|11.18.08 at 8:56 pm ET|
This time last year Quentin Richardson wasn’t buying into the hype surrounding the Big Three. To him, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett were just another handful of players who hadn’t won a championship. Despite their hot start to the 2008 season, Richardson wasn’t in awe.
“It’s not that big a deal to us,” the New York Knicks forward told the New York Post last year. “It’s like the media makes more of The Big Three and all of them. We’re not in awe of them. They ain’t won no championships. They have a good record right now, but that don’t matter.”
At the time, Pierce shrugged it off.
“You know what? I really don’t get caught up in all that talk,” Pierce said. “He’s going to say what he’s going to say to try to motivate his team. We don’t need to be motivated. We’re a self-motivated team and we’re going to go out there and take care of business.”
Fast forward 12 months. The Knicks faced off against the Celtics on Tuesday night in Boston for a heated battle that included plenty of trash-talking and technical fouls to go around. This time the Knicks were playing the defending NBA champions. This time … was no different than the last for Richardson.
“I think a few of those guys know they can’t just say anything to us,” he said following the Celtics tension-filled 110-101 victory. “I’m just real curious to see what those guys will be saying if we weren’t in a basketball league and didn’t have referees. I mean it wouldn’t be the same story. I mean they are the World Champions and rah-rah-rah, but the tough part I don’t factor. I come from a neighborhood where you can say what you want to say, but til you do something, it don’t mean nothing. Some of those guys are happy to get a ring, but you ain’t been in the league long enough to talk to people like that. I don’t have a lot of respect for that. Like I said, I’d be curious to hear what they have to say in a different setting, I’d be very curious to see that.”
A year later, Pierce is still shrugging off Richardson’s rants.
“We just have to keep our composure,” the Celtics captain said. “The Knicks try to get you to play their game with the talking and the small ball. We can’t get caught up in the way they’re playing. We have to play our game and take advantage of what we do out there well.”
Don’t expect this to be the last heard from Richardson. The Celtics and Knicks will see each other again three times this season. Next up, December 21 at the Garden.
|11.18.08 at 7:24 pm ET|
We kick off the final 12 minutes with Mike D’Antoni getting T’ed up in between quarters. He was bantering with the refs and Quentin Richardson was yelling too. So much hostility tonight. Now Q is yelling at his teammates in the huddle, who enter the fourth down 89-77.
- Let’s keep an eye on Nate Robinson, who was getting into it with Rondo in the third. Robinson is now guarding Eddie House. Not sure if he can rattle the confident vet.
- There are 24 seconds on the clock for a reason — so the players can see them. Tony Allen lost track of the count and made an extra pass to Davis as the buzzer sounded. On the next possession, the Celtics ran the clock down to two seconds before House threw up a missed three.
- Down 92-82 with nine minutes to go, the Knicks bench are on their feet. Richardson, who is easily identified with his sweatband, is leading the charge of reserves.
- Cue the motivational video. This time it comes to us from Pierce, who has asked the crowd to make some noise. A fan behind me just introduced his son to the joys of chanting “Airrr-balll.” But right now the loudest people are the Knicks coaches yelling on the sidelines.
- Every player on the court has scored in double-digits tonight. The Celtics are going with Powe, Rondo, Ray Allen, Pierce, and Perk while the Knicks are hoping Duhon, Robinson, Chandler, Richardson, and Randolph can make a comeback. This game isn’t over yet. The Celtics are up nine with 3:30 to go but the Knicks aren’t going down quietly.
- I watched Chandler at Vegas Summer League and was impressed, but summer league performances don’t always translate into regular season success. Chandler, though, is proving he’s for real tonight. He already has 21 points but more impressively, he has got 20 shots off. Next time guarding him a little tighter could be in the Celtics game plan.
- Tough call. Up 104-99 with 1:35 left, Perk was whistled for an offensive foul when he pushed off on Chandler trying to clear the ball up the court. Kudos to Perk for only getting called for three personals tonight against a feisty Knicks team.
- The Garden is on their feet for a three-pointer by Scal. “Scalllll for threeee!” gets them going every time.
- The most impressive performance tonight has come from Rondo. The point guard has quietly posted 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. He was finally attacking the basket and taking his shot. Good things can happen when he plays a little selfish.
That’s a wrap. Celtics 110, Knicks 101. More from the locker rooms in a few …
|11.18.08 at 6:55 pm ET|
And we’re back for the third quarter. The Celtics figured out a very simple formula in the second: Pound the ball inside. The Knicks are just not a good defensive team in the paint and Leon Powe had his way with them in the paint.
The starters, except for Ray Allen, are well-rested after sitting out all of the second quarter. Let’s see if they can expand the lead… Read the rest of this entry »
|11.18.08 at 6:11 pm ET|
Trailing 35-32 with eight minutes left in the second quarter, the Celtics outscored the Knicks 25-12 to take a 56-47 lead at the half.
The quarter was anything but calm with runs, drives, hard fouls, and even a scuffle at the hoop …
- It’s ironic that I talked to Leon Powe before the game about what KG has taught him about maintaining his composure in heated game situations. Powe and Randolph were just given technical fouls for a tussle under the Knicks basket. The two had to be separated by their teammates and have been exchanging frozen stares at each other down the court. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck was spotted giving the “eject him” sign to the refs. “He always talks to us about that, especially me, just about keeping my composure even when i’m mad and if I want to go back at somebody, you go back at somebody by taking your time and really doing it in the game and the team concepts,” Powe said of Garnett. Hmm …
- There is a life-sized Nutracker walking around the Garden. The costume is part of the Boston Ballet’s halftime performance, but for those who are unaware of the entertainment, it just looks creepy.
- Timeout with six minutes to go and the Celtics second unit has taken over with a 45-37 lead. So far they have knocked the Knicks down to 44% field goal shooting while boosting their own to nearly 70%. The reserves are playing with a fiery intensity that has Pierce clapping and encouraging them in the huddle.
- Two smart moves by Tony Allen: the first, an aggressive drive to the basket that he finished off with a layup and the second, a drive and dish to Big Baby for the jumper that he’s been perfecting.
- The question tonight was, who will make up for Garnett? While KG is irreplacebale, it’s Powe who is stepping up in the post. He has eight points in eight minutes of play and he could easily wind up with 15 tonight.
- Rivers has Ray Allen playing with the second unit (Eddie House, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, Leon Powe). They give up a lot of size with this lineup but are going for defensive stops. It also helps the Celtics that the Knicks leading scorers, Quentin Richardson and Wilson Chandler, are taking a breather.
- The Celtics looked like they had control early on but enter the second quarter allowing the Knicks to shoot 52% from the field. Seven turnovers haven’t helped the Cs either. Let’s see what they can do …
At the start of the second quarter … Knicks 28, Celtics 26
… Paul brings you the action for the third …
|11.18.08 at 5:54 pm ET|
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers didn’t hold back when asked about the suspension that will leave him without his starting power forward Kevin Garnett against the New York Knicks.
“I was just surprised. I thought it was a ridiculous suspension, I really did,” Doc said. “Anybody who’s been around the game long enough, whether you’ve played it or not, you’ve got your head sideways and someone strikes you not once but twice, your reaction… your reflex is to flail. And I guess that constitutes a punch. Clearly, he’s not a good fighter if that’s the case if that’s a punch.
“It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. We have to play tonight so we have to move forward.”
Garnett’s one-game sit-out for his flailing against Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut will cost him $200,000.
Rivers then drew a comparison to the flagrant foul Shaquille O’Neal committed on Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey, which drew a $50,000 fine but no suspension.
“I just want more consistency from our league. I think they have to look at things differently,” Rivers said. “I just looked at the Shaq thing, and I hate to call out Shaq, but that was a hard foul, where a guy was suspended in the air and comes down on his face and he gets $50,000 and Kevin gets $200,000 and misses a game. Those two things don’t go together and we have to pay the price.”
Brian Scalabrine got his first start of the season, taking Garnett’s place in the lineup.
“You don’t replace Kevin Garnett. Everyone just has to pitch in and do a little bit more,” Rivers said.
|11.18.08 at 5:38 pm ET|
We are high above courtside for tonight’s game between the Celtics and the New York Knicks. How will the Celtics do without Kevin Garnett? Are the Knicks really into the mantra of 7 Seconds Or Less? Will Paul Pierce and Quentin Richardson renew their friendship? Those answers and more, tonight. Can you feeeeeel it? Read the rest of this entry »
|11.18.08 at 5:12 pm ET|
Brian Scalabrine will get the start on Tuesday night against the New York Knicks in place of the suspended Kevin Garnett. Doc Rivers went with Scal to keep in second unit in tact. This will be just the 51st start of Scal’s eight-year career and 28th with the Celtics.
Garnett’s suspension was the hot topic before the game for both teams. Rivers cited Shaquille O’Neal’s recent fine in comparison to Garnett’s punishment. “I was just surprised. I’m not going to get into this long because I thought it was a ridiculous suspension. I really did,” he said. Rivers also pointed out that KG isn’t even allowed in the building tonight.
Inside the Celtics locker room Garnett’s teammates were cautious when giving their opinion of the ruling.
“Ya’ll want me to say something bad, huh?” Kendrick Perkins said with a smile before adding, “I don’t know, it’s kind of crazy. But you know it’s something we’ve got to deal with. I think he’s handling it well but what can we do about it?”
Said Leon Powe, “Well I can’t really say but, you know, I wouldn’t have suspended him for that. But it’s the league and there are rules so whatever they decide, we’ve got to roll with. So now we’ve got to go out there with KG but we’ve got to still be a team and we’ve still got to go out there and fight and play together.”
As for the Knicks, they are looking to take advantage of the defensive void on the Celtics. “KG is pretty much the anchor defensively,” said Jamal Crawford. “He really gets after it defensively but they’re still a good defensive team without KG. But with him, he just takes them to a different level. It’ll be a lot of similar things that we were going to do before but you make minor adjustments.”
Paul and I will be bringing out the latest live from the TD BankNorth Garden, so tune in during the game for all the most up-to-date information.