WALTHAM, Massachusetts -- In any sport, the one thing a team can't prepare for is the unknown.
Last week, the Celtics were the toast of the East after outlasting the champion Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed and home-court advantage. Then, the day before Boston's playoff opener, Isaiah Thomas' sister was killed in a car accident.
It's created a delicate balancing act. This is a team that expected to be riding a big wave of momentum. Instead, Boston lost 106-102 to Chicago in Game 1 and the possibility looms Tuesday of falling into an 0-2 hole (see full story).
Raptors: Lowry looks to recover from slow start
TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry is experiencing playoff deja vu, only with a twist. The All Star point guard for the Toronto Raptors says his latest Game 1 failure doesn't just feel familiar, it's even worse than those that came before.
Lowry scored four points in Saturday's 97-83 loss to Milwaukee, connecting on just two of 11 field goal attempts and finishing 0 for 6 from 3-point range.
His disappointing performance brought back memories of the series-opening struggles Lowry faced last year, including 3 for 13 efforts against both Indiana in the first round and Miami in the second, and a 4 for 14 effort against Cleveland in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals (see full story).
Rockets: Texans' Watt huge fan of guard Beverley
HOUSTON -- When J.J. Watt attended the Houston Rockets' playoff game on Sunday night, he got a front-row view of Patrick Beverley's intensity.
The Houston Texans star defensive end was taken aback when Beverley walked over to his courtside seat during a timeout and simply stood in front of him and stared for several seconds.
"I was like: `Pat, I don't know what you want me to do here, man. I can't really do anything,'" Watt said. "He's just staring me down. And my girlfriend looked at me and she was like: `That was kind of cool and kind of awkward at the same time.' I was like: `Yeah it was.' I didn't know what to do," (see full story).