Celtics

Garnett 'cool' with playing just six minutes in All-Star Game

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Garnett 'cool' with playing just six minutes in All-Star Game

HOUSTON Kevin Garnett played just six minutes for the East in their 143-138 loss to the Western Conference All-Stars - and he could not have been any happier about it.

"Yup. Right where I wanted to be," grinned Garnett as he began to explain his lack of playing time on Sunday.

Prior to the game, Garnett said he had a conversation with Eastern Conference and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra about what his role would be in Sunday's game.

"I just told Erik, it's the young guy's game," Garnett said. "Give me a couple minutes and I was cool. He said alright."

In his six minutes, Garnett was scoreless but did manage to grab three rebounds along with tallying one assist.

Having spent most of the game on the bench, it was indeed an unusual place for Garnett to be for such a long stretch.

And while on the bench, Garnett was seen doing what might seem like the unthinkable - high-fiving Miami's Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as they came to the East bench during time-outs.

Garnett acknowledged how different something like that might be, but added, "We have the same jerseys on for the All-Star Game. When we have opposing jerseys on, then that's obvious. But right now, this is what this weekend is; come in, give your time and there's not too many times where you're going to be interacting like this. It's time to let your hair down and relax."

Garnett said he spent time getting to know a lot of the young All-Stars this week, guys like Indiana's Paul George and Chicago's Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.

"It was good; a good weekend," he said.

Especially for Garnett off the court as he got to spend more time than usual around his family and friends.

"To be honest, what was on my mind this weekend was getting proper rest, enjoying myself, trying to make sure everybody that was with me enjoyed themselves," Garnett said. "I accomplished that. My daughter has never been to a dunk contest or anything like that. Having my kid to see that, that was cool. That was cool for me. And then, just enjoying it; embracing everything that comes with All-Star Weekend."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

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Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

PHILADELPHIA – Near the end of a preseason game against Charlotte, Boston Celtics guard Shane Larkin was killin’ the Hornets with pick-and-roll action.

It was a preseason game that at the time, didn’t seem to have much value other than to get some of the end-of-the-bench guys a little run up and down the court.

But as it turned out, Larkin's play in that game was one of those things head coach Brad Stevens tucked away, knowing at some point he would count on Larkin to provide similar play in a regular season game.

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Well, that game was Friday night at Philadelphia, a game in which several players for Boston stepped their games up in helping the Celtics get their first win of the season, 102-92.

But you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger game-changer for the Celtics in this game, than Larkin.

He finished with 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the decisive fourth quarter when the Celtics rallied from five-down to get a hard-fought, much-needed victory.

“You have to always be ready for your name to be called, especially when you have injuries,” Larkin said. “You never know whose night it’s gonna be.”

Boston was playing without Marcus Smart who suffered a left ankle sprain in their 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Smart was in the starting lineup having replaced Gordon Hayward who underwent left ankle surgery and is expected to be out for the remainder of this season.

“When coach (Stevens) called my name, I had to go out there and be aggressive, play my game,” Larkin said. “And it worked in our favor.”

And while Stevens had watched Larkin play prior to the Celtics signing him this summer, it was a preseason game against Charlotte that really convinced him that the 5-foot-11 guard could help when called upon.

“You’re always watching,” Stevens said. “And if you remember that exhibition game, he finished out that Charlotte game, just running simple spread pick-and-rolls. He’s such a handful with his speed and quickness, and he allows other guys to play off of him. He’s a small guy, but he makes up for it with his speed and skill.”

Al Horford benefited more than any other Celtic with Larkin’s pick-and-roll play which factored into Horford scoring nine of his 17 points in the fourth.

“Shane is a player who understands the game and for us, it was me trying to set a good screen for him and having him make a play,” Horford said. “He just made the right reads, when to shoot it, when to pass it. He just looked very comfortable in that position.”

And to think that Larkin’s big game came about in part because of how well he performed in a preseason matchup against the Hornets.

“I did not know it was that specific game,” Larkin said. “But whenever I step on the court I try to do my best. That’s offensively, defensively, and do what the team needs me to do.

Larkin added, “Whenever my number is called, if he (Stevens) calls it again, I hope he does. I’ll be ready to go out there and do it again.”

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