|Fast Break: Rajon Rondo’s triple-double can’t keep Celtics from five-game skid||01.24.13 at 10:43 pm ET|
Give them this: At least the Celtics played with heart, but the Knicks still handed them their fifth straight loss, an 89-86 defeat made even more discouraging by J.R. Smith‘s wide-open 3-pointer and Paul Pierce‘s turnover with several chances to tie the game in the final minute. Here’s what else went wrong (and right).
WHAT WENT WRONG
Terry dry: Since his return to the bench, where he’s been most comfortable during his career, Jason Terry continues to slump. He entered the game shooting under 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range in 22 minutes a night this month, and those numbers didn’t get any better. After getting off to an 0-for-4 start in his first six minutes, Rivers limited his playing time. Terry finished 1-for-6 in 14 minutes, including a costly fourth-quarter turnover.
Brain farts: As well as the Celtics played in stretches, they still took their foot off the pedal at times. The Knicks started the second quarter on a 9-0 run made up of a couple Amar’e Stoudemire buckets around the basket, a J.R. Smith layup and a Pablo Prigioni 3-pointer. In the third quarter, the Celtics committed five turnovers, including three that directly led to layups and New York’s 72-66 lead after three quarters.
Off the mark: While the C’s defense held the Knicks below 40 percent shooting on the night (38.6 percent FG), their offense wasn’t much better (40.8 percent FG). Despite getting a ton of open looks, the Celtics missed jumper after jumper. They combined for 3-of-18 shooting from beyond the arc, including an 0-for-5 night for backup guards Terry, Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa. Compounding that fact, the C’s didn’t tally a single point off their misses, getting outscored 16-0 on second-chance points.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points to lead the Knicks over the Celtics, 89-86, Thursday night at TD Garden. Rajon Rondo had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in collecting his 27th career triple-double and his fourth this season for the Celtics, who lost their fifth straight. The Celtics lost five straight twice last season before rallying at the end of the season for a 37-29 record and the Atlantic Division title.
They might not be as lucky this season, as the Atlantic-leading Knicks improved to 26-14, seven games ahead of the 20-22 Celtics in the division.
There were no war of words or trash-talking incidents between Kevin Garnett and Anthony, who greeted each other with a fist-pound at the beginning of the game. Anthony even helped Garnett up from the floor after Garnett hit the deck early in the third quarter.
The Celtics managed a 24-20 lead after one quarter, despite shooting just 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from the field. The Knicks started the second quarter on fire, opening on a 9-0 run and scoring 11 of the first 12 points in the period to take a 31-25 lead. But the Celtics answered as Paul Pierce started to dominate.
The Celtics went on a 15-3 run to take a 40-34 lead. The Knicks rebounded and managed a 50-48 halftime lead on a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds left by Amar’e Stoudemire. Rondo missed a layup just before the buzzer that would’ve tied the game. Still Doc Rivers pounded his fist in the air and appeared happy with his team’s effort.
Rivers was particularly pleased with the fact that the Celtics held Anthony to just 4-for-13 shooting in the first 24 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
|Doc Rivers reiterates: ‘I have to figure out a way’||at 8:10 pm ET|
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said before Thursday night’s game with the Knicks that he still believes his team has what it takes to overcome the doldrums that have seen his team lose four straight after winning six in a row.
Rivers was asked if he had any changes in store for a big weekend of basketball that includes the Knicks, Hawks and Heat on Sunday.
“Let’s hope we don’t [have to make changes],’ Rivers said. “If we start playing better then you don’t, obviously. If you don’t [start playing better], then we have to do something at some point. Again, I think we have what we need in the locker room. I’m just not getting it out of them and I have to figure out a better way of getting it out of them.”
Rivers also said he hopes his team is inspired by the Kevin Garnett-Carmelo Anthony incident the last time the two teams met in New York, a 102-96 Boston win. Anthony was held to 20 points on 6-of-26 shooting from the field.
After getting into a confrontation late in the fourth quarter, Anthony tried to meet with Garnett in front of the Celtics locker room and then in front of the Celtics team bus before Madison Square Garden security and police intervened.
Carmelo Anthony says he’s moved on from the Kevin Garnett confrontation, but apparently his agent has not. According to the New York Post, the Players Association — after talking with Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose — filed an appeal to recoup the $176,000 Anthony lost as part of his one-game suspension.
The appeal is based on the fact that the Jan. 7 incident consisted only of verbal sparring.
“In light of the circumstances that it was not a physical confrontation, the suspension seemed excessive,” Players Association attorney Ron Klempner told the paper.
As per the collective bargaining agreement rules for one-game suspensions, Anthony was fined 1/110th of his $19.5 million salary.
Anthony and the Knicks are in Boston for a Thursday night game against the Celtics, their first meeting since the confrontation.
|With Knicks heading to Boston, Carmelo Anthony says feud with Kevin Garnett ‘not even on my mind’||01.23.13 at 9:36 am ET|
The slumping Celtics will look to end their four-game skid when they host the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks on Thursday night. That means a reunion between Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony, who was suspended one game earlier this month for confronting Garnett after their Jan. 7 game.
During that game — a 102-96 Celtics win — Garnett trash-talked Anthony so much that the Knicks forward became infuriated (while shooting 6-for-26). Reportedly, Garnett made a comment about Anthony’s wife that set him off.
The players eventually communicated and apparently made peace, and Anthony said Tuesday that he’s focused only on getting revenge for the loss.
“I don’t care what message I sent to him [about not backing down],” Anthony told the New York media. “I just want to win. Do whatever it takes to win. Thursday’s definitely a big game for myself and us as a team to get us on the right track.”
Added Anthony: “We want to win. Do we owe them? Yes, they came here and beat us. We want to go there and return the favor on their court. We can’t get that game back.”
Anthony insisted he’s moved on from the incident.
“Oh, yeah. Honestly, it’s not even on my mind right now,” he said. “It hasn’t been on my mind since that day.”
Anthony, who is shooting just 39 percent in his last five games, expects the Boston crowd to be fired up for the matchup, as the Knicks try to put more distance between them and the fading Celtics.
“It will be fun,” he said. “It will be a hostile environment. I’m expecting that. It’ll be a fun game. Knowing what’s at stake, us playing Boston.”
|Carmelo Anthony likes Honey Nut Cheerios after all||01.16.13 at 11:09 am ET|
Carmelo Anthony appears to be putting his strange beef over breakfast cereal with Kevin Garnett behind him with, strangely, breakfast cereal over beef.
Anthony plans to break his two-week fast for “clarity” after hosting the rival Nets on Monday, when chefs from New York City’s Old Homestead Steakhouse will be chauffeured in a town car to the Knicks locker room to deliver a 40-ounce porterhouse steak covered in “a classic French Bordelaise sauce infused with pulverized Honey Nut Cheerioes,” according to the New York Daily News.
‘They said after his fast they wanted to satisfy his urge of both and actually put these two things together,’ a member of the restaurant staff told the Daily News.
Since rumors circled the internet that Garnett told Anthony his wife La La Vazquez “tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios” during the Celtics‘ 102-96 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 7, everybody from KG to La La has denied that comment is what led to Melo’s confrontation with Garnett in front the C’s team bus.
Still, Anthony seems intent on discovering just how good Honey Nut Cheerios can taste.
“Only the owners and chef have tasted it, and the first one after them to taste it will be Melo. If he likes it, then it goes on the menu,” the staff member, who claims Garnett won’t be welcome in the restaurant, told the paper. “Melo was insulted, and we want to help him. Garnett’s messing with the wrong town.”
Of course, we all know Garnett is a master chef himself and probably has his own recipe for Bordelaise sauce that he will surely use as a metaphor for team chemistry sometime before the Knicks host the Celtics on Jan. 24.
|Marlon Wayans on Kevin Garnett vs. Carmelo Anthony||01.10.13 at 7:54 am ET|
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I knew Wayans brothers movies were bad, but this bad? Maybe supposed Knicks fan Marlon Wayans should have taken a cue from Kevin Garnett after Wednesday night’s Celtics game and responded to any questions from TMZ about Carmelo Anthony by saying, “Y’all have a good night, OK?’