The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Ainge: 'Not thrilled' with Knicks matchup
Thu, 04/25/2013 - 6:00pm  

Ainge: 'Not thrilled' with Knicks matchup

During his weekly Thursday appearance with Salk & Holley, Celtics president of basketball operations stopped short of saying he thought his C’s are the better team in their first-round NBA playoff series against the Knicks.

“We don’t think that we’ve played like we are capable of playing,” said Ainge. “It’s one thing to lose to a team who deserves to beat you and is a better team, but I feel like we’ve come out ready to play and I have no idea why the beginning of the third quarter in the last two games has not been good.”

Asked to clarify his comments, Ainge showered praise on the Knicks, who lead the series 2-0 and have held the Celtics to 48 combined second-half points.

“They’re very good. I have a great deal of respect for the Knicks, and Carmelo [Anthony] is a great player — maybe the toughest matchup in the entire league,” he said. “He’s right there in the same category as difficult a matchup as the Lebron [James]es and the Kevin Durants and the Kobe Bryants. He’s one of those types of players that can score against certain defense. So, no, I’m not particularly thrilled with the matchup.”

Still, Ainge placed the blame on his players. The Celtics simply haven’t lived up to their ability.

“We just need to play with more mental and physical toughness,” he said. “This isn’t the team I’ve seen play all year. The first halves have been, but not the second half. I wish I had an explanation, but we just need to be tougher, instigating the physical play. I think that they are getting into us, and we’re not responding. I’d like to see us instigate and initiate contact and be aggressive and not let their pressure affect us as much as it has.”

And the blame doesn’t rest with just one or two Celtics. They’ve pretty much all been been underwhelming.

“It’s everybody,” said Ainge. “It’s gotta be everybody. Avery [Bradley] embodies toughness. Paul Pierce is toughness to us, and Jeff Green — when he’s playing the way that we need him to play — he’s asserting himself and tough. And we know how tough Jason Terry is. And right on down the line. It takes everybody. Brandon Bass. It takes every one of the guys. We don’t have a team where we can rely on one or two guys. We have to get good performances out of the whole team.”

Everybody? Everybody.

“We’ve got to have contributions from the whole team,” he added. “You can’t do it with one or two guys like New York has done. We don’t have that kind of scoring power. We don’t have the league’s leading scorer on our team right now, so we have to get contributions out of a lot of people.”

Got it? Good. Now here are the remaining highlights of Ainge’s interview, which can be heard in full on the Salk & Holley audio on demand page:

On Avery Bradley being reportedly late to practice: “I don’t think he was late, but I wasn’t at practice earlier this morning. I hadn’t heard any of that. He might not have been on the court. He might have been getting treatment, but I did see him on the practice court today.”

On the $25,000 fine for Doc Rivers: “What are you trying to get me in trouble?”

On the problem being offensive or defensive: “To me, it’s all in attitude. When you try to define whether your offense wins or your defense wins, it’s attitude that wins. It’s your perspective and the way you play the game. Offense takes care of itself sometimes, but both is the answer. You’ve got to create offense sometimes with your defense when you’re struggling, and you’ve got to find a way. I liken it to a pitcher who doesn’t have his best stuff. You still have to get guys out. We’ve got to find a way to get stops, get in the open court as much as we can, but offensively we need to assert ourselves. We need to be more physical offensively.”

On Carmelo Anthony vs. Bernard King: “Bernard was special to. You’re talking about two of the elite scores of their time. It’s a different time now, and I think that what makes Carmelo more difficult than Bernard is his size and strength. Bernard was 6-foot-5, and we still couldn’t guard him. He was a very unguardable player, but Carmelo gets to the free-throw line and he shoots the three ball and he gets to the rim. So, he’s a complete package. You can’t let him take open shots. You’ve got to crowd him. If you crowd him, he gets into the paint and to the free-throw line and gets to the rim, so he’s a guy you can play perfect defense on him and he can still score. Those players are very rare.”

On Kevin Garnett’s health: “I think KG expects to be at his best tomorrow night. He looked good in practice today. He’s moving well, and I expect KG to be good tomorrow.”

On Paul Pierce carrying the load: “I think Paul has taken four charges in two games. I’m not sure anyone else on the team has taken any. Paul is our leading scorer. He carries an offensive burden. Paul is right now our best player and our best scorer, and he needs help. He needs other guys stepping up. He can’t do it the whole game. It’s a grind for him. Paul still shows signs of being a great player. He’s not consistently as great as he was five years ago, but he is still a fantastic player in this league, and he’s showing that in this series.”

On the absence of Rajon Rondo: “We’ve had an opportunity to play a lot of games without Rondo, but listen, if you just look around, this has been going on for 30 years. It’s no secret. Great players at this time really step it up, and our guy that was our best player last year in the playoffs, the guy that had 44 at Miami and got us to the position that we were, that has been the MVP of multiple playoff series over the last handful of years — not just playoff games, but playoff series — he’s a guy who was certainly capable of being the best guy on the court on any given night, he’s a terrific player and we certainly miss him. And I’ve been saying that all year long.”

On playing “fuzzy” without Rondo: “We had these same challenges before. Losing double-figure leads in the fourth quarter of games is not something that has just happened. It’s been going on for three or four years, and I wish I knew. Sometimes I think we put such an effort and emphasis on defense that our guys don’t have the energy to keep cutting and moving and so forth without the ball in the fourth quarter. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not just the Rondo issue. Missing Rondo, he has the ability to take over games as we’ve seen him do against the elite players in the world, and we don’t have a player like that. That hurts us. But not knowing what to do and what plays to run — we shouldn’t do that under any circumstance. Every team goes through that a little bit, but we should not be having that problem.”




Audio On Demand

Tedy Bruschi with Dale an…

Tedy Bruschi with Dale and Holley

We check in with former Patriot and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi for his take on a week of bad news in the NFL, and his thoughts on the Patriots rebound win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Vince Wilfork with Dale and Holley

We check in with Big Vince after the Patriots secured their first win of the season over the Minnesota Vikings.

Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

We check in with Bill Belichick on a Patriots Monday for his thoughts on the Patriots win over Minnesota, and what the Pats will face in the home-opener against the Raiders. Bill also declined to comment on the 'league-matters' including the Adrian Peterson case.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

Xander Bogaerts with Joe …

Xander Bogaerts with Joe & Dave after the last game of the series in Kansas City

Joe & Dave talked to the Sox rookie shortstop, who hit a 3-run homer in the 8-4 win.

Kevin Millar, MLB Network: The Red Sox need another bat. 9-12-14

Kevin Millar checks in to talk about the Red Sox offseason, Dustin Pedroia's injury, and Giancarlo Stanton

Will Middlebrooks Player of the Game Interview

Joe and Dave talk with Will Middlebrooks after he helps the Red Sox get back into the win column earning the victory over the Kansas City Royals.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: U2 releases a single 9-16-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Adrian Peterson in more trouble 9-16-14

The guys opened the show by discussing Adrian Peterson's latest child abuse charge.

D&C Breaking Balls- Episode 1

John, Gerry and Kirk's first ever post show podcast. Enjoy.

BC Eagles Head Football C…

BC Eagles Head Football Coach Steve Addazio joins MFB, 9-15-14

After Saturday nights big win at home against USC, Coach Addazio joined the show to discuss how BC imposed their will on their will on USC, and how important it is for the region to care about college football.

Three For All - Kanye West is an idiot, 9-15-14

At a concert this weekend, Kanye West ordered that the whole crowd stand up, and that the show would not continue until EVERYBODY was standing. He didn't realize the venue was wheelchair accessible, and that he was yelling at 2 disabled fans. Also Christian and Joey set the table for a karaoke showdown.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman joins MFB, 9-15-14

Julian Edelman had 6 catches and a TD to help the Pats even their record at 1-1. He spoke with Lou, Christian, and Tim to talk about Chandler Jones' lightning speed on the FG block return.

Bill Belichick: Couldn't …

Bill Belichick: Couldn't get 200 wins without many great players along the way

We check in with Bill Belichick on a Patriots Monday for his thoughts on the Patriots win over Minnesota, and what the Pats will face in the home-opener against the Raiders. Bill also declined to comment on the 'league-matters' including the Adrian Peterson case.

Vince Wilfork: Back on the Right Track, but it wasn’t perfect

We check in with Big Vince on a Patriots Monday after win one of the season over the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings waste no time in reinstating Adrian Peterson for Week 3

An impassioned Dale Arnold and Michael Holley discuss the child abuse case of Adrian Peterson, and how the Vikings wasted little time in reinstating him to active duty after sitting him for one week vs the Patriots.

Jim Koch joins Planet Mik…

Jim Koch joins Planet Mikey

Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.

Danny Picard talks Red Sox and Patriots with Mike Giardi

Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

D&C Breaking Balls- Episo…

D&C Breaking Balls- Episode 1

John, Gerry and Kirk's first ever post show podcast. Enjoy.

Minor Details Ep. 100: A minor centennial with Rob Bradford, Mike Hazen and Jim Callis

The 100th Minor Details podcast revisits some old friends, as WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and MLB.com prospect guru Jim Callis, who were the guests on the first show in November 2010, join the show anew.

The Bradfo Show: Everything you need to know about Dustin Pedroia's surgery

Rob Bradford is joined by Dr. Evan Schumer of Newton Wellesley Orthopaediac Associates to discuss exactly what kind of surgery was performed on Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, the recovery time that accompanies such a procedure and why the operation might be just what the doctored ordered.

Tom Brady on the week two…

Tom Brady on the week two win 9-15-14

Tom Brady joined the show to discuss the week two win.

More from this show

Tim Hasselbeck on Adrian …

Tim Hasselbeck on Adrian Peterson 9-15-14

Tim Hasselbeck on week two in the NFL and the Adrian Peterson mess.

More from this show

The Patriots win big in M…

The Patriots win big in Minnesota to improve to 1-1, 9-15-14

The Pats looked much better than they did against Miami. Chandler Jones had a huge game with a blocked FG that he returned for a TD. But how much of this victory was a result of how BAD Matt Cassel played, or the fact that Adrian Peterson was inactive?

More from this show

D&C Breaking Balls- Episo…

D&C Breaking Balls- Episode 1

John, Gerry and Kirk's first ever post show podcast. Enjoy.

More from this show

Patriots WR Julian Edelma…

Patriots WR Julian Edelman joins MFB, 9-15-14

Julian Edelman had 6 catches and a TD to help the Pats even their record at 1-1. He spoke with Lou, Christian, and Tim to talk about Chandler Jones' lightning speed on the FG block return.

More from this show

Weei Writers