|04.16.09 at 9:56 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this morning that Kevin Garnett has been ruled out of the first round and likely will be out for the playoffs with lingering soreness and pain in his right knee.
Rivers made the decision after watching Garnett limp during running exercises this morning at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.
“He’s not going to be ready,” Rivers told Dennis and Callahan. “After watching him run, there’s no way. So, we’re going to move without him. And the way I saw him move today, I don’t know if he’ll be ready.
“He’s just limping. He just can’t run. This was an honest run today. You couldn’t fake your way through it. The guy’s a warrior, you could see him trying to mask it but after 20 minutes of running, there’s just no way.”
This news comes just over 12 hours after Rivers told reporters he expected Garnett to be ready for Saturday’s playoff opener.
“I flipped completely because I was watching him move and he looked great,” Rivers said. “And then after today, there’s just no way.”
Garnett has played just four games since injuring the right knee on Feb. 19 at Utah. He has been working with head trainer Ed Lacerte trying to get the knee ready for the rigors of the playoffs.
Asked if ruling Garnett out for the first round means the star forward is likely done for the entire playoffs, Rivers didn’t hesitate.
“I think it is,” Rivers added. “I don’t know that as a fact yet. Eddie is doing everything he can to get him on the court and Kevin is going beyond that. But at this point, after going through all the rehab and looking so good last week, and he was running last week and it looked like he was running pretty well, to where he’s at today, if he can’t get through biking and working out without swelling and stiffness and his leg locking, I just don’t know how you can play in the playoffs.”
|04.15.09 at 10:26 pm ET|
The three-point sharpshooter needed to get red-hot in the fourth and final quarter of the regular season to break Danny Ainge’s single-season three-point percentage mark.
With his three-pointer with 4:19 remaining in the fourth quarter, House broke Danny Ainge’s single-season record for three-point shooting percentage in a season with a .444 percentage.
The amazing part is that he was just 1-for-3 through three quarters and needed to catch fire. He went 5-for-6 in the final 12 minutes.
“I did the math on the way,” House recalled. “I was thinking 3-for-3 ties it, 4-for-5 I’ll have it, 5-for-6 I’ll have it. When I was 4-for-7, I was like I’ve got to make two more, out of two, and did it. It was good. Then I asked Mr. Twiss on the sideline, ‘Where am I at?’ And he said, ‘Don’t shoot any more!'”
House came out to a wild celebration just over a minute later. Teammates were congratulating him.
In 1986-87, Ainge drilled 85 of his 192 attempts from beyond the arc, for a .443 percentage. House finished this season 151-for-340 from three-point range.
“That’s what means the most to me, that I had the Celtics uniform on,” House said. “If I set it for the Bobcats or the Clippers, it wouldn’t be that big a deal to me. But to do it here, with all the history and everybody who has come through here, Larry, D.A., all the great players, even Ray (Allen), for my name to be at the top of that list, feels good.”
In an ironic twist, Ainge was at home watching his record fall as he was down with the flu.
But it was Celtics coach Doc Rivers who may have made the biggest sacrifice of the night by giving House a chance at history.
“I was thinking there, if I let Danny keep the record, then I get another two or three-year extension,” Rivers said, tongue firmly in cheek. “And I let Eddie get it, then I might be gone. But I took the gamble. I let Eddie get it.”
|04.15.09 at 9:45 pm ET|
“Our resolve has stuck out to me,” Rivers said. “Thirteen or 14 games ago, when we lost in Orlando, I couldn’t read a paper or go online or see on TV that we’re seeing we’re the third seed.
“Everybody just assumed that’s where we would be and we’re the second seed. “We went through that stretch without Kevin and Leon (Powe) and Tony (Allen) and (Brian Scalabrine) and we won games. We won 10 out of 11 to get it. I thought that said a helluva lot about our team,” Rivers added.
Of course, he would love to have No. 5 at the 4-spot come the opening of the playoffs this weekend at TD Banknorth Garden.
And of course, with Garnett expected to return to practice on Thursday in Waltham, most questions Wednesday night had to do with a certain sore right knee.
“It probably won’t be 100 percent but his intensity will be 100 percent and that’s so important to our team,” Rivers said of Garnett. “He has so much to give our basketball team when he’s on the floor and we feed off that.” Read the rest of this entry »
|04.15.09 at 9:38 pm ET|
Last season, the Celtics realized the hard way that the playoffs are where ‘Game Sevens happen.’ After 26 postseason games and two trips of the brink of elimination en route to their championship, the Celtics will enter this weekend against the Chicago Bulls with valuable lessons learned.
Check your swagger at the door
The Celtics looked indestructible in Boston … and then they hit the road. They failed to win in Atlanta and Cleveland before pulling out a victory in Detroit. Last season they were saved by homecourt advantage but this time around they have no choice but to win away from the Garden.
Ray Allen: ‘Those three series that we played, we were up 2-0 and I think losing that first game in the other team’s building, you almost have too much swagger going into a building. I think Doc said it last year, ‘If you show up thinking wearing the green is going to be good enough, that’s when you end up losing.’ And I think that’s what happened to us. That preparation that we have at home has to carry over on the road, so it has to be even more intense and we have to be even better. So that’s where we don’t look at ourselves as targets. We look at other teams that we have to beat because now we have to go in Cleveland and win.’
Take care of your body
Postseason schedules can be unforgiving, especially when they involve cross-country trips that put players in different time zones from day to day. It is easy to get rundown, and one of the most important tasks a player has is staying healthy during the playoffs.
Glen Davis: ‘You’ve just got to get your rest, basically. You can’t do things like going out, staying out late nights. You have to make sure you’re ready to perform. Get a lot of treatment if you’re hurt, eat right most definitely, and the most important thing is sleep. So if you just stay focused on that because you can’t do anything about the traveling, you’ve got to work around it.’
Avoid the hype
Aside from basketball analysis, personal stories are often highlighted during the playoffs. During the NBA Finals, Leon Powe captivated a nation when ABC told the tales of his troubled childhood. Powe had to avoid the instant spotlight to stay focused on the task at hand.
Leon Powe: ‘I tried to block everything out, especially during our playoff run because I had the story, I had a lot of family members calling me about the story, about this, about that, what are you doing, can I come over. No, no. I wasn’t having any of that because I wanted to keep my head and keep my focus on the game … I think I just do a good job of doing that because I keep my focus on the game and know what I’m here for. I’m here to play basketball. Whatever else is going on around me, that can wait because you’ve got a job to do and go out there and prepare for a game and prepare to win the series.’
|04.15.09 at 8:58 pm ET|
Pierce was officially designated “inactive” while Ray Allen was active as each team is only allowed to deactivate three players a game. Allen was also in a suit next to Pierce on the bench.
Rivers added that Rajon Rondo will start the game but play only limited minutes, “definitely the first (quarter) and maybe the third (quarter)” as the team gets ready to take on either Philadelphia or Chicago in the first round of the playoffs this weekend.
Rivers threw out a starting lineup of Rondo, Marbury, Perkins, Powe and Tony Allen, who started at the three spot.
|04.15.09 at 8:18 pm ET|
Wearing a tan suit with a orange shirt, tie and handkerchief, Paul Pierce address the crowd on Fan Appreciation Night at TD Banknorth Garden prior to the regular season finale with the Washington Wizards.
Pierce thanked the crowd for making the arena a true home court advantage and “one of the toughest” buildings for opponents to come away with a victory.
But he also had another message for the crowd, which came to its feet as he took the mic on Lucky the Leprechaun at midcourt.
“This is the time of year you expect us to step it up,” Pierce said. “We also need you fans to step up”
Pierce was inactive for the season finale.
|04.15.09 at 7:53 pm ET|
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is featured on the cover of the May issue of Men’s Fitness, which will hit newsstands on April 20. In this six-page spread, Garnett addresses topics from his offseason training program to his fire to win.
He even commented on being called ‘skinny':
“I work very hard at it. You don’t survive playing the power forward position and sometimes at the center guarding Shaq and Yao Ming being thin. I take my weights very, very, very personally. It’s part of my regimen every day … even on game days. I’m not a weak individual.”
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