|Doc: Suspend the ‘agitator’ too||04.19.10 at 4:56 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Doc Rivers said he understood the NBA’s decision to suspend Kevin Garnett for Game 2 of the Celtics playoff series with Miami, but he also offered another solution: suspend the agitator, in this case Miami’s Quentin Richardson.
Garnett was suspended for throwing an elbow at Richardson late in Game 1 after Paul Pierce went down to the ground near Miami’s bench. After the game Garnett said, “Q was talking nonsense.” Richardson didn’t back down after the game either, saying, in effect, that Pierce was faking an injury and that both Pierce and Garnett were “actresses.”
Pierce and Richardson have had dust-ups before although no one seems to know what’s at the root cause of their dispute.
“We all kind of knew [Garnett would be suspended],” Rivers said after practice Monday. “The only statement I’ll make on the whole thing is I accept Kevin being suspended. I think if you’re going to go to the letter of law you kind of knew how it was going to go, but I think if you really want to stop fights, you’ve got to suspend the agitators too. Right now the agitator gets fined and the retaliator gets suspended in all these instances. Until they stop the agitator and suspend them both you’re going to continue to have these things. It only benefits the agitator. I think this stuff in the playoffs will continue to happen until the league says, you know what, we’re going to suspend both of you. If we are really trying to clean up this stuff, I think that’s the right way to do it.”
For his part Garnett said he accepted the decision, but that he wanted it to be known that he support his teammates.
“Obviously I want all this to be over with, but the message here whoever it is, my teammates, Doc Rivers, anyone in this organization, I want them to know that I got their backs,” Garnett said. “That’s what [the NBA] had to do to set a tone and I respect that.”
Asked about Richardson’s role as an agitator, Garnett said, “You know how that goes, the person who instigates something is not the one that usually gets the penalty, but it’s over.”
Rivers defended Garnett’s actions, saying it was an emotional moment.
“It’s easy for me in a suit and tie to say walk away,” Rivers said. “It’s an emotional game. It’s 47 minutes into the game, you’re exhausted, you’re emotional, your best player [Paul Pierce] is lying on the floor, hurt you think, and then all this stuff happens. Whether Q said it, it doesn’t matter, it is emotional. You can remind them a thousand times, you really can. Having said that if you’re in scrum and somebody’s grabbing you to say just walk away, it’s tough to do. We have to move on.”
“It’s hard,” Rivers continued, “because you don’t want to lose Kevin Garnett, period. He is our most important player. But he’s not going to be there and there’s nothing I can do about it now. In Q’s defense, I don’t think he wanted it to happen. It happens.”
Garnett can’t be in the Garden for Game 2 and he said he would probably be at Danny Ainge’s house.
“Very difficult,” Garnett said. “Danny Ainge is planning on having me over his house to watch the game. It will be an experience. Danny talks through the whole damn game.”
Garnett also had one last dig at Chicago’s Joakim Noah, who called Garnett a “dirty player.”
“Tell Joakim Noah to keep it in Cleveland and worry about Shaq,” Garnett said as he was leaving the practice court.
|Time to call on Big Baby||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.
|Garnett suspended for 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.
|Rivers: No comment on Noah’s rip of KG||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.
|Garnett has no regrets||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.
|Richardson on Pierce, KG: ‘I don’t like them’||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. “
|Beasley: ‘[The Celtics] are going to try and punk us’||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.”
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