“This Is Not A Rivalry”

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Kevin Garnett clearly wanted to make a point.  When the Globe asked him about a Celtics-Hawks rivalry, he said:

“This is not a rivalry.  [The Hawks] are a very good team, they play with a lot of confidence and swagger. Joe Johnson is one of the best in the business and they cause a lot of hell and havoc. But you have to win for it to be a rivalry.”

OK.  At some point, the Herald apparently asked the same question.

“This is not a rivalry, and I want that on the record.  You have to win some games first. But they’re a very good team.”

I know Hawks fans are going to come back with the 3 games they won in the playoffs last year… but in the end… it was the Celtics that won the series.  So let’s nip that in the bud.

I don’t know how many people noticed it last night, but Rajon Rondo took the next step in being the leader of this team on the floor.  Not only did he calmly lead the team in the clutch, but he outwardly took the leadership reins when he stood and addressed his team during a late time out.  He actually got KG to calm down.  If you don’t think that’s connected to him burying shots late in the game, you’re nuts.

By the way, on November 16, I wrote Rajon Rondo might be regressing.  At that point, he was averaging 7 points a game and he’d only taken 10 shots once.   Since that post, he’s averaging 14 ppg and he’s taken 10 or more shots 10 times (he dropped 15, 8 and 7 in the game immediately following that post).  In December, he’s averaging 14.5 ppg, 8 asst and 7 reb, while shooting 53% from the field.

Am I trying again to take credit for lighting a fire under Rajon Rondo?  Of course I am.

Globe:  Rivers confirms interest in Mutombo |  AJC: Celebrity hype largely unneededAlmost enough |   Press-Enterprise:  Lakers-Celtics ticket prices soaring |  NBA.com:  Sophomore Celts reflect on champion journey |  TrueHoop: Thibodeau the mentor of the Secretary of Education |  SI:  Debating the pecking order atop the NBA |  Sporting Blog:  Celtics Quest for Immortality |  ESPN:  Daily Dime- Another night, another challenge for C’sChris Paul sets steals record Elton Brand dislocates shoulder Boozer will opt out of contract


18 Responses

  1. Mark Jackson said the same thing last night. Not a rivalry. KG was unreal last night. Do hope we avoid them in the playoffs.

  2. Great game last night and a hell of a win on the road to keep the streak alive.

    The Josh Smith dunk on the entire teams was absolutely filthy.

  3. Is there a shortage of pictures from the Hawks/Celtics games?

  4. That really was sick. The puffed-out chest thing made me roll my eyes. But then again… it’s not much different than what KG would have done.. so I can’t really bitch.

  5. Wheres DoucheBagMike??? He said he would be back today to take his licks.

    I was worried about OT last night. Thank god for that choke. JJ must STILL be sick to his stomach about that one…

  6. Actually Chuck…. there is a lack of photos. I changed it… as you can see… to a VASTLY different photo of KG.

  7. I’m getting a little ahead of things here, but I circled 12 games remaining on the regular season schedule that should be pretty tough for the Celtics and fun to watch at the same time.

    LAL 12/25 A
    POR 12/30 A
    HOU 1/7 H (2nd of back-to-back)
    CLE 1/9 A
    ORL 1/22 A (2nd of back-to-back)
    NO 2/11 A
    UT 2/19 A (middle of a long road trip)
    DEN 2/23 A (2nd of back-to-back)
    CLE 3/6 H
    SA 3/20 A
    ATL 3/27 A
    CLE 4/12 A

    I’m not really worried about Portland or LA this month but Houston and Cleveland next month should be tough games. The loss to Indiana was a fluke loss, at least partially (they did get in at 4 AM and it was the second night of a back-to-back). So this team could theoretically be 25-1 or even 26-0, although streaks are hard to maintain psychologically. But assuming that they take care of all of the inferior opponents and, speaking conservatively, they win half of these 12 games, we might be talking about the 08-09 Celtics instead of the 95-96 Bulls.

  8. well great b ball game to attend.. the OldGuys pulled it out.. although I dont see the Greatest Team of All Time or anything out there like you guys proclaim.. you beat us by 1 and by 3 the past two times… not exactly domination.KG hit some shots in the stretch but I wish he would have been doubled. JJ fucked us and so did the refs but we will be back im not worried. OldGuys are due for an injury after last year or maybe another paul pierce stabbing at a gay bar. we can hope, right?


  9. I’m still failing to see how the refs “fucked” the Hawks….

    That whole “you only beat us by ____ argument doesn’t fly. The real world doesn’t go by Hollinger rankings, where the Hawks actually improved after that loss. The real world goes by wins and losses, and right now you are 0-2. I said it before and I’ll say it again, your team is insignificant to us, honestly my belief is if you aren’t a Lakers, Sixers, Pistons, or to a certain extent the Pacers (lots of playoff meetings) you haven’t earned the right to trash talk Celtics fans. Come back when your team has sent the Celtics home for the summer a time or two, then maybe your smack talking will matter. Until then, enjoy the minor leagues.

  10. “We are motivated,” Garnett said. “We don’t circle one game on the calendar, we circle them all.”

    I love this quote. Did anyone here think that we’d be 24-2 by this time of the year?? I can see us winning 70 this year. There are fewer elite teams in the nba this year. The west has been hit by injuries and I just think we’ll lose fewer games to teams we shouldn’t lose to. Sure we’ll drop the odd one to a good team away and maybe get upset at home once a month but I can’t see us losing more than a dozen games. With Perk and Rondo going so well we’re getting harder to beat, not easier….

  11. The refs did let Atlanta have more free throws and connit less fouls. So not sure how the refs screwed Atlasnta that much. Both teams had calls go against them. Happens every game. Usually the home team gets the benefit. No different last night.

  12. commit, I mean. S?orry for the typos.

  13. Kevin Garnett says that this is not a rivalry..But he is right. It is not a rivalry…for Boston. And they don’t want it to become one. Hats off to that team. They take everyone’s best shot. Their record is impressive. Period. Unfortunately for Boston, this is a rivalry for us. In every sense of the word. So you can try and chop the legs off and squash the talk and redefine words and talk about records and do any number of things. But Boston, you are our muse. Our muse who we hate. I hope that we see you in the playoffs…

    Also, it seems that Paul Pierce is suffering from a horrible disease. He suffers from acute VinceCarteritis. The symptoms are bitching, moaning, acting like you are more hurt than you are, and looking at refs like they just stole your bike.

  14. Well, one of the telltale symptoms of VinceCarteritis is a .500 record……so that rules out Pierce, maybe he’s suffering the very rare NBA Champion “disease?”

  15. Actually, NewFlashMike, I think you are talking about my son.

  16. im still laughing at the henry bibby quote.. hilarious… but i do agree that pierce could tone down the looks after a call at times and perk too. with that said in my head the celts/hawks is one of the most hated rivalries i have right now i fucking hate the hawks. the hawks hate us. and this year they are actually a good team. not just one to be lucky to make the playoffs like last year. i assume they get the 4 seed and we see them in the second round for that i look forward to… on that note. fuck the hawks.. LETS GO CELTS!!

  17. Perk’s Interview last night was one of the best interviews I’ve seen this year. Whatever way you look at it we are the defending champs and the clear best team in the league again, everyone outside of boston is going to hate us and want us to lose and that just comes with being the best, happened to the pats for years and now the celtics are dealing with it. They have the swagger and until someone dethrones us expect this “rivalry” from every team on the schedule, they all want the crown!!

  18. […] But Mark Jackson decided to go all rogue (sorry for the outdated joke, it had to happen), and insisted that no, this wasn’t a rivalry, since the Celtics are gods on earth, and the Hawks mere up-and-comers. That puts him in line with that sourpuss KG, who has himself gone out of his way to dismiss this description. […]

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