ORLANDO, Fla. — Several Celtics players held court with the media during a relaxed off-day between Games 1 and 2. The Celtics just finished watching film and will practice now that the media have left.
Paul Pierce talked about the addition of Rasheed Wallace as a big reason the Celtics have a better chance against the Magic this season than they did last season.
“Yeah I said last year I thought we would have advanced if we had another big guy to match up with Dwight Howard,” said Pierce. “So that’s big, he’s just giving us a lot of depth, a lot of experience at that position.”
On whether or not the Celtics have more motivation against Orlando after losing to the Magic last season, Pierce said, “I mean, if we take out the Magic we’re going to the championship. I don’t know how much motivation these guys are using. Even though they put us out last year, that was last year. This is a new year.”
— Ray Allen, who torched the Magic for 25 points in Game 1, said he wasn’t aware that the man who was guarding him, Orlando’s Matt Barnes, had any kind of injury. Barnes played just 15 minutes and complained of back pain after the game.
“I didn’t know anything about any soreness,” said Allen. “I think all of us have something at this state of the game.”
Allen made a conscious effort to drive to the basket more in Game 1 (he took the ball to the hole nine times), but he said it was more of a result of what the defense gave him than trying to take advantage of Barnes.
“I got my shot blocked almost 15 times yesterday,” Allen said jokingly of his newfound tendency to take it to the basket.
Allen also talked about the excitement of the playoffs.
“I know the guys on the other side of the floor. They’re good guys. That’s what makes it so much fun, because they’re trying to get what we’re trying to get.”
— Kevin Garnett talked about what he saw in the team’s film session this afternoon:
“We focused on the things we didn’t do well. Obviously we need to rebound better. We need to take care of the ball. We’re full of energy and ready to go Tuesday night.”
–Rasheed Wallace touched on what’s different with the Celtics in the playoffs as compared with the regular season:
“We know what it is now. We know it’s crunch time now. This is for all the marbles. All the 50-50 balls — if you have to jump into the stands or dive on the floor for a loose ball for an extra possession, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
— Rajon Rondo took some time to practice his floater before the Celtics began practice.
“I shoot it like this when I’m trying to get it over Dwight [Howard],” said Rondo, keeping his wrist taut and essentially pushing the ball up and over an imaginary defender. Rondo got his shot blocked by Howard on a crucial possession late in Game 1.
— Kendrick Perkins, both knees wrapped, has been dealing the brunt of the physicality in both the Cleveland series and this one. Perkins was asked if it’s different facing Howard than facing Shaquille O’Neal.
“No it’s about the same,” said Perkins. “Shaq’s big and strong. Dwight’s big and strong, but Dwight’s quicker and more athletic, so it’s a different challenge. You can get hurt against either one of them. They both play physical. I feel it though. I feel it everywhere.”