|Paul Pierce meet David Ortiz||05.10.10 at 4:32 pm ET|
WALTHAM — So maybe Paul Pierce is just getting the David Ortiz treatment.
After scoring just nine points in 31 minutes on Sunday in the 97-87 Celtics win over Cleveland that evened the series, 2-2, everyone wants to know if Paul Pierce is physically fine.
And if he is, as he told reporters following Monday’s practice, why then is he having such trouble getting his offensive game going?
“I’m not a rookie, you guys. I’m not a rookie,” Pierce said with a painful smile very similar to the one a certain Red Sox slugger sported after getting grilled about his woes just TWO games into the season.
“It is my 12th year. I’ve been in every situation, regardless. Whether it’s foul trouble, not playing, things not going so well for you, I know how to get through those times, mentally. It doesn’t affect me like it used to when I was a younger player where I had two or three fouls and not really playing the kind of basketball I want to. But the key is to keep focused and doing what you can to help the team win.”
And about your physical condition Paul?
“There’s nothing wrong me,” Pierce said. “The key for me is being focused and giving my team what they need to win. So there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“No, Paul’s fine, Paul’s fine,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers added. “Obviously, we want more out of him but we’re getting a lot out of him. I think unfortunately for Paul, he’s an offensive player and that’s what everyone sees in him and he has a defensive part in this series so they’re going to look at his offensive numbers so that’s the bad part of being Paul Pierce, really.”
Specifically, it was the early foul trouble in Games 3 and 4 at the Garden that Pierce pointed to as the main culprit in robbing him of offensive rhythm.
“If you’re a scorer, you’re a scorer for life,” Rivers said. “It’s like you’re in a gang, a scoring gang. I think scorers still think, ‘OK,’ and then once they get into it they realize, ‘Wow, this is tough.’ We just keep telling him to be aggressive. The one thing I did tell him was I thought I did think we got the right matchups for him he wasn’t looking to score. When we do get those situations, we need him to morph back into Paul.”
“We don’t want to sacrifice the entire offense or the team just to get Paul involved,” added Rajon Rondo. “Paul is just an unselfish player so he’s not complaining about shots or that he’s only scoring 11 or 12 points. As long as we’re winning, he knows it’s a team sport. He’s very unselfish. It’s about sacrifices. Yesterday, I think Ray [Allen] got 21 shots up and myself. Maybe Paul gets 22 shots and maybe Ray and I only shoots four. It varies each game. If a guy has it going, you keep going to him.”
Pierce said he will not let games of 13, 14, 11 and nine points take him out of his focus of doing what it takes to help the team win the series, namely defend and help on LeBron James.
“All that other stuff goes out the window, being frustrated,” Pierce said. “You really have to concentrate on the game when you’re not in the game so that when you go back in the game, you can finish it.
“I’m digging myself a ditch as far as my fouls but I think they’re good fouls I’m getting, some bad ones but that’s the way the game goes. It’s nothing I’m really worried about. I know I can do a better job and control. No matter how I’m doing offensively, as long as we win, that’s all that matters to me.”
And winning Game 5 in Cleveland Tuesday is Job No. 1.
“We definitely have a sense of urgency going into Game 5,” Pierce said. “We have to treat it like a Game 7, trying to gather some momentum, like we’ve been trying to do. We know it’s going to be a tough place to play back in Cleveland, trying to get two wins. It’s going to be very difficult. I think we’re going to put our hard hats on and clean up some of things we didn’t do right last night and in Game 3, and hopefully, try to steal another win.”
|Thomsen: Celtics considered Perkins trade||05.07.10 at 1:52 pm ET|
According to SI’s Ian Thomsen, Ray Allen wasn’t the only Celtic shopped around at the trade deadline. Thomsen said there were discussions of a Kendrick Perkins for Carlos Boozer deal, which would have changed the landscape of the Celtics roster.
“Everybody had heard they were looking to deal Ray Allen for Caron Butler,” Thomsen said. “It turned out that was never going to happen. The Wizards were going to send Caron Butler to Dallas. But if the Celtics would have been able to make that deal they would have taken some of what they got from Washington and turned that around with Kendrick Perkins and made a deal for Carlos Boozer with Utah. That’s what they were looking to do. I’m not sure if it ever would have gone through, but they were seriously pursuing that end.”
That would have left the Celtics with a starting five of Kevin Garnett, Boozer, Paul Pierce, Butler and Rajon Rondo. Thomsen said it would have been a good move, but one that would have been pricey.
“It would have made them younger and it would allow them to contend for years going forward,” he said. “But it also would have made them even more expensive than ever. I think it just says a lot about the ambition of the franchise and the willingness to spend money if they think it’s going to pay off. That goes against the trend of other teams we’ve seen in the NBA right now.”
To listen to the interview, CLICK HERE.
|No Celtics Named to All-NBA Teams||05.06.10 at 2:29 pm ET|
A day after Rajon Rondo was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team, none of the Celtics were named to First, Second, or Third All-NBA Teams. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade were named to the First Team, the league announced on Thursday.
Last season, Paul Pierce was named to the Second Team and received 330 points, including 27 First Team votes. This season, he received a total of six points. Rondo led the Celtics this season with 47 points, 45 more than last season.
Teams were chosen by position by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Points were awarded on a 5-3-1 scale.
See how the Celtics fared in voting from last season to now:
Paul Pierce: 330 points
Kevin Garnett: 72 points
Ray Allen: 6 points
Rajon Rondo: 2 points
Rajon Rondo: 47 points
Paul Pierce: 6 points
Kevin Garnett: 1 point
Click here for a complete list of First, Second, and Third Team members.
|Rondo named to NBA-All Defensive Team||05.05.10 at 3:06 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced on Wednesday. Rondo finished second in voting to Dwight Howard. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Gerald Wallace were also named to the First Team.
Rondo led the league with 2.3 steals per game during the regular season. He set a Celtics franchise record in single-season steals (189), held previously by Rick Fox (1996-97). Rondo also ranked 10th among all guards with 360 total rebounds (4.4 rpg).
Members of the First and Second Teams were voted on by position by the NBA’s head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.
All-Defensive First Team
Center – Dwight Howard, Magic (57 points)
Guard – Rajon Rondo, Celtics (50 points)
Forward – LeBron James, Cavaliers (45 points)
Guard – Kobe Bryant, Lakers (34 points)
Forward – Gerald Wallace, Bobcats (30 points)
All-Defensive Second Team
Center – Tim Duncan, Spurs (21 points)
Guard – Dwyane Wade, Heat (20 points)
Forward – Josh Smith, Hawks (20 points)
Forward – Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers (15 points)
Guard – Thabo Sefolosha, Thunder (14 points)
|Allen finishes third for Sportsmanship Award||04.26.10 at 4:53 pm ET|
Ray Allen finished third in voting for the 2009-10 NBA Sportsmanship Award. The league announced Grant Hill as the winner of the Joe Dumars Trophy on Monday. Allen was the Atlantic Division winner and received 48 first place votes overall (Hill received 96). The NBA will make a $5,000 donation to Allen’s Ray of Hope Foundation on his behalf. Allen previously won the award in 2003 as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Top 2009-10 voting results:
1. Grant Hill, Suns
2. Chauncey Billups, Nuggets
3. Ray Allen, Celtics
4. Antawn Jamison, Cavaliers
5. Al Horford, Hawks
6. Luis Scola, Rockets
|Rivers: “Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund”||04.23.10 at 2:13 pm ET|
MIAMI — Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 by the NBA, yet again, after making comments critical of the officials, and specifically how they work games when superstars are involved. It’s a familiar gripe for Wallace who has been fined several times by the NBA for making similar statements.
“Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund by himself,” Doc Rivers joked after shootaround.
But Wallace’s words cut deep for a league that is fighting to regain trust in the wake of the Tim Donaghy affair. Officials have come under great scrutiny already in the playoffs and several coaches, notably Phil Jackson and Stan Van Gundy, have not helped matters with their comments.
Both Jackson and Van Gundy were fined by the league for various statements about the officiating and David Stern made a point of saying Thursday night in Oklahoma City that it won’t be tolerated.
“I wish I had it to do all over again,” Stern said to reporters before Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder series. “Starting 20 years ago I’d be suspending Phil and Pat Riley for all the games they play in the media. You guys know our referees go out there and knock themselves out and do the best job they can.”
Make no mistake, this is a huge problem for the NBA and Stern basically dared coached to test him.
Stern also noted that within in the NBA community, it’s understood that when Jackson says that Kevin Durant gets to the free throw line too much, he’s doing it for effect, but the perception is that refs call the game differently for star players. Or in Van Gundy’s case, that his star player, Dwight Howard, doesn’t get the benefit of the calls.
“I think David is half right on that one,” Rivers said. “Sometimes we do know, but sometimes we really are defending our guys. Everyone is on the league’s side at the end of the day. Listen, I’ve been a league guy for 20-whatever years. I love this league and I want this league to do well. I don’t think any coach doesn’t want the league to do well. Having said that the coaches job is to do what he can to help the team win.”
|Rasheed Wallace fined $35,000 by NBA||04.22.10 at 5:55 pm ET|
Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 Thursday for publicly criticizing game officials for comments made to the media back on April 19.