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Celtics Notebook

Reflecting on a lost mentor

Doc Rivers had a lot on his mind yesterday, especially his late friend, Chuck Daly. Doc Rivers had a lot on his mind yesterday, especially his late friend, Chuck Daly. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
By Marc J. Spears
Globe Staff / May 10, 2009
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ORLANDO, Fla. - The "awful news" about the death of Chuck Daly had Celtics coach Doc Rivers mourning his mentor and friend yesterday.

Daly, the former Boston College coach who led the Pistons to two NBA titles and the original Dream Team to Olympic gold in 1992, died at age 78 yesterday in Jupiter, Fla., after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Daly played a strong role in preparing Rivers for his first NBA coaching job - Rivers succeeded Daly with the Magic in 1999.

Rivers said he last talked to his coaching mentor about two weeks ago.

"I have my group of coaches I talk to a lot, and Chuck was obviously one of them," said Rivers. "And losing him now will be a void for me. He was special to the game. But more importantly, he was a great guy to be around."

On his last conversation with Daly, Rivers said, "He said, 'You got a tough draw with your big fellas out. Just get your guys to hang in there and you never know what can happen.' That's the first thing he said."

Rivers says Daly stood apart by being "a tough-minded coach that they still called a player's coach." He also said that Daly and Red Auerbach had a way of seeing the game that was "so simple."

When asked about Daly's basketball résumé, Rivers said, "You don't have to say anything. It speaks for itself."

All part of the act
Kendrick Perkins was called for a flagrant foul Friday for his elbow to the chin of Orlando's Mickael Pietrus in the fourth quarter. An NBA spokesman said yesterday that Perkins would not receive any further penalty. Perkins found it ridiculous that there was speculation he could be suspended for Game 4 tonight.

"There is a lot of acting," Perkins said. "The only people that are not acting is me and Dwight [Howard]. We're just competing, playing hard, and being physical. Everyone else is acting."

Several players have received suspensions or fines during this postseason for overly physical activity. For example, Orlando guard Rafer Alston was suspended for Game 3 for slapping Eddie House in Game 2.

Rivers believes that because of the recent fines and suspensions, every physical incident in the postseason is being overly scrutinized.

"I'm so sick of this flagrant foul [stuff]," Rivers said. "It's bugging the hell out of me. It's almost like we are trying to find ways to get guys out of the game. I think you guys would rather see guys play than see guys out of the game. It's amazing.

"It's not just here, it's everywhere. Every game I watch, the first clip is, 'Do you think he's not going to play tomorrow?' "

He's invited
Celtics forward Glen Davis has been invited, along with Perkins and Rajon Rondo, to a USA Basketball minicamp in July for prospective national team members. Davis, however, will be a restricted free agent this summer. "It's a great honor to have an opportunity to put that USA jersey on and try to play in the Olympics," Davis said. "I'm excited. I can't wait." . . . Larry Bird released the following statement on Daly: "After all the battles the Celtics had against the Pistons, I always had the utmost respect for Chuck as a coach and a person. In the '92 Olympics, he handled that team and its talent as well as anybody could. He treated us all with respect and had us all vying for the same goal. For me, it was an honor to play for him." . . . Paul Pierce converted a 3-pointer in the first quarter of Game 2, then was scoreless until the second quarter of Game 3 before finishing with 27 points. "I was more happy scoring 3 points and us winning than [Friday] night," Pierce said. "Maybe the formula is for me to score less - I score 3 points and we win. We're not going to go out there and try it again. I'm not going to go out and commit fouls and go out of the game."

Frank Dell'Apa of the Globe staff contributed to this report

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