miller stood in front of his locker following Game 5 much the same way he stood at the free throw line with 2.0 seconds remaining in overtime-dazed and confused.

He had just been raked across the face by Rajon Rondo, who tried desperately to keep Miller from making the game-tying layup after Miller found a wide-0pen seam in the middle of the Celtics defense. From the top of the key to the basket, there was only green paint in the lane — until Rondo showed up at the last moment.

There were two things that had the Bulls livid. No flagrant foul on Rondo and no goaltending on Kendrick Perkins, who clearly hit the rim in attempting to block the shot but no call was made.

“It’s a play we’ve run,” Miller said. “Two or three guys went to bed and I understand why. It just left an opening just a tad.”

The fact that a flagrant wasn’t called was hardly shocking to Miller.

“We’ve got a lot of guys getting head shots this series, I mean a whole lot of them and it hasn’t been a flagrant,” Miller said. “We’ve had to shake off a lot of these high hits they’ve been putting on us.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Miller Rajon Rondo, Bulls, Celtics, NBA playoffs
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