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Doc Rivers on Jason Terry: ‘He brings sunshine’ 04.28.13 at 6:24 pm ET
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Doc Rivers knew Jason Terry was fired up and still ticked off from the J.R. Smith elbow on Friday night late in Game 3.

That fire and determination paid huge dividends on Sunday in a 97-90 overtime, season-saving win at TD Garden. Terry drained the go-ahead three with 1:32 left in overtime, as he scored the final nine points of Game 4.

Was it the elbow that Smith threw that got him fired up?

‘€œHe was definitely vocal,” Rivers said. “Someone said it [Saturday]; maybe that elbow ‘€“ who knows? [Terry] said it changed the events for all of us. Definitely Jason Terry was angry that it happened. He let his teammates know yesterday and today. But he’€™s just a fighter. I’€™ve told you that before. You know, I didn’€™t know him until this year and I said it the other day: he’€™s just one of those guys you want around your team, whether he’€™s playing or not. He brings sunshine. There’€™s guys ‘€“ I would say probably most of you guys, you bring those dark clouds every time I see you ‘€“ a couple of you don’€™t. But the sunshine-bringers, that’€™s who you want. And Jason Terry is one of those guys.’€

Terry scored 18 points in 41 minutes off the Boston bench, both playoff highs so far.

‘€œHe was great,” Rivers said. “You know, that’€™s what he does. He’€™s made so many big shots in his career; you knew in transition’€¦It’€™s amazing, you know, you guys don’€™t get to see it but when you watch all the guys, and not just Jason Terry, but when you watch them practice on the floor on their own, they work on certain shots. And that’€™s the shot, that transition three is something he works on all the time. And you knew once he got it what he was going to do. I thought it was interesting when you watch the play, I thought Jason Kidd knew it too. Because you could see him coming from the basket, from them playing with each other. So it was a big shot. And the other shot he made was big as well. So, that’€™s what he does. That’€™s good.’€

Rivers said the go-ahead three wasn’t the only huge shot Terry made in his 9-0 run.

‘€œYeah, yeah, but the five were big,” Rivers said. “The three, and the two off the pick, those were huge. I’€™ll take all of them, but the five, they were huge.’€

Here is the rest of Doc Rivers’ postgame press conference from Sunday.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, J.R. Smith, Jason Terry
Doc Rivers puts Brandon Bass back in starting lineup for Jason Terry at 12:29 pm ET
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Noting that he really likes his defense on Carmelo Anthony, Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced that he is re-inserting Brandon Bass into the starting lineup, as Jason Terry heads back to his more customary role off the bench.

Bass will join Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Avery Bradley and Jeff Green in the starting lineup.

“I just like Brandon on Melo more,” Rivers said. “Like I said [Saturday], the smaller lineup, the numbers actually say it’€™s better, but I like our defense better the other way.”

The Celtics will face a Knicks team in Game 4 that will be without “Sixth Man of the Year” J.R. Smith, suspended for the game after throwing an elbow in the face of Terry with seven minutes left in Game 3. Smith, who was averaging 16.3 points in the first three games, was assessed a “Flagrant Foul 2″ for the violation and was suspended by the NBA on Saturday.

What will be the biggest impact of the Knicks losing their second-leading scorer?

“Listen, he’€™s one of their other guys that can create shots and, especially in the playoffs, you need a guy,” Rivers said. “You think about what we’€™ve done good in this series, the Knicks are being held 13 points under their normal [scoring] average. And J.R. Smith has played well, because in the playoffs you take teams out of their stuff, and it comes down to guys creating shots for themselves and others. Well, Melo does that, [Raymond Felton] has done that, and J.R. Smith does that. Now they don’€™t have one of those guys.”

Meanwhile, the Celtics will try to take the first step on the path to NBA history as no team has ever overcome an 0-3 hole in the postseason.

“Obviously when one team is in an elimination situation, and the other team is not, it’€™s mental really for both,” Rivers said. “I’€™m not going to concern myself with their mental, but with ours, it’€™s all mental, it always is.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brandon Bass, J.R. Smith, Jason Terry
NBA suspends J.R. Smith for Game 4 04.27.13 at 9:54 pm ET
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On the eve of what could be a series-clinching sweep in Game 4, Knicks guard J.R. Smith has been suspended by the NBA for one game without pay for throwing an elbow and striking the chin of Celtics‘€™ guard Jason Terry. Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President for Basketball Operations made the announcement.

The incident, for which Smith was assessed a Flagrant Foul Two and ejected, occurred with 7:06 remaining in the fourth quarter of New York’€™s 90-76 win over Boston last night, at the TD Garden.

Smith will serve his suspension when the Knicks face the Celtics at the TD Garden on Sunday at 1 p.m., with the Knicks needing just one more win to complete the series sweep.

Smith, who was honored before Game 2 on Tuesday as the NBA “Sixth Man of the Year”, has been New York’s second-leading scorer in the series (16.3) for the Knicks behind Carmelo Anthony.

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Smith, Jason Terry, NBA
Deep hole: Sloppy C’s in 3-0 hole after Knicks shoot their way to another win 04.26.13 at 10:33 pm ET
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Another 3-0 playoff hole to a New York team. But the Celtics don’t exactly feel like the 2004 Red Sox.

The Celtics committed 18 turnovers and the Knicks turned that into 24 points while Carmelo Anthony scored 26 to lead the Knicks to a 90-76 win in Game 3 Friday night at TD Garden. The Knicks were blazing hot from 3-point range, hitting 11-of-26 attempts from beyond the arc in taking a commanding 3-0 hole in the series.

The Knicks outscored the Celtics, 24-8, in points off turnovers while Jeff Green led all Boston scorers with 21 points. Kevin Garnett had 12 points and 17 rebounds while Paul Pierce had 17 points for the Celtics, who have yet to break 80 points in three games in the series. It is the worst offensive output in Celtics’ playoff history.

J.R. Smith, who scored 15 off the bench, was called for a “Flagrant 2″ foul with just over seven minutes left in the game. He was ejected for throwing an elbow in the face of Jason Terry.

The Celtics shooting woes from the second half of Game 2 continued early on in Game 3. The shot just 34.8 percent in the first quarter while the Knicks came out on fire from long distance.

The tone of the game was set in the first 15 seconds of the game. The Celtics won the tip and Pierce broke free under the basket for a layup. He missed the shot. Garnett missed the easy put-back and Avery Bradley missed a wide-open three from the right baseline.

Pablo Prigioni got the Knicks long-distance game going in the first quarter, hitting a pair of threes as the Knicks held a 23-18 lead after one.

In between the first and second quarter, the Garden crowd gave a standing ovation to first responders, police and other heroes who assisted victims and helped the community through the Boston Marathon tragedies of a week earlier. It was Boston’s first home game in 16 days and the first Celtics game since the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15.

When the game resumed in the second half, New York continued their torrid shooting. The Knicks shot 10-of-18 while Boston converted just 6-of-17 shots and were outscored 24-13 in the quarter as the Knicks took a 47-31 halftime lead. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Jason Terry
Bad sequel: C’s repeat their horrific Game 1, fall again to Knicks in Game 2 04.23.13 at 10:39 pm ET
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NEW YORK — Another horrific second-half drought. Another very bad result for the Celtics.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, NBA “Sixth Man of the Year” J.R. Smith added 19 while Raymond Felton (16 points) chipped in with several big drives to the basket, as the Knicks beat the Celtics, 87-71, in Game 2 Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The series now shifts back to Boston with the Celtics, down 0-2, facing a virtual must-win on Friday night at TD Garden.

Paul Pierce scored 18 while Kevin Garnett added a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) for the Celtics, who suffered through another horrendous second-half drought, blowing a nine-point lead late in the first half to fall two games down to the Atlantic Division champs. After scoring just 25 points in the second half Saturday in Game 1, and eight in the fourth quarter, the Celtics scored just 11 points in the third quarter and finished the second half with just 23 points, the lowest second-half scoring output in team playoff history since the introduction of the shot clock.

The Celtics appeared to have momentum early. They built a 20-15 lead in the first quarter on Jason Terry‘s first field goal of the series. After going 0-for-5 in Game 1, Terry’s 3-pointer was the first of three treys in the first half. But the Knicks then ran off the next 12 points, closing the first quarter on an 11-0 run, thanks in part to a troubling turn at the end of the period.

Smith hit a jumper with 6.8 seconds left to put the Knicks up 23-20. Pierce committed a turnover and the Knicks found Smith, who drained a 36-foot three at the buzzer, putting the Knicks up 26-20.

After the Knicks went up 27-20, the Celtics answered with the next 11 points as Terry led a resurgent bench. When Pierce hit a 12-foot turnaround with 1:02 left in the second quarter, Boston had its biggest lead, 48-39. That would be the last time the Celtics had control.

The Knicks scored the final three points as another Pierce turnover kept Boston from building momentum at the half. As hot as the Celtics were in shooting 11-of-18 from the field in the second quarter, the Knicks were just as cold, making just 4-of-17 shots.

Those three points at the end of the first half started a remarkable turnaround for New York. Iman Shumpert hit a pair of threes to open the third quarter as the Knicks exploded on a 29-6 run. Before the third quarter was over, the Knicks had outscored the Celtics 32-11, building their lead up to 15, 74-59, heading into the fourth. It was a complete role reversal for the two teams in the third, as the Celtics made just 4-of-18 while the Knicks were blazing hot, converting 12-of-17 from the field.

Pierce rattled in a three with 9:47 to cut New York’s lead down to 11, 76-65. Jordan Crawford hit a jumper over Steve Novak with 9:15 left and Boston trimmed the deficit to single digits, 76-67.

Following a Knicks timeout, Anthony hit a shot over Garnett with 8:56 left to put the Knicks up, 78-67. After two Garnett free throws, it was Anthony again with a jumper. The Garden crowd exploded when Felton fed Smith with 7:52 left for an alley-oop dunk putting New York ahead, 82-69. After Garnett picked up his fifth foul with 6:28 left, Felton hit a mid-range jumper at the free throw line to put New York up, 84-69.

Pierce and Garnett came out with just over four minutes left as the Celtics conceded their second straight playoff loss in New York. With the Knicks up, 2-0, the series shifts to Boston for Game 3 Friday night at 8 p.m. at TD Garden. Game 4 will also be played in Boston (Sunday, 1 p.m.).

For more from Mike Petraglia with the Celtics in New York, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, NBA playoffs, New York Knicks
Jordan Crawford: ‘I was trying to make sure I made my first shot’ 04.22.13 at 3:18 pm ET
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NEW YORK — On the same day he received a first-place vote for the NBA “Sixth Man” award (awarded to New York’s J.R. Smith), Jordan Crawford was insistent on one thing Monday, he wanted his first shot in a playoff game to go in.

“I was trying to make sure I made my first shot,” Crawford repeated several times when asked why, for the first time in his career, he didn’t even attempt a shot when playing at least 10 minutes in a game. That’s exactly what happened during Saturday’s Game 1 loss to the Knicks.

The irony was not lost on coach Doc Rivers, who put Crawford in for his explosive scoring ability. Rivers actually wants to play Crawford more in Game 2 and that means Crawford needs to get over his pursuit for perfection and worry about putting up big numbers for a bench that didn’t register a single field goal in Game 1 and was outscored, 33-4.

“I thought Jordan should have played more in the second half,” Rivers said. “It’€™s funny, he didn’€™t score, but he created baskets. He created that [Jeff Green] three at the end of the [first quarter] because he has the ability to do that. And, I’€™ll tell you, he’€™s buying in defensively and if he can continue to do that, then he has a chance to help us.”

Crawford was acquired from the Wizards at the NBA trade deadline in February, with the hope that he could provide some instant offense to a team that had just lost Rajon Rondo and was watching as Jason Terry went through a prolonged slump.

“Play my game, the game I continue to play that got me here that Doc Rivers wants me to play,” Crawford said. “So I’m just trying to help them win any way…Just be precise, don’t second guess nothing, be precise. Whatever you think to do, do it quick. If you make a mistake, do it hard.”

As for his other big first – an NBA playoff game – Crawford said he didn’t feel overwhelmed or overmatched.

“I really wanted to see if it was any different, if the intensity picked up or anything. But it’s pretty much the same, games just matter more,” he said.

Rivers made a point of saying how much he appreciated Crawford’s self control in his NBA playoff debut.

“I thought he was good. He stayed in his lane, let’€™s put it that way,” Rivers said. “He didn’€™t go outside of it. And usually guys in their first game, young guys do one or the other. They don’€™t do anything, and I thought he did far better than that. Or they try to do too much. I thought he was pretty much under control, emotionally.”

Maybe, as it turned out, too much.

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Smith, Jordan Crawford, NBA
J.R. Smith wins NBA ‘Sixth Man’ award, Jordan Crawford gets a first-place vote, finishes seventh at 2:31 pm ET
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NEW YORK — The Celtics got an up-close and personal look at just how dangerous J.R. Smith can be off the New York bench on March 26.

He scored 32 points and powered the Knicks to a 100-85 win, a victory that was part of New York’s 13-game winning streak at the end of the season that propelled them toward the Atlantic Division title.

On Monday, Smith was honored as the 2012-13 Kia NBA Sixth Man Award as the league’€™s best player in a reserve role. Smith, who came off the bench in all 80 games in which he appeared, led all reserves in scoring, averaging 18.1 points. Additionally, Smith added 5.3 rebounds per game, 2.7 assits and 1.3 steals in 33.5 minutes per game to a Knicks squad that went 54-28 and earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Smith received 484 of a possible 1,084 points, including 72 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers finished second with 352 points (31 first-place votes). Jarrett Jack of the Golden State Warriors finished third with 170 points (14 first-place votes).

Boston’s Jordan Crawford received a first-place vote and finished seventh.

In order to be eligible for this award, players had to have come off the bench in more games than they started. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Smith, who led reserves in 30-point (seven) and 20-point games (29), became the first player with four 30-point games off bench in same month (March) since Ricky Pierce had four in November of 1990. He earned Player of the Week honors for games played March 25-31, leading the Knicks to a 4-0 record with averages of 29.8 points (second in the league), 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. In Smith’€™s 80 games, the Knicks enjoyed a +5.3 score differential with him on the court compared with +1.9 when he was on the bench. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Smith, Jordan Crawford, NBA
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