Austin Rivers 'really excited' to play against Celtics


Austin Rivers 'really excited' to play against Celtics

BOSTON -- It's not every day that a visiting player is ushered into a separate room and given his own press conference prior to facing the Boston Celtics.
In the past, special arrangements like that have been made for LeBron James when he came to Boston. Someone like Ray Allen may prompt the same type of scenario when he returns to the TD Garden for the first time later this month.
But a rookie? Until Wednesday night, that would have been highly unlikely.
Then again, Doc Rivers' son had never played against the Celtics before.
Austin Rivers is facing his father's team as a member of the New Orleans Hornets. The 10th overall pick in last summer's draft addressed the media for roughly ten minutes before the game. Step inside Austin Rivers' world:

Neither Austin or Doc want to psyche themselves out with this game. The significance of it, though, is undeniable.
"Ive just tried to treat it as it is," said Austin. "I think a lot of guys or a lot of people try to hide the fact that theyre going against a team that they know very well, or when they go against their father, they try to pretend its a normal game. Its pretty much impossible to do that so I just try to treat it as it is -- Im going against a team with guys that I know pretty well and my father coaches the other team, and it is what it is. Im just gonna have fun with it. This is a fun chance. Im more excited to play against a playoff-caliber team, a Hall of Fame team, thats why Im just really excited to go out there and compete tonight, and just have fun in the game whether things are going well or not. And hopefully we will win.

When Austin hears a certain voice coming from the sidelines, he may do a double-take.
This is the same type of yell hed use if I beat up my little brother or didnt do my homework," Austin said. "So I know when hes yelling, I'm going to have to look back for a second and think, 'Oh, hes not talking to me.' He actually might say something to me, who knows. I dont know, it's one of those things where I think I'm just going to lose myself into the game. If this happen or he does something, I'm not going to pay attention to it. I'm just going to be focusing on what I need to do with my team, my coach and my players.

Austin did not hesitate to answer when asked who he believes is the best coach in the NBA.
"My father," he quickly replied, "And Gregg Popovich would have to be the two best coaches. I think Coach (Monty) Williams is on the up and coming, just the way he coaches, he's kind of similar to my father, just the way he gets after it and how hungry he is. So I know he'll be a great coach and he is now. There's a lot of great coaches, but if I had to choose one or two, it'd have to be Greg Popovich and my father."

Austin has never lacked in confidence, although it has been tested his rookie season.
"You've seen a lot of guys this year, rookies, especially our class right now as been so up and down," he said. "There's guys that I've known my whole life that don't look the same. There's people with their head down and I think I've been a culprit as well. There've been games when I've had my head down, and that's never been me. That's where you've just got to stay up and stay confident and believe in yourself. To be truthful, confidence for me is a huge part of my game and I think everybody knows that. I've gotten here obviously of hard work and support behind me, my confidence has always been steady, no matter how good or bad I played, I always believed in myself. And I think that's when I've got to improve on even more now because there's been games, where after the game I'm like, man what was I doing? And you can't think that. You've got to be like, You know what? I've got to keep going at it, I've got to keep just going for it. I know if I do that and I break through it, it's just going to feel so much better. That's my focus right now."
Who does Austin think his mother his pulling for -- her son or or husband? "Me," he said, "Because she loves me more than him."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

0:41 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and DJ Bean discuss the Celtics 16-game winning streak being snapped by the Miami Heat.

6:05 - Tom Curran and Mike Giardi talk about Tom Brady missing practice due to an Achilles injury and Randy Moss’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.

11:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the mental and physical fatigue that the streak had on the Celtics and if there is a sense of relief that the streak is over.  

16:11 - With it being the 5th anniversary of the Butt Fumble, we compare it to other embarrassing sports moments in history. 

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

When you reflect upon Boston’s 16-game winning streak which came to an end with Miami’s 104-98 win on Wednesday, there were moments in just about every game that played a major factor in their success.

So it was only fitting that in the Miami loss, it would be a whole lot of little things that ultimately brought the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history to a screeching halt.

  • Al Horford missed a pair of free throws.
  • Marcus Smart split a pair that had he made both, would have tied the game up in the fourth quarter.
  • Jayson Tatum had his only turnover of the game, in the fourth.
  • Terry Rozier had a rebound that he could not corral and bounced off his hands out of bounds.

And that doesn’t even factor in the missed open shots and unforced turnovers that collectively played a major role in Boston’s winning streak being a thing of the past now.

“I turned it over, we missed some free throws . . . we had some unfortunate things happen,” Tatum told reporters following the loss.


Even with the loss, the Celtics (16-3) still boast the best record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving has elevated his all-around play to a level to where he’s legitimately in the conversation as a league MVP candidate.

Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top rookies from his draft class.

“As you could see, they kept hitting us, hitting us, until we were knocked out,” Irving said. “They deserved that win tonight.”

Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”

Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.

“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.

He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”