Pregame notes: Celtics vs. Hawks
Perk: Hit out on Crawford
Jamal Crawford, Atlanta's key offseason signing, has enjoyed so much success against Boston in the first three meetings of the season that Celtics center Kendrick Perkins joked that Boston would take drastic measures to slow him down Friday.
"We put a hit out on him today," said Perkins. "We did, though. Doc said how we have to step up and stop him. He's getting real comfortable against us. He plays like an All-Star every time he plays us. So we gotta put a hit out on all of [the Hawks], basically."
Crawford is averaging 18 points per game in three meetings this season, twice erupting in the fourth quarter to spark two of the three second-half comebacks the Hawks have posted over Boston this season.
Perkins said the Celtics would take great pride in avoiding a season sweep, while noting two of those losses, the Celtics played without forward Kevin Garnett.
"We got one more game to prove ourselves, because right now they got our number," said Perkins. "We're trying not to get swept. Yeah, i matters. You don't want a team to come in and just sweep you, 4-0. That's confidence going into the playoffs. We want to get one."
Doc not concerned about KG
Rivers reiterated that Garnett remains fine physically, despite one of his poorest outings of the season in Thursday's 96-94 loss to the Orlando Magic.
Garnett provided a tough personal assessment after Thursday's game, repeatedly saying he "played like [expletive]" and taking complete blame for the loss.
Said Rivers: "I think he feels fine. Kevin takes it very personal when he doesn't play well, and hopefully that's a good thing for us [Friday]. Other than that, he feels good."
Garnett had just 6 points on 2-of-8 shooting with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals over 33 minutes, and got beat on a baseline drive by Rashard Lewis for the winning bucket with 1.3 seconds to play. What's more, he looked generally sluggish overall.
Giddens recalled; set for surgery
Celtics guard J.R. Giddens, who suffered a small tear in the meniscus in his left knee while on assignment with the Maine Red Claws, was recalled in a procedural move that will allow the second-year guard to have surgery next week.
Giddens averaged 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 31.8 minutes per game in four appearances with the Red Claws. He suffered the injury in the first quarter of a game in Bakersfield, Calif., last week, but returned the next night to connect on 8 of 9 shots for 22 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds in his best performance against Utah (where he spent part of last season while on assignment for Boston).
Rivers indicated surgery, which is expected to be a routine scope, will only sideline Giddens for 2-3 weeks.
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