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Joakim Noah says Kevin Garnett full of ‘cheap shots’ and ‘bulls***’ 01.19.13 at 1:48 am ET
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One of the most intense rivals of Kevin Garnett was at it again Friday night after Chicago’s nailbiting 100-99 win over the Celtics at TD Garden.

Joakim Noah, who scored 14 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, got into several times in the second half with Garnett under the Bulls’ basket.

Afterward, he claimed Garnett continued his strategy of throwing “elbows” and “cheap shots” at the Bulls big man. Noah and Garnett were called for double technicals with 2:20 left in a game that the Bulls led, 84-83. Garnett did not address it after the game but Noah did.

“Just trying to throw elbows,” Noah said. “Cheap shots, just trying to get you off your game. But he’s a vet, he’s been doing this a long time, but it’s all right.”

Noah was asked how he held Garnett to just 5-of-16 shooting from the field.

“Just playing defense,” Noah said. “Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots. He’s a hell of a competitor. He’s always on some bulls***. Always on some bulls***.”

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Kevin Garnett tunes into his ‘unplugged’ side 12.04.10 at 2:27 am ET
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Kevin Garnett wasn’t just on his game on the court against nemesis Joakim Noah but he was just as sharp off of it, talking about everything from his battle with Noah “The Nobody” to a potential labor stoppage next season, his future and his respect for “ring brother” Brian Scalabrine.

Sounding a very philosophical tone, Garnett said he is not looking for any sympathy for the nagging injuries he’s played through but rather just trying to enjoy himself as long as he can and as long as the NBA is still in business.

On Friday against the Bulls, Garnett showed the dominant form from the 2008 championship season, scoring 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting while grabbing 17 rebounds in Boston’s 104-92 win at TD Garden.

Garnett’s loudest statement wasn’t about silencing Noah but rather enjoying the moment.

“Especially with the lockout coming up, who knows if this is my last year or if we don’t play next year what it’s going to be,” Garnett said. “So I’m trying to enjoy the guys now, you know.”

He also addressed questions about his rivalry with Noah, the only player he refused to greet on the court just before tip-off Friday.

“I’m going to tell you something about people, man,” Garnett began. “Everybody has an opinion, and obviously, he had one. I’m not entertaining nor addressing nobodies. I’m not even entertaining them. I’m focused on basketball and these wins and trying to make this team better. Other than that, I’m not on anything”

Asked specifically if he considered Noah a “nobody”, Garnett smiled, winked and said more with less.
like he did with Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva and Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut exactly a month earlier at the Garden.

“Next question,” he responded.

“I’m not dealing with nobodies anymore,” Garnett said back in November of his on-court run-ins with Villanueva and Bogut and the criticism that he is a “mean” player.

But most of all, he sounded like a veteran who was just enjoying getting his health back so he could show off his considerable talents, talents that will take him to Springfield someday and the Hall of Fame.

“Anytime you win, it’s enjoyable, to be honest with you,” Garnett said. “Playing with Shaq, some of the new guys, JO…I’ll be glad when he gets back. I’ll be glad when Perk gets back….Delonte. We have a real vibrant team and I love our team. I don’t like it, I love our team. I love our guys and this is the first time in a long time I’ve allowed myself to actually enjoy them. But I do have a certain way and a certain style that I like to be when I hit the court. Shaq gets a smile out of me very now and then, but for the most part I’m still me.”

But perhaps the funniest and most telling quote of the night came when he was asked about seeing Brian Scalabrine for the last time this year at TD Garden. Scalabrine got into the game in the final minute during “Gino Time” to chants that even KG had to respect.

“I love Scal to death,” KG said. “Right after the game, always go and show him respect. That’s my [championship] ring brother. But Gino’s my dude.”

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Fast Break: Kevin Garnett takes care of Joakim Noah 12.03.10 at 10:41 pm ET
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Doc Rivers says it time and time again – watch out if Kevin Garnett comes to the building fired up.

It was clear from the opening tip – when KG fist-pounded every starter on both teams – with one notable exception. He greeted eight starters, then made his way to Keith Bogans, greeted him and wished him well before walking right past Joakim Noah. Garnett – for the most part – productively channeled his dislike for his arch-nemesis.

Garnett had a double-double by halftime and led a defensive charge in the third quarter as the Celtics beat the Bulls, 104-92, Friday night at TD Garden.

Aside from the Celtics winning their sixth straight to improve to an Eastern Conference-best 15-4, the other highlight for the fans was the surreal chants of “SCAL-A-BRINE” several times in the fourth quarter, with the Celtics comfortably ahead.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE CELTICS:

Garnett was a monster: KG made it clear early he would not be denied, either offensively or on the glass. He finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds in arguably his most energetic game of the year. Garnett only had one true run-in with Noah, getting in Noah’s face after a 10-foot turnaround with 2:24 left in the second quarter. Both players were T’d up but nothing much happened the rest of the way.

Rondo got up: Everyone and their brother and sister went silent with 4:54 left in the third quarter when Rajon Rondo cut through the lane, jumped up in the air on a pass and landed awkwardly. Rondo’s right leg slipped on the landing and his left leg stuck in the floor. He immediately held his left knee and remained on the court about 30 seconds. He got up and stay in the game and immediately hit a 22-foot jumper, showing everyone he was ok.

Turning up the D: Led by Garnett down low and Pierce on the wing, the Celtics showed a dominant defensive effort. After allowing 29 points in the second quarter, the Celtics held the Bulls to 19 in the third, building their lead up to 82-67 after three. The Bulls made just 6-0f-19 from the field in the third quarter as the Celtics got back to basics.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE CELTICS:

A defenseless bench: When you look at the stat sheet, you see that the Celtics reserves can score with anyone – and they can. It’s the defense that’s troubling, like in the second quarter, when the Bulls shot 53 percent and outscored the C’s 29-22. It’s certainly understandable that without the injured Delonte West and Jermaine O’Neal, the depth isn’t there for the Celtics. But they’re going to need more than just “Sixth Man of the Year” favorite Glen Davis to produce. Semih Erden is still finding his way and managed some very important minutes late in the third and early fourth quarter as Shaquille O’Neal sat on the bench with five fouls. They were lucky that the Bulls bench was just as ineffective. Nate Robinson (sore left foot) was clearly not the same player and Marquis Daniels had eight points in 26 minutes.

Foul trouble: With 9:28 left in the fourth quarter and the Celtics up, 84-70, Glen Davis went to the bench with his fifth foul, joining O’Neal with the same number. That’s not good. Boston’s two best bruisers – and only bruisers – were not available against a Bulls team that relies on finesse and quickness from players like Noah, Luol Deng and of course, Derrick Rose. That played right into the Bulls’ hands.

Leaking leads: Maybe it’s splitting hairs, but for the second straight game, the Celtics built what appeared to be a very comfortable lead at home, leading by 17 in the third quarter and by 15, 82-67, heading into the fourth. The Bulls made a charge early in the fourth. It’s a nasty habit that bears at least some attention, especially on your home court, where the Celtics improved to 9-1 this season.

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A new villain emerges in Celtics playoffs 04.20.10 at 11:05 am ET
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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.

Fans taunted Bibby with images of his own face.

Fans taunted Bibby with images of his own face.

Mike Bibby, Atlanta Hawks

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.

Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

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.

Rafer Alston, Orlando Magic

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.


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Rivers: No comment on Noah’s rip of KG 04.18.10 at 4:06 pm ET
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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.

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Noah on KG: Not my favorite player anymore 05.02.09 at 7:15 pm ET
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There was a time when Kevin Garnett was Joakim Noah’s favorite NBA player.

Those days are long gone.

“I don’t care about him at all. I don’t care about him at all,” Noah said before Game 7. “He used to be my favorite player. Not my favorite player any more.”

There was a time when Noah admired Garnett’s passion. He has been witnessing it in the Celtics-Bulls first round match up, as an injured Garnett has been emotional on the sidelines.

“He’s talking the whole time,” Noah said. “You can tell that he’s really passionate about his team, especially when things are going well.”

But he stopped looking up to Garnett when he got to the NBA in 2007. It wasn’t just because they were wearing different uniforms, either. Even though Noah cannot deny Garnett’s talent, that’s where the compliment ends.

“He’s a great player,” he said. “Now that I hear stories, I see how he is, not a big fan. “

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