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Close out special 05.14.09 at 1:05 pm ET
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ORLANDO – Doc Rivers could live without suspense for once.

On their way to a 17th title, the Celtics head coach watched nervously on the sideline as his team was pressed to seven games against Atlanta and Cleveland before finally learning the art of closing out a seven-game series in Game 6 in Detroit. They repeated the feat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Lakers.

Fast forward to the present, and the urgency to seal the deal in Game 6 tonight in Orlando is obvious. While courageous, gritty and determined, clearly these Celtics are weary and thin. They had that chance in Game 6 in Chicago before the epic triple-overtime loss spoiled their plans.

Now, a team that is relying on a remarkably thin bench has a chance to rest up for Cleveland. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Magic, NBA playoffs
‘Wild run’ continues for Celtics, Rivers 05.12.09 at 1:19 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Sunday night was just another ho-hum crazy, buzzer-beating, phenomenal finish for the Celtics and their head coach Doc Rivers, who has seen more than his fair share of playoff thrills in the last three weeks.

“It has been emotional,” said Rivers, who punched the air wildly after Glen Davis hit his game-winner at the end of Game 4 in Orlando. “It’s been a wild playoff run for us. We kind of anticipated it. I didn’t know it would be like this, I don’t think anyone did. Not having Kevin then losing Leon. We knew this would be tough. We knew every game would be a grind.”

Rivers said he suffered an ‘emotional hi-jacking’ at the end of Sunday’s game but he has freed his psyche long enough to prep for tonight’s all-important Game 5 with the Magic, with the Eastern Conference semifinal tied, 2-2.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Magic, Ray Allen
Doc on the passing of Chuck Daly 05.09.09 at 2:53 pm ET
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When Doc Rivers got the Orlando Magic coach job in 1999 he wasn’t the first coach to know about it. Chuck Daly was way ahead of him. Daly called Rivers into the office he was about to vacate and laid it all out for him–who to keep, who to trade, who to fire.

There wasn’t much Chuck Daly didn’t know about basketball. A lifer who started coaching high schools, he worked his way up through an assistant job at Duke and then on to head jobs at Boston College and Penn before landing his first NBA gig as the head coach of the woeful Cleveland Cavaliers. Daly didn’t last long there, but he found basketball nirvana with the Detroit Pistons where he led the Bad Boys to back-to-back NBA titles before later stints running the Nets and Magic.

Daly died Saturday morning in Jupiter, Fla. after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 78 years old.

“He loved it,” Rivers said. “He was a coach. He and Red Auerbach were very similar. You’d think when you called Red he’d give you a complicated answer, but they saw the game so simply. It’s a tough loss.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chuck Daily, Doc Rivers,
Doc on Manny: That’s shocking and disappointing 05.07.09 at 2:04 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers is not just an NBA head coach, he is a huge sports fan. And when news broke Thursday that Manny Ramirez had been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enchancing substance, he reacted just like a sports fan.

“It’s disappointing, it really is,” Rivers said before his team’s film session. “It’s the baseball whole thing and that’s obviously a part of it right now. I don’t know. That’s shocking and disappointing.”

But Rivers didn’t stop there. He battles with the issue much like every sports fan does, trying to weigh what matters to fans and what’s in the best interest of the sport. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Manny Ramirez, NBA
Comeback just fool’s gold 05.05.09 at 3:29 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Down 28 points midway through the third quarter, the Celtics nearly completed the biggest comeback in their great playoff history on Monday night.

But to coach Doc Rivers, that provided no consolation. And he made that much very clear at practice on Tuesday at the team’s practice facility, one day after dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to Orlando, 95-90, at TD Banknorth Garden.

“Execution was bad, defense was bad, offense was bad,” Rivers said. “And I don’t lean on the fact that we had a chance to win the game. I agree with Van Gundy. I’d focus more on the fact that they were up 28 points. To me, that’s far more important to me than we made a fool’s gold run that got everybody excited. That does nothing for me.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Dwight Howard, Magic
Doc fined $25K for defending Perkins 04.29.09 at 1:36 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday he has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for suggesting that center Kendrick Perkins has been targeted by officials for setting illegal screens.

Rivers made the comments on Monday, one day after the Celtics lost 121-118 in double overtime to the Bulls in Chicago.

The team is leaving this afternoon for Chicago following a brief film session at their Waltham training facility. Game 6 is Thursday night in Chicago, with the Celtics leading the best-of-seven series, 3-2. A win sends them into the second round to face either Orlando or Philadelphia.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, fined, NBA
Doc: Jacoby’s steal gave me something to smile about 04.27.09 at 2:42 pm ET
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WALTHAM – When you go through what Doc Rivers went through on Sunday in Chicago, you’ll look for any good reason to smile.

While watching the fifth inning of Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game on TV, he got that reason.

Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury took off for home on a straight steal with the bases loaded and just barely made it under the tag of Jorge Posada, sparking the Red Sox to their 10th straight win.

“That was cool,” said Rivers, who has cheered hard for the Red Sox since coming to town in 2004. “That actually put a smile on my face. One of the few smiles I had on my face was that play. Thank gosh that happened.”

And after coming back from Chicago and getting back to his Boston apartment following his team’s 121-118 double-overtime loss in Game 4, he was in the mood to put on something to just take him away.

And with the Red Sox winning their 10th straight, Rivers was also looking for a little Boston sports karma.

“I’m happy with the way they’re playing,” Rivers said. “I want some of that. I want us to do that, too.”

Following Sunday’s 3-hour, 33-minute marathon, the team did not practice today. Instead they watched film and held a very light shootaround. The Celtics play the Bulls in Game 5 Tuesday night at the Garden, with the series tied, 2-2.

“We may not have even needed the film, to be honest,” Rivers said. “But sometimes when you lose the way you lost (Sunday) and execution is not perfect, I think it’s just better to get the guys together and put them in the same locker room. Hell, I should’ve just sat in there and sang songs or whatever. Kumbaya or whatever.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA playoffs,
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