|Doc: ‘I think No. 6 should be retired’||11.13.09 at 7:57 pm ET|
One thing NOT on his mind is whether the No. 23 should be retired throughout the NBA, as suggested by superstar LeBron James.
“I don’t know if there’s a right answer on that,” Rivers said. “Something I’ve been asked far more than I’d like to be asked, going into a game. He said he was going to wear No. 6. That number should be retired. I don’t know what the right answer to that question is. I think it’s good either way.”
James offered to give up his No. 23 and wear his Olympic No. 6 instead. Then, Rivers had some fun with reporters pregame Friday.
“You know who No. 6 is, right?” Rivers said, referring to Bill Russell.
|Scal Back, Walker inactive||at 7:48 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine returns after missing two of the last three games with back spasms. Bill Walker, who entered the game late in Wednesday’s blowout win over Utah in his first action of the season, returns to the inactive list as a healthy scratch. Glen Davis (right thumb) and Tony Allen (right ankle) are the other two inactives.
|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.
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