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CELTICS NOTBEOOKAs the seasons pass, Dwight Howard is going to get tired of the Kendrick Perkins question, and just exactly where the Celtics center rates as a defender.

But the Orlando center also knows the issue won't die.

``He is a great defender,'' Howard said before last night's game against the Celtics . ``I'd say he's probably one of the best low-post defenders in the game today, and he's underrated, but he's gotten better from his first year to now.

``He's a big body, a traditional center, and he knows how to use his body well,'' he said, giving part of the credit to Celtics big man coach Clifford Ray, who was also Howard's first NBA tutor.

``He's physical,'' Howard continued about Perkins. ``He has coach Ray, who has told him every move I want to do in the book. He does a good job and the other guys on that team shrink the floor, so that makes it real tough. They don't double team as much as other teams do, but they sit in the paint and they make it tough to get into the paint, because they know that I want to get in there.''

The most important part of Perkins' game, according to coach Doc Rivers, is a recognition of who he is.

``That's what he does,'' said Rivers. ``He's a solid defender. He stays down. He's not going to jump out of the gym and try to block shots. He's going to stay down, because he's a position defender. Against athletes you think it would be tougher for him, but it's actually better, because he's going to stay in his stance.

``It's tough to be a big - especially to be a one-on-one defender,'' he said. ``You have to be a tough guy, but he has that ability, and that's what he does.''

Tough to please

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and Howard both were explaining their comments last night, in the wake of Howard criticizing the coach's negativity.

Rivers, who had been criticized by former Celtic Mikki Moore for the same issue two nights earlier, understands Van Gundy's plight.

``I've had that too,'' he said. ``That will always be the case. Sometimes you're trying to instruct and it gets taken in a negative way. They've said, `Can you not be so negative?' And I say, `Can you stop dribble penetration?' Mikki's a great guy, but my whole thing is agendas. That we all have to be on the same one.

``If my agenda and the player's agenda is the same as what we set for the team, then we're pretty good,'' said Rivers. ``But if it's not, then we're going to have to talk.

``You just do your job. I don't know if I'm berating a guy or coaching. I don't think we berate guys. It sounds like it, because we're saying get out to that guy, and we mean right now. We don't have time to say come over here for a second, I'd like to talk to you about getting out to J.J. Redick, because he's wide open.

``I say I will (be less negative) and then I go back to who I am. The bottom line is you're not going to please everybody. I haven't gotten along with some players who have been terrific guys, for whatever reason. That's just the way it works in sports and human nature.''

Watching the son rise

Rivers was also living a dream - of sorts - yesterday. He turned on ``SportsCenter'' to the sight of his son Jeremiah, who is a point guard at Indiana, making the top plays reel with a reverse scoop during the Hoosiers' 89-71 loss to Mississippi on Thursday.

``That was nice,'' he said. ``I watched the game last night, so it was great to see him play. He played really well.''

Read the Celtics Insider at bostonherald.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 22, 2009


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