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C’s minority owner could face fine 06.10.10 at 4:39 pm ET
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Celtics minority owner Jim Pallotta may be receiving a fine from NBA commissioner David Stern after Pallotta verbally confronted the commissioner with complaints about the Game 3 officiating after the Celtics’€™ 91-84 loss at home, according to a Boston Globe report.

Pallotta reportedly told Stern that the league should be embarrassed by the job its officials are doing. There have been 159 fouls called in the first three games of the NBA finals, with the Celtics outnumbering the Lakers by nine in that category.

Stern has a past of fining owners who criticize NBA officials, most notably Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has doled out as much as $250,000 for his critical comments. Cuban’s comments, though, were made in the public sphere. Pallotta’€™s comments were made to Stern directly, meaning that there is a slight chance that his fine could be for less if there is even a fine at all.

Read More: Celtics, David Stern, Jim Pallotta,
Menino flubs again, criticizes NBA officials at 2:18 pm ET
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Tom Menino is at it again.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Tobin Community Center in Boston Wednesday, the Boston mayor thanked ‘€œDonald 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 ‘€œVaritek splitting the uprights,’€ rather than Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, as one of the ‘€œionic’€ 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.

Read More: Celtics, David Stern, Thomas Menino,
Simmons on D&C: Officiating is the headline of finals at 10:39 am ET
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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, ‘€œUh 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, ‘€œThis 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 »

Read More: Bill Simmons, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
NBA tabs Eddie F. Rush to referee Game 4 at 9:17 am ET
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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).

Read More: Celtics, Eddie F. Rush, NBA Finals,
The other Kendrick Perkins 06.09.10 at 11:13 pm ET
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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.

‘€œNo they didn’€™t,’€ he said when told of the Red Sox pick. ‘€œThey 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.

‘€œThey got another Kendrick Perkins?” he asked. “I thought I was the only one. That’€™s cool though.’€

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Red Sox,
Ainge on Big Show: Celtics ‘not in sync’ at 8:58 pm ET
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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.

‘€œWe’€™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. ‘€œIf 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 »

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge,
Lakers hope Ray-Ray ‘does it again’ Thursday at 9:48 am ET
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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.”

Read More: Celtics, Celtics Magic, Glen Davis, Lakers
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