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Just to clarify

04.01.09 at 7:13 pm ET
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At first, Doc Rivers thought he was being asked whether the Celtics can win an 18th title with Kevin Garnett not at full strength.

“Yeah, we can,” Rivers said. “I believe that. Defensively, is where we need him, offensively, too, with his shot and all that and his leadership on the floor. I really believe we can. And I think he will be 100 percent or close to it. I don’t know if he’ll be 100  percent. Yeah, I do, though, that is the answer.”

Then told that the question was can you win without Garnett, PERIOD, that generated a slightly different response.

“No, that would be difficult,” Rivers added. “That would be very difficult. But let’s hope that is something we don’t have to find out.”

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Doc: KG should be ready for playoffs

04.01.09 at 6:51 pm ET
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Doc Rivers said before Wednesday’s game with Charlotte that he expects Kevin Garnett to be ready for the playoffs.

Asked if he thought the star wouldn’t be ready for the playoffs after the team shut him down on Tuesday, Rivers said he doesn’t expect his right knee injury to keep him from the postseason.

“I think he absolutely will,” Rivers said of Garnett playing in the playoffs. “Obviously, there’s always a chance but I don’t see that, I really don’t. I would be very, very surprised if Kevin Garnett is not playing in game 1 of the playoffs.”

More to come.

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, knee injury, playoffs

Celtics playoff tickets on sale Friday

04.01.09 at 4:44 pm ET
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The Celtics announced on Wednesday that a limited amount of playoff tickets for Round 1, home games 1 and 2 at the TD Banknorth Garden will go on sale Friday, April 3 at 10 a.m.  There is a four (4) ticket limit per customer and seats start at just $12 in the Rite Aid Family Section.

Dates and times of home playoff games will be announced following the conclusion of the 2008-09 NBA regular season, and will be posted on www.celtics.com.

Celtics fans will be able to purchase on April 3 beginning at 10 a.m. by visiting Celtics.com, by calling   1-800-4NBA-TIX (800-462-2849) or by visiting the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office. Acceptable forms of payment for tickets are American Express and all other major credit cards and customers may also pay by cash at the TD Banknorth Garden Box Office.

Fans interested in securing private suites for playoff games may do so by calling the Celtics Sales Office at 866-4CELTIX (866-423-5849).  Private suites accommodate 18 fans and catering options are also available.  For more information log on to www.celtics.com.

The 2009 Celtics Playoffs are presented by The Lottery. Celtics fans that played the Lottery’€™s Boston Celtics Limited Edition 2008 NBA Champions ticket can enter a second chance drawing that will give one lucky fan the chance to win $1,000,000 on the parquet floor during a home playoff game in the Mass Lottery Parquet Floor Challenge. The fan participating in the Parquet Floor Challenge is guaranteed to win at least $200,000. To enter the Second Chance Bonus Drawings and for entry instructions visit www.masslottery.com.

Read More: Celtics, NBA, playoff tickets,

Tony Allen to return

04.01.09 at 3:04 pm ET
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After missing the last 22 games with a sprained left thumb, Tony Allen said after practice that he is looking forward to returning tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats.

“I’m going to give it a shot and see how it goes,” the Boston Globe reported Allen as saying following this morning’s shootaround. “Today is a big day for me. I’m not looking at going out and scoring 50 points, nothing like that. Just getting in a rhythm and getting a feel for my new teammates and just trying to do what I can do to help.”

Allen has missed a total of 35 games this season. He figures to give the Celtics some much-needed depth off the bench as a defensive stopper. How much he plays is not certain and will likely be determined by his stamina and the game situation.

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KG concern: He’s the center of everything

03.31.09 at 2:52 pm ET
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He hasn’t been that big a player since coming to the Celtics in February but Mikki Moore spoke volumes on Tuesday when he spoke about the news that the team is shutting down Kevin Garnett for the time being with continuing right knee soreness.

“It’s a big adjustment,” said Moore, who will pick up the slack along with Glen Davis. “He’s the center of everything. He’s the vocal point of our defense and he enthuses guys to come out and play hard. We’re going to miss his presence out on the floor but he’s always in the locker room or on the sideline out there talking to us. We’ll be alright.”

Coach Doc Rivers is hopeful that Moore, Davis and Bill Walker can step into line of fire and help while KG gets his rest.

“He’s been terrific,” Rivers said of Davis. “Mikki has a big game the other night as well. Maybe that’s the silver lining, that Mikki and Big Baby are playing more. Steph is getting more minutes due to the fact that we just don’t have enough bodies and Billy Walker is playing more so maybe that is a silver lining.”

As for others who just became more important, Rivers knows the burden falls to Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

“We’re not going to play them more minutes but clearly there’s more pressure on them,” Rivers said. “I understand that. That may be a reason to cut their minutes a little bit as well. Bottom line is we’re going to be healthy when playoffs start and we’re going to do whatever we can to have the legs.”

Then there were the following words from Kendrick Perkins.

“We have to do it as a team,” Perkins said. “For sure, I have to do a better job of communicating on the floor and talking the defense out.”

Perkins can read the writing on the wall about the team’s chances if KG isn’t fully recovered.

“There’s always concern,” Perkins said. “A guy that has a month off from rest, comes back and he’s still not fully recovered. It’s still kind of scary. But then again, you’re dealing with a warrior, so he’ll find a way to get back.

“When he was out there, he wasn’t 100 percent, you could tell. The biggest thing is, we’ve got two-to-three weeks before the playoffs and we just want Kevin to be healthy, get treatment, messages and go from there,” Perkins added.

Read More: Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Mikki Moore

Doc on shutting down Garnett

03.31.09 at 2:12 pm ET
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Doc Rivers began his briefing with reporters on Tuesday with the following statement about Kevin Garnett’s right knee.

“After watching him move today, we’re just going to shut him down,” Rivers said. “It probably won’t be for the year. He’ll probably play by the end, last couple of games, or last three games. It’s just not progressing the way we anticipated it would progress. So, instead of going back and forth, trying to get him run in practice and seeing he gets sore, it’s just not worth it.”

Garnett experienced continued soreness in the knee, first injured on Feb. 19 at Utah.

Here are some of the other quotes from Rivers on Tuesday:

Any second guessing on bring him back after 13 games: “We thought it was the right decision and the doctors thought it was the right decision. Again, I told you that I wasn’t going to play him until the doctors said, ‘play him.’ With half the people it’s fine and half it’s not. Unfortunately, he’s in the ‘not’ category right now.”

On working him out in practice before making Tuesday’s decision: “We assumed we were going to practice him and right now, we’re not even going to do that. We’re going to shut him down until the soreness goes away and the swelling goes away and then we bring him back up.”

On the seriousness of the injury: “We’re just going to shut him down until we feel like he’s ready. It’s nothing structural. It’s the same thing that it’s been. It’s just not reacting the same way we thought it would react. He didn’t react to the games we thought he would and he’s clearly not reacting to practice the way we thought he would.”

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Garnett, right knee

Celtics shut down Kevin Garnett

03.31.09 at 1:14 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett will be shut down for the foreseeable future, Doc Rivers told reporters following today’s Celtics practice.

Garnett missed 13 games with what the team called a right knee strain, during which time the Celtics went 7-6 and fell out of the race with Cleveland for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. He returned on March 20 to help the Celtics win three straight, but played limited minutes, and was held out of their games with Atlanta and Oklahoma City.

On Sunday, Doc Rivers said it was likely Garnett would miss tomorrow’s game with Charlotte but might be able to go on Friday against the Hawks. Today’s development changes that, obviously, and for the time being it appears that the Celtics do not have a timetable for his return.

Garnett’s absence, coupled with that of Leon Powe, has left the Celtics with just three healthy big men–Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Mikki Moore–and with Powe not scheduled to return until the end of the regular season at the earliest, the C’s are in a bind as they prepare for the playoffs. Rookie Bill Walker has seen his minutes increase slightly and was on the floor in a smallish lineup against the Thunder that had him essentially playing the big forward spot.

Rivers noted a few weeks ago that the team’s priorities were getting healthy and staying in front of Orlando for the second seed, and definitely in that order. The team’s decision to shelve KG confirms that line of thinking.

With seven games left in the regular season the Celtics are locked into either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed (they could technically still overtake Cleveland but it’s highly doubtful), and they appear rather unconcerned about the possibility of falling behind the Magic.

With little or no incentive to grind out the rest of the regular season, the move makes sense, but at issue for Rivers and the team is figuring out roles and the rotation for the playoffs, something that has been impossible to sort through while the Celtics battle through injuries to four key players.

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