Kevin Garnett scored a game-high 28 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked five shots, and recorded three steals in Boston’s 83-80 Game 6 elimination of the Atlanta Hawks.
Garnett opened his postgame press conference by taking aim at Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr., who had called Garnett a “dirty player”.
“First off, I want to say thank you to the owner for giving me some extra gas tonight,” Garnett said. “My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth, actually know what he’s talking about — X’s and O’s versus checkbooks and bottom lines.
“We’re not dirty. We’re firm, we play aggressive, but we’re not dirty. You have to understand the word ‘dirty’ in this game is very defined: Trying to hurt guys, ill intent. That’s not how we play basketball. We play very, very respectable to the opponent, to the city. I play with a lot of passion and with force. It’s the playoffs.”
Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley have more serious injuries than previously thought, but both players went through the morning shootaround Thursday and are expected to play in Game 6.
The team revealed that Pierce has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, while Bradley has a strained left rotator cuff.
Pierce suffered the MCL sprain during a shootaround before Game 4 Sunday in Boston and further aggravated it in a collision with Josh Smith that night. He looked hobbled at times in Game 5.
The Atlanta Hawks announced that forward Josh Smith suffered a left knee sprain during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
The injury appeared to occur as Smith was jockeying in the paint with Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.
Smith left the game with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter and Atlanta training 74-72. Smith departed with a line of 16 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks on 8-for-21 shooting in 36 minutes.
The Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks are pursuing free-agent forward Kenyon Martin, according to league sources.
Jack Nicholson, Kenyon Martin
Martin has spoken with executives from each of the clubs and is hoping to make his decision next week.
Martin signed a $2.6 million deal with Xinjiang during the lockout, but left the team in late December in hopes of returning to the NBA.
Atlanta Hawks All-Star center Al Horford will miss at least three months with a shoulder injury, a major blow to a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
The team announced Thursday that Horford tore his left pectoral muscle in the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game at Indiana.
The injury will likely require surgery, stunning a team that has made the playoffs four years in a row and is off to a solid start with wins over Miami and Chicago in the early going.
Tracy McGrady has agreed to a 1-year, veteran-minimum deal with the Atlanta Hawks, a source close to the situation told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
McGrady, a 6-foot-8 shooting guard, played for the Detroit Pistons last season. He averaged 8.0 points and 23.4 minutes per game for the Pistons, appearing in 72 gmaes and starting 39.
Once one of the league’s most prolific scorers, McGrady, now a 15-year-veteran, has been hampered by injuries over the past few seasons.
The Atlanta Hawks are attempting to acquire the second overall pick to draft Enes Kanter, according to sources, using Josh Smith in discussions.
Minnesota is reportedly biding their time about completing the discussed deal. The Wolves are under the cap and could therefore absorb the salary of Smith.
The Hawks have begun exploring a trade involving Josh Smith, according to sources.
Smith, meanwhile, has privately told friends that the Celtics, Nets, Rockets and Magic are his preferred teams should Atlanta ultimately decide to trade him.
Smith has not requested a trade.
“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic.
Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has suggested that it may be time for the Hawks to move Josh Smith in an attempt to finally land a legitimate center.
The Los Angeles Lakers are one team that is reportedly thinking about a roster shakeup and many have speculated whether Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum may be available this offseason.
A trade of Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich in exchange for Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest works financially and could be mutually beneficial in a basketball sense as well.
Jamal Crawford earned $10 million in the final year of his deal with the Hawks and is now a free agent.
Crawford is 31 and said he wants to play at least five more years. The question is whether he would take a mid-level exception — if that exists under the new collective bargain agreement — from a team such as the Celtics.
Crawford clamored for an extension from the frugal Hawks but the club did not bite. He is the type of player who would interest the Celtics, and he would likely listen if it meant a chance at competing for a title.