Surgery On Hold
April 22, 2009

The KG saga continues… but at least it’s continuing in a direction that gives me hope that he’ll return at some point.  KG has put off knee surgery.

“He’s not going to do it right now,” Rivers said of the procedure. “He was looking and searching for it and then he just decided to wait.”

Hey Doc… what happened to “Kevin Garnett ain’t playing in these playoffs”?

“All I’m saying is that we’re still looking at this the same way we did last week,” he said. “But if he can come back, then we’d obviously take that. I still don’t think he can, but why would you ever want to take away that possibility?”

So the door is still open.  I’m not going to analyze this anymore.  What the hell is there to say?

By the way, one note on Leon Powe and his torn ACL… he’s got to be the toughest bastard alive:

“He played three minutes with a torn ACL on the floor. He didn’t come out. He kept playing. It just says so much about Leon Powe the person”

Go ahead and look up video of what happens to people who tear an ACL.  They all hit the deck writhing in pain.  Leon just winced.  Probably something he picked up in his prior career as The Black Night.

Herald:  Injury ends Powe’s season Bad news for good guy in Powe Rondo a bit banged up Calhoun admires Allen and Gordon |  Globe:  Day old blues for LeonRondo leading the way Scal cleared |   Del Negro locally grown product | Souza:  Now for something potentially more positive – Stephon Marbury |  WEEI:  Petraglia – Buckle in for a wild ride |  Celtics Hub:  America has no faith in Powe-less C’s |  CelticsBlog:  Giddens carries Flash to D-League FinalsRoy drops 42, Blazers even seriesLakers up 2-0Cavs up 2-0

Powe Done For Season
April 21, 2009

Marc J. Spears reports

According to an NBA source, Celtics forward Leon Powe is expected to have surgery on his injured left knee and will miss the remainder of the playoffs.

Powe had an MRI after injuring the knee in the second quarter of the Celtics’ 118-115 victory over the Bulls in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Monday night. The injury was originally diagnosed as a sprain. It is uncertain whether further damage was found in the knee.

Awww…. dammit.

UPDATE from the Celtics:

Leon has acl tear and is out for playoffs

Time To Stop Bitchin’, And Start Playin’
April 17, 2009

The reaction has been almost unanimous… at least from everything I’ve seen and read out there:  Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics have no chance of repeating as NBA chance.  Goodbye Banner 18 is a headline that pretty much sums up everyone’s reaction.

I understand it.  I know why people might say that.  I just don’t believe it.

You say goodbye Banner 18… I say hello to it.

Quite honestly, I’ve had enough of the doomsday, “woe-is-us” sentiment that exists all too much on the Celtics internets today.  Accuse me of being the eternal optimist if you will.  I see this as a hurdle, not a death sentence.

I know goddam well what KG means to this team.  I also know goddam well that the Celtics, more than any other recent champion, are built on a TEAM concept.  They are more than just one player.  They run on more than KG’s intensity.  They have a defensive system that is built to run whether KG is in or out of the game.  It runs on rotations and help.  KG makes those rotations better and the help easier… but he doesn’t make it happen by himself.   They have an offensive system that doesn’t rely on any one player to score.  KG make scoring easier and the passing better… but he doesn’t run the offense by himself.

Glen Davis and Leon Powe will be asked to step up and maybe do things they haven’t done before.  Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will have to shoulder a little more of the load.  Rajon Rondo will have to be at his best every night.  The second unit is going to have to out play every other team’s second unit.

Is it a tall order?  Maybe.  Can you see those things happening?  Absolutely.

Don’t get sucked into all the hype over Cleveland and Los Angeles.  They are great teams, but they are not immortal.  They have their flaws.  And they’re not the Champ.  That 2008 banner hangs in Boston.  And the Celtics… and we fans… aren’t just going to hand it over, are we?

Hell no we’re not.  We’re going to play our role too.  We’re going to make up for KG’s intensity by making that building impossible for the other team.  We’ll be loud without the Garden jumbotron.  When our team is down, we won’t sit on our hands…. we’ll get up and cheer louder.

Everyone is writing the Celtics off… which means we’re going to be proving a lot of people wrong.  I’m not sitting here and pulling the same crap Lakers fans pulled last year with the “if we only had Bynum.”  We’re better than that.  We’re Celtics fans!

So follow Red’s Army… follow Red’s Army to freedom Banner 18.

Herald:  Ubuntu must rule again Celtics lose TicketAinge suffers heart attackDoc steady in rough C’sScal keeps his head upDavis, Powe eager to fill big shoesLooking back at the BullsKG’s new role: cheerleader |  Globe:  C’s lose Garnett Bob Ryan:  Forget repeat, C’s are already winnersReaction to KG variesTime for subs to rise up Silence was not the ticket Harsh reminder of fleeting excellence First round playoff schedule |  Souza:  Word of KG’s condition not greatly exaggeratedGarnett will miss postseasonPierce:  We’re still capable of winning a championship

Leon Probably In, Baby Maybe Out
April 14, 2009

The Celtic tweet that Baby’s got a stomach bug (insert joke here), but we’ll probably see Leon:

Big Baby (gametime decision) missed shootaround with a stomach bug. Leon Powe practiced and is likely to suit up tonight.

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.

KG, Powe Could Return For Last Two Games
April 10, 2009

Frank Dell’Apa reports

Kevin Garnett could return for the Celtics’ final two games of the regular season. Garnett (right knee) will miss the Celtics’ game against Miami Friday night, the 19th game he has missed since being injured Feb. 19.

“If we can run him 10-15 minutes, we will, if we think that will give him better rhythm,” coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett’s status for a Tuesday visit to Philadelphia. “For us, we’ll use it as practice. Same for Leon (Powe).

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.

What? A Game?? TONIGHT??? Yes!!
April 8, 2009

(Image via ffffound.com)

The Celtics are back in action tonight… and it’s about goddam time.  I’ve been going nuts over here.   I’ll be giddy with anticipation all day.

Yes, it’s been great to get the guys some rest.  Yes, it’s a perfect time of year to have 5 days in between games.  But my sanity is already shaky… the only thing keeping me somewhat in check is basketball.

Quick aside:  Did anyone watch any of the UConn women?  They can really ball.  I mean, REALLY ball.  In 10 years, when women’s basketball is completely revolutionized and everyone says “remember when it was slow and it sucked?  When did that change?”  The answer will be the 2008-09 UConn women.

Back to the Celtics… and Paul Pierce… who is keeping close tabs on how the playoff race is shaking out.

“I look at it more, probably, than anybody,” said Pierce. “I think it’s fun to see who you might match up with. I look at the West, the race is changing every day.

“I’m a basketball fan. I keep up with it religiously. I watch games, look at the standings, see who we might match up with in the first round. Right now, Chicago or Detroit, they have the same records, so it could flop either way.

It’s nice to hear someone stray from the standard “Oh, I don’t watch the standings” line.  And I’m pretty sure everyone on the team noticed that Orlando lost last night, although I still contend that there is absolutely zero difference between finishing 2nd and 3rd.  I absolutely do not fear playing in Orlando.

And the Herald has some injury updates:

Rajon Rondo, who aggravated his sprained right ankle late in Monday’s practice, was back at work.

“It was a stinger,” coach Doc Rivers said. “A lot of those happen after you get the first, initial (sprain). But (Rondo) is fine.”

Garnett (knee) sat and watched practice, while Leon Powe (knee) observed from a stationary bicycle. Garnett, Powe and Scalabrine are expected to join the team for the last road trip of the season through Cleveland (Sunday) and Philadelphia (Tuesday).

One by-product of 5 days off:  a lack of stories.  The links are pretty bare right now.  Other than the two I just included, Jess Camerato has a preview of tonight’s game, CelticsHub looks at KG’s impact on rebounding,  and CSN looks at who’s stepping up with KG out.

After the jump, Scot Pollard takes on Cheryl Miller.

(more…)

Getting Closer
April 7, 2009

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“Slowly but surely,” coach Doc Rivers said of Garnett’s progress. “You could clearly see the difference. We were really happy, for the first time in a while, with the way it’s going.

“I don’t think Sunday is a possibility right now, but we’re just really happy with what we see. A week ago it was more of a concern, now it’s less of a concern. He moved great. You can just tell the difference.”

A lot of us are skeptical when Doc or Danny talk injuries, but this sounds good. Doc also had a positive reaction to Leon:

“Leon is moving pretty good,” Rivers said. “Our goal is, hopefully, to get him to play the last game of the year, maybe. That would be a pleasant surprise but that looks like the way it’s going to happen.”

As for Rondo’s highly publicized ankle twist in practice: “Not anything bad,” Rivers said. “So we’ll be fine.”

I’m begging all media to stop referencing James Posey in future articles or during talk shows. Mark Murphy mentions Poz in today’s article on Tony Allen’s comeback. Every Wednesday when Danny Ainge calls The Big Show on WEEI, someone eventually asks about filling Posey’s role. He’s gone. In fact, he signed with another team before the season started. The Celtics are going to win 60+ games without him.

Today’s Links: Globe – KG’s Road Ahead | MJ Headed for Hall | Ryan: Doesn’t Get Classier Than This | Herald – No KG for Cavs, ABC | Enterprise – C’s Surviving w/o KG | MetroWest: Playoff Prep Slowed by Injury | TarHeels Blow Away Spartans

Cs Open Up Home Stretch Against Charlotte
April 1, 2009

34-40 @ 56-19
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
7:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

With just seven games to go before playoff time, the Celtics kick off the final month of the regular season at home against one of the scrappiest young teams in the league. The Charlotte Bobcats typically give the men in green a tough battle, win or lose, and have won two of the last five matchups against the 2008 champs.

Charlotte heads into tonight’s game with extra incentive to pull out a victory, as well. As it currently stands, Larry Brown’s club is one game behind Chicago for the final Eastern Conference playoff seed. The ‘Cats have won six of their last eight and come into tonight on a three-game winning streak, but the Bulls have countered those efforts by winning seven of their last 10 games.

Kevin Garnett, as you may have already heard, will be “shut down” for the time being, and could even be out for the remainder of the regular season. Leon Powe is in the same boat, and Brian Scalabrine may not suit up at all until 2009-10 preseason. Tony Allen, however, is expected to give it a go tonight after missing the last 22 games with torn ligaments in his left thumb. “TA” typically takes a while to get back into the swing of things when he returns from a time-consuming healing process, but it is somewhat comforting to have another body nonetheless.

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Gerald Wallace (16.9)
RPG: Emeka Okafor (10.1)
APG: Raymond Felton (6.8)
SPG: Gerald Wallace (1.7)
BPG: Emeka Okafor (1.7)

Projected Starters
G G F F C

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.3)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.9)

Key Matchup

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (Knee – out)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee – out)
Tony Allen (recovering from thumb surgery – probable)
Brian Scalabrine (post-concussion syndrome – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Avoid Foul Trouble
  • Bench Play
  • Outwork the Opposition