WALTHAM Coming off one of their biggest victories of the season, the attention still remains on what happened after the Boston Celtics' win at New York.
The league is investigating the postgame incidents involving Carmelo Anthony and Boston's Kevin Garnett that involved Anthony reportedly going towards the C's locker room immediately after the game and, later, waiting for Garnett by the C's team bus.
While it remains unclear as to what Anthony was hoping to accomplish, it's clear that Garnett achieved what he tends to do to a lot of players - get their focus out of whack.
Anthony had a horrible game (20 points on 6-for-26 shooting) and his postgame antics were just as bad.
No one knows for sure what, if anything, Garnett said or did to trigger such anger from Anthony.
Known for his bark, Garnett showed that defensively at least, he still has some bite left in him.
"He's a good player; a good defensive player," coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett. "He's not going to back down. He's not going to go anywhere. And opposing players know it and it bothers them. Kevin's Kevin.
Rivers added, "You watch that tape and Kevin did nothing wrong throughout the game. He just played hard; he was defiant. He was stubborn on defense, wouldn't give you anything easy. That's how you're supposed to play defense. Sometimes it bothers people."
It certainly did Anthony, whose actions on Monday night will surely be a significant blow -- at least in the short term -- to his league MVP chances.
One theory is that Garnett who is a legendary trash talker, said something that irked Anthony to respond the way he did.
"Everybody talks," Rivers said. "I think that talking stuff is so overblown. Talking is so overblown to me. Talking's been going on since before I even started playing. Larry Bird was one of the best, biggest trash talkers in the league."
As a former player, Rivers knows all too well how tempers can flare in tightly contested game that involve teams that have been rivals for decades.
The players may change, but the deep-rooted dislike for one another's franchises remains as strong as ever.
Just a few years ago, Paul Pierce and then-Knicks wing man Quentin Richardson had their issues every time the two faced one another.
"It's becoming a rivalry," Pierce said. "A lot of heated exchanges over the years between the Knicks and us. It's just something about teams fighting for the division."
Said Rivers: "It is an emotional game, but you need to leave it on the floor. I think we all would agree with that. And we'll leave it there."