NEW YORK – The new rules regarding technical fouls were on full display in the Celtics’ 104-101 preseason win over the Knicks on Wednesday night, as four technicals were called in the span of 16 seconds in the second quarter.
Boston’s Jermaine O’Neal picked up the first one (called by Zach Zarba), complaining about a loose ball foul with 4:39 to go in the period. And right after Danilo Gallinari made the free throw for the Knicks, Kevin Garnett was whistled for two straight techs and sent back to the locker room by Kane Fitzgerald.
Then 16 seconds of game time later, the Knicks’ Timofey Mozgov picked up a T (called by Kevin Fehr) as he walked off the court.
It was unclear what Garnett (or O’Neal or Mozgov) said, and KG was not available for comment after the game, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes what was said doesn’t much matter.
“The first tech on J.O. He got it. He walked away,” Rivers said. “The first tech on Kevin. He got it and he didn’t.
“Whether he said anything or not, whether he deserved it, it doesn’t matter. We know the rules. We have to respect the rules.”
And Rivers isn’t about to start campaigning for more leniency. He believes that players and coaches will just have to adjust to the new standards for the greater good of the league.
“It’s about all of us,” he said. “It’s not just the officials and the players and the coaches. It’s all of us. We’ve got to keep trying to make this a better product. And so if people smarter than me have decided that this is what we need to do, then we need to do it. And we need to adhere to it. I don’t think that’s that hard.”
Still, there seems to be a feeling among players and coaches that things might not be as strict when the regular season begins and that players and officials will find some sort of happy medium.
“We’re going to figure it out, it’s just going to take some time,” Rivers said. “When you talk to the officials, they don’t get it yet. They’re trying to figure it out. And it will get figured out by Game 1.”