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Thomsen on D&H: ‘Celtics got a better version of Eddie House’ 06.25.10 at 3:17 pm ET
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A day after the NBA draft, Sports Illustrated NBA insider Ian Thomsen talked to the Dale & Holley show to discuss what the Celtics picked up in the draft, what the future holds in store for the C’€™s and where LeBron James will end up next year.

‘€œThe Celtics got a better version of Eddie House,’€ Thomsen said about Avery Bradley, the Celtics’€™ first-round pick. ‘€œThey got a guy who’€™s a terrific shooter; he’€™s got great range, but he’€™s a very good defender.’€

‘€œThe one thing he doesn’€™t do [is] he doesn’€™t drive the ball great. He’€™s a much better shooter than he is a driver. …They’€™re going to have to hope he can come off the bench and be the backup point guard they needed.’€

Highlights of the interview are below. To listen to the interview in full, click on The Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On the possibility of Paul Pierce signing a smaller contract to bring in a big name free agent:

You know, they renounce him and then they give up their Bird rights to him, so now when he signs a new contract, he gets none of the value of re-signing with his own team. It’€™s like he signed with another team. It’€™s a risky thing; I can’€™t remember the last time that happened. I’€™m sure it has, but would it happen?

I would say it won’€™t, because when you look at it now with these other teams trying to clear so much space, there’€™s more cap space out there than there are star players. There’€™s going to be a lot of money that goes unspent or it’€™s going to be spent badly because there’€™s nobody to sign. It’€™s one of those things you think about, it’€™s like a loophole kind of deal. It’€™s like when they drafted Larry Bird the year before they signed him. I just don’€™t see that happening.

On Avery Bradley:

The Celtics got a better version of Eddie House. They got a guy who’€™s a terrific shooter; he’€™s got great range, but he’€™s a very good defender. The one thing he doesn’€™t do [is] he doesn’€™t drive the ball great. He’€™s a much better shooter than he is a driver. And is he a true point guard? They’€™re going to have to hope he can come off the bench and be the backup point guard they needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Ian Thomsen, LeBron James, NBA Draft
Report: Thibodeau in running for Bulls job 05.31.10 at 8:55 am ET
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Reports last week indicated that the Hornets were ready to offer their head coaching job to Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, and a story by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!Sports late Sunday night says the team has begun contract discussions with Thibodeau’s representatives at Creative Artists Agency. However, a story out of Illinois’ Daily Herald Monday morning notes that the Bulls have interest in him as well, and multiple reports say that Thibodeau plans to remain in discussions for the Nets job.

Daily Herald reporter Mike McGraw writes that Thibodeau and former Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks are the favorites in Chicago. But the story indicates that Lakers assistant Brian Shaw (a former Celtic) now is being pushed by LeBron James associate William Wesley, who previously was campaigning for John Calipari. The rumor is that James would be interested in playing the triangle offense made popular by Phil Jackson, and Shaw has spent five seasons alongside Jackson learning the intricacies of the offense.

A side note: Creative Artists Agency, with whom Thibodeau recently signed, also represents James and fellow high-profile free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Yahoo!Sports report notes that Thibodeau risks losing out on the Hornets job if he decides to wait on the Bulls and/or Nets. Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams reportedly is the Hornets’ second choice, with some players, including star guard Chris Paul, said to prefer Williams.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Hornets, LeBron James
Doc on Chicago rumor: ‘That’s silly’ 05.18.10 at 11:06 am ET
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ORLANDO — An unsourced rumor on the AOL FanHouse website Monday night linked Doc Rivers and LeBron James to the Chicago Bulls as part of a package deal. Rivers denied it Tuesday morning as the team went through a shootaround in preparation for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Magic.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard it, but no,” Rivers told WEEI.com. “That’s silly.”

Rivers is a Chicago native, and the Bulls do have a head coaching vacancy after they fired Vinny Del Negro. But Rivers has a year left on his contract with the Celtics and he has maintained that he will either be with the Celtics or he will spend the year in Orlando, where his family has a home.

Read More: Doc Rivers, LeBron James,
Thanks to T.A., C’s where they want to be 05.14.10 at 1:06 pm ET
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One man’s misfortune often is another’s opportunity. Such was the case for Tony Allen in the recent series against the NBA’s MVP and the team with the best record in the NBA this regular season.

With Paul Pierce once again saddled with two fouls early in Game 6, it was up to Allen to step up and help on LeBron James.

And help he did, as he held James to single figures in the first quarter and applied pressure throughout the second half in key spurts. The superstar wound up with a triple-double but he hardly was able to dictate the pace and tempo of the game with his trademark rocket cross-court passes as the Celtics prevailed, 94-85, to advance to Sunday’s opener of the Eastern Conference finals in Orlando.

‘€œThat’€™s my role on this team,” Allen said. “I’ve got to be aggressive, just as aggressive as he is. For the most part I took that challenge. He still had a great night offensively all around. My whole thing is just to contain him, and listen to my bigs in transition.’€

Whether it’s Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins or Rasheed Wallace shouting out, Allen proved he can be all ears and arms on the court.

As the Cavaliers were in the midst of a big run, cutting the lead to four on back-to-back 3′s by James, Allen recalled a key turning point.

‘€œI remember while being in the game, I just missed getting to [LeBron] and then got encouraged from my bigs ‘€“ I didn’€™t hear them and they cut into the lead. For the most part we stuck together, we grinded it out. We were able to get back to the lead up.’€

From that point on, the Celtics re-established their double-digit lead.

Paul Pierce had a couple of huge baskets including a 3-pointer and felt like he had more energy toward the end of the game, thanks in part to T.A.

‘€œIt wasn’€™t really that grueling for me because I was in foul trouble, Pierce said. “I think it was more grueling for Ray and Tony because he’€™s a special talent, obviously he’s the best player in the NBA, tough to guard one-on-one, but you have to give a lot of credit to the other guys. He did his job, got me in foul trouble, but I’€™m a lot fresher in this series because of the foul trouble than I was when I played against him two years ago when he just completely wore me down.

“But those other guys, they played their hearts out on defense, it wasn’€™t just me, it was Ray [Allen], Tony, Kevin, Rasheed, Baby [Glen Davis], it was a number of guys. There is no person that can guard the guy so lets just leave it at that, it was nothing that one person did, it was a collective group, it was a team defense that was surrounded around stopping him.’€

Ultimately, the Cavs learned that a team of reserves like Tony Allen can help shut down a team led by the two-time reigning MVP.

‘€œMost definitely, at the end of the day everybody has their role,” Allen said. “Like Doc said before the game, ‘€˜Do your role, do your role 100 percent.’ Everybody took that challenge, and we were fortunate enough to get that win.

‘€œIt was big, but I think guys came in focused. They meant what they said, they didn’€™t want to go back to Cleveland. At the end of the day we prepared for this, and we were where we wanted to be.’€

Read More: Cavaliers, Cavs, Celtics, LeBron James
The future of Lebron James at 3:33 am ET
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The Cavaliers were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night at TD Garden. After the game, Lebron James spoke about his future to the media. Kevin Garnett and Mike Brown also talked about the future of the NBA superstar.

Read More: Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Mike Brown,
Ainge on The Big Show: Both teams ‘desperate’ 05.13.10 at 7:48 pm ET
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Celtics president Danny Ainge joined The Big Show Thursday evening to talk about Boston’€™s success against Cleveland and the importance of closing out the series in Game 6 at TD Garden.

‘€œBoth teams are very desperate to win this game tonight, for obvious reasons,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œI think that’€™s why it will be a good game.’€

Ainge also touched on the amount of criticism LeBron James received after the Cavaliers‘ lopsided loss in Game 5.

Below is a transcript. Visit The Big Show audio on demand page to hear the interview.

It’€™s been a bizarre series, do you have any idea what to expect tonight?

I have no idea. I would be shocked if it was going to be any sort of blowout like we’€™ve had in a couple of games in the series. I expect both teams to be ready, they know what they’€™re doing, they kind of know the strengths and weaknesses, and I’€™d be shocked if it wasn’€™t a close game.

Kevin Garnett spoke about the sense of urgency after the last game about treating this is as a Game 7 and not as a Game 6. Do you like that approach?

Yeah, I think so. Both teams are very desperate to win this game tonight, for obvious reasons. I think that’€™s why it will be a good game.

You guys have really played great defense from the initial point of attack.

I think the identity of this team is defense. I think we’€™ve gotten back to that in the playoffs. We’€™ve had a few bad spells, we let our guard down in Game 3 of course, but overall our defense has really stepped up, improved, and I think the effort each possession is better than the regular season. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett
Lineup changes coming for Cavs? at 2:04 pm ET
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Reports out of the Cavaliers shootaround this morning indicate that Mike Brown is considering lineup changes for Game 6 tonight at the Garden. Plain Dealer beat writer Brian Windhorst noted that Brown is unlikely to change his starting five, but he brings up the one radical move that Brown has left: playing LeBron James at point guard.

The Cavs lineup would look like this: James at the point, Anthony Parker at off-guard and Antawn Jamison at small forward. The big men would be some cobination of J.J. Hickson, Anderson Varejao and Shaquille O’Neal, but probably the former to try to speed up play.

That would do a number of things: First, It would take Jamison away from Kevin Garnett where he is getting worked in the post and it would also remove Mo Williams out of the equation where he is getting worked against everyone. It would also set up James to match up directly with Rajon Rondo.

Brown tried a number of personnel adjustments in Game 5 including playing Zydrunas Ilgauskus ahead of Hickson, and calling on Daniel Gibson who hasn’t been in his rotation since March. Ilgauskus actually played well, but the moves had a feel of desperation about them.

This might be a desperate move, but it’s not necessarily a panic move. Taking Williams out of the lineup is addition by subtraction at this point and James has been successful guarding Rondo in small doses.

On the other hand, it could also open up Paul Pierce. The Celtics are going to keep pounding the ball to Garnett on the post regardless of who’s guarding him and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t keep attacking Jamison in whatever matchup he finds himself.

The Celtics have been able to come up with effective counters for whatever the Cavs have thrown at them and it would be surprising if they haven’t planned for this scenario as well.

Read More: Antawn Jamison, Cavaliers, LeBron James, Mo Williams
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