|C’s expect hostile environment||04.21.10 at 4:44 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Take a team that is playing for its playoff lives, add in a 29-point loss that their coach called “embarrassing,” sprinkle in some existing bad blood and the Celtics know that they will be walking into a frenzied arena Friday night for Game 3.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Doc Rivers said. “I told them that. Guys, at the end of the day all we’ve done is win two home games and Miami has yet to play a home game. That’s how they’re thinking for sure. Whether we won last by one, or whatever we won by, Game 3 is going to tough and we understand that.”
Kevin Garnett noted that when he traveled to Miami for the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006 to watch Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace play with the Pistons that the crowd was a factor.
“Just anticipating it being very hostile,” Garnett said. “Watching Chauncey and Rasheed play them, how hostile and how crazy that town can get when they’re behind their team. It’s what we’re anticipating.”
The Celtics were a very good road team this past season. They were tied with Cleveland for the best road record in the Eastern Conference at 26-15 and were one game behind Dallas’ league-best mark. They beat Cleveland, Orlando, the Lakers, San Antonio and Dallas all on the road, but that was the regular season.
“It’s great to know that you can win on the road, but again, Miami could care less about our regular season the road,” Rivers said. “And we could care less about it. We have to come ready to play. The playoffs are a different beast.”
“Regular season is regular season,” Garnett added. “I never mix the two, to be honest.”
Instead the Celtics said they take their lessons from past playoff experiences and specifically from their seven-game series with Atlanta two seasons ago. Read the rest of this entry »
|KG on being the villain: I could care less||at 3:59 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett knows that on Friday night in Miami he will be the the target of fans ire, and he said that he doesn’t really care.
“I don’t expect any of us to get any cheers down there and I’m no different from that,” Garnett said after the Celtics held a short practice Wednesday. “I’m not saying I’m the villain or the hero. I could care less. I’ve played on the road before. Hell I played in San Antonio and I know they hate me there for whatever reasons. So this should be no different. I could care less.”
Garnett, of course, was suspended for Game 2 after throwing an elbow at Miami’s Quentin Richardson late in the series opener. He watched the game at Danny Ainge’s house and praised Glen Davis for his energy. There’s a line between energy and being out of control and it’s one that Garnett straddles at times.
“I don’t know if Kevin can get more fired up for a game, that’s just who he is,” Doc Rivers said. “We want him to stay that way. It’s important for him to play with that edge. I think he’ll come out being the villain because I think he enjoys that anyway.”
|Paul Pierce/Glen Davis press conference||at 3:26 am ET|
Paul Pierce and Glen Davis spoke to the media following the Celtics’ 106-77 win over the Miami Heat. Davis, the self-proclaimed “Ticket Stub,” started in place for a suspended Kevin Garnett and had 23 points and eight rebounds. The win gave the Celtics a 2-0 lead in their opening-round playoff series.
|Doc Rivers press conference||at 3:18 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke to the media after the Celtics took a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics beat the Heat 106-77 at TD Garden without star forward Kevin Garnett.
|Richardson won’t focus on crowd reaction||04.20.10 at 7:57 pm ET|
Quentin Richardson isn’t fooling himself — he doesn’t expect a warm response from the Garden crowd.
Prior to Game 2 between the Celtics and Heat, Richardson admitted he anticipates a backlash from the Celtics fans for his involvement in Saturday’s altercation with Kevin Garnett, which resulted in Garnett’s suspension.
“Probably so,” he said, adding, “No for me, I’m going out and playing basketball, playing to help my team win. Everything else will be outside the lines. When I’m inside the lines playing basketball, that’ll be what I’m focused on.”
The Heat will be focused on a new-look Celtics without Garnett in the lineup. Even though Garnett’s absence leaves a void on the Celtics, the replacement of Glen Davis has its benefits.
“It obviously changes a lot but with them probably going with Big Baby in the starting lineup, you get a younger, healthier guy,” Richardson said. “So I don’t know. It definitely changes because [Garnett's] a huge part of their team, he’s an emotional leader, and at the same time he’s still Kevin Garnett. It obviously changes but they have a couple capable guys filling in in Rasheed (Wallace) and Davis.”
Regardless of whether Garnett or Davis are on the court for the Celtics, the Heat’s objective does not change. They look to accomplish their original goal of taking at least one game in Boston before heading home for Games 3 and 4.
“It’s just important for us to win tonight just to even up the series,” he said. “We want to go back to Miami 1-1 feeling good about ourselves and knowing that we’ve got two games on our home floor coming up.”
|Doc: Suspend the ‘agitator’ too||04.19.10 at 4:56 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Doc Rivers said he understood the NBA’s decision to suspend Kevin Garnett for Game 2 of the Celtics playoff series with Miami, but he also offered another solution: suspend the agitator, in this case Miami’s Quentin Richardson.
Garnett was suspended for throwing an elbow at Richardson late in Game 1 after Paul Pierce went down to the ground near Miami’s bench. After the game Garnett said, “Q was talking nonsense.” Richardson didn’t back down after the game either, saying, in effect, that Pierce was faking an injury and that both Pierce and Garnett were “actresses.”
Pierce and Richardson have had dust-ups before although no one seems to know what’s at the root cause of their dispute.
“We all kind of knew [Garnett would be suspended],” Rivers said after practice Monday. “The only statement I’ll make on the whole thing is I accept Kevin being suspended. I think if you’re going to go to the letter of law you kind of knew how it was going to go, but I think if you really want to stop fights, you’ve got to suspend the agitators too. Right now the agitator gets fined and the retaliator gets suspended in all these instances. Until they stop the agitator and suspend them both you’re going to continue to have these things. It only benefits the agitator. I think this stuff in the playoffs will continue to happen until the league says, you know what, we’re going to suspend both of you. If we are really trying to clean up this stuff, I think that’s the right way to do it.”
For his part Garnett said he accepted the decision, but that he wanted it to be known that he support his teammates.
“Obviously I want all this to be over with, but the message here whoever it is, my teammates, Doc Rivers, anyone in this organization, I want them to know that I got their backs,” Garnett said. “That’s what [the NBA] had to do to set a tone and I respect that.”
Asked about Richardson’s role as an agitator, Garnett said, “You know how that goes, the person who instigates something is not the one that usually gets the penalty, but it’s over.”
Rivers defended Garnett’s actions, saying it was an emotional moment.
“It’s easy for me in a suit and tie to say walk away,” Rivers said. “It’s an emotional game. It’s 47 minutes into the game, you’re exhausted, you’re emotional, your best player [Paul Pierce] is lying on the floor, hurt you think, and then all this stuff happens. Whether Q said it, it doesn’t matter, it is emotional. You can remind them a thousand times, you really can. Having said that if you’re in scrum and somebody’s grabbing you to say just walk away, it’s tough to do. We have to move on.”
“It’s hard,” Rivers continued, “because you don’t want to lose Kevin Garnett, period. He is our most important player. But he’s not going to be there and there’s nothing I can do about it now. In Q’s defense, I don’t think he wanted it to happen. It happens.”
Garnett can’t be in the Garden for Game 2 and he said he would probably be at Danny Ainge’s house.
“Very difficult,” Garnett said. “Danny Ainge is planning on having me over his house to watch the game. It will be an experience. Danny talks through the whole damn game.”
Garnett also had one last dig at Chicago’s Joakim Noah, who called Garnett a “dirty player.”
“Tell Joakim Noah to keep it in Cleveland and worry about Shaq,” Garnett said as he was leaving the practice court.
|Time to call on Big Baby||04.18.10 at 8:06 pm ET|
Now that the NBA has decided to suspend Kevin Garnett for Game 2 of the Celtics series with the Heat, Doc Rivers has a decision to make. If form holds from this season, Rasheed Wallace will get the call to start for Garnett.
Wallace has started every game that Garnett has missed due to injury or coach-ordered rest, but now is not the time to play it safe. Rivers should start Glen Davis instead.
Davis overcame a shaky first half in Game 1 to put together a solid eight point, eight rebound effort with almost all of that production coming in a decisive second-half Celtic run. Wallace didn’t play poorly, but Davis was a difference-maker. Starting Davis would be a reward for his inspired play and also better utilize Wallace’s versatility to play both the four and five spots.
Davis filled in admirably for Garnett during last year’s playoff run, and might be a better match up for Miami’s Michael Beasley, a young, athletic forward. Additionally Shelden Williams, who has played well when given an opportunity, should also see some playing time.
The Celtics managed to win Game 1 despite playing uninspired basketball for 30 minutes Saturday night. It wasn’t until Tony Allen and Davis came in off the bench that the momentum changed as the Celtics erased a 14-point deficit.
“Tony and Baby changed the game defensively for us,” Rivers said after the game. “Baby came in and was sensational and I thought Tony was great.”
Rivers has already gone against the grain once in this series. Midway through the fourth quarter when he brought Paul Pierce back into the game, he had Pierce replace Ray Allen and elected to let Tony Allen stay on the court. Rivers would do well to continue rewarding the players who play with energy in this series by starting Davis in Game 2.