Rivers on last shot: 'Red wasn't going to let that go in'


Rivers on last shot: 'Red wasn't going to let that go in'

BOSTON Celtics head coach Doc Rivers could not have been any more happier to be wrong when the shot that he thought was going to go in - Miami's Dwayne Wade's 3-point attempt at the end of overtime - did a quick spin around the rim before deciding to not go down.

It would indeed be the difference in Boston's 93-91 overtime victory that now has their best-of-seven series tied at 2-2 with Game 5 in Miami and Game 6 back in Boston on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

While Rivers was pleased with the defense that Marquis Daniels was playing on Wade's potential game-winner, Rivers thought there was an even greater force at work.

"Red (Auerbach) wasn't going to let that go in," Rivers said. "You know that. Not in the Boston Garden."

Said Wade on the shot: "It was on line. It was all you could ask for. I got my legs on the middle and shot it, and it was on line; it just decided it didn't want to go in."

Adding a slight degree of difficultly to the shot was the fact that it came about with LeBron James on the bench after he picked up his sixth personal foul with 1:51 to play in overtime. Official Joey Crawford made the call as James tried to back down Boston's Mickael Pietrus into the paint.

"With LeBron out, obviously they put more focus on me," Wade said. "And we had some good shots, got my teammates some good looks. They (Boston) gave us an opportunity to win the game. There was a lot of pick-and-rolls, and we were trying to be aggressive."

Keyon Dooling was among the Celtics players to spend time defending Wade on Sunday.

"He's a phenomenal talent, and you're not going to stop him by yourself," Dooling said. "But you can make it difficult and uncomfortable for him which is we would ideally want.

In addition to his defense, Dooling also had 10 points which included nailing 3-of-4 3s.

As important as Dooling's contributions were to the Celtics, this game will be remembered more for what the Heat failed to do, then the C's ability to make plays down the stretch.

James had the ball in the closing seconds of regulation.

Not only did the Heat not score, but James passed off to Udonis Haslem who took a contested shot that had no chance of going in.

And then you had Wade's potential game winner that was off the mark at the end of overtime.

"We had our opportunities," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

And in Boston, Miami failed to capitalize on them while the C's more often than not, made the most of their chances with the end result - two wins - validating that.

But the challenge isn't over; not even close.

"All we did was give ourselves a chance to stay toe-to-toe in this series," Dooling said. "That's all we did. We feel good about what we've done so far, but we know we have a lot more to do to reach our goal, the prize we've been pursuing throughout this season."

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a CSNNE.com report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”