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The dust has settled in the past 12+ hours in an extremely eventful Friday night contest against the floundering Phoenix Suns for your Boston Celtics. With a showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers looming a mere 24 hours from now, there’s plenty to talk about in the near future. Still, with so much happening last night in the Desert, it’s necessary to debrief and hear some reaction from the team’s putrid outing in the desert.
It took place at the 4:33 mark of the second quarter when Steve Javie gave Doc Rivers the heave-ho after a little chit chat during a C’s timeout. Here’s how Rivers explains it going down (via The Boston Globe)
Celtics coach Doc Rivers had an early night as he was ejected for consecutive technical fouls by official Steve Javie, who had enough of Doc jawing about the officiating in the Celtics’ 88-71 loss to Phoenix. The Celtics were whistled for eight first-quarter fouls against the Phoenix big men, and the Celtics trailed 42-25 with 4:33 left in the half at the time of the ejection. It was one of the Celtics’ worst performances of the season.
“I’m not sure,” Rivers said when asked about the ejection. “I didn’t earn it. So I think you have to ask Mr. Javie. He actually came into our huddle. We were standing there and he came up to us. I’ll tell you exactly what was said. He said, ‘You guys are complaining way too much.’ And I said, ‘Then make the right calls.’ His answer back was ‘I’ll make a call for you.’ That’s how I got the tech. After I got the tech, I didn’t have any choice words for him. I didn’t say a word. You know what I said? ‘It’s about the game, it’s not about one individual.’ That’s what I said over and over again.”
Rivers paused twice to deliver additional invective, likely earning himself an additional fine from the league.
In truth, Rivers might actually want to thank Javie from having to sit ringside as the Celts suffered the TKO.
“Listen, it wasn’t about that why we lost the game,” the coach said. “We didn’t play well.”
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com has well and has this reaction from Doc and Ray Allen involving the KG “low blow” and the ejection that followed:
If the league views Garnett’s contact as a punch thrown – which seems highly unlikely, based on the replay – they could potentially suspend him for Sunday’s highly anticipated matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rivers watched the play inside the locker room, and said he was surprised by the officials call.
“I thought Channing Frye was the instigator,” Rivers said. “Kevin didn’t jump in Channing’s face. I thought Channing Frye jumped in Kevin’s face. I don’t know how we get a throw-out on that.”
Rivers was reminded of the blow near Frye’s waist that was delivered by Garnett.
“If that did happen, it would only be like the 20th time it probably happened in the game,” Rivers said. “You see it all the time; guys poke at your stomach. Come on. If that’s what gets a guy upset, then they’re a really tough guy.”
Celtics guard Ray Allen has taken his share of hits above, around and below the waist.
As an NBA shooter, Allen believes it just comes with the territory.
“I’ve trained where people hit me on the waist; people put me in situations where they’re tugging me. I just follow through on my shot like I normally would,” Allen said. “Guys try to sell it with the referees. Guys fall down and act like they’re dead.”
I’m not going to defend the KG play, however I would be shocked if he earns a suspension because of it. Definitely a fine, but not a game penalty. And definitely not before tomorrow afternoon’s premier showdown.
Say all you want about the drama surrounding this game, but the fact of the matter is the Celtics shot 34.1 percent last night. It’s easy to see why Doc wanted to have this road trip changed, the absurd travel times and turnaround made last night’s contest brutal to say the least. Nonetheless the lack of road scoring has become a problem. Take a look at the C’s offensive point totals from the past four road games.
@ Phoenix 71
@ Portland 88
@ Washington 83
@ Chicago 79
Unsurprisingly, the C’s have lost three of those four games. And given the fact Glen Davis could be on the shelve for awhile with a strained hamstring, the road will not get easier entering LA tomorrow afternoon. Paul Pierce is beat up, KG has been up and down, Ray Allen has cooled off and Rajon Rondo has had more turnovers that made field goals in all of those four games.
I’ll look at this a bit more in-depthly after tomorrow’s contest, but for now, Doc Rivers needs to take a look to see how to get this squad back posting points on the road to give itself a reasonable chance to win games.
Brendan comes back at you later tonight with plenty more to get ready for the NBA Finals rematch tomorrow afternoon.