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Irish Coffee: Harshing Celtics playoff buzz 04.14.11 at 12:17 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

If you don’t want your Celtics playoff buzz harshed, you might want to avoid The Wall Street Journal this week. First, Scott Cacciola wrote a Tony Allen feature, entitled, “The Most Unlikely Impact Player.” Then, WSJ reported that should Shaquille O’Neal start on Sunday the Celtics will be the sixth-oldest NBA Playoff team since 1992, and among the 20 oldest playoff squads in that span only Michael Jordan‘s 1998 Bulls took home championship rings.  And then came this interview with TNT NBA analyst Steve Kerr:

“It seems to me that ever since the [Kendrick] Perkins trade, they’ve lost their soul,” Kerr said. “They’ve lost their identity and I think that team was really affected emotionally by that trade. And even though they played well early in the season without him when he was injured, I think knowing that Perkins would be back along with having Shaq playing pretty well at the time, I think that was a comforting time for them.

“Now that he’s gone, especially with the way that they’ve built that team the last couple of years and sustained their confidence through Doc [Rivers]‘ comments that we’re undefeated when we’re fully healthy, the celebrated Ubuntu philosophy, it’s like they sort of threw that out the window and I don’t see the belief in their eyes right now. …

“I don’t think there’s anyone in the East that scares the daylights out of Boston. But with that said, they’re going to have to recapture the old glory, the old spirit somehow in the next couple of weeks and I haven’t seen anything to indicate that that’s going to happen,” Kerr said. “I was convinced that Boston was the best most of the season, but that’s kind of thrown out the window now for me.”

As if on cue, the trailer for the final episode of “The Association: Boston Celtics” dropped, and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo opened up about the Perkins trade like never before:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O'Neal
Glen Davis: ‘We’re going to fight’ with the Knicks at 12:13 am ET
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Glen Davis was all smiles after scoring 17 points in 27 minutes of Wednesday night’s season-ending laugher over the team they’ll be seeing in four days.

But when these two teams meet against Sunday night, Davis is fully aware of how much different the atmosphere will be.

“A brawl,” Davis said. “We’re going to fight, especially here [in Boston]. We’re going to go there. Knicks-Boston rivalry, it’s going to be crazy. This is the series to watch. They’re going to be watching our series.”

Davis also said that immediately following the 112-102 win Wednesday that gave the Celtics a 56-26 mark for the season, he sat at his locker and thought back to Game 7 of the NBA finals last June when the Celtics came within six minutes of an 18th NBA title before running out of gas against the Lakers.

“I’m excited man,” Davis said. “The regular season is over with. Now it’s time for the postseason. This is what it’s all about. I was just sitting here thinking, ‘Wow, Game 7 I felt like was just yesterday.’ Now, we’re back [in playoffs again. I’m starting my campaign for champagne, trying to get No. 18.”

In playing 40 minutes Monday and 27 minutes Wednesday, Davis said he is in playoff shape and ready to come off the bench and contribute during the playoff run.

“I feel good. I just feel good going into the playoffs,” Davis said. “Everybody is getting healthy. We’re going to have some hard practices and do what we have to do to get ready because I know New York is going to be ready.”

The Celtics playoff run of the last four seasons has coincided with the career of Glen Davis. And every year, Davis has raised his game significantly during the postseason. Davis and Rivers expect the same again this year. More to the point, they NEED Davis to raise his game this year.

“I’€™m not shooting the ball as much even though I am kind of open,” Davis said. “I’€™m making the second pass, getting some movement into the games. I’€™m trying to hold my picks, things like that.

“Just the fact that you are making your own footprint in history. People don’€™t see that, I see that a lot. Playing for a team like the Celtics and going out there to do something great. I’€™ll be sitting out, fat on a farm, turn on NBA TV and look at myself 30 years ago and be like ‘€˜Golly, that was exiting.’ I think that’€™s what it’€™s about. Here in Boston, you try and win more than one championship. You win one and it’€™s OK, you win two you’€™ll be a hero here. There’€™s something about the postseason that I love man. You’€™ve got to bring you’€™re a game. It’€™s time to bring you’€™re ‘A’ game.’€

Read More: 2011 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, NBA playoffs
Celtics-Knicks appointment viewing 04.13.11 at 10:15 pm ET
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The NBA announced the rest of the schedule for the Celtics-Knicks first round playoff series. Games 5, 6 and 7 are if necessary and some times are still to be determined (TBD).

Game 1: Sunday At Boston, 7 p.m. TNT

Game 2: Tuesday at Boston, 7 p.m. TNT

Game 3: Friday at New York, TBD ESPN

Game 4: Sunday at New York, 3:30 p.m. ABC

Game 5: Tuesday April 26 at Boston, TBD TBD

Game 6: Friday, April 29 at New York, TBD TBD

Game 7: Sunday, May 1 at Boston, TBD TBD

Here is the rest of the Eastern Conference schedule, as released by the NBA on Wednesday night:

Chicago vs. Indiana

Game 1 – Sat April 16 Indiana at Chicago 12:00PM 1:00PM
ESPN/ESPN3D
Game 2 – Mon April 18 Indiana at Chicago 8:30PM 9:30PM TNT
Game 3 – Thu April 21 Chicago at Indiana TBD TBD NBA TV
Game 4 – Sat April 23 Chicago at Indiana TBD TBD TNT
Game 5 * Tue April 26 Indiana at Chicago TBD TBD TBD
Game 6 * Thu April 28 Chicago at Indiana TBD TBD TBD
Game 7 * Sat April 30 Indiana at Chicago TBD TBD TNT
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Read More: 2011 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA playoff schedule
Irish Coffee: Mr. Big Talk (a.k.a. Chauncey Billups) at 10:41 am ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The New York papers have already rolled out their NBA playoff coverage of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Celtics, and while nobody has pulled an Antonio Cromartie and claimed they hate Kevin Garnett, the confidence in New York is oddly high for a team that has an 0-3 record against its Atlantic Division rival.

Maybe it’s because they believe the Celtics coaching staff preferred a first-round matchup against the 76ers, as a New York Post source indicated.

Maybe it’s because Bobcats coach Paul Silas — a two-time NBA champion with the Celtics in the 1970s — told the New York Daily News, “It’s not just that [the Celtics] don’t have the defense or the rebounding at the center position that they once did, which could be a very difficult problem for them. But I wonder about the mindset of their guys. They thought they should have kept [Kendrick] Perkins. They still believe that. I’m not sure that they have the right mindset now to deal with that. As players, you’ve got to let that go.”

Wherever the confidence stems from, it’s there. Just listen to Chauncey Billups:

“We are probably, most certainly, the most dangerous first-round team in the NBA. When I say that it’s because we are new, and we are dangerous. We’ve got a lot of weapons. We can move the scoreboard. I think our defense is a lot better. We’re going to be a tough out, man.”

That confidence is tempered a bit by their president and their coach (via the New York Post):

  • Knicks president Donnie Walsh: “We’re two of the longest-tenured franchises, but those rivalries are engendered by the teams playing right now. There was one rivalry way back. But the rivalry will have to come in the playoffs. For us, we have to beat them. We have to beat them once to be considered that.”
  • Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni: “They’re veterans and they’re champions. That’s the biggest concern. Their mentality is probably better than anybody’s.”

And then there’s two former Celtics — one in New York and one with the Bulls — sound more confident in the third-seeded Celtics than the No. 6 Knicks:

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Chauncey Billups, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett
Irish Coffee: Celtics make statement(s) in New York 03.22.11 at 2:15 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

Make no mistake that Monday night’s Celtics victory against the Knicks was a statement by Doc Rivers & Co. that a) any discussion of a Celtics-Knicks rivalry still ends in a hammer-nail declaration, b) they care about the No. 1 seed more than people think, c) the Eastern Conference crown still belongs in Boston and d) Kendrick Perkins wasn’t the only tough guy in Green. The Associated Press pictures tell the whole story, so let’s let them (NOTE: click on the pictures in the rest of this entry to follow the links) …

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Irish Coffee: Top 5 reasons not to fear Knicks 02.22.11 at 2:59 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

As details of the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks from the Nuggets in a deal that involved 15 current and future NBA players leaked to the media, the man who led Syracuse University to the 2003 NCAA title as an 18-year-old appeared on TV in a pre-recorded interview with Conan O’Brien and stated that he’d indeed like to stay in Denver.

Whether Anthony’s answer was sincere makes little difference. The real question is this: Should the Knicks still want the NBA’s third-best small forward in a Nuggets uniform? Considering he likely would’ve joined New York this summer for less dollars anyway — and the Knicks wouldn’t have had to part with three of their best five players — the answer to that question in the long-term is Absolutely.

Here are the details of the Carmelo Anthony trade from the Knicks perspective …

Either way, the deal is done. So, that leaves another question: Should the Celtics, Heat or Bulls fear the Knicks at any point in the next four years? Here are the top five reasons they shouldn’t …

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets, NBA, New York Knicks
Spike Lee: Kevin Garnett needs to ‘calm the f#%$ down’ 02.07.11 at 5:29 pm ET
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If Kevin Garnett didn’t already have March 21 circled on his calendar, you can bet he will very soon.

Because that’s when the Celtics next visit the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, where director and noted Knicks fan Spike Lee will no doubt be sitting in the front row.

In an interview with ESPN.com, Spike Lee claimed Garnett cursed him out “for no reason” and suggested the All-Star Celtics forward should “calm the f#%$ down” …

“When I go to the games, it’s to have fun. I’m respectful. If I say a player missed a shot, that’s not talking about your mother, your family; it’s all good nature. The players enjoy talking to me and I enjoy talking to them. 

“But this last time against Boston — you know that game where they disallowed [Amare] Stoudemire‘€™s 3? – Kevin Garnett lost it. He was cursing me out for no reason. Maybe because Stoudemire gave him 39 points, but take that vulgarity to Stoudemire. I’m not holding you, and I did not even say s#!@ to Garnett the whole game. That really surprised me. He lost it. He was cursing at me the whole game. He needs to calm the f#%$ down.”

And Lee didn’t stop there. Here’s the rest of his exchange with blogger Jared Zwerling:

  • JZ: “Well, you know what? It came back to bite him in the butt, because STAT [Stoudemire] is starting for the East in the All-Star Game, and KG is not.”
  • SL: “Next time they come is on March 21. So, look, I don’t like the Celtics, but I respect Doc [Rivers]. Doc’s a good friend. You know I love Ray Allen. I hate the Celtics, but look, they’ve got good guys on that team. I’ve got friends on that team. Nate [Robinson]‘€™s on the team. But Garnett needs to calm the f#%$ down. There’s no reason he should be cursing at me the way he did the last game. So you can put that in the article. It was disrespectful and I would never do nothing like that to him.”
  • JZ: “That’s crazy. Garnett has definitely had his share of temper tantrums — no question about that.”
  • SL: “I’m not even playing, and I didn’t say nothing to him the whole game anyway. So, if you’re mad, start cursing out STAT, Stoudemire. But you’re not going to do that s#!@ because Stoudemire’€™s not going to take it. So he cursed at me and I’€™m 5-foot-6 ½, 150 pounds. What he was saying was worse than Reggie Miller. It was uncalled for.”
  • JZ: “We’ll all be ready for that next game.”
  • SL: “I’m going to get him that time.”

So, to summarize Lee’s conversation: 1) he sat angelically on the sideline as Garnett unleashed an unprovoked verbal assault on him; 2) there’s no reason to use vulgarity, but Garnett should calm the f#%$ down; and 3) Garnett should turn his trash talk to Stoudemire, but Lee’s going to “get him” next time. Gotcha, Spike. Appreciate the unbiased analysis.

Now that Miller is retired — and about to be eclipsed by Ray Allen for the NBA’s all-time 3-point record — Lee needs a new feud to stay relevant. Because recent movies like “She Hate Me” and “Bamboozled” aren’t doing the job.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, New York Knicks, Spike Lee
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