|04.18.10 at 8:06 pm ET|
Now that the NBA has decided to suspend Kevin Garnett for Game 2 of the Celtics series with the Heat, Doc Rivers has a decision to make. If form holds from this season, Rasheed Wallace will get the call to start for Garnett.
Wallace has started every game that Garnett has missed due to injury or coach-ordered rest, but now is not the time to play it safe. Rivers should start Glen Davis instead.
Davis overcame a shaky first half in Game 1 to put together a solid eight point, eight rebound effort with almost all of that production coming in a decisive second-half Celtic run. Wallace didn’t play poorly, but Davis was a difference-maker. Starting Davis would be a reward for his inspired play and also better utilize Wallace’s versatility to play both the four and five spots.
Davis filled in admirably for Garnett during last year’s playoff run, and might be a better match up for Miami’s Michael Beasley, a young, athletic forward. Additionally Shelden Williams, who has played well when given an opportunity, should also see some playing time.
The Celtics managed to win Game 1 despite playing uninspired basketball for 30 minutes Saturday night. It wasn’t until Tony Allen and Davis came in off the bench that the momentum changed as the Celtics erased a 14-point deficit.
“Tony and Baby changed the game defensively for us,” Rivers said after the game. “Baby came in and was sensational and I thought Tony was great.”
Rivers has already gone against the grain once in this series. Midway through the fourth quarter when he brought Paul Pierce back into the game, he had Pierce replace Ray Allen and elected to let Tony Allen stay on the court. Rivers would do well to continue rewarding the players who play with energy in this series by starting Davis in Game 2.
|04.18.10 at 7:50 pm ET|
Garnett was involved in an altercation with Miami’s Quentin Richardson near the Heat bench with 40 seconds remaining in Game 1 when he threw an elbow at Richardson’s jaw. Garnett received two technical fouls and was ejected. Richardson was also fined $25,000 by the league.
After the game, Richardson sounded off on Garnett and Paul Pierce, saying, “I don’t like them and they know it.” Richardson and Pierce have a history of bad blood.
On Sunday, Garnett called Richardson’s comments, “classless,” and said he had no regrets for how he handled the incident.
|04.18.10 at 4:06 pm ET|
Emotions were high on Saturday night in Boston between the Celtics and Heat, and now they are spreading to … Cleveland?
On Sunday, Bulls center Joakim Noah ripped Kevin Garnett following Garnett’s altercation with Quentin Richardson in Game 1. Noah expressed plenty of his own emotion to reporters in Cleveland, where the Bulls are playing a first round series against the Cavaliers.
“He’s unbelievable, that guy,” Noah told the media. “I’m gonna say it: He’s a dirty player, man. That’s messed up.”
When asked about Noah’s statement, Doc Rivers chose not to comment.
“Noah? Noah’s in this series now? Well I have no comment,” he said following Celtics practice. “If Noah had said that last year, I would have had a comment. But since he’s in Cleveland dealing with that, I’m just going to let him focus on Shaq and that group right now.”
Noah did, in fact, have pointed words for Garnett during last season’s first round match up between the Celtics and Bulls. Prior to Game 7, he told WEEI.com that he was no longer a fan of his childhood favorite player.
|04.18.10 at 3:48 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett does not regret his actions during Game 1 of the Celtics – Heat playoffs series, he said following practice on Sunday. He was ejected after receiving two technical fouls during a fourth quarter altercation with Quentin Richardson.
‘No, not at all, not at all, not at all,’ he said. ‘I would hope that if I was hurt or if I was down in that position, someone would at least give me some space to sort of recover or gather myself. That’s the only thing I was asking for. Nothing more, nothing less than that.’
Garnett has yet to hear a ruling from the NBA on the incident which began when Richardson approached him and Paul Pierce as Pierce lay in front of the Heat bench. When asked if he is confident if the Celtics could win if he were suspended, he once again stood by his actions.
“It’s what it is,” he said. “Listen man, I would do that if Doc, if somebody I cared about, I tend to, I was taught to help a teammate and that’s what it is. If I have to miss a game because of my actions defending a teammate, then that’s what it is. It’s really not in my control in at this point.”
In the meantime, Garnett has apologized to his teammates and looks to move on. He did not want to entertain comments made by Richardson following the game in which he referred to Garnett and Paul Pierce as ‘actresses.’
‘No thoughts at all,’ he said. ‘Classless, classless act on his part. And I’m moving on with it. I’m not going to back and forth commenting through you guys. Endless.’
The Celtics and Heat will play Game 2 on Tuesday in Boston. The Celtics lead the series, 1-0.
|04.18.10 at 12:40 am ET|
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. “
|04.18.10 at 12:23 am ET|
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.”
|04.17.10 at 11:00 pm ET|
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.
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