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Doc on Tech: ‘That’s on me’ 01.11.10 at 11:51 pm ET
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Doc Rivers played the role of Bill Belichick on Monday night. He said responsibility for blowing his top and losing his cool while his team was losing the game was on him.

He admitted as much after his team dropped a 102-96 decision to the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden, a game that turned on a dime when the Celtics head coach was assessed consecutive technical fouls for arguing a flagrant foul on Glen Davis when he tried to stop Marvin Williams from a lay-up with 6:16 left in the third and the Celtics up, 67-57.

Afterward, Rivers said losing his cool just before his team lost the game was his responsibility.

Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson said Doc Rivers did what he felt he had to do.

Glen Davis said he was surprised he was called for a flagrant foul for taking out Marvin Williams on a drive to the basket.

Ray Allen didn’t feel it was a foul worthy of a flagrant call.

Allen said Rivers’ ejection was a terrible situation that turned the tide of the game.

Paul Pierce said, technicals aside, Celts didn’t do what was needed to win.

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Sore left foot sidelines Sheed for week at 11:40 pm ET
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The Celtics were without Rasheed Wallace for their game against Atlanta due to a sore left forefoot and could be without the big-man’s services for the next week, according to coach Doc Rivers.

“Looks like a week, maybe. It’s day-to-day but I would say maybe a week. Maybe less. It’s going to be day-to-day.” Rivers said, adding x-rays were negative on the player who was already filling in for another injured Celtic – Kevin Garnett.

The foot began bothering him Sunday night after Boston’s win in Toronto. The team decided to hold him out when it was determined he couldn’t push off.

The team was made aware of it shortly after Wallace came off the court following pregame warmups. Brian Scalabrine started in his place. In addition to Wallace, the Celtics were already without Garnett [right knee] and Marquis Daniels [left thumb].

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Doc tossed at 9:58 pm ET
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Doc Rivers was ejected from Monday’s game against Atlanta when he was assessed two consecutive technicals by veteran official Bennett Salvatore midway through the third quarter after officials whistled Glen Davis for a flagrant foul on Marvin Williams.

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No Sheed for the ATL at 7:27 pm ET
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The Celtics will be without Rasheed Wallace for their game against Atlanta. Kevin Garnett’s back-up is missing the game with a sore left forefoot.

Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said it wasn’t immediately known when he injured the foot and the team decided to hold him out when it was determined he couldn’t push off. The team was made aware of it shortly after Wallace came off the court following pregame warmups.

Brian Scalabrine started in his place. In addition to Wallace, the Celtics were already without Kevin Garnett [right knee] and Marquis Daniels [left thumb].

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Doc: KG ‘another 10 days’ away at 7:11 pm ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Kevin Garnett began working out on Monday and expects him to be out another 10 days as he rehabs and strengthens his sore right knee.

Rivers had indicated around New Year’s Day that Garnett would be ready by the second week in January before revising his timetable a few days later after Garnett was unable to train with the injury.

“I’m hoping in the next 10 days, that area,” Rivers said. “Now, I actually am pretty sure it is in the next 10 days or so. He got to start working out today for the first time.

Now it’s just a conditioning thing. We want to make sure he gets strong and back in shape because he literally hasn’t done anything. We figure 10 days to two weeks, that’s what it’ll take. I think more like 10 days for him because trying to hold him down for those extra four will be very difficult.”

Garnett has been out since Dec. 22 with soreness in his right knee. Since then, Rivers said, Garnett has not been able to do anything more than shooting during practice.

“He literally has not done a thing and for him that’s a minor miracle for him, probably, but it’s been great for him and he feels good,” Rivers said.

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Preview: Celtics-Hawks at 10:23 am ET
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The focus around town has been understandably elsewhere during these early days of 2010, but as you woke up this morning to the reality of a Pats-free January and a simmering Red Sox hot stove (down from a full boil) the Celtics have got what you might call a big one tonight. That’s relative of course. There are no true Big Games in January, but the Celtics have faced the Hawks twice this season and they have been beaten pretty badly in both encounters.

After the latest defeat Friday night, Doc Rivers conceded to the press that the Hawks had been both, “the better team” and “more physical.” There’s little chance that the coach actually believes those two statements to be true in totality, but those have been the facts this season in regards to the Hawks.

The Celtics have a chance to make up for that tonight, which also kicks off a stretch of 10 games where they will play six times against quality teams. If you haven’t been paying rapt attention to the C’s lately, tonight would be a good time to start.

CELTICS (26-9, 6-4 last 10)

Points Per Game: 100.8

Points Allowed: 93.5

Differential: +7.3 (First)

Offensive Efficiency: 109.0 (10th)

Defensive Efficiency: 101.2 (Second)

Pace: 91.0 (21st)

Likely Starters: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins

Injuries: Kevin Garnett (hyper-extended knee), Marquis Daniels (thumb)

HAWKS (23-13, 4-6 last 10)

Points Per Game: 103.4

Points Allowed: 97.8

Differential: +5.6 (Fifth)

Offensive Efficiency: 111. (Third)

Defensive Efficiency: 105.8 (12th)

Pace: 91.7 (23rd)

Likely Starters: Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford

Injuries: None Read the rest of this entry »

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Fast Break: Celtics-Hawks 01.08.10 at 10:39 pm ET
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In the Eastern Conference hierarchy, the Magic have what the Celtics want and the Cavaliers have their attention. But it’s the Hawks that seem to bring out the best and the worst in the Celtics.

You could call it chippy. You could call it physical. Call it whatever you want but there’s a real edge when these two teams play. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either. The Celtics often play their best when they feel like they’ve been backed into a corner. But at times against the Hawks all that physical aggression resulted in some unseemly hoops.

The sequence went like this in a 93-85 Celtics loss Friday night: Bad first quarter, great second quarter, horrific third quarter, not good enough fourth quarter. The reason for the loss was fairly atypical. It wasn’t turnovers or offensive rebounds that did them in. It was an unsightly 41 percent shooting percentage.

This is developing into a good rivalry. Forget the playoff series from two seasons ago; that was another lifetime ago. The Hawks think they are on the level with the Celtics, and while they don’t have the playoff chops to prove it, they certainly have their number in the regular season.

Player of the Game: Josh Smith (Atlanta). The guy ESPN’s Jay Bilas once said was most likely to be a bust from the 2004 draft class (good call Jay) has quietly turned into one of the best forwards in the league. He finally has shelved the misguided 3-point game that stunted his growth and become a nightmare matchup on the post. Smith had two huge momentum-changing plays. One came on an alley-oop dunk. Another came on a clean block on what would have been a dunk by Kendrick Perkins.

Turning Point: The moment the second half started. The Celtics had played a solid road first half. They shot the ball well, took care of the ball and didn’t let the crowd into the game. And then, everything changed. The Hawks started making shots, which happens, but the Celtics stopped running their offense and like a batter taking a strikeout into the field, they let it affect their defense

* Perkins and Al Horford are part of a large group of Eastern Conference centers who wouldn’t look out of place on the All-Star team behind Dwight Howard. Both are complimentary players in the grand schemes of their teams, but both have also seen their roles, and their production, expand this season. Give the slight edge to Horford last night, but only slight.

* The Celtics shot almost 40 percent from 3-point range but don’t be fooled. They were 7-for-12 in the first half and 2-f0r-12 in the second. Rasheed Wallace was the worst offender going 1-for-8.

* Eddie House returned to the lineup and scored five points in 13 minutes, but the flu that’s been going around the team isn’t done with the Celtics. Tony Allen was sick and missed the game.

* The Celtics somehow only committed 14 fouls in the game. Considering the nature of the game, that was the definition of the refs “letting them play.”

* Lester Hudson wasn’t unemployed for long. The Grizzlies claimed him on waivers and that may be a good spot for him to get some minutes and somebody’s long-term attention. Hudson doesn’t have much time to make an impression as he’s already 25 years old.

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