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Pierce details ‘extreme’ infection

01.02.10 at 6:51 pm ET
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For the first time since having two surgeries to clean out a nasty infection in his right knee around Christmas, Paul Pierce spoke before Saturday’s game and said he plans to be with the team on its upcoming road trip and is hopeful to return to practice as soon as Monday.

Pierce, who was wearing a white circulatory wrap on his right knee, said the infection and subsequent pain came upon him quickly following the team’s home-court win over Indiana on Dec. 22.

[Pierce explains what he had to go through and how scary the infection was.]

“It was a situation I got home and I was sort of sitting back and relaxing and then sort of felt a slight pain in my knee and then over a 10-to-15 minute period, it just got worse and worse,” Pierce said. “It went from just kind of hurting to sore to bad to extreme in like a 15-minute period, which was crazy.

“I called Eddie Lacerte about 1:30 in the morning and he knows I never call him unless it’s really bad. So, he came over to the house and checked it out. We went to the hospital that morning, doctor checked it out and we did the surgery. An infection somehow got into my leg.”

Pierce said after his first surgery on Dec. 23 his white blood cell count skyrocketed to 40,000 indicating an infection. The doctors then went in on Christmas Day to clean it out again and isolated the infection. He said he doesn’t have a particular game in mind for a return.

Read More: Celtics, Paul Pierce, right knee,

Garnett’s rest not part of master plan

01.01.10 at 6:24 pm ET
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WALTHAM — When Kevin Garnett returned from knee surgery this season, there was a question as to how many games he would play. He hadn’t played a full 82 games since the 2004-5 season and had not played more than 71 as a Celtic.

Surely Doc Rivers would want to give his big man rest, but when and how long?

Even though now Garnett is out ‘€œindefinitely,’€ according to Rivers, with a hyperxtended right knee which he suffered this week, the Celtics coach says this period of rest was not part of a master plan to preserve minutes.

‘€œNo, no, this is because of a freak accident,’€ Rivers said after practice on Friday. ‘€œKevin is as frustrated as anybody that he hyperextended his knee on a play that happened twice in two different games, which is literally impossible…Both times he was jumping off you’re feet and someone kicks you and kicks the back of your leg, for that to happen once is almost impossible. For that to happen twice is just bad luck. And it just did. He’s laughing like how can that happen twice? I said, well it happened in this game and in that game. That’s how.’€

Rivers said rest is imperative for this kind of injury, regardless of who the player is. But given Garnett’s history with injuries, the team has to be extra cautious.

‘€œIt’s not a serious injury but if you don’t take care of it, especially in Kevin’s case, he’ll compensate, and then he would injure himself,’€ he said. ‘€œSo I’m not taking that chance.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett,

Christmas may come late for Giddens

01.01.10 at 6:09 pm ET
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WALTHAM — J.R. Giddens sported a pair of red and green Nikes during practice. It was appropriate for the second-year player who is expected to receive a belated Christmas gift on Saturday.

With Marquis Daniels, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo out of the lineup against the Raptors, Giddens is expected to get his first career NBA start against the Raptors.

“That’d be a Christmas present and a Happy New Year,” Giddens said with an uncontrollable smile following practice on Friday.

While Rivers only hinted that one of the younger C’s (Giddens, Lester Hudson, and Bill Walker) would play and Giddens spoke hypothetically, Kendrick Perkins said he expects to see him in the starting lineup. Giddens is preparing himself by coming back to the Celtics training facility to get in some extra shots and cardio until he feels comfortable with his offense and ball handling.

Playing time period is a big deal for Giddens. The 2008 first round draft pick has played a total of 61 minutes in just 15 games this season and looked forward to any opportunities, let alone the chance to start.

But things were different when Giddens showed up for practice on Friday. Rivers called him, Hudson, and Walker into his office to discuss the importance of their roles in the midst of the injuries. Then he worked out with the first unit.

Giddens seemed at a loss for words at points when he talked about the possibility of starting. But after  pausing a moment of reflect on his journey since Draft Night, he was filled with emotions.

“Being a first round draft pick and then not getting the chance to play is very humbling,” he said. “Now that I have that opportunity, I know I’m so fortunate and I feel so blessed to get it. I think this made me appreciate ball a lot more and playing. I always say when I played basketball when I was living, you know when I got reps, it would be just like living again, getting out there.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, J.R. Giddens,

Davis: “I’m functioning”

01.01.10 at 5:33 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Glen Davis turned 24 years old on Friday. He felt it, too.

“I feel old,” he said after practice. “Old, old, old.”

He had a reason to feel that way. The banged up big man, who broke his right thumb in October, sprained his right ankle this week. But with a depleted lineup (Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Paul Pierce will not play on Saturday), Davis is needed on the court.

“We need some help. You know? We need as many bodies as we can,” he said. “So as long as I’m functioning, I can play with the pain. If I can function, I can play. It’s how it is.”

Davis participated in a two-hour practice on Friday. He is expected to play against the Raptors unless his ankle swells up overnight, said Rivers.

Davis’ thumb is still sore and will receive extra tape on his ankle. He said once he begins playing, though, he becomes too busy to focus on the injuries and forgets about the pain. Whether or not he should be playing becomes inconsequential to him.

“No, I want to play. It doesn’t matter. As long as I can function, I’ll play. I’m good enough to do something out there,” he said. “That’s the beauty about my game. I’m not a high jumper. If I was a high jumper, I’d be kind of concerned because that’s the only thing I can do. But my game is staying on the ground, getting position. It kind of takes away from my jumpshot a little bit, but I’ll make it work.”

As long as Davis feels like he can play, it doesn’t matter how old he feels.

“I’m functioning,” he said. “I can play. I can play hard. I can compete. “

Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis,

KG, Rondo, Pierce out against Raptors

01.01.10 at 5:14 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett (knee), Paul Pierce (knee), and Rajon Rondo (hamstring) will not play on Saturday against the Raptors, Doc Rivers said following practice on Friday. Here is the injury rundown:

- Rondo: Rivers decided to sideline Rondo after reviewing film from Wednesday’s loss to the Suns. He thought Rondo looked better live than he actually did on tape. Rondo emerged after practice wearing practice gear and sandals. He received treatment at the Celtics training facility.

- Pierce: Pierce also received treatment at the C’s facility. Rivers did not have any new information to offer on his return — “Maybe Miami, maybe later.”

- Garnett: KG was not present at the Celtics facility during practice.  His timetable for return is still indefinite. “I don’t think it’s a long indefinite thing, but it is indefinite because you don’t know the date of return,” said Rivers. “It’s not going to be that long. But when I did this, I looked at the schedule and I looked at the days off and I thought this was the time to do it.”

Marquis Daniels (thumb) is also out.

As for those who will be on the court, Glen Davis (ankle) is expected to play unless his ankle swells up overnight, said Rivers. J.R. Giddens is expected to get his first NBA start, according to Kendrick Perkins, in the midst of the injuries.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

Celtics Community Roundup

01.01.10 at 3:27 pm ET
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The Celtics wrapped up 2009 by spending some extra time in the Boston community. See a few examples of how they ended the year with their fans:

– The Celtics brought cheer to patients from the Boston Medical Center’€™s Pediatric Hematology Program at Dick’s Last Resort. The C’s posed for pictures and signed autographs for the children, who also received a visit from Santa.

Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis participated in a Stay in School assembly to honor high-acheiving students at the Thomas Edison Middle School in Brighton. They encouraged students to stay in school by using the acronym PRIDE (perseverance, respect, integrity, decisions, and education). Presented by Arbella Insurance, the Stay in School program is a collaboration of efforts from the Celtics, New England Sports Museum, Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and Boston Public Schools.

– As part of the Read to Acheive program, presented by Kia Motors, Davis, Paul Pierce, and J.R. Giddens read and played board games with children from the GRASP after school program at the Marshall Elementary School in Dorchester and the Orchard Gardens Community Center in Roxbury. Each child received a board game courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation.

– Rondo hosted the “DD Perks Rewards Pick-up on the Parquet” for six lucky Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks Rewards Card holders. The winners received an opportunity to play round robin pick-up games with their five-person teams on the TD Garden parquet. Rondo also participated warm up drills and a shoot-around.

Ray Allen hosted a giving tree at the Natick Collection and collected hundreds of gifts for children from the Boys and Girls Club of Boston’€™s Jordan Club in Chelsea and the Boston Centers for Youth and Families. The event was presented by Allen’s organization, the Ray of Hope Foundation.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen

Some C’s New Year’s Resolutions

12.30.09 at 11:49 pm ET
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You’ve heard the routine list of New Year’s resolutions before ‘€“ join a gym, clean the house, finish the renovation that was supposed to be completed last year. These vows of self-improvement are a little bit different for the Celtics, though.

WEEI.com asked the C’s, ‘€œWhat is your basketball resolution for 2010?’€

Tony Allen: ‘€œPush myself to exhaustion. See, I was a little held back this summer due to the fact that I was walking around in a boot all summer, which kind of hindered me from getting into that gym. Now I can go countless hours. I can go hard.’€

Ray Allen: ‘€œI never wait until New Year’s. On my Facebook page today I said, ‘Don’t wait ’til New Year’s to turn over a new leaf. Do it now.’ It doesn’t have to be New Year’s. Every day I’m thinking about, I can work on my turnovers, work on my defense, work on getting my 3-point field goal percentage up. It’s like my head is spinning because everything is a constant, so I won’t wait until New Year’s.’€

Brian Scalabrine: ‘€œTo watch my personnel breakdowns every game. I get a DVD of guys who I would be guarding and it’s like 45 minutes. Probably like 85 to 90 percent, I watch it. Ten percent of the time, sometimes I don’t. [I’d resolve] just to be consistent and watch every single game. It’s just different guys every time. For me, just a little advantage I can get from it is worth it.’€

Shelden Williams: ‘€œI don’t do resolutions. I just don’t. A lot of people make them and then after a few weeks, a month, whatever, they don’t stick to them. So I don’t really do it. I’ve never gotten into it.’€

Lester Hudson: ‘€œ[Work on] everything ‘€” ball handling, shooting, passing, defense. I’m going to practice 10 times harder than I am now. I practice hard now, but for me right now I’ve got to pick it up another notch, so that’s why I said 10 times harder. Of course, I have to practice outside of scheduled practice. I’m going to go on my free time. I don’t have too much to do [in my free time] so I’m going to try to do as much as I can.’€

J.R. Giddens: ‘€œDo everything I’m doing right now. Working my tail off, that’s all I can do. All I can do is work. Obviously I can’t predict my own end result so I’m going to just keep working.’€

Rasheed Wallace: ‘€œGetting that ‘ship, winning that ‘ship. Plain and simple, to win that championship. That’s the ultimate when you’re a professional athlete, no matter if it’s football, basketball, baseball, whatever, to win that championship.’€

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