|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.
|Garnett suspended for Game 2||at 7:50 pm ET|
Garnett was involved in an altercation with Miami’s Quentin Richardson near the Heat bench with 40 seconds remaining in Game 1 when he threw an elbow at Richardson’s jaw. Garnett received two technical fouls and was ejected. Richardson was also fined $25,000 by the league.
After the game, Richardson sounded off on Garnett and Paul Pierce, saying, “I don’t like them and they know it.” Richardson and Pierce have a history of bad blood.
On Sunday, Garnett called Richardson’s comments, “classless,” and said he had no regrets for how he handled the incident.
|Rivers: No comment on Noah’s rip of KG||at 4:06 pm ET|
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.
|A look back: Celtics vs. Heat||04.15.10 at 11:15 pm ET|
The Celtics and Heat will square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Saturday. The teams faced each other three times this season, with the Celtics sweeping the regular-season series. See how the Celtics got a 3-0 edge over the Heat heading into the postseason:
CELTICS 92, HEAT 85
Nov. 29, 2009, at Miami
How the Celtics won: Led by 24 points (11-12 FG) from Kevin Garnett, the Celtics starters led a balanced attack in this win over the Heat. Rajon Rondo (13 points, 11 assists) and Kendrick Perkins (14 points, 13 rebounds) recorded double-doubles; Paul Pierce added 15 points; and Ray Allen scored 11, including a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. The C’s shut the Heat down from behind the arc (2-for-15). Michael Beasley was the only player to knock down a trey.
Wade watch: Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 27 points. He attempted 23 field goals, the same number as Garnett and Pierce combined. The Heat were also a team-low -14 with Wade on the court.
Key stat: Assists ‘ Celtics 21, Heat 12
After the game: Celtics 13-4, Heat 9-7
The Three-Pointer: Garnett enjoys a run of near perfection
|Garnett sits against Bucks||04.10.10 at 7:55 pm ET|
Rivers has maintained that rest is more important for his veteran team than getting the third seed in the playoffs and with this being the second game of a back-to-back and the fourth game in five days for the Celtics, it’s a good time to get Garnett some rest.
Garnett had played in 39 straight games since missing 10 games in late December and early January. Despite coming off knee surgery in the offseason and suffering a handful of injuries during the season, Garnett has played in 68 of the team’s 79 games.
The Celtics play the Bucks twice in their last three games (they also host Milwaukee in the regular-season finale, Wednesday) and could possibly meet Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.
|KG: ‘It doesn’t help when the crowd boos’||04.09.10 at 11:54 pm ET|
“It’s just hard, especially when we get to the end of the first quarter and we are down, 30-17, and everybody starts to hit – not the panic button – but tries to pick it up in different ways and when it doesn’t come together or you miss some shots, and it doesn’t help when the crowd boos and all these other things then you have to grow tighter together,” Garnett said. “It’s not easy. We know this journey and duration in which we are traveling is not going to be an easy one, and tonight was a difficult one. I wouldn’t say we hang our heads but every individual is trying to figure out what to do and what they can do individually to try to pick it up.’
The Celtics heard it from the TD Garden crowd as the Celtics fell behind by 28 in the second quarter.
“Well, I mean we are at home, we look for our fans to give energy, to give us a spark when the times are tough,” Garnett said. “It doesn’t help when the boos happen but we are a group of veterans and we are a group that is a real team. We aren’t fair weather.”
|KG on his fine: ‘I could care less’||04.03.10 at 12:26 am ET|
Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his comments about Kevin Durant after the Celtics lost to the Thunder Wednesday. Garnett rather memorably said, “I thought we were playing Michael [Bleeping] Jordan with the way he was getting the whistles.”
Durant shot 15 free throws in the game, while the Celtics shot 17 as a team.
Garnett found about the fine before Friday night’s game with the Rockets from an unlikely source: Rasheed Wallace. Or maybe it wasn’t so unlikely considering how often he has been fined himself.
“To be honest I didn’t even know I got fined until Rasheed told me a couple of minutes before we hit the floor,” Garnett said. “I could care less.”