TORONTO -- Doc Rivers heads a list of winners of annual awards presented by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.
Rivers is the winner of the Rudy Tomjanovich Award, given to the coach who best combines excellence in his craft with co-operation with the media and fans. Rivers won over a group of nominees that included George Karl of the Denver Nuggets, Stan Van Gundy of the Orlando Magic and Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks.
Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns is the winner of the Magic Johnson Award, given annually to recognize the player who best combines excellence on the court with co-operation with the media and fans. He was voted the winner over Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dan Smyczek and his staff with the Milwaukee Bucks are winners of the Brian McIntyre Award, given to the team public relations staff that goes above and beyond the call of duty to work co-operatively with the local and national media. Other finalists for the award this year with the staffs of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies.
"These winners exemplify all that is good about the NBA and the way its players, coaches and teams interact with the media," said Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, the president of the PBWA.
"A level of mutual respect and co-operation is necessary in any working environment and these gentlemen truly display those attributes."
The Professional BWA comprises approximately 150 writers for newspapers Internet services and magazines who cover the NBA on a regular basis. Its members nominate finalists for the award.
CLEVELAND – Brad Stevens won’t know until shortly before tip-off tonight if he will have to make another lineup change.
Amir Johnson, whose right shoulder was injured in the Celtics' 111-108 Game 3 win on Sunday, is questionable for tonight’s Game 4.
“It’s better for sure,” Johnson told CSN this morning. “Yesterday, it was hard to lift. Today, I can move it all around. In shoot-around, I’m going to get a couple shots, see how it feels and go from there.
He added, “it’s definitely going to be a game-time decision. I’m going to go and shoot around, just to get a feel. And then for the game-time, I’ll shoot around some more, see how it feels and take it from there.”
Healthy or not, Johnson being with the starting group is far from a given.
The 6-foot-9 veteran has consistently been the first starter subbed out and usually winds up playing the fewest minutes.
In Game 3, two of his backups – Kelly Olynyk (15 points) and Jonas Jerebko (10 points) – shined brightly.
Here are some other highlights from the Celtics’ morning shoot-around.
THOMAS UPDATE: Isaiah Thomas met with a hip specialist on Monday, according to Stevens. “Still collecting information,” said Stevens, adding, “We’ll wait and see or we’ll discuss second, and third, and fourth, and fifth opinions.”
Thomas injured his right hip March 15 and later re-aggravated it in the first half of the Game 2 loss Friday. Less than 24 hours later, he was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.
He was replaced by Marcus Smart in the starting lineup and Smart responded with a career-high 27 points in Game 3, which included seven made 3’s which is a career-best mark as well.
BOUNCE-BACK CELTICS: The Celtics winning Game 3 sent shockwaves throughout the league, especially coming on the heels of a 44-point home court drubbing at the hands of the Cavs. “If you’re in sports long enough you’re going to have clunkers,” Stevens said. “You’re going to have games that don’t go your way. And our guys took seriously the idea of responding and just playing the next possession as well as they could.”
ROZIER HOMECOMING: The second-year guard grew up in nearby Youngstown, Ohio (75 miles southeast of Cleveland), so you can expect he’ll have a decent contingent of fans at tonight's game.
While he’s all-in for the Celtics, the same is not true of his friends and some family members.
“My family does a good job of staying on my side except for my one younger cousin,” Rozier said. “She loves LeBron.”
Bob Ryan has seen a lot of Celtic victories over the years, and he thinks the C's upset of the Cavs ranks with the best of them.