KG did his job: He got under 'Melo's skin


KG did his job: He got under 'Melo's skin

WALTHAM Coming off one of their biggest victories of the season, the attention still remains on what happened after the Boston Celtics' win at New York.

The league is investigating the postgame incidents involving Carmelo Anthony and Boston's Kevin Garnett that involved Anthony reportedly going towards the C's locker room immediately after the game and, later, waiting for Garnett by the C's team bus.

While it remains unclear as to what Anthony was hoping to accomplish, it's clear that Garnett achieved what he tends to do to a lot of players - get their focus out of whack.

Anthony had a horrible game (20 points on 6-for-26 shooting) and his postgame antics were just as bad.

No one knows for sure what, if anything, Garnett said or did to trigger such anger from Anthony.

Known for his bark, Garnett showed that defensively at least, he still has some bite left in him.

"He's a good player; a good defensive player," coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett. "He's not going to back down. He's not going to go anywhere. And opposing players know it and it bothers them. Kevin's Kevin.

Rivers added, "You watch that tape and Kevin did nothing wrong throughout the game. He just played hard; he was defiant. He was stubborn on defense, wouldn't give you anything easy. That's how you're supposed to play defense. Sometimes it bothers people."

It certainly did Anthony, whose actions on Monday night will surely be a significant blow -- at least in the short term -- to his league MVP chances.

One theory is that Garnett who is a legendary trash talker, said something that irked Anthony to respond the way he did.

"Everybody talks," Rivers said. "I think that talking stuff is so overblown. Talking is so overblown to me. Talking's been going on since before I even started playing. Larry Bird was one of the best, biggest trash talkers in the league."

As a former player, Rivers knows all too well how tempers can flare in tightly contested game that involve teams that have been rivals for decades.

The players may change, but the deep-rooted dislike for one another's franchises remains as strong as ever.

Just a few years ago, Paul Pierce and then-Knicks wing man Quentin Richardson had their issues every time the two faced one another.

"It's becoming a rivalry," Pierce said. "A lot of heated exchanges over the years between the Knicks and us. It's just something about teams fighting for the division."

Said Rivers: "It is an emotional game, but you need to leave it on the floor. I think we all would agree with that. And we'll leave it there."

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP


Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how an NBA team’s season ends, change is inevitable.
And while there’s no doubt that the Celtics are on the right track in terms of their ascension in the NBA, it's too soon to tell how many players on the Celtics’ 15-man roster that Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations, will bring back next season.


“One thing I do know. He’ll make the best decisions for the team and if players don’t end up being back here, I wish the best for them,” said Avery Bradley.  “Those are my brothers. We all had a special year. I appreciate everything, all the time I had with them. I’d love for all those guys to be back. We’ll see.”
And with Boston coming off its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, adding just any player won’t cut it.
The Celtics’ mindset now isn’t just to improve, but get good enough to where they can better compete with the likes of Cleveland, which just ended the Celtics’ season with a Game 5 thumping.
The most significant move made by the Celtics last offseason was the signing of Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.
Like most of his Boston teammates this season, Horford is eager to see what changes are in store this summer.
“We just have to wait and see,” Horford said. “We had such a good year. A lot of positive things. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny, the organization feels is going to be the next step.”
Multiple league sources have told in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.
That makes sense when you consider how guard-dominant the Celtics were this season and how that had a negative impact on the team’s rebounding and, to a lesser degree, their defense as a whole.
Gordon Hayward has emerged as a target, but all indications – for now at least – point toward him returning to Utah.
The Celtics may pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Although like Hayward, he too is expected to re-sign with his current team for a max contract (for Griffin that would be five years, $175 million).
While trades are certainly in the cards for Boston, at this point the Celtics seem more inclined to improve their overall talent base via the draft and free agency.
“It’s always a good thing when you have the opportunity to add value to your team and don’t have to change your team too much,” said Celtics’ reserve Gerald Green, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’m going to be very interested to see what they do as far as building a team. We’re in a good place right now as far as being where we want to be organization-wise. I feel like we’re one or two steps away from actually being at the Finals. I think Danny has some things to think about, but I’m sure he’s going to do the job. I’ve seen Danny go to work in these situations. He always makes the team better. I’m pretty sure he’s got something planned that, at the end of the day, is going to make this organization better.”
Indeed, the Celtics could very well strengthen their position for next season by simply locking up some of their core players who may hit the free agent market soon.
Boston may look to work out an extension with Isaiah Thomas before the start of this season. Because if he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, he will be poised to command a salary that in year one would be worth more than the entire four-year, $27 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” Thomas said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that and understand that. But I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization … it’s been good.”