Rivers instructs Celts how to foul

Updated: May 11, 2009, 1:26 AM ET
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- On the morning after one of the more controversial nights of the NBA playoffs, Doc Rivers sent a message to his team: If we have a foul to give, make sure you commit it the right way.

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In other words, not the Wright way.

The controversial ending to Saturday night's Nuggets-Mavericks game was one of the primary topics of discussion at the Celtics' morning shootaround Sunday, with the teaching emphasis on having players use both arms to wrap up an opposing player on the perimeter to ensure the referee whistles the foul.

"The wrap-up also takes longer than raking a guy across the arms, and it reduces the chance that he can get off an attempt and get three foul shots," Rivers said.

In the Nuggets-Mavs game, Antoine Wright appeared to intentionally foul Denver's Carmelo Anthony twice when Dallas had a foul to give, and the NBA took the highly unusual action of issuing a statement after the game saying the referees had not made the correct call.

Among the Celtics' players, the lingering impression was that Wright was as much at fault as anyone because he did not commit the foul in the proper manner -- especially when he had the perfect opportunity at the moment when Anthony bobbled the ball before regaining control and sinking the game-winning shot.

Other than the lecture on proper fouling techniques, Rivers said the Celtics concentrated on cutting down the Magic's ability to use dribble penetration play to initiate their offense.

The defending champion Celtics trail the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into tonight's Game 4. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Boston.

"People think we're going away, and we're not. We are who we are. We're a group of fighters," Rivers said.

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN.com.

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