Rivers praises ABCD, Hoop Dreams fundraiser

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Rivers praises ABCD, Hoop Dreams fundraiser

BOSTON Doc Rivers always roams the TD Garden court for a good cause, but few get better than this.
For the second year in a row, Rivers will be on the sidelines overlooking the action during the Action for Boston Community Development's (ABCD) Hoop Dreams fundraiser.
As one of the area's more prominent figures, there are plenty of organizations that Rivers can serve.
But the ABCD program struck a chord with Rivers, who said he first learned about the program when he saw an article about Bob Elias, ABCD's Director of Government and Industrial Relations.
"I had my assistant call them," Rivers told CSNNE.com. "I wanted to get involved. It's such a neat group. I thought it would be a great way to get involved in Boston charities."The ABCD program, celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year, is focused on helping to improve the lives of low-income residents in the Greater Boston area through various neighborhood-driven programs ranging from Head Start programs to job training to programs for the elderly.
Last year's Hoop Dreams fundraiser generated more than 100,000 towards the programs offered that collectively serve more than 85,000 individuals in need.
Each of the 10 teams participating in Wednesday's action paid 10,000 for a total of 100,000.Rivers, much like the ABCD organizers, would love to see the Hoop Dreams fundraiser continue to grow.
"When you meet the people that work for ABCD, especially Bob Elias, you just see how hard they work and how many people they touch," Rivers said. "The other part is they do a lot for young people. The summer jobs program that they do for kids coming out of high school, kids coming home from college. I just think it's really important. This is the one that I wanted to get involved with."
And fundraising aside, it also offers some a chance to do what so few can -- play on the legendary parquet floor.
"It's called Hoop Dreams and it's a really neat thing," Rivers said. "A lot of guys never get the opportunity to play out on the Boston Garden court. And they get to do that. Some are very serious. Some have fun."
Quipped Rivers, "The most important person here is the trainer."
For more information on the ABCD program, you can log on to their website (www.bostonabcd.org) or you can follow them on Twitter (@Bostonabcd).

Highlights: Boston Celtics 112, Miami Heat 108

Highlights: Boston Celtics 112, Miami Heat 108

Highlights as the Boston Celtics are able to hold off the Miami Heat and get the win 112-108 at the TD Garden.

Win vs. Heat puts Celtics in virtual tie with Cavs for first place in East

Win vs. Heat puts Celtics in virtual tie with Cavs for first place in East

BOSTON – Location, location, location.

The Boston Celtics are seemingly where they want to be following their 112-108 win Sunday night over Miami, a victory that put the Celtics (48-26, .649 winning percentage) in a virtual tie with defending NBA champ Cleveland (47-25, .652).

But position means very little without purposeful play, something the Celtics are gradually doing more of than not.

And because of that, they find themselves one strong finish to the season away from going into the playoffs with the top overall record in the East for the first time since 2008 – the year they brought home Banner 17.

While few anticipate the Celtics will advance to the NBA Finals, they have at least positioned themselves to have a shot at making a good run during the postseason if they can secure home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The last time the top overall top seed in the East failed to make it past the first round was in 2012 when the Chicago Bulls were eliminated by the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, a series that was marred by injuries to Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah that created a much smoother pathway for the upstart Sixers to move on to the second round where they were defeated by Boston in seven games.

And while the players have tried to downplay the significance of landing the top seed in the East, there’s no question it’s something that they know all too well is within their reach.

Cleveland has a much tougher schedule to close out the season, one that includes a matchup at San Antonio on Monday night, a Spurs team that’s fighting for the top spot out West as well with Golden State.

The Celtics players have talked often about wanting to be in the best position possible going into the playoffs.

Having the top seed?

Yup.

That’ll do it.

And while Celtics players were aware of where the team was in relation to Cleveland, being tied for the top spot with the Cavs isn’t something that Boston is getting too giddy about right now.

“We hear it, but that wasn’t our focus (against Miami),” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “Our focus was to come in, get another game, keep that momentum going before we start the playoffs.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said not a word was spoken in the locker room after Sunday’s win about the team now being in a virtual tie with the Cavs.

“I think – I talked about this earlier – obviously the guys, because they get … most of them to be honest, because they’re asked so much, some of them obviously have already said they watch it pretty closely,” Stevens said. “But I’ve tried to say, ‘Hey, it’s about playing as well as we can …”

That and location, location, location.