Celtics

Celtics look to fire up Garnett's post game

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Celtics look to fire up Garnett's post game

BOSTON It was, on paper at least, just another typical Kevin Garnett kind of game.

But Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers knew better.

Most games, Garnett's numbers only tell part of the story in terms of his impact. In the case of Boston's Game 6 loss, numbers explained his lack of impact.

He had 20 points and 11 rebounds, but not a single basket came around the basket.

And Garnett didn't provide much from the free throw line either (he was 2-for-2), which is another barometer of sorts for how successful Garnett is at affecting the game in the post area.

"We never really established Kevin Garnett," Rivers said following the 82-75 loss. "Even though Kevin had points, it wasn't the points we needed, the type of points. So we have to do a better job there (going into Game 7)."

Garnett was 9-for-20 shooting against the Sixers in Game 7, with all nine made baskets coming on jumpers of at least 12 feet away.

The Sixers have tried multiple strategies to limit Garnett's impact in this series.

"They were aggressive," Garnett said. "Multiple players were aggressive. But it's nothing we haven't see in six games."

One of the key players in defending Garnett of late has been Elton Brand, who struggled mightily early on in this series but seems to be getting better as the series goes on.

"He's been playing so great in this series, just try to limit his easy shots," Brand said of Garnett. "Twenty field goal attempts, 20 points, shot-per-point for any guy that shoots a lot during the game, that's what you want."

Philadelphia's defense on Garnett is essentially about pushing him as far off of where he wants to catch the ball in advance of the pass getting to him. From the Sixers' perspective, they hope that will deter him from looking to score around the basket and his teammates from seeking him out in the post.

The Sixers had moderate success on both of those particular fronts in Game 6.

As Game 6 proved, forcing Garnett into being a perimeter scorer is the best way to defeat the Celtics.

There's little doubt that after reviewing video from the Game 6 loss, the C's will look to make some adjustments to their offense.

Ball movement was a major problem, evident by the Celtics tallying just 14 assists -- the fewest they have had in a playoff game this season. Part of the ball movement issue stems from Boston committing a high number of turnovers (17) that led to a significant (19) portion of Philadelphia's offense.

"We'll make some adjustments offensively, and be ready for Game Seven," said Paul Pierce.

Getting the ball to Garnett, in the post more?

Yeah. You can rest assured that will become one of the team's top priorities heading into Saturday's winner-moves-on Game 7 battle with the Sixers.

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

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Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

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Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

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