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Rivers: “Rasheed alone is an individual hedge fund” 04.23.10 at 2:13 pm ET
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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.”

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Rasheed Wallace fined $35,000 by NBA 04.22.10 at 5:55 pm ET
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Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace was fined $35,000 Thursday for publicly criticizing game officials for comments made to the media back on April 19.

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Doc Rivers press conference 04.21.10 at 3:18 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke to the media after the Celtics took a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics beat the Heat 106-77 at TD Garden without star forward Kevin Garnett.

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Sheed or Baby for Game 2? 04.19.10 at 5:21 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Now that Kevin Garnett has been suspended for Game 2, a decision that took no one by surprise within the Celtics organization, the immediate question becomes: who will start in his place?

The team tried to keep the decision under wraps, but there were indications that it will be Glen Davis rather than Rasheed Wallace. When the curtain rose on practice Monday afternoon, Davis was on the floor with the first team, while Wallace was in a white practice jersey worn by the second unit.

That may mean something, or it may not, but Rajon Rondo also said, “I think Baby’s starting.”

Maybe he didn’t get the memo. Doc Rivers, Wallace and Davis were all non-committal.

“I don’t know,” Davis said. “I have no idea. It’s either going to be the Ticket-Stub or it’s going to be Sheed.”

Wallace said he’s fine either way.

“It don’t matter as long as I’m in there in that fourth quarter,” Wallace said. “I don’t care if I start, I don’t care if I come off the bench. Like I said before, Doc’s the mad scientist. If he seems me starting, fine. If he doesn’t see me starting, fine.”

Ultimately the decision may have more to do with Miami’s personnel than with the Celtics. More specifically it may have more to do with second-year forward Michael Beasley who scored just six points on eight shots in Game 1.

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Time to call on Big Baby 04.18.10 at 8:06 pm ET
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Now that the NBA has decided to suspend Kevin Garnett for Game 2 of the Celtics series with the Heat, Doc Rivers has a decision to make. If form holds from this season, Rasheed Wallace will get the call to start for Garnett.

Wallace has started every game that Garnett has missed due to injury or coach-ordered rest, but now is not the time to play it safe. Rivers should start Glen Davis instead.

Davis overcame a shaky first half in Game 1 to put together a solid eight point, eight rebound effort with almost all of that production coming in a decisive second-half Celtic run. Wallace didn’t play poorly, but Davis was a difference-maker. Starting Davis would be a reward for his inspired play and also better utilize Wallace’s versatility to play both the four and five spots.

Davis filled in admirably for Garnett during last year’s playoff run, and might be a better match up for Miami’s Michael Beasley, a young, athletic forward. Additionally Shelden Williams, who has played well when given an opportunity, should also see some playing time.

The Celtics managed to win Game 1 despite playing uninspired basketball for 30 minutes Saturday night. It wasn’t until Tony Allen and Davis came in off the bench that the momentum changed as the Celtics erased a 14-point deficit.

“Tony and Baby changed the game defensively for us,” Rivers said after the game. “Baby came in and was sensational and I thought Tony was great.”

Rivers has already gone against the grain once in this series. Midway through the fourth quarter when he brought Paul Pierce back into the game, he had Pierce replace Ray Allen and elected to let Tony Allen stay on the court. Rivers would do well to continue rewarding the players who play with energy in this series by starting Davis in Game 2.

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Sheed: I got to be me 04.16.10 at 4:52 pm ET
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WALTHAM – As the playoffs dawn, Rasheed Wallace finds himself in a familiar position: maligned.

He has been the subject of negative columns and painted as a divisive figure in the Celtics locker room, but Wallace is not backing down.

“I’m going to be me,” he said. “Half the people like me and half the people don’t. I’m not out here to please the fans or whatever, I’m here to win a title. Some of the fans are mad at me, some of the fans cheer for me, I can’t worry about that. I’m going to go out there and do what I’ve got to do.”

Statistically, Wallace had the worst season of his career. He shot just 28 percent from 3-point range and his rebounding totals left much to be desired. He acknowledged that when he was asked how he felt about his season.

“So-so, nothing to write home about,” he said. “But I’m not worried about it. It was a down season coming into a new offense, so I’m not worried about it. I’m not making no excuses on how I shot the ball. I know I had a bad year shooting, but it’s part of it.”

But that doesn’t mean he will change to appease his critics.

“I’ve been in this game too long to play my game depending on what the fans say,” he said. “When I first got to Portland they didn’t like me. When I first got to Detroit, they didn’t like me. When I first got here they didn’t like me. It’s nothing new. I can’t focus my game on what the fans think.”

Still, Wallace expressed confidence that he and the Celtics will be ready to play when the playoffs start Saturday night.

“I know how we’ll play,” Wallace said. “Bottom line. My confidence level is high. Our confidence level is real high right now. I know how we’ll come out here and play.”

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Garnett sits against Bucks 04.10.10 at 7:55 pm ET
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Doc Rivers has elected to sit Kevin Garnett for the Celtics game with the Bucks Saturday night. Rasheed Wallace is expected to start in his place.

Rivers has maintained that rest is more important for his veteran team than getting the third seed in the playoffs and with this being the second game of a back-to-back and the fourth game in five days for the Celtics, it’s a good time to get Garnett some rest.

Garnett had played in 39 straight games since missing 10 games in late December and early January. Despite coming off knee surgery in the offseason and suffering a handful of injuries during the season, Garnett has played in 68 of the team’s 79 games.

The Celtics play the Bucks twice in their last three games (they also host Milwaukee in the regular-season finale, Wednesday) and could possibly meet Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.

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