|Doc Rivers on Dennis & Callahan||05.19.09 at 10:01 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers offered a look back at the 2008-09 season, as well as a look ahead to his team’s needs going forward, during an interview with the Dennis & Callahan Show this morning. He admitted a sense of disappointment that his team did not have the opportunity to pursue another championship without a full complement of players.
‘The only thing that bothers me about the way the postseason ended was, you look at Kevin (Garnett), you look at Leon (Powe) and you just say, ‘Darn’we didn’t have a real chance to defend our title with our best stuff,’’ said Rivers. ‘That’s real tough for a coach and for a team.’
Rivers addressed a number of topics during his interview, including ways in which the Celtics need to improve and his own coaching future. Among them:
WHETHER THE SURGERY ON KEVIN GARNETT’S KNEE MIGHT BE MORE FAR-REACHING THAN PREVIOUSLY SUGGESTED:
I don’t think there will be much more (than reported). I think it will be the strained tendon and the bone spur. What they started thinking at the end was that maybe the bone spur had something to do, maybe it started rubbing against the tendon and that’s what kept it inflamed. But they don’t know that. That’s just an assumption.
ON OTHER INJURIES THAT IMPACTED THE TEAM AND THAT MAY REQUIRE SURGERY
Ray Allen had a hamstring problem throughout the Orlando series that was not getting better. Paul had some bone spurs that may need to be removed as well. (Kendrick Perkins) may have to have a procedure on his shoulder’¦ In Ray’s case, I thought his hamstring was bothering him a lot. That could have had an effect on him (during the Magic series).
ON THE TEAM’S NEED TO ADD DEPTH TO ITS BENCH THIS OFFSEASON
Just think this year if Kevin was healthy and Leon was healthy, that makes our bench 10 deep’¦Those two guys being out really shortened our bench.
But we have to improve our team. There’s no doubt about that. We don’t have to make any changes, but definitely have to make some additions.
No. 1, the one spot no one talked about all year, was the small forward spot. We need a small forward who can defend, who can make shots and give Paul (Pierce) a blow. I thought Paul, all year, had to guard the best guys all game. Whenever we took him out, we went small. We put Ray Allen in at small forward, which is a tough matchup. You could see it in the Orlando series. You were almost scared to take Paul off the floor because when you did, Ray Allen was now guarding the Terkoglus or the Rashard Lewises of the world. They went straight to the post, just like every other team did.
ON THE IMPACT OF KEVIN GARNETT’S DEFENSIVE ABSENCE ON THE REST OF THE TEAM
We didn’t run out of gas in the playoffs. We ran out of gas trying to get to the playoffs in a lot of ways. Every game was different and harder once Kevin left. Our defense suffered. (Rivers noted that opponents averaged 88 points per game against the Celtics last postseason, and 102 points per game this year.) I don’t think much more needs to be said about our defense, and how important Kevin Garnett is.
HOW MANY 15- TO 18-FOOT JUMPERS SHOULD RONDO TAKE THIS OFFSEASON?
He can’t take enough, obviously. I thought the series changed when Orlando decided that they basically weren’t going to play Rondo anymore. It’s very difficult for him to be effective from that point on. Obviously, he did on the rebounding side of things for us, but as far as creating plays, that not only hurt Rondo, but that hurt Paul and Ray as well, because they were using his man to double-team.
That’s a shot he’s going to have to make. We knew that. We knew that two years ago. It made it easier for them to do that because Kevin wasn’t out on the floor. When you have three other shooters out on the floor, it’s not as easy.
DO YOU REASSESS YOUR OWN FUTURE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?
I do it every year. I have every intention of coming back, but I would be lying to you if I said that every year, I didn’t sit back over the last couple, with the family. We sit back and we think, ‘What do we need to do, and what do I need to do?’ I just try to gauge it on how my kids are doing and if they’re happy. I’m sure there will be a day or some time when I’ll say no, I’ve got to stay and do family things. But I have every intention of coming back.
I love coaching. I see myself coaching a long time. But I also see myself as a coach who will take a break to re-energize. I believe in that. I love, what’s the analogy? A teacher taking a sabbatical and coming back. I clearly will do that someday. In the next two or three years, I think that has to happen. I just think it’s good for a coach to do that. It makes him a better coach.
WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO RETURN: MARBURY OR DAVIS?
Baby, it will probably come down to what he can get on the open market. With Steph, it will probably come down to what we can get on the open market.
WILL TOM THIBODEAU BE BACK?
I hope he’s not back…(The 76ers job) will be a tough one to get. Tom’s not a good guy ‘ he’s a great guy. And he’s a terrific coach. So I’m really pulling for him.
WHO WILL WIN THE TITLE?
I don’t know. Honestly, I can tell you I really don’t care.
|Pierce makes second-team All NBA||05.13.09 at 1:32 pm ET|
Paul Pierce was selected to the All-NBA Second Team the league announced today. Pierce had been on three All-NBA Third Teams (2001-02, 2002-03 and 200708), but this this is the first time he has cracked the Second Team barrier.
No other Celtics made First, Second or Third team All-NBA, although Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon R0ndo also received votes. This was not one of the captain’s better seasons statistically, but he earned praise for keeping the team together during an injury-plagued second half and for several clutch performances.
LeBron James was the only unanimous selection.
G: Dwyane Wade
G: Kobe Bryant
F: LeBron James
G: Brandon Roy
G: Chris Paul
F: Paul Pierce
F: Tim Duncan
C: Yao Ming
G: Tony Parker
F: Carmelo Anthony
F: Pau Gasol
|Game 4: Third quarter update||05.10.09 at 10:11 pm ET|
With just over four minutes remaining in the quarter, Paul Pierce went to the bench with is fourth foul. It was a tough blow for the Celtics as Pierce is in the midst of his best game of the series with 27 points and they had a 67-58 lead, their largest of the night.
The Celtics weathered the storm for a time but late in the quarter the Magic managed to cut the lead down to just two points after Courtney Lee made a pair of free throws. But the Celtics went on an 8-2 run to take a 79-71 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The last four minutes were not without some minor controversy. Doc Rivers nemesis Bill Kennedy whistled the Celtics for a defensive three-second technical, which turned into a four-point swing after Rashard Lewis made the free throw and Rafer Alston buried a 3-pointer. Rivers called timeout and had a lengthy conversation with Kennedy.
Then, Big Baby Davis took umbrage at Dwight Howard after a foul left him sprawling across the lane. Davis missed both free throws but he was key in helping the Celtics get through the quarter without the captain. Things settled down after that and we’re all set for a defining 12 minutes of the Celtics season. Do they have enough to take this series back to Boston tied at two games apiece, or are the Magic ready to take that proverbial next step?
|Game 4: A strategic shift||at 9:49 pm ET|
The Celtics came out for what might be the most important half of their season intent on putting the game in the hands of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. They have been running high isolation pick and rolls with Pierce at the point and Allen setting the screen.
Pierce, who scored 18 points in the first half, kept it going in the early minutes of the third quarter making a pair of jumpers and getting to the line. Allen, who was held to just four points on four shots also made a couple of pull-up jumpers. It’s a pretty radical shift in strategy but so far it’s paid dividends.
|Doc on Manny: That’s shocking and disappointing||05.07.09 at 2:04 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Celtics coach Doc Rivers is not just an NBA head coach, he is a huge sports fan. And when news broke Thursday that Manny Ramirez had been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enchancing substance, he reacted just like a sports fan.
“It’s disappointing, it really is,” Rivers said before his team’s film session. “It’s the baseball whole thing and that’s obviously a part of it right now. I don’t know. That’s shocking and disappointing.”
But Rivers didn’t stop there. He battles with the issue much like every sports fan does, trying to weigh what matters to fans and what’s in the best interest of the sport. Read the rest of this entry »
|Game 2: Second Quarter Update||05.06.09 at 9:14 pm ET|
The Magic wanted to play this game from outside … and paid the price. The Celtics have built a 15-point halftime lead thanks to aggressive play at the basket, outscoring the Magic 32-14 in the paint. They have also outshot the Magic 56% to 41% from the field.
Kendrick Perkins leads all scorers with 14 points (6/7 FG) and has been called for just one foul. Ray Allen, who had a quiet night in Game 1, has added 13 points. J.J. Redick is the high scorer for the Magic with 11 points.
|Pierce: Two matches for Jasmina||at 11:36 am ET|
Earlier this year Paul Pierce joined the fight to find a life-saving bone marrow donor for Jasmina Anema, a six-year-old leukemia patient. Since Anema is adopted, finding a donor match to combat the rare and deadly form of the disease was difficult. Pierce campaigned for blood drives in the Boston area and pleaded for help on his website, PaulPierce.net. Other athletes and celebrities, including Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, and New York Knick Chris Wilcox, also reached out to help. Nearly five months after she was hospitalized, two near-perfect matches have been found for Jasmina. Click here to read a message on Pierce’s site.
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