NBA: Celtic coach Rivers preparing for Perkins to be suspended
By Baxter Holmes
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins has six technical fouls this postseason. One more and he'll earn an automatic one-game suspension, according to league rules.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday he won't tell Perkins to tone it down, and he more or less expects the center to get suspended in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Unfortunately, I hope it doesn't, but you know it's going to happen," Rivers said. "Perk is physical, the Lakers are saying they want to be physical now, so the refs are going to react to that, and what's going to happen is it'll be a double-technical (foul) that Perk doesn't deserve and we're going to have to deal with it. It's unfair, but that's the way it is."
Meanwhile, Perkins said he can't worry about walking a tightrope when it comes to his style of play. "Ninety percent of it is under my control," he said. "It's going to be a heated rivalry and everything, so I've got to control my emotions."
Perkins added, "I have a lot of people reminding me to stay calm, so I'm cool."
Rivers also echoed comments Lakers coach Phil Jackson made a day earlier when he said that players' technical foul totals should go back to zero once they reach the Finals.
Jackson made Celtics forward Kevin Garnett the latest recipient of his postseason zingers Monday, saying Garnett's arm tango with Dwight Howard in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals typified the Celtics' "smack-down mentality."
Garnett responded Tuesday, "It's just Phil playing mind games."
Rivers said Jackson usually targets the opposing team's best player, which has held true with his jabs at Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Phoenix's Steve Nash in the playoffs, "so I think Kevin should put that one right up there with his MVP trophy and everything else."
And if the Celtics are "smack-down," so be it, Rivers said: "We're not hiding from who we are."
Boston forward Paul Pierce weighed in on the Celtics-Lakers rivalry.
"I really don't have no friends on the Lakers," Pierce said. "I don't know if anybody on this team does. It'll be interesting. I ain't going to say it's two teams that's going to go to blows (in this series), but it's definitely going to get fiery and it's going to be competitive."
Rivers said reserve guard Marquis Daniels (concussion) is out indefinitely. ... Forward Rasheed Wallace (back) is feeling better and the Celtics hope he can practice Wednesday. ... The Celtics had an interesting trip to L.A. Their flight left Boston at about noon PDT Monday, but had to unexpectedly refuel in Phoenix before arriving here at 8 p.m. "I thought actually we were in Australia when we landed," Rivers joked.