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And don't discount Boston's desire to win the season series. The Celtics wouldn't mind atoning for a putrid effort on the second night of a back-to-back in Chicago in January. Seeing old friends like Tom Thibodeau and Brian Scalabrine always provides a little motivation -- just as seeing Joakim Noah ought to give Kevin Garnett a spark and Rajon Rondo will be a little extra amped to match up with Derrick Rose.
It sounds like coachspeak when Derrick Rose talks about a 97-94 win over Phoenix like a loss, but he isn't humble in the way some might think. Rose is cold-blooded when it comes to basketball and he's thinking about a championship and what it takes to get there. He can see the slippage on defense lately, the blips in intensity.