|Ian Thomsen on D&C: C’s need to adjust game||02.01.10 at 11:08 am ET|
Sports Illustrated NBA writer Ian Thomsen made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Celtics‘ recent woes. He explored the team’s current struggles, whether the Big Three still has the legs to mount a championship run, whether the team might consider a major deal along the lines of a trade of Ray Allen or whether a move to acquire a player such as Kirk Hinrich of the Bulls could help the team to pull out of its current funk.
Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click here.
How quickly is the window closing?
It’s going to close fast if they don’t make the adjustments they need to make. They aren’t themselves, and I’m talking about [Kevin] Garnett especially, and [Paul] Pierce a little bit, and even Ray Allen. They’re just going to need to adjust the way they play, to try to make the best of it while they get through this transition. If they still think they can win a championship, they can’t do it the way they are playing now. They have to sort of do a transitional style to get them to March and April with a chance to win it.
Meaning what? Get new people?
Garnett needs to be more of a center right now. He’s not himself. He’s not beating guys down the floor in transition. [Lakers coach] Phil Jackson brought that up yesterday. He needs to be more that post-up guy, play a little bit more inside, they can play the ball through him. He needs to figure out what he can do and do that. Because what he’s doing now isn’t very productive.
They’ve been outscored in the fourth quarter in 12 of their last 14 games. Is that age and injury?
It’s age and injury, and I really think they’re asking too much of Rajon Rondo in his [fourth] year to be doing so much, to be carrying them, playing a lot of minutes, and then to lead them in the fourth quarters the way he’s been having to do. I think he’s come a long way, he’s a terrific player, he’s going to be even better in a couple of years. But right now they’re asking too much of him.
A lot of it just doesn’t make sense. The team doesn’t make sense, when you look at the hierarchy. Think about two years ago. When you looked at the stats for the season, it just all made sense the way the shots were divvied out, the order of things. And they don’t have that order right now. Rondo’s a big part of the offense as a point guard who is not a great shooter. Really, it all just comes down to not having Garnett be himself, and he’s got to figure out some way to be productive right now.
|Ainge on The Big Show: Trade rumors fiction||01.27.10 at 5:24 pm ET|
On Glen Davis wanting to change his nickname: Did this upset you guys in the front office?
Why would it upset us in the front office? First of all, this guy and all the players, there are people around them constantly. It’s why I don’t think players should Twitter or Facebook, there are so many things said on the spur of the moment that aren’t thought through. I don’t think there was anything he meant. Maybe he just thought he should change his nickname and it becomes a huge story. It’s incredible to me. I know Glen. I know his intentions. I know where his heart is and what his goals are. I just think it was blown completely out of context.
Why engage this after getting fined [for the Detroit incident]?
My thing is why would you ever want to bring attention to yourself when things aren’t going great. Glen is a funny guy. He’s an outgoing guy, he’s a very spontaneous guy and I think that, not making any excuses for him, of course that wasn’t a great thing to say, but it doesn’t change how we feel about him. We just know his personality and those kinds of things come out of him. I don’t think he has any selfish motives by doing it, or things that go against the grain of the team, it was just not the brightest thing for him to say.
He hasn’t played as well this season, obviously the injury had a lot to do with it, but he hasn’t seemed as bouncy and funny when he’s talking to the media. Away from the press, is he the same personality?
Yeah, he’s a good personality. He’s happy when he comes in every day. he puts his work in. I think he was humbled by the whole experience. I think the difference is, he hasn’t had a chance to play. You don’t get that rhythm. He was getting 15 and 7 last year in the playoffs. I’m very confident that if something happened to one of the guys ahead of him in the rotation and he was put in a position to play the minutes that he did last year he would produce every bit like he did last year, if not better.
You’ve had Kevin Garnett back for a few games. How has it worked out?
I think probably better than we expected after a guy was sitting out for a while, from being rusty and having his timing off. He’s been making shots, and making big shots for us down the stretch of games. You see the energy that he brings to our defense, and just the accountability and confidence he gives to our players when he’s on the court. It’s every bit as important as his production. He’s been huge, and health-wise he’s good. He looks great in practice. He’s still obviously not as bouncy as he was two years ago, but he’s better than he was last year and I think he’s better today then he was in training camp. Read the rest of this entry »
|Danny Ainge on the Big Show||12.17.09 at 5:20 pm ET|
Danny Ainge joined the Big Show for his weekly call. He talked to the guys about Rajon Rondo’s maturation, Paul Pierce’s growth and the plan for Glen Davis to return. Ainge also told the guys that the Celtics had internal discussions about Allen Iverson, but that the timing wasn’t right.
The team keeps rolling on, so all that hoopla and fear when the team struggled for a week is all in the rear-view mirror now?
The team is playing well and we’re still not on all cylinders. We’re not playing great, but we’re finding ways to win and I’m happy with the way the tram is playing. I like our team chemistry and I think Doc [Rivers] is doing a magnificent job with the guys. We saw Rasheed really coming along and fitting in and getting into the low post and doing some damage. Our defense has picked up recently. We’re still not rebounding the ball well enough, but the team is doing well.
Let’s talk about Rajon Rondo. You defended him earlier in the year and you thought he was doing better than [we] thought. He seems to have more confidence in his shot. Do you see him expanding his game?
Rondo, the shot, I don’t really think that much about it. I like that he’s taking it with confidence. I like it when he’s playing free. For me it’s so much more. Arguably he’s the most valuable player on our team.
Notice you said that after you signed him.
Right. You know what? I’ve been saying that since we signed him. He’s playing as good these last 10 or 12 games or so as he’s played in his career.
Getting back to the shot. It’s not a huge concern because of all the other things that he does. But the fact that he’s taking it, is now forcing teams to play him a little bit differently. Make sense?
Well yeah, but I’m not sure they’re going to play him differently until he makes it consistently over a sustained period of time. First, the alternative of him shooting shots instead of taking it to the rim because he’s so dynamic going to the basket and getting in the paint, running along the baseline and creating havoc. So, I think it’s not just because he doesn’t shoot the ball great from the outside that teams play him the way they do. They’ve got to prevent him from getting into the paint and penetrating on their defense. Teams will continue to play him like that. His confidence will grow. He’ll have really good shooting stretches, not so good shooting stretches, like most shooters.
I’m just excited about how hard he’s playing. He seems so confident and so in control. There seems to be a trust with him and the players and with Doc. Maybe the contract situation freed him up and he’s maturing a little bit. Read the rest of this entry »
|Celtics-76ers Preview||11.24.09 at 10:28 pm ET|
At 7:30 p.m., the Celtics (10-4) will play host to the 76ers (5-9) in a collision of two teams that have been struggling of late ‘ though Philly’s struggles suggest more far-reaching problems than do Boston’s. Despite the skewed skill levels, records and anything else that might separate a 10th-place Philly team from a playoff-bound Boston club, Friday night’s game carries a decent amount of intrigue ‘ especially from the Boston perspective.
Of late, the Celtics have seemingly lost some of the swagger that they displayed during a 6-0 start. After dropping two straight to the Hawks and Pacers, Boston seemed to get back on track against Golden State in what was a pretty convincing win. But another slip-up against the Magic and an overtime buzzer-beating win against the 3-10 Knicks have made it appear that the Celtics are not in sync.
Center Kendrick Perkins attributed it to a lack of focus. But regardless of what’s been plaguing them, the Celtics need to improve ‘ and what better team to straighten things out against then the 76ers? Read the rest of this entry »
|Danny Ainge on The Big Show||at 6:09 pm ET|
Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations and GM Danny Ainge joined the Big Show on Tuesday to discuss the Celtics’ recent play, the development of Rajon Rondo, the three-point difficulties of Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett’s recovery from injury. To listen to the interview, visit the Big Show’s Audio On Demand page.
Do you think the team’s recent play has anything to do with the fact the players are getting older?
I don’t think so, no. I think our team has played well in a lot of scenarios and I just think that we haven’t been as consistent. But, shooting the ball accounts for a lot. We haven’t been hitting a lot of fairways but we have been hitting a lot of puts. Right now we are a shot of two shots away from winning these games and we have been shooting the ball very poorly from the outside.
You can’t be happy with the defense thus far though?
No, I have been happy with the defense we’ve played in a lot of the stretch but I think we get sloppy and we get lazy and we lose our focus a little bit. Defensively, statistically we were doing well defensively.
Two things that are worrying about Rondo: lack of defensive pressure at the point and that he is not breaking down the defense quite as much. Is this the same guy we saw last year?
I think he is playing better than last year. I think his defense is significantly better than last year. I think he is not getting to the line as much but I think part of that is that we are getting the ball inside more to our post players and not relying on his penetration as much but he is shooting a much better percentage than he did last year which says he is getting to the basket more, he is just not getting to the line more. Read the rest of this entry »
|Danny Ainge on the Big Show||11.18.09 at 5:31 pm ET|
Danny Ainge joined the guys on The Big Show to talk about the rumored three-way trade that was just a rumor, the media’s incessant rumor-mongering and his team’s recent lack of consistency (CLICK HERE for complete audio interview). There’s also some good Stephon Marbury talk later on. [Edited in spots for clarity].
Lets’ get right to it, right off the bat. We keep hearing about this three-team deal, lay it on us, what’s going on?
Ainge: We have nothing going on.
Are you telling me that the media making this stuff up?
In the media there are people who are more concerned with breaking news then they are with writing truth and writing real history. It’s the competition of who breaks the story first, and I have a feeling there’s people with motives that are trying to get their player traded from another team. That’s why this story gets out.
Were there any conversations with any of these teams at all?
You haven’t had any conversations with any of these teams?
So, is it possible that an agent with a media person would have their own reason for doing it?
I think that happens a lot. There’s some person who will call some person in the business to get their input. That input spreads from person to person to the next thing you know a story comes out and there’s no validity to it. There’s so much of that that goes on. I spend so much of my time talking to reporters that are calling to see if this stuff is true.
Do you have to deal with the agents and players on the other side when something like this comes out?
That’s the easier part. Players get it. They understand the business. I’ve been very honest with my players. I’ll answer any question they have to see if there’s any validity to any of the rumors. It’s not just our team. There’s things that I read almost daily that I know for a fact aren’t true. Read the rest of this entry »
|Danny Ainge on the Big Show||11.04.09 at 5:30 pm ET|
Danny Ainge joined the guys on the Big Show to talk about the Celtics hot start, Rajon Rondo’s new contract and what was up with the league’s investigation of the Rondo-Chris Paul tiff from Sunday. Ainge also had some interesting things to say about Allen Iverson, the 2010 free agent market and whether winning 72 games is even a concern.
Here’s the slightly-edited for clarity transcript:
On the team’s fast start:
Ainge: It’s been great, our defense has been excellent, and our shooting, we’ve been making shots every night. It’s been Paul [Pierce] plus one, or Paul plus two or three guys. I think we can even play better.
Did you expect out of the gate that the bench players would be playing significant minutes and playing the same as your first team?
The only surprise has been Glen Davis not playing and Shelden [Williams] stepping up and he had a couple of double-digit rebound games and three double-digit scoring games. So that’s been a big boost for us. As far as everybody else, I knew there would be games when Rasheed [Wallace] would be hot and Eddie [House] would be hot. Marquis [Daniels] is just a good solid, player. He can defend and pass. I guess I expected that. I also think our starters can play better than they’re playing, so that’s very encouraging. Read the rest of this entry »
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