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The return of Glen Davis

01.04.10 at 4:19 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Since rejoining the Celtics lineup for their Christmas Day game against the Magic, Glen Davis has given the Celtics energy and hustle. Last Saturday against the Raptors, Davis gave them something else. In his longest outing of the season — 20 minutes — Davis scored 15 points to go with five rebounds and helped turn the game in the Celtics favor.

It was his best outing since returning from the broken thumb that cost him the first 27 games of the season, and his first since spraining his ankle against Golden State. Despite the bumps and bruises, Davis has played fearlessly, almost recklessly, even with his thumb still supported by a wrap.”I wouldn’€™t play if I was limited,” he said. “I’€™ve got a couple of bumps and bruises here, but I’€™ll be all right.”

Davis has a lot to prove. He knows that and so do his Celtics teammates, but they are solidly in his corner.

“Baby wants it,” Kendrick Perkins said. “He was anxious to play. He came back from the summer this preseason and he was playing great. Unfortunately he had to go out with the injury he had, but I think he’€™s ready to play. It’€™s a great situation for him to get his rhythm back and prove to Doc [Rivers] that he’€™s ready and he’€™s going to help us win.”

Davis helped make a name for himself last season when he stepped in for Kevin Garnett and made some memorable shots during the playoffs. His ability to step out and knock down the 18-foot jumper fits right in with the Celtics system, but he also provides a low post player who can, and will, take the ball strong to the basket.

Now that he’s back on the court, the next step for Davis is developing consistency as a 15-20 minute a night performer. That will take some time, but he appears to be on the right track.

“I’€™m just taking it one day at a time going as hard as possible, making sure I’€™m doing what I have to do,” Davis said. “I’m not worrying about other things. I’€™m not worried about things I can’€™t control.”

Read More: Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins,

Celtics practice ‘good and bad’

01.04.10 at 3:36 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  The Celtics have already proven they can beat a lesser team on the parquet of TD Garden without Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. But on Wednesday, they might have to do the same against the Miami Heat on the road.

Rondo [left hamstring], Pierce and Garnett [both right knees] were all observers again on Monday as Tony Allen, J.R. Giddens and Rasheed Wallace filled in during practice.

“Practice was good and bad,” said Tom Thibodeau, who was filling in for Doc Rivers. “Normally, coming off a day off, it’s a little sloppy but the intensity was good and the intentions were good.”

Read between those lines and the man who ran practice for Rivers on Monday was trying to be kind to the healthy players who are trying to get ready for Miami without Garnett and possibly Rondo and Pierce missing again.

The coaching staff will gather with the players and trainer Ed Lacerte on Tuesday before their flight to Miami and make a determination if it’s even worth traveling the players.

“I didn’t talk to Eddie today,” Thibodeau said. “[Rondo] came out and coaching and involved and he’s chomping at the bit. I assume he’s feeling better but I don’t know that he’s ready yet.

“Paul was moving around and did some shooting and things like that. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s improving day by day.”

Meanwhile, Garnett was spotted lifting weights and conditioning while he recovers from a sore right knee that has him like out another week.

Read More: Celtics, Garnett, KG, Pierce

Pierce, Rondo question marks for Miami

01.04.10 at 3:05 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo took some shots and did some light running but didn’t practice with the Celtics on Monday.

Assistant Tom Thibodeau, who filled in for Doc Rivers, ran practice and said Pierce and Rondo are day-to-day with right knee and left hamstring issues, respectively.

Thibodeau said no decision has been made on whether Pierce would travel with the team to Miami for Wednesday’s game against the Heat.

Read More: Celtics, NBA, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

‘Personal matter’ keeps Doc from practice

01.04.10 at 1:46 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  Head coach Doc Rivers was not at Celtics practice on Monday as he tended to a personal matter, according to team spokesman Jeff Twiss.

Rivers is expected back at practice on Tuesday and is expected to travel with the team to Miami for Wednesday’s game against the Heat.

Assistant Tom Thibodeau ran practice in Rivers’ place.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers,

Rasheed: We had guys step up

01.03.10 at 3:01 am ET
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Rasheed Wallace has been around the NBA long enough to know not to get discouraged even when times look most bleak.

Another valuable lesson was taught Saturday night and it was Wallace and the Celtics schooling the Toronto Raptors, making the visitors North of the border look woefully unprepared for the woefully undermanned Celtics. Even without Paul Pierce [right knee], Kevin Garnett [right knee] and Rajon Rondo [left hamstring], the Celtics led virtually from the beginning of the game.

Here’s a sample of what Wallace and Celtics coach Doc Rivers had to say after they snapped a three-game skid with a 103-96 win over the Raptors.

Doc Rivers said his team had the right attitude on Saturday after dropping three straight.

Rivers said Wallace was huge in picking up the slack of the three missing starters.

Rivers said his reserves kept it simple, providing the key to victory.

Rasheed Wallace said they had guys step up on Saturday.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, Raptors

Another bump and bruise for T.Allen

01.03.10 at 2:24 am ET
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The last thing the Celtics needed was another injury to a player who is already filling in for an injured starter. Tony Allen said he hyperextended his left shoulder when he collided with Marcus Banks, who was setting a screen as Allen was going for a steal on Hedo Turkoglu late in the fourth quarter of Boston’s win over Toronto at TD Garden on Saturday night.

“It hyperextended when I tried to get the steal and Marcus Banks came in with the screen,” Allen said. “I don’t think he meant anything bad by it.”

Allen, who started in place of Rajon Rondo, said he will come in and get stimulation treatment on the shoulder on Sunday and should be ready to go for practice on Monday in Waltham.

Read More: Celtics, Marcus Banks, NBA, Tony Allen

Injury situation comes into focus

01.02.10 at 11:04 pm ET
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The Celtics shed a little light on their developing injury situation Saturday night.

As expected, Rajon Rondo joined Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on the sidelines. Doc Rivers said he was didn’t want his young point guard to make his tender hamstring worse, and after reviewing Rondo’s performance against Phoenix, Rivers said he was concerned that Rondo was trying to over-compensate for the injury. The decision to rest him was set in precautionary terms. “I think he wanted to play,” Rivers said before adding that trainer Eddie Lacerte makes the final call.

While Rondo sat, Pierce detailed his experiences last week, which involved a higher than expected white-cell count and an additional surgery to deal with fluid and an infection in his knee. (Go here for more details). If all goes well Pierce might practice Monday before the team heads to Miami to start a three-game road trip, but that’s far from certain. Rivers called it 50-50 and Pierce said he was “day-to-day.”

What is certain is that Rondo and Pierce are far more likely to rejoin the team before Garnett does. Since details of his hyper-extended knee have surfaced, Garnett has been pushed back from likely to miss the next two games, to possibly out for as much as 10 days from now. That could have Garnett out of the lineup for as many as five games, but even that is far from a hard target.

“I have no idea,” Rivers said. “I really don’t.”

If that sounds eerily familiar to last season, well, it is. The difference, perhaps, this time around is the Celtics may be better-equipped to deal with Garnett’s absence for an extended — and unknown –period of time this season.

For starters, the stakes are much obviously lower now than they were last season. The playoffs are nowhere in sight and the Celtics hot start has given them ample room for Garnett to take his time and heal properly.

The offseason addition of Rasheed Wallace also gives the Celtics a reasonable facsimile of Garnett’s production and Wallace played perhaps his best game of the season against the Raptors Saturday night. He worked effectively inside on the post and his timely outside shooting helped loosen up the Raptors interior defense, which frankly wasn’t all that tight to begin with.

“When Rasheed wants to be, he can be one of the best post players in the game,” said Kendrick Perkins, echoing what so many have said over the years. “But, when he comes to play and he’s focused, man, he’s great.”

The Celtics will need more performances like this from Wallace over the next few weeks, whose play can accurately be described as uneven through the first 32 games. “Rasheed shows you he can play almost every night,” Rivers said. “He doesn’t play well every night, but he’s getting better each game.”

The third factor with Garnett is that the Celtics have been through this once before. The veteran players are mature and grounded enough to know that it will take some time for Garnett to return and they are prepared to deal with his absence, no matter how long it lasts.

“With Kevin, the big thing is we just want to stay afloat and stay on top of the East until he gets back,” Perkins said. “We don’t want him to feel like he has to rush back.”

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