Post-game Reactions

Doc Rivers had one major item of note to say last night in his press conference. Unprovoked, he volunteered the following about Kevin Garnett’s constant fouling in Game 2.

“I thought the fouls on Kevin were horrendous and had a huge effect on us. He never got in his rhythm when you could see he was going to have a good game. It hurt us,” Rivers said.

Doc’s right, but it’s no real excuse for the Celtics’ effort. Boston had a six-point lead going into halftime, and Rivers stuck with KG in the third quarter even once he picked up his fourth foul. He was a huge part of the team’s third quarter collapse, and that wasn’t due to his foul trouble. It was largely self-inflicted.

So why the rant from Rivers? Part of me thinks this is a bit of gamesmanship here by Doc, knowing his team is going to need help back in Boston in the form of the hometown whistle.

The Celtics weren’t going to get a friendly whistle last night, not after they got a fair game in Game 1, shooting more free throws than the Knicks at the Garden. That didn’t happen in Game 2, and that couldn’t be unexpected on the road in the NBA most nights.

Instead, KG dealt with some questionable calls, and was saddled with foul trouble. The C’s probably should have led by 15-20 points at half, rather than just six after shooting 58 percent over the first 24 minutes. KG’s limited minutes got in the way of that possibility, reducing their margin of error in the second half. Ugly offense was the bigger factor, but we’ll get to that later.

So what did Kevin Garnett have to say about the calls?

Aa usual, he took the high road:

“At times it’s frustrating, but fouls are part of the game. Refs are calling things; it’s an aggressive time in postseason play. I just have to be consistent and continue to put the onus on the refs. And position myself not to foul so much,” Garnett said.

“It’s tough when you don’t have one of your inside presences out there,” Paul Pierce said. “With Kevin being in foul trouble, we couldn’t establish him.”

Make no mistake, the Celtics once again lost this one all by themselves. They know they need to be better to stop a savvy Knicks squad that is punishing them at every turn and smell blood. For now, returning to the friendly confines of the TD Garden is probably the best thing going for them. They’re going to need their stars on the floor to make it a series.



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Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
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  • High Rollers

    Actually, we were up eight, and the succession of plays that led us into half-time were unfortunately a foreshadowing of the third quarter collapse.

    Up eight with forty or so seconds to go, come out of the time-out, got rushed on the 2-for-1, P jumps in the air with the ball and nowhere to go, throws it away, Knicks score, we have one more opportunity to score and again come up empty. So instead of being up twelve potentially with two scores and a stop, we were only up six. That forty seconds alone cut our margin for error in half.

  • The Cardinal

    What's funny about the KG fouls is the Celtics went into the half with a lead after storming back in the 2nd quarter while he was on the pine, LOL. And I don't care how many times Doc or PP say it, KG isn't really an inside presence. That's why I would like to see Shavlik sub for KG – the Celtics would actually have an inside presence that could shake up the Knicks' defense while taking the pressure off of KG to be something he's not, which is Tim Duncan-like or Pau Gasol-like..

    I would also bring Bradley off the bench and start Crawford for two reasons: 1) Bradley role would be to almost exclusively to match up with JR Smith – period. Any offense we got from him would be considered a bonus; and 2) when your offense flat-out sucks, you may as well start your most dynamic offensive guard and try to make the Knicks adjust to the unpredictability he brings.

    If Bradley was moved to the second unit, I would play him with T Will, Terry, Randolph and Lee, letting T Will run a spread offense and play the 4 on defense. When the Knicks then try to run guys off the 3 point line, T Will is capable of breaking down the interior defense and getting the ball to either Randolph down low, or Lee or Bradley cutting to the basket.

    No doubt about it – Doc is going to have to be more creative to have any chance of winning this series (same refrain, different day – I know). The Bass/Green front line pairing with the reserves simply makes Kenyon Martin look much better than he really is since he simply backs off Bass, sits in the paint and then roams from the weak side to block Green or whomever might attack the basket. Having Randolph in the paint would make him pay for the weak side help, and probably get him into foul trouble.

    • 96lisa

      I don't agree with saying KG not being an inside presence. He may score most of his points around the perimeter, but defensively he is definitely a strong inside presence. As soon as he sits out that's when Felton and Smith or whoever are able to make it to the basket.

    • BleedGreen

      Agree w u, play Randolph more, he might be able to help w offensive rebound/ down-low threat, give crawford, T-will chance to play, inject some young blood and energy, at same time training them for future games at same time preserving old guys of team.

    • kgallday

      shavlick randolph!!??? are you fucking kidding me!!!?? better inside presence then kg?? get the fuck outta here with that nonsence!! you wasted your time writting all of that bullshit because none of it makes sense at all!! dont ever say pau gasol is better then kg too! does pau have a league mvp award?? no!! does he have a defensive player of the year award? I dont think so!! how many all star teams has garnett made?? thats right more then even tim duncan fool!! dont ever talk shit about kg again when your nothing but a spectator!! by the way i think doc rivers knows a whole lot more than you do asshole!! boston just got beat by a better and younger team thats all! they needed homecourt advantage which they dont have….wouldnt suprise me if they did come back and win though. they do have the experience and talent to do it!


    • janos

      is bad perform time move on fan, player, beyond for next games

      • LeonGreenAllDay18

        Don't worry about the asshole tony below, you do have some real friends here!!! 🙂

  • janos

    i was hope happier after sleeping 'is still mad this. garnet will be back and leads us remembers is not a proper until road team is make one win.

    • Tony Knicks

      Hey moron

      It's Garnett.

      Your friend,

      • Tony Knicks

        Why am I such a duesch loser?

        • LeonGreenAllDay18

          @tonyhicksthebitch-the answer to your question is unknown to the universe-hence you were probably born that way-does that sound funny to you or are you offended!?!?

      • Switcharoo

        Hey man go back to your Knicks board if your just gonna be an asshole. If you don’t have anything to bring to the discussion besides ridicule and bile then why are you even here?

      • LeonGreenAllDay18

        oh, i guess your one of those correct everybody's english asshoooles-get a life Cee-U-Next-Tuesday-lmao
        Hey why don't i force you to speak aboriginal Indian from this land like Cherokee, Choctaw, or Mic Mac & force you to spell it correct-sounds like fun to me-lmao!!!

  • Ken Leatherbarrow

    The writer saying that's no excuse doesn't understand team sports. When you are getting "Homered", it deflates everyone

  • Gary

    Whether they admit it or not, the fouls on KG did effect the game. With no rhythm and no chance to get into one, it did present a problem. When touch fouls are being called on you, you cannot be nearly aggressive. Yes, 2 fouls I did see were touch fouls. It is ridiculous when some on gets hammered and no foul is called and then a touch foul is called. Not saying the Celtics would have won with KG able to play more and play his game. Just be consistent on what a foul is.

    • Elderjoe

      The reffs have known this from the beginning of the season and they have disrupted the rhythm of the cs at the start. The only thing that makes me angry with Doc is the fact that Kevin is the only one on his team that he noticed is getting ticky-tac fouls. The entire team gets bad calls and that includes the 1st game of the post season.

  • BigAnt

    Boston should be up 2-0. Melo is hitting shots but overall New York offense is not hurting boston its boston not making open shots. Boston is doing what they need to do on D holding them under 100 pts. New York is over rated!!! It will be 2-2 sunday.

    • green is nuts

      celtics is over rated ad old since 2010
      it will be 4-0 sunday

      • maraline

        I do agree with ONE thing..you ARE nuts green…AND what is it with MELO? He got dispensation from the POPE or something? Or he in the LBJ club mebbe?? He didn't even get plow-over knock-down fouls called against him that HE committed….much LESS touch calls…the reason the refs are such total dumbnuts to the C's is that's the ONLY way they can be defeated…BAD calls…..against THEM and ONLY them….while the other team/teams gets away with murder…JUST LIKE LAST YEAR!!! I say FIRE THE LOT OF THEM LOUSY REFS !!!!!.and FINE their sorry ashes

  • Rockman

    The fouls on KG may not have disrupted the Celtics in the second quartr, but it sure affected their play when he hadto it out after he got his 5th foul. Also, if he did not have the quick first couple of fouls, as stated earlier, the Celts would have been up 15+ at the half and in a much better position to stand off a Knicks rally.

  • BigAnt

    Green is nuts u know shit about basketball and change ur stupid ass name!

    • CelticsBIG3

      I don't go on other NBA team blogs, but it would be interesting to see if Celtic fans troll as much as people who are fans of other teams come to the HUB to troll.

  • LeonGreenAllDay18

    KG & Pierce 5 fouls, Green 4-then melo & kmart 3 & not till late in the game & jr only 1-this all in game 2-oh by the way KG 5 fls in game 1 also-granted he shot horrible gm 1-but he brings beastly defense every game-by the way, melo's drive by KG dunk was allready after KG had 4 fls-these aren't excuses just facts of consistent inconsistency of the refs which sometimes slows a teams play down. I'm not saying it's a moral win -Celts def held a ny 100pt avg team to under 90 both games-rest of this series is definitely going to be a diferent story than 1 st 2 games! Celts have to just score more & keep playing great def as they have-they're def has been fine w/ only allowing just melo only knick scoring above 20.

    • LeonGreenAllDay18

      Also Celts just have to play thru horrible reffed games like they usually do-as you watched the game 2-2nd half-they allowed the horrific calls to get to them mentally which disrupted their offense & not so much their def.

  • LeonGreenAllDay18

    KG in game 2 was on his way to a beastly offensive game-in only 24 minutes a double/double w/ 12pt & 11 rebs-all of a sudden refs foul him to the bench on purpose-like really-if anyone watches games w/o bias whether Celts or any team fan can see games get refs heavily favored for some teams to determine the outcome-hence games get fixed-not this series though-Celts will play through it & go get it!

  • LeonGreenAllDay18

    Keep your head up Celts & Go Take This Series 1 Game At A Time!!!

  • BigAnt

    Can anyone tell me why in the hell courntney lee wasnt in the rotation? To not put him in until the game was practically over was bad coaching. You have to atleast give him a chance to see where his game is being that he has been a starter most of the year. Doc has to trust his players more.

  • jrb

    Rivers' coching was horrendous. NYK was ripe to be beat both games. Going down the drain with Pierce getting the ball every time. His head is not in the game. PP is going through the motions and possibly on the take based on the unbelievable turnovers and lapses! Rivers is too gutless to kick him the backside or bench him. I would rather lose with somebody trying their best out there. I am no Boston fan but I am the biggest Knick hater in the USA!