|Rivers at practice: There’s just no way||04.16.09 at 1:50 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Furthering his comments made first to WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this morning, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before his team’s practice today that Kevin Garnett is all but out for the playoffs.
“It’s not official if he’s out for the entire playoffs but it’s official as far as I’m concerned,” Rivers said. “He looked better last week than he did today. I was convinced there wasn’t going to be a minute limitation but there’s no way, just no way.”
|KG needs bone spur surgery||at 1:46 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Once Kevin Garnett’s season does come to an end, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the star will need surgery on a bone spur in his right knee that is not related to the knee injury suffered on Feb. 19 in Utah.
“We knew he needed (surgery) before that injury ever happened,” Rivers said. Rivers also said that Garnett has been asked by the team to be on the bench during the playoffs for emotional support. Garnett was at the practice facility but did not speak about his injury.
|Rivers: Garnett out first round, likely playoffs||at 9:56 am ET|
Celtics coach Doc Rivers told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this morning that Kevin Garnett has been ruled out of the first round and likely will be out for the playoffs with lingering soreness and pain in his right knee.
Rivers made the decision after watching Garnett limp during running exercises this morning at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.
“He’s not going to be ready,” Rivers told Dennis and Callahan. “After watching him run, there’s no way. So, we’re going to move without him. And the way I saw him move today, I don’t know if he’ll be ready.
“He’s just limping. He just can’t run. This was an honest run today. You couldn’t fake your way through it. The guy’s a warrior, you could see him trying to mask it but after 20 minutes of running, there’s just no way.”
This news comes just over 12 hours after Rivers told reporters he expected Garnett to be ready for Saturday’s playoff opener.
“I flipped completely because I was watching him move and he looked great,” Rivers said. “And then after today, there’s just no way.”
Garnett has played just four games since injuring the right knee on Feb. 19 at Utah. He has been working with head trainer Ed Lacerte trying to get the knee ready for the rigors of the playoffs.
Asked if ruling Garnett out for the first round means the star forward is likely done for the entire playoffs, Rivers didn’t hesitate.
“I think it is,” Rivers added. “I don’t know that as a fact yet. Eddie is doing everything he can to get him on the court and Kevin is going beyond that. But at this point, after going through all the rehab and looking so good last week, and he was running last week and it looked like he was running pretty well, to where he’s at today, if he can’t get through biking and working out without swelling and stiffness and his leg locking, I just don’t know how you can play in the playoffs.”
The No. 2 seed Celtics open the Eastern Conference playoffs this Saturday afternoon at 12:30 against the No. 7 seed Chicago Bulls at TD Banknorth Garden.
|Doc on KG: He’ll play||04.15.09 at 9:45 pm ET|
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 »
|Garnett on cover of Men’s Fitness||at 7:53 pm ET|
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is featured on the cover of the May issue of Men’s Fitness, which will hit newsstands on April 20. In this six-page spread, Garnett addresses topics from his offseason training program to his fire to win.
He even commented on being called ‘skinny’:
“I work very hard at it. You don’t survive playing the power forward position and sometimes at the center guarding Shaq and Yao Ming being thin. I take my weights very, very, very personally. It’s part of my regimen every day … even on game days. I’m not a weak individual.”
|Kevin Garnett’s Effect||04.13.09 at 10:45 am ET|
Over on Basketball Prospectus, Bradford Doolittle has an interesting number to quantify what Kevin Garnett’s absence has made on the Celtics. Doolittle writes:
“When Garnett was injured, Boston was 44-11 and had an efficiency margin of +10.4 points per 100 possessions. Since then, Boston has gone 15-8 with a margin of +5.8. The offense has barely dropped (113.2 offensive efficiency down to 112.9) but the defensive efficiency has risen by 4.3 points. That’s the effect of Kevin Garnett. With a full-strength Garnett, the Celtics are right there with the Cavs, Magic and Lakers. Without him, they’re at the approximate level of the Blazers or Spurs.”
That’s about it in a nutshell, which is why it wouldn’t be surprising if the Celtics eased Garnett back into the lineup in the first round. Without him they are still one of the top seven or eight teams in the league, but they will certainly need him if they are going to successfully defend their title.
Also of interest: The Magic are reeling and Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis are not expected to play tonight against Milwaukee. Lewis has tendinitis and Turkoglu sprained his ankle over the weekend, but X-rays were negative and Turk is quoted in the story as saying the injury is not serious.
|KG, Powe close to games||04.10.09 at 12:19 pm ET|
When are regular season games more like practice?
When you’re trying to get two important pieces of your puzzle in order before the playoffs start.
Such is the case for Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who said at Friday morning’s shootaround that he still hopes to get Kevin Garnett (right knee) back in game action on Tuesday in Philadelphia and on Wednesday in the season finale against Washington.
“If we can play him 10 or 15 minutes, we will, if that’s what we think will give him better rhythm,” Rivers said. “But for us, we’ll use it as practice, and that may be the same for Leon.”
Leon Powe (right knee) went through some plays with the team on Friday morning, but not at full speed. He then worked with coach Clifford Ray on a rebounding drill where he caught the ball atop his ahead and then jumped back up immediately and shot the ball without bringing the ball below his shoulders.
“He was just trying to do drills to see how the leg responds,” Powe said. “So far, it responded real well to the drills we were doing.”
But don’t look for Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion) to return to action in the final two games of the season. Rivers said he would still rather be safe than sorry.
“The Scal thing, I’m not so sure,” Rivers said. “Even though I think he’s improving, I don’t know if we want to take the chance in a regular season game with him. Ball hits him on the head and he goes down, we literally don’t want to take that chance.”
The Celtics play Miami tonight and then at Cleveland on Sunday before wrapping up the season with a game on Tuesday in Philadelphia and at home against Washington on Sunday.
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