One of the main subplots in last night's game appears to be Kevin Garnett and his chatter. The Boston feed didn't highlight it too much but apparently the Portland side noticed his trash talking. Since the conversation is happening in many threads I figured we should centralize it.
--Does it bother you that Garnett jawed at the Blazers?
--Do you think it got under Portland's skin and affected the performance last night?
--How is KG different than other trash talkers?
I will add a shade of my own to this: part of it at least we brought upon ourselves. I don't mean the players necessarily. I think they've been going about their business in a quiet and professional manner. But the Boston folks had to have heard the talk around the league, in the power rankings, in the newsclips, maybe even among the Portland fanbase about whether the Blazers were for real...or maybe even an elite team. Even the Boston announcers started the game saying this would be a tough game for the Celtics, as if it were a meeting of two equals. I think part of Boston's mission was to prove that it wasn't. This isn't anything personal against Portland. Anybody who came in there assuming equality was going to get put down. Portland is not at Boston's level yet, so in essence our headlines were writing checks that the team couldn't cash. I bet part of KG's chatter was sending that message. Had we come in there and trounced the Celtics I assume the trash-talking would have been more subdued. Same thing probably had we come in with an 8-28 record. I'm sure that--overtly or covertly--the message from the Celtics today is "People said the Blazers might be a top team but now you know in no uncertain terms who the top team is. And don't forget it."
P.S. Note that Casey wrote about this subject even before we did.