Postgame notes: Chemistry questions

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
12:09
AM ET
BOSTON -- A collection of postgame news and notes after the Boston Celtics posted a 107-102 triumph over the Miami Heat at the TD Garden:

The rundown (a quick look at the postgame headlines)
  • KG answers chemistry question for Rondo
  • Rivers said Rondo just repeating what he's previously said
  • Opposing View: Heat lament falling below .500 with loss
  • Loose Balls: Marquette's finest, KG on his rhythm, Too many minutes for Ray
KG registers a postgame steal



After comments by Rajon Rondo were published in the Boston Herald suggesting a potential rift in the Celtics' locker room, the fourth-year point guard was asked about his chemistry comments during his postgame press conference. Kevin Garnett, seated beside Rondo, never gave him a chance to say a word.

"Let me saying something," said Garnett. "I'm not speaking for [Rondo], but on this team we have a lot of strong personalities. At the end of day, we're all seeking, especially when you lose, man, I remember we lost to Portland, we lost three straight, I could just sense that everybody, within themselves, was trying to do more than they should, or reverting back to being leaders on this team versus the way we have been doing it. When I read the comments, I talked to him personally because, we have a lot of personal conversations. That's what it was. We're not a team here to point fingers, we keep everybody accountable, everybody knows what this is in the locker room. If we have anything that needs to be said, it will be said in closed confinement of the locker room and among each other as men. I want everyone to respect that, alright? Next question."

Rondo simply smiled and added, "Word."

Rondo did most of his talking on the court, anyhow, registering 22 points, 14 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals in 44 minutes.

Doc: Rondo just repeating what I said

Celtics coach Doc Rivers likewise sought to clear the air Wednesday by saying the fourth-year guard's comments were, "a little overblown, to be honest," and Rondo was only repeating what Rivers had told the team three weeks earlier.

"I do like our chemistry, I like it a lot," said Rivers. "[Rondo] was almost repeating what I said three weeks ago. It was more about the focus going into the last three or four weeks before the All-Star break. Too many agendas, too many guys worried about travel -- worried about everything except for basketball and it tears your team apart for that stretch.

"And as far as us not being [the team of two years ago], he basically was repeating everything I told the team. I said we're not going to be the team of two years ago, or last year, every team is different -- stop looking for that. Be this team. That was the point I was making, so he just said what I said."

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, appearing Wednesday on Boston sports radio WEEI (850 AM), didn't disagree with Rondo's assessment, but wasn't pleased by his decision to voice his thoughts.

"First of all I think that does exist," Ainge said on the issue of there being some different agendas on the team, when compared with their 2007-08 championship season. "The year that we won the championship was very special and very unique. With the great teams I've had a chance to play on I've never seen a team that was more focused and had better chemistry on and off the court. There was no agendas, and I think it had to do with the three stars coming from such difficult situations with great new hope and energy. We had young players, it was a perfect situation, a perfect storm."

Read more HERE.

Opposing View: Glass half full?

The Heat (24-25) dipped below .500 with Wednesday's loss and the postgame chatter centered around the struggles that leave them slipping towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff teams.

"It’s not about [the record], it’s about us playing and how we’re playing," said coach Eric Spoelstra. "Right now that’s wasted energy and thought. We know what it is, we understand where we are in the standings, that won’t do us any good unless we get our minds right to fight the fight, and it’s gotta be unconditional. Whether we win, whether we lose, whether we’re making shots or who we’re playing, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to compete and do that at a high level.”

Said Dwyane Wade: "It is frustrating when you want to win those games, but, at the end of the day, you didn’t win them. You have to continue to keep fighting. There is not much that you can do. You can’t give up on the season. You have to continue fighting, that is the message. We have to play like we did today. We gave ourselves a chance. At the end of the day they made more plays than us to win. We play with the consistent effort every night, than we will be more victorious."

Loose Balls

  • Bill Walker logged 1:46 off the bench and Rivers continues to stress the second-year player will be utilized more to spell his teammates, including Ray Allen, who logged a whopping 42 minutes against the Heat. "Ray Allen played 42 minutes tonight. That’s too many. And he’s playing too many minutes. And I know we don’t have a lot of guards left right now, but we’ve got to do something... Tony got in foul trouble tonight. It’s funny, you have these rotations that you want to go in the game with, and then one of the guards gets in foul trouble with Paul out, and you’re stuck. So Billy's going to play more. When there’s a matchup for [Brian Scalabrine] at the three, we can play him. But they went small and kind of forced our hand. But I’ve got to lower [Allen's] minutes. Even though he played great tonight, he made free throws and all that, I’ve got to lower his minutes. He’s the only guy I’m concerned about, and he’s in the best shape of anybody on our team, but I’ve been around this too long and know that we’ve got to lower his minutes."

  • Rivers, a Marquette product, ended his postgame press conference by declaring: "Maybe Wade is the best player from Marquette after all." At halftime, a fan decked out in Wade's No. 3 Marquette jersey won the team's Knockout competition and fans booed as he pointed towards the jersey at midcourt.

  • Garnett, who flirted with a triple-double (14 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds) on finding his rhythm as he continues to get comfortable returning from a hyperextended right knee: "I'm OK. I’m doing the small things, I’m trying to fulfill my role and what I have to do on this team, and that’s play defense, be talkative... give [the ball to] Rondo, Ray [Allen], [Tony Allen], Paul [Pierce], Eddie House -- all these guys when they are open. You know, move the ball, make sure we are playing the right way, and keep everybody’s confidence and spirits up. That pretty much comes naturally to me, so it's nothing more, nothing less than that."
Pregame Recap

Check out our Pregame Notes for details on Pierce likely being out for Friday's game vs. New Jersey; Shelden Williams' explanation for his "when it rains it pours" Tweet on Tuesday; Marquis Daniels expected return to practice Thursday; and more.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9