Kevin Garnett stayed true to his competitive form to the very end. After the Boston Celtics lost to the New York Knicks 88-80 in a series-ending Game 6 at TD Garden on Friday, Garnett walked off the court without appearing to shake hands with his opponents. Teammates Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were right in front of him as they walked off the court and into the locker room.
Exiting the playoffs without congratulating his opponents on the court is a postseason tradition for KG. He and Rajon Rondo did it last year after Boston lost to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Neither player would apologize for not being sportsmanlike, and Rondo even said he wished the team had more “sore losers.” Though Rondo wasn’t around because he is rehabbing his knee injury, Boston did have more sore losers this time to join Garnett.
There actually is a lot more going on here than a matter of sportsmanship; there is a lot of bad blood between the teams. In January, Garnett and Carmelo Anthony got into it during and after a game. Then the Knicks angered the Celtics by wearing all black to Game 4 for the “funeral” of the Celtics.
Garnett is signed for two more seasons while Pierce has a $15.3 million team option. Boston could buy out Pierce for $5 million. Garnett, who is turning 37 on May 19, hinted in February that he would be retiring after the season. Pierce has indicated that he does not want to play for any other team. This may finally be the year both players call it a career.
If Garnett’s last actions on an NBA court were walking off without congratulating his opponent, it would be very befitting of his competitive personality.
The Boston Celtics have an incredibly tall task ahead of them if they want to advance to the next round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are returning to New York on Wednesday night to face the Knicks, who have put Kevin Garnett and company in a 3-1 hole. If the Celtics need bulletin board matieral to motivate them, JR Smith is doing his best to provide it.
Smith did not play in Game 4 after he was suspended for elbowing Jason Terry during Game 3. Terry was a big reason the Celtics were able to force Game 5 with his 18-point performance (9 in overtime) in Game 4. When asked about Terry’s success in Game 4, Smith refused to acknowledge his existence.
Refusing to let him off that easy, a reporter asked Smith a follow-up question about the Celtics guard.
“Who?” he asked again. “Who is that?”
There you go, Boston. If Doc Rivers was looking for something to use to wake his team up at Madison Square Garden, this should be a good place to start. Smith was also asked if the Knicks would have been able to sweep the Celtics had he not been suspended.
“Oh, yeah,” he said confidently. “It would have been over. I would have been playing golf today.”
This is the same Smith who recently said the Celtics are lost because they are missing a certain player, so he obviously isn’t afraid to offend his opponents. Whether or not it will come back to haunt him remains to be seen.
The rivalry between Jason Terry and LeBron James is growing by the day, but there is really no arguing who won the latest battle. Not only did LeBron lead the Miami Heat to a comeback win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night, he also straight up posterized Terry in the process.
On Wednesday, James admitted to reporters that he was glad Terry was the player he dunked on.
“I’ve had a chance to (review) it and it was one of my better ones,” James said, via ESPNBoston.com. “The fact that it happened to J.T. made it that much sweeter. Because we all know J.T. and he talks too much sometimes. And I’m glad it happened to him.”
LeBron stared Terry down after the dunk, resulting in a technical foul for taunting. Rather than admitting James posterized him, Terry instead sounded bitter when talking to reporters about the play.
When asked for his reaction to the dunk, Terry refused to man up.
“My reaction was when the fans were cheering and I went up and knocked down the technical,” he said according to CBS Boston. “That’s a great reaction.”
Yeah man, you really showed him. Terry got a facial and then went on to lose the game, but at least he knocked that technical free throw down. I’m sure LeBron instantly regretted it when that happened. Not.
The bottom line is Terry sounds like a baby. He talked trash about the Heat last week and then went out and got dunked all over. When that happens, the best approach is just to tip your hat and admit the opposition got the best of you.
LeBron James dunked on Jason Terry during the second quarter of the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game Monday, and he was called for a technical foul for taunting. The dunk was so powerful it caused people to instantly recall DeAndre Jordan’s posterization of Brandon Knight.
Terry stole a pass by the Heat, but Dwyane Wade stole the ball back after poking the ball loose from behind Terry. Wade passed the ball to Mario Chalmers, who dished to Norris Cole, who fed James with a lob. LeBron just destroyed Terry, who was trying to defend the dunk. He sent the Celtics guard to the floor and stared over him for a second, leading to the technical.
James also had another reason to boast following the game — he helped the Heat overcome a 17-point deficit to beat the Celtics 105-103 and extend their winning streak to 23 games. James scored 13 of his 37 points in the final eight minutes of the game — including the tying and winning shots.
Jordan, who destroyed Knight on a dunk two Sundays ago, paid his respects to James with a tweet:
On top of all that, Terry is not impressed with the Heat’s current win streak, which sits at an amazing 20 games in a row.
“Not really impressed with it or anything that they do,” Terry told ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg. “So, for me, it’s more about what our team is doing and how we’re coming together as a unit.”
It should be noted that Terry played against the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, so any negative feelings he has toward them are not necessarily new. That being said, you have to be pretty stubborn to refuse to admit that winning 20 games in a row is an amazing feat. Paul Pierce said he is not concerned with what the Heat are doing, but did admit that he is impressed with their streak.
“It’s rare when you’ve got a team that plays so well to be able to do that,” Pierce said. “It’s hard not to keep track of it. Anytime you go to NBA.com or ESPN.com, it’s going to be right there. It’s very impressive what they’re doing. It is what it is. But I think they don’t care about the winning streak.”
Another reason the Celtics are downplaying the Heat’s success is that they will host Miami in Boston on Monday. If Miami beats the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, they will be defending a 22-game win streak at TD Garden. We know Terry loves the Celtics, otherwise he wouldn’t have gotten this tattoo. That being said, he and the rest of the Celtics are playing it cool if they say they aren’t concerned with the Heat’s streak. They would love the chance to snap in on Monday night.
Jason Terry has been trying to become one of the vocal leaders of the Boston Celtics since coming to the team this past offseason, but by the numbers it doesn’t appear he has been all that effective. The Celtics are 13-12 and have been incredibly inconsistent, both offensively and defensively. Terry’s play has been the same.
Paul Pierce scored a season-high 40 points on Wednesday night in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After the game, Terry praised the Celtics’ captain while throwing a seemingly senseless jab at Ray Allen.
“His (Pierce) willingness to stick through the tough times and not just jump off, ‘I’m out of here! I’m going to join forces with Kobe (Bryant),’ or ‘I’m going to play with Dwyane Wade’ — that’s a shot right there,” Terry said according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
Terry is averaging 11.4 points and 2.2. assists per game this season. The Celtics have needed him to step up in a number of situations with Avery Bradley injured, and he has not consistently done that. He has done plenty of talking and shown he is a good teammate, but his play has to improve if Boston plans to contend again in the Eastern Conference.
Allen is averaging 11.9 points per game, so the scoring numbers are similar. However, he is shooting a whopping 47% from beyond the arc and has hit a number of clutch shots for the 16-6 Miami Heat. Allen left more money on the table to join the Heat to chase a championship. Many were understandably upset with his decision, but at the moment it looks like it was the right one if he wants to win another ring. If Terry really wants to stick it to Ray, he can start by helping the Celtics win more games.
Jason Terry had some strong words for Kris Humphries following the fight that broke out between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Although the foul Humphries committed on Kevin Garnett wasn’t all that hard and evidence clearly shows Rajon Rondo punching Humphries in the face, Terry showed strong support for his teammate.
“Some guys are tough. Some guys pretend to be. (Humphries is) one of those that pretends to be,” Terry told reporters according to the NY Daily News. “I played with him (on the 2009-10 Dallas Mavericks). Maybe that’s the role Avery (Johnson) wants him to have, but he could leave that to somebody else.”
Terry also proceeded to call Humphries “soft,” so it sounds like he covered all the necessary post-fight insults. Humphries refused to speak to reporters about the incident after the game, but he did later tweet this photo which showed that he got clawed up during the scrum. According to Nets forward Reggie Evans, Humphries got scratched by a little bug.
“That’s just like a mosquito in your face. Eventually, you are going to swat at the mosquito, right?” Evans said. “You aren’t going to let mosquitos in your face. You are going to get bumps all over your face. So you have to knock the mosquito down.”
Is it too early to be dreaming of a potential Eastern Conference playoff matchup between these two teams?