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Ainge on The Big Show: ‘Our guys will be ready to go’ 06.16.10 at 7:35 pm ET
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called into The Big Show Wednesday afternoon and the topic of the day was the status of starting center Kendrick Perkins and what kind of impact his injury will have on Game 7. To listen to the full interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.

‘€œObviously, we’€™d like to have Perk [be] healthy,’€ Ainge said. ‘€œHe’€™s a big part of our team defense, but I think that Glen Davis and Rasheed [Wallace] can carry the mail for us at the center position.’€

The way that Ainge read Game 6 was as though the Lakers were just better prepared for the matchup. ‘€œI guess it’€™s like a boxing match and one team comes out and attacks. [The other team] didn’€™t come out prepared for that attack,’€ he said.

‘€œYou try to counter it, and we just weren’€™t able to. I thought they did a good job. Our guys were ready to play, but the Lakers came on all cylinders. They were making shots early and they just carried it throughout the course of the game. They got a great deal of confidence going and the bench came in and made all their shots. We could never stop that momentum. You’ve got to give the Lakers credit.’€

When asked what Rasheed Wallace will have to do to make up for the loss of Perkins in the starting lineup in Game 7, Ainge said that the whole bench would need to step up and play smart. ‘€œYeah, it’€™s a different role. Playing the starter’s role and then playing what he’€™s been playing for us off the bench in the playoffs is completely different. We need a different Rasheed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Celtics video: Perkins on knee injury at 6:20 pm ET
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Perk: ‘I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me’ at 5:16 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES — When Kendrick Perkins was asked how he was feeling on Wednesday after getting the word from doctors that his season ended when he went down in the paint with 5:30 left in the first quarter, he responded with a question of his own.

“Physically, or mentally?” Perkins replied.

That response indicated just how painful Tuesday night’s season ending knee injury was to the Celtics starting center.

Perkins then elaborated that he tore his MCL and suffered a partial tear of another ligament in his right knee in Game 6 and will not play in Game 7 Thursday.

“Physically, I’m in pain,” Perkins announced. “I hurt my knee pretty badly. I’m out for [Thursday]. There’s nothing I can do about it.

“Torn MCL and a torn PCL, so got to watch from the sideline. I’d be lying to you if I told you it didn’t hurt, but it hurts. Game 7 of the finals, Game 6 of the finals, couldn’t help your team. Can’t do nothing but sit on the side and encourage guys to play better and play well. I’ll probably never get this opportunity again to even make it back to the finals. Physically I’m doing better than I am mentally.”

Had last night’s injury occured in the middle of the season, Perkins would not have even made the finals.

“Last night, pretty sure that I wasn’t going to play,” Perkins said. “But [Wednesday] morning, it was like, you’re out. That’s what it was, ‘You’re out.’ He told me if it was in December that if I had hurt my knee in December I probably would have missed the remainder of the season. So that tells you what it’s like.”

Perkins, who said he had yet to have an MRI on the knee, made the announcement himself as he met with the media on Wednesday afternoon at Staples Center. Perkins said he expects to have an MRI on Friday when the team arrives back in Boston.

Perkins injured his right knee in a collision with Andrew Bynum under the Lakers basket midway through the first quarter.

“Game 7 of the finals, Game 6 of the finals, couldn’t help your team, can’t really do nothing but sit on the sidelines and encourage guys to play better and play well,” Perkins said.

Perkins knew immediately that something was seriously wrong when he hit the floor.

“I knew something was wrong,” he said. “I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t get up on my own. I couldn’t walk. My whole leg was hurting. The back of my knee was hurting, in pain. I heard something pop. I didn’t know what it was, but it was pain.”

Perkins decided to come out and meet with the media, something he didn’t necessarily have to do considering the emotional and physical pain he’s dealt with since going down in Game 6.

“It’s the finals,” Perkins said. “Last practice of the season, last game of the season, you kind of just want to be with your teammates and coaches, just be around the guys, especially after a tough loss like last night where you just kind of want to be around, just get that family feeling. You know, you don’t want to be in your room all day by yourself.

“I know when we lose, we always say when we get to the locker room, we feel a lot better when we get around each other. So I just felt like I needed to be around.”

The more Perkins talked, he sounded like a parent who didn’t want his children to get distracted by his own misfortune.

“It was hard [Tuesday] night,” Perkins said. “I think my teammates, coaches, the whole Celtics organization has been great supporting me. But it’s hard because you have a lot of people asking me, ‘How are you feeling and get better and things like that, at the same time, it’s not about me. We’re trying to win a championship. It’s not about me and I don’t want the focus to be on me from my teammates or nobody. I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. We have a game to win.

“I just want them to stay focused on the game. I’m going to be alright. It’s an important game coming up. I appreciate my teammates and coaches and their concerns. It’s not about me. This is about winning a title.”

And Perkins said he has complete faith in the group of Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Shelden Williams and possibly Brian Scalabrine to fill his shoes.

“Very confident,” Perkins said of his thoughts going into Game 7. “I think we’re in pretty good shape. I like the way our film session went. A lot of positive criticism so it went well. I think we’re going to be alright [Thursday].

Lamar Odom said he’s expecting nothing less than the best from Perkins’ replacements.

“You know, it’s funny, I was sitting on the bench, and they got Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett on the court at the same time, and those guys have had great careers,” Odom said. “Glen Davis is a fighter, as well. I mean, their team is still really competitive. Of course, any time you lose anyone, especially at this time of the year but it happens. It’s something we have to go through as a team. I just wish him well.”

Perkins had one more word for his teammates.

“No regrets, no regrets tomorrow,” he said. “It’s the last game year, period. There’s no more games. You don’t want any more regrets after the game. I think the biggest thing is we have to be together.”

WEEI.com’s Joe Zarbano has the video of Perkins from Staples Wednesday afternoon.

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Celtics video: Paul Pierce after Game 6 at 4:00 am ET
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Rivers: Celtics need to trust, play as a team at 1:32 am ET
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After Kobe Bryant scored 19 points in the third quarter of the Lakers Game 5 loss, the Celtics showed it takes more than just one player to win in the NBA finals.

But on Tuesday night, they C’€™s looked as if they had forgotten the point they had made just 48 hours earlier.

‘€œI thought we played an individual game tonight, really on both ends,’€ Doc Rivers said following the Celtics 89-67 loss in Game 6.

Rivers praised the Lakers trust in one another before expressing disappointment in his own team’€™s. The Celtics, rooted in a we-not-me mentality, failed to share the ball and find the open teammate consistently for 48 minutes. They took contested shots (33% FG) and collectively dished 17 assists, down from their finals average of 20.6.

‘€œWe never gave ourselves an opportunity offensively because we didn’t trust tonight.  Everybody was trying to make their own plays,’€ said Rivers. ‘€œWhen we’ve done that this year, we’ve lost games. We’ve been blown out in some of those games, and if you do that against a team like the Lakers and a team like the Lakers who are really ready to play and play desperate, you’re going to lose. And I thought we did that.’€

The need for a total team effort is that much greater heading into Game 7 due to the injury of Kendrick Perkins. His status for Thursday night is unclear after leaving the game with a sprained right knee. Without Perkins, the Celtics lose size down low against the towering Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Rivers will look to the bench, which was outscored in Game 6, to step up. If Perkins is unable to play, either Glen Davis or Rasheed Wallace will get the start. Rivers hopes Davis will bring the same level of energy he exuded in Game 4 — ‘€œThe famous Shrek and Donkey game,’€ Rivers dubbed it — and that the rest of the team will follow suit.

‘€œWe need that again,’€ he said, ‘€œAnd we need that from everybody.’€

As Rivers preps the Celtics for the deciding Game 7, there is no way of knowing who could suddenly have the hot hand. But what he does know is that the entire lineup, not just one player, will make the difference.

‘€œI’m hoping both teams play great and the best team wins, and I’m hoping that’s us,’€œ he said. ‘€œThe effort is going to be great by both teams. It’s really going to come down to the trust. It’s going to come down to the execution. One team will do that and one team will question it at some point in the game. We’ll see.’€

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At home with the bench 06.15.10 at 9:51 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES — The role of the bench may be the single biggest factor in home court advantage in this NBA finals series.

In Boston, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, Nate Robinson and Rasheed Wallace fed off the TD Garden crowd. It paid huge dividends in Games 4 and 5.

Both Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers have the luxury of having key players coming off their benches.

For the Celtics, everyone knows about the production of Davis, especially in wins in Games 4 and 5. Robinson was huge in Game 4 as well. Rasheed Wallace’s role took on a whole new meaning with an apparent right knee injury to starter Kendrick Perkins with 5:30 left in the first quarter Tuesday night.

For the Lakers, they have Lamar Odom, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar.

Now with the series finishing in Los Angeles, the advantage has shifted by to the purple and gold.

At first glance, the Lakers domination in the first half of Game 6 seemed to render the bench moot. But upon a much closer look, the stat sheet revealed the Lakers got 15 points from their bench. The Celtics, a big goose egg. That 15-0 margin led to a 51-31 halftime Lakers cushion.

And with the Lakers building a 22-point lead, Jackson was afforded the luxury of not having to tax his starters, saving them for a Game 7.

“I think that the bench performance has to prove itself,” Jackson said prior to Game 6. “[They’ve] got to go out there. But in the same breath, benches play better on our home court than they do on the road. It’s like, okay, they certainly have to have a chance to play, and if they’re playing well, they’ll stay.”

Rivers admitted he has to be a little more careful with his bench at Staples Center.

“Well, you hope not, but you’re prepared to,” Rivers said of shortening the exposure of the bench on the road. “I think [Jackson] is right. I think role players tend to play better at home. I don’t think that’s anything new. We knew that.

“We do have a different cast of players with Rasheed being a veteran and Nate and Baby are so emotional they could possibly play well on the road. You just never know what you’re going to get from them. But that is true, you do prepare yourself to extend your starters’ minutes on the road. You always do.”

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Perkins injures right leg at 9:28 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES — Celtics starting center Kendrick Perkins had to be helped off the court after his right knee appeared to buckle in a collision with Andrew Bynum under the Lakers basket midway through the first quarter. League officials reported during the game that Perkins had sustained a sprained right knee.

The center had X-rays on the leg and his return for Game 6 was ruled out by the team during halftime. Perkins will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. His status for possible Game 7 on Thursday is uncertain.

Perkins and Bynum collided going for the rebound with 5:30 left in the first and Perkins landed awkwardly and remained on the floor several minutes while pointing at his right knee. He was helped off the court by Brian Scalabrine and Shelden Williams and could not put any weight on the leg as he made his way back to the dressing room.

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