The Celtics-Nets rivalry reached a new intensity last night, but unfortunately it might also cost the next few games without All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo.
The rejuvenated Brooklyn Nets came to play Wednesday night at TD Garden, taking the lead midway through the first quarter and ultimately winning 95-83. It’s Rondo, however, who is making the headlines today.
The story began with Brooklyn’s Kris Humphries fouling Kevin Garnett, his arm landing near Garnett’s head in midair and knocked him to the floor. Rondo, who had already rammed into Humphries on two occasions in the first half, charged him forward. He threw two punches at Humphries before Jason Terry attempted to intervene. Rondo continued to charge him into the seats beneath the basket. Several players became involved but the altercation ended quickly with Rondo, Humphries and the Nets’ Gerald Wallace being ejected.
“Rondo initiated everything that preceded after the foul,” said lead official James Capers. “And when he and Humphries go into the stands, they are involved in a fight. Fighting is an automatic ejection.”
When Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked whether he was disappointed in Rondo he replied, “Well, yeah, I don’t think anybody should get thrown out of a game. So we all have to keep our emotions. Hell, we didn’t come to play as a team. That was awful, basket-ball wise. You know, if I’m Brooklyn and the league, you’ve got to think we’re pretty soft. We’re a soft team right now. We have no toughness.”
Kevin Garnett was a little more defensive, “We all back each other up here. This game had a lot of physical parts to it to begin with. You have to protect each other. It’s a family around here. This ain’t the Girl Scouts, this ain’t the Boy Scouts. This is the NBA. It’s going to be a physical part of it. And everybody’s going to have to adjust to it and you’re not going to be able to beat it. That’s period. Point blank.”
The Celtics offense appeared frazzled without Rondo for the rest of the game. The decision on Rondo’s suspension should come Thursday.