Celtics’ Sounds Of Silence Speak Loud

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HANG TIME, Texas – It was a two-point game with three minutes left to play. There was all the set-up for another contested and contentious finish.

After their squabble from 17 days earlier, would either Kevin Garnett or Carmelo Anthony wind up down on the floor?

As a matter of fact, K.G. did hit the parquet at T.D. Garden. But there was a pleasantly accommodating ‘Melo to lend a helping hand to get a brother back onto his feet.

The only thing missing was a chorus of “Kumbaya” in place of the national anthem as the Knicks-Celtics blood feud tip-toed quietly into the night, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

“There’s no grudges between myself and KG,” Anthony said. “He fell, and I helped him up.”

No one knew exactly what to expect, but an outbreak of politeness and a tepid home crowd were not on the menu. Other than a few benign shoves between Garnett and Tyson Chandler in the midst of the fourth quarter and a handful of rogue heckles referencing Garnett’s supposed infamous insult, there was nothing extraordinary.

“I was expecting it to be a hostile environment,” Anthony said. “It was kind of quiet.”

Said Amar’e Stoudemire: “I was thinking the crowd was going to be a little more rude.”

This could be either the city of Boston rejecting hundreds of years of reputation or — and this is much more likely — a fan base and a Celtics team that had bigger worries than meting out retribution for a guy who stood half-menacingly in a loading dock surrounded by a dozen security guards as Anthony did back on Jan. 7.

In other words, rather than the anticipated clamor of a Melo-K.G. Showdown II, was this the sighing sound of the Celtics running into reality while the Knicks gallop onto bigger things?

At this point, these are two teams circling in different orbits. Boston lost its fifth straight game, is under .500 and walking with one foot in the gutter of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

So much for the effect of coach Doc Rivers flipping his usually cool lid and threatening to buy one-way tickets out of town for any of his players who didn’t buy into the program and start playing better.

A lot of us have been looking at that storied name across the front of those green-and-white jerseys, read the famous and accomplished names across the back and been trying to convince ourselves that it was only a matter of time before Boston shifted into gear.

But maybe this is as good as it gets for the Celtics. While Rajon Rondo put up a triple-double and Paul Pierce played showed some of the old fire, the reason that the Garden was so quiet — dare we say it, so meek? — was perhaps the fans understand that there is no torch to be passed. It has already been extinguished.

On the other hand, after four losses in six games, the Knicks could be out of their funk and back in the business of resuming their chase of Miami for the role of top dog in the East (while holding off the charging Nets).

Even with a loss on Monday night, the Knicks still split the season series with Brooklyn and got their best game to date from Stoudemire. They could get Raymond Felton (broken finger) back in the lineup as soon as Saturday at Philly.

Coach Mike Woodson’s new challenge could be finding time and space for all of his healthy players and, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Felton’s return will result in the Knicks having all their guards healthy for the first time all season.

Shumpert is expected to remain in the starting lineup, and Woodson hinted that he may play Shumpert at small forward and start Felton and Kidd in the backcourt.

“I don’t know,” Woodson said. “I’ll have options when Raymond comes back. And I’m not saying that Kidd’s possibly going to go to the bench.”

The original plan was to use Kidd as the first guard off the bench while limiting his minutes. In all likelihood that’s what Woodson will do, because a starting lineup with Anthony, Shumpert, Kidd and Felton makes the rebounding-challenged Knicks small.

“I’m killing Kidd in terms of not having Raymond in a uniform, playing him a lot of minutes,” Woodson said. “We need Kidd for the long haul.

“If it means starting him or coming off the bench, Kidd’s going to play.

“I don’t care if he starts or if he comes off. I don’t think it really matters to him either. He’s going to play because he’s a big piece to what we do.”

Of course, those are the good kinds of problems to have in New York. Plus, it’s far different from what’s going on in Boston, where the sounds of silence speak volumes.

42 Comments

  1. Jenova says:

    HA!!! its not a guess!!! a big win!!! “I HAVE FAITH IN THEM” Lets go Celtics!!!

  2. Ask and I will Tell! says:

    Rondo Out???!

  3. Jenova says:

    Celts are tired for now…wait for tomorrows’ matchup against MIAMI CHUMPS!!!! a win will get them back on track and up to the playoffs…you never know

  4. Celts time to antyup & kick in. Go get it. Go take the heat & the rest of the games a game @ a time.

  5. @ kamote-lmao-i agree 100%-that is sooo true 100% & the love of the game is none existent because of that. Most all stars are just self seeking glory seekers nowadays, don’t play for the love of the game, & just want to pad their stats. Those are the i players & not the we players. I think one of the reasons Celts are having a hard time getting it together is because the mainstays being Pierce, KG, & Rondo are playing we/team ball w/ some new players. They don’t rely completely on the 3ptr or just their all stars to put up 20 a night-another words Celts don’t look for the quick fix otherwise they’d be top3 in east early on like others. It’s chemistry which takes time just like slow cooking letting it marinade. Celts will be alright in the long run. The we players are the best ones to watch & that is the main reason why there are 17 banners in Boston @ the Gaaden.

  6. R M says:

    I don’t know why there are so many sob stories about the Celtics getting worse with age. The Big 3 had 2 finals appearances and a ring, probably 2 if 2010 game 7 had been officiated better. They accomplished what they came together for. Every team goes through periods of dominance and mediocrity, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much coverage of it. Plus, we all know you can’t judge these Celtics until the season is over….never know what they might do in the second half.

  7. Well i’m in it for the long hall so comon Celts-Celts have what it takes-Go get it Celts one game at a time-UBUNTU!!!

  8. Dwightmare says:

    And the C’s lose! AGAIN! and will lose! AGAIN vs. Heat! hahaha

  9. Celts use to be strong,with Ray Allen,but are weak,without Ray Allen.

  10. lmao says:

    these haters with their honey nut cheerios cereal boxes r too busy looking in the past and their 17 banners. u should look ahead and accept that your team has no future. your team’s glory days are over you celtic pricks. move on or keep looking at those 17 banners

    • Dan says:

      We’ve got the banners to do so, you haven’t, so stop whining you idiot. Celtics have lots of future in Rondo, Bradley, Sullinger and Green, what are you talking about?

      As for the author of this article, why don’t you write something about the Celtics when they win 6 straight? It’s always the same story, happens every year.
      Even the Lakers would agree that fans just criticize us whenever they have the chance because it’s the only way they can really feel like they are winning something. Pathetic.

      17 banners baby, and you still count us out even though you KNOW we’re gonna rip teams apart in the playoffs.

  11. BUN says:

    THE CELTICS ARE OLD, DIRTY AND DISRESPECTFUL. i see them as a 6th seed team being eliminated in the first round unless they find their identity again and play like a team.

  12. Babao says:

    If I was Doc, I would push Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley and Jason Terry till they explode. We can’t shoot 2-18 from beyond the arc and beat anybody.

    The team has no heart… People who know basketball would understand!

  13. Sorry,Norris!I was telling that to “The Mean Me”!

  14. WARRIORS ARE THE BEST!

  15. What,are you an idiot?

  16. CHUCK NORRIS says:

    The Celtics will dominate after the all star break like they did last year

  17. me says:

    ha! I like how y’all only notice the Celtics when they are playing bad but it’s all good, you will be eating your words soon smfh Like Knicks got anything on Celtics

  18. I think that San Antonio’s a good team!Celtics and Lakers have been really bad this year and they will not go to the playoffs,DEFINETELY!

  19. Craig says:

    trade some for draft picks

  20. The C’s r Finnished! Trade Soooon!
    Gaaaah!

  21. W/E says:

    First round exit for the celtics, but hey they have enough championships, the time has come for other teams with no history to get some too and create their own legacy.

  22. Celtics18 says:

    No one said or wrote anything good about the celtics when they won six straight..

  23. sunny says:

    It’s too early for you boston haters, Celtics always tuns it up after the all star break. at least wait for the playoffs and see what happens.

  24. celtics says:

    trade garnet pierce terry barbosa and Wilcox every one else is playing well except these guys

  25. SCC says:

    At last, after 13 years, the Knicks have a chance to go to the Eastern Conference Finals and, why not? The NBA Finals. Sure it’ll be hard for Woodson to find a formula to share time and space for a healthy roster (AT LAST!), but that’s better that not having a competitive roster like the Celtics.

    The Kincks have a solid 8-player rotation to face the rest of the regular season and the playoffs: Anthony, Chandler, Smith, Felton, Stoudemire, Kidd, Shumpert and Novak. Secondary players like Brewer, Prigioni, Copeland, Wallace, Camby, Thomas and White will have to watch from the bench.

    Personally, I see the Celtics eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. They’re no better than the Heat, Kincks, Nets, Pacers or Bulls. The problem: they’re not a good team, they were built the wrong way for this season. Boston kept Garnett as a center, when he’s not… they need a center desperately. What’s worse, Bsoton have no good players to trade for a good center if they want to keep Rondo, Pierce and KG. They’ll have to wait until next summer and either pick young talent in the draft or sign an All-Star available free agent.

  26. dharper says:

    These Celtics remind of the present day Dallas Cowboy football team – both of them living on the backs of their predecessors history of success.

    Watching Paul Pierce “whine” after being called for a foul or watching him “plead” for a foul to be called reminds me of one of my kids having a tantrum when he didn’t get his way.

    The Celtics, like the Cowboys, are no longer the envy of every team in America -who wants to just be a 500 team?

  27. Mr. Williams says:

    I thought it was an entertaining game, Melo played great, even though he didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. Like they say, karma is a b %%%%

  28. chris says:

    as a celtic fan, i still retain faith that we’ll turn it around by the time the play offs come…but the longer we carry on like this i must admit it’s a bit worrying.
    8th just means a hammering in the first round, but 6th and i could maybe see us going to the eastern finals again if we get it together. IF.

  29. prix says:

    Boston is pretty lucky…despite of being the dirtiest team in the NBA…they are still lucky to be above the Wizards…totally half way better than the Lakers but still the worst team on being nasty… I dont think they are fun to watch rather being so BORING like te Spurs

    • lol? says:

      ´thats how we got those 17 banners

    • Kamote says:

      Yup, because you care more on highlights than basketball itself, divas rather than team players. Not much on team-oriented basketball huh?

      Dirty?!? I guess you haven’t seen the 80’s – 90’s NBA, where defense was tough and there weren’t so much whiners having the entitlement of being treated as superstars. That then was basketball. Now its the Daily Top Ten, dramas and “get-me-great-teammates-or-i’ll-leave” superstars.

      Tsk tsk, this is the league has become, so sad.

    • celtic533 says:

      Prix do you read any Boston article on this blog just for the sake of hating on them.If you do then get a life.If you dont then plz just stop commenting.Typical new-generation fan.