|Big Baby knows refs aren’t to blame for everything||06.09.10 at 4:15 am ET|
But Glen Davis is more than aware that the officials can’t be blame for all of the calls that went against them. Just a few key ones.
“We didn’t close out,” Davis said. ” I think at the beginning of the game, the first team established the tempo. I think the bench came out and really didn’t apply the pressure and that’s how we lost the lead.”
Indeed, the Celtics led, 12-5 out of the gate but thanks in very large part to the play of the Laker bench, which outscored Boston’s 16-8 in the first half, the visitors went on a 21-5 run to end the first quarter and never relinquished the lead again.
“I think a lot of the things in the first half, we just didn’t do right. I think we’ve got to be ready to play when we go in there. I blame it on myself, not establishing tempo, not bringing enough energy, turning the ball over, shooting bad shots. If I helped a little bit more in the first half, I think we would have done a better job.”
Davis was very aware of what was going on in the first half as the Celtics fell behind, 37-20, early in the second quarter.
“We had to dig our way back from [their] 17-point lead,” said Davis, who then had a very interesting take on the much-discussed and highly-criticized officials in this series.
“We did a great job of fighting back but then, calls didn’t go our way,” he said. “Referees aren’t perfect, they’re human, they’re going to make mistakes. Hopefully, they’ll see that some calls weren’t the right calls. But they did their best. I tip my hat to them. It’s tough in an environment like this to make the right call with thousands of people screaming at you, so it is what it is. I tip my hat to those guys.”
|How Fisher ‘won the game for them’||at 2:10 am ET|
Rajon Rondo did it in Game 2 and Derek Fisher followed suit in Game 3.
‘[He] won the game for them,’ Doc Rivers said. ‘Derek Fisher was the difference in the game.’
After the Lakers watched Rondo dominate the fourth quarter on Sunday night, Fisher scored 11 points in the final 12 minutes of the Lakers 91-84 victory on Tuesday.
Fisher shot five-for-seven during that stretch, an instant improvement from 5-for-16 shooting in the first two games. His late burst included a 3-point play that put the Lakers up seven with less than a minute to go.
‘We let Derek Fisher dribble the ball all the way up the court, unattended, get a 3-point play,’ said Rivers. ‘If you get a stop there, we had two timeouts left, three timeouts at the time, we had plenty of time.’
Said Glen Davis, ‘I think Derek Fisher won the game for them. He took over the game.  seconds left in the game, down by four, our defense ‘¦ let a guy all the way down the court for a layup, naked. Together as a whole we’ve got to do better.’
Fisher’s domination will undoubtedly be a hot topic of conversation as the Celtics prepare for Game 4, trailing 2-1. It may have burned them in Game 3, but there are lessons to be learned moving forward.
‘We’ve got to hang in there,” said Rivers. “It’s not going to be an easy game. None of them are going to be, and that’s what we have to do.”
|Doc on Lakers whining: ‘Maybe they do different math’||06.08.10 at 9:39 pm ET|
Doc Rivers took objection with the complaints of several Lakers following Game 2 after Kobe Bryant was whistled for his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, limiting his effectiveness in the final period.
“I’m just miffed and amazed how the other team complained about the fouls since we’ve been the team in foul trouble for two games,” Rivers said Tuesday night prior to Game 3. “Maybe they do different math there or something. I don’t get that one.”
In the Game 1 loss to the Lakers, the Celtics had several players with three fouls before halftime and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen each played most of the fourth quarter one foul from disqualification. The Celtics had 28 fouls called on them in Game 1 to 26 for the Lakers. In Game 2, the Lakers actually took 15 more free throw attempts than Boston, 41-26.
Fouls aside, Rivers knows he must keep Kevin Garnett and Pierce on the court at the same time if there’s any hope of finding them rhythm in this series, especially Garnett.
“We just have to keep him on the floor,” Rivers said. “Two of his fouls [from Game 2] were not smart fouls, so he has to do a better job of that. But listen, this is a physical series. Gasol adn Bynum, they’re big adn they’re going to keep attacking, and we just have to figure out a way of keeping them out of foul trouble. It’s huge for us.”
What was just as huge for the Celtics in the wrong direction on Tuesday were the fouls that Pierce and Garnett picked up within the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Pierce picked up his fourth and Garnett his third and the Lakers sensing the kill went immediately to the paint to feed Gasol.
“To win [Game 2] the other night with [Garnett] in foul trouble and Paul not being great offensively, we felt very fortunate,” Rivers said. “We were happy to win, but we have to be better than that.”
|Celtics happy to be home||at 9:30 pm ET|
The finals have returned to Boston almost exactly two years later on June 8, 2010, and the Celtics could not be happier to be playing at home.
‘It feels good to be back home for a few games,’ Kendrick Perkins said prior to Game 3. ‘I think it’s the finals, Boston-Lakers rivalry, just to see how the fans are going to be. I know there’s going to be a lot of energy in the building so it feels good just to be back home.’
Even though the Celtics were 24-17 at home during the regular season, a drastic drop from their 35-6 records in the prior two seasons, they have reclaimed their turf during the playoffs. The C’s have clinched the previous three series at home.
‘[We’re] back home,’ said Tony Allen. ‘Time to take care of business.’
|Donaghy on D&C: Refs will be aggressive||at 11:11 am ET|
Donaghy was asked what we should expect from Dan Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Bennett Salvatore in Tuesday night’s Game 3. “I think it brings some aggressive refereeing to get some of these illegal screens and some of this matchup trouble cleaned up with some aggressive whistles,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of illegal screens called, where Ray Allen was getting free in Los Angeles a lot, some of the the big guys setting some moving picks, I think you’re going to see those cleaned up early. And I also think you’re going to see a lot of fouls on Allen and [Derek] Fisher to get that matchup cleaned up early.”
Donaghy said Kobe Bryant’s prediction that he won’t get five fouls again is an accurate one. “I don’t think you’re going to see him in foul trouble again for a long, long time,” Donaghy said.
Asked whether the league wants to make sure there are no fights in this series, Donaghy said that’s clearly the officials’ strategy. “Absolutely,” he said. “Any time you’re involved in a fight in an NBA game, it causes an enormous amount of controvery and trouble. On the global stage of the NBA finals, you certainly don’t want players going at it. I think that’s why you’ve seen so many fouls recently and trying to get rid of the physical play to avoid that as much as possible.”
Donaghy did not offer a prediction on Tuesday’s game, but he said it’s obvious the NBA would prefer that the series does not end in Boston. “What’s good for the league is that this gets back to Los Angeles,” he said. “With that said, if Los Angeles can win one game out of these three, I think that’s what good for the league.
|Celtics have praise for Wooden||06.07.10 at 11:49 am ET|
Before the start of Game 2 of the NBA finals, legendary UCLA head coach John Wooden, who passed away Friday at the age of 99, was honored with a moment of silence in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. In the days since his death, stars in both the college and the pro game have talked about how the Wizard of Westwood influenced them.
Although he played at the University of Connecticut, Ray Allen can appreciate Wooden’s role in the modern game. ‘He’s had an impact on all of us, indirectly,’ he said. ‘You figure that anybody’s who has played basketball in the last 50, 60 years, we’ve ran his offensive sets, his schemes. We’ve followed the quotations he used to motivate his teams. But not only just basketball: He’s been legendary as a coach, emulated by many coaches across the spectrum. We all have been better as individuals, as sportsmen, to have him in our lives.’
Nate Robinson played against UCLA several times during his tenure at Washington in the Pac-10. “I know a lot of his history because of his winning, but a lot of kids, a lot of freshmen, don’t understand what he brought to basketball alone, but college basketball in general,” Robinson said. “His tradition will carry on. When you hear about UCLA and you hear about basketball, you’ll hear his name. He’s embedded in us. He’s in our DNA.”
Paul Pierce grew up in Inglewood, about eight miles from UCLA, and heard plenty about Wooden. ‘I’m very familiar with what John Wooden has done for the game of basketball,’ he said. ‘When I talk about basketball, I don’t mean [just] the college game, I mean all of basketball. His influence on the game has been awesome, and when you see an icon like that pass away, your heart just goes out to him and his family.’
But the biggest Wooden fan on the Celtics would probably be Doc Rivers. Rivers has autographed pictures of Wooden and Red Auerbach. ‘To have those two on your desk, I don’t think you need to further your collection,’ Rivers said. ‘You know, those are the two best. But with Wooden, I think he’s one of the rare superstars that stood out more about him as a person than he did as a coach or anything. And that’s rare, when you say that about any star in any business.’
When he met Wooden for the first time, Rivers recalls reacting like a child meeting his idol. ‘The fact that I got to meet him and he actually knew my name, to me blew me away on its own right.’
Of course, he had to take advantage of the situation, ‘I don’t ask for a lot of autographs, and he was one that I wanted, and he was as gracious as we thought he would be.’
|Robinson on future in Boston: ‘I feel wanted here’||at 11:11 am ET|
Celtics point guard Nate Robinson has been a spark plug this postseason, picking up where starter Rajon Rondo leaves off. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Robinson came in when Rondo landed on the ground hard and came up sore, and the three-time slam dunk champion helped eliminate the Magic by racking up 13 points, two assists and a steal in 13 minutes. In Game 2 of the NBA finals against the Lakers, Robinson helped again by having a perfect shooting night: 2-for-2 field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 2-for-2 on free throws.
Even with his support off the bench, Robinson does not have guaranteed job security with the C’s. With the season soon coming to a close, he was asked about his future plans by AOL FanHouse’s Chris Tomasson.
‘I feel wanted here,’ Robinson said. ‘This group of guys, this team, this organization is good for me. They’re high class, man. They keep it 100 percent [real] with you. Doc [Rivers] keeps it 100 percent. He tells you straight forward what he wants. I like that.’
When Robinson was asked about his 4½-year experience with the Knicks, his review wasn’t as glowing. ‘They treated me good, but at times I felt like they didn’t,’ Robinson said. ‘But it is what it is. Sometimes it’s like your mom and your dad. You don’t communicate all the time being on the same page. But you move forward. I’m moving forward and not looking back.’
If the 5-foot-9 University of Washington alum couldn’t return to the Celtics, he isn’t sure where he’d want to go next. One thing is for sure, though, he definitely isn’t running short on the child analogies: ‘I want to be able to play somewhere that somebody wants me,’ he said. ‘You kind of look at it like being in an orphanage and somebody wants to come and adopt you. So, whoever that NBA family that wants me and loves me and they want me for who I am.’
Finally, he was asked about what he would take from his time in Boston. ‘This whole season has been a roller coaster for me,’ Robinson said. ‘It’s kind of been like at an amusement park. You never know what to expect, what curve or what dip. But day to day, it’s been fun.’
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