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Celtics: Kevin Garnett a game-time decision vs. Heat

03.18.13 at 12:37 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

Celtics center Kevin Garnett is a game-time decision for Monday’s showdown against the Heat, according to the team’s media relations department.

Suffering from an adductor (groin) strain, Garnett sat out Saturday’s 105-88 blowout of the Bobcats, Sunday’s practice and Monday morning’s shootaround at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.

As a result, the C’s may face the daunting task of ending Miami’s 22-game win streak — on the five-year anniversary of halting the Rockets’ 22-game string — without the heart of their defense. The Celtics are riding an 11-game home winning streak that began against the Heat on Jan. 27, when news of Rajon Rondo‘s season-ending injury spread like wildfire throughout the Garden.

Miami has lost 10 straight regular-season games in Boston since April 6, 2007, including all five games during LeBron James‘ tenure.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA

Paul Pierce is not counting on Kevin Garnett for the Miami Heat showdown

03.17.13 at 10:35 am ET
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To Paul Pierce, Saturday night was good preparation for playing without Kevin Garnett. And the way the Celtics captain looks at it, he’s not expecting Garnett back on Monday when the competition gets tougher – a lot tougher.

“It was like, we just gotta step up and get the win,” Pierce said. “KG had another game where he didn’t play, we played quite well, everybody stepped up. That was my reaction [Saturday] morning when I found out he wasn’t playing.

“Right now, we don’t expect him to be back. Right now, that’s the mindset we have to take. If he’s back, that’s just an added bonus for us to play Miami. So, right now, as of today, we have to get in our minds that this is the team that will [play] against Miami and we have to get ready to play.”

The last time they played the Heat, they found out they were losing Rajon Rondo for the season with a torn ACL. They went out and beat LeBron James and the Heat in double-overtime. They then lost Jared Sullinger a week later.

Pierce says the Celtics have the kind of team that can handle adversity because of the leadership at the top, starting with coach Doc Rivers.

“That comes from the top, coaches and trickles down through the veteran players, just to ensure everybody is focused and understanding that regardless what kind of adversity we go through, we still have to go out there and we have a job to do,” Pierce said. “Go to practice every day and help us win as many basketball games as we can.”

Rivers summed up Garnett’s availability for Monday this way: “If he’s healthy, he’ll play. If he’s not, he won’t.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA

Doc Rivers: Paul Pierce is ‘going to play for a long time if he wants to’

03.17.13 at 10:07 am ET
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There was no Kevin Garnett on the floor Saturday night due to a left adductor (groin) strain. Rajon Rondo is gone for the season, and has been gone for seven weeks now.

So with captain Paul Pierce again left to be the man to keep things together, that’s exactly what he did in a fashion so routine, it was a thing of beauty to his coach.

Pierce was as efficient as ever, scoring 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting in just 23 minutes, adding eight assists and six rebounds in a 115-88 win over the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden.

“He’s always been underrated,” Doc Rivers said. “I think he’s been underrated his whole career. I underrated him. When I coached in Orlando every time he scored I mean, I was so upset because I thought this slow, non-athletic guy, you look at him, you think. ‘How the hell was he scoring on you?’ And then when you coach him you realize he’s not slow, he plays at a slow pace. He’s athletic as heck, he’s stronger than most small forwards in the league, and he just surprises you with his fundamentals. You know he’s so fundamentally sound he actually looks un-athletic. And it’s a heck of a compliment to a player.

“He just plays to what he feels. He’s a professional scorer, he really is. He just knows how to play basketball. I think every young kid should watch him play because he can do it above the rim but he chooses not to. He’s just so fundamentally sound with his footwork, it’s just really nice to watch.

“I think he’s going to be able to play for a long time if he wants to. He can get his shot off. He plays at a great pace.”

Pierce led all five starters in double figures, as the Celtics proved picking up the slack for Garnett was truly a team effort. He pointed to a play Pierce ran several times in the first half that had different teammates involved.

“Yeah, we ran a play that just kind of matured into that,” Rivers said. “First time he came off I think he got Brandon (Bass), the second time he got the picker, then he just – the same play just kept building and building. I love – we call it ‘feed the pig’.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, NBA

Irish Coffee: Bill Walton’s St. Patrick’s Day revisited

03.17.13 at 9:54 am ET
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The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year as a member of the 1985-86 Celtics that finished 67-15 during the regular season — and 41-1 at home in the Boston Garden — on their way to winning 15-of-18 playoff games and the franchise’s 16th NBA title, Bill Walton can wish you a St. Patrick’s Day far better than I can.

So, without further ado, I give you Walton uncensored, about five or six Guinesses deep most likely (from his appearance on the Big Show two years ago):

Bill Walton speaks during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class announcement, Monday, April 5, 2010, in Indianapolis. Walton was on hand to present the Bob Cousey Award to Greivis Vasquez.

Bill Walton's thirst for life is no secret. Neither is his thirst for Guiness. (AP)

“Go Green. Go Guinness. I’m popping one right now. Ten million pints poured every day around this great globe of ours — the globe, the most perfect orb, just like the basketball. The basketball by itself does nothing, but when you make it an extension of your mind the way that [Rajon] Rondo does, the way that Danny Ainge did and DJ [Dennis Johnson] and Larry [Bird] and Kevin [McHale] and Chief [Robert Parish] and Jerry [Sichting] and Rick [Carlisle] and Scotty [Wedman] and all the guys did — but when you’re able to make an extension of your mind, of what it is you’re doing in life, whether it’s drinking a Guinness responsibly, whether you’re bouncing that magic basketball for the Celtic Green, you can make a difference, and that’s what we’re calling everybody to do on St. Patrick’s Day, the start of the college tournament, the most perfect harmonic convergence ever. Be bold, stand tall, quit your job and chase your dreams. …

“I only drink Guinness, the holy water falling from the sky, delivering spiritual guidance. We’re blessed. We’re so blessed. We’re on record pace, and we’re having the time of our life. …

“When this morning started, and it started more than 24 hours ago, the call to action was to take the day off. Who wants to lead a watered down life? C’mon. Let’s get up and be bold. Forget just taking the day off, just quit your job. Make your dream your job, and that’s what I was able to do. My parents ask me to this very day, ‘So, Billy, did you ever get a job?’ I’m closer than ever to being able to say yes. It’s so special. The remarkable thing about Guinness in our world is that in the mother country, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. In Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. Somewhere, we got lost along the path, along the golden road to unlimited devotion. …

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Green Night: With no Kevin Garnett, C’s find a way to blow out Bobcats

03.16.13 at 9:50 pm ET
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With Kevin Garnett out, Chris Wilcox helped the Celtics get a hand up on the Bobcats Saturday night in Boston. (AP)

With Kevin Garnett out, Chris Wilcox helped the Celtics get a hand up on the Bobcats Saturday night in Boston. (AP)

With Kevin Garnett sitting out with a strained adductor (groin) in his left leg, all five starters managed to score in double figures as the Celtics exacted revenge on the Charlotte Bobcats with a 105-88 laugher Saturday night at TD Garden. The Celtics avenged their 100-74 loss on Tuesday night in Charlotte, when Doc Rivers gave Paul Pierce the night off.

On Saturday night, Pierce scored a very efficient 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field, adding eight assists and six rebounds as the Celtics pulled away in the second half for the blowout win, their 11th straight at home. The Celtics improved to 36-29 while the Bobcats fell to a league-worst 14-52, with two of those 14 coming against Boston. Gerald Henderson, who had a career-high 35 points in Tuesday’s game, finished with just 16.

The Celtics hit 10-of-14 from three-point range, led by a perfect 3-for-3 from Jason Terry, who finished with a team-leading 15 points. Avery Bradley had 13 while Jeff Green, starting for Garnett, had 10 on 5-of-9 shooting. The Celtics, out-rebounded 48-29 in Tuesday’s loss, picked it up on the glass, beating Charlotte on the boards 42-35.

Leading 40-39 late in the second quarter, the Celtics went on a 10-4 spurt to close the half, as Pierce scored the final six points of the run.

The Celtics went up nine points in the first half and early third quarter, only to have the Bobcats respond. But leading 59-53, Green converted a layup that started a 16-4 run that put the game away. The Celtics led 83-66 heading into the fourth.

The Celtics scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter, capped off by slam dunks from Chris Wilcox and Shav Randolph as the Celtics led, 92-66. The Bobcats made things somewhat interesting with a three-point barrage as part of a 20-7 run that cut the lead to 13 with 3:35 left.

The Celtics will practice on St. Patrick’s Day Sunday in preparation for LeBron James and the Miami Heat Monday night at TD Garden.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Jason Terry

Kevin Garnett out with left adductor strain

03.16.13 at 7:05 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett will miss Saturday's game against Charlotte with a left groin strain.  (AP)

Kevin Garnett will miss Saturday’s game against Charlotte with a left groin strain. (AP)

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers ruled out Kevin Garnett for Saturday night’s game against the Bobcats with a lower left adductor strain.

“He wasn’t moving well in practice [Friday],” Rivers said in announcing his absence from the lineup Saturday night. Rivers did not immediately announce the nature of the injury, deferring to head trainer Ed Lacerte.

Lacerte and the Celtics later officially announced the diagnosis of adductor (groin) strain in his left leg.

Rivers said he did not know Garnett’s availability for Monday’s marquee matchup with LeBron James and the Miami Heat at TD Garden.

Jeff Green, as he did for Paul Pierce on Tuesday in Charlotte, takes Garnett’s place in the lineup. The Celtics will go very small in the lineup, with Brandon Bass representing their biggest player among the starting five.

Pierce, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee also start for the Celtics, who were blown out by the Bobcats, 100-74, on Tuesday in Charlotte.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett

Doc Rivers on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett: ‘They’re old as hell’

03.15.13 at 5:38 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers knows the Bobcats have had the number of the last two times they’ve met, including a 26-point blowout on Tuesday night in Charlotte.

So don’t expect the Celtics to look beyond the lowly Bobcats on Saturday night in advance of their showdown with the Heat Monday night at TD Garden.

“No matter what our excuses are, they beat us two games,” Rivers said. “One game they beat us soundly and one game we kinda sputtered down the stretch. And no matter what you say to them, they’ve beat us twice. They are going to have great confidence against us. When you beat a team, they don’t care about the excuses, they know they beat you and that makes them a better team the next time they play you. When they beat you again, that makes them even a better team the next time you play them. So [Saturday] they are going to play great, and we have to expect that and we have to try to beat them playing great.”

The two players expected to lead the Celtics Saturday night in their revenge match are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who have been the talk of the town this week after both reached scoring milestones on Wednesday and Garnett explained afterward how close the two were growing up.

Why is this story so special?

“That’s only because they’re old as hell,” Rivers answered with hearty laugh. “The only way you can reach those milestones together is you have to hang around a lonnnnng time. It is cool. I was joking but it does seem like every night one of those two does pass some kind of record. I think now we create some sort of new record to pass but it is awesome. They have that picture together, it’s a neat picture when they were 15.”

Meanwhile, Rivers was asked about how Rajon Rondo might fit into Celtics plans down the road and if he’s thought of changing his offense when Rondo is ready to return at the start of next season. Rivers said he’ll let Celtics GM Danny Ainge worry about most of that.

“I don’t think about it much,” Rivers said. “Again, you know how I am, when guys go down, there’s nothing we can do about it. I have given next year zero thought, I’m hoping Danny will do a better job of that than me — that’s his job. But I don’t think about that much at all.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
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