|Ainge on The Big Show: ‘We need the Big Four to play well’||04.28.10 at 5:19 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined The Big Show on Wednesday and talked about his team’s playoff hopes. The Celtics looked strong in a first-round win over the Heat after struggling for much of the regular season. “I think that the inconsistency is more a state of mind,” Ainge said. “Everyone said we’re going to turn the button on and off. I don’t think we did that except in the course of each game. It was like we came out to play all the big games of the year and many others. And then it would just be like we got disinterested in the fourth quarter, or late in the third. We were one of the worst third-quarter teams in the season, and now we’re one of the best third-quarter teams in the playoffs. To me, it’s all a frame of mind and your approach to the game.”
Ainge said that in order for the Celtics to beat LeBron James‘ Cavaliers, the C’s need Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo to be at the top of their games each time out. “Because we don’t have LeBron, we need a lot of guys to step up and carry us,” Ainge said. “We need the Big Four to play well. It comes down to that. We’re going to get inconsistent performances out of guys off the bench because that’s who they’ve been all year and kind of who’ve they have been in their careers. But we need consistent effort out of our Big Four.”
Asked about the future of his coach, Ainge said, “I’ve wondered about Doc because I know how much of a family man he is. I know how hard it is to coach in this business. I know the emotional toll it takes to be a coach in this league. I think this has been an extraordinarily difficult year for Doc, a challenging year,” Ainge said, adding. “I think Doc will be back next year. He hasn’t told me that, and it’s something that we really don’t talk about. I did talk with Doc earlier in the year about the possibility of doing a contract extension, and he didn’t want to do it [not] because he wasn’t sure he wanted to come back, he didn’t want to do it because he doesn’t want a distraction.” Added Ainge: “I think that Doc does like it here. I think he understands the unique opportunity he has coaching here. And I think that once the season gets over and once he has the chance to settle back, I think he will want to come back.”
Ainge was asked if the Celtics had any chance of being a player with one of the marquee free agents this summer and said it would be doubtful but not out of the question. “The only way it would be possible would be a sign and trade, and that’s very unlikely. The only way we would be able to do it is if a player said, ‘I want to play in Boston, and I’m only going to play in Boston under any circumstances.’ … That team would have to believe that [the player was willing to sign for a mid-level exception] and work out some sort of sign and trade to get that player more money.” Additionally, Ainge confirmed that the Celtics likely would have to entice the other team with a package of a player such as Ray Allen, with his huge contract, and a promising young player.
To hear the interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.
|Ainge on The Big Show: Nate played ‘nervous’||02.24.10 at 8:49 pm ET|
Celtics president Danny Ainge was a guest on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon (Click here to listen to the interview) and he addressed the health of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, Nate Robinson’s adjustment to the team and Ray Allen’s resurgence. Following is a transcript.
Are you expecting Paul Pierce to be out against Cleveland?
I’m not sure yet. It will be a game-time decision. You never know with Paul. We want to be cautious with that thumb because those things can get aggravated easily. I don’t think the injury is serious, but they can get aggravated over and over and over.
Do you have to hold him out for his own benefit?
Yeah, but again, we will just see how the treatment goes and how much stronger it is tomorrow. By game time we will make that decision.
If you were playing the Nets tomorrow as opposed to Cleveland, would you treat it differently?
I don’t think so. I think that Cleveland might be a temptation for Paul. We still have the big picture in mind and it makes more sense to rest all his minor ailments and get him healthy once and for all.
How did Nate Robinson look last night?
I thought Nate was playing a little bit nervous. I think the dynamic of coming into a good team is a tough one because you are trying to fit in. He hasn’t played basketball in 10 days. They had a shootaround, basically, was all they had to go through the offense and playing the Knicks. I think all those things going in, there was a lot of emotion going on. I could see he was trying to fit in. Doc was trying to tell him that we just want you to be aggressive and attack, because that’s when he is at his best. Being an aggressive offensive player looking to score, I think that’s when he plays his best basketball. Read the rest of this entry »
|Ainge: Celtics had interest in big trades||02.19.10 at 5:31 pm ET|
“We did talk about getting Stoudemire,” Ainge said. “I got a sense [Phoenix wasn’t] getting the things they wanted. I think they would have moved him, but I think they like Amare. He’s a terrific player and they didn’t get what they wanted.”
Ainge also said he had discussions with the Kings about Martin and made an attempt to maneuver in the mega trade between the Knicks, Rockets and Kings that resulted in Martin going to Houston and Tracy McGrady to New York.
The deal for Nate Robinson was done several days ago, Ainge said, but he and the Knicks wanted to wait to see about other deals before finalizing the trade. On Robinson, Ainge said: “I’m fan of him as a person and I’m a fan of him as a player. I liked Eddie. We really liked Eddie House. But Nate as a player is just a more dynamic player.”
Ainge also said the technical foul that was assessed to Rasheed Wallace Thursday night against the Lakers had been rescinded by the league.
|Danny Ainge on The Big Show: We’re going to try to do something||02.10.10 at 5:24 pm ET|
Danny Ainge joined Glenn Ordway and The Big Show to talk about trade rumors, Kevin Garnett’s health, what he thought about while watching the Magic go on a 19-0 run and more trade rumors.
There have been new trade rumors since the last time we talked. What about this Glen Davis to Charlotte rumor? Any truth?
Any truth to what? That he’s going to Charlotte? No.
Any truth to it?
None. I haven’t had any discussions with Charlotte.
You have had zero conversations with Charlotte?
Right, I haven’t had any conversation with Charlotte. There was speculation that they were looking for 4 and we were looking for a backup [point guard]. People try to put things together, but I have not had conversations. I like the player mentioned in the trade rumor [D.J. Augustin] but we like Glen Davis a lot, too.
The fact that rumors get out there, do you get more calls from other teams when rumors get out there?
Well, there’s so much media people so there’s so many distractions. People from the media try to verify every rumor.
No, that’s not what I meant. Other teams?
No, it does not instigate more calls. Maybe something bigger might, but no. It has not.
What was your feeling watching the Magic go on a 19-0 run? Did it disturb you?
Yeah, it’s frustrating to watch because it didn’t feel like we wanted to fight through it. The NBA is a game of runs. When a team is hot that’s one thing. But when you’re giving up easy baskets and then not doing what it takes to execute. You’re not paying the price. We all go through offensive droughts during the course of game but I just didn’t feel like there was any fight in getting back in the game. I think our guys are resting on their past experiences and think they can turn it on and win games. I’m not saying they’re making conscious decisions to do that, but that’s just the way it appears. Read the rest of this entry »
|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 »
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