Newcomers buy into Celts' playoff mentality


Newcomers buy into Celts' playoff mentality

By JessicaCamerato

Only a fraction of the 2010 Boston Celtics team that fell one win shy of an NBA championship is on the Cs playoff roster this postseason. The faces may be different this time around, but the new players have bought in to the Celtics playoff mentality. Jeff Green Nenad Krstic, Sasha Pavlovic, and Von Wafer talked to about how the Celtics approach to the playoffs compares to their previous postseason experiences.

Nenad Krstic
Last postseason Nenad Krstic played alongside the leagues leading scorer, Kevin Durant, on the Oklahoma City Thunder. This season, he is adjusting to a Celtics team whose title hunt is rooted in defense.

Here it is more detailed. Were learning their (the opponents) plays and were repeating through the practice the small details. Im not saying the Thunder arent doing the same thing, but when I was on the team we were more focusing offensively -- what can we do to score? Defensively we were doing some stuff, but not like detailed work here.

Von Wafer
Von Wafer was tossed from the Houston Rockets bench by head coach Rick Adelman for complaining about playing time during the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Two years later, he has a new outlook on the Celtics, even when he isnt on the court.

Oh the Celtics approach is different, a lot more focus. These guys arent playing around, so youve just got to be on your Ps and Qs. Its a different type of focus. They just turn it up a notch. Everybody turns it up. It helps me a lot because Ive got to be even more focused than those guys and stay on my Ps and Qs.

Sasha Pavlovic
Sasha Pavlovic made four consecutive postseason appearances with the Cleveland Cavaliers, including a seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Celtics during the Cs 2008 title run. After a few months in Boston this season, he has an idea of what those Cavs clubs were missing.

The approach is pretty much the same but the guys are different. When I played in the playoffs with the Cavs, we had a younger team and a lot of guys that had never been in the playoffs before. Here, thats the only difference because we have a lot of guys who have been there before and we have more experience than we did with the Cavs. I think it helps a lot because if we had a couple of guys like that in Cleveland when we played, we would have been a lot better.

Jeff Green
Last season Green was part of a young Oklahoma City Thunder squad that turned heads by pushing the Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. He looks to continue that fighting mentality in his playoff run with the Celtics.

The Celtics approach is a little bit more intense, but the ultimate goal is always the same. Do your studying on the team and do your best when you go out there.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBAShe can bereached at

Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder


Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Klay Thompson made a playoff-record 11 3-pointers and scored 41 points, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors forced a seventh game in the Western Conference finals with a 108-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

Stephen Curry bounced back from a slow start to finish with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Warriors, who set the league's regular-season record with 73 wins, will host Game 7 on Monday. The winner will play Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City dominated Games 3 and 4 at home, but the Warriors made 21 of 44 3-pointers on Saturday, while Oklahoma City was 3 of 23.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 28 for the Thunder. But Durant made just 10 of 31 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 27.

Trying to become the 10th team to overcome a 3-1 deficit, the Warriors trailed much of the game and trailed by eight going to the fourth quarter.

Thompson kept them in it with four 3-pointers in just over seven minutes to start the period. Curry then hit two 3s, the second of which tied the game at 99 with 2:47 to play.

Thompson's 3 with 1:35 to play put the Warriors up 104-101.

The Thunder, who blew a number of fourth-quarter leads during the regular season, fell apart in the final minutes after Golden State had finally gone ahead for good.

Westbrook lost control of the ball, and after Thompson missed a 3, Westbrook turned the ball over again. Curry's layup with 14.3 seconds to play put the Warriors up by five, the Thunder turned it over again, and the Warriors were in the clear.

The Thunder led 23-20 after one quarter, then seized momentum early in the second. Steven Adams' powerful one-handed dunk on Draymond Green drew a roar from the crowd and gave Oklahoma City a 37-28 lead. Green, who had hit Adams in the groin area twice during the series, was a constant target for the vocal Thunder fans.

Thompson opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors a 54-53 edge, but the Thunder closed the quarter strong and led 83-75 heading into the fourth.