Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
On the Celtics PR staff’s quote sheets, the first sentence in Kevin Garnett‘s post-ejection press conference reads: “This game was not about foreplay.” There’s a chance he said “floor plan,” but foreplay seems more appropriate.
After being pushed around in four embarrassing blowout losses, the C’s finally fought back. Maybe a little too hard, as Garnett decked Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough across the face midway through the fourth quarter of a lopsided victory of their own, earning a flagrant-2 foul and an early trip to the massage table.
“He just hit me in my face,” said Hansbrough, who scored a game-high 19 points. “I went to the basket and took a blow to the head. I didn’t really see the replay. I’ve got nothing to say about it. It is what it is.”
“I was firm,” countered KG (18 points, 7 rebounds). “I didn’t mean to get him in the face like that. I was actually trying to swipe the ball, but it was a physical game, and they called it that way. It was part of the game.”
There are some people out there who enjoy rough foreplay, but I digress. I loved the Celtics attitude in this basketball game. Except for Kevin Garnett’s takedown of Hansbrough, they played smart, physical basketball.
I hate to be the turd in the punch bowl, but the Pacers are not a good offensive basketball team (29th offensive rating). But this defensive effort was most certainly a step in the right direction. The buzzer hadn’t sounded yet and some folks on Twitter were already asking if the victory was a turning point. Um, no. If the Celtics rattle off a nice 8 wins in 10 games stretch, then we can say yes. Let’s not forget how giddy we got after the Christmas day thrashing of the Nets in Brooklyn.
As for Garnett’s Flagrant 2, the league can review the foul call, but I’m not sure it will be reduced. In my opinion, Garnett was trying to whack Hansbrough hard, just not in the face. Hansbrough’s herky-jerky style disrupted KG’s rhythm and the result was a blow to the head.
Expect the Flagrant 2 ruling to be upheld, but there will not be a suspension. [more info on rules]
I have to mention Jared Sullinger. The boy is growing up right before our very eyes. He was super-aggressive in the paint last night and how about those elbows? Keep’ em high, Jared. And don’t be afraid to put them in some guy’s chest.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – C’s starting over again | Lee getting comfortable in Boston | Globe – Celtics snap skid | Sullinger awesome in win | CSNNE – Sullinger: Bradley changes our whole defense | Rondo: We want to build on this | Herald – Celtics ace chemistry | Rondo returns to form | WEEI – Celtics should try to deal Garnett |