The rundown (a quick look at practice headlines)
PERK'S VIEW FROM THE SIDELINES
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins found himself on the bench for the entire fourth quarter of Tuesday's Game 3, including the crunch time sequence in which Glen Davis got the call with Boston attempting to rally all the way back from a 17-point deficit.
It was a stark contrast to Sunday's Game 2, where Perkins was on the court with Boston's other starters, aiding a defensive effort that saw Boston close out the final 5:20 on a 16-4 run. Boston never rallied closer than a point in Game 3, thanks in part to the Lakers' ability to make shots. L.A. closed out the final 5:15 on a 15-11 run to seal the pivotal victory.
"It’s difficult, when you think you could be in there at times, helping the team out," admitted Perkins. "I felt like, at times, I could have been in there and grabbed a rebound, maybe got a stop, maybe challenged a [Derek] Fisher shot. I could have made [the game] different. Whoever is on the court at the time, I'm sitting down encouraging, but it was difficult for me."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers instead leaned on Glen Davis, who played nearly the entire frame and generated eight points over 11:12. But Davis also committed two turnovers and grabbed only two rebounds in the frame.
Asked about utilizing Davis over Perkins, Rivers noted after Game 3: "Baby was playing well. No conspiracy."
Perkins admitted his offense has struggled at times lately and that could be a large reason he's not able to crack the late-game rotation with regularity. Asked about his performance (5 points on 1-of-4 shooting) in the 21:42 he did log Tuesday, Perkins admitted: "I didn't really have [an offensive game]. I didn't get into the flow or nothing. I struggled a little bit offensively, it happens."
DOC'S OFFICIALLY STILL LIVID
Rivers spent much of his interview session discussing officiating and the difficult situation his team has been placed in with calls going against them. He also went so far as to label Lakers guard Derek Fisher a flopper, then noted he sent extra tape to the league offices Wednesday pointing out some of his primary issues.
"Derek? What, besides flopping, he doesn't do a lot extra," Rivers said when asked about Fisher's ability to fight through screens. "He plays hard. He's been in the game long enough to understand. I thought he got away with a lot last night. I thought there was a lot of holding going on and a lot of flopping going on, and finally he showed that last one.
"But he's good at it, he's always been good at it. We knew that going into the series. He's one of the best charge takers in the game. He's always been that. And some of them are charges and then some of them are flops, but all of them are tough to call. It is a brutal call to make, it really is a tough one.
"But as far as the off-the-ball action, single-double action, you are not allowed to hold. You're not allowed to bump and you're not allowed to impede progress. I read that this morning, and I'm positive of it. So you know, when that happens, then that has to be called."
When a reporter asked if he needed to remind his big men to remain stationary, Rivers added.
"Yeah, but we got called for one [moving pick] last night, and I don't think the Lakers got called for any moving picks last night. I don't send in a lot [of film] usually to the league. I sent in a lot this morning."
NO LOVE FOR ARTEST'S DEFENSE
"I don't really see anything he's doing special that any other teams haven't done throughout the course of the playoffs," said Pierce. When asked if the physicality and Pierce's struggles were merely a coincidence, Pierce added, "I think so."
His coach backs up his assertion.
"I don't [think Artest is affecting Pierce]," said Rivers. "I think he's getting good shots. He's not making some of them. Maybe Ron has something to do with that. But if we get Paul in rhythm and get him on his spots, I feel very confident that Paul will have big games for the rest of the series."
Pressed on the issue, Rivers wouldn't budge.
"[Pierce's shots are] just not going in," he said. "It happens. We just watched the film -- those shots are wide open. For Paul, he's not going to keep missing those. And so you look at his first three shots last night, if you ask Paul what shots, he'll take those three shots that didn't go in. Then he gets in foul trouble and all of that. No, I liked Paul's shots. We need him to make them, there's no doubt about that. But I really like his shots, and I think he has the ability to get shots."
THE BIG THREE ... JUST NOT ALL AT ONCE
The Celtics haven't been able to get their entire offense in sync in any of the three games this series, mainly due to foul trouble. Ray Allen was limited in Game 1, Kevin Garnett spent extended time on the pine in Game 2, and Pierce found himself benched by fouls in Game 3.
"It's a bit frustrating, to be honest," said Garnett. "But different series are going to call on for different guys to step up, and in a way some of the calls go sometimes, two or three guys might be in foul trouble just from a flow standpoint, it's just not there. If you look at our series, I don't think there's been a point where all three of us have had huge games. If not one of us, something is going on. There's always a dilemma with one of us. There's never been a situation where it's been multiple. But from a sense of frustration, yeah, it is. We've just got to continue to grind and continue to do things and continue it work hard."
Added Pierce: "Guys usually know when they're coming out of the game or going in the game, but when foul trouble kind of prevents that, it kind of messes with the chemistry. Sometimes that happens and guys have to be ready. Regardless, it happens throughout the course of a series and those are some of the things you have to be ready for and other guys have to be ready."
BYNUM'S KNEE A CONCERN FOR L.A.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who seemed to aggravate his right knee injury during the second half of Tuesday's Game 3 triumph, declared himself ready to play in Game 4, while coach Phil Jackson took a decidedly more wait-and-see approach.
"I'm doing OK, just finished treatment, got a lot of the swelling out," Bynum said after his teammates went through a morning session at TD Garden. "Going to do another one in about three hours. I'm going to be playing -- I will be playing [in Game 4]."
Jackson instead deemed him a game-time decision for Thursday's Game 4.
"We won't be able to have any kind of answer on that until [Thursday]," said Jackson. "He'll go through the process he goes through, which tries to take some of the swelling down and alleviate some of the discomfort, and then he'll have some recovery time between now and then -- 36 hours or whatever it is. So there's still an opportunity for that to happen.
"I am [optimistic]. He's been able to overcome those odds almost all the way through these playoffs, ever since [the first round against] Oklahoma [City]. So we're really optimistic that he'll be able to find a way to do that."
Asked about the pain, Bynum noted: "It's hard because it doesn't hurt the whole game. It's just when I do certain movements, like quick twist stuff. If I come down after a tip and I try to jump up again, I feel that; running and stopping. It's just something I have to deal with. It'll hurt every now and again, and then go away."
TA NO WORSE FOR THE WEAR AFTER STITCHES
Celtics guard Tony Allen, who needed eight stitches to close a gash in his upper lip after being kicked in the face and throat as Kobe Bryant attempted a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter Tuesday night, said he's no worse for the wear Wednesday and any stitches were hardly noticeable. Unlike the ones that are still evident on the face of Perkins after taking an elbow from Shaquille O'Neal in Game 1 of the conference semifinals last month.
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