No fine for Garnett not surprising to Rivers

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No fine for Garnett not surprising to Rivers

MIAMI Celtics coach Doc Rivers wasn't surprised that the NBA decided to not discipline Kevin Garnett for the altercation near the end of Sunday's loss to New York that involved Garnett and former Celtic Billy Walker.

Rivers had little to say Sunday about the incident that involved Garnett putting his hands around Walker's neck, because he didn't see it happen at the time and had yet to review it on video.

Rivers has seen it plenty of times since then, which he said is why he knew the league wouldn't punish the 6-foot-11 forward.

"It's funny," Rivers said. "Kevin is Kevin, and he gets into a lot of stuff. But I thought everyone missed the beginning of that play."

According to Rivers, after Garnett missed a potential game-tying jumper, Walker reached out and hit Garnett on the arm.

"It's amazing how I watched that play on TV for two days, and I didn't see that one time," Rivers said. "The TV replays Rivers saw only shows Kevin's reaction to it. I didn't think he would get suspended once I saw it on game film."

As much as it was a play that the league had to review, Rivers understands that Garnett's history of similar situations involving him and other players played a role in folks perceiving Garnett as the one who went after Walker.

"He's an instigator," Rivers said. "I don't mind. He is who he is. How old is Kevin? I'm not gonna change him. I'm not even going to try. I like his fire. I like who he is."

Rivers admits there are times when he would like to see Garnett walk away from certain situations.

But you know the saying, 'You can always kindle a fire. It's much harder to start one.' "

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”