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Rivers on D&C: ‘We’ll be ready’ for physical series with Cavs 04.29.10 at 10:30 am ET
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Doc Rivers (AP)

Doc Rivers (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the C’s second-round playoff series against the Cavaliers, set to start Saturday. Rivers said he does not believe LeBron James’ elbow injury will slow down the superstar. “I don’t think it will have any effect on him,” Rivers said. “I think he’ll be fine. If he shoots Games 1, 2, 3, 4 left-handed, then I would say something’s wrong. Other than that, he’ll be fine.”

Rivers said even if LeBron James is slowed due to his sore elbow, the Cavaliers have enough other weapons to pick up the slack. “They’re a very deep basketball team. They have a lot of different guys,” Rivers said. “We have to guard the 3-point line against these guys. LeBron does what he does. But when all those guys — [Anthony] Parker, Mo Williams, Delonte West, Jamario Moon, [Antawn] Jamison — when they’re standing behind that line making 3′s, then they become unbeatable. That’s the part of the game that we have to take away from them — at least try.”

Rivers gave some insight into how the C’s and other teams attempt to limit James’ impact. “One is if you can force him to his left, you’d like to do that, even though he goes both ways pretty well,” Rivers said. “Two is give him a cushion. And three is if you can force him into being a jump shooter. That’s so much easier said than done. He understands that what teams are trying to do, and he won’t have it for the most part. He’ll still put the ball on the floor.

“As far as guarding him, you can just name [the C's defenders]. Marquis [Daniels] will get a chance, Tony [Allen] will get a chance, Paul [Pierce] will get a chance, Hopefully, no more than those three.”

Asked what he would like to see from Rasheed Wallace in this series, Rivers said: “Three things: He has to be better defensively for us, especially vs. the pick and roll. Offensively he has to be a low-post presence. And then he does have to knock down a couple of shots, because that will spread their defense.”

Asked about the history of problems between the teams, Rivers implied that his club will focus more on the basketball and less on the extracurricular stuff this time around, although the C’s won’t back down. “We’re just going to come and play,” he said. “We’ll be ready. If it becomes a physical series, we’ll be ready for that as well.”

Rivers said the Celtics’ victory over the Cavaliers two years ago en route to a title won’t mean much now. “[Cavs general manager] Danny Ferry has done an amazing job with them,” Rivers said. “He’s added talent. When you think about their team when we beat them two years ago to their team now, it doesn’t even resemble the same team. They just keep adding talent and skileld players around LeBron. And that’s what they had to do, and they’ve done it.”

Rivers commented on Patriots draft pick Brandon Spikes, who is dating Rivers’ daughter, Callie (they were University of Florida classmates). “My boys got a lot of pleasure out of that the first time Brandon came over to the house, because I’m always intimidating my daughter’s boyfriends but I was saying, ‘Yes, sir,’ to him,” Rivers joked.

To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

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Doc Rivers press conference 04.28.10 at 1:46 am ET
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Coach Doc Rivers speaks to the media following the Celtics’ series-clinching win Tuesday night.

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Doc Rivers press conference 04.21.10 at 3:18 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke to the media after the Celtics took a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics beat the Heat 106-77 at TD Garden without star forward Kevin Garnett.

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Transcript: Rivers on D&C 04.15.10 at 12:45 pm ET
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Doc Rivers said he loves coaching the Celtics and hasn't decided on his future. (AP)

Doc Rivers said he loves coaching the Celtics and hasn't decided on his future. (AP)

Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning. Following is a transcript. To listen, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Most coaches like to talk about how hot they are heading into the playoffs. But the Celtics have lost seven of 10, not exactly on a roll?

Yeah, and I don’t know if I’ve ever even used that. You want to have good rhythm and all that, but the playoffs are a new season, they’ve always been a new season, and that’s how you have to view them going in. You could have won 10 games in a row as we did two years ago, we were hot going in, and went into a seven-game series against Atlanta. So, it means a lot to say, but it is a new season.

David Stern isn’t pleased with coaches resting their players heading into then playoffs, is he?

I get that. I agree with part of that, more from the fans standpoint, families that come to games. There were families last night, I guess, who came to their first game ever. And to see Kevin [Garnett] and Ray [Allen] and Paul [Pierce] and everyone else, and they get there and they don’t play — that would be disappointing if I was a fan, that would be tough. But then, it’s the same fan who understands that listen — we want them to do well in the playoffs, we want them to be rested, we want them to be healthy. And, if that last game doesn’t have a lot of meaning, as a coach you have to do what’s best for the team and the whole picture. So it is a very tough situation. I was injured in the last game of the year as a player, and that will always stick with me.

Could you imagine if Paul had ruined his knee last night? They would have killed you.

Oh, last night, it wasn’t funny but it was funny. It was seven minutes left, and I had Oliver Lafayette at the table going in for [Rajon] Rondo, and there was no play stoppage. I couldn’t get the play to stop — it was one of those stretches where the game kept going on, and then finally I yelled out to Nate [Robinson], “Foul! Foul somebody!” And then [Brian Scalabrine] fouled, so Rondo comes in and on the next possession, Nate fouls. And he looks at me, “You told me to foul!” Rondo’s already out! Read the rest of this entry »

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Doc Rivers press conference, 4/15 at 12:47 am ET
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BOSTON — Doc Rivers speaks to the media following the Celtics last regular season game of the 2010 season. The Celtics lost 106-95 to the Bucks and now will prepare to take on the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

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Report: Rivers leaning towards leaving Celtics after season 04.14.10 at 12:06 pm ET
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Sources have told the Boston Herald that Celtics coach Doc Rivers is leaning toward not coming back next season.

“Part of it is true,” Rivers told the Herald on Tuesday. “Every year I sit down in the middle of the summer and I have a family discussion. We talk about what we want to do. That’s nothing new, but every year it gets stronger and stronger. And I think people are making common sense reads. I’ve got three seniors next year, two in college and one in high school. That’s important to me.”

Rivers’ son, Jeremiah, plays on Indiana University’s basketball team. His other son, Austin, will be a high school senior and is acknowledged as one of the top prep basketball players in the country. Rivers’ daughter, Callie, is a volleyball standout at the University of Florida.

Rivers suggested a year ago that he might leave the coaching ranks for a while in an effort to spend time with his family and “re-energize.” Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan Show last May 19, Rivers said that he contemplates a “sabbatical” from his profession.

“I have every intention of coming back, but I would be lying to you if I said that every year, I didn’t sit back over the last couple, with the family. We sit back and we think, ‘What do we need to do, and what do I need to do?’ I just try to gauge it on how my kids are doing and if they’re happy,” Rivers said after the 2008-09 season. “I’m sure there will be a day or some time when I’ll say no, I’ve got to stay and do family things. But I have every intention of coming back.

“I love coaching. I see myself coaching a long time. But I also see myself as a coach who will take a break to re-energize. I believe in that. I love, what’s the analogy? A teacher taking a sabbatical and coming back. I clearly will do that someday. In the next two or three years, I think that has to happen. I just think it’s good for a coach to do that. It makes him a better coach.”

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Garnett sits against Bucks 04.10.10 at 7:55 pm ET
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Doc Rivers has elected to sit Kevin Garnett for the Celtics game with the Bucks Saturday night. Rasheed Wallace is expected to start in his place.

Rivers has maintained that rest is more important for his veteran team than getting the third seed in the playoffs and with this being the second game of a back-to-back and the fourth game in five days for the Celtics, it’s a good time to get Garnett some rest.

Garnett had played in 39 straight games since missing 10 games in late December and early January. Despite coming off knee surgery in the offseason and suffering a handful of injuries during the season, Garnett has played in 68 of the team’s 79 games.

The Celtics play the Bucks twice in their last three games (they also host Milwaukee in the regular-season finale, Wednesday) and could possibly meet Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.

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