Rivers: Avoiding turnovers will be key vs. 76ers


Rivers: Avoiding turnovers will be key vs. 76ers

BOSTON For a while now, the Celtics have known the likelihood of facing the Sixers in the second round was pretty good.

While the C's will certainly spend the next couple of days preparing for Saturday's Game 1 matchup, coach Doc Rivers already has a good idea of what his team will need to do in order to advance to the Conference Finals.

"I can tell you the key to the series right now is we can't turn the ball over," Rivers said. "If you do, it's a guaranteed basket for them. So we know that's one of the keys going into it."

The Sixers average 17.8 points off turnovers in the playoffs, which ranks fifth. Of the four teams ranked ahead of them, only one Memphis has yet to move on to the next round of the playoffs.

Philadelphia's athleticism will also be a major concern for the Celtics, who dropped two of their three games to the Sixers this season.

"We've got a bunch of gazelles coming in here," Rivers said. "They only beat us by 1,000 in two our three games."

Rivers was hoping that the Celtics would have a little more time to rest before beginning their next series.

But after Thursday's down-to-the-wire, series-clinching 8380 win over the Hawks, he's not complaining.

"It's a short turnaround," Rivers said. "But it is what it is. I'd rather be going to Game 1 here than Game 7 in Atlanta."

Celtics pay tribute to Craig Sager in Tuesday's practice


Celtics pay tribute to Craig Sager in Tuesday's practice

The NBA is honoring longtime TNT broadcaster Craig Sager to begin the season, with teams wearing Sager-themed shirts across the league. 

Sager, 65, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2014, and it was announced in March that he had an expected three-to-six months to live. 

The Celtics celebrated Sager in full force at the end of Tuesday’s practice, changing into shirts with multi-colored flowers and clashing patterns in an ode to Sager’s signature style. The group gathered for pictures and shouted “Sager Strong,” a hashtag that’s circulated in support of the 65-year-old. 

After news emerged that his cancer had returned in March, TNT worked out a deal with ABC that allowed Sager to cover the NBA Finals for the first time in his 34-year career, leading to a memorable exchange with LeBron James after the Cavaliers won the NBA title.