Celtics

Celtics left behind by Bulls, 97-81

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Celtics left behind by Bulls, 97-81

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

CHICAGO There are times when no amount of words can do justice to what takes place on the basketball court.

But in describing Boston's 97-81 loss to the Chicago Bulls, coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics players were to the point in describing their pummeling at the hands of the Bulls.

"Keep it real," said Kevin Garnett. "We got our butt kicked tonight."

Said Rivers: "They were far more physical and better prepared than we were."

Added Jeff Green: "Look at the scoreboard. They outplayed us in every aspect of the game."

Coming into the game, the Celtics (54-24) had a slim chance of still landing the No. 1 seed in the East.

But with the loss, Chicago (58-20) would have to lose all four of its remaining games and the Celtics would have to win their final four - both scenarios highly unlikely to happen - in order for the C's to finish tops in the East.

Finishing with the best record in the East is the least of Boston's concerns right now.

The Celtics have to be worried about becoming a more consistent team, which has become a major issue in the past couple of weeks.

Throughout this final stretch of the season, the Celtics continue to play well in spurts, woeful in others.

On some nights, they time it just right and come away with a victory that usually takes more out of them than it should.

But far too often lately, it has resulted in disappointing play and even more disappointing results.

Aside from a short-lived lead to start the game and another one early in the third quarter, this game was all Chicago.

Derrick Rose delivered what may have been a signature performance in his MVP campaign on Thursday, as he had his way with Boston's Rajon Rondo.

Rose finished with 30 points to go with eight assists and five rebounds, while Rondo had seven points and just six assists - only one coming in the second half.

Chicago's Luol Deng also had a big game, scoring 23 points to go with six rebounds and two blocked shots. In addition, Carlos Boozer tallied a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

"It was one of our better games," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a former Celtics assistant.

And for the C's, it was yet another game in which the intensity and effort of their opponent was far greater than what they brought to the game.

With the playoffs only a couple weeks away, this is when teams are fine-tuning their rotations - not trying to figure out how to play harder.

Rivers recognizes his team isn't bringing as much fight to games as they need to.

But he remains steadfast in his belief that when the time is right, the C's will be ready.

"It doesn't matter at what point in the season it is," Rivers said. "It could be Game 1. It could be Game 82. You still have time. There's no panic button you're pushing, or anything like that."

Maybe not a panic button, but the concern meter has to registering some unusually high numbers about now when you consider how the Celtics were so thoroughly outplayed in such a big game.

"We need a better sense of urgency," said Rondo. "We have to play with a greater sense of urgency, and knowing our stuff better."

While that may be true, the Celtics were also hurt by missing a slew of lay-ups that could have kept the game closer, or in some instances, allowed them to take the lead or increase it.

Regardless, those missed shots can't explain away the lethargic effort put forth by the Celtics far too often on Thursday against a Chicago team that has established itself as the team to beat in the East this year.

"They outplayed us," Rondo said.

And if the Celtics aren't careful, they'll be saying the same thing in the playoffs, on their way home for the summer without Banner 18.

"It better be a wake-up call," Rondo said of the dominating fashion in which they lost on Thursday. "If not, we won't make it far."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

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Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

BOSTON – As expected, the NBA has fined Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for using “inappropriate language” toward a fan at the Friday night game in Philadelphia.
 
The incident occurred at halftime as Irving and his teammates were heading to the locker room, trailing by four. Boston went on to win 102-92 for their first victory of the season.
 
A fan yelled, “Hey, where’s LeBron?” to which Irving replied with a lewd suggestion to the yeller.
 
The Celtics practiced on Saturday with Irving addressing the incident.

When asked if he had any regrets about the incident, Irving replied, “Hell no. Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s social media platform we live on.
 
Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”
 
When asked about the incident on Saturday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not seen the video but was aware of it.
 
“People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on,” Stevens said. “There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”

It was the second such fine levied by the league in as many days. 

New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 for "inappropriate language" toward a fan when the Pelicans lost 103-91 at Memphis on Wednesday. 
 

Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

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Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

WALTHAM, Mass. – The NBA has talked with  Celtics guard Kyrie Irving about disparaging comments he made to a fan at halftime that have since gone viral.

Irving said the incident happened as the Celtics were heading back to the locker room at halftime after the Celtics fell behind 50-46 to the Sixers.

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“Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” yelled the fan.

Irving replied with a lewd suggestion. 

After practice on Saturday, Irving acknowledged that he did say something to a fan and that he had a conversation with the league regarding the incident.

Regrets?

“Hell no,” Irving said. “Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s the social media platform we live on.

Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”

The league has not officially announced a fine for Irving, but it’s more a matter of when not if that will be forthcoming.

In fact, earlier today, the league fined New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for “inappropriate language” towards a fan in the Pelicans’ 103-91 loss at Memphis on Wednesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had not seen the video in question but was aware that Irving had been in conversations with the league office regarding the incident.

“Guys know what the right thing to do is,” Stevens said. “People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on. There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”