KG vs Joakim Noah: Rivalry on


KG vs Joakim Noah: Rivalry on

Tonight will be the 20th installment in what has become one of the most entertaining rivalries in the NBA. At the very least, the most entertaining rivalry in Boston.

Tom Thibodeau vs Doc Rivers? Nope.

Paul Pierce vs. Luol Deng? Nope.

Rajon Rondo vs. Derrick Rose? Shut up that's not even funny.

Nate Robinson vs. a ball boy? Not bad. But still wrong.

The answer is Kevin Garnett and Joakim Noah.

It's Kevin Garnett vs. Joakim Noah.

It's gold, Jerry. Gold!

As I type, KG has the edge in team and individual numbers. His Celtics are 12-7 against Noah's Bulls, and in those 19 games, Garnett's averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds, while Noah's posted 10.8 and 10.1. (There's also the matter of the 2009 Playoffs, and that certainly counts for something, but not as much as if Garnett had actually played.)

Either way, to this point, KG has definitely gotten the better of this rivalry. But lately, the tides have turned. Noah might be 7-12 lifetime, but he's won six of the last eight. And this year, even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls have been steady while the C's have been all over the place.

Noah was actually questionable for tonight's game with a sore foot, but announced at this morning's shootaround that he "wouldn't miss this for anything."

And by "this" you know that he means this . . .

KG rakes the face

Mouth open? OK, go

This might sting a little


Elbow to the chest coming in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

Elbow to the face coming in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

Noah dunk. NOAH MAAAAD!

Actually, maybe you shouldn't click on this one

Is this a prosthetic?

I'm not looking AT you but I'm talking TO you

He means his rivalry with Kevin Garnett.

So, why don't they get along?

Because they're too similar. Not in pure skill, but in the way they approach game. Deep down, you know they respect the hell out of the way the other one competes. But they're like two live cables; when their paths cross sparks are going to fly. Throw in the generational divide and the always high stakes, and you can see how we got here. You have to love that we did. And look forward to watching them face off on the parquet.

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Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”