A few odds and ends at the end of a quiet news week, as we patiently wait for things to ramp up again for the NBA Draft Thursday night (7 p.m. ESPN).
We’ll start with telling quotes from C’s stud shooting guard Ray Allen, who spoke with the media at length yesterday in Dorchester during a community outing. As always Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com was on the scene and came through with a few telling nuggets from Ray:
* On the possibility of coming off the bench next season: “To me, however I can help the team, it’ll figure itself out. One thing in regards to Jeff [Green] is, whatever I can do to make him better and to push him and play the best that he can. It’s weird that guys have always looked at it like coming off the bench is such a bad thing. I know we went through the situation with [Allen] Iverson, he didn’t want to come off the bench. But, you’ve always worried more about who finished games, but more importantly, when you’re on a winning team, winning the game is the ultimate objective, so that’s my primary concern. I want to win. I looked at our record this year. It was sad that we didn’t get to 60 wins, and we should have had 60 wins, based on the games we lost, and that would have gave us home-court advantage throughout the whole playoffs, East and West.”
The starting lineup situation is interesting. It’s obviously helpful that Ray would be willing to come off the pine, (Paul Pierce has stayed silent on the matter thus far). On paper though, The Truth would positionally the guy that makes the most sense to be the sixth ma if a move is made, given the personnel the C’s are expected to be dealing with. Now, would starting PP at shooting guard and Green at small forward be a feasible situation? That’s a discussion for another day, but all signs point to no. For now, unless the C’s make a big splash (a la J.R. Smith) at the two spot in free agency, you can count on penciling Ray into the starting two spot. It’s certainly a situation not worth getting too worked up over.
* On being confident in exercising his $10 million player option for next season: “Yeah, I didn’t flinch too much about it. I think about the teams around the league that potentially I could have went to and it, again, it’s like you look at what we have and it’s too valuable. Being in this situation is too valuable, you can’t let it go. But, again, it’s like that saying. We used to say, ‘We’re the better team,’ and you have to prove it. You can’t just keep talking about it. When you see a situation like that, we’ve clamored all our careers for being on teams where guys that can play and that can help you win games, so you don’t give it away that easy.”
All of this is true, but it’s also pretty clear that despite his stellar season, there is no way Ray would have earned 10 milion dollars anywhere else next season once the new CBA goes into effect. It’s a fair deal for both sides, but don’t make the mistake of thinking Allen is giving Boston a discount.
On Final Four Playoff Teams This Year: “Most of the time, watching the Eastern Conference finals, just knowing that we were, and still [are], in my opinion, better than most of those teams that played. We lost to Dallas twice this year, but we still liked our chances against them. It was just us playing our best basketball. A kid asked me earlier, who was the toughest opponent that we had to face, and I said it was ourselves.”
That last quote is very telling. This team was painfully out of sync for the majority of the final three months. I’ll reflect more on this next week, but this isn’t the first time a member of the C’s has hinted a potential “chemistry” problems.
In other news, the ongoing Lawrence Frank saga continues, however the possibility appears to be stronger than ever that the terrific top lieutenant will find his way back to Boston for one more year. Marc Stein has the report that Dwane Casey has emerged as the frontrunner:
The Raptors began the week having narrowed their search for a successor to Jay Triano down to the former Minnesota Timberwolves coach and Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank. But Toronto has since zeroed in on Casey after interviews with both men this week, drawn largely to Casey’s success as the defensive coordinator for a Mavericks team that just won the first championship in franchise history.
The revelation brings the potential top openings for Frank down to just one in Detroit, where also according to Stein, Frank interviewed on Wednesday.
Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank interviewed Wednesday for the Detroit Pistons’ coaching vacancy, according to NBA coaching sources… The Pistons have likewise requested permission from the Dallas Mavericks to interview assistant coach Dwane Casey, who was taking part Thursday in the Mavericks’ championship parade in Dallas.
Frank, formerly coach of the New Jersey Nets, is the second candidate to be formally interviewed for the position, sources said, joining former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson.
Bill Laimbeer and Kelvin Sampson are also reportedly candidates, in addition to Frank and Woodson. Here’s hoping the Pistons, who have a strong recent history of butchering their choices in coaches and free agent signings, make another mistake and pass over a guy like Frank, which would allow the C’s to reap the benefits of his abilities for one more year.