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Kevin Garnett reacted to one of his best playoff performances ever by criticizing writers for suggesting he was too old. Is Garnett right about what he said? Semantically, no, but in spirit, he has a point.
Kevin Garnett was on fire in the postgame press conference after the Celtics beat the Hawks to move on to the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. First, here he is responding to Hawks minority owner Michael Gearon Jr. saying he is the "dirtiest guy in the league."
Kevin Garnett: "Thank you to their owner, for giving me the extra gas. Next time he opens his mouth, know what [you're] is talking about."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 11, 2012
Later, he responded to a question about his advancing age.
Garnett, to the media, on calling him old: "Some of you are old. Some of you are 40, 50. Some of you are losing your hair."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 11, 2012
All that was missing was an ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEEEEE reference.
Update: Now with video of KG getting after it:
The Boston Celtics went on a 7-2 run in Game 6's last two minutes to come away with a 83-80 win over the Atlanta Hawks and advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Boston won the series 4-2.
The Hawks were the beneficiaries of some weird officiating and bad luck in the game's final seconds. Marquis Daniels fouled Al Horford on an out-of-bounds play -- which should've led to free throws and the ball -- but for some reason, no FT's were shot. Horford ended up wide open again on a sideline out-of-bounds, forcing Daniels to foul him again, but he missed the front end and the Hawks didn't have enough time to get the lead back.
It was unfortunate to see Horford miss as his sharp play on both ends kept the Hawks involved late in the game. Marvin Williams' shooting was also key -- the Atlanta guard drilled four-of-five threes to finish with 16 points.
Kevin Garnett had a throwback game with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen oddly couldn't get his shot to fall, going 1-for-7 from three and even missing a crucial free throw late, but the C's were able to get production from Garnett and Paul Pierce, who had 18.
Important GIF's and videos:
Instant reactions from our team bloggers
seconded RT @peachtreehoops: kjdflkdjafsdjfjoeisolkadjfl!!!— celticsblog (@celticsblog) May 11, 2012
Also, and I mean this with all sincerity Paul Pierce is the worst and I look forward to booing KG at his Hall of Fame. #playoffhate— Peachtree Hoops (@peachtreehoops) May 11, 2012
Everyone watching Game 6 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks laughed when Josh Smith took a contested 20-footer with his team down one with under 10 seconds left. There's Josh Smith being Josh Smith! Etc.
To a certain extent, this is true. That was a pretty terrible shot by Smith. But those criticizing Smith for his shot are looking too much at the results and not enough at the process. Let's break down this play. Here's video:
Focus on the part before Smith takes the shot. The Hawks swing the ball to Marvin Williams, and Al Horford pops to the left elbow. Meanwhile, Smith is supposed to duck inside of Brandon Bass and post him up, preferably inside the paint.
Everything seems to work pretty well. The only problem: the Celtics are grabbing Horford and Smith like crazy. First, Horford has to shed Kevin Garnett's bear hug to catch the ball by the three-point line. Then, Smith is grabbed with two hands by Bass, preventing him from diving down the lane to catch the pass. Here's a screenshot of the latter.
Now, you could -- and potentially should -- argue that this is PLAYOFF BASKETBALL and no fouls can be called off the ball in these situations. But if you're wondering why the Hawks' set didn't look like a set, it's because of this. Eventually, because Atlanta's first option was cut off, Horford had to swing the ball to Joe Johnson, who tried a pick and pop with Smith that eventually put Smith in the position he was in.
So yes, feel free to blame the Hawks. Just know that the issue is not that they didn't run a play, it's that they ran a play that failed because the Celtics were grabbing them knowing the referees would swallow their whistles.
Paul Pierce has a sprained knee, but it's not going to force him to miss any time. According to multiple reports, shared by CelticsBlog, the Boston Celtics' small forward has a sprained MCL, but is available for Game 6 of the Celtics' series against the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics lead, 3-2, and can close out the series at home on Thursday night.
Pierce participated in morning shootaround, and there's no indication that he's going to be seriously limited, either in his performance or in his minutes. The Celtics have said that there is no other injury beyond a sprain for Pierce, so there's no reason for him to sit if he's not in serious pain and feels like he can move his knee well. Pierce was the Celtics' co-leader in scoring in Game 5 with 16 points, and he's currently averaging 21.8 points per game in the playoffs.
The Celtics failed to get a final shot off in Game 5 and will now look to close out their series against the Hawks at home in Game 6.
Al Horford started for the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night for the time since early January. The All-Star center made his impact felt immediately, helping the Hawks to stave off elimination for at least one more game in their first round NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics.
The Atlanta Hawks' postseason will continue for at least one more game after defeating the Boston Celtics, 87-86, in Game 5 on Tuesday night. The Celtics now hold a 3-2 series advantage as things shift back to Boston on Thursday.
Boston's Paul Pierce nearly played the hero in this series once again when he took a potential go-ahead shot with 15 seconds left in the game. However, he came up five feet short. And Rajon Rondo stole an inbounds pass in the final seconds, only to not even attempt a shot. It was a tough break for a team that was so close to finishing off this series.
Pierce tied for the team lead in points with Kevin Garnett at 16 each while Rondo put in 13 points and 12 assists. Ray Allen led the bench with 15 points. Fourteen turnovers and 13 personal fouls hurt the team, but so did Atlanta hurt itself with 18 turnovers and 19 personal fouls.
Atlanta relied on five scorers in double-digit points, led by Al Horford's 19 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Smith also put in a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds. He also dished the ball out for six assists. Jeff Teague and Marvin Williams contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Will the Hawks be able to pick up a road victory on Thursday?
In a game full of bad offense, bad shooting and mistakes, the Atlanta Hawks held on to defeat the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series only after a crazy sequence to end things. Up one point and with the ball with just over 10 seconds left, the Hawks only needed to inbound the ball to feel good about themselves. Instead, Josh Smith's inbounds pass was picked off by Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics had a chance.
With no timeouts, Rondo advanced the ball into the frontcourt. In the end, Rondo dribbled the ball off his foot and the Celtics didn't even get a shot off.
Now, it's easy to get on Rondo for this, and to a certain extent, he deserves it. However, I hope more people realize just how great a play Al Horford made here. When the clock dips under five seconds, coaches tell players to switch every screen, but it's really hard for a big man to do that and slide his feet enough to stay with a speedster like Rondo. Horford not only expertly executed a switch with Josh Smith, but he crowded Rondo enough to prevent him from seeing the pass to Kevin Garnett, then stayed with Rondo as he tried to cross over.
It was an unbelievable play by a guy who came up with an unbelievable game in his second contest since early January.
The Atlanta Hawks face a must-win Game 5 on Tuesday night with the Boston Celtics trekking down to Georgia with a bit of momentum in their possession.
When one team gets out to a big lead in a playoff game, the announcers will invariably warn the viewers not to get too comfortable because "an NBA team is always going to make a run."
That didn't happen for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of their first-round series with the Boston Celtics, as they were dominated 101-79 by Boston in a game that was rarely even competitive, especially in the second half.
The loss puts an injury-ravaged Atlanta team on the brink of elimination, as they've now dropped three straight games to the Celtics after winning Game 1.
Rajon Rondo was the story of the game, as he scored 20 points on 8-11 shooting while handing out 16 assists to only one turnover. He even went 2-3 from beyond the arc, which tells you all you need to know about how well Boston played.
Horford has missed almost the entire 2011-2012 NBA season with a torn pectoral muscle, but the Hawks could use anyone with size at this point. Josh Smith missed the end of Game 2 and all of Game 3 — both Hawks losses — with a knee injury, and Horford's backup, Zaza Pachulia, is out for the series, meaning Jason Collins and Ivan Johnson are the only players on the active roster with any size and game experience.
There's no word yet on whether Horford will play, but he's on the active roster, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, meaning, even if he's not originally intended to get any minutes, he can go in case of emergency. How many minutes he'll get if he goes is up in the air, but it's hard to imagine him playing even close to 30.
The Hawks are down 2-1 to the Celtics, and they tip off in Atlanta at 7 p.m. ET.
The Boston Celtics will host the Atlanta Hawks in on Sunday. The Celtics are ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven playoff series.
Oh so that's how NBA basketball is played!
After a sloppy and slow first half, the Boston Celtics asserted themselves out of the locker room, taking an 1- point lead into the fourth quarter in the final 24 minutes.
But what looked like it would be a game where the Celtics cruised to an easy victory turned into a nailbiting overtime win for the home team, as the Hawks responded in the final six minutes, going on a 15-4 run to get the game to an extra session.
In overtime, though, the game belonged to the Celtics, as Rajon Rondo, who logged a whopping 49 minutes tonight, took control of the game despite what you see to the right.
With the win, the Celtics take a 2-1 series lead, with the next two games to be played in Boston.
Adding validity to the argument that he plays his best basketball in front of a national television audience, Rondo logged a triple-double -- the seventh of his playoff career -- with 17 points, 12 assists and 14 rebounds.
The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague, who finished with 29 and 23 points, respectively, but got next to no production from reserve Tracy McGrady in the second half. McGrady, who rolled his ankle late in the first half and left the game with 10 points, went 0-5 from the floor in the second half and overtime.
It's not quite #BarFight, but Garnett's "BEAAAAANTOWN!" scream was great. Remember, this was supposed to be an interview. The PA was tossing it to the court for a player-of-the-game presentation.
And let's be honest, Garnett should always have a mic in his face after a game. He never fails to do something fun.
Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith tried hard, but it appears he will not be healthy enough in time to play in Game 3 of the team's first-round 2012 NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics on Friday. Smith suffered a strained patella ligament in the Hawks' Game 2 loss on Tuesday and will not be in the lineup, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Atlanta's Josh Smith will not play in Game 3 against Boston tonight, league source tells Y! "Knee is just too sore," source says. Will try for Game 4 on Sunday.
The Boston Celtics return home and will get Rajon Rondo back for Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics are all knotted up at one game apiece in their opening-round NBA Playoffs series. The Hawks are playing with a depleted squad and it looks unlikely that they'll be able to receive any reinforcements before the first round is in the books.
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that center Zaza Pachulia has a bone chip in his foot. Pachulia suffered the injury back on April 13 with a return timetable at the time of 4-6 weeks. According to Cunningham, Pachulia is definitely out for Games 4 and 5 and would likely be out for Game 6, should the series still be going at that point.
Pachulia had averaged 7.8 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game during the strike-shortened 2011-12 NBA regular season. The Hawks player missed the last seven games of the regular season as the result of his injury.
Josh Smith's run-in with Kevin Garnett late in Game 2 of the Atlanta Hawks's 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series against the Boston Celtics will likely keep the forward out of Game 3, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith is reportedly doubtful for Friday with patellar tendonitis in his left knee, but should be okay for Game 4.
#Hawks F Josh Smith has patellar tendonitis. Inflammation in area but no structural damage. Doubtful GM 3, probable GM 4 vs. BOS— Michael Cunningham (@ajchawks) May 2, 2012
Smith's absence would be a massive blow to the Hawks. He had 16 points and 12 rebounds before gingerly walking off the court with under five minutes to play Tuesday night. Smith has recorded a double-double in three of his last four outings. Rebounding will be key in what is shaping up to be a defensive series. Without Smith, the Hawks have few players who can clean up the rim on a consistent basis.
The Boston Celtics' defense didn't suffer without Rajon Rondo in a Game 2 win over the Atlanta Hawks. What's that mean for the Celtics' future ... in this series and beyond?
Aging isn't fun, and in sports, it usually isn't pretty. But then you have this year's NBA Playoffs, a reminder that the story isn't always that simple.
How could Paul Pierce put the short-handed Celtics on his back when they needed him most? Because few others have been there before as often as he has.
The news keeps getting worse for the Atlanta Hawks following their 87-80 loss to an undermanned Boston Celtics team in Game 2 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series. Star forward Josh Smith suffered a sprained patella ligament in his left knee in the fourth quarter of the loss, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Atlanta's Josh Smith has sprained patella ligament in knee, source tells Y! "He walked out of arena w/ no help, just gingerly," source says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 2, 2012
Smith will have an MRI to check the severity of the injury on Wednesday, but an MRI can often confirm what is already known. The injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter when Smith was trying to guard Kevin Garnett. He tried to play through the pain, but departed for good with four and a half minutes left.
It remains unclear whether Smith will miss any time in the series, but if he cannot play, it's a huge loss for the Hawks. Smith put together another fine season this year, keeping the Hawks afloat after Al Horford suffered a season-ending injury early in the year.
Few gave the Boston Celtics much of a chance to beat the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series. With point guard Rajon Rondo suspended for bumping an official and Ray Allen sitting out again due to an ankle injury, the Celtics were very undermanned.
But that was before Paul Pierce put the Celtics on his back and put together a vintage performance. Pierce scored 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Celtics' defense locked down the Hawks late in an 87-80 win that tied up the series at one.
Pierce scored the first nine points of the game, then poured in 13 in the final quarter to surge his team in front. The Celtics' defense did the rest, holding Atlanta to just 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Not only did Atlanta lose the game, but they may have lost Josh Smith, who left the game late in the fourth quarter after injuring his knee sparring with Kevin Garnett. His status going forward remains unclear.
Noteworthy GIFs and videos:
Instant reactions from our bloggers:
pregame key: getting a lot out of Paul Pierce, ...umm, check— celticsblog (@celticsblog) May 2, 2012
Moral of this story, when a team cuts an 11 point lead to five in the final minutes of the 3rd don't put start the 4th with the second unit— Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis) May 2, 2012
If the Boston Celtics are going to avoid going down 2-0 in their series against the Atlanta Hawks, they're going to have to do it without Rajon Rondo, and probably without Ray Allen.
The verdict is in. Rajon Rondo has received a one-game suspension for bumping referee Mark Davis in the final minute of the Boston Celtics' 83-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their 2012 NBA Playoffs first-round series, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.
The suspension isn't a surprise. Earlier on Monday, NBA commissioner David Stern said that he believed Rondo intentionally bumped Davis, and bumping an official is an automatic suspension. Rondo's story was that he was tripped and fell into Davis, but it appears that he put his chest out intentionally as he came towards Davis. Rondo also has a history of being abrasive towards officials, having been suspended two games for throwing the ball at a referee earlier in the season.
Rondo's suspension mean the Celtics will likely have to start youngster Avery Bradley at point guard in Game 2 on Tuesday. It remains to be seen if Ray Allen, who missed Game 1 with an ankle injury, will return to the lineup and play shooting guard alongside Bradley.
Josh Smith helped the Atlanta Hawks to an opening-game victory over the Boston Celtics in their first round NBA Playoff series. It remains to be seen if it'll hold up throughout the series, but Smoove's solid play was certainly welcome on Sunday afternoon.
Rajon Rondo is almost certainly going to miss at least one game of the Boston Celtics' first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Atlanta Hawks after bumping into referee Marc Davis at the end of Sunday's loss. The NBA takes a few rules very seriously, and contact with an official is one of them. There is no wiggle room.
Rondo is the Celtics' best perimeter player and perhaps most important player (with a nod toward Kevin Garnett), but the C's have survived this season when the point guard has been out thanks to strong play by young Avery Bradley.
Boston was 31-22 in games Rondo played this season (.584) and 8-5 when he was out (.615). But where the problem lies is that Ray Allen, the Celtics' ace two-guard and only feared deep shooter, is banged up, missing Game 1 against the Hawks with ankle pain. His status for Game 2 on Tuesday is unknown.
Bradley can help stop the bleeding at one of the two backcourt positions, but certainly not both. That's a problem, because Boston's only other credible guard is Keyon Dooling, who can defend and stroke the shot but won't be feared at all by Atlanta. A double-absence of Rondo and Allen could force Doc Rivers to play big with natural small forward Mickael Pietrus at shooting guard and Bradley at the point.
According to NBA.com's plus-minus numbers, Paul Pierce, Pietrus and Bradley were on the court together for about 189 minutes during the regular season. That's not all necessarily with Pietrus at the two-guard -- some of these could also include Rondo. But the unit has been successful, with a +37 over that span, or +9 per 48 minutes. The unit is certainly defensively adept, as Bradley and Pietrus are plus defenders.
The problem would be on offense, exactly what it was on Sunday -- even with Rondo, an incredible playmaker. Without Rondo or Allen, the Celtics would be relying heavily on Pierce and Garnett to have strong offensive games, and for Bradley, Pietrus, Dooling and Brandon Bass to hit their open shots, something that rarely happened in Game 1.
Hopefully for Boston's sake, Rondo is only out for one game, and Allen is on his way back to the court.
It was not a good Game 1 for the Boston Celtics in their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics fell behind by double digits early in the first half and couldn't rally back in time, falling, 83-74. Worse, star point guard Rajon Rondo was ejected for bumping an official in the final minute and may be suspended for at least one game.
Here's video of Rondo's ejection.
Rondo led the Celtics with 20 points and 11 assists. If he misses any action, the Celtics are in big trouble. Josh Smith had 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Hawks, who were in front throughout the contest.
The Very Best Videos and GIFS from the Game
Insta-Reax from our team bloggers
From our Hawks blogger, on Rondo's suspension.
— gary washburn (@GwashNBAGlobe) April 29, 2012
Allen has missed the Celtics' last nine games with a sore right ankle. We knew he was a game-time decision, and news from Doc Rivers had made it seem as if the chance Allen would take the court tonight was steadily decreasing as the week has gone on, but now it's official.
This obviously isn't good news for the Celtics, but it isn't the worst news. After all, in Allen's absence, Boston went 6-3 -- not to mention an earlier five-game winning streak with Allen sidelined. The Celtics have found a surprise in Avery Bradley, who was actually starting over Allen of late. He's scored over 20 points three times since Allen's injury, including a five-of-six performance from three-point range against New York.
It's unclear whether Allen will be healthy as the series goes on, but we can assume he will remain a game-time decision in upcoming games.
Ray Allen's injured ankle continues to be a major problem, and it now looks like he won't be in action when the Boston Celtics begin their 2012 NBA Playoffs series against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night. Via WEEI's Paul Flannery:
Allen will make the trip to Atlanta, but it's looking less and less likely that he'll be able to play.
"Honestly I don't think he'll play [Sunday]," Doc Rivers said. "We'll find that out. He's just not moving well."
Allen is in so much pain that he admitted he would get surgery "tomorrow" if the playoffs were not on the horizon. Instead, he is holding out hope that his ankle pain will be manageable enough for him to make some sort of contribution in this series. We'll see if things improve by Sunday.
Allen had already given up his starting job to emerging second-year guard Avery Bradley, so the starting lineup won't be affected. However, the second unit will miss Allen's offense tremendously.
Ray Allen's status for Game 1 of the Boston Celtics' first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks is obviously in question after he missed the last nine games with a sore right ankle. Head coach Doc Rivers is willing to give him a fair shot at playing, however, saying that the guard had a "60 percent" chance of playing in Sunday's opening game of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
"I don't know if I am confident or not, I don't have an answer," Rivers said. "I have no status. If (75 percent) is probable, I would probably lower that to 60 percent. How about that?"
Allen hasn't been able to run on the floor in practice over the past several days, but Rivers said that may not matter. As long as the veteran is on the floor, opponents have to respect his shot, which will create open looks for his teammates.
"If he's ready to play, we're going to play him," Rivers said. "Whether he has rhythm or can make shots, the game will dictate that. Our guys will dictate that. But I'd like to see him on the floor because like I said, rhythm or no rhythm, if I tell Ray to stand in the corner, someone's going to stand next to him and that creates spacing for us."
The Boston Celtics are the No. 4 seed in the 2012 NBA Playoffs' East bracket, but they will go on the road in the first round, as the No. 5 Atlanta Hawks claimed home court advantage with a win on Thursday. The Celtics and Hawks had previously met in the 2008 playoffs, with the upstart Atlanta squad taking the elite eventual champions from Beantown to seven games. The C's did not win on the road in that series.
Here's the series schedule for the 2012 edition, which begins on Sunday. All times are Eastern.
Game 1 - Sun., April 29 at Atlanta, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 2 - Tue., May 1 at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3 - Fri., May 4 at Boston, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4 - Sun., May 6 at Boston, 7 p.m., TNT
Game 5 - Tue., May 8 at Atlanta
Game 6 - Thu., May 10 at Boston
Game 7 - Sat., May 12 at Atlanta, TNT
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