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Post Celtics Game Links

Kind of a defeating quote from Paul Pierce after the game.

"Dallas is such a good team, they can turn it on and off when they want to," said Pierce, who bruised his left knee in a collision but doesn't expect to miss any time.

"Being such a great team, they probably looked at our record and took us for granted (last week). Tonight, they knew how we played them before, and they were ready with their `A' game."

Injury Update: Greg Buckner returned last night and said he played without any soreness in his right knee.

Devean George is slated to return tomorrow against Atlanta, and it sounds like he's feeling somewhat better.
"I've still got so more strengthening to do, but I can help the team now," he said.

George felt he was a liability during his last return, a three-game stint this month. He played then with an uncomfortable brace on the knee but will wear only a sleeve when he returns.

"There's no point in putting our defense on the line when guys were walking past me, and I wasn't able to rebound," George said. "I'm an energy guy, and I couldn't slide or play defense."

Nice moment for J.J. Barea last night.
"With J.J.'s contingent up there, screaming his name all night, it gave me a flashback to 1998 when I was in a similar position," Johnson said. "I was hoping at some point, even if it was for a second, I was hoping he could get in there tonight. I was thinking about it in the first half, but it was a little too early."

The second half was no problem.

Barea, who played four years at Northeastern, gave out 25 tickets to the game. He said the school gave out 100 more. It was a boisterous group, chanting for the rookie point guard to enter the game bellowing the familiar, "Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose" after he scored.

"It's one of the best moments of my life, just coming back to Boston where I played for four years and playing in front of my fans again," said Barea, who scored five points in just under seven minutes. "It was great for me."

Avery Johnson is making a push to get Josh Howard and Devin Harris on the all-defensive teams.
Mavericks coach Avery Johnson has raved about Josh Howard's defense on this trip. He spoke Friday of how guard Devin Harris was a tough "little booger," and used his performance against Cleveland's LeBron James as an example.

Johnson said both players should be considered for the league's All-Defensive team.

"I wish," Howard said. "It would be a surprise to me if I'm on it at the end of the year. But we're two hard-working guys."

It's not just hard work. Johnson said both players are more disciplined than they were last season and more willing to take the one-on-one defensive challenge.

Dirk is funny - part two.
Mavericks equipment manager Al Whitley blew out his knee playing basketball Thursday. He'll have an MRI when he returns to Dallas next week.

"That spin move was so quick," Dirk Nowitzki said of the play when Whitley was injured. "It was lightning."