In the greatest takes-one-to-know-one accusation since the pot called the kettle black, the Boston Herald's Dan Duggan today reports that Ivan Johnson has stared deep into the psyche of Kevin Garnett and is on-court antics and declares him one word.
Johnson, who has a lengthy history of misconduct, expressed his feelings aboutCeltics [team stats] forward Kevin Garnett yesterday as the teams prepared to meet in Game 2 of their first-round series tonight at Philips Arena.
"Garnett, he's a dirty player," Johnson said. "He gives me a lot of elbows, and I can handle that."
Johnson is labeled tough, but he hasn't really sparked the type of nastiness among his opponents as say, Zaza Pachulia, but it's no surprise that a guy like Garnett, who can play mind games with the best of them, decided to take a shot at disturbing Johnson.
But did it work?
"I know we're not going to fight on the court," Johnson said with a smile that revealed a diamond-studded grill covering his teeth. "I can handle it. I can take some hits. I try not to (retaliate) because I'm usually the one that gets caught."
Me thinks there could still be some on-court antics playing themselves out as the absence of Al Horford and Zaza means more floor time for Johnson, especially since Larry Drew may have maxed out his Jason Collins good-playing credit card with the 32 minutes he played the veteran in Game 1.
Johnson has a nice way of doing something nefarious and then looking straight ahead with his eyebrows raised -- a sort of "I don't see what the problem is" look that masks the fire that has burned across stints all across the globe.
The dual is an interesting undercard to watch tonight as the Hawks try to take down Game 2 as well, holding home court. Can Johnson keep his cool when the Hawks are down and Garnett is prancing around like a fawn?
Exit Question: Over/Under on the first Garnett/Johnson mix-up? The house bets on second quarter, Game 3 in Boston. What you got?