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Turn up the volume: C’s not living in past 10.23.09 at 5:25 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Before this season ever starts, nearly everyone in a Celtics uniform wants to make one thing clear. This is NOT 2008.

On Friday, the Celtics held a two-hour practice before going home to get clean and ready for their team dinner Friday night in Boston.

Here’s what a number of them had to say about this year, comparisons to two seasons ago and other miscellaneous items.

Paul Pierce said the team is plenty motivated this season.

Pierce said he hasn’t heard any ‘experts’ picking the Celtics.

Doc Rivers said there’s only one set of expectations that matter.

Rivers said he likes where the team is at.

Kevin Garnett said he likes what he saw in the preseason.

Garnett said Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron and Shaq will be exciting.

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Doc: ‘We’re ready’ at 3:26 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Celtics coach Doc Rivers put his team through a spirited workout on Friday afternoon at the team’s practice facility, four days before the team opens the season on Tuesday in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Rivers said following the practice that he senses his team is geared up and ready.

“I like where we’re at,” Rivers said. “I’m very happy where we’re at. We’re going to add things all year. We’re ready to play. Even if I didn’t add anything else all year, I think we’re ready to play an NBA game.”

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Doc Rivers, LeBron James
Doc: ‘I like where we’re at 10.17.09 at 2:45 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers sounded a very optimistic tone following Saturday’s practice in Waltham, 10 days before the team’s season opener in Cleveland.

“For us, it’s just getting better with continuity on both ends, working on all the little things. I like where we’re at, honestly. I like our team. The answer to ‘Are you ready to play the first game?’ You don’t know that until you play it. You think you are all the time but I do like where our team is at,” Rivers said.

“This group to me, the first unit is playing fantastic. [Rajon] Rondo has been absolutely fantastic and Kevin [Garnett] is coming along and everybody is playing well.”

The Celtics are 4-1 in preseason and play in Toronto on Sunday in the sixth of eight preseason games.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers,
Rivers: “I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic” 10.06.09 at 11:25 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics have until the end of the month to decide whether to extend Rajon Rondo‘s contract or let the point guard become a restricted free agent next summer. Doc Rivers, however, has a strong feeling Rondo will be back … for a while.

On Tuesday he told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show:

“I think Rajon Rondo will be a lifetime Celtic. I really do. I think this process he’€™s gone through is the process all players go through at times. The maturity process is another thing that all players go through. I don’€™t think he’€™s behind in that department at all. I just think he’€™s young and he’€™s growing. So, I never had a black mark against him. For maturity issues, that’€™s part of his process of growing up, and he’€™s doing that. He’€™s been as good as anyone. In camp thus far he’€™s doing everything we ask him to do ‘€” and he usually does. I would be very surprised if he’€™s not a lifetime Celtic.”

Click here for a complete transcript of Rivers’ interview.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo,
Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/6 at 11:38 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers appeared on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss the team’s preseason preparations as the C’s get set to play the Houston Rockets in Hidaglo, Texas, on Wednesday night.

Following is a complete transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Do you worry about your guys … when you make a trip like that [to Hidalgo, Texas, on the Mexico border]?

I worry more about [Greg] Dickerson doing it than our players. I’m hoping he actually goes and we can steal his passport so he can’t come back.

No, you do worry about it. Guys like going over and having fun or whatever. We have great guys, and we’ll talk to them about it so you’re not that concerned. But you’d rather [they] not be there, let’s put it that way.

Give us several significant highlights to camp at this point. What are we missing here so far?

I think Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis Daniels, they really have solidified our bench. It’s a veteran bench, very similar to two years ago. Rasheed’s ability to stretch the floor will be amazing when he plays with [Kendrick Perkins] or Kevin [Garnett], it doesn’t really matter which one he plays with, he still stretches the floor, he has the ability to take 5s out. And Marquis Daniels, he’s really good for our team. He’s a small forward, he plays 2 guard as well. From his position, he can handle the ball, and that frees up Eddie [House]. The old point forward ‘€” if you remember the Paul Pressey days in Milwaukee, where he handled the ball, and then Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson and those guys came off picks. Well, it will be very similar to us with the second team.

Is Rasheed going to be beloved here in Boston?

Yeah. The one thing we knew about Rasheed was the fact that his teammates that he’s played for loved him. He’s always been a great teammate. He’s one of the more verbal talkers on defense in the league ‘€” him and Kevin. And it’s amazing. During camp, I have a lot of college coaches come in and they watch camp. And that’s the one thing they keep saying is ‘€” well, there’s two things: “Boy, your bigs have a chance to be really good.” The second thing is, “I’ve never seen a team talk as much on defense, especially Rasheed, Perk and Kevin.” So, those are the things they’ll notice. But they’ll love him. I’m sure there will be a couple of nights where he’ll get into an exchange with someone else in stripes, and we’re going to have to deal with that. But that’s not going to be an issue, in my opinion.

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Read More: Big Baby, Bill Walker, Celtics, Doc Rivers
Doc: I’m not going to overdo it 09.28.09 at 8:50 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Before leaving for Newport, R.I. and a week of getting his team in the right frame of mind to actually put some letters and numbers on the blank banner hanging in the corner of the practice facility, Celtics coach Doc Rivers let the media in on a little secret.

“I think camp is important this year but obviously with Kevin coming back, [joining] Rasheed, Paul, Ray, they’re not spring chickens,” Rivers said. “Perk’s [left] shoulder, Tony’s [right] foot, we’re going to go as hard as we need to but I’m not going to overdo it.”

So, the Celtics all got together on Monday and left for Salve Regina University after meeting their media commitments. Kevin Garnett and his right knee, Rasheed Wallace and his new uniform, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tony Allen and his right foot and Kendrick Perkins and his left shoulder joined the rest of their teammates to prepare for a run at getting back on top of the NBA world.

But Rivers was clear about one thing – the NBA Finals are played in June and the playoffs begin in April, something that was reinforced in his mind toward the end of last year.

“Listen, we’re going to try and build through the year,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to try and get everything in in camp. I can tell you right now that we’re going to be behind coming out of camp than where we were last year. I’m more concerned with just preserving. I’m not that concerned about it but that’s the way we’re going to do it.”

As for the new faces like Rasheed Wallace, Marquise Daniels and Shelden Williams all fitting in, Rivers said he’ll manage just fine.

“Bottom line is this, everybody is here for one purpose and that’s to win and when you’re together in that way, I don’t think egos are much of a problem,” Rivers said. “If you’re not together in that way, then egos become a problem. If egos become a problem on this team, then we’re not thinking in the right way and that’s the way I look at it.”

And don’t ask about windows of opportunity with this team. There’s only one window the Celtics are trying to keep open in the house.

“I’m just worried about the 2010 window right now,” Rivers said. “Our goal is to win it this year, that’s it. I don’t look at windows with this team. Obviously, this team won’t be the same in 2012 and 2013. I think we’re all smart enough to understand that.”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Garnett finds way to stay in the game 09.17.09 at 11:18 pm ET
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He seems like the same guy to Doc Rivers.

‘€œHe’s normal again,’€ the Celtics coach said of Kevin Garnett.

Well, there is one change.

‘€œHe’s happy, he’s talking more, which I didn’t think was possible,’€ Rivers said following the USI Shamrock Classic at the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord. ‘€œHe’s got his quickness back and he just looks normal again.’€

Talking more?

Over the last 14 years, Garnett has developed a reputation as one of the most vocal players in the league. This offseason his words have a different message.

Garnett has been joining his teammates at the Sports Authority Training Center in Waltham as they prepare for training camp. Even though the Celtics forward, who is coming off season-ending knee surgery, has not been cleared for contact drills, he has found his own way to participate during workouts.

‘€œHis presence has been felt. He has been talking more, but you don’t know when he starts playing, maybe he’ll talk less,’€ Brian Scalabrine said with a laugh. ‘€œBut he has been leading us in a very instructional kind of way. Before he was like that, but now, like he pulled me aside the other day. He was like, ‘You know, you have to play the game within the game. If you’re trying to get something done later, you want to set it up with something early.’

‘€œAnd it helps. I went out there and I did it, and it worked right away. He’s a really intelligent guy.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
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