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."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Texas Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels, joins Rob Bradford and Alex Speier to discuss the upcoming trade deadline.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.
The stories of the day brought to you by Kirk Minihane
Dino, Meter and Kirk discuss the light punishment given to Ray Rice by the NFL.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.
Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
Given the recent Ray Rice suspension, many people are comparing it to Josh Gordon getting suspended for repeated drug abuse. Tim Benz doesn't think this is a fair comparison. He explains why.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
We discuss the suspension of Ray Rice, and how the act he committed certainly seemed like it warranted a harsher penalty from the strict front office of Roger Goodell.
We tackle four topics, all sparked by our interest in the story about the Browns fan peeing on Art Modell's grave this past week.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
With Training Camp starting this Thursday and the August Draft Season inching closer, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are ramping up the Fantasy Football content to meet the demand! Today’s podcast gives an in depth look at Pete’s Top 50 Wide Receivers Article that is LIVE on WEEI.com right now. Pete breaks down the receivers by Tiers and the podcast gives full analysis of those Tiers and the players who occupy these spots and why. Get prepared for your drafts and enjoy!
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.More from this show
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.More from this show