|Garnett not in starting lineup||03.27.09 at 7:45 pm ET|
The Celtics took the floor against the Hawks Friday night without Kevin Garnett. The All-Star forward had played four games in his return in limited minutes, but he has experienced soreness in his knee and the Celtics elected to shut him down. Celtics GM Danny Ainge told weei.com’s Jeff Goodman earlier Friday that they would evaluate Garnett’s role for the rest of the regular season next week.
Glen Big Baby Davis started in Garnett’s spot.
|Garnett To Be Scaled Back? Decision Coming Next Week||at 3:07 pm ET|
Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge expects Kevin Garnett to play Friday night at Atlanta, but the forward’s status for the rest of the regular season will likely be determined early next week. “He wants to play, and he’s been playing well,” Ainge said. “But the question is what gives him the best chance to be 100 percent healthy by the postseason.”
Garnett missed nearly a month with a knee injury before returning to play between 15-20 minutes over the last four games. However, Ainge said that the team doctors will decide how to proceed when the Celtics return home this weekend.
“Monday or Tuesday we’ll sit down and evaluate what the process will be,” Ainge said. “I think he’s going to be fine. The question is what the best course is to take … We’ll make a determination next week and figure out what to do over the next couple of weeks … Obviously, we don’t want to wear him out. We’re going to watch his minutes and make sure he doesn’t play too much.”
|Walker happy to take a seat||03.23.09 at 11:23 pm ET|
‘I’m actually happy Ticket’s back,” he said before Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers (RECAP HERE). “He gives our team that swagger again. We’re more aggressive on defense. You can just tell it’s a different team when he’s on the court.’
After bouncing between the bench and the NBA Development League, Walker received a rare window of opportunity for meaningful minutes on the Celtics. He had played a total of just 54 minutes all season before Garnett strained his knee on February 19. With the Celtics bench already hampered by injuries, Walker averaged 8.5 minutes per game in Garnett’s absence.
‘I learned that it’s more physical than it looks on TV out there,’ he said. ‘You’ve got to learn to rest your body and take care of your little aches because those games come back so quick. You’ve got to take care of the little things.’
While Walker’s numbers did not skyrocket ‘ his game-high was only eight points ‘ his perspective on the game did.
‘You can always get better, especially on defense,’ he said. ‘There are so many things that go with our defense that I don’t know everything. So watching tape and watching myself like, ‘Oh I’m a second late’ or, ‘I’m a step late.”
Walker is constantly learning, whether it is on the court or on the bench, so he does not mind taking it all in from the sidelines. He pay close attention to the players around him — ‘What do they do that’s effective?’ he asks himself ‘ and tries to incorporate their strengths into his own game. He doesn’t have to look much further than his own team to pick up some pointers.
‘Offensively you can take from just about anybody out there. (Rajon) Rondo, how he gets to the basket. Paul (Pierce), his footwork. Ray (Allen’s) shooting. Ticket’s post work. There’s a lot of stuff to watch out there,’ Walker said. ‘I watch Ray on defense. Ray’s got some great defense. People don’t really realize it but Ray’s always in the right position. Hands are where they’re supposed to be. He’s just a smart player.’
The Celtics basketball IQ has already rubbed off on Walker. He’ll take the opportunity to watch the Big Three play any day.
‘I think it’s very, very valuable because everybody is not playing on a team with three sure-fire Hall of Famers,’ he said. ‘It’s not like these guys are stuck up. They teach me things every day.’
|Notes and numbers: Third quarter||at 9:30 pm ET|
– KG watch: 9 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound
– Leading scorer: Baron Davis (10 points)
– Leading rebounder: Kendrick Perkins (8 rebounds)
– Leading ball handler: Rajon Rondo and Baron Davis (3 assists)
– Points in the paint: Celtics 16 ‘ Clippers 10
– Fast break points: Celtics 6 ‘ Clippers 0
|Notes and numbers: First quarter||at 8:11 pm ET|
At the end of the first quarter … Celtics 31, Clippers 18
– KG watch: 9 minutes, 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 foul
– Leading scorer: Rajon Rondo (10 points)
– Leading rebounder: Zach Randolph (5 boards)
– Leading ball handler: Rondo and Baron Davis (3 assists)
– Hot shot: Celtics 68.4% FG, Clippers 45.0% FG
|The boys are back in town||at 7:46 pm ET|
It’s been 30 days … But tonight the Big Ticket returns to the Garden … Are you ready?
For the first time in over a month the true Boston Celtics starting five is taking the court. After a dramatic introduction on the Jumbotron, Kevin Garnett looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. After the lineups were announced he got in Kendrick Perkins face and shouted who-knows-what. He acknowledged each of the Clippers and then ran to the corner of the court to address the crowd, lifting fans to their feet with every point of his finger. There is something different tonight — maybe the Garden is trying new lighting — but the energy in the air is undeniable.
|NBA already thinking playoffs||03.22.09 at 7:02 pm ET|
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