|KG, Rondo, Pierce out against Raptors||01.01.10 at 5:14 pm ET|
WALTHAM — Kevin Garnett (knee), Paul Pierce (knee), and Rajon Rondo (hamstring) will not play on Saturday against the Raptors, Doc Rivers said following practice on Friday. Here is the injury rundown:
– Rondo: Rivers decided to sideline Rondo after reviewing film from Wednesday’s loss to the Suns. He thought Rondo looked better live than he actually did on tape. Rondo emerged after practice wearing practice gear and sandals. He received treatment at the Celtics training facility.
– Pierce: Pierce also received treatment at the C’s facility. Rivers did not have any new information to offer on his return — “Maybe Miami, maybe later.”
– Garnett: KG was not present at the Celtics facility during practice. His timetable for return is still indefinite. “I don’t think it’s a long indefinite thing, but it is indefinite because you don’t know the date of return,” said Rivers. “It’s not going to be that long. But when I did this, I looked at the schedule and I looked at the days off and I thought this was the time to do it.”
Marquis Daniels (thumb) is also out.
As for those who will be on the court, Glen Davis (ankle) is expected to play unless his ankle swells up overnight, said Rivers. J.R. Giddens is expected to get his first NBA start, according to Kendrick Perkins, in the midst of the injuries.
|Report: Rondo and Garnett questionable||12.30.09 at 2:00 pm ET|
CSN New England’s A. Sherrod Blakely is reporting that Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett are both questionable for tonight’s game with the Suns. Per Blakely, Doc Rivers told the press after practice that of the two, Rondo is more likely to play. Rondo is dealing with a sore hamstring. Rivers also said that he may wind up sitting Garnett for the next week, specifically citing a game against Miami on Jan. 6 as a potential target date. That would mean Garnett would miss two games; tonight and Saturday against Toronto.
If Garnett can’t go, Rasheed Wallace would likely get the start in his place. Rivers has been reluctant to play Wallace and Kendrick Perkins together, preferring that each man the center spot, but Wallace started for Garnett against Philadelphia after Garnett came down with a thigh bruise
UPDATE: The Herald’s Steve Bulpett files from Phoenix that the Celtics are saying Garnett’s latest problem is not related to his surgery, but that he got kicked in the knee against the Warriors, Monday.
|Report: Davis Ankle Injury May Not Be Serious||at 12:18 am ET|
Glen Davis‘ right ankle sprain may not be as serious as first thought, the Boston Globe reported. The injury occurred during Monday’s loss against the Warriors when Davis got tangled up with Rony Turiaf and fell to the ground. He reportedly left Oracle Arena on crutches and wearing a protective boot following the game.
“I haven’t heard anything, which means nothing is serious,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge told the Globe. “I sent (trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) a text and I haven’t heard anything and usually that means it’s not much.”
In other injury-related news, Ainge told the Globe Paul Pierce will have his right knee evaluated this week, while no definitive date has been set for his return.
The Boston Herald also reported Kevin Garnett, who was kicked in the right leg against the Warriors, and Rajon Rondo, who tweaked his left hamstring, received attention from Lacerte on Tuesday as well. Both players are expected to play on Wednesday against the Suns in Phoenix.
|Doc on KG: ‘He wasn’t thrilled’||12.22.09 at 11:37 pm ET|
Doc Rivers was asked the most obvious question in his post-game news conference on Tuesday.
What was the deal with the late scratch of Kevin Garnett from the lineup with a right knee bruise and was it related to the knee injury of last year?
‘Well I made up ‘ I didn’t tell the players at all,” Rivers said. “I never told them. They were ‘ it was funny, because I don’t think they realized it, maybe until the starting lineup and until Kevin didn’t come out on the floor. I just didn’t think it was anything ‘ I didn’t want them thinking. I just wanted them to go out and play. And I decided when we went in that walk-through right before. Just the way he was walking. And I just told Rasheed (Wallace) and Kevin to switch spots. And I hadn’t told Kevin at that point. I just told him to go to the second unit; let Rasheed walk through the stuff. And then after that I told him that I was shutting him down.
Rivers admitted that Garnett wasn’t too happy with not playing.
‘Ah, he wasn’t thrilled with it, but I think he’s better this year than he was last year,” Rivers said. “You know, yesterday he actually sat down in the practice and Paul (Pierce) walked over to him and said, ‘Wow, someone’s growing up.’ You know, instead of fighting through it. He’s such a ‘ has that warrior mentality, sometimes it’s to his detriment. And yesterday he did a good job. You know he wanted to fight it today and then he kind of just said, ‘You’re right.’’
And when did Garnett get hurt?
‘Since Memphis,” Rivers added. “He said that’s where he got it hit. And of course he hadn’t told anyone until I think today, or yesterday he told (trainer) Eddie (Lacerte).’
|Wallace Makes Unexpected Return to Starting Five||at 11:31 pm ET|
It had been nearly eight months since Rasheed Wallace found himself in this position.
Wallace had not started a game since April 26, when the Pistons were eliminated by the Cavaliers in the first round of the 2009 playoffs. Back then, Wallace had hours to prepare. On Tuesday night, he didn’t have the same luxury when he was called upon to start in place of Kevin Garnett, who was suffering from a bruised right thigh.
‘KG’s telling me his leg is a little sore, so I knew it was a 50-50 chance,’ Wallace explained after the game. ‘So its just preparing yourself mentally, and I found out about maybe 10-20 minutes before our meeting started.’
After establishing himself as the leader of the second unit this season, Wallace was thrown into a situation he had never been in before in Boston. He had to quickly shift his mindset to adjust to his new role and new matchups to make his first start as a Celtic.
‘It’s a different preparation,’ he said. ‘You know when you’re coming off the bench, you’re looking more at the guys that they have coming off of the bench. At first I was more focused on [Tyler] Hansborough and what they have coming. But I had to turn that focus to [Roy] Hibbert and [Troy] Murphy and try to do what I can with them.’
Wallace jumped out early in the first quarter. He scored five points (including a three-pointer), grabbed five rebounds, and dished two assists in the first 12 minutes. Hibbert was held scoreless while Murphy posted only three points.
He honed in on defense as the game went on. Wallace nabbed seven boards in the second half to finish the game with nine points and 13 rebounds. He banged his shoulder and was sidelined as Murphy got hot late in the final two quarters. But fortunately for the Celtics, the other starters picked up the pace while their leading rebounder was on the bench.
‘It’s cool. A little sore but nagging injuries, I’m good,’ he said of his shoulder, which was wrapped in ice after the game. ‘Lord knows [how it happened], scuffling around in there with those big guys and came up a little bit sore. But I’m alright though. It’s all normal.’
Although his start was unexpected, the Celtics like what they saw from his impromptu performance. Once the first unit gelled with their new member ‘ Doc Rivers was happy to see them making the extra pass ‘ they clicked with Wallace in the lineup.
‘He’s just got like a totally different focus [as a starter],’ Kendrick Perkins said. ‘He goes out there and rebounds, his defens[ive] energy is up, and he just goes out there and does the little things. He doesn’t worry about scoring the ball or nothing like that.
“He just goes out there and plays his role to the fullest.”
|‘Strategic rest’ for Garnett||at 7:29 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett [right thigh bruise] will not play against the Pacers. Rasheed Wallace will start in his place. According to the team, the decision was a precautionary one made by head coach Doc Rivers.
The move to give Garnett “strategic rest” was made in an effort to have the star ready for their Christmas Day game in Orlando on Friday afternoon.
Tuesday’s game, the 27th of the season, marks the first time the Celtics have had a different lineup.
|A Sheed-less Loss||12.18.09 at 11:01 pm ET|
BOSTON – The Celtics were rolling with an 11-point lead before it happened.
Rasheed Wallace got whistled for an offensive foul with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. He didn’t agree with the call. During a timeout less than a minute later he got slapped with a technical. And then another one. Wallace had to be restrained by assistant coach Tom Thibodeau as he was tossed with 5:35 to go in the first half.
“That definitely helps because he can spread the floor,” Elton Brand said of the ejection. “He’s a good player for them and he was posting up and scoring, absolutely.”
Wallace had posted five points and three rebounds in nine minutes before he was ejected. The 76ers took advantage of his absence and tied the Celtics with 13 points in the remainder of the quarter. Big man Marreese Speights scored five points in the last 2:20 alone.
After having a 31-20 advantage on the boards in the first half, the Celtics were outrebounded 25-15 in the second. Without Wallace, the second unit combined for just four rebounds in the entire game before losing 98-97. (Recap here)
His absence played a role in the Celtics loss, but that doesn’t mean they are putting it all on him.
“Sheed’s a big part of our team,” said Kevin Garnett. “Not only does he give us length and a great voice out there on defense and offense, but he’s a presence in the post, a presence on the outside, and knows how to play and shares the ball. But that’s no excuse. I mean he didn’t have anything to do with our energy. That’s just a team thing and we’ll get it right.”
Added Brian Scalabrine, “This is the kind of game where we will all look at ourselves in the mirror and say we all should have done better. We’re not blaming anyone else on this one. We should have won this game tonight.”
The Celtics will practice on Saturday and host the Timberwolves on Sunday evening.
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