The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
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

Head Coach Bill Belichick…

Head Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

Head Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

DE Chandler Jones with Dale, Holley and Thornton

Dale, Michael and Jerry sit down with DE Chandler Jones on a Patriots Monday for a candid interview about this season, his new teammates, and the Dallas game this weekend.

Tedy Bruschi with Dale, Holley and Thornton

We talk all things Patriots and the NFL with Tedy Bruschi.

Celtics Podcast - Media D…

Celtics Podcast - Media Day and The Wire

Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.

We Love Anthony Davis - Should the Celtics Trade Avery Bradley?

Sam Packard is joined by Jared Weiss of CLNSRadio.Com to talk about trading Bradley and the upcoming Celtics Media Day.

We Love Anthony Davis - Space Jam and Celtics Summer League with Jay King. 7-23-15

Jay King of joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.

Dave O'Brien signs off Re…

Dave O'Brien signs off Red Sox Radio after 9 seasons

Dave O'Brien has called Red Sox baseball games with Joe Castiglione since 2007. Dave is going to the NESN booth next season to take over for Don Orsillo as the Red Sox TV play-by-play man. Dave talks about his time with Joe and the Red Sox Radio broadcast and closes out a very meaningful chapter of a tremendous career. Joe Castiglione offers his thoughts and well-wishes to Dave and closes out, as is tradition, with the Bart Giamatti poem.

Torey Luvollo with Dale, Holley and Thornton

We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo as look ahead to 2016 with him.

Blake Swihart Player of the Game Interview 09-29-15

Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart who had his first career multi home run game as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 and extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.

Butch & Bradfo featuring …

Butch & Bradfo featuring DJ Bean talk #Bruins lines and season outlook

DJ Bean joins Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford in studio with the pre-season ending to discuss the upcoming season's line combinations and the changes made in the offseason.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney with Dale and Holley

Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.

Fluto Shinzawa, NHL reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the Sunday Skate crew to discuss the future of the Bruins franchise 4-19-15

The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines- Beverly Scott's nomination revoked 10-6-15

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

Stephen A. challenged Kevin Durant 10-6-15

Stephen A. confronted Kevin Durant on ESPN yesterday.

The Seahawks win on a blown call 10-6-15

Another blown call in Seattle on Monday Night Football.

What did Ray Lewis mean b…

What did Ray Lewis mean by a "Queen tight end" in reference to Jimmy Graham? 10-6-15

Ray Lewis was on the MNF pregame show attacking Jimmy Graham's blocking abilities.

Jim Caldwell is a pushover who doesn't know the rules, 10-6-15

The Lions lost in a controversial ending last night on MNF. Lions Head Coach, Jim Caldwell, barely registers a pulse in his post game presser, and clearly doesn't know the rules.

Scandal erupts in the offices of DraftKings and Fanduel, 10-6-15

Glenn, Lou and Christian dive into the DraftKings/FanDuel scandal, and talk about how competitive advantages can be gained, and what the two businesses can do to prevent it.

Tedy Bruschi - At times i…

Tedy Bruschi - At times it looks like Miami's Suh just doesn't care

We talk all things Patriots and the NFL with Tedy Bruschi.

Bill Belichick - Bye week has helped Hicks and Bostic settle in

We go down to Gilette for our once a week talk with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Chandler Jones - Excited to add Akiem Hicks and Jon Bostic to this defense

Dale, Michael and Jerry sit down with DE Chandler Jones on a Patriots Monday for a candid interview about this season, his new teammates, and the Dallas game this weekend.

Chris Villani and John To…

Chris Villani and John Tomase: All hail the great and obvious Judge Berman

Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.

Planet Mikey - Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Brady Exonerated!

Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.

Planet Mikey - What should the Red Sox outfield be?

Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.

It Is What It Is Cast: Pa…

It Is What It Is Cast: Patriots Return From Bye Week

Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss who they think are the most media friendly players in the Patriots locker room and if the Dallas Cowboys will present a challenge this Sunday.

D&C's Breaking Balls: Sausage's pudding story makes Gerry want to vomit 10-5-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss Sausage's pudding story, Don Orsillo and Curtis just shows up for some reason.

#RedSox Farm Report Podcast - Top 10 Prospects and Season in Review

Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable take a look back at the 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox and their affiliates, including who the guys think should be classified as the team's Top 10 prospects. Also, a check in with play-by-play voices this year in Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville as well as Ken's one-on-one interview with Offensive Player of the Year Sam Travis.

Tom Brady on his bye week…

Tom Brady on his bye week 10-5-15

Tom Brady discussed his preparation for the Cowboys.

More from this show

Tim Hasselbeck on his bro…

Week four of the NFL was …

Week four of the NFL was awful 10-5-15

The guys talked about the awful NFL play this week.

More from this show

Patriots keep rolling by …

Patriots keep rolling by destroying the Jaguars - Response and Reaction

Dale, Michael and Jerry recap the Pats huge margin of victory over Jacksonville, and talk all things Patriots.

More from this show

Tom Brady loves the NFL N…

Tom Brady loves the NFL Network's Red Zone Channel

Tom Brady loves the NFL Network's Red Zone Channel

More from this show

Weei Writers