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Rivers: “Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund” 04.23.10 at 2:13 pm ET
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MIAMI — Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 by the NBA, yet again, after making comments critical of the officials, and specifically how they work games when superstars are involved. It’s a familiar gripe for Wallace who has been fined several times by the NBA for making similar statements.

“Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund by himself,” Doc Rivers joked after shootaround.

But Wallace’s words cut deep for a league that is fighting to regain trust in the wake of the Tim Donaghy affair. Officials have come under great scrutiny already in the playoffs and several coaches, notably Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy, have not helped matters with their comments.

Both Jackson and Van Gundy were fined by the league for various statements about the officiating and David Stern made a point of saying Thursday night in Oklahoma City that it won’t be tolerated.

“I wish I had it to do all over again,” Stern said to reporters before Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder series. “Starting 20 years ago I’d be suspending Phil and Pat Riley for all the games they play in the media. You guys know our referees go out there and knock themselves out and do the best job they can.”

Make no mistake, this is a huge problem for the NBA and Stern basically dared coached to test him.

Stern also noted that within in the NBA community, it’s understood that when Jackson says that Kevin Durant gets to the free throw line too much, he’s doing it for effect, but the perception is that refs call the game differently for star players. Or in Van Gundy’s case, that his star player, Dwight Howard, doesn’t get the benefit of the calls.

“I think David is half right on that one,” Rivers said. “Sometimes we do know, but sometimes we really are defending our guys. Everyone is on the league’s side at the end of the day. Listen, I’ve been a league guy for 20-whatever years. I love this league and I want this league to do well. I don’t think any coach doesn’t want the league to do well. Having said that the coaches job is to do what he can to help the team win.”

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Rasheed Wallace,
Beasley: We’ve got to make them feel old at 1:35 pm ET
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MIAMI — There is no mystery as to what the Celtics can expect from the Miami Heat tonight for Game 3. These are desperate times for the Heat and the Celtics know that they will get Miami’s best shot.

If there was any wonder, however, second-year forward Michael Beasley laid it out in stark terms after this morning’s shootaround.

“We have to be more athletic, more energetic, bring the fire,” Beasley said. “Make them feel old. They’ve got a lot of veterans on their team and we’ve got a lot of young guys. We just need to run the floor and just try to tire them out.”

The Celtics are old. That’s no secret, but through the first two games they have been the aggressors in the series and that’s got nothing to do with age. They have also benefited from the first round format which has given them two days off between games.

“Yes, since we’re so damn old, it allows them to sit in their rocking chair,” Rivers said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice. “It does [help]. I think it sets up well for everyone, honestly. I think everyone in the first round would take this format. In the second round you do want the rhythm to go a little quicker. Game 4 [Sunday afternoon] is tough. That’s a regular season, quick turnaround game. That’s a tough one.”

That’s the sticking point for the Celtics tonight. Yes, they are in command of the series but if they can’t beat Miami in Game 3, things will get much tighter.

“I told our guys, I was honest with them, We haven’t done well in these situations,” Rivers said. “We really haven’t. Every time we played well in the regular season we’ve let our guard down, so we’ll find out our mental resolve and our toughness tonight.”

Read More: Celtics, Heat, Michael Beasley,
Finley on D&H: C’s need to show respect 04.16.10 at 12:49 pm ET
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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 »

Read More: Celtics, Dale & Holley, Michael Finley,
Transcript: Rivers on D&C 04.15.10 at 12:45 pm ET
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Doc Rivers said he loves coaching the Celtics and hasn't decided on his future. (AP)

Doc Rivers said he loves coaching the Celtics and hasn't decided on his future. (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning. Following is a transcript. To listen, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

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 »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers,
Heat or Bucks? 04.12.10 at 2:44 pm ET
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The Celtics find themselves in an interesting position with two games left in the regular season. They will play either Miami or Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs and they have some control over the outcome, but not total control.

To review: The Celtics sit one game behind Atlanta for third in the Eastern Conference, but the C’s own the tiebreaker. The Heat and Bucks are tied for fifth, but the Bucks own the tiebreaker with Miami.

If things stay as they are the Celtics will open the first round with Milwaukee, but things are not likely to stay the same. That’s because Milwaukee hosts Atlanta tonight [Monday] and then travels to Boston for the regular-season finale Wednesday.

If Atlanta wins, the Hawks can just about wrap up third and almost guarantee a first-round matchup with the Bucks. If not, the whole thing becomes a jumble. The Heat play at Philly Monday and then host New Jersey Wednesday, so if the Bucks stumble Miami had a good chance to climb into fifth.

Which brings us back to the Celtics and whether they should have a preference in a first-round opponent. On the face of things, not really.

Milwaukee and Miami have identical records and have been two of the hottest teams down the stretch. Milwaukee has gone 21-7 since acquiring John Salmons at the trade deadline, while the Heat have won 16 of their last 20. Both are also strong defensive teams who rarely turn the ball over.

But that’s where the similarities stop. The Heat are incredibly reliant on the individual brilliance of Dwyane Wade who leads the team in points, assists and steals. He has also taken almost 500 more shots and free throws than any of his teammates.

The Bucks do not have nearly that kind of star power and they’re best player, Andrew Bogut, is injured and unavailable. Playing Milwaukee seems like the obvious choice, and indeed it may be (Zach Lowe at Celtics Hub makes a strong case here), but let’s examine both sides. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bucks, Celtics, Heat,
Doc on Sheed and Celts: Judge us in the playoffs 04.10.10 at 12:12 am ET
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Doc Rivers knows champions are made in the playoffs. So are reputations.

That’s why he’s asking everyone to hold judgement on Rasheed Wallace until they see what the Celtics and Wallace do in playoffs.

But that didn’t keep Rivers from acknowledging this has been a tough first season for Wallace to endure in Boston.

“Up and down,” Rivers said. “He’s had some good games, some bad games. Bottom line is, he’ll be judged, and our team will be judged, on how well we play in the playoffs. If he has a great playoff run, I don’t think anyone is going to say it was a disappointing Rasheed Wallace. If he has a great playoff run, I think people are going to say, ‘That’s what we brought him here for.’ I think somebody’s going to write that.

“If he has a poor one, then obviously, it’s going to go the other way.”

Rivers said he has moved on from the public argument the two had during the team’s win over Cleveland last Sunday.

“You know there’s going to be days like this and you just get through them and move on from them. I think we all have,” Rivers said before Friday’s game. “You still get back to the type of guy he is when the emotions aren’t around.”

That’s when Wallace did his typical walk back from shootaround to the locker room and teased Rivers with a ‘fire hazard’ comment as Rivers conducted his usual pre-game briefing outside the locker room.

“See what I mean,” Rivers said without missing a beat.

“When emotions aren’t around, he’s a good guy. That’s how you try to get back to it.”

Rivers also said before the game that it’s too early to be concerned with who the Celtics play in the playoffs, even with less than a week to go in the regular season.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Eastern Conference, NBA playoffs
KG: ‘It doesn’t help when the crowd boos’ 04.09.10 at 11:54 pm ET
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A frustrated Kevin Garnett took exception with the boos that rained down on the parquet during Boston’s 106-96 loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

“It’s just hard, especially when we get to the end of the first quarter and we are down, 30-17, and everybody starts to hit – not the panic button – but tries to pick it up in different ways and when it doesn’t come together or you miss some shots, and it doesn’t help when the crowd boos and all these other things then you have to grow tighter together,” Garnett said. “It’s not easy. We know this journey and duration in which we are traveling is not going to be an easy one, and tonight was a difficult one. I wouldn’t say we hang our heads but every individual is trying to figure out what to do and what they can do individually to try to pick it up.”

The Celtics heard it from the TD Garden crowd as the Celtics fell behind by 28 in the second quarter.

“Well, I mean we are at home, we look for our fans to give energy, to give us a spark when the times are tough,” Garnett said. “It doesn’t help when the boos happen but we are a group of veterans and we are a group that is a real team. We aren’t fair weather.”

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Paul Pierce
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