Boston Celtics

House not sentimental about Celtics

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House not sentimental about Celtics

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

MIAMI Eddie House has lots of love for his former Boston Celtics teammates.

It goes beyond simply being on the same roster.

They have the kind of bond that can never be broken, the kind forged with the blood, sweat and tears that come about through winning an NBA title.

But House plays for the Miami Heat now.

There's a time to be brothers, he says.

Now?

It ain't that time, people.

"We got plenty of time, the rest of our lives to be friends," House told CSNNE.com following Miami's practice on Friday. "But when we're out on that court . . . (expletive) 'em."

As talented as both teams are, there's no love lost between these two.

Boston eliminated the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs last year.

LeBron James, now with the Heat, played for Cleveland last season and he, too, was ousted by the Celtics.

It was the second time in the past three years that James' season ended at the hands of the Celtics.

Having one team continue to beat you in the games that matter most, repeatedly, certainly brings about some animosity.

That animosity, wrapped around both teams fighting for the right to move on in the playoffs, will make this one of the more closely-watched, contentious playoff series to date.

"They're gonna come out just how we are, guns blazing, throwing punches," House said. "We know they're not going to back down. I think they know we're not going to back down if that last game was an indication of it."

In their last regular season game, a 23-point Heat route, Boston's Jermaine O'Neal (he played for Miami last year) and James were separated by teammates for both after O'Neal delivered a hard foul on James that James didn't appreciate.

"That play was what it was," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said at the time. "I thought it was all theatrical, all that crap. That stuff . . . I guess that's called toughness these days. Two guys run into each other. I guess we gotta call that a flagrant foul, which I thought that was a joke. I thought the reaction by both was a joke. Don't even get me started on that crap."

Regardless, this series is expected to be a physical one between two teams that it seems all season, were on a crash course with one another to meet in the playoffs.

House said he came to Miami because he felt that he could help them win an NBA title.

But to to that, he said, a series with the Celtics was inevitable.

"To accomplish our goals, you're going to have to go through Boston at some point," House reasoned. "You're gonna have to see them. We haven't done anything yet, and they've done a whole lot of stuff. We know we gotta go through them to get where we're going."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.