Big-man trouble could mean big problem for Celtics in Game 6
ORLANDO, Fla. --
"I ain't speaking," Davis said. "I'm all right. I'll be back next game. ... That's all you need to print."
Unfortunately for Davis, whether he faces the Magic on Friday in Boston in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals won't be his choice. Because he sustained a concussion courtesy of an errant
The Celtics' other big men are in no better shape. Barring a reprieve from the NBA office, starting center
In case you're keeping score, that's all three players the Celtics have used to defend Orlando star
Wednesday was a nightmare for Boston's post players, and the ramifications could be colossal as the Magic attempt to become the first NBA team to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a best-of-seven series. Forward
The Celtics' big-man trouble began with 2:15 remaining in the first half when Perkins and Orlando's Marcin Gortat were both whistled for technicals. "Perk was bending down, picking the ball up and got a technical for being around," Rivers said. "I don't know how he got that tech."
With 36.1 seconds remaining in the half, referee
Wallace, the NBA's reigning lord and master of the technical foul, declined Wednesday night to offer his take on the calls against Perkins. "Ya'll can go ahead and get away from me," Wallace said. "I ain't saying [expletive]. I'll get fined."
With Perkins in the locker room and Wallace in foul trouble, the Celtics had to rely on Davis to check Howard. The 6-foot-9, 289-pound Davis had to be careful to stay out of foul trouble himself, so he couldn't play Howard as aggressively as he would have liked.
With 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Davis got tangled with teammate
"I know he blacked out on the floor," Rivers said of Davis. "I was just trying to get him back down on offense at the time. And Marquis, same thing. He blacked out as well. Lots of elbows." Howard said he didn't mean to hit Davis with his elbow. "I just hope that Big Baby's all right," Howard said. "You never want to see a player go down. I just hope he's OK."
Despite Davis' prediction, whether he plays will be determined by his doctors. Rivers tried to keep the mood light after the loss, but his concern was obvious. "I don't know what kind of test they're going to do with Baby because he's a little delirious half the time anyway, so I don't know how he's going to pass a test," Rivers said. "I'm worried about that."
The Celtics have reason to worry. If Perkins is suspended and Davis can't play, a banged-up Wallace would have to start. He would be spelled by little-used
Rivers will remind his players that even though their circumstances seem bleak, they still need to win just one game to reach the NBA finals for the second time in three seasons. Friday, the pressure remains squarely on the Magic in spite of the Celtics' woes. But should the Magic should win Friday, those roles will reverse. Rivers knows that, too. "We need to win one game," Rivers said. "Let's hope it's the next one."