• The C’s won’t change their game plan much for Game 3, but they are prepared for the Magic to make a bunch of adjustments, including the possibility of playing the Dwight Howard-Marcin Gortat twin towers combo more. (Side note: Check out Howard and Gortat playing one-on-one. Howard makes a jumper! I swear!).
Here’s Doc, via Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com:
“We work on them going big with Rashard [Lewis] at the 3. We work on that every day as well. And if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. At least you worked on it.”
Doc also expects the Magic to move Vince Carter off of Pierce and back onto Ray Allen. I actually prefer that match-up for Boston—I love the idea of Vince chasing Allen through screens all game—though the whole series could turn on both ends if Mickael Pietrus finds his game. Here’s Doc:
“We know that Barnes or [Mickael] Pietrus wil probably guard Paul. Vince will go to Ray [Allen]. That’s how a lot of us thought the series would start. Now they’re going back to that. They’ll go bigger more with Gortat and Howard in. Those are changes you expect.”
I didn’t expect to hear the word “zone” once during this series, but apparently the C’s are working on counters to a zone defense just to be safe, according to Doc:
We work on the zone offense every day, though we’ve yet to see them run a zone. You have to work just in case.
Pierce, meanwhile, says the team anticipates seeing more of J.J. Redick:
“Obviously, they want to play better defensively, probably on me,” said Pierce, who torched Vince Carter for 25 points per game to start the series. “I don’t know what they’ll do as far as trapping and different matchups. They’ll probably get J.J. Redick going; he’s shown they’ve had some success when he’s in the game. You think about those little things.”
Good to know the team has used its three days wisely. If the Magic fall behind in this game, I’d expect to see the twin towers line-up in fairly short order.
The Magic have been successful with both of them on the court against Boston, though the samples are small. In the regular season, for instance, the Magic outscored Boston 30-22 in 11 minutes with the Howard-Gortat combo on the floor, according to Basketball Value. Over the first two games of this series, Gortat and Howard have been on the court together for about 12:30, and the Magic have outscored Boston 24-18 in that span, per Basketball Value.
• Matt Barnes wants to play more and to guard Paul Pierce (via the Globe’s Julian Benbow):
“I haven’t been playing as much due to my back and, I guess, maybe due to matchups,’’ Barnes said. “Hopefully [tonight] I’ll be able to stay out there a little longer and help my team. I’m ready for whoever. I want to guard Pierce. We’ll see.’’
You might get your wish tonight, Matt.
• You know, if Tony Allen isn’t careful, I’m going to start really, really liking him. Mark Murphy at the Herald has a nice little mini-profile on TA that touches on his injuries, his clashes with Reggie Miller in the 2005 playoffs, his regular 20-point outbursts during awful 2007 losses and his status as a free agent after this season. If you read one Celtics story today, make it this one. A couple of excerpts:
On being a Celtic:
“I am a Celtic, and I take pride in being a Celtic, and I really appreciate the opportunity that they have given me. Yes indeed.”
On being a free agent after the season:
“That will take care of itself,” Allen said. “LeBron (James) got all the spotlight for his free agency. I’m one of the guys on the low totem pole. I ain’t thought about that. We have to get past this series man. That’s going to help me tremendously when we get to the Finals and we win the championship, I’m thinking about now, honestly.”
On being a defender/role player:
“That’s the whole thing. I ain’t scared of nobody,” he said. “I don’t care about all the name, height-type stuff. I just feel like if you put your shoes on the same way I put my shoes on, it’s going to be a competition. And for the most part this team wants me to be a defender. I’ll take that as a challenge.
“That’s the whole thing, man, I’m like the guy who’s down for whatever. However you want to roll with Tony Allen, I’m down with it.”
I love it. “However you want to roll with Tony Allen, I’m down with it.” I never imagined in December or January that I’d be saying this in May, but I am ready to roll with Tony Allen. (Gulp).
• Chris Forsberg told us Perk was about to get some major love from some non-C’s beat reporters, and sure enough, Chris Mannix of SI checks in with this piece about the Beast:
“Perkins is a throwback big man,” said Michael Finley. “A lot of big men are [in the NBA] based on their athletic ability and scoring from the outside. Perk takes pride in his defense. He gives us the ability not to double team, similar to what Tim Duncan gave us in San Antonio.”
As Perkins defensive prowess grows, so too does his confidence. Ask him who the best post defender in the game is, Perkins points to his chest.
• Jim Fenton at the Enterprise (based in Brockton) reports that the someone in the media scrum at Friday’s practice reminded Doc that Thursday was the 22nd anniversary of Game 6 of the 1988 Hawks-C’s conference semi-finals series, a super-competitive series the C’s pulled out in seven games after winning both Game 6 and Game 7 by two points. The former was in Atlanta, and someone asked Doc if here remembered scoring 32 points in the loss:
“Danny Ainge was a horrendous defender if that’s true,’’ joked Rivers. “I remember we lost. The tough part of being a player in my generation, whenever they show (old games on) NBATV, it usually means you lost.
“(Larry) Bird won, Magic (Johnson) won and Michael (Jordan) won, so everyone else lost. Every time I’m on, I lost and my kids remind me of that every time they see it.”
• OK, so, remember the whole notion that Nate Robinson would win the Celtics a playoff game at some point? Yeah. Nate has played 28 minutes in the post-season and is completely out of Doc’s rotation, along with Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams. But Doc knows those guys are there and will use them if necessary, he told the Globe:
“If I thought a guy wasn’t doing his job, or a guy was injured or in foul trouble, I have faith in the guys that I haven’t played. I have no problem putting them in if I have to do that.’’
Eh. I read nothing into this. Someone asked Doc a question, and he gave the polite answer. What’s he going to say? That Nate Robinson doesn’t understand how to play defense and Daniels never really found himself in Boston, and that they’ll both be riding the pine barring a total foul trouble crisis?
• Doc, via the Herald, under-estimates all of you in discussing why Pierce struggled against the Cavs:
“I think LeBron is a great defensive player. It’s funny how people did ignore that. They just assumed it was the one end. It was both.”
• If you’re interested in the budding 2010 Celtics vs. 2008 Celtics debate, here’s Bob Ryan and Charlie Pierce talking about it on video. I find the question ridiculously premature and basically uninteresting, but I get that some people are into this debate.
• Rashard Lewis says this to the Globe’s Jarrod Rudolph, who is covering the Orlando side of the series:
“Boston came to us and beat us twice on our home court, so it’s happened before,’’ said Rashard Lewis, who shot 4 of 16, 1 of 9 on 3-pointers, and averaged 5.5 points in the first two games. “Why can’t we do it? Why can’t it happen again?’’
I like how Rudolph snuck Lewis’s horrific stats in the middle of that quote, as if to answer Shard’s question (“Why can’t we do it?”) before he even asks it.
About Shard: I already linked to this Orlando Pinstriped Post piece on his dismal performance, but I neglected to mention one detail: Stan Van Gundy has said he needs to do more to get Lewis going, and, according to Ben Q. Rock at OPP, that sometimes can mean posting up Lewis on the left block. He likes to shoot turnaround fadeaways from the left baseline, and he hits them at about a 50 percent clip, according to OPP.
You better believe KG knows this and will be ready for it.
Game 3 begins in 10 hours.