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."
Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
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Curt Schilling didn't back down when twitter trolls took shots at his daughter. Dino, Gerry and Kirk applaud Schill's stand.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?
Barry Melrose joined the show to talk about the NHL trade deadline. Although Melrose likes the trade of Brett Connolly from Tampa to Boston, he thinks the team needs to make more moves to keep ahead of Florida, who just traded for Jaromir Jagr. He also weighs in on the job security of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Early Monday morning, the Bruins acquired a former sixth overall pick Brett Connolly from the Lightning for their second-round picks in the next two drafts. The trade deadline is only hours away, and while GM Chiarelli noted that a lot of moves have already been made, he hasn't ruled out that the team could add more players.
On this weeks Aloha Friday, Tim apologizes to our producer Tom for not knowing who Leonard Nimoy was, Christian bashes Kanye West, and Joey makes amends for mistaking camel noises for llama noises
We discuss the good week that was for the prosecution in the Aaron Hernancez murder trial with attorney and professor of law Michael McCann.
Dale and Michael discuss the plight of the Bruins as the trade deadline looms.
Dale and Michael go back and forth on the circumstances around Vandy coach Kevin Stallings verbally berating a player on national TV, and using harsh language like "I'll kill you"
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
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