No one can argue that Garnett did, in fact, clear out Andre Iguodala with his arm in an attempt to get Paul Piercefor a potential game-tying 3-pointer. The issue is whether there’s a difference between the first 47 minutes and the final one.
“I wasn’t fond of it. At all,” Doc Rivers said. “You know, I think Kevin got called for three off-the-ball offensive fouls. So clearly it looked like they were looking for it all night and they got three of them. If you’re going to tell me Kevin was the only one moving in picks tonight, then I’ll live with that. He clearly was not the only one, but he was the one who got the calls tonight. We put ourselves in that position. I say it all the time if you put yourself in a position to let someone else do something, then you can lose games and that's what happened."
Since all the talk right now is about the foul, let's talk about the foul. But only if you understand that the foul did not cost the Celtics the game. The Celtics cost the Celtics the game. Got it?
The thing that gets me about the call not even the call, which was correct. That WAS an illegal screen. Don't give me "you don't call that in that situation"… that's a terrible argument. I don't care if there's 10 seconds or 10 minutes left in the game, that's a foul. But the refs had been letting both teams play for pretty much most of the game.
This is my general argument about officials: you can't call it one way the whole game and then start calling fouls you let go. That's not fair to players on either team. Both teams had been allowed to do a lot. Both teams had gripes with officiating. But so long as both teams were allowed to play a physical, "we're swallowing our whistles" style of play, then I'm fine with it.
Those are really my only comments about "the foul." The refs could have called a ton of fouls on both teams and we would have had a parade of free throws. And if the Celtics had lost after that too, so be it. The call on KG was correct. It would have been nice to see, say, Brandon Bass get a couple of calls on his drives to the hoop, though.
But in the end, I will end my comments on a game-changing foul call the way I always do: Those fouls rarely, if ever, "lose" you the game. It's fine to talk about the call because it's something that happened, but it's never THE reason you lost. The Celtics had a multitude of chances. They scored 24 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters combined. They did it to themselves.
Related links: CSNNE: No complaints from Garnett on call | ESPN Boston: Doc not fond of late foul on KG | WEEI: Doc on late call: "I wasn't fond of it" | Kevin Garnett: Let the players decide the game | Globe: Garnett left at a loss
On Page 2: How they did it to themselves
“Listen, we knew the blueprint (of how they had to play to beat the fast-breaking, youthful legs of the Sixers) before the game,” Rivers said in disgust. “It took us three quarters to get into it and I always say that’s on me. Somehow I have to figure that out with our guys.
“I don’t think we have a big margin of error. We knew that coming into this whole playoff run with the bodies we have. We’re not going to run away from anybody.
“I would like to. We’ve done it once, I think, so far. Tonight I thought honestly we had a chance to. I really did. I thought if we played right we had a chance to do that and we just didn’t.”
Doc's talking about the early 9-0 run that Philly erased and turned into a game and then a lot of 1-on-1 play after that.
The Celtics need to understand a few things.
- They're older. And as much as they've staved off father time, they can't do all the same things they used to.
- They're banged up. Add that to #1 and you really need to move the ball.
- Philly's no joke. The Celtics are better than Philly and can end this series quickly IF they play the right way. But if they don't, Philly will win. This isn't some Bobcats team you can screw with and beat with 2 minutes of effort.
The Celtics have a HUGE advantage over the Sixers, and that's chemistry. Rondo can call a play from 2008 and they can run it. That is, if their heads are in the game. If their heads are not, then you get that disgusting possession with 1:00 left where Rondo was waving people around for 22 seconds and finally had to jack a terrible shot.
That's terrible basketball. That's not going to win anything.
Charles Barkley said at half time that it's clear to him the Celtics don't respect Philly. Well, they'd better start respecting them soon and playing the way they can play. They won't win this series putting forth the effort they have in games 1 and 2.
Related links: Globe: Reality of the series sets in | Herald: C's make bad decisions in loss | WEEI: Rondo: Celtics didn't need to lose to know Philly's no "pushover team"
The rest of the links:
Herald: Kevin Garnett the forgotten man | C's the day with Rajon Rondo | Bradley shoulders on | Young Sixers play big role | Moore learns from Bradley | Celtics go cold from the field | Young Sixers are the difference | Evan Turner steps up | Design for Russell statue unveiled | Globe: Pierce, Celtics, just not right in Game 2 | WEEI: Philly stakes its claim | Doc picks up another award | ESPN Boston: Stats & Info: C's offensive woes | Pietrus needs offseason surgery | CSNNE: Pierce: The knee was fine | MWDN: Pietrus still thinking about head injury