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Ray on tough week: ‘It an us project right now’ 01.24.10 at 5:03 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  Whether it’s Doc Rivers, Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett, everyone associated with the Celtics is capable of understanding the challenge of them in the next 10 days.

The Celtics host the Clippers on Monday night, a team that beat them in late December. They have two days off and then play at Orlando and Atlanta on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Then they welcome the defending champion Lakers on Sunday the 31st to the Garden, followed the next day by a game in Washington.

The tough stretch ends with a game at home against Miami a week from Wednesday.

“From a schedule prospective, it looks daunting because we’re playing some of the better teams in the league,” Allen said. “Right now, it’s an ‘us’ project, just focusing on the small, little things that we’ve done to be successful, the things we’ve done to build this team to where it is right now.”

Rivers did acknowledge that his only concern with playing Garnett in the next two weeks are in the second game of back-to-back contests.

“The games that I’m concerned with Kevin will be the Atlanta game because it comes off a tough back-to-back with Orlando and then the Washington game because it comes off a tough Laker game,” Rivers said. “Those the only two games in the next eight or nine days I have concern.

Rivers repeated on Sunday following practice that Garnett looks strong in practice and he has no concern about the health of Garnett’s right knee. Rivers said his only concern is Garnett’s conditioning.

The Celtics are comfortably ahead in the Atlantic Division with a mark of 28-13. They have nine games before the All-Star break.

“We look forward to the whole week,” Allen said. “We know we’re winding down to the All-Star break.”

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Celtics practice ‘good and bad’ 01.04.10 at 3:36 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  The Celtics have already proven they can beat a lesser team on the parquet of TD Garden without Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. But on Wednesday, they might have to do the same against the Miami Heat on the road.

Rondo [left hamstring], Pierce and Garnett [both right knees] were all observers again on Monday as Tony Allen, J.R. Giddens and Rasheed Wallace filled in during practice.

“Practice was good and bad,” said Tom Thibodeau, who was filling in for Doc Rivers. “Normally, coming off a day off, it’s a little sloppy but the intensity was good and the intentions were good.”

Read between those lines and the man who ran practice for Rivers on Monday was trying to be kind to the healthy players who are trying to get ready for Miami without Garnett and possibly Rondo and Pierce missing again.

The coaching staff will gather with the players and trainer Ed Lacerte on Tuesday before their flight to Miami and make a determination if it’s even worth traveling the players.

“I didn’t talk to Eddie today,” Thibodeau said. “[Rondo] came out and coaching and involved and he’s chomping at the bit. I assume he’s feeling better but I don’t know that he’s ready yet.

“Paul was moving around and did some shooting and things like that. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s improving day by day.”

Meanwhile, Garnett was spotted lifting weights and conditioning while he recovers from a sore right knee that has him like out another week.

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Celtics savor shot at Magical redemption 11.19.09 at 10:26 pm ET
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WALTHAM  –  When last the Celtics saw the Orlando Magic, Kevin Garnett walked out of TD Garden one ticke- off man.

Magic walked of the parquet winners last May.

The Magic walked of the parquet playoff winners in May. (AP)

He had to watch from the bench as his teammates lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“I was [ticked] off. Really just [ticked] off,” Garnett admitted following Thursday’s practice.

“I’m not a miserable person,” Garnett continued. “I’m just looking forward to playing them. Obviously, they’re considered one of the best teams. I’m sure we’re going to rate ourselves and grade ourselves on that and try to play better. We’re a team that’s trying to get better so it should be a fun game.”

The Magic are tied with the Celtics with a 9-3, just behind Atlanta for early-season supremacy in the East.

“It’ll be nice to get to play them,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “They’re the team everyone is chasing in the East. They won the championship of the East last year. As far as we’re concerned, they’re the favorite, Cleveland’s the second favorite and we’re the third, based on the results of last year. It’ll be good to see where we’re at.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Doc on Garnett: There’s a chance, not a very good one 04.28.09 at 11:35 am ET
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WALTHAM – Responding to a radio report by Reggie Miller to Dan Patrick that Kevin Garnett could return if the Celtics made it to the second round, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said this morning that Garnett is still out indefinitely with his sore right knee, adding, “Like I’ve said before, yeah, there’s a chance, it’s not a very good one,” Rivers said. “I guess you could report that and it’s correct but it’d be incorrect.”

Garnett has been reduced to a role of cheerleader during the series, spending most of his time on the Celtics bench while Leon Powe tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 2 and is lost for the playoffs.

Garnett will need surgery on bone spurs in his right knee that are not related to his tendinitis in the back of the same knee. Garnett is holding off on the procedure in the remote hope that he could return if the Celtics advance past the first round.

Meanwhile, no decision has been made on when to proceed with surgery on Powe’s knee.

The Celtics will once again be without Garnett and Leon Powe (left knee) tonight when they battle the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the first round Eastern Conference series, with the series tied, 2-2. Gametime is 7 p.m. at TD Banknorth Garden. For more, visit the Green Street blog.

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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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Sounds of the game… Celtics 90, Clippers 77 03.23.09 at 11:29 pm ET
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It’s the most basic lesson Celtics head coach Doc Rivers preaches, with some serious nudging from assistant Tom Thibodeau.

Think defense first and everything else will follow.

Rivers didn’t think his team was in that mindset in the first half on Monday night against the lowly Clippers, especially when the Clip Joint went on a 19-5 run early in the second quarter to wipe out a 13-point lead and take a lead against the sluggish Celts.

“We didn’t get any stops and we didn’t score the basketball,” Eddie House said. “They went on a 19-5 run I think from the start of the 2nd to 4 minutes left so that’s a recipe for disaster if you don’t get stops and don’t score. Second half we concentrated on getting stops and our offense slowed up our defense.”

Thanks to Kevin Garnett, the Celtics picked up their defensive intensity. And as our colleague Paul Flannery writes, the offense did, indeed, follow.

But with Orlando lurking in the land of Magic on Wednesday and second-place in the East on the line, Rivers knows his team, especially the second unit, can’t afford to come into a game like they did Monday night.

“Honestly, I thought in the first half they came out thinking all about offense and it was a one pass, shot unit,” Rivers said. “In the second half they thought about defense and they got stops.  And then we moved the ball and got open shots.  And it’s amazing when you play the right way together how things work out.  And then when you have the right mindset when you walk on the floor.  Read the rest of this entry »

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