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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.'”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Rasheed Wallace
Doc on the Cavs: ‘I like the hatred’ at 4:55 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers believes LeBron James has it right when it comes to attitudes of opposing players on the court.

No friends allowed.

Rivers reacted Monday and said he embraces the bitter feelings between the Celtics and Cavaliers. He just added that he doesn’t want to see it spill over to the officials.

“I like the hatred,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œI think that’s good. I do think the two teams don’t like each other, for whatever reason. I don’t ever think that’s a bad thing, personally. I think that’s a good thing. I just don’t want to see that officiated. I think going into games, people know that. Just line them up and let them play.”

When told that James endorses a more fierce mentality between teams, Rivers said that’€™s good for the league.

Rivers has maintained for years that the dynamic between NBA players has changed forever with the evolution of basketball camps such as Nike and AAU, where players get to know each other at a young age – usually in high school.

“I’m all for it,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œI love it. He’s the new leader. I think we should all listen to LeBron, if that’s what he’s saying. I really believe that. I said many times, the AAU thing has changed the game in that way. Everyone knows each other. I don’t understand how everybody is still friends. It drives me nuts. That’s just the way it is.

“I used to fight that my first couple of years here and in Orlando. Even in Orlando, I went so far as if you shake a guy’s hand before a game, I was going to fine you. Then I realized they know each other, they’re friends, so I gave in.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, LeBron James
Doc’s 25-point plan for free speech 04.02.10 at 9:11 pm ET
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Doc Rivers is a man on a mission.

He wants every player and coach to be able to freely speak their mind without fear of retribution from Stu Jackson, the NBA’s chief officer in charge of behavior.

Jackson levied a fine of $25,000 on Friday to Kevin Garnett for his decision to give Michael Jordan a new middle name when referencing the breaks he thought Kevin Durant was getting from officials on Wednesday night.

Instead of the player paying it, he wants the people responsible to foot the bill.

“The next time that happens, I have a solution. Each one of you guys should pitch in a thousand dollars until we get to [fine total],” Rivers suggested, tongue-in-cheek we think.

The reason there’s some truth in what Rivers believes occurred last year when Rivers was docked $25,000 during the playoffs when he was asked during a press conference if he thought Kendrick Perkins was being targeted by officials.

But in all seriousness, Rivers shed some light on how the fines are administered. They are automatically deducted from a player or coach’s paycheck.

“If we had to write a check,they’d never get the money,” Rivers said, again joking we think.

Rivers also talked before the game about the progress of the second unit and how Nate Robinson, even when he isn’t scoring that much like Wednesday night, is still having a positive impact on the reserves.

Read More: Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Doc’s three-point plan for success 04.01.10 at 5:23 pm ET
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Paul Pierce, on Thursday with WEEI’s Dale & Holley, might have said the Celtics are ‘built for the playoffs’ but his coach wants them to be a fine-tuned machine when they get there.

To that point, Doc Rivers outlined two areas he believes his team has improved since the All-Star break and one more he believes still needs work before the second season begins.

Rivers told reporters following Thursday’s practice that the team has cut down on its turnovers since the break and has done a better job of rebounding in recent games.

But the one area he still feels his team needs work on its weak-side defense. In other words, Rivers wants to see more green and white shirts flying to the open shooter and not allow wide open shots, especially from three-point range.

That was particularly evident on Wednesday when Jeff Green nailed back-to-back three-pointers in the final two minutes to seal Oklahoma City’s 109-104 win over the Celtics.

“Turnovers are going down but we’ve had the sporadic bad game,” Rivers said. “We’re rebounding better, we’ve had the sporadic bad game. And then there’s the weak-side defense.

“To me that’s the biggest concern, a guy is going to get beat off the dribble, that next guy being there to take the charge and the next guy being there to get his body in the way and then the next guy getting on that guy’s body. That’s the next step we have to make.”

Rivers also said his players were more upset with three free-throw discrepancy than he was.

“I thought we could’ve gone to the line more but I thought we could’ve been more aggressive going to the basket as well since we took a lot of threes,” Rivers said. “I thought they were complaining more they were playing good defense on some of those and they were playing good defense.”

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Doc Rivers press conference at 12:14 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers speaks to the media following the Celtics’ 109-104 loss to the Thunder at TD Garden.

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Pierce gets ‘stung’ again on right shoulder 03.30.10 at 3:54 pm ET
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WALTHAM — For the second time in three days, Paul Pierce injured his right shoulder. This time, the injury happened midway through Celtics practice when he ran into a back screen and fell to the ground. Rivers said trainer Ed Lacerte said if it’s just a stinger, Pierce should be fine to play.

“He actually got hurt again,” Rivers said. “It’s a stinger. It was the same exact reaction. It looked worse today. Eddie said if it’s a stinger, he’ll be fine but you get concerned because it’s a game and a practice, exact same thing.”

‘€œThat’€™s something you play a guy five minutes and that can happen, Rivers added. ‘€œThere’€™s nothing you can do about that. The good news is it’€™s not a shoulder separation or anything and probably the worst case is he misses a game or two, at worse. That’€™s not all bad and obviously, you’€™d like to have him and it’€™s not a lower body injury.’€

Meanwhile, Kendrick Perkins, who has missed the last two games with left knee tendinitis, is expected to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday night against Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City at TD Garden.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Oklahoma City
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