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Transcript: Rivers on D&C 04.15.10 at 12:45 pm ET
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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], ‘€œFoul! Foul somebody!’€ And then [Brian Scalabrine] fouled, so Rondo comes in and on the next possession, Nate fouls. And he looks at me, ‘€œYou 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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Doc on Sheed and Celts: Judge us in the playoffs at 12:12 am ET
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Doc Rivers knows champions are made in the playoffs. So are reputations.

That’s why he’s asking everyone to hold judgement on Rasheed Wallace until they see what the Celtics and Wallace do in playoffs.

But that didn’t keep Rivers from acknowledging this has been a tough first season for Wallace to endure in Boston.

“Up and down,” Rivers said. “He’s had some good games, some bad games. Bottom line is, he’ll be judged, and our team will be judged, on how well we play in the playoffs. If he has a great playoff run, I don’t think anyone is going to say it was a disappointing Rasheed Wallace. If he has a great playoff run, I think people are going to say, ‘That’s what we brought him here for.’ I think somebody’s going to write that.

“If he has a poor one, then obviously, it’s going to go the other way.”

Rivers said he has moved on from the public argument the two had during the team’s win over Cleveland last Sunday.

“You know there’s going to be days like this and you just get through them and move on from them. I think we all have,” Rivers said before Friday’s game. “You still get back to the type of guy he is when the emotions aren’t around.”

That’s when Wallace did his typical walk back from shootaround to the locker room and teased Rivers with a ‘fire hazard’ comment as Rivers conducted his usual pre-game briefing outside the locker room.

“See what I mean,” Rivers said without missing a beat.

“When emotions aren’t around, he’s a good guy. That’s how you try to get back to it.”

Rivers also said before the game that it’s too early to be concerned with who the Celtics play in the playoffs, even with less than a week to go in the regular season.

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Rivers on D&C: Rest is more important 04.08.10 at 10:06 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about how his team is playing, whether he had a problem with Tony Allen or Rasheed Wallace’s actions in the Cleveland game and how hard he’s going to push for the third spot in the Eastern Conference.

Let’s talk about last night’s game [against Toronto]. You’ve been up and down, that was the good Celtics team?

I liked it. We didn’t use a lot of minutes with guys, which was really good. Michael Finley was absolutely terrific last night. You get a performance like that off your bench, especially in the fourth quarter where you can afford to not play Paul Pierce in the fourth quarter, at this point in the season that’s good.

Going back to Sunday, the Cleveland game. How big was that game?

I’ll put it like this. I didn’t think going into the game that it was a desperate game. I felt that once we got the big lead and Cleveland made the charge, then it became a desperate game. It turned into a desperate game because of the way the game it transpired. It worked out that way and obviously we won the game, so that was good.

I didn’t feel that way going into it. I just felt the way we played for three quarters we could have beaten anyone, and we showed that. And then we stopped playing. They made an unbelievable run, or LeBron [James] made an unbelievable run and then you felt like we have to get this win somehow.

Did you have an issue with the way Tony Allen handled himself at the end of the game [with James]?

I really didn’t because I don’t think Tony started that. I think LeBron said something to Tony and Tony responded. Basically what Tony was saying is, “I don’t care who you are.” He said it in more colorful words, but I don’t think Tony Really started that talk. I don’t mind a guy not backing down. And Tony will never back down.

What about Rasheed? Should he have backed down?

I don’t know what exactly happened with Rasheed. I know he felt the official said something to him. Once that happened I could see that Rasheed was not coming back, let’s say. Once you get to that stage where you’re emotionally over the line. Usually when our players go up to him when he starts going off on officials, he backs away from the players. Once I saw where he was at with our own players and then with me, I knew we just had to get him out of the game, sit him down and play him another day.

I waited until the next day and Rasheed understands the next day those are things that he can’t do, that he shouldn’t do. But he can’t himself  and unfortunately that was one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Showing Sheed some love 04.05.10 at 6:38 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers has been around the NBA as a player and coach long enough to know when and where to pick your battles.

With the season winding down and the playoffs approaching, the last thing he need is for his back-up veteran post player to be unhappy and feel unwanted by his team.

This is why Rivers spoke with Rasheed Wallace on Monday about his outburst in the second half of their game against Cleveland, with much of Wallace’s fury pointed in Rivers’ direction following a technical foul.

River said he worked things out with Wallace following their on-court dispute during a talk before the team’s trip to New York for Tuesday’s game with the Knicks.

“Rasheed’s emotional, he’s been emotional and some of that won’t change. I can accept that,” Rivers said. “As a coach, when an emotional hijack happens, your job is to get your team to function. You can’t focus on the one at that point.”

Rivers said following Sunday’s game that he did not plan to publicly punish Wallace, after the veteran picked up a technical foul and then argued with Rivers as the coach took him out of the game.

“Yeah, he apologized. They all do,” Rivers said. “It’s not personal. Rasheed and I get along great. Rasheed gets along great with his teammates. But when you have an emotional hijack, you don’t get along well with anyone at that moment. We just had a great talk. He always apologizes. All of them do the next day about techs but I didn’t seek his apology. He just said, ‘Hey, I should’ve controlled myself some.'”

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