Paul Pierce isn’t ready to buy in Boston-New York rivalry in NBA – yet
|12.14.10 at 11:29 am ET|
WALTHAM — Paul Pierce has a home in the Boston area and attends sporting events in the off-season. So he knows full well of the rivalries between teams like the Yankees and Red Sox and the Patriots and Jets.
But ask him about the Celtics and Knicks? Well, as the song goes, that’s quite the different story.
Both teams may be on extended winning streaks and both teams may have rich basketball traditions but Celtics captain Pierce said Tuesday that doesn’t mean the Celtics and Knicks have revived the old rivalry between the two cities.
“It’s a rivalry? You [media] let me in on all the new stuff,” Pierce said. “I didn’t know we had a rivalry going.”
The Celtics enter Wednesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden on a 10-game winning streak while the Knicks have won their last eight to stand just four games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
“We have bigger goals than winning streaks,” Pierce said. “I didn’t know we had a rivalry going. If that’s what you all want, if it’s going sell more tix, get more viewers, I guess so. You [media] all make up the rivalry, we don’t, to be honest. At the end of the day, we’re playing for championships, not certain opponents.”
Big man Glen Davis will be one of the Celtics trying to contain the reinvigorated Knicks front court, led by Amare Stoudemire.
“I’m not worried about that, New York and Boston,” Davis said of any rivalry with the 16-9 Knicks. “That’s just the way it is. I’m worried about winning the game and worried about June, what’s going to happen in June. That’s what I’m worried about. I’m not even going to get into that. New York’s a great team. They’ve been playing well and trying to be where we’re at. It’s going to be a big game for them.’
Doc Rivers looks at Wednesday’s game as a great way to fire up his team.
“I don’t know what that is, the whole rivalry thing, because it really hasn’t been one,” Rivers said. “We both were bad for a while, we’ve been good for a while. The two teams haven’t exactly matched for a while. You know when they do, it’ll be great.”
Asked if he likes to see some competition in the Atlantic Division, Rivers said a runaway every season would be fine with him.
“I kind of liked it the other way, quite honestly,” said Rivers. “Let’s hope it goes back that way. I think any game with meaning, and obviously, for them, it’s going to have a lot more meaning. They’re probably going to be extremely fired up for this game and I’m hoping our guys can match that intensity. Anytime a game has energy, it’s great. It’s really great for us because finding ways to get them up is always nice when you don’t have to do it. We’ll just let the New York people do it by what they’ll say over the next couple of days.”