|04.01.09 at 9:10 pm ET|
When news broke this week that the Celtics were shutting down star Kevin Garnett until his sore right knee feels strong enough to take the punishment of practices and games, many thought their ‘ticket’ to a return to the NBA Finals was in jeopardy.
And while that certainly may be the case, another story came out Wednesday about an injury to a team that the Green might face in the first round.
HoopsWorld reported that Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young could miss 2-3 weeks after spraining and bruising his left ankle last night in Philly’s win over Atlanta. That would keep him out the rest of the regular season and possibly the first game of the playoffs, which open on April 18.
The sprain and bruise were diagnosed after an MRI today and Young will be using crutches and an air cast on the ankle for a bit.
Why should Celtics fans care? Because Young, along with superstar Andre Iguodala, gives Philly the type of size in the front court to match up with Boston.
The 6-8 Young has started 68 games for Philly this season and has greatly improved his statistics in every category over his rookie numbers, averaging 15.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 assists on 49% shooting from the floor.
In March, Young scored 20.5 points a game and averaged 5.5 rebounds, scoring 20 or more points in 10 of 15 games. The Sixers would likely replace Young with bruiser Reggie Evans (a Celtics killer on the glass) and Marreese Speights. They do have depth but losing Young hurts.
Now, Philly’s hold on sixth in the East doesn’t look so sure with Detroit trying to make a move. No. 7 Detroit would play No. 2 Orlando right now and No. 8 Chicago would take on top-seeded Cleveland.
|04.01.09 at 8:38 pm ET|
Fans who sign up for a Boston Celtics license plate have an opportunity to snag a photo with Stephon Marbury or the Larry O’Brien trophy. Marbury will be at the South Shore Plaza on Saturday, April 4 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. License plates cost $40 and benefit the Children’s Hospital Boston. They will be distributed once 1,500 are ordered. Those who sign up will also receive a Kevin Garnett T-shirt. For more information, visit www.celtics.com.
|04.01.09 at 8:25 pm ET|
Ray Allen executed one of the best moves of the season midway through the second quarter and brought the sellout crowd at the Garden to its collective feet.
Starting at the left wing about 15 feet from the basket, he went behind his back on the dribble, undressing Juwan Howard and then with DeSagana Diop waiting to eat him up, Allen lofted a high-arcing shot off the glass and in. That was followed moments later by a slam dunk Mikki Moore as the Celtics went ahead 43-42 after trailing by as many as nine just minutes earlier.
|04.01.09 at 8:14 pm ET|
Seven-year-old Daylon Trotman (aka: Soulja Boy Junior) was featured after the first quarter of the Celtics-Bobcats game for his recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. His segment, in which he danced and was presented with season tickets, was re-aired on the Jumbotron. After, he hit the aisle to put on another show for the Garden crowd. Trotman gained national attention after being highlighted in Boston Magazine.
|04.01.09 at 7:18 pm ET|
Looking back, Leon Powe would have done things differently.
“I knew I shouldn’t try to set a pick. I don’t set picks anyways,” he laughed. “I don’t know what I was doing. I was trying to make Doc happy.”
Powe offered another update on his sprained knee prior to the Boston Celtics-Charlotte Bobcats game on Wednesday night. That afternoon he spent 45 minutes exercising in the pool rehabbing from the injury he suffered on March 17 against the Chicago Bulls.
“It felt good afterward. It actually felt better than when I first got in,” he said. “So we’re going to stick with the pool work, of course, just try to take it day by day. If I feel good, we’ll do something else. If I don’t, we’ll keep it the same.”
Powe plans on spending a lot of time in the water. His workout routines are limited by team doctors, who also have cleared him to riding the stationary bike in intervals. Other than shooting free throws, Powe does not expect to be practicing on the court for at least another week to week-and-a-half.
While Powe is anxious to help the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics — “I want to come back for my bigs. I’ve got to get healthy for my bigs,” he said — he knows rushing back too soon could lead to more problems in the future. He has set a goal for his return but will not disclose the date.
“I learn something new every day, but you know me, I just don’t want to come back and not be myself,” he said. “So I’m going to make sure I’m going to be myself before I come back out there. Especially on defense, that’s where I really want to be effective.”
|04.01.09 at 7:13 pm ET|
“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.”
|04.01.09 at 6:51 pm ET|
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.
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