Sam Cassell and Boston's backups outplayed Atlanta's starters in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics prevented the Hawks from clinching their first playoff berth since 1999 with a 99-89 victory.
The most impressive thing is that Boston's success doesn't require LeBron James or Kobe Bryant to be unstoppable. Boston's trademark is defense. You can have bad shooting nights, and injuries can take away scoring options. Defense, however, can make up for all ills.
--The Sun, Lowell, Mass
There's a difference between genuine affection (the way Paul and his teammates interact) and contrived affection (the way Kobe and his teammates interact). With Kobe, the underlying implication is he's on your side … as long as you're playing well.
Paul Pierce, the team captain of all people, was shouting something over to Leon Powe instead of paying attention. “We were talking about defensive coverage,” said Rivers. “Kevin saw what was happening and said, ‘Hey Paul, let’s pay attention.’ Paul immediately stopped, looked at the other guys, and said ‘My fault,’ and that was that. “Then two or three games later Paul told someone else to pay attention,” Rivers said. “That’s how it starts.”
-- Boston Herald