|Kevin Garnett’s Effect||04.13.09 at 10:45 am ET|
“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.
|Rondo turns ankle, Garnett out this week||04.06.09 at 3:06 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo continues to battle ankle injuries. On Monday, in the team’s first practice since beating Atlanta on Friday night, Rondo was seen limping off the court after turning his ankle.
Doc Rivers said he wasn’t sure of the severity or which ankle was turned but said he didn’t initially think it was a serious injury.
“He just twisted his ankle, nothing bad but instead of keeping him out on the floor, easier to take him off,” Rivers said.
Meanwhile, Rivers said Kevin Garnett is making progress in rehabbing his strained right knee but not enough for him to return this week.
“I’m just really happy with what we see,” Rivers said. “A week ago there was more concern. This week, less concern. He looks great, he’s moving great. You can just tell the difference.”
Rivers ruled Garnett out from games through next Sunday, meaning the star forward won’t be able to play in the team’s final three games as Rivers had hoped.
“He won’t play this week, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday,” Rivers said. “But he’s going to go on the road with us and start practicing. Actually, our hope is start practicing our entire team on this little road trip, which would be really nice since I haven’t seen them in a while, and I think it’s possible.”
Rivers also said Garnett will travel with the team on its road trip to Cleveland and Philadelphia, with the hope of having the entire team together practicing together. Leon Powe and Brian Scalabrine could also return to action in practice.
|Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks||04.03.09 at 9:47 am ET|
Season Series: Celtics 3-0
Last time they met: March 27, 2009
The Celtics survived a fourth quarter push from the Hawks to hold on to a 99-93 win in Atlanta. Glen Davis stepped in for Kevin Garnett, adding 19 points and 12 rebounds. Ray Allen led the Celtics with 22 points. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith also scored 22 points apiece for the Hawks. The Celtics also dished out 22 assists to the Hawks’ 14.
Hawks Team Leaders
Scoring: Joe Johnson (21.4 points)
Rebounding: Al Horford (9.2 rebounds)
Assists: Joe Johnson (5.9 assists)
Follow the latest news and updates from the Garden on Green Street.
|Powe limited in workouts||04.01.09 at 7:18 pm ET|
Looking back, Leon Powe would have done things differently.
“I knew I shouldn’t try to set a pick. I don’t set picks anyways,” he laughed. “I don’t know what I was doing. I was trying to make Doc happy.”
Powe offered another update on his sprained knee prior to the Boston Celtics-Charlotte Bobcats game on Wednesday night. That afternoon he spent 45 minutes exercising in the pool rehabbing from the injury he suffered on March 17 against the Chicago Bulls.
“It felt good afterward. It actually felt better than when I first got in,” he said. “So we’re going to stick with the pool work, of course, just try to take it day by day. If I feel good, we’ll do something else. If I don’t, we’ll keep it the same.”
Powe plans on spending a lot of time in the water. His workout routines are limited by team doctors, who also have cleared him to riding the stationary bike in intervals. Other than shooting free throws, Powe does not expect to be practicing on the court for at least another week to week-and-a-half.
While Powe is anxious to help the Kevin Garnett-less Celtics — “I want to come back for my bigs. I’ve got to get healthy for my bigs,” he said — he knows rushing back too soon could lead to more problems in the future. He has set a goal for his return but will not disclose the date.
“I learn something new every day, but you know me, I just don’t want to come back and not be myself,” he said. “So I’m going to make sure I’m going to be myself before I come back out there. Especially on defense, that’s where I really want to be effective.”
|Just to clarify||at 7:13 pm ET|
“Yeah, we can,” Rivers said. “I believe that. Defensively, is where we need him, offensively, too, with his shot and all that and his leadership on the floor. I really believe we can. And I think he will be 100 percent or close to it. I don’t know if he’ll be 100 percent. Yeah, I do, though, that is the answer.”
Then told that the question was can you win without Garnett, PERIOD, that generated a slightly different response.
“No, that would be difficult,” Rivers added. “That would be very difficult. But let’s hope that is something we don’t have to find out.”
|Doc: KG should be ready for playoffs||at 6:51 pm ET|
Asked if he thought the star wouldn’t be ready for the playoffs after the team shut him down on Tuesday, Rivers said he doesn’t expect his right knee injury to keep him from the postseason.
“I think he absolutely will,” Rivers said of Garnett playing in the playoffs. “Obviously, there’s always a chance but I don’t see that, I really don’t. I would be very, very surprised if Kevin Garnett is not playing in game 1 of the playoffs.”
More to come.