Blog Entry

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Posted on: May 2, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 6:42 pm
MIAMI -- Paul Pierce will not face further disciplinary action for his altercation with James Jones in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, a league source confirmed Monday to Whether the rest of the Celtics will show up with him for Game 2 against the Heat remains to be seen.

After reviewing the incident that resulted in the first of Pierce's two technical fouls in Miami's 99-90 victory in Game 1, league officials decided Pierce's actions did not warrant a fine or suspension. Before practicing Monday at the University of Miami, Pierce said he was "definitely worried" about how the league would view the incident, but the Celtics clearly have more problems to worry about as they try to avoid falling behind 0-2 in a playoff series for the first time in the Big Three era.

"I was surprised at getting kicked out, yeah," Pierce said. "I didn’t think what I did warranted an ejection. But sometimes, players get caught in the heat of the game and sometimes the refs do, too."

Pierce and Jones received technicals after Jones wrapped Pierce up as the Celtics star pump-faked him into the air with 7:59 left Sunday. Pierce and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Monday they believed that play, as well as a later altercation between Dwyane Wade and Pierce, should have resulted in flagrant fouls on the Heat. 

Instead, Pierce was assessed his second technical foul after Wade tried to run through him on a screen with 7:00 left. Referee Ed Malloy gave Pierce a technical, and crew chief Dan Crawford explained after the game that Pierce received it -- and the accompanying automatic ejection -- for a "verbal taunt." 

UPDATE: After reviewing the incidents Monday, NBA officials rescinded Jones' flagrant foul from the Pierce incident but charged him with a flagrant foul, penalty-one for striking Pierce around the neck. In addition, the league office downgraded Jermaine O'Neal's flagrant-one with 2:30 left in the third quarter to a personal foul. The call was devastating to the Celtics, resulting in a five-point swing when Jones made both free throws and Mike Bibby added a 3-pointer that gave the heata 72-58 lead.

While Rivers disagreed with the explanations given by Crawford after the game, he expertly turned the tables on his team Monday -- essentially taunting his players for allowing the Heat to dictate everything in Game 1, including the physical tone and an aggressive defensive posture that forced the Celtics into a timid, impatient offensive approach.

"Miami wants to show us they’re physical," Rivers said. "That’s cool with us. And we just want to play the way we play. I honestly don’t know if that’s physical or not. That’s for everyone else to say. But at the end of the day, they’re going to play their style, we’re going to play our style, and somebody’s style is going to win."

This is the fourth time the Celtics have trailed 1-0 in a playoff series during the Big Three era; they've yet to lose a Game 2. In 2009, Boston lost Game 1 of the conference semifinals to Orlando at home and lost the series in seven games. The other two instances came on the road during the 2010 playoffs: against the Cavaliers in the conference semis (Boston won the series in six games) and in the NBA Finals against the Lakers (Boston lost the series in seven).

"This is the first time we’ve been in the playoffs with this team," Rajon Rondo said. "It’s different. Obviously, the Big Three have been here. But it’s only five guys now -- myself and Baby (Glen Davis) -- and everyone else hasn’t been in a playoff series with them. So it’s a different team. But we’re confident that we can win Game 2."

How do the Celtics avoid falling behind 0-2 for the first time since Pierce teamed with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007? Five things:

1) Listen to Rivers and be the aggressor: Rivers has such a good feel for the personality of his team, and he knows how insulted his players will be when hearing him belabor the point about how Miami dictated the physical tone in Game 1. Look for the Celtics to come out much more assertively at the start. This means A) clean but hard screens and fouls from the get-go from the Celtics, and B) the officials will have their hands full even more than in Game 1. If you thought that was physical, chippy, cheap, or whatever, just wait until Tuesday night.

2) Channel the aggression into better execution: It's not enough to be aggressive. It has to come with a plan. Rivers has needled his players in recent days by publicly stating again and again how much more athletic the Heat are, saying at one point that if this were an Olympics, Miami would win. That may be true, but this is a basketball game. Rondo has to be in attack mode, but under control and with a purpose. He also has to limit his turnovers; he had five of Boston's 13 in Game 1. The Celtics have to get into their offensive sets early, and stay with them long enough to get to the second or third option instead of letting Miami's athleticism break them down into isolation or desperation -- or worse, turnovers, which activate Miami's unstoppable transition game.

3) Find James Jones: In the film session at the team hotel Monday morning, Rivers highlighted how Jones got free for seven 3-point attempts (he made five) without being forced to take a single dribble. "That's poor defense," Rivers said.

4) Win the matchups they should win: The Celtics actually got decent production from the bench (23 points), but they need more from Rondo and Garnett -- especially when both teams' starters are on the floor. Rondo vs. Mike Bibby and Garnett vs. Chris Bosh should be clear-cut advantages for the Celtics, but Rivers admitted they got away from going into the post to Garnett too early in Game 1.

5) Hope the Heat shoot too many jumpers ... again: The Celtics actually should have been pleased with Miami's shot selection in Game 1. Especially early in the game, Miami fell in love with the jumper. According to Synergy Sports Technology, 43 of Miami's 68 field-goal attempts were jump shots. That plays right into the Celtics' hand. Unless, of course, they go in.


Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:26 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Sometimes the refs seem to be out of control in calling what they call.  I saw nothing that Paul Pierce did to warrant being thrown out of the game.  Seems the thought that sometimes refs "engineer" the outcome of games might be at play.  But, who knows with any certainty?  I'm glad Pierce does'nt have to miss a game.  This is going to be a great series, and either team not being at full force would tarnish it.  Seems to me the Celtics came out very lethargic in the first game of their series with the Heat, especially the first half.  I highly doubt we'll see that again in this series.  I'm anticipating a good game from them coming up.  It is on the road, but Boston can win anywhere.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:22 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

bottom line..pierce deserved to be ejected for head butt alone..never mind the flagrant foul, which it was one..i hate both teams..but he showed his true color doing what he did..thats a pro you dont do it..pathetic
I am a Celtic hater and agree with the fact that Pierce is a crybaby and classless.  However, that was no headbutt.  He barely made contact with his cheek.  Pierce's best days are behind him and he is beginning to show his frustration.

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:18 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Nothing worse than when the OFFICIALS become a teams sixth man. They ruined the game. Too bad, the Heat looked to have a game one win with pride. Now thanks to the Officials, Heat have confidence ?? about their win. The Celtics will be back with a vengeance and the sixth man's impact remains to be seen. The official Ed Malloy should be re-assigned or replaced till next series in east. Just keep him outta the west!!

Since: May 13, 2007
Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:13 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

I  think the technical foul which resulted in Paul Pierce being ejected from the game was ridiculoous.  Granted, we could not tell what, if anything, he said.  But I saw nothing to warrant tossing an all star in such a crucial game.  Sometimes you just have to wonder what or who is working behind the scenes to masterplan the outcome of games and series.  There's been a lot of talk about this subject in recent years.  Anyway, I don't think the Celtics would have won game one, regardless of Pierce being ejected, or not.  The Celtics played like they had been idle for a week.  They had been.  Rajon Rondo's early fouls took away Boston's unique advantage over Miami.  Finally, James Jones will never do what he did again.  I doubt the Celtics change much in their original plan for the next game of this series.  Boston only needs one of the first two games of this series, and they really don't have to have that to win this series.  I think the Celtics are in fine shape.

Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: May 2, 2011 7:04 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Give it a rest Dobson!  Pierce and the Celtics didn't catch a break because of who they were. The first T was because he made contact. It wasn't even a head butt, he just brushed up against him.  The 2nd T was a weak call all the way around. Wade tried to run through the pick and they exchanged heated words...not worthy of a T, especially in the playoffs.  I'm glad the Heat won game 1 to allow them to believe they have a chance.  Boston played a terrible game, which Doc Rivers will not allow to happen again.  The veterans will lace it up and come back to win this in 6.  LeBronda will choke at some point in this series in a big moment which will be the turning point. 

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2011 6:27 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Since it was Paul Pierce no sitting out a game but if this was Dwight Howard he would be out for a game. But that is the Celtics and not the Magic. The league always favors them over most other teams.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2011 6:15 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

That was a bogus ejection. For all of history, refs have given the benefit to a star on a second technical. The problem was initiated by Wade and Pierce backed off immediately once the ref stepped in. Bogus Bogus Bogus

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: May 2, 2011 6:02 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

The worst flopper and biggest cry baby of all time was BILL LAMBIER!
I don't know man, Manu could give him a run for his money for that crown? The dudes like a trout when you touch him....flippity flopplity flipper floo...just sayin

Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2011 5:53 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

check the stats for yourself because james jones stats are better for the playoffs and regular season

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: May 2, 2011 5:52 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

I can't stand Paul Pierce.  In fact, there's only one athlete that's worse to me than Pierce.  Actually, I don't even put Pierce anywhere near the same category as that soft bi.tch because Pierce didn't take his "prize" dog and pull all 42 teeth out of the dog's mouth and tie it to a rape rack for litter after litter.  Nonetheless, I can't stand Pierce.  But this is ridiculous.  He deserves to be suspended?  That's playoff basketball!  Emotions run high and they talk trash and are physical.  It was not a headbutt and James Jones was never in danger because of Pierce's actions.  Ridiculous.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or