Paul Pierce scored 31 points, hauled in 13 rebounds and had five assists led the Celtics to a 96-84 win over the Orlando Magic in Game 6 at TD Garden to claim the Eastern Conference title. 

 

The Celtics are returning to the Finals for the second time in three years and will play Game 1 on the road next Thursday against either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Phoenix Suns. 

 

While the Celtics got good news on the availability of Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace for Game 6 against Orlando, the news was much more pessimistic on Marquis Daniels, who is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion minutes after Davis sustained his own in Game 5 against the Magic. 

 

"Marquis is out and probably out for a while," Rivers said. "If they're putting a uniform on, they're good [to play].

 

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, in his interview on The Big Show on Friday afternoon, said that Glen "Big Baby" Davis will likely play in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Celtics and Magic on Friday, but he said that Rasheed Wallace will be a game-time decision and Marquis Daniels will not play. Davis and Daniels both suffered concussions in Game 5, while Wallace left the contest due to a back injury. In Daniels' place, Brian Scalabrine will suit up on Friday.

 

A day after the NBA rescinded one of Kendrick Perkins technical fouls from Game 5, allowing him to play in Game 6, Perkins said he still has to play physical. The difference is, he may incorporate a new facial expression into his reportoire.

In the aftermath of Boston's brutal Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference finals, the various Celtics presented an interesting tableau of emotions.



PAUL FLANNERY

BIO | ARCHIVE | GREEN STREET BLOG


The officials assigned to referee Game 6 of the Celtics-Magic series are Ken Mauer, Monty McCutchen and Mike Callahan. The consensus seems to be that this crew is one that will benefit the Celtics' style of play. We dug a little deeper to find out more about these referees and learned some interesting facts. For example, Mauer is the uncle of baseball star Joe Mauer.

According to a report from Comcast's Mike Giardi, a league source indicated that Celtics big man Glen Davis was medically cleared to play in Friday's Game 6. Davis appeared to suffer a concussion after receiving an elbow from Magic center Dwight Howard in Game 5 and did not return.

 

Check the Green Street blog for more Celtics news.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated joined the Dale & Holley show Friday morning to talk about the Celtics-Magic series. Mannix said the officiating crew assigned to Game 6 — Mike Callahan, Monty McCutchen and Ken Mauer — appears to be one that will help Boston's cause. "It will be a liberally called game," Mannix said. "Just based on the names and what you're saying, I think that favors Boston. I think they're going to be able to get away with a little bit more physically against Dwight Howard and some other guys.

Michael Wilbon of ESPN and The Washington Post joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the Celtics-Magic series. Asked for his prediction for Friday night's Game 6, Wilbon said: "[My opinion] is tainted, completely colored by history. ... What's in my gut is the Boston Celtics don't lose this game at home."

 

Doc Rivers was asked on a conference call by a reporter from New Orleans if the Hornets had made assistant coach Tom Thibodeau an offer for their head coaching position. "No, not yet," Rivers said. "I'm hoping they do soon. He deserves it. I haven't heard much. Thibs and I do talk about it. So we're just hoping." As a follow-up, Rivers was asked if this was a distraction. "I'm not worried about it," Rivers said. "There's nobody that's going to work harder than Tom Thibodeau. Ever. He will never be a distraction. That's the one guy I have no concern with.