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Carmelo Anthony: Booing Paul Pierce pre-game was not ‘the right thing to do’ 04.20.13 at 7:36 pm ET
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NEW YORK — New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who scored 36 points in New York’s 85-78 Game 1 win over the Boston Celtics Saturday at Madison Square Garden, says it was wrong of some New York fans to boo Paul Pierce before the game as both Anthony and Pierce addressed the crowd to pay tribute to the City of Boston, which was attacked this past week and held hostage on Friday.

Anthony spoke to the crowd just moments before the national anthem and stood at mid-court, just a short distance away from the color guard, which was presented by the Boston Fire Department. He received a big ovation for his tribute to the people of Boston, saying, “our prayers are with the City of Boston.”

But then, as Pierce was introduced, some in the crowd booed the Celtics captain before other New York fans quieted them down with their own cheers.

“I don’t think that was the right thing to do, boo somebody like that,” Anthony said after the game. “At the end of the day, we all know what happened in Boston. Our prayers go out to the families and the City of Boston. In a situation like today, we all want … it’s all about the U.S. It’s our country. And it’s sad we have to go through unfortunate tragedies like that. Whoever booed him shouldn’t have booed him, not in a situation like that.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Boston Marathon, Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Turnover tale: Celtics drop Game 1 to Knicks 04.20.13 at 5:32 pm ET
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NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony was just too much.

Anthony scored a game-high 36 points while J.R. Smith added 15 as the Knicks beat the Celtics, 85-78, Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series.

Jeff Green started out hot but scored just six points in the second half and finished with 26 while Paul Pierce added 20 for the Celtics, who committed 21 turnovers in falling down 1-0 in the series.

The Celtics scored just 25 points in the second half, including just eight in the fourth quarter. They had three more turnovers (10) in the second half than field goals (7).

After the Celtics scored the first four points of the game, the Knicks went on a 12-2 run as Anthony started off on fire. He hit a pair of threes and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, scoring 10 points in the opening four minutes of the game. But the Celtics responded and quieted the crowd for the rest of the quarter, taking a 29-26 lead after one as Green drilled a three at the buzzer.

The Celtics turned up the defensive pressure on Anthony and the Knicks in the second quarter as Anthony missed nine of his next 11 shots from the floor. Coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, took Green off Anthony defensively, allowing him to get into an offensive rhythm. The result was immediately felt. He scored 12 of his 20 first-half points in the second quarter as the Celtics took a 53-49 halftime lead. Green was on fire in the first half, going 7-of-10 from the field. Avery Bradley (11) and Paul Pierce (10, six assists) were the only other in double figures in the first 24 minutes.

The Knicks scored the first five points of the third quarter to regain the lead but the Celtics used an 11-1 run late in the third quarter to built their biggest lead, 70-63, capped off when Pierce hit a long pull-up three.

Kevin Garnett’s turnaround over Kenyon Martin with just over eight minutes left tied the game, 72-72. Anthony responded on the next possession to give the Knicks the lead again.

Anthony hit a jumper over Green to put the Knicks up four, 76-72, before Pierce responded with a tough jumper with 6:03 left. But then, in a pivotal moment of the game, J.R. Smith drove to the basket and converted a layup with 5:44 left and drew the fifth foul on Kevin Garnett.

Pierce hit a jumper with 4:34 to close Boston within three, 79-76. But on consecutive possessions the Knicks missed open looks at threes and the Celtics were unable to execute offensively. Anthony’s layup with 2:31 left put New York up, 81-76.

Smith had a key steal of an Bradley pass to Pierce with just under four minutes left but Raymond Felton missed a wide-open three. Pierce missed a three that would have tied the game with just over three minutes left. Anthony hit a long two-point jumper over Green with 1:21 left to give the Knicks an 83-76 lead.

Game 2 is Tuesday night back at Madison Square Garden at 8 p.m. before the series shifts back to Boston next Friday. For complete coverage from Madison Square Garden, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green, NBA playoffs
Doc Rivers: Kevin Garnett has ‘no limitations’ while the bench is a great unknown 04.20.13 at 4:46 pm ET
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NEW YORK — Doc Rivers is fully confident that Kevin Garnett is at full strength as the playoffs begin in New York.

“Kevin is great,” Rivers reassured everyone when asked about the physical well being of his 36-year-old big man. “No limitations. Kevin is fine.”

What the playoffs also mean is the no more five-minute in-out rotations for Garnett and no more worries about playing him 25-30 minutes a game.

“That’s nice,” Rivers said of the change. “The five-minute rotation thing with Kevin, you do it because you have to get through the season but it’s horrendous. Teams were game-planning against it. It got to a silly point at times. Kevin would come out and teams would bring in their big back in and we knew we couldn’t bring him back in. That’s gone now. It’s basketball. We still want to limit his minutes, 40 [laughs] or 35 but not this set rotation of minutes for him. And that makes it so much more difficult to game plan against our second unit.

“Rotations are easy when you can play the better player more minutes. That’s not hard. It’s when everybody is even and you’re trying to figure out who to play. I’ll have no problem playing Kevin more minutes. I think that’s easy. And honestly, I’ll have no problem playing someone else less if Kevin can play more so that’s not a problem at all.”

What remains to be seen is how the bench adjusts over the course of a seven-game series. Jordan Crawford and Jason Terry were the first of the bench Saturday and then Courtney Lee was on the floor as the second quarter began, playing with Terry and Crawford, as Rivers went with a very small lineup.

“I don’t know, honestly,” Rivers said when asked what he’s expecting from his role players in crunch time. “We clearly want to shorten our bench but I think in this case, because we have so many guys who are almost equal, it’s going be short but it’s going to be different guys [coming off bench in rotation].

“You just prepare them in what you have to do as a team. They’re going to hear advice from the rest of the guys, Kevin, Paul, JET and at the end of the day, they probably throw most of it out and you go out and play in the game. After Game 1, I’m sure some of the guys are going to find something out and as a coach, I’m just hoping what they find out is really good. But even if they find out something really bad, you hope they can learn from it and move on from it. I try not to overdo it. There’s guys who I don’t know how they’ll be in this atmosphere and I’ll find that out, too.”

Is there a concern some might be overwhelmed?

“You can never sense that,” Rivers said. “You have to wait until the game is played. Guys have horrendous week of practice and you’re on them all week to learn sets and then they get into games and all of sudden it clicks and I’ve seen just the exact opposite. You just don’t know.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, NBA playoffs
Doc Rivers: ‘Emotionally, it could go either way’ 04.20.13 at 2:47 pm ET
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NEW YORK — Doc Rivers admitted before Game 1 Saturday that his team didn’t have the best of practices on Friday at Columbia University, on the eve of the team’s first postseason game this year.

He also was very understanding of the players wanting to follow the events going on 200 miles away in Boston.

“[Friday] was a strange day,” Rivers said. “You’€™re going to practice and you hear guys on the phone and literally everyone is calling home, yelling or you could hear them saying, ‘€˜Stay in the house!’€™ And we’€™re going to practice and I even told our staff, we’€™re going to make a lot of mistakes in practice today. There’€™s no way their focus is where it should be. And you felt that going into practice. And, honestly, we were right, practice played out that way.

“So I don’€™t know. Thank gosh it’€™s over, in that regards. It was good to see everybody in the city happy, hugging and rejoicing. And I’€™m sure our players had a chance to exhale, because their families are still back there. [Rajon Rondo] was supposed to join us yesterday, and he couldn’€™t even get out. He was locked in and had to stay in himself. What does that do for us today, I have no idea? I think, emotionally, it could go either way.”

Rivers and his staff are ready to handle the situation, good or bad, during the course of the game.

“Hopefully we can figure out a way, if it’€™s not going the right way, to gather them right and get it back,” Rivers said. “Thank gosh it’€™s a four-quarter game because I’€™m always worried about any team, even if it wasn’€™t for this, being too emotionally high at the beginning of a game. Because you still have to finish the game. We’€™ll see.”

Speaking of Rondo, after being locked down on Friday, the injured point guard made his way down to the Big Apple on Saturday and is with the team for the start of the playoffs. Rivers definitely likes him around the team.

“I want him around,” Rivers said. “He’€™s a good mind. He’€™s a great, great mind. And he knows the game. He’€™s a smart kid. People have no idea his IQ, they really don’€™t. It’€™s funny right now, even after our shootaround, he’€™s into it.”

With Pablo Prigioni [sprained ankle] is out for the Knicks, Chris Copeland moves into the staring lineup. The Knicks will go with a starting backcourt of Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert, to go along with Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, NBA playoffs
Doc Rivers: ‘You’re angry when you think about it because you love your city’ 04.16.13 at 12:08 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Instead of playing a game Tuesday night, the Celtics held practice and reacted to Monday’s Boston Marathon tragedy.

Among those most affected was Jeff Green. The Celtics player, like his coach, live in Boston and very close to the epicenter of Monday’s two explosions on Boylston Street near the finish line.

Green said before Tuesday’s practice that he understood completely the NBA’s decision to cancel Tuesday’s home game against the Pacers at the Garden.

“Everybody has got to be safe,” Green said. “I think it was right to cancel the game out of respect for the families affected.”

Celtics coach Doc Rivers also lives in the Back Bay. He was headed into Boston after Monday’s practice in Waltham to watch the Marathon. He said

“I always go down after practice and watch [the Boston Marathon]. I was on my way,” Rivers said. “I had gotten out of the [Prudential] tunnel when the bomb exploded.

“I thought the spirit of Boston was incredible last night. If you’re part of the city, this country, it’s going to be on your mind. This city has an amazing amount spirit. You’re angry, too, when you think about it because you love your city. That bothers you.”

The game against the Pacers was canceled and will not be rescheduled. The Celtics will finish their 81-game schedule on Wednesday night in Toronto and then open the first round of the playoffs this weekend in New York’s Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Boston Marathon, Doc Rivers, Indiana Pacers
NBA cancels Celtics-Pacers Tuesday night at the Garden, will not be re-scheduled 04.15.13 at 8:46 pm ET
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The Celtics are the latest Boston team to announce they are canceling an event due to the Boston Marathon tragedy Monday afternoon.

The NBA issued the following release Monday night:

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 between the Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden has been canceled. The game will not be rescheduled.

The NBA expresses its sympathy to all those affected by the tragedy in Boston earlier today.

This means that the Celtics will play an 81-game schedule and their season will conclude Wednesday night in Toronto against the Raptors before they open the playoffs this weekend in New York at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Boston Marathon Tragedy, Indiana Pacers, NBA
Three for all: Hot Heat beat short-handed Celtics, Jeff Green bruises left elbow 04.12.13 at 9:54 pm ET
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Miami shot 12-for-23 from 3-point range, led by three each from Ray Allen, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers and Rashard Lewis, as the Heat beat the short-handed Celtics, 109-101, Friday night at American Airlines Arena.

The Celtics, who rested Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, suffered a scare in the fourth quarter when Jeff Green injured his left elbow bracing his fall after a dunk. He was diagnosed with a bruised left elbow and did not return.

“I don’t think it’s that bad, I honestly don’t,” Doc Rivers said after the game. “We’ll know more [Saturday]. He has an ice pack on it.”

Before the injury, Green led the Celtics with 25 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Crawford chipped in with 20 points for the Celtics, who fell to 40-39.

With Milwaukee losing in Atlanta, Boston needs one more win to clinch seventh, and will be assured of not finishing eighth and will avoid the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. But now, the Celtics will have practically no chance of catching the Hawks for sixth, as the Celtics trail Atlanta by three games in the loss column with three games remaining. Boston won the season series with the Hawks, 3-1.

Without Pierce and Garnett, Rivers went with a small starting lineup featuring Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass.

The Heat, on the other hand, played with their full compliment of starters, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, resting only Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem.

And behind the aggressive play of Green, the Celtics shot out to a red-hot start. Green was 4-for-5 from the field, with three drives to the basket for layups. He finished the first quarter with eight points and six rebounds as the Celtics led 25-13. Boston shot 50 percent and led 27-17 after 12 minutes.

But the second quarter was a defensive disaster for Boston as Miami’s bench took over. The Heat shot an amazing 16-of-19 from the field, led by a bench powered by the 3-point shooting of Ray Allen. With Boston leading 34-23, Allen converted a layup with 9:23 left in the second. The layup was the first of eight straight points for Allen, who hit back-to-back threes to spark an 11-0 run that tied the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat
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