Feeling Flip? On Buchholz's balkReturn of two-sport athlete

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Feeling Flip? On Buchholz's balkReturn of two-sport athlete

Flip Saunders expects the Miami Heat to win the NBA Finals.

This was the headline from a story in this morning's Star Tribune, in which writer Sid Hartman (of the Minneapolis Hartmans) interviewed Saunders on a series of NBA matters.

Hartman and Saunders who spent 10 years as the Timberwolves head coach and the last two months as an adviser with the Celtics spoke about LeBron James and Kevin Durant. They spoke about Saunders time in Boston. They spoke about his relationship with Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett, and his future in coaching.

Wedged in between all this conversation was an interesting little tidbit that felt so obvious and unimportant within the flow of the story that Hartman didn't even bother using quotes. It was just a little throw away line that transitioned into the next stage of his column.

Saunders is positive Garnett, who is a free agent, will sign for another year with the Celtics, who have some rebuilding to do.
Wow. That easy, huh?

So, I guess the question is: How much faith do you have in Flip Saunders a guy who spent a decade coaching Garnett in Minnesota and was closer to him over this last playoff run than all but a hand full of people? How much faith do you have in Sid Hartman? Did Saunders actually say that he was "positive" or was Hartman perhaps just somewhat casually summing up Saunders general opinion, without realizing what an absolutely enormous deal this is in Boston?

Ehhh, I don't know. I guess it's better we don't jump to any conclusions. That we don't get too high or low on what other people are saying, because for all we know someone else close to KG will come out tomorrow saying that he's hanging them up, and then what do we do? WHAT DO WE DO?!

We do nothing. We sit and wait for Garnett to make a decision, and hope to have a few finger (andor toe) nails left by the time he does.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

BOSTON – There was a point in the fourth quarter when Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins was fouled trying to score which brought about an automatic, intense and angry scowl from the all-star center. 

He raised his hand as he were going to strike back at the potential assailant. 

And then he saw the man was Jae Crowder. 

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Cousins, who had a game-high 28 points, then went to the free throw line, incident-free. 

“I’m not one those other cats he be punking,” said Crowder with a grin.

That moment was one of many throughout Friday night’s game when Crowder made his presence felt when the game mattered most, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with whoever stood between him and helping the Celtics win – even Cousins. 

But as Crowder explained following Boston’s 97-92 win, that moment was about two physical players who have developed an on-the-floor rapport that speaks to their intensity and desire to win at all costs. 

“He’s going to bring the game to you; his physicality,” said Crowder who had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. “He’s a very physical type of guy. If he senses you’re not physical at all, he’ll let you know. He’s a dog down there; he’s a bull. I love to go against a player like that. He’s going to give you his best shot each and every night. You either step up to the test or you get run over.” 

As soon as the two made eye contact, Crowder knew it was one of the many intimidation methods used by Cousins against opposing players. 

Crowder wasn’t having it. 

“That’s my guy; he’s my guy,” Crowder said of Cousins. “He plays a lot of tactics against a lot of other players. I’ve earned that respect with him. He knows I’m going to fight him just as hard as anybody else. We leave it on the court. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve become friends, just playing ball, playing basketball the right way.”