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Doc: We did it as much they did

04.18.09 at 6:44 pm ET
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Doc Rivers was one disappointed coach Saturday afternoon.

Disappointed if for no other reason than his veteran team, the defending champions, looked like the nervous bunch trying to win a game as individuals and the young Chicago Bulls looked the aggressors led by a rookie.

In other words, the Bulls played with no fear in the house of the champions and the champs looked fear-stricken by Derrick Rose.

“Well, the playoffs have begun, and we’re down 0-1,” said the Celtics coach. “Put our self in a hole.  And honestly, guys, I thought we did it as much as they did it.  But give them credit.  (Derrick) Rose tonight was absolutely fantastic.”

“I thought early on the first half – first of all we had no defensive energy – I mean, to think that we worked on transition ‘D’ for two days and the first play of the game (Joakim) Noah gets a dunk – now, that was extremely disappointing.  I thought we fought in the second half better, but I thought we allowed them to get comfortable on our home court in the first half.  And I told our guys that.  I said, ‘Yeah, second half was great. But you let a young team get very comfortable on you in the first half and then you had to deal with them the rest of the game.’  Didn’t matter what we did, in my opinion in the second half.  They were going to keep coming at you.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Bulls teach champs a lesson

04.18.09 at 6:00 pm ET
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It was the underdog Chicago Bulls with names like Rose, Thomas and Noah who taught a lesson on Saturday afternoon to the champion Celtics with names like Pierce, Ray Allen and Rondo. Bring your playoff intensity or else.

And the else in Game 1 was a 105-103 overtime loss at the hands of the Bulls at TD Banknorth Garden.

“I think we lost the game in the first half,” Allen said. “Just going down the way we went, we just allowed the team to do whatever, we weren’t really the aggressor starting the game, and they started rolling, they were comfortable and they did what they wanted to do.”

On Saturday, we really found out why Doc Rivers feared Derrick Rose all season. He diced up his defense to the tune of 36 points, matching Lew Alcindor’s mark on March 25, 1970 when he was with the Bucks.

Whether it was the emotion of the last two days with the Kevin Garnett and Danny Ainge news or simply a team that was tired, the Celtics came out flat on Saturday, something that can’t happen again on Monday night.

“We didn’t talk about it much,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “Obviously, I hope that’s not what it was. It could be. I mean, who knows the emotions. You just think, first playoff game you’d be ready and up. And I just thought we kind of showed up and played the game. And then all of a sudden we got into a fight. And one thing I’d say about our guys, they join in. But at home you’re supposed to start it.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The most unlikely contenders

04.18.09 at 5:47 pm ET
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If someone had told Mikki Moore in February that three members of the Sacramento Kings would face each other in the first round of the playoffs, he never would have believed them.

“[It would have taken] a sign from God [to convince me],” Moore laughed prior to Game One of the Celtics-Bulls series. “No, all of us knew that our careers weren’t going to end in Sac, but we didn’t know it was going to happen this fast. But by the blessings of God, we got out of there. ”

The Kings were 11-44 and on a six-game losing streak when Moore was waived on February 19, setting him free to sign with the Boston Celtics. Just a day earlier, they had traded Brad Miller and John Salmons to the Chicago Bulls. The Kings finished the season 17-65 while the trio are continuing theirs in the playoffs.

“It’s a crazy league and things work out crazy sometimes,” said Salmons. ” I’m happy for Mikki that he landed on his feet. He was in a tough situation in Sac from the beginning of the year and being on a good team now, he’s got a great opportunity.”

Moore is happy for his former teammates, too. That is, off the court.

“I’m happy for both him and Brad, just to be able to have another chance to be successful, for them to be able to redeem themselves after another bad season in Sac,” he said. “Those are my brothers and everything, but once the ball’s up in the air, I can’t think of that.”

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Celtics lose Game 1

04.18.09 at 3:37 pm ET
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The Chicago Bulls held on to a 105-103 OT victory after Ray Allen (1/12 FG) failed to connect on a game-tying shot. Derrick Rose led all scorers with 36 points. Rajon Rondo scored 29 f or the Celtics.

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Rose fouls out

04.18.09 at 3:35 pm ET
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Derrick Rose (game-high 36 points) is out of the game with 10.3 seconds left in overtime after committing his sixth foul on Rajon Rondo.

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Is the well dry?

04.18.09 at 3:28 pm ET
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The Celtics have gone to the two-man game with Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce time and again in overtime and down the stretch. It usually results in Pierce getting a jumper against a smaller defender, but it puts a tremendous burden on the Captain to carry the load.

Look for more movement in the last minute.

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Game 1 in Overtime

04.18.09 at 3:17 pm ET
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The Celtics and Bulls are headed into overtime tied at 97 apiece.

Final seconds of regulation: Pierce hit a pair of three throws with 37.4 seconds left to put the Celtics up 94-93. Derrick Rose drove the lane and the Celtics were called for goaltending (CHI 95-94, 31.1 seconds). Allen missed his 10th shot of the game, Rondo grabbed the rebound and put it back in (BOS 96-95, 22.1 seconds). Ben Gordon missed, pig pile ensued, Bulls are called for traveling. Call is reversed (12.1 seconds). Rondo called for foul on Rose, made both FTs (CHI 97-96, 9.4 seconds). Pierce pulled up for attempted game-winner, Noah is called for foul. Pierce made one (BOS-CHI 97-97). End of regulation.

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