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Rajon Rondo on Carmelo Anthony: ‘People just get away with anything in this league’ 01.09.13 at 7:56 pm ET
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Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has been suspended for one game without pay by the NBA for confronting Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett in the arena tunnel, near the players’ locker rooms, and in the parking garage following the Celtics at Knicks game on Jan. 7. The announcement was made Wednesday by Stu Jackson, the NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

“There are no circumstances in which it is acceptable for a player to confront an opponent after a game,” Jackson said in a statement. “Carmelo Anthony attempted to engage with Kevin Garnett multiple times after Monday’s game and therefore a suspension was warranted.”

The Celtics had different reactions to the suspension.

“I get suspended for a phone hang-up and people just get away with anything in his league,” said a tongue-in-cheek Rajon Rondo, who was suspended one-game for allegedly bumping official Rodney Mott on Saturday in Atlanta and being “unresponsive” to a league inquiry on Monday. “Oh, my goodness, so that’s the same thing huh? The rep I’ve earned, I’ll have to deal with it.”

Coach Doc Rivers had a different take on the Melo suspension.

“I don’t believe guys should ever be suspended,” Rivers said. “It’s not a surprise. [Teams] get in trouble for sitting players and then you suspend players; it’s the same thing. If you’re a fan, you’re not happy with that.”

Anthony will serve his suspension on Thursday when the Knicks play the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, New York Knicks
Videos: How Carmelo Anthony-Kevin Garnett feud unfolds during quintessential Celtics-Knicks battle 01.08.13 at 7:47 am ET
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Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony barked at each other throughout Monday night’s 102-96 Celtics victory against the rival Knicks, and for once KG didn’t appear to be the instigator. Instead, Anthony pushed and prodded Garnett every chance he got, stormed through the visiting tunnel towards the Celtics locker room after the game and eventually waited by the C’s team bus to confront his fellow All-Star.

Between the whistles, the referees did a poor job controlling the escalating feud. On the play preceding their double technicals, Garnett and Anthony exchange shoves for what seems like a lifetime directly in front of referee Violet Palmer, and as my wife said upon her first Dick Bavetta sighting, “Is he even alive?”

As Anthony’s Knicks teammate Marcus Camby said of Garnett, “He talks a lot, but that’€™s pretty much to pump himself up. He’€™s been doing that so long that it’€™s amazing how guys still succumb to it.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Reports: Carmelo Anthony confronts Kevin Garnett after game at 6:25 am ET
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According to a report on ESPNNewYork.com, Carmelo Anthony approached the Celtics locker room on Monday at Madison Square Garden moments after the Celtics 102-96 win over the Knicks. Building security and New York City police officers were called upon later as Anthony attempted to approach Kevin Garnett near the Celtics’ team bus, sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Anthony was evidently still angry after being involved in an exchange of elbow-throwing with Garnett in the fourth quarter, actions that led to technical fouls for both players. After the game, Anthony walked off the floor and out of the tunnel that visiting teams use, instead of exiting out of the Knicks’ tunnel. A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Anthony approached the Celtics’ locker room and was screaming, though it wasn’t known if the screaming was directed at Garnett.

A video at CSNNE.com shows Anthony waiting for Garnett near the Celtics’ team bus. A shouting match between the two reportedly ensued, with Knicks coach Mike Woodson coming to the scene to take Anthony away.

Anthony refused to speak to the media after the game, and Garnett downplayed the incident.

“Listen, heat of the battle, man. Guys go back and forth. He’s trying to get his team to go, I’m trying to get my team to go, both teams are colliding, not to mention that it’s the Knicks and the Celtics,” Garnett said. “Just what it is, man.”

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett,
Kevin Garnett: ‘This game was not some sort of foreplay’ 01.05.13 at 10:09 am ET
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Kevin Garnett has a way with words unlike any other Celtic. He knows what to say and when to say it, especially to his teammates.

That showed Friday night after the Celtics disposed of the Pacers, 94-75, at TD Garden, a game in which he was ejected for a shot to the face of Tyler Hansbrough with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

‘€œI was firm, I didn’€™t mean to get him in the face like that, I was actually trying to swipe the ball but it was a physical game and they called it the way it was, part of the game,” Garnett said of the “flagrant-2” foul that earned him the rest of the night off.

Garnett and Doc Rivers have been pleading with the Celtics to stay true to the defensive principles that have been the cornerstone of the Celtics for the past five seasons. Friday night, Garnett had plenty of help on defense from Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce.

Was this type of ugly game, one that featured 107 missed shots, the kind of game that the Celtics need to play to get themselves out of the funk they’ve been in?

‘€œThis game was not some type of foreplay,” Garnett said. “I thought we came out firm and aggressive on both ends, but more importantly defensively. I thought we stayed sound for 48 minutes no matter who was in. Avery made a very very big impact on the game, I thought Paul’s defense was very energetic, and we followed those guys lead. You could tell from how we came into the locker room that we really needed this win.

‘€œYou know, since we’€™ve been in this funk, Doc’€™s been saying that through out this tough ordeal that we have to continue to play defense no matter what we’€™re doing. Offense cannot dictate defense. I feel like for the most part we did just that. Some nights you click, some nights you don’€™t, and tonight we just knew we needed to win to stop the bleeding and I feel like we went out and did it.’€

The message to Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jeff Green?

‘€œThere’€™s no perfect answer to this, there’€™s no perfect situations,” Garnett said. “Everyone has to accept their roles wholeheartedly and embrace it, and tonight I think we did. Being consistent with those roles is what we want to be, if we want to be anything of a good team, everyone is going to have to fill those roles. It was just a full team effort from a defensive standpoint.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Tyler Hansbrough: Kevin Garnett ‘just hit me in my face’ at 12:20 am ET
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On the Celtics PR staff’s quote sheets, the first sentence in Kevin Garnett‘s post-ejection press conference reads: “This game was not about foreplay.” There’s a chance he said “floor plan,” but foreplay seems more appropriate.

After being pushed around in four embarrassing blowout losses, the C’s finally fought back. Maybe a little too hard, as Garnett decked Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough across the face midway through the fourth quarter of a lopsided victory of their own, earning a flagrant-2 foul and an early trip to the massage table.

“He just hit me in my face,” said Hansbrough, who scored a game-high 19 points. “I went to the basket and took a blow to the head. I didn’€™t really see the replay. I’€™ve got nothing to say about it. It is what it is.”

“I was firm,” countered KG (18 points, 7 rebounds). “I didn’t mean to get him in the face like that. I was actually trying to swipe the ball, but it was a physical game, and they called it that way. It was part of the game.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Kevin Garnett, Celtics lay smackdown on Pacers 01.04.13 at 9:53 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett was ejected after a flagrant-2 foul on Tyler Hansbrough, and unless you came to watch him dance during Gino Time, it didn’t even matter. The Celtics ended a four-game losing streak with a resounding 94-75 victory against the Pacers.

Combined with the Thunder’s blowout of the 76ers, the Celtics (15-17) leapfrogged Philadelphia (15-19) into the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Garnett totaled 18 points and seven rebounds before his ejection.

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo combined for a triple-double (31 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds) while Courtney Lee (13 points) and Jared Sullinger (10 rebounds) showed positive signs. Here’s what else happened.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, Indiana Pacers, Kevin Garnett
Doc Rivers wants to give Brandon Bass a little confidence while staying ‘as big as possible’ at 9:14 pm ET
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Celtics head coach Doc Rivers announced before Friday’s game with the Pacers that he was inserting forward Brandon Bass back in the starting lineup, taking the place of Jason Collins.

“We want to stay as big as possible, what we didn’€™t like with Jason in the [starting] lineup was — now we’€™re going to play him every night — and when he and Kevin were off the floor, we got small quickly,” Rivers explained. “This way we can keep a big on the floor at all times.

“We could have done it the other night, but that was Avery’€™s first night. That is the group that helped us. But having Jason [play every night] will help Kevin, because he still won’t have to play ‘5’ the entire time. I just think the season’€™s too long now for Kevin to do that.”

The Celtics are also hoping the move will motivate Bass, who is averaging just 8.1 points and 5.3 rebounds a game.

“That’€™s what we’€™re hoping,” Rivers added. “You don’€™t do it just for the group, you do it for the individual at times,” said Rivers. “Brandon’€™s played better when he’€™s playing with Kevin, though everyone has for that matter. I think clearly Brandon has. And that’€™s one of the reasons we are doing it.”

The lineup of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Bass, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce marks the ninth different lineup Rivers has used in the first 32 games of the season. That lineup debuted on March 25, 2012 after Mickael Pietrus suffered a concussion in Philadelphia and two games after Ray Allen was sent to the bench. With that lineup, the Celtics went 11-3 down the stretch to help the Celtics win the Atlantic Division title for a fifth straight season.

Collins had started the previous seven games for the Celtics since being inserted in the lineup for Bass on Dec. 21 against the Cavaliers to take the load off Kevin Garnett in the low post.

Bass has strugged in his role off the bench, both offensively and defensively, and Rivers made the decision Friday to boost Bass’ game by putting him on the floor more with Garnett.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brandon Bass, Jason Collins, Kevin Garnett
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