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Celtics Notebook

Bobcats' move fires up Rivers

Glen Davis was in a foul mood in the first half after what he believed was a foul against him was not called. Glen Davis was in a foul mood in the first half after what he believed was a foul against him was not called. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / April 27, 2008

ATLANTA - Doc Rivers wasn't happy to see a fellow NBA coach get fired after just one season.

The Bobcats announced the firing of Sam Vincent yesterday. The former Celtics guard led the injury-riddled Bobcats to a 32-50 record. After learning about the firing, Rivers said, "You're kidding me," before expressing disappointment.

"That's our profession, I'll tell you," the Celtics coach said prior to shootaround yesterday morning at Philips Arena. "There are good days and bad days. That's bad days."

Rivers said the firing bothered him "a lot" because he didn't feel Vincent was given a chance.

"I'm flabbergasted that Sam's not there," he said. "This guy's been there one year with all the freaking injuries they have. I don't get that."

Hawks coach Mike Woodson said the firing was "not fair," but added that coaches are "at someone else's mercy."

"I hope Sam rebounds," Woodson said. "I'm sure he will. He has enough contacts in our league. I thought he did an excellent job considering he had a lot of injuries.

"These owners, they call the shots. And all you can do is the best job you can do and go home and sleep well at night."

There have been rumors that former NBA coach Larry Brown will be Vincent's successor. Brown recently resigned from a front office position with the Sixers.

Allen: Don't jump
Although Ray Allen hasn't talked to UConn star sophomore center Hasheem Thabeet recently, he would advise Thabeet to stay in school. Thabeet must decide by today whether to enter his name in the NBA draft. If the 7-foot-3-inch, 260-pounder declares for the draft but doesn't hire an agent, he will have until June 16 to withdraw.

"He was supposed to come out [to a Celtics game] a couple weeks ago," said Allen, who left UConn after his junior year in 1996. "Coach [Jim Calhoun] was supposed to bring him to a game, but I never heard anything from him.

"He is going to be making his own decision, but at least he needs to hear from some guys that have made the jump as opposed to right now he's thinking about what he should do from his perspective.

"Just from my perspective, from me watching him, there are some things offensively that he can do better. Defensively, he was an intimidating factor. With the skills he has right now, I think it will have him sitting on the bench a lot in games. It won't give him an opportunity to play as much as he would like his first year. Get another year under your belt, polish those skills up, and you can go higher in the draft in one year."

Allen said he gave advice to ex-UConn star Caron Butler when Butler decided to enter the draft in 2002. Allen was the fifth overall pick by Minnesota in 1996 before his draft rights were dealt to Milwaukee.

Hawks forward Marvin Williams left North Carolina after his freshman season and was the second overall pick in 2005. Although leaving school early worked well for Williams, he isn't surprised that UNC star forward Tyler Hansbrough decided to stay for his senior season.

"Dude's a winner," said Williams of Hansbrough. "If he would have won [an NCAA title] this year, then I think he would have come out. He's not staying there to get all the records. Dude wants a ring.

"I spent a ton of time with him last summer while I was going to summer school. I talk to him every couple of weeks."

On UNC sophomores Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington declaring for the draft, Williams said: "Those guys are super smart guys. Coach [Roy ] Williams is not going to steer them in the wrong direction. They'll be fine."

Game 5 ducats on sale
The Celtics announced there will be a limited amount of playoff tickets for Game 5 Wednesday night at TD Banknorth Garden. The tickets will go on sale today at 11 a.m. There is a two-ticket limit per customer . . . Rivers is a fan of ex-Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, who was selected third overall by the Falcons in the NFL draft. "I do love him," said Rivers. "What the heck do I know? But I think he has a chance to be a really, really very good player." . . . The Celtics were shocked to walk onto the practice floor during shootaround and see guard Eddie House's son, Jaelen, comfortably wearing a Mike Bibby Hawks jersey. Jaelen has been a ball boy for the Celtics at some home games, but Bibby is his uncle . . . The Celtics played Game 3 against Atlanta last night in a first-round series that began a week ago. "We are no young team in some ways, so obviously it doesn't hurt us," said Rivers. "But I would rather have the rhythm of playing. It gives you better rhythm and clearly they are tired of us [coaches]. But there is nothing you can do about it. It's not like we're surprised by it. I think we've done a pretty good job using the days." . . . On the large picture of him as a Hawk just outside Atlanta's locker room, Rivers said: "[Woodson] said he wanted to put a piece of paper over it. He has to look at that thing every time he goes to the court. I didn't even know it."

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