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Richardson on Pierce, KG: ‘I don’t like them’

04.18.10 at 12:40 am ET
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Speaking after his team dropped an 85-76 decision to the Celtics, Miami guard Quentin Richardson spoke of his dislike for both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It was the skirmish which Richardson got into with Garnett, with Pierce on the floor with an apparent injury, that led to Garnett being ejected from the game with 40 seconds remaining.

“I don’t like them,” Richardson said, “and they know it.”

As for the incident, Richardson wasn’t sold on the severity of Pierce’s injury, which was identified as a shoulder issue by the Celtics’ forward after the first round Eastern Conference playoff game.

“He’s on the ground crying and I don’t know what’s going on,” the Heat guard said. “Two actresses over there, that’s what they are.” When asked he was surprised the confrontation escalated, Richardson responded, “I’m not surprised at people’s actions when I know them better than that, when they’re not those characters they portray in this movie. They’r not who they say they are, Garnett and Pierce. They’re good basketball players, nothing other than that.”

Richardson continued when asked if he had said anything to Pierce.

“I said to [Jermaine O’Neal], I said, ‘He’s OK,’ because I knew nobody just touched him,” he explained. “How did he fall? Was he taking another break like he do so many times? Sometimes he falls like he’s about to be out for the season, and he gets right up. That’s all I said. “

Beasley: ‘[The Celtics] are going to try and punk us’

04.18.10 at 12:23 am ET
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Speaking after the Celtics‘ 85-76 win over Miami in Game 1 of the teams’ first round Eastern Conference playoff series, Heat forward Michael Beasley suggested that the Celts were going to try and use intimidation throughout the playoffs. “They’re physical, we got physical. We’re not going to back down,” Beasley said. “They’re a real physical team and I think they tried, and are going to try, to punk us throughout the series, and it’s not going to happen.”

Asked why the Celtics take such a tact, Beasley commented, “That’s their M.O. They’re loud, they talk through the whole game. We’re not going to get out of our game. We’re going to stay focused and let them do what they do.” The second-year forward also suggested that Miami’s athleticism would be an advantage as the series progressed. “It’s going to show come Game 7,” he said.

The impetus for many of Beasley’s comments was a skirmish that took place with 40 seconds remaining the game when Kevin Garnett and Miami’s Quentin Richardson tussled  with Paul Pierce lying on the ground with an injury, an ailment Heat center Jermaine O’Neal questioned. “He wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t hurt,” O’Neal said. “He was taking a break.”

Fast Break: Celtics-Heat

04.17.10 at 11:00 pm ET
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It wasn’t pretty, but the Celtics turned back the clock to 2008 to pick up an 85-76 first-round, Game 1 win over the Heat on Saturday night.

(Click here to see the box score.)

OK, maybe it wasn’t quite as dramatic as Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals, but there were a couple of parallels. Instead of Kobe Bryant, it was Dwyane Wade that was frustrated by the Celtics defense, with Tony Allen playing the role of James Posey. And Paul Pierce was the engine for the comeback in both contests.

First Quarter: The Celtics and Heat each shot over 50 percent in an entertaining opening quarter that saw the Heat grab a 29-28 lead after 12 minutes. Tony Allen replaced Ray Allen (who left the game with a bloody nose) and scored eight points to lead all Celtics.

Second Quarter: The Heat only scored 15 points in the second quarter but still managed to increase the lead to 44-41 at the half. The Celtics were held to 13 points in the second quarter, connecting on just four field goals. Following Ray Allen’s layup with 10:21 left in the quarter the Celtics went over six minutes before hitting on another field goal. No Boston player scored in double figures in the first half, with Tony Allen leading all Celtics with eight points. Dwyane Wade paced all players with 11 first-half points.

Third Quarter: The Heat started the quarter on a 17-6 run to grab a 61-47 lead. The Celtics responded with a 17-5 burst to close out the quarter and cut the lead to just 66-64. Paul Pierce was the standout during the run, scoring nine points. Kevin Garnett also was key in the quarter, scoring six points with four rebounds. Wade had nine points in the quarter for the Heat and Quentin Richardson added eight.

Fourth Quarter: All about the defense for the Celtics, as the Heat were limited to just 10 points in the final quarter (and just 32 for the second half.)

Player of the Game: Tony Allen set a playoff career high with 14 points, hitting on 7-of-12 shots. He also locked down Wade during the third-quarter comeback and into the fourth-quarter, as Wade went nearly 12 minutes without scoring.

Turning Point: The third-quarter run by the Celtics. The game was looking to be on the verge of a blowout win for the Heat before the Celtics went on the 17-5 tear.

Celtics-Heat: Five third-quarter thoughts

04.17.10 at 10:15 pm ET
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1. Pierce keeps the Celtics alive

With 7:03 left in the quarter Dwyane Wade hit a floater to give the Heat a 61-47 lead and it seemed like it was time to dust off the obit. But Paul Pierce scored nine points to key a 17-5 run to close out the quarter as the lead was cut to just two points.

2. Celtics getting owned on the boards

Tough to win an NBA playoff game when you have just two offensive rebounds in 36 minutes. The Heat enter the fourth quarter with an overall rebounding edge of 31-21, including nine for Jermaine O’Neal and eight for Michael Beasley.

3. The bench has slowed down

The reserves scored 13 points in the first quarter, but just two points since. And no sign of Marquis Daniels through three quarters.

4. Still nothing from Ray Allen

Hasn’t hit a three (on four attempts) and is 2-of-8 from the floor. Called Dwayne Wade the toughest matchup in the league before the game, and Wade is 9-of-12 for 20 points after three.

5. That’s why Doc plays Big Baby

I was wrong on that call after the first half. Doc called on Davis in the third quarter and his energy was a big part of the run. His strip of Wade and dive to the floor to force a jump ball was big in bringing the crowd back into the game.

Celtics-Heat: Five thoughts at halftime

04.17.10 at 9:31 pm ET
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1. Is this 1997?

After a thoroughly entertaining first quarter that saw both teams shoot over 50 percent and combine for 57 points, the second-quarter turned into a dinner theatre production of the old Heat-Knicks playoff series, where the first to 70 usually picked up the win. All that was missing was old friend P.J. Brown body-slamming Charlie Ward into the ground. Just how ugly was it? Well, the Celtics were down by one point after the first quarter, scored 13 points in the second, and still were only losing by three at the half.

2. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce need to get going

The two leading scorers on the Celtics combined to shoot 3-for-12 in the first half. Maybe they get by tonight if that continues, but it’s hard to imagine a long playoff run with both Pierce and Allen out of sorts.

3. Kevin Garnett was the best Celtics player on the court

Seven points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and zero turnovers in his 16:58 of playing time in the first half.

4. Kendrick Perkins has to be more aggressive

Perkins seemed hesitant to shoot the ball even with good post position on Jermaine O’Neal, often kicking the ball out to Ray Allen or Pierce despite single-coverage. His line for the first half (four points, one rebound, three turnovers) pretty much told the story. O’Neal, meanwhile, was active in the first half, shooting just 3-of-10 (eight points) but grabbing seven rebounds.

5. We might have seen the last of Glen Davis tonight

Might be that someone does put Baby in the corner — Doc Rivers. Davis had a pair of shots blocked (pause for shock) in his seven-plus minutes on the court and generally looked overmatched on both ends of the court.

Celtics-Heat: Five First-Quarter Thoughts

04.17.10 at 8:49 pm ET
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1. Playoff time is Tony Allen time

Maybe a little strong, but when Ray Allen left the game with a bloody nose the Celtics got a huge lift off the bench from Tony Allen, who scored eight points and played his usual brand of physical defense on Dwyane Wade.

2.  The bench stepped up

A (much-deserved) target all season long, the Celtics’ bench was terrific in the opening quarter, scoring 13 points on six-of-seven shooting. Nine Celtics played in the first quarter (also nine for the Heat.)

3. Flu no factor for Rondo

Rajon Rondo played 10:11 in the first quarter, scoring four points (making both of his shots) with a pair of assists. He was able to get to the basket at will and looks to be the toughest matchup for the Heat.

4. Wade has come to play

One of the league’s elite players looked every bit the part in the first, hitting four-of-five shots on his way to a nine-point quarter.

5. Pierce struggles, KG shines

Paul Pierce looked to be forcing the issue at times in the first, hitting just one-of-four shots. Garnett, however, was all over the court in his 10 minutes of play, scoring four points with four rebounds and three assists.


Celtics land 19th pick in draft

04.16.10 at 6:54 pm ET
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While it’s uncertain what will happen over the next few weeks in the playoffs, there is some certainty with the Celtics in June:

They will have the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

On Friday at the Board of Governors meeting in New York City, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson conducted random drawings to determine the draft order among teams with identical regular-season records.

The Celtics (50-32) won a four-way tiebreaker with the Spurs, Thunder and Trail Blazers to land the 19th spot. The order is reversed in the second round, so the Celtics will have the 52nd pick.

There were a total of six tiebreakers conducted. Picks 1-14 will not be determined until the NBA Draft Lottery on May 18.

See the picks that have been determined so far:

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