|The Celtics are not alone||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.
|Ray Ray turns into Super Ray||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.
|Just to clarify||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.”
|Doc: KG should be ready for playoffs||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.
|Celtics playoff tickets on sale Friday||at 4:44 pm ET|
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.
|Tony Allen to return||at 3:04 pm ET|
“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.
|KG concern: He’s the center of everything||03.31.09 at 2:52 pm ET|
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.”
“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.”
“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.
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