A few odds and ends on the team’s off day before they head into Philly tomorrow night for another tough matchup with the up and coming Sixers.
An active day on WEEI.com as both Doc Rivers and Shaquille O’Neal took to the airwaves to discuss a variety of topics from Troy Murphy to Kendrick Perkins. Here’s a roundup of the highlights, among which was the possibility that Delonte West could suit up Sunday against the Bucks:
Doc On Troy Murphy: “He’s just not ready yet,” Rivers said. “It’s just going to take him some time. I’m not that concerned with it, but he isn’t. A couple of times in the first half you could just see him [not] knowing the schemes, he was in the wrong place. They took advantage of that. When we were making a run in the second half you didn’t want to take the risk of putting him back on the floor.”
Doc on the new guys: “”Some guys will fit in, some guys will not,” he said. “All the guys we don’t need to fit, honestly. When we go to the playoffs were going to go to nine guys anyway, for the most part. I have 20 games to figure out which ones have the value.”
Doc on Thib’s decision to go to Chicago: “”People don’t know this, but Tom had a choice of two jobs. That was New Orleans or Chicago,” Rivers said. “New Orleans at the time was offering him more money. He was going to take that job because of the money and I kept saying, ‘The Bulls have players, that’s where you go. The money follows after the players.’ Obviously I’m really happy that he took the right job.”
Shaq on his injury:
“It’s getting better. I can remember a time when I was 19, I’d get hit by a car and five minutes later I’d be Ok. The older you get, it takes time to heal. I’ve been getting better, a little stronger, but there’s still a little pain. I’ve been instructed by Doc [Rivers] and the Big Three to come back when there’s no pain. It’s their call. Doc and I are from the same era. If it’s not getting better, shoot it up and let’s go out and play. But we’re looking at the 1825 thing (see below) here, so we want to do things right. The team’s playing well. [Nenad] Krstic is doing a fabulous job. They want me 1,000 percent, especially for the postseason, because that’s when it really counts.”
On The Perk Trade
“I was training, and I heard about the trade. It was kind of a sad ordeal. I got to know a lot about him and got to see his work ethic. I didn’t realize he was from Texas. I’m from Texas. We hung out on the road and got to talk strategies, talk shop and then business kicks in. He’s a very physical player — long arms, plays hard, not afraid of anybody, takes the elbow, gives them out, hard-nosed guy. We’re going to miss him. Boston’s going to miss him. He’s done a lot for the Boston community. He helped them get No. 17, and it’s been an honor to play with him.”
If O’Neal had to put a percentage on his health, what would it be?
“84.22711556644222 to the principle of the ninth Pythagorean theorem point two percent.”
Nice Shaq……very nice.
Finally, here’s a solid piece from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports breaking down the Heat coaching/management dynamic between Riley and Spolestra and some insight on Doc’s relationship with Danny Ainge:
Yes, Riles has long been intrigued with Doc Rivers, his old point guard with the New York Knicks. In his mind, Doc’s an extension of his own coaching tree. He must love to hear Rivers tell the story about how Riles told him that he would one day be a coach, about how Doc told him that he was crazy. The Celtics have a contract extension waiting for Rivers, sources say, but so far he’s wanted to wait until the season’s end to deal with it. For him, it would be difficult to make a direct leap from an aging Celtics roster to the Heat. Rivers is too entrenched, too woven into the franchise’s fabric now. What would happen to his relationships with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, with that city, those fans who adore him?
Nevertheless, he’s perfect for Miami. He’s a championship coach. He has a blueprint for making a Big Three work, for holding difficult stars accountable and together. Yet Rivers has a relationship with his GM that Riley has never had with a coach. He isn’t afraid to tell GM Danny Ainge that he’s completely wrong, that he’s going to do it his way and that that’s just way it has to be. Rivers and Ainge can argue, debate and sometimes even rage, but ultimately Ainge lets Rivers coach the Celtics. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Riley, or Rivers, could have the autonomy that they would need to co-exist. Go down the list of strong-minded, successful coaches, and ask yourself how many could come from the outside and fit into that insular Heat world.
Some strong food for thought right there. We’ll have plenty more tonight and an interesting look at the C’s home court woes vs. the Western Conference coming up shortly.