WALTHAM - Doc Rivers tells WEEI.com that Rasheed Wallace’s defense against Dwight Howard played a large role in the Celtics push to sign him last summer. “Oh it was huge,” Rivers said following practice on Saturday. “This summer we were thinking about how can we beat Orlando, not Cleveland, because Orlando won the East. So it was a big factor.”
Howard averaged over 16 points last season in the Magic’s Eastern Conference Semifinals elimination of the Celtics. Wallace, however, has two seasons of playoff experience defending Howard as a member of the Pistons. Howard is averaging less than four field goals per game this season against the Celtics.
“Try to body him up,” Wallace explained. “Try to keep your body on him as much as you can. He’s already big, strong, and athletic, you’ve just got to try to keep that body on him.”
The Red Sox will have David Ortiz serving as their designated hitter Saturday night against Detroit left-hander Dontrelle Willis. Ortiz is coming off a two-home run game Friday night and leads all designated hitters with an .818 slugging percentage in May, carrying a .333 batting average with five homers for the month. He is just 1-for-7 against lefties in May. Here is the rest of the Sox lineup: Scutaro SS, Pedroia 2B, Martinez C, Youkilis 1B, Ortiz DH, Beltre 3B, Drew RF, Hall LF, McDonald CF, Lester P. The Tigers lineup is as follows: Jackson CF, Wells LF, Ordonez RF, Cabrera 1B, Boesch DH, Inge 3B, Laird C, Sizemore 2B, Everett SS, Willis P. For all the matchups see the Full Count Blog by clicking here
WALTHAM -- Kendrick Perkins, the player primarily responsible for guarding Orlando's Dwight Howard, was held out of practice on Saturday with a sore right knee. Perkins wore wraps on both knees and kept ice on his right one until the end of practice.
"He tried to go early and it bothered him a lot." Rivers said. "He wanted to go I said, 'I don't need you tonight. You're not going to help me today in practice. I need you tomorrow.'"
Following practice in Waltham, the Celtics left Saturday for Orlando and Sunday afternoon's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
For more, visit the Green Street blog.
Wes Welker gave his third interview in less than a week on Friday and touched on many of the same themes he hit on earlier in his two previous Q&A's. But there was one new piece of information — he said that when it came to his left knee injury, he injured “just the [anterior cruciate ligament],” which would run counter to the reports that the wide receiver also injured his medial collateral ligament in the same knee in the regular-season finale against the Texans in January.
If Welker did injure only the ACL in his left knee — not the ACL AND MCL — this would drastically alter the rehab timetable, according to noted sports injury expert Will Carroll.
"I did a piece on this in last year's Football Outsiders Almanac. The standard is not to repair the MCL, so there's not a significant difference in the rehab now for ACL and MCL or just ACL," Carroll said in an e-mail to WEEI.com. "There is...
Josh Beckett threw long-toss prior to Friday's game against the Tigers, and he told reporters that he is feeling significant improvement in his recovery from a back spasm that he experienced during batting practice on Monday. He will throw a side session on Saturday, and if he shows no ill effects from that outing, the Red Sox' Opening Day starter would pitch in the second game of the two-game series against the Yankees in New York on Tuesday.
That said, the Sox still are hedging their bets in case Beckett is delayed. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who allowed three runs in seven innings on Wednesday, also will be available to make Tuesday's start if Beckett is unavailable.
"Any problems at all, [Saturday] will be Wake’s side day, too," Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters. "Both pitchers are aware of what’s going on. We’ll see how everyone shows up...
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.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
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
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.
John, Meter and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest flap between the Red Sox and the Rays.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
The guys discuss their easiest college classes.
After comments by Nick Caserio, the guys discuss if the Patriots should adjust their defensive approach after the additions of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.
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.
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.
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
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.
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.More from this show