|KG undergoes successful surgery||05.26.09 at 2:14 pm ET|
BOSTON ‘ The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Kevin Garnett underwent successful right knee arthroscopy and removal of posterior knee bone spurs today at the New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Michael Belkin and Dr. John Richmond.
‘After this successful surgery, Kevin can now begin to focus on rehabilitating his knee, returning to top physical shape and fully preparing for the 2009-10 season,’ Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge remarked.
Garnett appeared in 57 games this season for the Celtics averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.11 steals and 1.19 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game. Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to have played in 1,000 career games when he played against the Bulls on October 31, 2008 at the age of 32 years and 165 days. Garnett was named to the 2009 NBA All-Defense First Team for the second consecutive season and his 10th consecutive season of being named to either the First or Second Team. The Farragut Academy product was named to his 12th All-Star game this past season and his 12 appearances are second-most among active players behind only Shaquille O’Neal.
‘I expect Kevin to return to active duty in full force and be that consummate two-way professional that he has shown all of us throughout his fantastic NBA career,’ Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers added.
|Draft prospect compared to Garnett||05.25.09 at 7:57 pm ET|
This summer B.J. Mullens is looking to make a name for himself in the NBA Draft, but he doesn’t mind being compared to certain players along the way.
Very few players would complain when drawing similarities to one of the best in the game.
‘I can get compared to Kevin Garnett, his inside game,’ Mullens told HOOPSWORLD (Click here for video), ‘Outside game, Dirk Nowitzki, explosive like Amar’e (Stoudemire). Those three guys I like to compare myself and mix them all together and do a little bit of triple threat.’
Mullens has been working out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, where Garnett has also trained. The 7-foot, 260-pound center averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in his freshman season at Ohio State. He lists his strengths as his footwork, outside jumper, and versatility playing both inside and outside.
Like Garnett, he was named to the Parade Magazine First Team All-American in high school. Mullens plans to work out for 15 teams before the draft, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.
|Nuggets try to follow Celtics lead||at 6:32 pm ET|
“Boston was so much more physical than they were,” Billups said. “They didn’t give up a lot of layups and they didn’t give up a lot in transition. We’re capable of doing those kinds of things. I can’t say that our team is as good defensively as Boston was last year, but we do have a pretty good defensive basketball team.”
The Celtics held Kobe Bryant to 25.7 points per game (40.5% FG, 32.1% 3PG) during the Finals. He is averaging 37.7 points (48.6% FG, 50.0% 3PG) in the first three games against the Nuggets. The Cs also handled Pau Gasol (14.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg), who is averaging 16.7 points and 14.0 rebounds in the Western Conference Finals.
One of the biggest difference in this year’s playoffs is the Lakers edge on offense. Last season the Celtics outshot them 43.0% to 34.7% from long range. They are outshooting the Nuggets 39.9% to 29.9% from behind the arc. The Celtics also outrebounded the Lakers by nearly five boards per game whereas the Lakers are grabbing nearly four more boards than the Nuggets.
|Anniversary of ‘Beat L.A.’||05.23.09 at 7:32 pm ET|
The chant that carried the Boston Celtics through last season’s NBA Finals originated 27 years ago today. On May 23, 1982 the Philadelphia 76ers were on the verge of eliminating the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Rather than cheer against the victors, the Garden crowd bellowed ‘Beat L.A.’ as encouragement for the Sixers to defeat the Lakers in the championship round. The Lakers won the title in six games.
|Sixers aren’t deciding on Thibodeau just yet||05.22.09 at 1:02 pm ET|
Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau interviewed for a head coaching position with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, the Boston Globe reported. He is one of six candidates who have met with the organization.
On Friday, Sixers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski issued a statement saying, “As such, due to the number of candidates still involved in the process, there is no timetable set for when this very important decision regarding the future direction of the franchise will be made.”
The 76ers will continue interviews and conduct further research and background checks on their prospects. Stefanski noted, “As I have said before, the qualities I am looking for in our next head coach include excellent communication and leadership skills, will stress the importance of accountability while also developing our players and will be a strong tactician.”
|Cassell hired as Wizards assistant coach||05.21.09 at 9:11 pm ET|
Sam Cassell made his goal very clear when he signed with the Boston Celtics in 2008 — he wanted to coach. On Thursday, he accomplished that mission. Cassell was hired by the Washington Wizards to serve as an assistant coach to the newly appointed Flip Saunders. According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Cassell is already participating in pre-draft workouts.
“After 15 seasons playing in this league, I have accomplished all that I have dreamed of as a player,” Cassell said in a statement issued by the Wizards. “Now the time has come for to me to take my love for the game to the coaching ranks and pass on what I’ve learned. This team is loaded with talent, and it’s a great way for me to start my coaching career.”
Cassell will be part of a coaching staff that has close ties to Kevin Garnett. Cassell and Garnett were teammates in Boston and Minnesota; Saunders served as the Timberwolves head coach for ten seasons; and Wizards assistant coach Randy Wittman coached Garnett in Minnesota during the 2007 season.
|Ainge: Tony Allen was waiting in the wings||at 1:07 am ET|
This week Celtics head coach Doc Rivers revealed Ray Allen played in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a hamstring injury. But the Celtics had a back up plan if another one of their stars was sidelined.
‘Now if anything had happened to Ray, if Ray wasn’t able to go because of the hamstring injury, then Tony would have started and played,’ Celtics president Danny Ainge told WEEI’s The Big Show.
Tony Allen has been waiting in the wings for an extended role his entire career. Like it has happened so many times before, his opportunity for playing time this season was cut short by injuries. Rather than replace the void left by James Posey, Allen suffered an ankle sprain, the flu, and torn ligaments in his thumb. He appeared in just 46 regular season games.
‘Every time Tony had an opportunity to play significant minutes, he performed very well in that role over the last couple of years,’ Ainge said of the five-year veteran. ‘In a more limited role, and I think Tony had expectations of playing a 20 to 25 minute a game role going into the season, and you know with the injuries, that just didn’t pan out that way.’