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Trash talk, bad blood reign during testy NBA playoffs

Talk is cheap in these NBA playoffs, and it seems as if everyone wants in on the act.

As the stakes grew in the first round, the venom being spewed became ever more toxic. Superstars are jawing at bench players. Reserves are picking fights with superstars. Coaches are accusing opponents of being dirty. Even Carmelo Anthony's wife hasn't been afraid to talk some serious trash.

“Try again,” La La Vazquez tweeted after Boston reserve guard Jordan Crawford was caught on video hurling curse words toward Anthony at the end of Game 5 against the New York Knicks. “You on the bench for a reason.” Ouch.

Conventional wisdom says that come the postseason, the showboating, chest-thumping and smack talking takes a backseat; that players need to focus too much on the game itself to have time to worry about getting into verbal battles with their opponents. But there has been plenty of playground swagger infused in the first round at NBA arenas, and it has come back to bite the barker more often than not.

The Knicks put a Madison Avenue spin on boasting when they showed up to the Garden for Game 5 against Boston dressed in all black, planning on attending the Celtics' funeral. All it did was breathe new life into a proud, veteran team, and the Celtics rolled over New York to force a Game 6.

“Well, we was going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried,” Knicks guard J.R. Smith said. “Basketball is a very humbling game.”

Crawford was jawing at Anthony as the teams headed to the locker room, with Knicks point guard Raymond Felton stepping in and hollering right back. While the Knicks may have regretted wearing black and rebounded to eliminate the Celtics in Game 6 on Friday, they weren't exactly apologizing for doing a little talking. They see trash talk as something that is as much a part of the game as sneakers or headbands.

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 Noah leads short-handed Bulls into 2nd round 
Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett, right, has words with New York Knicks' Kenyon Martin during the first half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA playoff series in Boston, Sunday, April 28. (AP)

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