NBA Playoffs: Kevin Garnett says "Q was… talking nonsense"

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As we told you in the recap, Kevin Garnett wound up in an altercation with Quentin Richardson near the Heat bench near the end of the 4th quarter of the Celtics’ Game One win over the Heat.

Garnett seemed to start the altercation by elbowing Richardson out of the way as he approached Paul Pierce who was on the ground with a shoulder injury. Richardson took offense and the two started jawing at each other.

(Check out all the details in our recap about Heat-Celtics Game One and the Kevin Garnett possible suspension.)

What we didn’t know at the time was if Quentin Richardson ignited the scrum with whatever it was he said as he approached Pierce. Now we have KG’s side.

In his post-game presser, Garnett was asked about the incident. Here’s what the All-Star power forward had to say:

“I just thought Q was standing over him, you know, talking nonsense, and I
just asked him to give him some room. And before you know it, just
mayhem started, you know? With that situation, man, I know these two have
competed against each other in the past and they have history for
bumping heads a little bit. But I’m a vet, I gotta use my head, but only
thing I saw was Paul hurt and that’s the only thing I cared about at
that time.”

Garnett’s right, he’s got to use his head. And while Garnett immediately exited the scrum after throwing the elbow, he still threw the elbow. There’s going to be questions also about exactly what Richardson’s role in the incident was, as well as Udonis Haslem, as well as any of the Heat players that got up from their seats but didn’t “leave the bench area.” But KG will still be at the center of discussions.

Now, it’s not like it was the punch, and there weren’t any nasty ramifications, so KG may get off with a warning. At the same time, the league has been known to crack down pretty hard in the playoffs when attention is raised on the league. If you can get suspended for getting off a bench, you can get suspended for throwing an elbow and causing a stir.

Expect things to only get more physical and bloody as the series gone on. To say there’s no love lost is to overstate the environment in which love can survive.

Get ready for late ’90’s flashbacks.

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

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Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
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If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.

Just a reminder that Joakim Noah would like some more run

Joakim Noah
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Joakim Noah is playing 20.6 minutes a night coming off the bench for Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls this season.

And he doesn’t like it. He wants more run. He was getting 10 minutes more a night last season under Tom Thibodeau, and Noah wants some of those minutes back. Nick Friedel of ESPN sent out a tweet that was a reminder of just that.

Three thoughts here.

1) Reducing minutes for guys who battle injuries every season by the time the playoffs roll around was one huge reason Fred Hoiberg was brought in to coach the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau was shown the door. This isn’t just Hoiberg, the minutes reduction comes from management. While it is possible Noah’s spot in the rotation shifts (he could start at some point) and he might get a little more run, the Thibodeau era is gone.

2) There are legit reasons for Noah to want to play. First, he is a competitor who doesn’t like sitting. Second, the Bulls’ defense is elite when he plays (allowing 95.5 points per 100 possessions) and the Bulls outscore opponents by 1.3 per 100 when he plays. Finally, Noah is in the final year of his contract and scoring just 3.1 points per game is not going to help him earn more cash in the next deal.

3) Barring injury to another big, don’t expect a change.

Jimmer Fredette scores 37 in D-League debut while Floyd Mayweather watches

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You can’t make this stuff up.

After being cut by the Spurs during training camp, Jimmer Fredette decided to stay stateside and play in the D-League, looking for a way back into and another chance in the NBA (the banged up Pelicans picked him up for four games but released him again). Fredette put up impressive numbers in his debut with the Westchester Knicks (the New York Knicks affiliate), scoring 37 points on 12-of-17 shooting, hitting a couple of threes and getting to the line a dozen times.

All while boxer Floyd Mayweather looked on from courtside (Mayweather was there to see buddy Jordan Crawford).

If Fredette keeps putting up numbers, maybe he gets a call up. But nothing is seriously going to change for Fredette unless his defense improves markedly — that has always been the big problem, and not always one exploited the same way in the D-League. He is on the low end of the athleticism scale for the NBA (not college) and that has led teams to just target him when he comes in games. There is no mercy in the NBA, and Fredette has been the gazelle outside the herd that becomes the clear target.

But he’s had a good D-League game, it’s a start on a road back.