|NBA GMs Pick Celtics as Best Defensive Team||10.07.09 at 11:29 am ET|
A survey of NBA General Managers on NBA.com revealed the more than 60 percent of the execs believe the Los Angeles Lakers will win it all again this season. That doesn’t mean, though, the Boston Celtics were not recognized.
The Cs were predicted to win the Eastern Conference, earning 50 percent of the votes. They also received 100 percent of votes to win the Atlantic Division.
Over 60 percent of GMs selected the Celtics as the best defensive team in the 2009-10 season. Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each received votes for individual defensive categories. Rondo tied Kobe Bryant with the most votes for best ball-on-ball defender.
Best defensive team:
San Antonio 32.1%
L.A. Lakers 7.1%
Best on-the-ball defender:
Rajon Rondo, Boston 25.0%
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 25.0%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers 17.9%
Best interior defender:
Dwight Howard, Orlando 64.3%
Kevin Garnett, Boston 32.1%
Best perimeter defender:
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 34.5%
Shane Battier, Houston 24.1%
Ron Artest, L.A. Lakers 20.7%
Rajon Rondo, Boston 6.9%
Click here for complete results on NBA.com. General Managers were not allowed to vote for their own team.
|Doc Rivers on D&C, 10/6||10.06.09 at 11:38 am ET|
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.
|Garnett clarifies knee injury||10.04.09 at 11:05 pm ET|
“I don’t have any knee problems. I don’t have any knee problems,” the Boston Globe quoted Garnett saying on Saturday. “I’m not trying to get in depth with my injury and all that but the things are bothering me are secondary and not even primary. So I’m excited about that because it’s nothing be strengthening the knee and playing again. You gotta remember, I have been out since what, March? I haven’t done anything since then. I have just been rehabbing, strengthening. Nothing simulates basketball play. The pounding, the churning, the reactions, the stuff you have to react to in games you can’t get that in trying to that with the rehab and the trainers and all that other stuff.”
Garnett admitted last week during Media Day that he was still struggling with his energy level and is working toward reaching the condition he was in prior to his injury. That being said, he is still optimistic about his recovery.
“I feel really good,” he said. “I wouldn’t (BS) you guys if I was hurting, I would tell you. I’m pretty straight up with everything that’s going on with me. I feel good. I’m excited about how we are and I’m just trying to get my part together to make sure I’m ready for when we need to be like we need to be.”
|Celtics Media Day Wrap Up||09.28.09 at 11:34 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo will become a restricted free agent next summer if the Celtics do not sign him to a contract extension by October. On Monday he was tight-lipped when it came to business, suggesting any questions could be answered by his agent, Bill Duffy. ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t really think about it,’ Rondo said. ‘I try to just focus on camp. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. If not, I’ll play it out.’ He reiterated that he will play wherever he is wanted and that his main focus is getting another ring. … Rondo, 23, gained 11 pounds this summer ‘because I’m growing up.’ He trained with a new weight-lifting routine, ate three meals a day, and cut fast food from his diet. He also plans on hiring a chef.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge would like to keep Rondo around as the team’s point guard for the next 10 years and has had early talks with his agent about future plans. He has not, however, had discussions with Ray Allen about his expiring contract and will not address that issue publicly. … Ainge has high expectations for the upcoming season. He believes the offseason moves and returning talent will be successful. ‘We’ve added some great depth, our young players are improving, and Rondo, Perk and Glen Davis, they made great strides last year and I think they’re even going to better this year as their games are maturing. I think that Rasheed [Wallace] and Marquis [Daniels] give us two more starters, proven starters, that are coming off the bench for us that should give us a lot of depth,’ Ainge said.
Paul Pierce is making his confidence in the Celtics perfectly clear. He believes they are the best team in the league when healthy, pointing out they were on a record-breaking pace last season prior to injuries. ‘People are going to say what they want to say about my comments or whatever, but I have total confidence in this ball club,’ he said. … Even though Doc Rivers would prefer to cut back on the veterans’ minutes this season, Pierce refuses to sacrifice playing time for wins. ‘I’m not willing to lose nothing. Next question. I don’t understand that, losing. No.’ … He compared seeing Kevin Garnett back on the court for 5-on-5 drills as a ‘breath of fresh air.’
Ray Allen kicked off media day with some humor while waiting for Pierce to join him and Garnett at the podium. Allen grabbed the microphone to locate his teammate: ‘Paul Pierce. Paul Pierce. Your food is ready.’ … The Celtics’ window of opportunity to win a championship has been mentioned since they acquired veterans Allen and Garnett. Allen, though, is more focused on the here-and-now than two or three years down the road. ‘We don’t look at a window. We’re not looking past this year. We can’t look past this year,’ he said. … Allen is not concerned with adding a player like Rasheed Wallace to the mix. He pointed out many of them have known Wallace since high school and the Celtics have already learned each other’s game.
Kendrick Perkins is heading into training camp 15 pounds lighter than last season and is down to 270 pounds, his lightest total in three years. Perkins did not have a weight-loss regimen but rather trimmed down during his workouts. … His shoulder, which he has dislocated in the past, feels better than it has ‘in a while.’ Perkins noted he is not worried about suffering another injury and is feeling strong. … The big man has been impressed by Wallace on and off the court. Even though he did not know what to expect at first ‘ ‘I didn’t know. I was just waiting to see. It was kind of like scary for a moment,’ he said ‘ Perkins praised Wallace’s versatile game and pointed out he is a great addition to the locker room.
Click here to listen to audio clips from media day.
|KG: Last year humbled us||at 10:59 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett admitted on Monday that watching the playoffs on the bench last year was one of the most painful experiences of his career as he nursed bone spurs behind his right knee.
“I think last year did one thing for us, if anything, it humbled us,” Garnett said during media day for the Celtics. “I think, if anything, it showed that team is everything, not one or two players get things done. I’m eager to see how we come in and how our minds and how we all are in camp. This is our bonding. This is all the time where the guys we haven’t played with … see how they all fit.”
Here are some audio highlights from Monday’s media extravaganza at the Sports Authority Complex in Waltham.
The Celtics left Monday for Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., as camp begins on Tuesday.
|Doc: I’m not going to overdo it||at 8:50 pm ET|
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.”
|Garnett: I’m going full blast||at 5:30 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Last season a knee injury kept him off the court. This time around, there is no holding him back.
‘I’m going full blast,’ Kevin Garnett said. ‘I don’t think when you get in camp you go half-[way] with anything like that. But Doc (Rivers) and I have talked about time, taking it easy, listening to (Celtics trainer) Ed (Lacerte), the doctors, and what they’re telling me so I’m being patient with that.’
In a rare occurrence Garnett sat at the end of the stage with a group of reporters during the Boston Celtics Media Day. The generally private player was inviting and happy to share the positive results from his knee surgery.
The bone spur was originally thought to be a few inches, he later explained as he picked up a voice recorder to demonstrate the size. As it turns out, it was closer to the length of a microphone resting on the table. Nonetheless, his recovery is on schedule.
‘I feel pretty good,” he said. “I’ve been off for a minute. I don’t really like to take time off but it was for a good reason. My leg is right on schedule to where it’s supposed to be and mentally I’m refreshed. I think everybody is.’
Garnett has already begun participating in five-on-five drills with his teammate. While he admitted he has a little less energy than usual, he said he maintained his timing during offseason workouts and compared it to being as routine as riding a bike.
Besides, Garnett has already had more time on the sidelines than he could ever ask for.
‘None of the basketball we played last year that I had to watch was pleasant for me,’ he said. ‘I did it. I sat on the side because my teammates wanted me to sit on the bench. Other than that, it was pure excruciating.’
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