Pregame notes: Press your luck
The rundown (a quick look at pregame headlines)
* C's don't want to press their luck in Cleveland
* Celtics not focused on Cavs lineup tweaks
* Loose balls: 'Sheed's Flyers hat; Orlando relaxing
C's don't want to press their luck in Cleveland
Despite the fact that his team has won three games in Cleveland since the start of the 2009-10 season, Celtics coach Doc Rivers reiterated before Thursday's game that he has absolutely no desire to roll the dice again at Quicken Loans Arena.
"We've won in Cleveland twice [in the postseason], but we don't want to press our luck," said Rivers. "We have to view it the same way they're viewing it. It's a big game for both teams."
Rivers stressed that there's very little his team can take out of losing to the Orlando Magic despite boasting the same 3-2 series edge with which they entered Thursday's game. The Celtics shouldn't need a reminder about the sense of urgency they must boast in Game 6.
"We're a different team, we're playing a different team," said Rivers. "All we learned is that we have to play better, try to seize the moment when we have home court. At the end of the day, we have to perform. There's no lesson learned in that situation. We have to go out and perform. If Cleveland comes out and makes more shots and does their game plan better tonight, we won't win. If we do ours, we'll win. Last year won't help us."
Click HERE to read more on the Celtics' need to treat Game 6 like a Game 7.
Celtics not focused on Cavs lineup tweaks
Even as Mike Brown suggested during his pregame chat that he would tweak the use of his bench, the Celtics remained unfazed by any potential changeup the Cavaliers could pitch in Game 6.
"They're a solid basketball team and they're not going to change a lot," said Rivers. "We wouldn't be shocked to see [center Anderson] Varejao maybe in the starting lineup, or [Cleveland] going to its size early. But they didn't get this record by doing a lot of changes, so we have to prepare for everything. Small lineup, big lineup, like I said before Game 5, fortunately or unfortunately, they have an ability to do a lot of things because of personnel. They can go small or go big. We can't. We are who we are. We're not going to change. In some way for us, that makes it easier."
Loose balls: 'Sheed's Flyers hat; Orlando relaxing
* Rasheed Wallace, a Philadelphia native who has often sported a Phillies cap throughout the season, had a crisp Flyers cap at the top of his locker stall before Thursday's game. Good to see a player sticking with hometown teams, but likewise ironic to see that lid with a Boston player inside the Bruins' building.
* Rivers figures Orlando is sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the potential for the Celtics and Magic to spill to seven games.
"They want it to go eight," quipped Rivers. "There's no doubt about that. If we were in that position, we would want the same thing. But they earned it. They did it quick. They've only played eight games and, when you think about it, that's pretty remarkable."
A potential Celtics-Magic showdown in the Eastern Conference finals would begin Sunday if Boston prevails in Thursday's Game 6 against Cleveland. If the Celtics and Cavaliers go to Game 7, the conference finals would begin Tuesday. Check out the full schedule HERE.
* Doc on a healthy KG: "He's healthier, happier. Which makes us happier. With health, I think that breeds confidence. I don't think if we asked him a month ago and said, if we have to get 20 shots per night out of you, he wouldn't have done it -- he couldn't have done it. Now he can. And he's doing a good job of it. That's the big difference."
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