Boston’s plan in Game 2 was to go to Kevin Garnett inside early and often, to run their offense through the veteran big man. But he picked up two fouls in the first five minutes and had to go to the bench.
After the game Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, ““I thought the fouls on Kevin were horrendous, and had a huge effect on us. He never got his rhythm when you could see he was going to have a game. It hurt us.”
The league doesn’t take kindly to referees being criticized and on Thursday fined Rivers $25,000 for his comment.
You can bet Rivers knew that fine was coming before he opened his mouth. It’s the first instance of many in these playoffs where a coach will try to influence future referees through the media.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.