Celtics notebook

Technically speaking, Perkins pleased

By Julian Benbow
Globe Staff / May 29, 2010

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Although he thought both technical fouls he was assessed in the Celtics’ Game 5 loss to the Magic were undeserved, Kendrick Perkins was happy simply to be on the floor last night. The NBA took back the second technical, saving the Celtics starting center from a one-game suspension.

“I thought both of them were going to get rescinded,’’ Perkins said. “But I’m glad one of them did. I’m just happy to be back on the court.’’

He’s still on thin ice, however, just one technical from a suspension. He said he wouldn’t let being in the danger zone affect his aggressiveness.

“I go out there and play my game,’’ Perkins said. “I can’t worry about getting another tech. I can’t play like that. I’ve got to go out there and do my job.

“If they want me to play physical, I’ll play physical. I might even smile a couple of times. I’ve got to go out there and play. I can’t worry about nothing else.’’

Perkins’s first technical was issued in the second quarter when he slipped trying to lift Paul Pierce off the floor. His arm shot back and hit Magic backup center Marcin Gortat, which appeared to be an elbow.

“It was an accident,’’ Perkins said. “I didn’t do that on purpose. It was an accident. But I’m glad they took back one of them.’’

Perkins drew 15 technicals in the regular season, and the team has talked to him about controlling his emotions.

“We always talk about not letting the referees have an effect where it can put us in a precarious situation on the floor,’’ said Ray Allen. “It is at the behest of what they see whether it’s a foul, or a flagrant or a technical, whatever it may be, but we start that action. Being smart. You have to play hard, but you have to be smart.’’

Five of Perkins’s six postseason technicals have come on double techs, cleaning up dustups with other big men. He acknowledged those situations were difficult to avoid, but said he has to find a way.

“I know [there’s] going to be times when you get tangled up in the paint,’’ Perkins said. “But I just feel like if I go out there and just worry about winning the game — no matter how we win it — then [technicals] come second.

“It’s the playoffs. It’s going to be intense. Guys are going to tangle up by accident at times. I just feel like at times, it’s times that they can let it go. But sometimes, they need to try to control the game so it won’t get out of hand. It’s just part of being out there and being physical I guess.’’

Davis never saw it coming
Glen Davis explained the daze he fell into after taking a stray Dwight Howard elbow by comparing it to a boxing match. Only he wasn’t expecting the blow that ultimately knocked him out of the game.

“He caught me off guard,’’ Davis said. “That’s the biggest thing. I didn’t see it coming. When you don’t brace yourself for it, that’s what happens.’’

Trying to gather himself and get back on defense, Davis stumbled so badly he had to be caught by referee Joe Crawford and teammate Rasheed Wallace.

“I just couldn’t catch my legs,’’ Davis said. “I remember everything. I just couldn’t catch my legs. It was like my legs were just gone, like a boxer.’’

He said after Game 5 he would be ready to play and he was cleared to play yesterday.

“I just had a little headache and I was good,’’ Davis said. “The next morning I was fine.’’

He also made it clear he didn’t actually lose any teeth, which appeared to be the case with team trainers picking up bits from the floor.

“I have a brace in the back that holds my teeth together and it broke off and I spit it out,’’ he said.

Asked if he thought it was a dirty play, Davis said, “I don’t know what to think. It’s not the only time he threw elbows. Then he considers he supposed to be a friend of mine. That’s what he said, right? I think the league should watch everything. And that’s what they’re doing.’’

Early play a barometer
The team that has set the tone in the first quarter has controlled the game in most cases in this series, a strange concept for Rivers. “I always heard it was a fourth quarter league,’’ Rivers said. “So far, both teams, it’s amazing the emphasis we both have put on the first quarter. It basically sets the tone.’’ . . . Rivers attributed Kevin Garnett’s play the last two games to the Celtics not establishing him in the post as much as they had in the first three games. “We’ve got to get the ball to him more,’’ Rivers said. “That’s one thing, clearly. We’ve got to do a better job of trying to find him in the right spots. We knew going into this series it would be tougher to get them on spot like we did in the Cleveland series. They double-teamed, they front and back a lot. So we’ve got to try to do a better job of establishing that part of our offense.’’

Julian Benbow can be reached at

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