“There’s No Way”
April 16, 2009

The news continues to trickle out on KG.  I’m holding out hope for a Willis Reed moment… but Doc is not instilling any confidence.  The first video on Celtics.com’s website (to the right) is Doc talking about KG’s injury.  This is pretty definitive:

It’s not official if he’s out for the playoffs, but it’s official as far as I’m concerned.

Doc goes on to say “There’s no way” when asked if he anticipates KG coming back… but then he also sounds like the door is, in fact open for a return.  Then, Frank Dell’Apa says there are TWO injuries KG is dealing with.

Kevin Garnett will miss the NBA playoffs and likely have surgery on his right knee during the offseason, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said today.

The surgery will be to remove a spur in Garnett’s knee. But a strained popliteus tendon — and not the spur — has affected Garnett’s inability to return from a Feb. 19 injury. The tendon strain must heal naturally, and has taken longer than anticipated.

This is driving me nuts.  And I’m not really talking about the injury anymore.  It’s just the various reports… and the confusion.  Over on CSN, The Duke is begging Doc to be more Belichickian. I hope he listens, and stops talking about this… just for our sanity’s sake.

Pre-Game News
April 15, 2009

Here’s the latest from Doc courtesy the Celtics Twitter page:

“I don’t really care (who we play in the first round), I just want us to play well.”

“Leon feels great. I’m gonna play him as much as he can handle (tonight).”

“I dont think he’ll (KG) be 100%, but his intensity will be 100%.”

And Jess Camerato says Ray Allen will file a grievance for his suspension. By the way – Ray and Paul are not playing tonight. Rondo will see limited minutes.

Leon Could Play Tomorrow
April 13, 2009

leon

I just love that picture.

Mark Murphy has another Doc quote on KG… and the tidbit that Leon Powe might be ready to go tomorrow night in Philly.

“It’s just the feel of Eddie (trainer Lacerte) and everybody else that this is the right thing to do,” Rivers said today of Garnett. “I just don’t see a good reason to play him in these next two games. So the plan is simple. We practice Thursday, we practice Friday, and then from what I’m told our first game will be Saturday, so we’ll go from there.”
Garnett accepted the news with relative calm.

“It wasn’t a big deal for him, especially after watching us yesterday,” Rivers said of Sunday’s 31-point loss in Cleveland. “I don’t think Kevin was surprised by this news at all. But let’s hope everything else goes as planned, and Leon can play.

“Two weeks ago I would have told you that Leon was the one who wouldn’t be ready for this, or maybe even the whole playoffs,” he said.

I know… my head is spinning too.  The Celtics are in this weird world of trying to be like the Patriots and not tell anyone what’s REALLY going on with the injuries… but still yapping away and answering questions.

So my advice to Doc would be either pull a Belichick and just not say anything… or just be honest.  Please pick one.

Leon Returns To Practice
April 10, 2009

It was just a run-through, but it shows the troops are getting healthier.

Scal and Leon joined 11 other players in running through plays at this morning’s shootaround. R Allen and Marbury also returned to practice.

Before you know it, everyone will be back.  Doc’s problem has been a lack of bodies recently… will his new problem be too many guys who should get minutes?  I love Doc, and I agree with Jeff Clark… he’s a good coach… but I also know his weakness is doling out minutes when he’s got too many options.

Scal Returning Tonight… Sort Of
April 8, 2009

Update via Celtics Twitter page:

Doc Rivers pregame: Says Leon and KG may play on Tuesday. Scal is dressed tonight but there’s “zero chance” he will play tonight.

Brian Scalabrine will probably be in uniform tonight when the C’s host the Nets.  But it’s not some kind of miraculous recovery… I think Doc did it just to take a shot at him.

“He is able to work out with us,” said Rivers about Scalabrine at today’s shootaround. “Nothing live. Just skeleton offense. Other than that, that’s it. But I may put him in a uniform today just to have 12 guys and because I’m tired of seeing his attire. It’s safer to put him uniform.”

Hey Doc… if you’re just looking for some stiff with zero chance of playing to fill out your roster… I’m free tonight.  Just think about it.

Rondo Limps Off Practice Floor
April 6, 2009

Both Scott Souza and Mike Petraglia of WEEI report Rondo turned his ankle in practice today and limped off the floor.  Said Doc:

“He sprained his ankle,” Rivers said. “It wasn’t anything bad, I don’t think. So he’ll be fine.”

“He just twisted his ankle, nothing bad but instead of keeping him out on the floor, easier to take him off”

Relatively minor, apparently… but considering his recent ankle issues… it’s worth mentioning.

Updates from Doc
April 6, 2009

On KG:

KG will not play at all this week, including Sunday’s tilt in Cleveland, but he will travel with the team.

On getting healthy:

Doc says that he hopes to practice his entire team next week on the road, including Powe and possibly Scalabrine.

Finally some good news regarding injured players.

Take the Weekend Off
April 4, 2009

0701_paul_pierce

“We’re playing really well right now, but we need a break,” said Rivers. “You know, Paul (Pierce), Ray (Allen) . . . all of them need a break, and, you know, I worry when we come out of a break because it will be four days off. And it doesn’t matter who we play, because (our opponent) will be in rhythm. But I would take this break right now. This is absolutely needed.”

“We have a good schedule…We earned it. The first month was awful and they are paying us back now.”

Doc is giving the guys the entire weekend off and will have them practice Monday and Tuesday before Wednesday’s game against New Jersey. This means we don’t have to get on Doc’s case for reducing minutes – the light schedule takes care of that.

The team doesn’t go back-to-back until the final two days of the regular season (at Philly, vs Wash) and depending on playoff seedings, Ray and Paul might get those days off anyways.

Perk was a quote machine after the game:

“They tried to play physical, but you can’t be something that you’re not. Either you’re physical or you’re not, I don’t care who tells you to be.”

“Everybody keeps talking about it’s a rivalry,” Perkins said. “How is it a rivalry? Last year, we beat them [during the regular] season, then they took us to seven games, then we beat them, 4-0, this year. When you have a team’s number, keep it.”

“When Rondo is aggressive, I think there is no team in the league that can beat us. I’m talking about when he is looking to score, I think he’s one of the better point guards in the league, and I don’t think he gets enough credit. He’s been working on his jump shot and he’s just got to shoot it with confidence.”

And Hawks coach Mike Woodson loves Davis and Perk but doesn’t think much of KG:

“They’re not that much different,” said Woodson. “KG, he’s just a double-double guy, and I think Big Baby and Perkins are filling up that void of him not being in there, I think they’re doing an excellent job. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they’ve won the title so they’ve been through the ringer, they’ve been through big games last year in the playoffs so they don’t shy away from it.”

Yup – guys like David Lee or Troy Murphy are KG clones. What a fool….

Today’s Links: Herald – Celtics Hit Spring Break | Tony Allen Returns | Globe – Celts Bigs Pick up Slack | Hawks Upset Bid Doesn’t Fly | MetroWest: Much Needed Rest | KC Jones Tells Old Stories |Iverson Done for Season, Playoffs | Magic Beat Cavs by 29 | Lakers Get 60th Win

After the jump – video of Big Baby’s Big Block.

(more…)

Liar Liar
April 2, 2009

I’m a little confused.  I could have sworn that this:

Doc in pregame: “Tony’s playing tonight. He’s running, he just needs games under his belt. That’s what we’ll give him.”

Would mean we wouldn’t have seen this:

tony-allen-dnp

Yeah, I’m happy that we won last night.  It was exciting and I enjoyed it.

But it didn’t mean a damn thing.  What’s the big deal, we’re now alone as the second seed?  Who cares?  There is almost no difference between the #2 and #3 seed.  It doesn’t matter if we play the Sixers or Bulls.  It doesn’t matter if we have home court against Orlando.  And it doesn’t matter when it comes to home court after the second round.

I like Doc Rivers.  I might have been his biggest defender in the “Fire Doc” days… and I think he’s the perfect kind of coach for a veteran team like this.  But I can’t get past him saying one thing about how he’s going to play players, and then doing another.  First, it was how he’s going to limit Ray and Paul’s minutes.  That never happened.  Now it’s how Tony Allen needs game reps, and that didn’t happen.

He was clear:  Tony Allen needs to get ready for the playoffs.  Doc has said that the rest of this regular season is about getting healthy and ready for the playoffs.  He had a chance last night to get Tony some time so he can start getting ready for the playoffs, and he didn’t do it.  I’m not even saying Tony should have gotten overtime minutes.  They could  have come in the first and second half.  It could have been 10-15 minutes or so, just to get him back into it.  Something.

Couldn’t the Celtics have won even while giving Tony some minutes?  Didn’t the rest of the team suck for 3 and half quarters… would it have been worse with Tony in there?  Don’t we need Tony’s defense against a young, athletic team like Charlotte?

If Doc never said anything so definitive about Tony Allen playing, this wouldn’t be an issue.  It’s like Doc agrees with what I’m saying… until the game begins and he gets too wrapped up in things to give Paul or Ray an extra 2 or 3 minutes on the bench so Tony can get in.  He needs to get past that for the next couple of weeks so the team can be ready for the playoffs.

For those of you came here this morning to bask in the glow of a double overtime thriller… we’ll end this on a high note.

Herald:  Overtime pays off big for late starting CelticsBig shot Ray Allen follows through with heroicsDoc has faith in defense minus KG |  Globe:  Three, CheersIt bears repeating, health keyRivers expect KG back for playoffs Playoff seeding not a primary concern |  Camerato:  Powe limited in workouts |  Souza:  Ray shines |  LA Times:  Rest Kobe, or not?

Step Away from the Ledge
April 1, 2009

This from Doc Rivers via the Celtics Twitter updates:

“I would be absolutely surprised if Kevin Garnett is not playing in the first game of the playoffs.”

I’m going to take Doc’s word on this one. And I’m tired of worrying about KG’s knee.

Here’s the latest on Tony Allen:

“Tony’s playing tonight. He’s running, he just needs games under his belt. That’s what we’ll give him.”


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