Knicks expecting more trash talk from Garnett

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Knicks expecting more trash talk from Garnett

BOSTON There's always a certain amount of chippy play when the Celtics and Knicks face each other.

Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony's relationship today was what Paul Pierce had with Quentin Richardson just a few years ago.

That's why, regardless of all the events that transpired during and after their last encounter earlier this month, this game was going to be a physical one regardless.

"Anytime you have a game that's such a physical game with two physical teams, it's going to get chippy out there," said Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire. "But the ones who keep their composure the most, have a better chance of winning the game."

That was certainly the case when these two faced off on Jan. 7, a game in which the Celtics won, 102-96.

During the game, there were a number of verbal exchanges between Garnett and Anthony, resulting in both players being hit with double technicals.

The anger built up during the game spilled into the post-game with Anthony initially making inroads towards the C's locker room, and moments later he was waiting for Garnett near the Celtics team bus.

The NBA suspended Anthony for one game because of his actions.

Not surprisingly, Anthony as well as the Knicks as a whole are trying to put the incident behind them.

"It's really about playing solid on both sides of the ball; for us it is," said New York head coach Mike Woodson. "Both teams are going to be competitive. That's just the nature of this team when you come into the Garden. We let a game get away at home. We're trying to come in and get one back. That's the only way I view it. The trash talking and everything that happened back at our place, I think that's all done. Guys just want to come and play. That's how we are going to try and approach it."

Both Garnett and Anthony have said the incident is behind them. But only will an incident-free game tonight truly appease the skeptics who still believe that Anthony will approach tonight's game with something to prove.

"I hope not," Stoudemire said. "Melo is very important to this team. We need him to play at a high level, especially tonight against these guys. It should be a very exciting game."

And one in which Garnett's in-game chatter -- better known to foes as world-class trash talk -- will be alive and well as it has been throughout his career.

While the focus for many will be on what Garnett says during the game to Anthony, Stoudemire knows he's not immune to a few verbal jabs from Garnett.

"He's been like that his whole career," Stoudemire said. "I have been accustomed to the trash talking since my Phoenix Suns days. I'm pretty used to it. That's what he does; that's what his legacy is about. We have to respect that, but at the same time we have to make sure we keep our composure and play through it."

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

WALTHAM, Mass. – NBA players are creatures of habit so you can understand why Al Horford was just a little bit out of his element on his first practice with the Boston Celtics.
 
After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford hit the free agent market this summer and signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics.
 
Horford acknowledged that his first practice with the Celtics “was a little different” but added, “It’s definitely a weird feeling, but it feels right to be here.”

Players, coaches, national pundits, the list is seemingly endless when it comes to folks who believe Horford is an ideal fit with the Boston Celtics.
 
“He can do score in the paint, shoot 3s, defend, pass, he can do it all out there,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “He’s going to fit in well with us.”
 
But like any rookie or newcomer to a team, Horford admitted he had some moments when he was a step or two late getting to where he needed to be on the floor.
 
“We’re running through a lot of plays, a lot of concepts being thrown out,” Horford said. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with all the sets.”
 
As much as he will work to figure things out, Horford is wise enough to know he’ll need the help of his new teammates, too.
 
“I’m going to lean on a lot of the guys,” Horford said. “I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions. Avery (Bradley) already has gotten in my ear, anything I need he’s there for me. I just want to get acclimated as fast as I can.”
 
Horford also said that head coach Brad Stevens has been extremely helpful in assisting him in speeding up his learning curve.
 
“Coach (Stevens) is very sharp, very . . .  he explains things well,” Horford said. “He explains things well. He wants practice to move along. The pace of practice, definitely a faster pace.”
 
But you won’t find Horford complaining.
 
Horford is clearly excited about starting this new chapter in his basketball career.
 
“For me it’s more of a relief, finally being here in Boston, house, being settled,” Horford said. “Now we can just focus on the season.”