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

Mike Reiss with Dale, Hol…

Mike Reiss with Dale, Holley and Thornton

Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- Roger Goodell is maddening! -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.

NFL SUNDAY with Mike Giardi and Chris Price -- A look at the AFC East post NFL Draft -- 5-1-16

Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.

Danny Ainge, Celtics Gene…

Danny Ainge, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball joins OMF, 6-24-16

Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.

NBA Draft Show with Mut and Minihane Pt. 3

Mut is flying solo the last hour, but he's giving reaction and analysis as the Celtics draft a power forward out of France by the name of Guerschon Yabusele and getting some early grades for the Celtics

NBA Draft Show with Mut and Minihane Pt. 2

Mut and Kirk are talking more about the Celtics pick of Jaylen Brown and can't seem to find anyone who thinks it's a good pick or can make a case for why the Celtics took him third overall.

Red Sox Review with Chris…

Red Sox Review with Christian Arcand, 6-26-16

Christian recaps the Red Sox 6-2 loss to the Rangers.

Xander Bogaerts Player of the Game Interview

Joe, Tim, and Lou talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after his walk-off RBI single propelled the Red Sox past the White Sox 8-7.

Red Sox Review with Mut, 6-22-16

Mut recaps the Red Sox 8-6 loss to the White Sox.

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean…

SUNDAY SKATE with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- A look toward the future for the Bruins -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.

SUNDAY SKATE with WEEI's DJ Bean and Uproxx's Pete Blackburn -- They got what they wanted...Claude Julien is staying in Boston -- 4-17-16

DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.

Butch Stearns with DJ Bean and Pete Blackburn -- The season is officially over for the Bruins; where do we go from here? -- 4-10-16

Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.

D&C - Evaluating Red Sox …

D&C - Evaluating Red Sox trade possibilities 6-27-16

It's quite the Sporty R. McKenzie 8am hour as the guys muscle through Red Sox trade possibilities.

D&C - Kirk wants the Pro Football Hall of Fame to keep out bad character guys 6-27-16

Gary Tanguay's defense of OJ Simpson last Friday springs the guys into a discussion about athletes and evaluating their character in terms of Hall of Fame candidacy.

D&C - Donald Trump's bad poll showings, Wednesday Boston fundraiser 6-27-16

Gerry Callahan has been invited to Donald Trump's upcoming Wednesday fundraiser. Should he go? Is Trump in trouble per the latest polls?

Danny Ainge, Celtics Gene…

Danny Ainge, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball operations joins OMF, 6-24-16

Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.

Jackie MacMullen, ESPN joins OMF to dissect the Celtics Draft, 6-24-16

Jackie MacMullen talks about Jaylen Brown, the Celtics thought process, and what may happen in Free Agency.

C's Draft Fireworks seem more like candles, 6-24-16

Glenn and Christian discuss last night's underwhelming draft by the Celtics

Post-draft: What is the C…

Post-draft: What is the Celtics grand plan for the future of this team?

Dale Holley and Thornton talk NBA draft.

Dale and Holley's Final Drive 06-24-16

Dale and Holley's Final Drive 06-24-16

Laroy Streat's Freestyle Friday via the Dale & Holley Show

Laroy Streat comes back at it again! Talking the Celtics Draft and his take on the Celtics 3rd Draft pick. Catch Laroy every friday with the Dale & Holley Show 5:45- 6PM.

Ep. 20: Jan Volk

Ep. 20: Jan Volk

Former Celtics General Manager Jan Volk joins Kirk Minihane for a discussion that any Celtics fan will love. Kirk and Jan talk about the legendary 85/86 Celtics and how the team was constructed and of course the decision to draft Len Bias and his tragic death.

Ep. 19: John Tomase

Kirk Minihane sits down with John Tomase to talk about the current political landscape, John's desire to write about social issues, and of course Spygate is discussed.

Ep. 18: Artie Lange

Kirk Minihane is joined by one of his radio heroes, Artie Lange. They discuss everything from Artie's comedy career, his time with Howard Stern, his issues with drugs and prostitutes, and the comedy show to benefit slain Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr.

SoccerCast - Messi puts a…

SoccerCast - Messi puts an end to U.S. fun & EURO 2016 update, 6-23-16

Ben, Russ & Alex recap the 4-0 loss the USMNT suffered to Argentina in the COPA America Centenario semifinal. Then they catch up with the EURO's, and recap if their predicted winners are still in the tournament.

Enough About Me - Ep. 20: Jan Volk

Former Celtics General Manager Jan Volk joins Kirk Minihane for a discussion that any Celtics fan will love. Kirk and Jan talk about the legendary 85/86 Celtics and how the team was constructed and of course the decision to draft Len Bias and his tragic death.

Teeing Off With Ben and Nick US OPEN RECAP

This week we look back at the US Open.

Post-draft: What is the C…

Jackie MacMullen, ESPN jo…

Jackie MacMullen, ESPN joins OMF to dissect the Celtics Draft, 6-24-16

Jackie MacMullen talks about Jaylen Brown, the Celtics thought process, and what may happen in Free Agency.

More from this show

Danny Ainge, Celtics Gene…

Danny Ainge, Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball operations joins OMF, 6-24-16

Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.

More from this show

D&C - Gary vs. Mut 6-24-1…

D&C - Gary vs. Mut 6-24-16

Who would you like to see in Dino's chair, Gary or Mut?

More from this show

The infamous Kirk Minihan…

The infamous Kirk Minihane stops by the studio to make fun of Rob Bradford and Ian Browne -- 6-26-16

The moody and opinionated Kirk Minihane stops by the station with Bradford and MLB.com's Ian Browne live in Arlington. Kirk, Rob and Ian discuss anything and everything.

More from this show

News & Analysis