Celtics

Notes: Stoudemire injured after warm-up dunk

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Notes: Stoudemire injured after warm-up dunk

By A.Sherrod Blakely and JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Amar'e Stoudemire burst on to the Big Apple scene, and has been getting lots of love from the always-tough-to-please New York City crowd.

It's too soon to tell if that love affair will last after Stoudemire suffers a back injury while -- of all things -- doing a high degree-of-difficulty dunk during warm-ups.

Stoudemire spent the second half of Tuesday's 96-93 Celtics win in the locker room receiving treatments.

When asked about the injury, he said it happened during warmups.

"I touched the top of the glass with my left hand, and dunked it with my right," Stoudemire said. "I think that's when I felt it really get tight on me."

Stoudemire is not sure that his back will heal in time for him to play in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.

Getting hurt is one thing; it is after all, a part of the game. But during warm-ups?

Stoudemire tried to play through the pain, but it was clearly too much to bear after he was on the floor for 18 relatively non-productive minutes in the first half.

"I could hardly move (during the game)," Stoudemire said. "I was trying to play through it. just couldn't get quite totally loose."

Jermaine O'Neal left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left wrist injury, but was able to return. Although he wasn't nearly as good statistically on Tuesday as he was in Boston's Game 1 win, O'Neal was once again a factor for the Celtics around the basket.

As well as he played, Celtics coach Doc Rivers elected to keep him on the bench for the entire fourth quarter and instead go primarily with Glen Davis.

"It was a tough call," Rivers said. "I don't know if I made the right call or not, honestly."

The Knicks went with a smaller lineup, which usually results in Davis being a better fit for the C's than O'Neal.

While it made sense to go with Davis, the decision to play him was by no means a unanimous one among the coaching staff.

"As a coach, you're going back and fourth," Rivers said. "The debate on the bench would've been terrific for you guys to hear, but we turned the micas off so you couldn't."

The Knicks may not be a good team defensively, but they are smart enough to know the importance of not letting Ray Allen get a lot of shots off. Allen had 18 points in Boston's 96-93 win on Tuesday, and he did it on 6-for-8 shooting.

It was the second straight game that the ball didn't find its way into the hands of Ray Allen until several minute had expired.

Allen is averaging 21 points in the first two games of this series, but he has been scoreless in the first quarter in each game.

"They do play defense," Rivers said of the Knicks. "And so they just the ball didn't find him."

With so many offensive weapons, there are bound to be games when certain players don't get as many touches as they're used to.

It appears it's Ray Allen's turn now.

"We trust our offense," Rivers said. "I'm not that disappointed with it. Obviously I'd love Ray to get shots, but they actually know Ray's on the floor, too."

Glen Davis knew he could do better after Game 1. He wasnt pleased with his offensive performance, having shot 1-for-8 (2 points) in just over 25 minutes.

Davis approached Game 2 with the mentality that he doesnt have to score in double digits to be effective. He scored four points, doubling his Game 1 total with just three shots.

Im just doing what Doc wants me to do, he told CSNNE.com. I passed up a lot of shots today for the betterment of the team. If thats what I have to do, thats fine.

With Chauncey Billups (left knee injury) out of the lineup, the Knicks turned to Toney Douglas for Game 2. It was only his second career postseason game and his first start in the playoffs. In spite of the difference in experience, the Celtics were not taking Douglas (or rookie Landry Fields) lightly.

Theyre young players in the league but theyre capable of doing the things that their team needs them to do and thats good enough, Ray Allen said before the game. You cant rely on the lack of experience, nor can you rely on the wealth of experience. At the end of the day, its just experience. youve got to put it out there.

But Douglas inexperience was apparent at times. He picked up three fouls in the first half alone and attempted 16 shots, only making five (14 points).

Allen says it can be apparent to a veteran which players have postseason experience and which ones do not.

You know who feels comfortable and whos kind of in their wheelhouse where it doesnt really affect them when they go out there and play, he said. Offensively theyre always in control. They always play the game that they played in the regular season. Its just a command, just kind of having your wits about them on the floor.

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

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA. She can be reached at jessicacamerato@gmail.com.

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the Celtics, the preseason went about as well as expected.
 
No serious, long-term injuries.

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They won every preseason game, even one in which the team’s second unit played the role of starters.
 
And the chemistry concerns with so many new players, while very real, didn’t seem to be that big an issue.
 
Still, as good as the Celtics may feel about where they stand, they know it means absolutely nothing unless they get it done against elite, NBA-caliber competition.
 
The Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Opening night.
 
It doesn’t get much more challenging than that.
 
And for the Celtics, win or lose, this is going to be a game for them to build upon going forward this season.
 
“I’m just ready to get going,” said Gordon Hayward. “A lot of things have happened this summer, a lot of buildup. I’m ready to get to the game. It’s going to be a fun matchup, for sure.”
 
Among the summer happenings was Boston and Cleveland pulling off one of the biggest blockbuster deals of the offseason with the Cavs trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic while also conveying Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick to complete the deal.
 
Having spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers, there’s a certain amount of corporate knowledge that the 25-year-old Irving brings to tonight’s matchup.
 
“I know a lot about them, they know a lot about me,” Irving said. “There’s plenty of film on all of us, but specifically going back and understanding the way we played last year when I played with them and now how they’re playing with the new guys, understanding how to implement themselves into their new system plus me implementing myself into this system...There’s definitely some benefits on our end, there are some benefits on their end. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
 
Part of the challenge for the Celtics will be developing the kind of on-court cohesion to be successful, which is easier said than done when you’re talking about getting nearly a dozen players on the same page in just a few weeks.
 
“We have good chemistry as a group,” said Al Horford. “We still have a ways to go as far as keep getting comfortable with each other and keep figuring out our spots. But we feel good with what we have. Our young guys, it’s been remarkable how quickly they’ve been able to come along and be up to date with everything. And our new guys as well. They’re up to date, they know what we need to do. They understand the game plan. It’s been good.”
 
Players aren’t the only ones eager to get to tonight’s game.
 
“To have to go into Cleveland with that level of intensity, with that level of attention, distraction, etc. is great,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It’s great to experience that in game one, a tremendous learning experience for our group, so we’re preparing to play as well as we can. And we know that they’re really, really good. But this is..I’m looking forward to it because I want to find out where we are.”
 

'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

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'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

Isaiah Thomas told Sports Illustrated last week that he "might never talk to Danny [Ainge] again." And he sounded pretty bitter about his trade from the Celtics to the Cavs.

Now, on the "Road Trippin" podcast with new teammate Channing Frye and ex-Cav Richard Jefferson, Thomas, who is out until at least January with a hip injury, said those comments were misunderstood.

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“People took it the wrong way,” Thomas said. “I understand the business, I understand that we’re in position to get traded and sent to other teams and things like that. It’s just how it went down that I didn’t respect. As a man, I feel like if you respected me as much as you say you did, you would have at least informed me about what was going on before it happened. And that’s all I was talking about.

“I’m not tripping off the trade like I got traded to the Cavs and we’re going to win a championship. And at the end of the day, I’m going to be fine with that,” Thomas said. “[Ainge] sent me to an even better situation with a bigger platform. I’m blessed to be in the position, I’m grateful and I’m excited.”

The Cavs host the Celtics tonight in the season opener. 

Jae Crowder, who came to Cleveland from Boston, was also on the podcast and when Frye talked with him about players deserving communication from the front office, Thomas could be heard in the background, saying, “That’s what I’m talking about.”

“I already said what I’m doing," Thomas told Crowder about what he'll do should he run into Ainge. "I’m going to keep it pushing like he kept pushing when he traded me, I’m not going to disrespect him. He’s a man and I’m a man, too. Like, I’m going to go my way. I play for the Cavaliers and that’s what it is.”