BOSTON -- Asked Thursday about the discrepancy in free throw attempts between his Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat over the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, coach Doc Rivers wouldn't take the bait.
"I'm not going to touch that," he said. "I have to tell you that, I think Paul Pierce attacked just as much as LeBron James attacked last night. So I'll leave it at that, OK? We'll get past that distraction. Listen, after the game, there's nothing wrong with being distracted. Today, I think we've already moved past it. And by tomorrow, we'll be ready to play."
It doesn't take much interpretation to figure out what Rivers was saying there. Pierce attempted just six free throws in Wednesday's Game 2 loss while James had 24 attempts. Overall, the Celtics were whistled for 33 personal fouls and the Heat attempted 47 free throws. Miami got whistled for 18 personal fouls and Boston attempted 29 free throws.
Rivers was asked after Wednesday's game whether he could put the officiating into words, ones that wouldn't get him fined, and he was brutally honest.
"I cannot," Rivers said. "Listen, it is what it is. LeBron James took 24 free throws tonight, and our team took 29. Paul Pierce fouled out of a game where he was attacking the basket. It's just tough. But listen, we just got to keep playing. I tell my guys, it doesn't matter, we can't get distracted. We will not get distracted in this series."
Some more highlights from Rivers' chat with the media:
* Upon further review: Rivers said film review confirmed a lot of what he saw Wednesday night. "The game was basically like I saw it. We played very well ... but there were times we didn't play very smart. On our defensive rotations, I thought that there were a lot of things that we did that we shouldn't have done, and we should have been in the spots to prevent some of the drives late in the game. I thought our transition D at times broke down along with our discipline. So as well as we played offensively, then at times as well as we played defensively, I just thought that there are a lot of things that the guys will see on film that they won't be happy with. And that's a good thing, too, because those are very fixable."
* Breaking down the wall: Rivers said the Celtics have no choice but to get beyond the Game 2 loss. "You have to do more to win, and I think our guys will see that. We're trying to break this wall down, and we're chipping away at it. That's the way I look at it. We made vast improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 and we have to make even more improvements to Game 3. And I think we will."
* C's need larger dose of KG: Rivers admitted the Celtics got away from Kevin Garnett too much in Game 2. "We didn't involve him enough. We've got to involve him more than we did last night. We've got to get him into the spots that we want him to. Especially in front (of the basket). That's one of the things that stood out last night. His numbers look good, but we can do a better job of getting Kevin more involved offensively when he's on the floor."
* Encouraged, not discouraged: Rivers said his team emerged far more positive than negative despite the tough loss. "We still know we have to play better, but I think our guys know now that we can play (with Miami). I don't know if they knew it or not after Game 1, it was such a bad loss for us, I think we needed to have that type of game (Wednesday). Obviously, we would have rather won it, but our guys are very confident going into Game 3."