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Just ‘ridiculous’… 11.18.08 at 5:54 pm ET
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Celtics head coach Doc Rivers didn’t hold back when asked about the suspension that will leave him without his starting power forward Kevin Garnett against the New York Knicks.

“I was just surprised. I thought it was a ridiculous suspension, I really did,” Doc said. “Anybody who’s been around the game long enough, whether you’ve played it or not, you’ve got your head sideways and someone strikes you not once but twice, your reaction… your reflex is to flail. And I guess that constitutes a punch. Clearly, he’s not a good fighter if that’s the case if that’s a punch.

“It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. We have to play tonight so we have to move forward.”

Garnett’s one-game sit-out for his flailing against Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut will cost him $200,000.

Rivers then drew a comparison to the flagrant foul Shaquille O’Neal committed on Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey, which drew a $50,000 fine but no suspension.

“I just want more consistency from our league. I think they have to look at things differently,” Rivers said. “I just looked at the Shaq thing, and I hate to call out Shaq, but that was a hard foul, where a guy was suspended in the air and comes down on his face and he gets $50,000 and Kevin gets $200,000 and misses a game. Those two things don’t go together and we have to pay the price.”

Brian Scalabrine got his first start of the season, taking Garnett’s place in the lineup.

“You don’t replace Kevin Garnett. Everyone just has to pitch in and do a little bit more,” Rivers said.

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Pregame: Scal to Start against Knicks at 5:12 pm ET
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Brian Scalabrine will get the start on Tuesday night against the New York Knicks in place of the suspended Kevin Garnett. Doc Rivers went with Scal to keep in second unit in tact. This will be just the 51st start of Scal’s eight-year career and 28th with the Celtics.

Garnett’s suspension was the hot topic before the game for both teams. Rivers cited Shaquille O’Neal’s recent fine in comparison to Garnett’s punishment. “I was just surprised. I’m not going to get into this long because I thought it was a ridiculous suspension. I really did,” he said. Rivers also pointed out that KG isn’t even allowed in the building tonight.

Inside the Celtics locker room Garnett’s teammates were cautious when giving their opinion of the ruling.

“Ya’ll want me to say something bad, huh?” Kendrick Perkins said with a smile before adding, “I don’t know, it’s kind of crazy. But you know it’s something we’ve got to deal with. I think he’s handling it well but what can we do about it?”

Said Leon Powe,  “Well I can’t really say but, you know, I wouldn’t have suspended him for that. But it’s the league and there are rules so whatever they decide, we’ve got to roll with. So now we’ve got to go out there with KG but we’ve got to still be a team and we’ve still got to go out there and fight and play together.”

As for the Knicks, they are looking to take advantage of the defensive void on the Celtics. “KG is pretty much the anchor defensively,” said Jamal Crawford. “He really gets after it defensively but they’re still a good defensive team without KG. But with him, he just takes them to a different level. It’ll be a lot of similar things that we were going to do before but you make minor adjustments.”

Paul and I will be bringing out the latest live from the TD BankNorth Garden, so tune in during the game for all the most up-to-date information.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Jamal Crawford, Kendrick Perkins
Celtics Know How to Beat Knicks without Garnett 11.17.08 at 7:11 pm ET
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On Tuesday night the Boston Celtics will take on the New York Knicks without Kevin Garnett as he serves a one-game suspension for his conduct on Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Garnett was penalized without pay for striking Andrew Bogut in the face in the fourth quarter of the Celtics 102-97 overtime win. Bogut’s foul on Garnett was also upgraded to a Flagrant Foul Penalty One on Monday.

This isn’t the first time the team has been without KG since acquiring him nearly 16 months ago. Last season Garnett sat out nine games with an abdominal strain that he suffered on a game-saving play against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Celtics went 7-2 during that stretch.

This isn’t the first time the team will take on the Knicks without KG either. Last February 13 the Celtics defeated them 111-103 at Madison Square Garden.

So how did the Celtics get it done without Garnett?

(I know, I know, beating the Knicks isn’t earth shattering but the Celtics still have to make adjustments.)

That night Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 45 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. The duo hit 17-of-18 from the free throw line (Allen missed one). Rajon Rondo also shot 64% from the field to score 18 points. Garnett wasn’t the only starter out of the lineup that night. Kendrick Perkins was sidelined as well, so Leon Powe and Brian Scalabrine got the starts in their place. Powe chipped in 18 points while Scal lasted just under three minutes before James Posey took over.

On the defensive end, they limited the Knicks to 29% three-point shooting and held them to 20 assists (the Celtics dished 29). The Cs also blocked six shots to the Knicks zero.

The Celtics turned to their bench to get it done last time and Tuesday night will be no different.

Read More: Andrew Bogut, Brian Scalabrine, Celtics, James Posey
Sounds of the game… Nuggets 94, Celtics 85 11.15.08 at 2:49 pm ET
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Call it fatigue. Call it sluggishness, or being outplayed or a combination all three. But the Denver Nuggets showed the Celtics Friday night that they are human on their home court. They hadn’t lost at home in the regular season since last March 26 to Philadelphia, a string of 11 straight wins on the parquet. But that changed when the Nuggets closed the game with a 10-1 run. Now the focus is on the Bucks in Milwaukee, where the Celtics are right now, trying to make sure one bad night doesn’t turn into two.

Denver coach George Karl said his team played with the eye of the tiger.

Chauncey Billups said the Nuggets didn’t panic when the Celtics when they made their runs or made big plays like when Kevin Garnett slammed one home to tie the game at 82-82 with three minutes left.

Ray Allen, who scored 18 of his game-high 26 in the first quarter, said the Green has to do a better job with the little details to make sure losses like Friday don’t happen again.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics were just a step slow.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers really doesn’t want to use fatigue as an excuse.

Rivers said falling behind finally burned Celtics.

Read More: Bucks, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Sounds of the game… Celtics 103, Hawks 102 11.13.08 at 7:09 am ET
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Let’s hope that Wednesday night was just the beginning… the beginning of what could be the best rivalry this year in the Eastern Conference. Anyone attending the Cs encounter with the Atlanta Hawks could tell almost immediately that these Hawks, who nearly dashed the Celtics‘ hopes last spring in the first round, are no fluke. And those same Celtics fans who were shocked when Marvin Williams hit a three-pointer with 7.4 seconds were were overjoyed when Paul Pierce’s rainbow fell through with half a second to go, handing Atlanta their first loss in seven games and improving Boston to 8-1.

Paul Pierce describes the winning shot.

Pierce said Atlanta is certainly legit.

Kevin Garnett said make way for Superman on the last play.

Doc Rivers said he kidded with Pierce about the actual execution of the final play.

Rivers said it was a great win.

Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said you have to give it up for Pierce and the Celtics.

Woodson said the Celtics have helped his team grow up a lot.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Playoffs? Is it the playoffs? 11.12.08 at 5:53 pm ET
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Did you hear that?

It’s the boos resonating from the crowd on Mike Bibby’s first possession.

There was a postseason atmosphere before tip-off which was only heightened by Kevin Garnett’s encouragement of the crowd. Only this time, the Hawks have come out swinging first. Joe Johnson is still out to beat the Celtics on the offensive end and is leading his team to an early lead.

Doc Rivers called a timeout down 17-11 with six minutes to go in the first quarter. Yes, another first quarter deficit. This is becoming the norm for the Cs, echoing Rivers comments of inconsistency from the starting five.

So far Monday’s hero Paul Pierce is scoreless. Let’s see if the Celtics can get it going …

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Joe Johnson
Celtics Starting Lineup Named to All-Star Ballot 11.11.08 at 1:24 pm ET
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All five members of the Boston Celtics starting lineup will be named to the 2009 All-Star ballot today, presented by T-Mobile. The ballot will be unveiled today during a special kick-off ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins are all up for spots on the Eastern Conference team. The Big Three participated in last year’s game (Allen was a replacement for Caron Butler) while Rondo and Perkins have never been named to the team.

The All-Star Game will be held February 15 at the US Airways Center. Voting will begin on Thursday, November 13 and run through mid-January. This season fans will be able to cast their votes in every NBA arena, online at NBA.com in several different languages, and via cell phone.

Read More: Big Three, Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett
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