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More minutes for Marbury? 04.19.09 at 3:23 pm ET
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Stephon Marbury played 10 minutes in the Celtics Game One loss to Chicago. Head coach Doc Rivers thinks that may not have been enough.

Marbury was scoreless after attempting just two shots. It wasn’t that he couldn’t get open, either. Marbury has been playing selflessly since joining the Celtics, often passing up his own looks.

“Steph’s going to be fine. He should have been more aggressive but I should have played him more,” Rivers said after practice on Sunday. “I don’t think I played Steph enough last night to get him going. I thought in the first half the second unit actually had a nice little rhythm going, and in the second half I didn’t play him as much.”

Marbury has a postseason career average of 18.4 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 41.1 minutes. Prior to this series, he played his last playoff game in 2004 with the New York Knicks.

Related Story: The Wait Ends for Marbury This Weekend

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Doc: We did it as much they did 04.18.09 at 6:44 pm ET
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Doc Rivers was one disappointed coach Saturday afternoon.

Disappointed if for no other reason than his veteran team, the defending champions, looked like the nervous bunch trying to win a game as individuals and the young Chicago Bulls looked the aggressors led by a rookie.

In other words, the Bulls played with no fear in the house of the champions and the champs looked fear-stricken by Derrick Rose.

“Well, the playoffs have begun, and we’re down 0-1,” said the Celtics coach. “Put our self in a hole.  And honestly, guys, I thought we did it as much as they did it.  But give them credit.  (Derrick) Rose tonight was absolutely fantastic.”

“I thought early on the first half – first of all we had no defensive energy – I mean, to think that we worked on transition ‘D’ for two days and the first play of the game (Joakim) Noah gets a dunk – now, that was extremely disappointing.  I thought we fought in the second half better, but I thought we allowed them to get comfortable on our home court in the first half.  And I told our guys that.  I said, ‘Yeah, second half was great. But you let a young team get very comfortable on you in the first half and then you had to deal with them the rest of the game.’  Didn’t matter what we did, in my opinion in the second half.  They were going to keep coming at you.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Rivers: If you only knew 04.17.09 at 2:30 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Doc Rivers was in understandable shock on Thursday morning.

The Celtics coach had just told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan that the C’s would be without their emotional leader and shutdown defender, Kevin Garnett, likely for the playoffs. And he had just found out that his boss and one of his closest friends in the game, Danny Ainge, had just suffered a heart attack.

So he could certainly be forgiven when he said on Friday that he couldn’t remember which came first.

“We make the Kevin decision and then literally, the next thing follows,” Rivers retold. “I don’t remember which was first. It was just not a good period. When someone calls you and says, ‘A guy had a heart attack.’ They should follow. It scares the hell out of you, because they stop. And it’s the pause is what killed me because obviously you think the worst but he’s lucky. And that’s good.”

But good was about the last thing you would call Thursday for anyone associated with the Celtics.

“It was awful,” Rivers said. “Someone said it didn’t look like I wasn’t giving the Kevin thing a lot of thought at the time and I said that’s because you didn’t know what was going through my mind at the time.

“At that time, he was going into surgery,” Rivers continued. “You’re scared, you’re worried. So it hit hard for that, it hit me hard because he’s my friend and it hit me hard because he’s my age. It was scary for me and for everybody but when you know somebody like I know Danny, it just really tugs at you.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Doc on KG: He’ll play 04.15.09 at 9:45 pm ET
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Doc Rivers loves the character of this team — with or without Kevin Garnett. He made that much clear before the regular season finale Wednesday night

“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 »

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Powe expects to practice Monday 04.10.09 at 7:07 pm ET
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Leon Powe hasn’t played since spraining his knee on St. Patrick’s Day. He expects to return to practice on Monday, and he doesn’t want his teammates to go easy on him either.

“Oh no, no, no. I wouldn’t even practice. I wouldn’t even come to practice,” he said with a laugh prior to the Boston Celtics’ game against the Miami Heat. “No, don’t go easy on me. I want to go in there full speed. You’ve got to go at me so I can test it out.”

Powe is making so much progress, in fact, that he said he is “very much ahead of schedule.” He completed a 30-minute workout with assistant coach Clifford Ray on Friday, focusing on his legs with sliding, cutting, jumping, and post move drills.

But team doctors are still proceeding with caution. They have asked him to wear a brace as a preventative measure to avoid other players banging into his knee. Powe doesn’t like it – taking it on and off is the worst part, he says – but he knows it’s part of the recovery.

Head coach Doc Rivers still does not expect Powe to play before the playoffs.

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Doc on shutting down Garnett 03.31.09 at 2:12 pm ET
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Doc Rivers began his briefing with reporters on Tuesday with the following statement about Kevin Garnett’s right knee.

“After watching him move today, we’re just going to shut him down,” Rivers said. “It probably won’t be for the year. He’ll probably play by the end, last couple of games, or last three games. It’s just not progressing the way we anticipated it would progress. So, instead of going back and forth, trying to get him run in practice and seeing he gets sore, it’s just not worth it.”

Garnett experienced continued soreness in the knee, first injured on Feb. 19 at Utah.

Here are some of the other quotes from Rivers on Tuesday:

Any second guessing on bring him back after 13 games: “We thought it was the right decision and the doctors thought it was the right decision. Again, I told you that I wasn’t going to play him until the doctors said, ‘play him.’ With half the people it’s fine and half it’s not. Unfortunately, he’s in the ‘not’ category right now.”

On working him out in practice before making Tuesday’s decision: “We assumed we were going to practice him and right now, we’re not even going to do that. We’re going to shut him down until the soreness goes away and the swelling goes away and then we bring him back up.”

On the seriousness of the injury: “We’re just going to shut him down until we feel like he’s ready. It’s nothing structural. It’s the same thing that it’s been. It’s just not reacting the same way we thought it would react. He didn’t react to the games we thought he would and he’s clearly not reacting to practice the way we thought he would.”

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Garnett makes most of minutes 03.20.09 at 11:43 pm ET
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Perhaps more frustrating than an injured Kevin Garnett in street clothes is a restricted Garnett in uniform.

After missing the last 13 games with a strained knee, Garnett returned to the Boston Celtics starting lineup in Friday night’s win against the San Antonio Spurs. (RECAP HERE) As a precautionary measure, head coach Doc Rivers capped his minutes at just 15, leaving the Celtics without their big man down the stretch.

However this game had a different result than the last time Garnett returned from a lengthy absence:

February 19, 2008 vs. Denver Nuggets

Last season Garnett was sidelined for nine games in January/February with an abdominal strain . After going 7-2 without Garnett, the Celtics dropped the first three games with KG back in the lineup. His return was spoiled by a 124-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets following the All-Star break. Garnett scored just 4 points (2-7 FG) in 27 minutes and committed four turnovers. After the game Rivers deemed Garnett’s performance “not very good” and thought he looked “rusty.” Garnett bounced back the following night, posting 17 points and 15 rebounds in the Celtics two-point loss to the Golden State Warriors.

March 20, 2009 vs. San Antonio Spurs

Garnett had been averaging more than 32 minutes per game before suffering his knee injury in February. Knowing his playing time would be limited, Garnett came out aggressive in his return. He attempted his first shot 15 seconds into the game and finished the night with 10 points (5-9 FG) in just 15 minutes. He also grabbed four rebounds. Unlike his return last season, Rivers was full of compliments for Garnett this time around. “He was playing terrific right before we took him out,” he said after the game.

The Celtics intend to limit Garnett’s minutes on Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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