The Celtics are well-represented with Doc Rivers and four all-stars in town this weekend. And despite some speculation to the contrary (including some by Rivers himself), there’s not a whole lot of visible animosity between members of the Celtics and any of the other Eastern Conference All-Stars.
“It’s the one time that we’re not competing against one another, ” said Kevin Garnett, who was laughing and joking with Lebron James at the joint East-West practice Saturday morning. “This is my only chance to play with these guys. You tend to be more relaxed when you come out here.”
What the weekend’s not about is defense.
Even Garnett doesn’t expect much intensity in the main event tomorrow evening.
“I think offense is the priority here. The whole thing is to see how many points these two teams can put up. The fourth quarter is the only serious time. Then and only then will you see some defense.”
Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have been trash-talking each other all week in the Celtics locker room, looking for an edge in tonight’s three-point contest, which also features Kevin Durant, James Jones, Daniel Gibson and Dorell Wright.
Pierce admits he’s been trying to get into Allen’s head.
“If I want to beat Ray Allen, I gotta be almost perfect. He doesn’t crack under pressure. I gotta put something in his shoes. A rock, maybe.”
Allen appears to be the word-of-mouth favorite around Staples Center, based on his momentum from setting the all-time record for three-pointers made. He’s also shooting the highest percentage from the arc amongst tonight’s competitors:
Here’s a look back at the Paul Pierce performance that got him labelled (by himself, mind you) “one of the better shooters in NBA history.”