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Heinsohn on D&C: Howard getting away with flagrants 05.27.10 at 2:39 pm ET
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Comcast Celtics analyst Tommy Heinsohn joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to give his take on the officials from Wednesday night’€™s Game 5 loss and why Dwight Howard should be suspended.

‘€œI was up at the [Comcast] studios at Burlington and was in the conference room watching [Game 5],’€ Heinsohn said. ‘€œThere were several people and we kind of all were hit with the same thought that these [referees] are incompetent.’€

Heinsohn also touched on the similarities and differences in Rajon Rondo and Hall of Famer Bob Cousy‘€™s game.

Below is a transcript. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

I want a mental picture of you during last night’€™s game. Where were you watching it and with whom were you watching it?

I was up at the studios at Burlington and was in the conference room watching the game. There were several people and we kind of all were hit with the same thought that these [referees] are incompetent.

What was Ed Rush thinking on the technical foul calls?

Well this guy goes way back. I got in hot water some years ago when I said ‘€œEddie F. Rush. F for fool.’€ I used that because in a game against the Knicks on the very last play, they tried to get [Patrick] Ewing the ball. The man passed it five feet away from Ewing, it went out of bounds, the Celtics are going to win the game, and he calls a foul on [Robert] Parish like he was holding him or hitting him or something and they end up winning the game. This guy has had no common sense, I don’€™t know why he’€™s still around. He has a history, I’€™ve been watching the game all these years, I just marvel at how they let him keep refereeing. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Dwight Howard, Ed F. Rush, Kendrick Perkins
NBA rescinds Perkins technical at 1:04 pm ET
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The Celtics and Kendrick Perkins received a reprieve from the NBA Thursday when the league rescinded one of the two technical fouls Perkins received in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, clearing Perkins to play in Game 6 on Friday.

Perkins and Marcin Gortat earned double-technicals early in the game and then Perkins was hit with a second one by official Eddie F. Rush with 36 seconds left in the half. Perkins was ejected after the second T, his seventh of the postseason, which triggered an automatic one-game suspension.

The league does review every technical foul that is called and they decided to rescind the second technical foul. Perkins still has six technicals against his name and would still be in danger of a suspension if he is hit with another one during the postseason.

In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, Doc Rivers spoke about the problems his team had with getting technicals, particularly Perkins, some two hours before it happened on the court.

‘€œI actually don’€™t like the rule, the suspension,” Rivers said. “I just don’€™t like it. I think the longer you are in the playoffs the more likely it’€™s going to affect your team. I think the fans want to see the best players on the floor. I just don’€™t agree with the whole suspension thing.’€

Part of the problem, Rivers believes, lies in the process of issuing double technical fouls to players, a tactic used by officials to try to calm things down.

‘€œIt’€™s the double tech thing that has to be resolved,’€ Rivers said. ‘€œSometimes the officials are just trying to clean the game up and an easy way to do it is give both guys techs and calm the game down. To me, those are the ones that we have to figure out a better way.’€

The league also upgraded a personal foul on Paul Pierce to a Flagrant 1 after Pierce shoved J.J. Redick in the back in the fourth quarter. The NBA announced before Game 5 that they had upgraded fouls from Game 4 on Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Matt Barnes to Flagrant 1 status as well.

Players are assessed points for flagrant fouls (one point for a Flagrant 1 and two points for a Flagrant 2). If they hit three points, they are also subject to an automatic one-game suspension. Howard has two Flagrant Foul points.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Matt Barnes, Paul Pierce
Three things that went wrong and right in Game 5 05.26.10 at 11:34 pm ET
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The Celtics knew they had to overcome the Magic’€™s pick-and-roll in order to win the series. But after a disastrous Game 5 loss,  they have added a possible suspension, two concussions, and failed perimeter defense to the list.

In a snapshot: Kendrick Perkins was ejected after being whistled for a pair of technical fouls and could be suspended, Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels suffered concussions, and the Magic drained nearly 15 3-pointers.

The Celtics, who were on the verge of sweeping just days ago, are headed back to Boston after dropping two straight to the Magic.

Three things what went wrong (and they went so, so wrong)

Possible suspension for Perk: Kendrick Perkins was whistled for two technical fouls in the first half, resulting in an automatic ejection. The bigger problem is he was called for his seventh T of the postseason, an automatic one-game suspension. However, since the league does review technical fouls, one or both could be rescinded and Perkins could play on Friday night in Game 6.

Magic struck first: The Celtics have maintained the entire postseason that the key to winning on the road is striking first. But by the end of the first quarter, their initial 5-0 lead was a distant memory. The Celtics were outscored 31-22 from that point on, giving up 15 points from behind the arc. All of the Magic starters scored at least three points, while Kevin Garnett did not attempt a single field goal. The Magic fought for their shots, outrebounding the Celtics 12-7, and was more efficient at finding the open man (7-4 assists). The C’€™s allowed the Magic — and their home crowd — into the game early and were never able to kick them out.

Perimeter D disappears: The C’€™s knew what they were up against at the start of the series. ‘€œTheir shooting is what has always given us problems,’€ said Ray Allen. ‘€œTheir 3-pointer, we’€™ve got to take that away from them.’€ Tony Allen echoed, ‘€œConsidering they’€™re a team that shoots a gang of 3’s feeding off of Dwight Howard who’€™s very dominant in the post, we’€™re going to have to be ready. No if, ands and no buts.’€ The Celtics were ready in the first four games, holding the Magic to just 31 percent from 3-point range. But their perimeter defense imploded in Game 5. The Magic scored 39 points from long-range off of 52 percent shooting.

Three things that went right (well, not so bad)

Rondo bounced back: Questions of injuries buzzed around Rajon Rondo following a poor performance in Game 4. But whether it was muscle spasms or just an off night, Rondo was more effective offensively in Game 5. He scored 19 points, 10 more than in the previous game in six less minutes. It wasn’€™t his finest showing of the playoffs, but it showed he is back on the right track.

Robinson was reliable: Doc Rivers has said Nate Robinson will win the Celtics a playoff game. Robinson didn’€™t pull off the feat, but he was effective. With Rondo in foul trouble and Tony Allen benched for most of the game with a twisted ankle, Rivers turned to Robinson in the second half. He defended the point well, scored five points in six minutes, and even blocked Dwight Howard’€™s shot.

Celtics are going home: The Celtics didn’€™t want to have to play a Game 6 in Boston (they didn’€™t want to play a Game 5 in Orlando in the first place), but they are returning to their homecourt as they look to finish things up. The C’€™s are 6-2 at TD Garden during the postseason. Records aside, they have to take advantage of the energy the Celtics home crowd is sure to provide on Friday night.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Orlando Magic
Perk gets seventh technical, could face suspension at 10:04 pm ET
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ORLANDO — Kendrick Perkins received two technical fouls in the first half of Game 5 against the Magic and was ejected. Perkins now has been called for seven technical fouls during the playoffs, which by rule is an automatic one-game suspension. The NBA does review technical fouls and could rescind one of the two that he was assigned in Game 5.

Perkins received a double technical earlier in the game along with Marcin Gortat and then got his second from official Eddie F. Rush after he argued a foul call and then ran down the court.

Somewhat ironically, Doc Rivers addressed the matter of technical fouls and suspensions before the game because Dwight Howard is one flagrant foul away from an automatic suspension.

“We have a lot of guys who are closer to the number, we’re more concerned with them,” Rivers said. “I actually don’t like the rule, the suspension. I just don’t like it. I think the longer you are in the playoffs the more likely it’s going to affect your team. I think the fans want to see the best players on the floor. I just don’t agree with the whole suspension thing.”

Rivers said that he has talked to Perkins about his technicals and he also raised an interesting issue regarding double technicals.

“It’s the double tech thing that has to be resolved,” Rivers said. “Sometimes the officials are just trying to clean the game up and an easy way to do it is give both guys techs and calm the game down. To me, those are the ones that we have to figure out a better way.”

Read More: Kendrick Perkins,
Celtics need to walk a fine line 05.21.10 at 6:16 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers has told his team time and time again about ‘Old School’ NBA, especially as it relates to the playoffs.

But Saturday night, when his team takes to the floor against the desperate Orlando Magic, he doesn’t want his team to get caught up in what is likely to be a physical game with Dwight Howard and the Magic. He also doesn’t want his team to get pushed around either as the Magic try to come in and physically prove to the Celtics they haven’t checked out of the Eastern Conference finals, despite losing the first two games on home court.

“They should be feisty and we should be, too,” Rivers said following a high-spirited Friday practice, their final before Game 3. ” It’s the playoffs. It’s Game 3 and we’re trying to defend our home turf, now and they’re trying to take it away. There’s every reason it should be feisty and it will be and we should be feisty, too.

“Obviously, you want to always keep your head but that doesn’t mean to back down. That means you want to play with composure, play with intensity and you’ve got to play hard.”

Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins agreed with Rivers, saying they are expecting a ‘feisty’ Orlando Magic team for Game 3 Saturday night at TD Garden. The Celtics lead the Eastern Conference finals 2-0 and can take an overwhelming 3-0 lead with a win, a deficit no team has ever overcome in NBA playoff history.

“It could get feisty in there. You have to expect it,” said Pierce, who was still bearing a pair of scratch marks on his forehead above his left eye after being decked by Dwight Howard in the second quarter of Game 2 on Tuesday night.

“Doc always say the bigger man walks away,” added big man Kendrick Perkins, who will once again be assigned to Howard. “You just have to go out there and play, play Celtics basketball.”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, Magic
Against Howard, Perk stays grounded 05.20.10 at 2:59 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, Kendrick Perkins was apprised that several media outlets were getting on Dwight Howard after he scored just 13 points in the series opener. Perkins’ eyes grew wide and then he sighed.

“What happens is, y’€™all gas the man up and get him mad,” Perkins said to WEEI.com. “Then I come out and I got my hands full.’€

Perkins did have his hands full with Howard in Game 2 as the big man scored 30 points. Not that Perkins was around for most of it since he fouled out in just 15 minutes of action.

“Do I take it personally? Yep, I do,” Perkins said Thursday before the team’s practice session. “I’€™m a defender so I do take it personally. Guy got 30 on me, but it happens to the best of us. We ended up getting a win, so that’€™s really all that matters.”

Still Perkins knows that he has to do better in Game 3 and that starts even before the ball gets to Howard.

“You’€™ve got to keep a body on him,” he said. “It’€™s going to be physical all series. That’€™s the key. You can’€™t let him set up shop where he wants to set up shop. You’€™ve got to kind of force him outside his comfort zone just a little bit.”

In theory, the Celtics are OK if Howard goes off. It’s when Howard goes off and everyone else for Orlando gets in on the act that’s a problem.

“We don’€™t want him to go for 30, but when he goes for 30 he goes for 30, there’€™s nothing we can do about it,” Rivers said. “As long as he didn’€™t go for 30 and get everyone else involved, we can live with it. We were not happy with the way we defended him. We did not have a great night defending Dwight. We have to do better. We have to expect somebody on their team to start making shots. If we give him 30+ and they start making shots then you can’€™t beat them.”

Again that starts with not letting Howard get deep post position because once he does, it’s game over.

“He caught it too deep throughout the game,” Rivers said. “Some of the shots he made, we’€™ll live with. We don’€™t mind any made shot if it’€™s defended. Jumpers, layups, we don’€™t care.”

Perkins, of course, does care a great deal about his defense on Howard. It’s the thing that has helped make his reputation over the years. But he also recognizes that a key element of the Celtics defensive strategy is that he will be afforded no help in his task.

It’s his role in this series and he’s determined to do a better job in Game 3.

“We’€™re just trying to make it tough on him,” Perkins said. “We’€™re not trying to overreact to him scoring.”

Read More: Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins,
Celtics on message at 1:58 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Say this for the Celtics, they are on point with their message.

This was Doc Rivers speaking to reporters before the team conducted practice Thursday:

“Each game is a single game. That’€™s what we talk about. That’€™s been our speech through the playoffs. We’€™ve yet to beat Orlando on our home floor this year and that’€™s something we have to focus on.”

This was Kendrick Perkins about two minutes later:

“We’€™ve got to come home and take care of home They’re undefeated when they play us at home. They beat us both times in the regular season. This first game is going to be the most important game.”

Rivers has been pushing all the right buttons with his team during the playoffs, both in terms of on-court maneuvering and off-court messaging and in this case the message is crystal clear: Orlando beat us two times at home during the regular season and we haven’t done anything yet.

Read More: Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins,
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