Paul Flannery, WEEI – “Into the seat on the bench next to Rivers stepped Frank, and if you’re looking for him to be the new Thibs, you’re missing the larger point. ‘They all bring what they bring to the game,’ Pierce said. ‘Obviously, Thibs is a great coach in his own right, and so is Lawrence Frank. We’re not going to get into comparisons. That’s just like comparing Shaq to Rasheed [Wallace] a year ago. Lawrence’s credibility and respect around here fits great with the guys.’ This is no small thing, because NBA teams in general, and the Celtics in particular, are typically hard to impress. ‘It’s hard to have veterans who have been around the block more than a few times give respect to somebody,’ Pierce said. ‘It’s not like you can get anyone to fill that role.’ … ‘This has been an ideal situation in that you look at the franchise, you look at the team, you look at the head coach and it’s a situation as an assistant, and I speak for all of us, we just do our jobs,’ Frank continued. ‘You don’t have to worry about all of the other stuff that does go on in the league, especially when you have a group that’s so committed to winning a championship. It’s a very, very rare environment.’ Part of that environment is a testament to Thibodeau, whose defense remains in place, as well as the commitment to play it. Frank is here now and he will have his own chance to carve out a place in the Celtics hierarchy. It will be different, a little looser and less severe perhaps, but the Celtics should be in good hands. ‘It’s all about our guys,’ Frank said. ‘There’s a framework in place, both offensively and defensively. The challenge for all of us as a group, is sustaining the intensity on a daily basis.’”
Julian Benbow, Boston Globe – “‘I think [Doc Rivers] likes me because he always beat me,’ Frank said. ‘He tried to get me on the schedule two more times.’ For Rivers, it was always a no-brainer that Frank would be great to work with. He was on the bench as Byron Scott’s assistant for four seasons, then took over when Scott was fired during the 2003-04 season. Rivers invited Frank to Waltham to watch a practice last season and get a feel for what the team does. When it came time to fill the spot of Tom Thibodeau, who left to become head coach of the Bulls, Frank was the perfect fit. ‘I’ve known him since I’ve been in the NBA,’ Frank said. ‘We’ve always had mutual respect for each other. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to join this franchise.’ … Thibodeau was a noted workaholic — 18-hour days, nonstop game tape. Frank is similarly meticulous, ‘but a little more normal,’ Pierce joked. What goes farther for Frank, though, is his credibility. He spent six years as a head coach.”
Peter May, ESPN Boston – “Then, in 1985, Bill Walton came to Boston. To this day, he remains the only player in NBA history to win both the MVP and Sixth Man awards. Could Shaquille O’Neal be the second? Like Walton, Shaq is coming to Boston at the end of his career. Like Walton, Shaq has an MVP award; his is from the 1999-2000 season. Like Walton, Shaq was named to the NBA’s top 50 all-time players list more than a decade ago. Like Walton, Shaq wants to win another championship (Walton had won one with the Blazers in 1977) and, like Walton, Shaq professes to be a student of the game. And Shaq wants nothing to do with the Sixth Man Award. … ‘No,’ he said rather emphatically after practice Monday. ‘About four years ago, I gave up on the concept of winning individual awards. I’m focusing on the big one at the end of the year.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “‘[Doc Rivers] missed yesterday’s practice but could be back today. ‘Doc had minor throat surgery,’ assistant coach Lawrence Frank said. ‘He feels good, but right now the doctor just doesn’t want him using his voice, so it’ll kind of be day-to-day. But everything looks good, and we look forward to getting him back.’ As for whether Rivers will be on the bench for tomorrow night’s preseason finale at the Garden against the Nets, Frank said, ‘We’ll see. Let’s just take it day by day. Basically they just want him to rest his voice box. Obviously he’ll be using it quite a bunch.’”
Peter May, ESPN Boston – “Delonte West (back injury) did not practice. Frank said the team is taking it slowly with West, who has to miss the first 10 games of the season anyway due to a league suspension. Marquis Daniels (shoulder soreness) participated in non-contact drills only. No update on rookie Avery Bradley, who is having trouble with his left ankle. Bradley appeared in three exhibition games, but was noticeably slowed by the ankle. Frank said the team will re-assess the situation.”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “It was a sight you rarely see – Glen Davis and Kevin Garnett on the floor at the same time. There’s a very good chance that as the Celtics make their march toward Banner 18, we’ll see the Big Ticket and the Ticket Stub paired up on the floor this season. Boston’s first glimpse at the two over extended minutes came in the third quarter of Saturday’s win over New York in Hartford. In the third quarter, they played an instrumental role in Boston going on a 16-5 run to take the lead, and with that, control of the game. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who did not attend practice following throat surgery on Sunday, said earlier there are several advantages to playing the two together. ‘They both can shoot,’ Rivers said. ‘They know our coverage better than anybody. Both can post. You can create a matchup for Baby [Davis] in that lineup that maybe we can post him. When we have those two on the floor, we have an extremely skilled lineup with Rondo, Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen] and Baby. That makes us pretty good.’”
Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe – “Frank, formerly head coach of the Nets, said the Celtics are preparing for the Oct. 26 season opener against the Heat but pacing themselves for the long run. ‘We have a long ways to go and this is a process,’ Frank said. ‘I don’t think you’re a complete product by the first game of the season. I think it’s a process that happens over the course of time. If any group proved that, it was what this group did last year — obviously getting off to a great start, then having injuries, and then being able to play through Game 7 [of the Finals].’”
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