Maybe the NBA will rescind the technical foul given to Kevin Garnett late in Wednesday night's 115-103 win over the Suns. After all, he was only trying to help.
"[Suns Head Coach] Alvin Gentry was asking for tickets for the first round of the playoffs so I told him I'd hook him up," Garnett said.
Of course Garnett was kidding, but he was all business on the court. It was clear early on that he, along with his team, hadn't forgotten about the way the Celtics were handled by the Suns earlier this season.
"Coming into the game we felt that this was - we were hyped for this game truthfully," Paul Piece said. "We couldn't wait to get them back in our building based on what happened last time and some of the words. It was very refreshing to go out there and get this win how we did it."
Pierce scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, and Garnett finished with a season high 28 points on 12-14 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Celtics jumped out to a 29-point lead in the third quarter before the Suns slowly climbed back into it at the hands of the bench unit.
"I didn't like the way our second unit played down that one stretch," Doc Rivers said. "I thought we should've never had to put our starters back in. I told them at half time I was concerned because I know our unit - the reason they played so well in the first half was that they defended. And don't come in second half thinking about scoring. And I thought that's exactly what they did. So it's tough."
Pierce was quick to agree with his coach, saying that the team got a bit too comfortable with their lead.
"We started to relax a little bit. I think we got kind of complacent with the lead. It started actually at the end of the third when we subbed. The thing is we are trying to get some of the new guys feet wet and what better opportunity to do it then in a game when we are up 25-28. It's going to take time."
It's Going To Take Time
It wasn't "Kendrick Perkins" rounding out the list of announced starters before Wednesday night's game against the Suns tipped off - it was Nenad Krstic.
Krstic, along with Jeff Green and Troy Murphy made their TD Garden debuts wearing Celtics green and white, and look to make solid contributions from here on out.
"It has a lot of potential man, especially with the way Doc coaches the offense, the way we move the ball and make the extra passes, the way Krstic can shoot the ball, Murphy can shoot the ball, Green can go inside and outside, it really complements a lot of their abilities," Pierce said. "It's going to take time, but the potential is definitely there with this group."
Prior to the game, Green was asked about his readiness on this team, having just arrived a few days ago.
"I'm already ready," he said. "I'm already comfortable. I already know the plays. So I'm all good. It was a rough two days, just trying to get situated, trying to learn the plays, the style of play, the things they like. It just takes practice.
"I've been doing my studying, just trying to catch up. Things might have been a little shaky but it's just going to take time. To come to a team like this with many vets, and to try to come in and be successful right away, it's going to take some time."
"Shaky" would be the right word used there. Watching Green play last night, it's clear that he has skill. After he airmailed his first shot (nerves) he settled right in. Green converted a baseline jumper and made a great, powerful drive to the basket in traffic - something only a couple players on this team could have done. Thought to originally be a backup on this team, Green along with someone like Pierce, can wreak havoc for defenders.
"Well most perimeter players, most 2 guards don't like to guard me," Pierce said. "When you get him out there on the court they are kind of forced to. It puts them in a bind because he is such a great post player and I can play in the post so teams have to make a decision on who they are going to put on me and then Jeff. On the other end of the floor he's a guy that can take pressure off of guarding the big time stars at my position and really giving me a break in that aspect."
The C's style of ball is quite unique and Green goes from playing with young guys to a group of veterans. One veteran that will hopefully have the biggest impact on Green is Garnett. It looks as if Garnett is already rubbing off on Green the way we all expect him too.
"KG, he welcomed me with open arms, he's a heck of a guy," Green said. "That intensity he has just kind of follows you. I've been with him two games and I can see myself falling into how he plays. And that's a good thing, hopefully that can help us win some games."
For Garnett, it's important to have a relationship with his teammates off the court just as much as it is on the court. He and Perkins are obviously close, which is why it hurt to see him go, but Garnett and his new teammates will get along just fine.
"We hung out in Utah, not much to do, but we hung out, we had some social time," he said. "It's a chance for you to really sit back, really get to know the person like I said. They're great guys, a lot in common - a lot of things in common with a lot of guys on the team. So we're just embracing this new change and it's a great one."
One person Garnett hasn't had a chance to get to know yet is Troy Murphy. Murphy got to the TD Garden for the first time roughly two hours before tip-off and got a brief rundown on some of the offense.
Banished to the New Jersey bench for most of the regular season for no good reason, it will take a little time for him to get his legs back. But they are there. Murphy is no slouch - he has averaged a double-double five times throughout his career and can certainly help this team on both ends of the floor once he gets acclimated with the system.
"Just rust, it's been a whirlwind last couple days," Murphy said when asked about how he felt to get back on the court. "I'm excited to finally get underway here. I'm looking forward to practice tomorrow, and getting a practice under my belt. Each day I'm feeling like it's going to get better."
It couldn't have gotten much worse for Murphy, who has never played in a playoff game in his career. For that reason he chose the Celtics, thinking that he has the best chance to go the deepest with them.
"That was the most important factor, going to a team that was going to not only be in the playoffs, but for a long playoff run. Looking at the teams, the Celtics have all the potential to do that"
Glen Davis got some burn with Murphy tonight. When asked how he thought it went, he said it reminded him of playing with Rasheed Wallace a little bit because of the way Murphy can pick and pop.
Speaking of Glen Davis
It was garbage minutes at this point in the game, seconds to be exact.
With 49 seconds left in the game, Glen Davis went up for a dunk and walked away hobbling. It didn't look good, and immediately flashes of Tony Allen and Kevin Garnett entered people's minds.
"It was hard [to watch]," Garnett said. "We're back to that injury bug and we're trying to maneuver around it. Unfortunately Baby is going to be out, we haven't gotten the timeline for it but hopefully he's better than the norm and he's not out too long or out period. Baby is a trooper; he's been playing hurt throughout this whole year and some last year."
Davis limped off the court with help, and went back into the locker rooms. The prognosis was a strained patella tendon in his left knee - not as bad as it could have been anyways.
Like Garnett said, Davis has been playing hurt for the majority of the season. If he doesn't look right out there on the court, it's probably because he isn't. Remember that breakaway dunk he missed against the Heat? Blame it on the knees - he does.
Before and after each game, his legs are wrapped so heavily (with ice) you'd think he's trying to sneak out with 50 dinner rolls (maybe he is).
Davis has played through the injuries this year because he's felt that he has had to. To be honest, he has. Think about all those times where the C's really had nobody else. Now, they might have to play without him, at least for a bit.
He's scheduled for an MRI on Thursday morning, where they will be able to tell more. After the game he said he was going to be ok, so it doesn't appear to be anything long-term.
Another day, another injury - but also another win. They keep finding ways, don't they?