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Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/6 10.06.09 at 11:38 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers appeared on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss the team’s preseason preparations as the C’s get set to play the Houston Rockets in Hidaglo, Texas, on Wednesday night.

Following is a complete transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

rivers_docDo you worry about your guys … when you make a trip like that [to Hidalgo, Texas, on the Mexico border]?

I worry more about [Greg] Dickerson doing it than our players. I’m hoping he actually goes and we can steal his passport so he can’t come back.

No, you do worry about it. Guys like going over and having fun or whatever. We have great guys, and we’ll talk to them about it so you’re not that concerned. But you’d rather [they] not be there, let’s put it that way.

Give us several significant highlights to camp at this point. What are we missing here so far?

I think Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis Daniels, they really have solidified our bench. It’s a veteran bench, very similar to two years ago. Rasheed’s ability to stretch the floor will be amazing when he plays with [Kendrick Perkins] or Kevin [Garnett], it doesn’t really matter which one he plays with, he still stretches the floor, he has the ability to take 5s out. And Marquis Daniels, he’s really good for our team. He’s a small forward, he plays 2 guard as well. From his position, he can handle the ball, and that frees up Eddie [House]. The old point forward — if you remember the Paul Pressey days in Milwaukee, where he handled the ball, and then Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson and those guys came off picks. Well, it will be very similar to us with the second team.

Is Rasheed going to be beloved here in Boston?

Yeah. The one thing we knew about Rasheed was the fact that his teammates that he’s played for loved him. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s one of the more verbal talkers on defense in the league — him and Kevin. And it’s amazing. During camp, I have a lot of college coaches come in and they watch camp. And that’s the one thing they keep saying is — well, there’s two things: “Boy, your bigs have a chance to be really good.” The second thing is, “I’ve never seen a team talk as much on defense, especially Rasheed, Perk and Kevin.” So, those are the things they’ll notice. But they’ll love him. I’m sure there will be a couple of nights where he’ll get into an exchange with someone else in stripes, and we’re going to have to deal with that. But that’s not going to be an issue, in my opinion.

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Walker has knee scoped 10.02.09 at 1:28 pm ET
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The Celtics announced that forward Bill Walker underwent successful right knee arthroscopic surgery on Friday at the New England Baptist Hospital.

Walker sustained a meniscus tear on the first day of training camp. The team confirmed the surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and assisted by John Rand, PAC.

While no timetable for his return has been announced by the team, various reports have Walker missing 6-8 weeks of action.

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KG: Last year humbled us 09.28.09 at 10:59 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett admitted on Monday that watching the playoffs on the bench last year was one of the most painful experiences of his career as he nursed bone spurs behind his right knee.

“I think last year did one thing for us, if anything, it humbled us,” Garnett said during media day for the Celtics. “I think, if anything, it showed that team is everything, not one or two players get things done. I’m eager to see how we come in and how our minds and how we all are in camp. This is our bonding. This is all the time where the guys we haven’t played with … see how they all fit.”

Here are some audio highlights from Monday’s media extravaganza at the Sports Authority Complex in Waltham.

Garnett said he’s excited for the beginning of camp to see what the Celtics have.

Garnett said he’s ready to go full blast.

Garnett said last year humbled the Celtics.

Garnett said Rajon Rondo and Lester Hudson seemed fast when he played pickup last week.

Paul Pierce said KG looked good getting up and down the court.

RayAllen said the Celtics Big 3 feel like it’s two years ago all over again.

Doc Rivers discussed why camp is so important.

Rivers talked about trying to build his team’s endurance through a long season.

The Celtics left Monday for Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., as camp begins on Tuesday.

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Doc: I’m not going to overdo it at 8:50 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Before leaving for Newport, R.I. and a week of getting his team in the right frame of mind to actually put some letters and numbers on the blank banner hanging in the corner of the practice facility, Celtics coach Doc Rivers let the media in on a little secret.

“I think camp is important this year but obviously with Kevin coming back, [joining] Rasheed, Paul, Ray, they’re not spring chickens,” Rivers said. “Perk’s [left] shoulder, Tony’s [right] foot, we’re going to go as hard as we need to but I’m not going to overdo it.”

So, the Celtics all got together on Monday and left for Salve Regina University after meeting their media commitments. Kevin Garnett and his right knee, Rasheed Wallace and his new uniform, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tony Allen and his right foot and Kendrick Perkins and his left shoulder joined the rest of their teammates to prepare for a run at getting back on top of the NBA world.

But Rivers was clear about one thing – the NBA Finals are played in June and the playoffs begin in April, something that was reinforced in his mind toward the end of last year.

“Listen, we’re going to try and build through the year,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to try and get everything in in camp. I can tell you right now that we’re going to be behind coming out of camp than where we were last year. I’m more concerned with just preserving. I’m not that concerned about it but that’s the way we’re going to do it.”

As for the new faces like Rasheed Wallace, Marquise Daniels and Shelden Williams all fitting in, Rivers said he’ll manage just fine.

“Bottom line is this, everybody is here for one purpose and that’s to win and when you’re together in that way, I don’t think egos are much of a problem,” Rivers said. “If you’re not together in that way, then egos become a problem. If egos become a problem on this team, then we’re not thinking in the right way and that’s the way I look at it.”

And don’t ask about windows of opportunity with this team. There’s only one window the Celtics are trying to keep open in the house.

“I’m just worried about the 2010 window right now,” Rivers said. “Our goal is to win it this year, that’s it. I don’t look at windows with this team. Obviously, this team won’t be the same in 2012 and 2013. I think we’re all smart enough to understand that.”

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KG: I’m ready to go at 5:13 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Kevin Garnett pronounced himself ready for the 2009-10 season during media day for the Boston Celtics on Monday.

“I’m refreshed and ready to go. 5 on 5 starts tomorrow and I’ll be ready,” said Garnett, who is back after summer surgery to repair bone spurs behind his right knee.

“There are no restrictions,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers added. “Right now we have no medical restrictions on any player”.

The team left at 4:30 Monday afternoon for Salve Regina University, where they will begin training camp on Tuesday. Celtics captain Paul Pierce said that Garnett looked ready to go from what he saw of him during an informal 5-on-5 pickup game last week.

“It was like a breath of fresh air,” Pierce said.

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Pierce sees great things in Wallace, Celtics 07.09.09 at 8:58 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Paul Pierce has found new life in his step and Rasheed Wallace is the reason why.

Pierce couldn’t help but think back two summers ago when coming off a 24-win season, the Celtics went out and acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, leading to a 66-win, NBA Championship campaign 11 months later.

Pierce was up on the dais with Allen and Garnett and had similar thoughts dancing through his head.

“It started two years with Ray and Kevin and I just think with getting Rasheed, it just gives you an extra boost of energy,” Pierce said. “Even the last few weeks, it’s hard for me to stay out of the gym. I’ve been coming in, working out, picking up the ball here and there. Just making sure that I’m ready for the upcoming season because I’m excited with the moves that we made.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The need for Sheed 07.05.09 at 10:57 pm ET
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Once the Celtics interest in Rasheed Wallace became known, and once the other free agent prizes began to find teams, it became more and more apparent that the Celtics had to get a deal done with Wallace. Not because Cleveland traded for Shaquille O’Neal or because Orlando added Vince Carter, but because Wallace is exactly what the Celtics need, and there is no one else remotely like him available.

The Celtics came into this offseason with three identifiable areas of need: A backup point guard who can run the team competently when Rajon Rondo goes to the bench, a versatile swing man–preferably one who can guard at least two positions, make a jump shot and give Paul Pierce some real rest–and a big man. Already in luxury tax territory and armed with the mid-level exception the Celtics had one big play to make and to that end they wisely stayed out of the limited point guard pool and the big-money small forward arms race. In zeroing in on Wallace, the Celtics identified their biggest need and spent accordingly.

Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, made noises during the courtship that a selling point for Wallace was assurances that the Celtics were not done making moves. They still have the bi-annual exception (projected to be around $2 million) and if they can land someone like Grant Hill, that would represent the best-case scenario. But there are still a few solid veterans looking for new homes, like Marquis Daniels, Quinton Ross and Anthony Parker, as well as in-house options like Brian Scalabrine, JR Giddens and Bill Walker. The Celtics have options, in other words.

But landing a quality big man was always the top priority and in Wallace the Celtics not only get an intelligent, versatile veteran who has been on a championship team, they also get something they did not have at all last season: protection in case Kevin Garnett or Kendrick Perkins gets hurt.

Wallace is much more than an insurance policy, however. His offensive game may have gotten a little too perimeter-heavy last season, but his style of play fits perfectly in the Celtics system which rarely utilizes a low-post option. Additionally his ability to guard power forward and centers, particularly centers, is a huge addition for the Celtics who haven’t really had that player during the Big 3 era (except for PJ Brown’s playoff run), and they have had to ask undersized power forwards like Leon Powe and Glen Davis to play out of position.

The Celtics still need a backup point guard and seem content to try to lure one with the veteran minimum like maybe Ty Lue (one of Kevin Garnett’s best friends) and that small forward, but they just solved their biggest offseason problem with the addition of Rasheed Wallace.

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