NEW YORK -- Following the advice of veteran center Kenyon Martin to wear funeral attire, the New York Knicks arrived at Madison Square Garden with most players decked out head to toe in black suits before Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round series with the Boston Celtics.
Informed of their coordinated efforts to wear all black, Celtics coach Doc Rivers quipped about his own attire, "Me, too."
The Celtics had already downplayed the Knicks' plan earlier in the day at shootaround with Paul Pierce noting, "This is basketball. I'm not going to be dead after the game." And Kevin Garnett said he had not paid any attention to New York's "shenanigans."
Many of the Knicks wore all black to Sunday's Game 4 and the Celtics avoided the sweep with a win at TD Garden. With his team still facing an uphill climb with the Knicks owning a 3-1 series advantage, Rivers said his message to his team was simple.
"Win. Really, I don’t think you need to get deep when you’re down, you just want to make sure everybody wants to win," said Rivers. "Like I said before the last game, seventh games are easy; everybody wants to win a Game 7. I’ve always thought, not everybody wants to win when you’re down 3-0 or 3-1. You just want the right guys to want to win. That’s what we have to be; we’ll be ready."
Asked if he thought any team would rally from a 3-0 hole, Rivers said he wouldn't mind his team being the first.
"I think that would be wonderful," said Rivers. "Someone’s going to do it. And I want it to be us, obviously, since that’s the situation we are in. But someone will do it. I really want to be a part of that."
As for what he's seen on film that has hurt his team, Rivers offered, "The clear thing that is obvious is when we start turning the ball over, and, in that stretch, give up offensive rebounds, then force shots, we usually lose leads or get down further. And that’s been pretty much obvious to anybody this year."