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 - 5:00pm  

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

"The Price is Right" with…

"The Price is Right" with WEEI.com's Chris Price, 11-26-14

We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

It Is What It Is Cast: What Patriots need to do to leave Lambeau with win

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Sunday's Patriots-Packers game, one that many are calling a possible Super Bowl preview.

MMQB's Peter King with Dale and Holley

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Pablo Sandoval, newest Re…

Pablo Sandoval, newest Red Sox third baseman, talks about landing in Boston, 11-25-14

The Red Sox trotted out their newest FA acquisition Tuesday afternoon, third baseman, Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda then joined MFB to talk about his conversations with (former) Giant teammate, Jake Peavy, about playing Boston. He also stressed that this move was the next big challenge in his life, and addressed some concerns about his defense, stating that he is focused on being at the hot corner for the duration of his contract.

Buster Olney on MFB: "Sandoval decided, apparently, with two equal offers he wanted to go to Boston," 11-24-14

Buster Olney of ESPN joined MFB to talk about all the free agent news surrounding the Red Sox over the past 24 hours

Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal

Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talk…

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins struggling offense, 11-26-14

Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about David Pastrnak's first game, the offensive struggles, and Milan Lucic playing with the Swedes.

NESN's Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins 2-0 win over St. Louis, 11-19-14

Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

The worst Lou Holtz imper…

The worst Lou Holtz impersonation of all time

BC football sideline reporter Scott Mutryn with the worst impersonation of all time.

Ben Cherington on the Sox off-season moves 11-26-14

Ben Cherington joined us to discuss the Sox off-season moves.

John Dennis likes the Packers this Sunday 11-26-14

Dino picked the Pack.

"The Price is Right" with…

"The Price is Right" with WEEI.com's Chris Price, 11-26-14

We find out what Chris Price was right and wrong about when he made a few predictions before the Lions game. Also, we hear some new ones regarding Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins struggling offense, 11-26-14

Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about David Pastrnak's first game, the offensive struggles, and Milan Lucic playing with the Swedes.

Three For All - Rick Pitino "We played 4 white guys and an Egyptian," 11-26-14

Rick Pitino had some curious comments after a blowout victory. Richard Sherman takes on the NFL Media policies. Christian talks about a pill for farts.

Peter King: Pats in drive…

Peter King: Pats in driver's seat for home field in the AFC

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - MLB Hall of Fame Ballot Edition - 11-25-14

Dale and Michael give their four selections for the MLB Hall of Fame... this year's finalists were announced today.

Scrimmage scuffle: testiness at Bruins practice might have been overblown (with DJ Bean!)

Dale and Michael talk Bruins and discuss the supposed practice scuffle between Tuukka Rask and Soderberg, and DJ Bean dials us up to give his thoughts.

Freakin' Out - Mikey Song

Freakin' Out - Mikey Song

Mikey remixes Billy Joel "Movin Out" in honor of the Patriots playing the Green Bay Packers

Brandon Alisoglu gives us an analysis of the Lions

Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.

D&C Breaking Balls: Media…

D&C Breaking Balls: Media tweet beefs on evolution 11-24-14

The guys previewed the upcoming Packers Patriots game and discussed the media's latest tweet beef.

UnSportsManLike Podcast - 30 for 30 Ideas 11-21-14

Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.

College Puckcast with Andy Merritt and Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy

Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.

Ben Cherington on the Sox…

Ben Cherington on the Sox off-season moves 11-26-14

Ben Cherington joined us to discuss the Sox off-season moves.

More from this show

Riots in Ferguson 11-25-1…

Riots in Ferguson 11-25-14

The guys discussed the Riots in Ferguson.

More from this show

Tedy Bruschi: That was Be…

Tedy Bruschi: That was Belichick serving Jonas Gray up a big slice of Humble Pie

Former Patriot Tedy Bruschi, now an analyst for ESPN joined Dale and Holley for a breakdown of the Patriots win over the Lions, and a look-ahead to next Sunday night's showdown in Green Bay.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Red Sox spending spree la…

Red Sox spending spree lands Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez

Dale and Micheal talk about the news of day... the big moves the Red Sox have made with Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval.

More from this show

Weei Writers