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Jason Collins’ great stories about Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers 05.01.13 at 5:24 pm ET
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A couple great stories from Jason Collinspodcast with Bill Simmons about Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett that might instill some confidence in Celtics fans prior to Game 5 against the Knicks …

What’s your best Kevin Garnett story?

“He could be telling you about the weather, and he’€™ll break out in a full sweat. His intensity is just non-stop. It’€™s infectious. It makes you work even harder and makes you want to show up even earlier to practice, because you know that this guy is sacrificing his body. He plays through so much behind the scenes. He puts himself out there emotionally and physically. He’€™s a pro’€™s pro.”

Will he retire at the end of this season?

“You’€™ve got to ask him that. I hope not.”

Could you see him shutting that switch off?

He’€™s going to be that way until the end of his days. He’€™ll be going hard in a nursing home, although I don’€™t think he’€™ll ever be in a nursing home with the amount of money he’€™s making. He’ll have the suite.

“His intensity is really inspiring. I think if he ever chooses to be an assistant coach, he’d be great. I don’€™t know if he ever has that in him. He would be awesome with Charles [Barkley on TV]. They might need a seven-second delay for him. Obviously, he can do whatever he wants.”

Is Doc Rivers the best coach you’ve played for?

‘€œI played for a lot of great coaches, but there’€™s a special place in my heart for Doc Rivers. Just the way he always talks about the team, and me being a team guy, it just really spoke to my heart. Not only the team, but it’€™s a family. He had that one saying that just stuck with me: If you want to go quickly, go by yourself. If you want to go farther, you’€™ve got to go in a group.’ It’€™s comments like that — that someone like me, a team guy who sacrifices so much — I appreciate his professionalism.

“I hadn’€™t played in a long stretch of games, and he called me into his office and said, ‘Jason, I want you to know that we see you working hard in the training room, and when you’€™re opportunity comes, just be ready.’ I’€™m like, ‘€˜Doc, you don’€™t even need to have that conversation with me. I appreciate that you show me that professional courtesy, that respect of having that conversation with me, but you don’€™t have to have that conversation with me, because I’€™m already there with you.’

“He really is an amazing leader, and KG and Paul [Pierce] can speak better to the kind of person, coach and leader he is.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jason Collins, Kevin Garnett
Wednesday shootaround: Kevin Garnett not paying attention to Knicks’ ‘shenanigans’ at 12:53 pm ET
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NEW YORK — No one knows trash talking like Kevin Garnett.

He also knows how to tune it out like no one else, or at least not feed into publicly.

J.R. Smith said there wouldn’€™t be a Game 5 Wednesday night in New York if he had not been suspended for Game 4, while Kenyon Martin is suggesting black formal wear at Madison Square Garden for the Celtics‘€™ funeral.

“I have not paid attention to none of the shenanigans,” Garnett said before Wednesday morning’s shootaround at Madison Square Garden.

Garnett says he knows what it will take to be successful in Game 5 — taking one possession at a time and not getting overwhelmed by New York’s tenacious defense.

“It’s not that hard, to be honest,” Garnett said of the approach. “Taking one possession at a time is something you have to be conscious of, not individually but as a group. Understanding each possession and what it means, the importance of that possession. Small things are what’s going to make this a do-or-die type of game.

“I think it’s more, not for us to [instill] doubt, but it’s important to show some type of barrier, if not willingness, in this whole game. We know we’re playing on the road and we know they play really well here. I think the important thing is not to get down, to come out with some fire and play throughout with that fire.”

Garnett appreciates some of the fire on the Celtics bench in the form of Rajon Rondo. Garnett said he’s been huge in helping Avery Bradley and Terrence Williams while being an extra pair of eyes for him and Paul Pierce in the post.

“More importantly, he’s talking to Avery, T-Will, the guys who play the point guard position, Paul and I about opportunity and being aggressive, giving the coaching staff a perspective. Doe is a very smart guy, very high IQ when it comes to a lot of different things. He’s giving his take on what he sees out there as far as where he’s at. But more importantly being a safety net for Avery right now. Avery goes through periods where it’s difficult. It’s going to happen. We’ve all been young before. Just being like a security blanket for Avery and anyone else who needs it.”

Garnett has 34 rebounds in the last two games. What has been the secret to his success?

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t really [put] thought into it, to be honest. A lot of rebounding is timing. Tyson [Chandler] and I, Kenyon and I are down there battling for the ball. It’s not one or two things that go into it, nor would I like to share, but the things that I have been doing are working for me and I’m going to stick with it.

“You don’t have a choice whether you like it or not. It’s whether you adapt or not. If you don’t adapt, you know what end you end up on, and I don’t want to end up on that end.”

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin
Celtics veterans support Jason Collins 04.30.13 at 4:23 pm ET
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Celtics veterans unanimously supported former teammate Jason Collins‘ decision to come out as the first openly gay player in major American sports in an autobiographical Sports Illustrated piece.

Collins told C’s coach Doc Rivers a few days ago and phoned Celtics captain Paul Pierce before the news broke on Monday morning. Rivers, Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green and Jason Terry all expressed genuine happiness for Collins, and their words must reinforce the erstwhile Celtics center’s decision to come forward.

Here are the Celtics speaking about Collins in their own words:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jason Collins, Jason Terry
Kevin Garnett: ‘Haven’t given any thought to next year’ at 2:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Asked if he’s allowed himself to think what might become of these Celtics if they return a healthy Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger next season, Kevin Garnett wouldn’t take the bait.

“I haven’t given any thought to next year,” he said. “I’m just trying to focus on this game coming up.”

Those injuries left the Celtics scrambling to sign the China trio of Terrence Williams, Shavlik Randolph and D.J. White in addition to trading for Jordan Crawford. As a result, the team’s inability to set a rotation entering Game 5 of their first-round series against the Knicks hasn’t come as a surprise to Garnett.

‘€œOur team was formed a little late, so we’€™ve been behind the 8-ball, if you will, as far as chemistry and just trying to make sure everything is always coming together on a consistent basis,” said KG. “That’s not easy to do, so, no, it doesn’€™t surprise me that we’€™re still in those stages.’€

Still, Garnett doesn’t make excuses. As usual, he spoke in truths prior to Tuesday’s practice.

‘€œWe have no pressure at this point,” he said. “It should be an all-out mentality, and we should play with a free mind and an aggressive mind. We’ll take this thing one game at a time and see what happens. Other than that, we put ourselves in this position. We can’t be moaning about it too much.”

Garnett is averaging 11.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and a block in 33.0 minutes in the series.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, New York Knicks
Paul Pierce: ‘I had a certain calmness’ about Game 4 04.28.13 at 9:17 pm ET
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Paul Pierce wasn’t preoccupied with “what-ifs” heading into an elimination game Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. What if the Celtics lost? Could this be the last game in a Celtics uniform for the captain who is signed through next season.

“To be honest, I was calm,” Pierce said. “I had a certain calmness about the game today,” Pierce said after scoring a team-high 29 points in a 97-90 overtime win against the Knicks that kept the season alive and sent the series back to New York for Game 5 Wednesday night.

Pierce played nine seconds shy of 50 minutes on this day that his Celtics career might have ended. He didn’t want it to end like this, on his home court, blowing a 20-point third-quarter lead and missing a trademark iso shot that would’ve won the game in regulation.

‘€œYeah you know every game is tough in the playoffs,” Pierce said. “We had a sizable lead, but we understood that they could make a run. They’€™re a good team. But you know, we gotta limit their runs. We gotta be better, especially in the third quarter. That’€™s been our Achilles heel in this series, and so hopefully we can look to improve upon that in Game 5.’€

Pride is a word that gets thrown around a lot but the Celtics showed a lot of it in the fourth quarter when the Knicks had already gotten back into the game and could sense the kill. But Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry rallied the troops.

‘€œYeah, there was a lot of pride,” Pierce said. “Us, as [leaders] of the team, we’ve got to instill it in these guys. You saw with the attitude before the game, we knew we were gonna come out with the force we did today, and it carried over into the game. And this crowd. You gotta give a hand to this crowd. They really gave us a boost. Everytime I look up there, you feel it, you see it, you hear it; there’€™s just so much pride when you look around, the banners, the crowd and everything going on with the Boston Celtics history.’€

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett: ‘It’s all out from here on out’ at 7:42 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett isn’t making any excuses for the way the Celtics played in the first three games of this series.

“We put ourselves in this 3-0 position,” said Garnett after his team’s 97-90 win over the Knicks. “That’s not where you want to be as a team, but it’s what it is. Today we fought for another day, and we’ll do the same Wednesday.”

Garnett grabbing 17 rebounds for the second straight game while adding 13 points on just seven shots and dishing out six assists, helping the C’s avoid a sweep for the first time since 2004.

“If we want to survive and continue to play, this is what it is,” said Garnett. “This is the position we put ourselves in. To continue to play, we’ve got to continue to win, so it’s all out from here on out.”

Garnett insisted their mentality never changed between Games 3 and 4. Shots started falling. That’s it.

“Instead of talking, we actually came out and did it,” he said after the C’s scored 80 points for the first time all series. “There wasn’t a lot of verbal. This is it. We were down 3-0. What else is there to say?”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, New York Knicks
Kevin Garnett: ‘I’m going to play until it’s over’ 04.27.13 at 2:05 am ET
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Not even Kevin Garnett‘s indomitable spirit could save these Celtics on Friday night.

It’s not that they didn’t want to win Game 3 against the Knicks. They desperately wanted it. Not just to avoid a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 hole in the first round of these NBA Playoffs, but to mend their city’s broken heart. To give Bostonians something to believe in. The Celtics just couldn’t will anything better than a 90-76 defeat.

“Obviously, the result is not what we wanted,” said Garnett, “but looking in the stands, seeing people drunk, having fun and high-fiving for the most part was good. It was a good two-and-a-half hour diversion if you will.”

If the C’s want anything beyond another short-lived diversion on Sunday, they need more than Garnett’s ever-beating heart, which manufactured 12 points and 17 rebounds on a tough shooting night (5-13 FG).

“I’m going to play until it’s over,” said Garnett, who contributed 35 minutes in the loss. “I’m not usually broken. It’s always been my mentality. It always probably will. That’s what it is. I’ve been to the bottom before. I know what it is. I’m a fighter at the end of the day, but it takes more than one person.”

Actually, it’ll take every person to avoid a sweep. Three Knicks again did the damage — Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith combining for 56 points — and the C’s lacked the firepower to respond. Jeff Green and Paul Pierce committed 10 turnovers, and everyone else was worse. Garnett’s guts only get them so far.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA, New York Knicks
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