|Doc Rivers on D&C||01.07.10 at 12:24 pm ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning. He discussed Wednesday night’s dramatic victory over the Heat in overtime, the case for Rajon Rondo as an All-Star and the issue of guns in the NBA, which was highlighted by the indefinite suspension of Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas.
A transcript of the interview is below. To listen to the complete interview, click here.
Where would last night’s victory rate?
Because of the way it finished it would rate high. Obviously there was a time where I thought we had it. Then it looked like we had lost it, and then we stole it back. Because of all that it ranks pretty high. Especially with all the guys coming back off of injury and still missing guys. There have been so many disruptions with our team right now, to have enough continuity to win a game has been great for all of our guys.
Was last night’s game all about overcoming human nature or giving into human nature?
I think so. They played hard on that last play. They did everything they were supposed to do. I was just happy with our guys, because when we called the timeout, it took me 15 seconds to get them in the huddle because they were so down. Once we drew up the play you could see them come back. They had the focus and just to execute the play and for it to work. Whenever anything works it looks great, because it takes so many moving parts for that stuff to happen. So, I thought we had good focus.
Have you used that play in the past and did it work?
We ran it once, might have been last year or two years ago, and it didn’t work. It worked to the point that Rondo was open and we threw the pass off the mark. It actually went into overtime. We work on that play occasionally, like once every 10 practices. Paul [Pierce] is the only guy that can make the pass, every time we use someone else it’s a bad pass. But it was good that all those guys were there.
What if there is less time than 0.6 seconds? Does it require all 0.6 seconds to get that up?
We’ve done it with 0.4 because it’s just a tap. Even at 0.3 you have a chance. Rondo is usually the best guy to do it, because he’s the guy that no one thinks you are going to do it with. That’s what we try to choose. Ray [Allen] is the other guy, surprisingly, because no one thinks you are going to throw a lob pass to Ray, either. So, it’s usually one of those two guys.
|Rasheed: We had guys step up||01.03.10 at 3:01 am ET|
Rasheed Wallace has been around the NBA long enough to know not to get discouraged even when times look most bleak.
Another valuable lesson was taught Saturday night and it was Wallace and the Celtics schooling the Toronto Raptors, making the visitors North of the border look woefully unprepared for the woefully undermanned Celtics. Even without Paul Pierce [right knee], Kevin Garnett [right knee] and Rajon Rondo [left hamstring], the Celtics led virtually from the beginning of the game.
Here’s a sample of what Wallace and Celtics coach Doc Rivers had to say after they snapped a three-game skid with a 103-96 win over the Raptors.
|Wallace Makes Unexpected Return to Starting Five||12.22.09 at 11:31 pm ET|
It had been nearly eight months since Rasheed Wallace found himself in this position.
Wallace had not started a game since April 26, when the Pistons were eliminated by the Cavaliers in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Back then, Wallace had hours to prepare. On Tuesday night, he didn’t have the same luxury when he was called upon to start in place of Kevin Garnett, who was suffering from a bruised right thigh.
‘KG’s telling me his leg is a little sore, so I knew it was a 50-50 chance,’ Wallace explained after the game. ‘So its just preparing yourself mentally, and I found out about maybe 10-20 minutes before our meeting started.’
After establishing himself as the leader of the second unit this season, Wallace was thrown into a situation he had never been in before in Boston. He had to quickly shift his mindset to adjust to his new role and new matchups to make his first start as a Celtic.
‘It’s a different preparation,’ he said. ‘You know when you’re coming off the bench, you’re looking more at the guys that they have coming off of the bench. At first I was more focused on [Tyler] Hansborough and what they have coming. But I had to turn that focus to [Roy] Hibbert and [Troy] Murphy and try to do what I can with them.’
Wallace jumped out early in the first quarter. He scored five points (including a three-pointer), grabbed five rebounds, and dished two assists in the first 12 minutes. Hibbert was held scoreless while Murphy posted only three points.
He honed in on defense as the game went on. Wallace nabbed seven boards in the second half to finish the game with nine points and 13 rebounds. He banged his shoulder and was sidelined as Murphy got hot late in the final two quarters. But fortunately for the Celtics, the other starters picked up the pace while their leading rebounder was on the bench.
‘It’s cool. A little sore but nagging injuries, I’m good,’ he said of his shoulder, which was wrapped in ice after the game. ‘Lord knows [how it happened], scuffling around in there with those big guys and came up a little bit sore. But I’m alright though. It’s all normal.’
Although his start was unexpected, the Celtics like what they saw from his impromptu performance. Once the first unit gelled with their new member ‘ Doc Rivers was happy to see them making the extra pass ‘ they clicked with Wallace in the lineup.
‘He’s just got like a totally different focus [as a starter],’ Kendrick Perkins said. ‘He goes out there and rebounds, his defens[ive] energy is up, and he just goes out there and does the little things. He doesn’t worry about scoring the ball or nothing like that.
“He just goes out there and plays his role to the fullest.”
|Rescinding Rasheed||at 8:06 pm ET|
Tuesday was a big day for Rasheed Wallace.
Not only did he make his first start of the season – giving Kevin Garnett the night off to rest his right thigh – he caught a break on Tuesday when he had one of his 10 technical fouls removed from the official record. On Nov. 29 in Miami, Wallace said, “and one!” after he thought he was fouled after making a basket at the end of the first quarter.
He was assessed the technical by Bennett Salvatore.
“He said [he would rescind] right away,” Rivers said on Tuesday. “He said it at halftime that they would rescind it. He told me something I didn’t know. When they rescind a tech, it still has to go to the league and it still has to be approved. They don’t have to rescind it.”
But taking away the one tech didn’t satisfy Wallace. He feels there are several more that need to be reviewed.
“No, I’m not happy because there’s still some more that hopefully they can look at,” Wallace explained. “That wasn’t the only one we were talking about. That one got rescinded that fast because it was referee who said he was going to do it. I’m still seeing what the outcome is on the others but I know it won’t be anytime soon for the simple fact they’re in [collective bargaining agreement] meetings. I’m not worried about it yet.”
Wallace was rung up twice for arguing and ejected from the game against Philadelphia on Friday, a game the Celtics lost, 98-97.
Those two remain on the record, now giving Wallace nine for the season. An automatic suspension is levied at 16 technicals and every two technicals after.
|‘Strategic rest’ for Garnett||at 7:29 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett [right thigh bruise] will not play against the Pacers. Rasheed Wallace will start in his place. According to the team, the decision was a precautionary one made by head coach Doc Rivers.
The move to give Garnett “strategic rest” was made in an effort to have the star ready for their Christmas Day game in Orlando on Friday afternoon.
Tuesday’s game, the 27th of the season, marks the first time the Celtics have had a different lineup.
|Sheed talks techs||12.20.09 at 9:41 pm ET|
BOSTON – On Sunday following the Celtics-Timberwolves game, Rasheed Wallace spoke out about his ejection on Friday against the 76ers. Wallace said he will not alter his game to try to prevent being called for technical fouls. In fact, he was not happy with how close referee Bill Kennedy stood near the Celtics bench during timeouts.
Wallace was ejected by Kennedy during a timeout in the second quarter.
“If they’re standing right near our huddle trying to stick their ear or nose in there, then yeah, they’re going to hear some stuff,” he said. “That’s exactly what it was. When have you ever seen somebody – a ref – standing over there that close to our bench during a timeout. You already know what it is. I ain’t tripping.”
Wallace later added, “I’ll still play my game. I’ll still be me. I ain’t changing my game for nobody. I ain’t changing nothing for nobody.”
|A Sheed-less Loss||12.18.09 at 11:01 pm ET|
BOSTON – The Celtics were rolling with an 11-point lead before it happened.
Rasheed Wallace got whistled for an offensive foul with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. He didn’t agree with the call. During a timeout less than a minute later he got slapped with a technical. And then another one. Wallace had to be restrained by assistant coach Tom Thibodeau as he was tossed with 5:35 to go in the first half.
“That definitely helps because he can spread the floor,” Elton Brand said of the ejection. “He’s a good player for them and he was posting up and scoring, absolutely.”
Wallace had posted five points and three rebounds in nine minutes before he was ejected. The 76ers took advantage of his absence and tied the Celtics with 13 points in the remainder of the quarter. Big man Marreese Speights scored five points in the last 2:20 alone.
After having a 31-20 advantage on the boards in the first half, the Celtics were outrebounded 25-15 in the second. Without Wallace, the second unit combined for just four rebounds in the entire game before losing 98-97. (Recap here)
His absence played a role in the Celtics loss, but that doesn’t mean they are putting it all on him.
“Sheed’s a big part of our team,” said Kevin Garnett. “Not only does he give us length and a great voice out there on defense and offense, but he’s a presence in the post, a presence on the outside, and knows how to play and shares the ball. But that’s no excuse. I mean he didn’t have anything to do with our energy. That’s just a team thing and we’ll get it right.”
Added Brian Scalabrine, “This is the kind of game where we will all look at ourselves in the mirror and say we all should have done better. We’re not blaming anyone else on this one. We should have won this game tonight.”
The Celtics will practice on Saturday and host the Timberwolves on Sunday evening.