Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Pregame: The Big Uneasy
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers -- his day spent playing ticket distributor for the cavalcade of family that descended on TD Garden on Wednesday night for the first matchup between him and his son, Austin -- remained conflicted about the game and said he couldn't enjoy game-planning against his own blood.
Making matters worse, everyone in the Rivers family appear to be rooting harder for Austin. The younger Rivers admitted as much before the game. When asked who is mother, Kris, would be supporting, Austin Rivers pointed to himself and noted, "Because she loves me more than him."
Coach Rivers didn't argue.
"He's probably right," he said. "I would love to argue the fact, but, yeah. I'm even getting trash talk from my brother. I thought he would be on my side. He just texted me and said, 'Go Hornets.' I don't know what that's all about, but it is what it is."
Coach Rivers does believe he'll have one tactical advantage: Austin might think his father's sideline shouting is directed at him.
"That is the same type of yell he’d use if I beat up my little brother [Spencer] or didn’t do my homework... so I know when he’s yelling I'm going to have to look back for a second and think, 'Oh, he’s not talking to me.' He actually might say something to me, who knows? It's one of those things where I think I'm just going to lose myself in the game."
Laughed the elder Rivers: "Hopefully he'll get that all confused when I'm yelling at [Rajon] Rondo or somebody -- he'll stop and think it's yelling at him. That will be very nice; that may create a turnover for us."
A couple other pregame notes:
* WILCOX 'MORE AVAILABLE' VS. HORNETS: Coach Rivers noted that Celtics forward/center Chris Wilcox is "more available" for Wednesday's game. Wilcox has participated in two full-contact practices (Sunday and Tuesday) and Rivers suggested he'd call on him in an emergency situation, but the preference is to give him more time as Wilcox works his way back from a thumb injury suffered in mid-December. "We actually needed him the last game because of our foul trouble and I still didn’t use him," said Rivers. "So I really don’t want to use him tonight, I want to go through one more practice, but we’ll see." Asked if his hand has limited him at all in practice, Rivers quipped, "He struggles a little bit catching the ball at times, but I told him, ‘I don’t know if that’s changed or if that’s something new.’ We have to figure that out."
* RIVERS LIKE THE OTHER NEW ORLEANS ROOKIE: Sure, we know how Rivers feels about his son, but he also really likes New Orleans' top overall pick Anthony Davis. "Forget the basketball part, he’s had some great games and up and down -- more up than down. When I look at him, I see something special. Not only his play, but how he conducts himself. I just think he has it in him to be great. He’s had flashes, obviously, hasn’t had the dominant rookie year, but it’s there. I see that, I know they see that."