Some reporter reactions to last night’s Nets-Celtics brawl:
- Adi Joseph, USA Today: Garnett appreciated the backing. “We all back each other,” Garnett said. “We take a lot of pride in putting on this jersey. I know I do. This ain’t the Girl Scouts or the Boy Scouts. That’s what it is. It’s the NBA. You’ve got to get used to it.” Celtics color commentator and Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn agreed during the game, saying, “I’ll tell ya, I want Rondo on my side. You hit my partner in the mouth while he’s shooting the ball, you gotta deal with me.” Celtics coach Doc Rivers was less impressed, saying his team should be tough but not violent. “All that stuff, that’s not toughness,” Rivers told reporters, calling his team soft. “That foul was a hard foul. It was an unnecessary foul. The play was over and then he pushed him down in the air. But I think that’s what they think of us: They think they can push you around.”
- Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News: As Kris Humphries was leaving Boston Garden and declining to discuss his fracas with Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry was in the Celtics locker room insulting the Nets forward. “Some guys are tough. Some guys pretend to be. He’s one of those that pretends to be,” Terry told reporters. “I played with him (on the 2009-10 Dallas Mavericks). Maybe that’s the role Avery (Johnson) wants him to have, but he could leave that to somebody else.” Terry continued jab at Humphries, calling him “soft.” When told Celtics coach Doc Rivers called his entire team soft for the effort in Wednesday’s 95-83 loss to the Nets, Terry took that nugget and redirected it at Humphries. “Well, Humphries might as well play with us if that’s the case.”
- Rod Boone, Newsday: As Rajon Rondo found out Wednesday night, the Nets’ days as a bunch of pushovers are done.
They’re not about to be bullied. By anyone. Particularly not by Rondo or Kevin Garnett.
“We are not going to back down,” Deron Williams said after the Nets’ 95-83 win over the Celtics at TD Garden, a game that was marred by a first-half brawl involving Rondo and Kris Humphries. “It’s not about being tough guys or anything like that. We are just not going to back down from anybody. We did a good job of keeping our composure.”
- Tim Bontemps, New York Post: “All hell broke loose.”
- John Hollinger, ESPN.com: “The thought was that the offensive firepower of players such as Williams, Johnson and Lopez would offset the suspect defense in the frontcourt, after the Nets were just 29th in defensive efficiency a season ago. But instead the Nets’ defense has been just as prominent in their success. They’re likely to move into the top 10 in defensive efficiency after holding a fifth straight opponent to less than 90 points, offsetting some disappointing offensive results from Johnson in particular and the starting lineup in general. Meanwhile, the minimum-wage bench they built behind the conference’s most expensive starting five is basically carrying them right now. Five players who combined barely make the midlevel exception — Reggie Evans, Jerry Stackhouse, Andray Blatche, Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson — finished with 52 of the Nets’ 95 points, 25 of their 50 rebounds, and a combined +32 for the evening.”