Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning. The Celtics and Knicks will play Game 1 of their first-round playoff matchup on Sunday night. Rivers knows that this Knicks team -- winners of seven of the last nine -- is going to be a tough out, in no small measure due to the tandem of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
"Our help defense has to be unbelievable," said Rivers. "They can be very difficult. What makes the Knicks tougher now than before the trade, before the trade you could really focus on one guy, which was Stoudamire. Now you have to really have to pay attention to two other guys in Billups and Carmelo. And that's going to require help defense. They are really tough single-cover guys."
Since the Kendrick Perkins trade, many have questioned if the Celtics have the kind of defense that can win a championship. Rivers, however, pointed to statistics when asked if this team is weaker defensively than it was before the deal.
"Our numbers are better than last year," said Rivers. "It says that when we play our defense I would say in some ways we are better than last year."
As for the Perkins trade, the Celtics' rocky finish to the regular season has again raised the question: Was the the right move? Rivers -- who said Thursday that "everyone was on board" when the deal was made -- isn't ready to answer the question yet.
"I don't know guys, it was a tough deal when we did it, we know that," said Rivers. "Listen, I think we'll wait and see if it was the right move or not."
Jeff Green was part of the Perkins trade, and Rivers expects Green to play an integral role for the Celtics in the postseason.
"I'm counting on Jeff, a lot. And Jeff will be good in the playoffs, I really believe that. … I'm counting on him being ready."
As for the status of Shaquille O'Neal, Rivers isn't sure if he'll be ready for Sunday night.
"Shaq remains to be seen. He hasn't practiced yet. He'll do some stuff today [Thursday]. … Hopefully he can get on the floor in the next few days. I'm hoping Game 1, but I don't know yet because we haven't gone through a couple of practices."
The final question for Rivers focused on the idea that he might need to give a pregame speech before Game 1. With a veteran-laden team still smarting from losing in Game 7 of the finals last season, Rivers doesn't think any such speech will be necessary.
"I don't think I have to say much," said Rivers. "I have to prepare them. We'll be prepared, we'll be ready. And if you want to motivate them, show them Game 7 from last year."
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Danny Amendola joined the show to talk about the addition of Reggie Wayne to the receiving group, the offensive tempo in game 3 of the preseason, and who is the most stylish in the locker room.
Jay King of Masslive.com 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.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
We check in for our weekly visit with the interim Sox manager.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
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.
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.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Schilling emailed Awful Announcing.
Florio gave us the latest on Brady vs Goodell.
The top stories of the day.
Deflategate news aside, there are some reports that Tom and Giselle are having some trouble in paradise. Lou, Christian and Gary discuss the validity of the reports, and Christian gives some advice to Tom.
Jerod Mayo dropped by the studio to talk with Lou, Christian, and Gary about the stress that some guys go through on "cut-down" day. He also made fun of Christian for his focus on fashion, and how exaggerated he thought HBO's "Ballers" was.
Lou, Christian and Gary (and the rest of us) are all patiently waiting for Judge Berman to decide Tom Brady's future. The guys wonder.... What is he waiting for?
We discuss Bob McNair's now infamous quotes about the Patriots, and how his comments, uniformed as they may be, are probably representative of other NFL owners, and thus the reason Roger Goodell can push forward with this situation without worrying about blowback from the owners.
Dale, Michael and Jerry check in with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo.
Michael Holley is back and he has thoughts on what he's missed while he was gone... including Don Orsillo and NESN.
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.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the state of the Red Sox after a 13-8 loss to the Yankees. Pablo Sandoval and other notable fat ballplayers are discussed, in addition to some of the positives with the team
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
With the transfer window coming to a close, Ben, Russ & Alex hand out transfer grades for each Premier League team. They also discuss the Revs recent surge and debate if it will continue this weekend.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
We go inside the audio from 98.7 Arizona Sports Radio/ESPN and listen in as well as Chris Mortensen finally details the circumstances behind the infamous "11 of 12" footballs tweet, and also claims that the Patriots ownership called him personally to apologize... for what he doesn't specify.More from this show
Sean discussed his own firing from the Red Sox broadcast booth.More from this show