|Doc on Scott firing: ‘That’s our league’||11.12.09 at 3:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM – When he heard the news on Thursday that Byron Scott had been fired after a 3-6 start in New Orleans, Doc Rivers couldn’t help but think he had seen this script before.
It was November 2003 and the Orlando Magic decided to make a coaching change after a 1-10 start. It was Doc Rivers who was shown the door.
“That’s too bad,” Rivers said following Thursday’s practice. “It’s amazing that you can make a decision that quickly on a guy that was Coach of the Year a year-and-a-half ago. So, that’s our league.
“He matched me, basically. I was , so I lasted [two] longer, unfortunately. It just gave me [two] more losses,” Rivers added with a hearty laugh.
To be completely accurate, this isn’t even the first time this has happened to Scott.
What makes it even more similar is the fact that both Scott and Rivers earned coach of the year honors only to be fired later on.
Rivers was coach of the year in 2000 with Orlando, leading a team that was picked dead last in the Eastern Conference to a near playoff berth. Scott earned his award in 2008, ironically the same season Rivers led his team to 66 wins and the NBA title.
That season, Scott led the Hornets to 56 wins and a berth in the Western Conference semis before bowing out to the Spurs.
|Scal strikes again||at 2:49 pm ET|
“It went great,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “He elbowed one guy in the head and hit another guy so he’s back. Scal’s back.”
Pierce, who sustained only a minor scratch after a struggle for a loose ball, wasn’t the only victim of Scalabrine’s physicality in practice as J.R. Giddens got hit on the top of the head.
None of the injuries are expected to force any players to miss Friday’s game against Atlanta. Scalabrine returned to practice after back spasms forced him to miss two of the last three games.
|Turn up the volume: C’s practice makes perfect||at 1:17 am ET|
So this is why Doc Rivers and his coaching staff were so happy to have two solid days of practice this week.
The Celtics held the Jazz to 37-of-79 shooting for 46.8 percent. But most impressively, they forced Utah, a team that prides itself on execution, to commit 21 turnovers.
Apparently the Celtics were listening when the coaches, starting with defensive guru Tom Thibodeau, preached about staying ready for the pick-and-roll and not letting Utah’s big men of Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur get easy baskets underneath.
Afterward, the Celtics were appreciative of their coaches’ preparation, as was head coach Doc Rivers.
|No Scal again||11.11.09 at 7:30 pm ET|
Bill Walker [right knee], who returned this week to practice, is in uniform for the first time this season.
|Williams to play against C’s||at 7:11 pm ET|
Utah’s starting point guard Deron Williams [right calf] will play tonight against the Celtics.
“I’ll let out trainer let me know where he is in the game. That’s what we usually do when a player’s been out, make sure we don’t cause any problems and screw him up in any way,” Sloan explained.
Williams has played in all seven games for the Jazz this season, averaging 21.4 points and 10.7 assists. He suffered the calf strain in Utah’s win on Monday night in New York against the Knicks.
|Doc: ‘I understand and appreciate the day’||at 7:01 pm ET|
Every Veterans Day has special meaning to Glenn ‘Doc’ Rivers.
His late father, Grady Alexander Rivers, was in the Army and he carries that memory with him now.
“I think a lot of kids look at this day as a day off,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “My dad was a veteran, so I do understand the day and I appreciate the day.”
So with that inspiration in mind, he’ll take the chance to remind his team before the game with the Jazz about why today is important.
“Today, and I do it all the time, but I’ll share some veterans’ stories,” Rivers said. “I’m going to ask the guys if they even know what day it is because a lot of people don’t. If it’s a certain day, like Martin Luther King Day, or any of these days I think it’s a good for us to bring it up. It’s not just a basketball game. I always think it’s important to bring it up.”
|Sheed: Don’t sleep on the Jazz||11.10.09 at 4:47 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Rasheed Wallace can read the standings just like everyone else.
He sees that the Utah Jazz are off to a 3-4 start out West. He also sees the likes of Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur on the box score. Throw in the sharp-shooting Andrei Kirilenko and he knows his 7-1 Celtics will have their hands full when they take the court on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
“They’re a good team,” Wallace said. “Everyone is sleeping on them coming out of the West. I think they have the talent to beat the Lakers, talent to beat the Spurs. Can’t sleep on them, in my opinion. You can’t sleep on them at all. They have a good point guard, good big men, good swing men and good coach. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us.”
Ever since the days of Stockton and Malone, the Jazz under Jerry Sloan have mastered the pick-and-roll as well as anyone in the sport.
“That’s Sloan’s calling card,” Wallace said after Tuesday’s practice preparing for just that. “Just look at Mailman [Karl Malone], just look at [Jeff] Hornacek, of course [John] Stockton. Just some of the guys they’ve had. That’s what they do to a ‘T’.
“That’s what they’re know for, their execution. Their power play, so to speak, where you dump it down from the corner. That’s something Sloan has re-written the book on, the pick and roll. And you definitely have to give them their credit.”
Sloan, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, knows what he wants on the court at all times. And opposing players like Wallace know what to expect.
“Of course, he’s always going to have a big who can shoot, he’s always a point guard who can handle and drop it off to that big and still shoot, i.e. like Stockton did,” Wallace said. “It’s definitely not going to be a cakewalk. It’s definitely going to be a challenge.”