C's not fazed by potential suspensions
BOSTON -- If it happens, it happens.
That's the mentality the Boston Celtics are taking toward technical fouls as both starting center Kendrick Perkins and reserve forward Rasheed Wallace sit one away from the league's postseason limit of seven, which would trigger a one-game suspension.
Perkins has been one shy of the limit since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Orlando Magic, while Wallace caught up in Thursday's Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. At Saturday's practice, both players dismissed the idea that they'll change their approach at this point.
"I really haven't been thinking about it," said Perkins. "Once the game starts, it's been like, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I'm still trying to play physical, but also play smart. But really the focus is on just trying to get the win. Just trying to focus on that game, that win, that night."
Wallace, who emerged from the locker room at the tail end of Saturday's media availability and before the regular practice session, screened himself from reporters by standing behind the scorer's table and offered the Celtics' company line.
"If [the referees] want to call it, they want to call it," said Wallace. "And they're going to call it."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team isn't going to spend too much time worrying about the situation.
"We're just going to play our game," said Rivers. "We're not going to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. I'm hoping, obviously, there is no Game 7, but if it happens, let's let it happen in Game 7, then we're fine. There's no other game they can get suspended [for]. It's really only two games they have to get through if you think about it, it's not three.
"Listen, I don't want them to be less emotional. I want them to play their games but also have some discipline. That's about all we can do."
The Lakers don't seem too concerned, either. Coach Phil Jackson said his team isn't interested in trying to bait Perkins or Wallace into that seventh techinical foul.
"That's not fair play," Jackson said. "That's not the way to play. Yeah, you can be provocative and get out there and act kind of like they do if you want to and get in people's faces and do that. But that's not the way I like to coach a team. That's not what I consider positive coaching, and that's what I like to think is the right way to do things."
Rivers doesn't necessarily agree with Jackson's assessment that the Lakers have not been instigators when it comes to Perkins and expects them to do the same with Wallace in Game 5 now that he's in the same predicament.
"I thought in the last game, even though they say they didn't, I thought [Pau] Gasol. ... I thought there was a lot of extra stuff going on," Rivers said. "And they're right, obviously, we put ourselves in this predicament with Perk, and I thought Perk did a great job of walking away. It's clearly the new Perk. I hadn't seen that side of him."
Perkins said he was going to talk to Wallace about keeping his cool, but noted that Wallace has been up against the limit plenty of times before -- even if just in the regular season -- so he's sure he can reel it back in if need be. Perkins was asked if he might show Wallace the "spin and walk away" move that he's utilized at times in this series.
"He tried that and it didn't work for him either," Perkins said to laughter.
Wallace got a fourth-quarter technical in Game 4 after reacting incredulously to a call against him (the second time that night he stomped away in disbelief).
Celtics captain Paul Pierce liked the idea of Perkins giving advice and stressed that Boston needs both players in order to win this series.
"Whatever works because we need both those guys," said Pierce. "Those technicals, they can hurt you if we lose either one of those guys. Whatever Kendrick does for 'Sheed, whatever 'Sheed does for Kendrick, I hope they realize we need these guys in there for all of them, and whatever they can do, I'm all for it.
"It's so hard to really control it from a person on the outside with these guys because emotion is a big part of the game. These guys are two of our most emotional players on the team. You've just got to keep it in their heads and keep it in their ears, 'Hey, we need you guys.' We don't need any more technicals from these guys because these are the biggest games of their lives right now.'"
Chris Forsberg is the Celtics reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi contributed to this report.
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