|KG cleared for takeoff||01.22.10 at 7:11 pm ET|
Doc Rivers announced before the game that Kevin Garnett will make his return tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing 10 games with a hyperextended right knee. The Celtics were 4-6 in his absence.
|Preview: Celtics-Blazers||at 10:21 am ET|
Kevin Garnett’s return, if it happens tonight, couldn’t come at a better time for the Celtics. But for Garnett personally, the timing couldn’t be worse. The Celtics have problems right now ranging from the physical to the mental. Garnett can help fix some of those things but he can’t do it all in one night, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask him to try.
Garnett hasn’t played since the end of 2009, or just over three weeks ago, and during that time he apparently did no conditioning before this week, according to the team. It will take him a week’s worth of action, at least, to get back in rhythm and game-condition. The end game isn’t for the Celtics to get out of their swoon, it’s to be functioning on all cylinders in April, May and June.
All that said, if he does play tonight, his mere presence can have a galvanizing effect on a team that has grown stale. Just don’t expect him to solve all the Celtics problems yet.
TRAIL BLAZERS (26-17, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 97.7
Points Allowed: 94.2
Differential: +3.5 (Eighth)
Offensive Efficiency: 111.0 (Fifth)
Defensive Efficiency: 107.1 (17th)
Pace: 87.4 (30th)
CELTICS (27-13, 4-6 last 10)
Points Per Game: 99.9
Points Allowed: 93.8
Differential: +6.1 (Third)
Offensive Efficiency: 108.2 (11th)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (Third)
Pace: 91.8 (21st)
|KG on his Celtics: ‘It’s accountability, man’||01.21.10 at 1:33 pm ET|
WALTHAM — If Kevin Garnett is indeed cleared to play Friday against Portland by the Celtics‘ medical staff and head coach Doc Rivers, the team might be getting the kick in the pants a lot of observers – including their head coach feel they need.
There’s no reading between the lines necessary when interpreting Garnett’s comments about what’s been missing, especially in a team that has blown double-digit first-half leads on their way to losses to Dallas and Detroit this week.
‘Slippage man, some of the hardest games are between 30 and 55 of the season and those are the grind games and at this stage, we have to grind all these out,” Garnett said. “It’s a good time for everybody to be coming back and coming back strong.
‘It’s accountability, man. I’m telling you, our defense is built off grit and effort. You either you can do it or you don’t want to do it. The man behind you having your back, that’s what it is, nothing more, nothing less than that.’
[Listen to the Celtics’ world according to KG by clicking here]
While not playing, Garnett sees the second-half defensive breakdowns everyone else watching the Celtics has witnessed during their 4-5 month of January so far.
‘Our defense is built off of trust,” he said. “It isn’t necessarily an assignment but it is a type of defense in which we hold each other accountable. Whatever the defense the calls for, for one person to do his job, the natural reaction is for his teammate to be there to help him and then so on and so on.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Doc: ‘Glen Davis has to grow up’||at 10:06 am ET|
NOTE: Updated with a Twitter apology apparently from Davis and comments from Ray Allen.
According to published reports, the fan, Scott Zack, heckled Davis about his weight, calling him “fat boy” and “chubs.” Davis responded with profanity that was picked up by microphones and were heard during the broadcast of the game. According to the Boston Herald, the fan placed a complaint with NBA security.
“We’ve been taught you have to take it and you have to keep playing,” Rivers told Dennis & Callahan. “I don’t think it’s a huge step backwards, but it is a step backwards, and Glen Davis has to grow up.”
“I’ve heard some vile things said to me, said to our players, it’s amazing what you hear,” Rivers said. “You should turn around, point to security, and have them deal with it. When you think about it ‘ and I’m bringing it up because it was two days ago, Martin Luther King’s birthday ‘ just think what he heard, and how many times he turned his cheek. If he can do that, why can’t we do that, on a basketball court. You’re not going to win that battle. Let somebody else fight it for you.”
Celtics guard Ray Allen, speaking on the Dale & Holley show, said he was not aware of Wednesday night’s incident but echoed his coach’s sentiments about turning a deaf ear.
“Any guy, I think, that yells back at fans during the game, I think, is uncalled for,” Allen said. “When we as players yell back into the crowd I think it makes us look bad and it makes us look unfocused.”
Added Allen: “It’s just one of those things I think for young players in the league, as you get older you just learn certain things. You stay away from certain people in the crowd. You stay away from certain pitfalls during the game. At the end of the day, it makes us as players look bad if you’re not paying attention to the game, worrying about what somebody in the crowd is saying.”
Davis apparently apologized on a Twitter account labeled GlenDavisNBA.
Via the Twitter feed:
“I’m a tough competitor and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get in shape and be at the top of my game.”
“That said, I shouldn’t have said what I did. My apologies to the fans and my teammates.”
It’s worth pointing out that the time stamp has both tweets coming in the hour or so after the game. In other words, Davis expressed his regret long before the incident became front-page news. It’s also worth pointing out that this is a different account then bigbabybball, which media outlets cited when the author voiced frustrations over Davis’ unsettled contract situation last summer. Later updates indicate the account might have been a fake.
|Preview: Celtics vs. Pistons||01.20.10 at 10:27 am ET|
Kevin Garnett is close to coming back for the Celtics. He practiced Tuesday and might play Friday against the Blazers, although that seems a little optimistic considering how cautious everyone has been with his various leg injuries.
The question for Garnett and the Celtics is: Which KG will we see on the floor? The one at the beginning of the season was tentative and out of rhythm offensively. The KG we saw before the injury was one of the best shooting big men in the NBA and a strong rebounder. Even when he’s not at his best, Garnett remains an excellent passer and a terrific help-side defender, and the Celtics have been struggling with stagnant offense and sub-par defensive rotations.
It’s too much to ask Garnett for him to pick up right where we he left off, but he needs to be that player again at least by the All-Star break if the Celtics are going to have any time to get everything in place for the playoffs. Marquis Daniels is also tentatively scheduled to be back by that point and that would be the first time this season the Celtics would have their nine-man rotation fully upright and operational.
CELTICS (27-12, 4-6 last 10)
Points Per Game: 100.2
Points Allowed: 93.8
Differential: +6.4 (Second)
Offensive Efficiency: 108.7 (10th)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.7 (Third)
Pace: 91.7 (21st)
PISTONS (14-26, 3-7 last 10)
Points Per Game: 92.2
Points Allowed: 97.1
Differential: -4.9 (27th)
Offensive Efficiency: 103.6 (24th)
Defensive Efficiency: 109.9 (21st)
Pace: 88.5 (29th)
|KG at practice but C’s still have work to do||01.19.10 at 5:52 pm ET|
WALTHAM — While the head coach and captain were very happy to see Kevin Garnett back at practice on Tuesday afternoon, they tempered their enthusiasm with a heavy dose of reality.
The Celtics have a lot of work to do, even when their defensive MVP returns to game action.
“He looked real fluid,” Paul Pierce said. “He got up and down the court, got him the ball in the post. It’ll be a positive to get him back whenver he comes back. We don’t know if that’s going to be tomorrow, later in the week or whenever. But it just good to have him out there, his presence. You feel it and you see it when he’s out on the court.
“We ain’t thinking about that but definitely we know we’re going to better when Kevin comes back, obviously. He makes a better team on both ends of the court. We have to take care of responsibilities while he’s out. If he’s going to play the next game or not, we still have to go out there and turn this thing around going into the All-Star break.”
Then there’s Doc Rivers‘ attitude.
“When Kevin gets back, we still have to grow as a team,” Rivers said. “The way I look at it, with him out, our growth has been stunted. When he comes back, it’ll continue our growth. It’s not the answer yet. We still have to grow as a team.”
While Garnett looked terrific, his conditioning wasn’t. And that came as no surprise to Rivers, who reiterated time and time again, KG will NOT return to game action Wednesday in Detroit.
“He actually looked really good,” Rivers added. “He played well. His conditioning was awful. That’s why I stopped [practice] because he was going well. I didn’t want to take him to the next step yet. He’ll do some running [Wednesday]. We may do something Thursday, or not, and then Friday, we’ll see.”
|KG: ‘Felt good to be back with the guys’||at 3:06 pm ET|
WALTHAM — For the first time since being sidelined by a hyperextended right knee, Kevin Garnett returned to full practice on Tuesday. He took part in session, running up and down the court without a noticeable limp.
“It felt good,” Garnett said. “It felt good to be back with the guys today.”
Head coach Doc Rivers said he will not allow Garnett to play on Wednesday night in Detroit when the team plays the Pistons but rather keep him on track for a Friday return when the Celtics host Portland.
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