|Defending D Wade||04.16.10 at 5:25 pm ET|
However, if they are going win four over the next two weeks they know they have to do a better job of defending Wade.
“We’ve won the games but he’s been way too successful,” Doc Rivers said. “If he’s that successful in this playoff series it’s going to be a tough series. It’s not that he’s scoring 33.7, it’s that he’s shot over 50 percent. It’s that he shot 32 free throws. He’d had low turnovers and he’s had high assists. Other than that, I don’t know what else you want him to do. If he does all that then it will be one tough series for us.”
This is nothing new for the Celtics. Their entire scheme against the Magic, for example, is predicated on matching up Kendrick Perkins on Dwight Howard without help. If he scores 50 points that’s fine with the Celtics, provided the other Magic players don’t go off on their own.
But Wade is a different task because everything revolves around him.
“It’s a tough matchup,” Rivers said. “If it was easy he wouldn’t be Dwyane Wade. I think he’s a great offensive player, but what he’s really improved on is getting everyone else involved, as well. That’s the tough part. He’s a great ballhandling guard, he’s strong and he can pass.”
The Celtics said all the usual things about making Wade work harder for his shots, but it seems clear that they intend to devote a team-wide effort to try to neutralize him. That, and a healthy dose of Tony Allen.
“Try to contain him, just keep him off the foul line,” Tony Allen said. “If you can do that and have your help-side bigs and your help-side guards alert when he’s driving, I think it will be more of a team concept than one-on-one.”
Ray Allen is likely to start the game on Wade, and while it would be nice if he returned the favor and spent his time on the defensive end chasing Ray Allen around the numerous picks the Celtics set for him, that probably won’t be the case.
“If [Wade] guards [Rajon] Rondo, we probably anticipate that he will, then you still have to chase Rondo,” Rivers said. “Even though you use guys on Rondo so you can be the rover, that’s still work.”
Interestingly, Rondo will be matched up with Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers who are more perimeter-oriented and thus he can help try to wreak havoc with his weakside ball-hawking skills, provided he can also recover in time to disrupt the shooters. “I think Rondo is the key to this series,” Kendrick Perkins said.
There will also be an onus on the big men, who will be tasked with stepping into the driving lanes when Wade goes to the basket.
“You have to show team defense first,” Perkins said. “Obviously he’s going to make plays. You can’t worry about if he’s making tough shots, make him work and all that, but at the same time it’s all about your pride.”
However they defend him, they know it won’t be easy.
“He’s quick, he’s aggressive and he’s a big guard,” Tony Allen said. “Therefore, that makes him Dwyane Wade.”
|Sheed: I got to be me||04.16.10 at 4:52 pm ET|
WALTHAM — As the playoffs dawn, Rasheed Wallace finds himself in a familiar position: maligned.
He has been the subject of negative columns and painted as a divisive figure in the Celtics locker room, but Wallace is not backing down.
“I’m going to be me,” he said. “Half the people like me and half the people don’t. I’m not out here to please the fans or whatever, I’m here to win a title. Some of the fans are mad at me, some of the fans cheer for me, I can’t worry about that. I’m going to go out there and do what I’ve got to do.”
Statistically, Wallace had the worst season of his career. He shot just 28 percent from 3-point range and his rebounding totals left much to be desired. He acknowledged that when he was asked how he felt about his season.
“So-so, nothing to write home about,” he said. “But I’m not worried about it. It was a down season coming into a new offense, so I’m not worried about it. I’m not making no excuses on how I shot the ball. I know I had a bad year shooting, but it’s part of it.”
But that doesn’t mean he will change to appease his critics.
“I’ve been in this game too long to play my game depending on what the fans say,” he said. “When I first got to Portland they didn’t like me. When I first got to Detroit, they didn’t like me. When I first got here they didn’t like me. It’s nothing new. I can’t focus my game on what the fans think.”
Still, Wallace expressed confidence that he and the Celtics will be ready to play when the playoffs start Saturday night.
“I know how we’ll play,” Wallace said. “Bottom line. My confidence level is high. Our confidence level is real high right now. I know how we’ll come out here and play.”
|Flu bug bites Rondo||04.16.10 at 4:43 pm ET|
WALTHAM — When the curtain lifted on the Celtics practice sessions yesterday there was one player missing. Rajon Rondo is the latest victim of the flu that has swept through the team recently. He took part in film session and a walkthrough and then the team sent him home.
Doc Rivers said that he expects Rondo will play, but he added, “I don’t know how he’s going to feel.”
Rivers said he had been throwing up and was sent to the hospital for IV work.
Allen, who will have a big hand in defending Dwyane Wade, said he is feeling better.
“I feel good today,” he said. “I was a little winded, but I expected that. Tomorrow should be a little better.”
|Finley on D&H: C’s need to show respect||04.16.10 at 12:49 pm ET|
Michael Finley joined Dale & Holley on Friday to discuss the Celtics’ chances in the upcoming NBA playoffs. The Celtics have been floundering during the second half of the season, and Finley said the reason may have been because this team didn’t respect its opponents.
But he believes that will change come playoff time.
“We go into the games not respecting our opponent as much as we should, and as a result we end up losing those games,” said Finley, who has played in 21 games with Boston since being let go by San Antonio. “Coming into the playoffs I don’t think respecting our opponent is going to be a problem, because each opponent that we face is a worthy playoff- and championship-contending team. We got to come in with the right mindset. Hopefully we can generate some of the juice that the team had at the beginning of the season and carry it on throughout the playoffs.”
As a Western Conference lifer, Finley talked about playing in the Eastern Conference for the first time, Paul Pierce’s work ethic and how he and Doc Rivers have a long history together.
Following is a transcript. To listen, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
What would you say to young guys on the team who asked for advice about playoff basketball?
The intensity of the regular season is going to go up tremendously. Every possession offensively as well as defensively becomes important. You just don’t want to leave the game with regrets, because regrets usually are what sends teams home.
Does the playoff format actually make it easier for veteran players?
In a sense. The regular season is a lot of games. It’s 82 games with back-to-backs with limited rest. The postseason you have a little bit of more rest. You are only playing one team. The travel is limited, so for older guys that’s always a good thing. At the same time, with the intensity going up the way it does, it can be a little physically and mentally draining, too. Read the rest of this entry »
|A look back: Celtics vs. Heat||04.15.10 at 11:15 pm ET|
The Celtics and Heat will square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Saturday. The teams faced each other three times this season, with the Celtics sweeping the regular-season series. See how the Celtics got a 3-0 edge over the Heat heading into the postseason:
CELTICS 92, HEAT 85
Nov. 29, 2009, at Miami
How the Celtics won: Led by 24 points (11-12 FG) from Kevin Garnett, the Celtics starters led a balanced attack in this win over the Heat. Rajon Rondo (13 points, 11 assists) and Kendrick Perkins (14 points, 13 rebounds) recorded double-doubles; Paul Pierce added 15 points; and Ray Allen scored 11, including a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. The C’s shut the Heat down from behind the arc (2-for-15). Michael Beasley was the only player to knock down a trey.
Wade watch: Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 27 points. He attempted 23 field goals, the same number as Garnett and Pierce combined. The Heat were also a team-low -14 with Wade on the court.
Key stat: Assists ‘ Celtics 21, Heat 12
After the game: Celtics 13-4, Heat 9-7
The Three-Pointer: Garnett enjoys a run of near perfection
|Transcript: Rivers on D&C||04.15.10 at 12:45 pm ET|
Most coaches like to talk about how hot they are heading into the playoffs. But the Celtics have lost seven of 10, not exactly on a roll?
Yeah, and I don’t know if I’ve ever even used that. You want to have good rhythm and all that, but the playoffs are a new season, they’ve always been a new season, and that’s how you have to view them going in. You could have won 10 games in a row as we did two years ago, we were hot going in, and went into a seven-game series against Atlanta. So, it means a lot to say, but it is a new season.
David Stern isn’t pleased with coaches resting their players heading into then playoffs, is he?
I get that. I agree with part of that, more from the fans standpoint, families that come to games. There were families last night, I guess, who came to their first game ever. And to see Kevin [Garnett] and Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and everyone else, and they get there and they don’t play ‘ that would be disappointing if I was a fan, that would be tough. But then, it’s the same fan who understands that listen ‘ we want them to do well in the playoffs, we want them to be rested, we want them to be healthy. And, if that last game doesn’t have a lot of meaning, as a coach you have to do what’s best for the team and the whole picture. So it is a very tough situation. I was injured in the last game of the year as a player, and that will always stick with me.
Could you imagine if Paul had ruined his knee last night? They would have killed you.
Oh, last night, it wasn’t funny but it was funny. It was seven minutes left, and I had Oliver Lafayette at the table going in for [Rajon] Rondo, and there was no play stoppage. I couldn’t get the play to stop ‘ it was one of those stretches where the game kept going on, and then finally I yelled out to Nate [Robinson], ‘Foul! Foul somebody!’ And then [Brian Scalabrine] fouled, so Rondo comes in and on the next possession, Nate fouls. And he looks at me, ‘You told me to foul!’ Rondo’s already out! Read the rest of this entry »
|Durant: Celtics, Lakers comments ‘disrespectful’||04.15.10 at 10:25 am ET|
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who wrapped up the NBA scoring title Wednesday night, responded to comments from the coach of the Thunder’s first-round playoff opponent by calling them “disrespectful.” In comments that should sound familiar to Celtics fans, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Durant gets preferential treatment from officials. Responded Durant in The Oklahoman: “Ever since [Kevin Garnett] said something, everybody’s been questioning how I get to the line. If you watch our games, you wouldn’t question it. the NBA should put us on national TV more, I guess.”
Durant said Jackson’s comments fired him up more. “Because it’s taking away from what I do,’ Durant said. “That’s a part of my game, getting to the free throw line and being aggressive. If you say that I get superstar calls or I get babied by the refs, that’s just taking away from how I play. That’s disrespectful to me. I don’t disrespect nobody in this league. I respect every coach, every player, everybody. I never say anything bad about anybody else or question why they do this or do that. So for them to say that about me, I don’t even want to use no foul language.”
Durant said he does not expect Jackson’s comments to influence the referees.
“If the refs pay attention to that and change how they call things because of that, that’s terrible,’ Durant said. “That’s terrible to the game of basketball and to us. If that happens, then [coach] Scotty [Brooks] could talk, too. Or any other coach could talk, too, just so the refs could switch everything up. But I doubt they do that. “They’re smarter than that, and they have more skills than that as refs. So I don’t really worry about it too much.’
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