|Doc Rivers press conference||04.21.10 at 3:18 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke to the media after the Celtics took a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics beat the Heat 106-77 at TD Garden without star forward Kevin Garnett.
|Kendrick Perkins/Ray Allen video||04.21.10 at 3:12 am ET|
|Erik Spoelstra press conference||04.21.10 at 3:06 am ET|
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke to the media following his team’s 106-77 loss to the Celtics in Game 2 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs. During the press conference, the frustrated Spoelstra called his team’s loss “embarrassing.”
|Fast Break: Celtics-Heat||04.20.10 at 10:41 pm ET|
What looked to be a competitive game early (tied at 23 after the first quarter) turned out to be an absolute romp as the Celtics used runs of 21-0 and 18-0 to humiliate the Miami Heat, 106-77, and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round series.
The story of the game? The inside play of Glen Davis and Kendrick Perkins. With Kevin Garnett sitting at Danny Ainge’s house, both Davis and Perkins needed to step up their play. They did so and more, combining to score 36 points with 17 rebounds.
The story of the game, Part II? Has to be the defense. Looked the 2008 group, holding the Heat to just 10 points in second quarter. Miami shot just 38.2 percent for the game and appeared to be totally dazed and confused on the offensive end of the court. Dwyane Wade ended the game with maybe the quietest 29 points in history, with nearly all scored after the game was long decided.
Ray Allen put on a shooting clinic, hitting seven three-pointers and finishing with a team-high 25 points. This was done despite Allen not attempting a field goal in the first quarter.
First Quarter: Would have been tough to guess what the eventual final would be after the first 12 minutes, a quarter that saw the teams tied at 23. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with seven points in the quarter, while Davis and Perkins each chipped in with six. Wade led all players with eight points, while Jermaine O’Neal blocked four shots (all Davis attempts.)
Second Quarter: The Heat shot just 4-of-20 in the second quarter, as the Celtics used that aforementioned 21-0 run to take a 49-33 lead at the break. The Celtics were led by Davis and Ray Allen, who each scored eight points in the quarter. The Perkins/Davis duo combined for a 21-13 line in the first half.
Third Quarter: Ray Allen was brilliant, hitting on five-of-six three pointers on his way to a 17-point quarter. The Celtics used an 18-0 run to take a 69-37 lead with 5:38 left in the quarter. It was pretty much Geno time from that point on. Wade had 16 points in the quarter, but all were scored in the final 3:42 (the Celtics led by 32 points at the time.)
Player of the Game: As great as Allen’s shooting was in the third, the game was nearly over by then. Davis (23 points, eight boards) was THE impact player when the Celtics moved ahead in the second quarter. Energy, energy, energy.
|Richardson won’t focus on crowd reaction||04.20.10 at 7:57 pm ET|
Quentin Richardson isn’t fooling himself — he doesn’t expect a warm response from the Garden crowd.
Prior to Game 2 between the Celtics and Heat, Richardson admitted he anticipates a backlash from the Celtics fans for his involvement in Saturday’s altercation with Kevin Garnett, which resulted in Garnett’s suspension.
“Probably so,” he said, adding, “No for me, I’m going out and playing basketball, playing to help my team win. Everything else will be outside the lines. When I’m inside the lines playing basketball, that’ll be what I’m focused on.”
The Heat will be focused on a new-look Celtics without Garnett in the lineup. Even though Garnett’s absence leaves a void on the Celtics, the replacement of Glen Davis has its benefits.
“It obviously changes a lot but with them probably going with Big Baby in the starting lineup, you get a younger, healthier guy,” Richardson said. “So I don’t know. It definitely changes because [Garnett’s] a huge part of their team, he’s an emotional leader, and at the same time he’s still Kevin Garnett. It obviously changes but they have a couple capable guys filling in in Rasheed (Wallace) and Davis.”
Regardless of whether Garnett or Davis are on the court for the Celtics, the Heat’s objective does not change. They look to accomplish their original goal of taking at least one game in Boston before heading home for Games 3 and 4.
“It’s just important for us to win tonight just to even up the series,” he said. “We want to go back to Miami 1-1 feeling good about ourselves and knowing that we’ve got two games on our home floor coming up.”
|A new villain emerges in Celtics playoffs||04.20.10 at 11:05 am ET|
Quentin Richardson is not the first opponent to stir up controversy in a playoff series against the Celtics during the current Big Three era. Prior to Richardson’s Game 1 altercation with Kevin Garnett, there had been a line of players before him who took on the role of “Public Enemy No. 1” with Celtics fans. Take a look back at players fans loved to hate over the past three seasons.
Bibby dished the ultimate insult to Boston sports fans when he called them ‘bandwagon’ in the first round of the 2008 playoffs. The Celtics crowd responded by booing him on every possession, chanting ‘Rondo’s better’ (as encouraged by RedsArmy.com), and flashing masks of Bibby’s face during the series. Two years later, Bibby still is jeered every time he plays at the Garden. ‘I’m not even worried about that,’ he told WEEI.com this season. ‘I don’t worry about that.’
Zaza Pachulia, Atlanta Hawks
Tempers flared under the basket after Pachulia and Garnett fought for a rebound during Game 4 of the first round of the 2008 playoffs. Once the big men got involved in an altercation, their teammates got involved as well and the question of suspensions was raised. But in the end, Garnett, Sam Cassell and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson were assessed technical fouls. In the deciding Game 7, Garnett fouled Pachulia while setting a hard screen and knocked the Hawks center to the ground.
When Noah recently ranted about Garnett’s Game 1 altercation with Richardson, that wasn’t the first time he spoke out against his former childhood favorite. Prior to Game 7 of the first round of the 2009 playoffs, Noah didn’t hold back when discussing the then-injured Garnett’s presence on the sidelines. ‘I don’t care about him at all. I don’t care about him at all,’ he told WEEI.com. ‘He used to be my favorite player. Not my favorite player any more.’ Noah also added, ‘He’s a great player. Now that I hear stories, I see how he is, not a big fan.’ Noah received a standing ovation when he fouled out of Game 7.
Alston temporarily interrupted Eddie House‘s 31-point performance in Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and Magic. After House drained a 3-pointer in the third, Alston slapped him in the back of the head. At the time, Alston claimed he was reacting to being elbowed by House. But there were no signs of hard feelings from Alston a season later when he told WEEI.com that he actually wanted to play for the C’s after being bought out by the Nets.
|Report: Nets eye Tibs||04.20.10 at 10:48 am ET|
A report in the New York Daily News indicated that New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn might have interest in Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau for his team’s head coaching vacancy. According to the report, Thorn didn’t mention Thibodeau by name, but he did say he was looking for “somebody who has a defensive presence.”
That description fits Thibodeau, who has been the architect of one of the NBA’s best defenses during his three seasons with the Celtics. Thibodeau has interviewed for several head coaching jobs in the past and many think it’s only a matter of time until he gets one.
The Nets job would be intriguing in that the woebegone franchise finally is moving out of the Meadowlands and the team has a new owner with deep pockets, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Additionally, the Nets have a huge chunk of cap space and two cornerstone players already in place in Devin Harris and Brook Lopez. Also, Thorn is a widely respected executive.
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