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."
The guys have even more reaction to Deflategate and if this is actually a showdown between Bill and Roger.
Tom E. Curran calls the boys during his layover in Denver and gets right into the Deflategate craziness. Tom talks about his knowledge of the situation including his thoughts on if the NFL was indeed trying to set up and catch the Pats in the act. He gets into the relationship between Belichick and the league office, Belichick and Kraft and the actual game on Super Bowl Sunday.
Greg and Steve discuss the Deflategate debacle with callers and give their theories as to what went down in Foxboro last week against the Colts. Both guys think that Pats may be guilty of doing something to the balls, but that so do most other teams. Will Belichick and Brady be punished? Not if the NFL doesn't have proof, which it's looking more and more like they don't.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
The Red Sox have taken over Foxwoods and Red Sox Manager John Farrell sat down with Mut and Bradford to talk about the roster and how the 2015 season is looking.
Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly and 3B Pablo Sandoval sat down with Mut and Bradford. Joe Kelly had a few interesting proclamations. First he said that 95% of pitchers use some sort of grip enhancer, and then he said he was going to win the Cy Young. Pablo leaned over and promised 10 HR's, explaining to Joe that the trick is to set the bar low.
Mut and Rob are in on the Hot Stove Show this week and they're taking calls and talking about the Red Sox pitching as we are 5 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Pierre McGuire talks about ways hockey players skirt the rules in the NHL and the development of Dougie Hamilton.
Pierre McGuire joins Lou, Christian and Tim to discuss the resurgent Bruins, the emergence of David Pastrnak, and former Boston College stand-out Johnny Gaudreau looking to trademark the name 'Johnny Hockey.'
We get our state of the B report from NESN's Jack Edwards, right in the midst of a 4 game winning streak and hot return for David Pastrnak.
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing who was lying yesterday.
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney
After Tom Brady answered questions for a half hour about Deflate-Gate, the guys discuss whether or not they believe him.
Adam Schefter, ESPN, talks everything Deflate Gate with Lou, Christian and Tim on Patriots Friday
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
We discuss deflategate and move beyond it for some game talk with Tom E Curran of CSNNE
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart of PFW continue the dialogue and try and find some sanity in this sea of madness.
A caller named Jumbo from California raises a question that hasn't been talked about too much, what happens if it's determined that the Patriots aren't found responsible for the deflation of the footballs?
Mut and Lenny continue talking and taking calls on deflategate, as well as hearing the sound from Kirk Minihane's appearance on the O'Reilly Factor.
Mut and Lenny are talking deflategate and what impact it could have on the Patriots organization.
Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
Would you rather watch important games in the stadium or on TV? Also we discuss our worst experiences at stadiums.
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out some hardware, and give their Finals predictions.
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.More from this show
Tim Hasselbeck joined the show to give his expertise on deflate gate.More from this show
After his emotional reaction on NFL Live following Tom Brady's press conference yesterday, Mark Brunell joins Lou, Christian and Tim about all things Deflate GateMore from this show
The guys react to comments made by Former Carolina Panthers General Manager Marty HurneyMore from this show